Monday, January 31, 2011

Cry Room Chronicles XXVIII

This Sunday morning we were running slow. The night before we came back from a day trip to Front Royal to celebrate my brothers birthday. Thus we wound up at the 9:30 Mass at St. Louis. We got there early enough to snag great seats by the choir and musicians. We didn't last too long but managed to stay till the gospel. Then we headed to the children's chapel.

Amazingly, only one mom feeding her baby was in the room. The lights were off and the TV was off too. She didn't know what to do, so we took care of things. Lucy decided she wanted everything off the shelves and was upset that we weren't bringing down all the missals and statues for her. This happened during the homily, where father talked about not having greed for things. This week's gospel is Matthew's account of the Eight Beatitudes--the blueprint for Christian living. Lucy was not getting the message. Jacob did his usual book reading and they both enjoyed putting money in the collection basket.

Later, we shook hands with each other only, since the mom and baby had gone back upstairs. Lucy had her usual enthusiasm; Jacob his usual disinterest. We went up for communion. Once we got up there, Jacob decided he wanted to go potty in the upstairs bathroom. I tried to hurry him as much as I could, so I wouldn't wind up like Angie two weeks ago. He dragged it out, but not long enough for me to miss communion. Angie and Lucy missed us, though. They were looking around the vestibule to see where we went.

The homily was pretty good. By today, it's mostly gone from my memory (time and a stomach bug have robbed me of it). Father did tell a good joke about the folly of being materialistic. A man who loved his possessions more than anything (and he had really nice things) was driving his BMW one day. He took a turn too fast and wound up in an accident. The car was wrecked but he was thrown clear. Well, all of him but his left arm! When the medics got there, they heard him wailing, "My BMW, my BMW, my poor BMW!" They told him, "Hey, you've got bigger concerns than that. Your left arm is gone." He looked down and wailed, "My Rolex, my Rolex!" Clearly his priorities were messed up. People are always more important.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cry Room Chronicles XXVII

We had another slow morning this Sunday, so we wound up at the 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Louis. In our usual fashion, we arrived a little bit late. Deciding to start out upstairs we found a mostly empty pew by the musicians.

Jacob and Lucy were fascinated by the musicians, who were the youth choir. Our children were moving around a lot when the music stopped (as if they were playing reverse Musical Chairs). The priest made it through the gospel and then asked us to pray that his homily would be worthy and beneficial to the congregation. Lucy decided to pray out loud, so we headed down to the children's chapel.

The crowd was not very big: a dad with a son and daughter, a dad with grandma (or other older female relative) and two sons. Later, two moms with a daughter each came in. Jacob glommed onto the books as usual. Lucy wandered around a little bit, tossing out the kneeling mats and saying, "I do that!" Her next act was to take the big bead rosaries and place one on mommy's neck, followed by one on daddy's neck. It made me think of the latest Catholic in a Small Town podcast where Mac talked about students at his school wearing rosaries as necklaces. "Mac probably wouldn't approve of Lucy's actions," I thought to myself. Lucy must be psychic, because she came and took them off our heads and put them back in their basket. Whew!

Otherwise things went pretty normally. Jacob and Lucy enjoyed putting money in the collection basket. Lucy worked the room at the Sign of Peace; Jacob could barely be bothered to participate. Then Jacob didn't want to go upstairs for communion! He reluctantly agreed when we said he could take one of the books up; he sat in the middle of the vestibule and read. Angie went in to receive first and made it back in time to watch him while I went. Lucy put money in the poor box; Jacob just kept on reading.

After Mass, we lit a candle like we did last week and prayed for Auntie Teresa, since her birthday was last week. Jacob and Lucy said, "Amen" and we headed home.

With Lucy's praying and walking to the children's chapel, we missed a good bit of the homily. I don't remember enough to put something coherent together, alas. Hopefully next week will be better...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cry Room Chronicles XXVI

We are a day late due to wakeful children last night. It was quite an action-packed adventure at church, as you are about to read...

