Thursday, December 13, 2018

On a White Thanksgiving












We knew coming here that Vermont would be cold in the winter, but I wasn't prepared for how cold it would be in the fall.  Luckily I had the kids collect leaves before the snow came and took them all out so we were still able to wax a bunch.  I might not have been able to enjoy them outside but they've been beautifying our sun room for weeks.  We even used some to make a bit of a thankfullness tree for a centerpiece on our Thanksgiving table so I was feeling pretty accomplished that day.

We ended up having ten kids and five adults over, which was much better than just cooking dinner for ourselves.  There's nothing worse than slaving all week in the kitchen to prepare a feast that's over in ten minutes after the children nibble some plain turkey and a roll and declare themselves full.  Having experienced both, having the extra adults around to linger over the meal and chat is definitely the better way to go.

I know what you're thinking, "it's Advent, why are we discussing your Thanksgiving from last month?"  Well, I have kind of a lot of children and I'm behind on pretty much every nonessential thing on my to-do list.  At least my November pictures are very wintery?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

On Babies and Deep Thoughts







  

These pictures are all old, well not that old, but old by newborn standards.  Timothy isn't even three months yet and I'm already having to pull out the next size up clothes.  Knowing how fast this baby time flies by you'd think I'd have taken more pictures but alas, he's got sixth child problems.  Also, he's afraid of my camera and wrinkles up his little forehead every time it approaches so there's that. 

Ever since his birth I've been mulling over this quote from Lucy Maud Montgomery's journal (that I read in her biography) after the birth of her eldest son.  It may be a little morbid to pair it with baptism pictures, but I'm just going to leave it right here anyway:
"As I hold little Punch's dear body in my arms I am lost in wonder--and awe--and terror--when I realize that everybody was once a baby just like this.  All the great men, all the good men, all the wicked men of history.  Napoleon was once a chubby baby, kicking on his nurse's lap--Caesar once smacked his lips over his mother's milk as does my mannie--Milton once squirmed with colic--Shakespeare cried in the night when he grew hungry.  Yes, and--horrible thought--Nero once looked up with just such dear, star-like innocent eyes and Judas cooed to himself with the same sweet noises and vocables--Nay, even that wondrous Person...even He was once a white, dimple-fisted, waxen-faced little creature like this, cuddled in his mother's arms and drawing his life from her breast.  What a terrible thing it is to be a mother--almost as terrible as it is beautiful!  Oh, mothers of Caesar and Judas and Jesus, what did you dream of when you held your babies against your beating heart.  Of nothing but sweetness and goodness and holiness perhaps.  Yet one of the children was a Caesar--and one was a Judas--and one a Messiah! (December 1, 1912)" (pg 574)
Terrible and beautiful indeed.
   

Saturday, November 3, 2018

On Halloween and All Saints













Halloween felt like such a whirlwind this year.  We had a town trunk-or-treat the Saturday before Halloween (in the snow), trick-or-treating on actual Halloween (in the rain), and then an All Saints Day party (on All Souls Day which wasn't exactly liturgically correct but certainly more convenient being Friday and all).   The kids had so much fun and have been hyped up on candy and excitement for an entire week straight.  I on the other hand am pretty much done. 

This year we bought back most of their candy from them offering first $1 per 4 oz. of candy and then $20 outright for anyone willing to turn over the entirety of their haul.  We've gotten rid of a lot of candy this way and used the first batch to give back out to trick-or-treaters, but there is still so much candy.   I think it's having candy babies on top of the fridge. 

We were invited to the All Saints Day party by another parishioner from our church, whom I only knew because she brought food over when Timothy was born.  It was really nice to get out and chat with people from church and judging from her bookshelves, I think we may be kindred spirits.  Also, I was able to repurpose the kids' Halloween costumes into saints which pretty much makes me an all-star Catholic Halloween mom.  Or lazy. 

Let's go with all-star.

Since we already had two dragons Christopher naturally went as St. George.  And as Margaret insisted on being St. Margaret--she became St. Margaret of Antioch who burst out of a dragon's belly wielding a crucifix (princess dress plus crucifix, done and done)--no basic St. Margarets of Scottland here.  John's costume was the best though, we just subbed his wizard hat for Chris' graduation cap, used his belt and some cardboard to make a medallion, and presto--St. Thomas Moore.  And to think Chris wanted to get rid of that cap.  "Never going to have a reason to use it again" indeed.

Well, now that all of our October birthdays and costume crafting sessions are over, I can get focused on Thanksgiving and Advent preparations.  They're coming up fast!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

On Missing My First New England Fall
















Well, it happened. 

My very first New England fall and I missed it.  I'm not sure how Timothy timed his arrival for absolute peak leaf peeping season, but he managed it.  I was able to catch a few glimpses of the autumnal splendor as I drove back and forth to the hospital but I wasn't really in the best state for enjoying the colors.  We did manage a trip to the pumpkin patch before he arrived but it was still warm and the leaves were green.  By the time I was myself again after the birth it was all over. 

It all happened so quickly!  Not even two weeks and then the rains set in and knocked everything off the trees.   I imagined myself finally being able to take a hike with the baby, enjoying all of the colors of Vermont without needing to be within three minutes of a bathroom at all times (an end of pregnancy necessity that really puts a damper on hiking), but alas.  The baby is here and the leaves have fallen.  And to add insult to injury it is currently snowing.  In October. 

Oh Vermont.  You are a fickle friend. 

On Turning Four and All Things Pink







Margaret turned four last week and I did not make the same October birthday mistake again and guilt bake her a cake, even if she is in a giant brother sandwich with not a baby sister in sight.  This mama does not want to crash again from overdoing things. 

She seems to have survived the store bought cake and thoroughly enjoyed her birthday festivities--slightly subdued as they might have been.  After all, they involved pink frosting flowers which I have no idea how to make myself and which are apparently the Best Thing Ever.  I suppose I'll have to improve my frosting skills for next year now that the cake decorating bar has been raised so high. 

She opened her first present and squealed, "It's all the things I like!  Doll stuff, and clothes, and books!"   Now if we can just convince her that she really does want to wear her new princess costume for Halloween and not be a "stick queen" as per her latest costume request.  As far as I can tell a "stick queen" is a queen who also runs around holding as many sticks as she can so maybe she can be both? 

It's so hard to be four and have so many excellent ideas to choose from :)
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