We were expecting someone to come and buy Nate's old guitar at 10 a.m. so we made sure Lucy was up early enough for us to go to 8 a.m. Mass. Jacob was easily up in time. We had an early quick breakfast and even managed to squeeze in showers for the parents before heading out to Mass.

Jacob is in the midst of intensive potty training (since it's a three-day weekend) so he came to church in big boy underpants. We were pretty excited about this but headed straight to the children's chapel lest there be an accident in the congregation. It worked out pretty well until Jacob decided he did have to poop right after the consecration. We put him in a diaper (he isn't ready for #2 on the toilet yet) and waited for him to drop the bomb. He waited and waited until it was time for communion. Finally he said he was done and needed his diaper changed. Angie took him to the bathroom while Lucy and I headed upstairs for communion. Lucy put money in the poor box and the book rack box before we received communion. By the time we got back, Angie and Jacob were just heading up the stairs. Too late for communion! Jacob did want to go in and see the musicians (which consisted of a lone organist). When they came back at the end of Mass, Jacob asked to light a candle (he saw them next to the organ). We explained how we should pray for an intention if we light a candle. Jacob said it should be for mommy. We went back in after the recessional hymn was over. We put some money in the box and helped him light the candle from another candle. Then Jacob said a little prayer for mommy. Heading back out, we ran into Father and asked if Angie could receive communion since she was caught mid-diaper change. He led her in and she was able to receive.

After heading out, we ran into a friend, special Bryan (who often ushers at the 8 a.m.) and got to meet his mom. Jacob calls him "Special Bryan" because we already know another Brian. His mom agreed with Jacob that Bryan is special and we said our goodbyes.

This was another week where the homily was mostly swallowed by the antics of the children. This week's gospel includes John the Baptist saying, "Behold the Lamb of God!" referring clearly to Jesus. Father commented that the new translation that is coming in Advent 2011 will change the prayer "This is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world, happy are those called to His supper" to "Behold the Lamb of God..." He talked a bit about how much better the new translation will be, with its immediacy, sense of awe, and the implicit idea that we will in fact hold the Lamb of God in us when we receive communion. A very profound and humbling thought.

Oh, and the guy who was supposed to buy the guitar never showed.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

First Library Visit of 2011

Friday we went to story time at our favorite branch of the Howard County Library, Savage Library. And our favorite librarian, Miss Ellie, ran the show. We were very happy for the old, familiar things.

"Snow" was the word of the day. One of the books Miss Ellie read was Ezra Jack Keats' "The Snowy Day," which Jacob immediately recognized. He shouted out, "We have that book." Jacob was happy to hear that story again. If only he had some enthusiasm for singing songs and dancing during story time. But at the end, we had a craft to do. Jacob was super enthusiastic for it. We glued a tree and snow flakes to a plate. Then we went to a sparkle station to sprinkle glitter on the plate. The glue pick up quite a bit and it came out pretty well. Jacob looks pretty serious about it. Lucy helped out too. She pointed to where we should put the snow flakes.

We look forward to many more visits to the library this year!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lucy's 18-Month Checkup

Despite the snow from last night, we made it to Lucy's 18-month doctor's appointment this morning. All is well, she is 24.6 pounds and 33.5 inches tall. She was pretty excited to stand on a scale and to stand against the wall to get measured. Jacob was excited for her, though he thought the scale was his! The doctor was pretty happy with Lucy: she is physically fit and she was pretty easygoing about him poking and prodding and looking at her with his little light. She received only one shot, for which we were all grateful. She cried for about 20 seconds, which doesn't sound long unless you are a witness.

Following our usual post-pediatric tradition, we headed off to Chick-fil-A. Jacob asked to go to the "globe" Chick-fil-A, which is not our usual nearby restaurant. But it is on the way home from the doctor's office, so I approved. The good thing about that was it was empty, so the playground area was all ours. We, I mean, the kids played for almost 45 minutes! The bad news is that they took out the globe in the play area. I suspect Jacob will continue to call it the "globe" Chick-fil-A regardless. He was not distressed by the absence, but he did mention it a couple of times. Since we stayed so long, we had a yummy lunch there. Jacob and Lucy split a 6-count chicken nugget kids meal, with milk and fruit cup. The only problem is they hardly drink the milk (especially when they realize I have lemonade) and they could easily eat two fruit cups. We may have to try something new next time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cry Room Chronicles XXV

This morning featured a slow Sunday start, partly because of post-travel malaise. Jacob was especially feisty before leaving, which lasted during the drive to St. Louis for the 9:30 a.m. Mass. The bitter cold outside didn't help matters any.

We made it there just in time to hear the end of the opening hymn. Jacob wanted to sit with the congregation so he could see the choir and musicians. We lasted until the first reading when Jacob decided to go to the "reading room." So off we went to the children's chapel.

The crowd was fairly sizable in the children's chapel, though we only recognized one mom and her daughter. Jacob and Lucy took a little while to settle in. Jacob started cycling through all his favorite books. Lucy looked around and made eye contact with people but didn't really interact more with them. Mostly she held on to mommy. Eventually she started handing mommy and me the big play rosary beads. Soon enough, Jacob decided he wanted to go potty, but not to the potty in the chapel. Rather, he wanted to go to the upstairs bathroom like last week. So mommy and he headed off upstairs, eventually returning unsuccessfully. Maybe next week. Surprisingly, Jacob was uninterested in putting money in the collection and could barely be bothered to shake hands at the sign of peace. The books were just too interesting this week.

Jacob wanted me to watch him reading during the homily, so I only caught bits and pieces of it. The central theme of Father's sermon was accepting forgiveness even when you don't feel forgiven. God's forgiveness doesn't depend on your feelings or emotions but on your decision to confess your sins and the amend your life. Father gave some examples, especially from a retirement home where he ministers.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cry Room Chronicles XXIV

We missed a couple of weeks because of Christmas hecticness (including shopping, celebrating and travel). The new year, new resolution is to get back to the blogging!

Christmas morning was spent in Florida going to the lovely little St. Christopher's in Hobe Sound. I don't remember much of the homily other than the priest putting a twist on the old question "What do you give to the person who has everything?" He challenged us to think of what does the person who has everything give to others? He related this to God (who clearly is the only Person who really does have everything) giving His only Son to us so that we may be saved. So in giving, we should be like the Person who has everything, and try to give in His Spirit. Pretty good insight, I thought. I don't remember much of the other liturgies we went over the hiatus (other than Jacob having a poopy diaper and we having no diaper bag for the Christmas vigil service).

Today, we were back at St. Louis here in Maryland for the 8 a.m. Mass. The homily was eclipsed by Lucy's attempts to interact with the young boy in front of us in the Children's Chapel. And by the perpetual quest to get Jacob to whisper (he is improving quite a bit each week). They were pretty cute. The children didn't wander too much this week and Jacob was completely uninterested in the Sign of Peace. He shook my hand and that was it for him. Mommy and Lucy were in the potty at the time, so they missed out. It was funny, though, when Lucy walked out of the bathroom and said quite clearly, "Potty!" I was the only one who noticed. As we walked upstairs for communion, Jacob asked to go potty. Mommy took him. He was so excited with his success, he wanted to show me where he went potty. Luckily, he only led me to the door of the bathroom and not into the Ladies' Room!

We did get to see our friend Bryan (who ushers at the 8 a.m. Mass) and chat with him after Mass was over. We didn't go to the playground today due to cold and rainy weather. Looking forward to next week!

Belated Merry Christmas to all and less belated happy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

These Boots Are Made for Walking

Lucy is definitely a girl. We can tell because she is into shoes. Not metaphorically, literally:
First the right one...

...then the left,

Getting up is tricky!

Which way should I go?!?

Maybe I should stick to my core competency, cuteness!
I'm ready for my close up!
If you think she isn't into walking, check out this raw footage of her footwork:

Thanks for the loaned boots, Auntie Rosemary (and the soundtrack, too)!