Evey Toddler Quirks

I especially love the ages of both my babies right now – particularly these 2.5 y/o Evey quirks.
 
One of us often walks into the room smirking or laughing.
 
“What?” The other will ask.
 
“I’m just thinking about today when Eve…” We’ll share some hilarious anecdote(s) from the day.
My mouth is going to hurt from smiling by the end of this post, but here are a handful:
 
Most kids have blankets or stuffed animals as their specials. Evey has her chapstick. She calls it her “mouth stick.” It’s her security thing. She also has a fond regard for hand sanitizer – though no affection comes close to parallel that of her mouth stick.
 
She’s always going to work to “make money (or ‘monies’).” She works at Costco. Her car is blue.
 
Sometimes I find her with her hands folded and kneeling in prayer.
 
She’s always angling for my glasses. She’ll tilt her head, use the sweetest voice, and say, “share, take turn, and I’ll give it back?” Her tone is always sweet, and questioning, while also assertive. She’s really saying “give them up! Now!”
 
She loves to dance, but only if you’re holding her.
When she puts her “Little People” and dolls to sleep they always lay face down.
 
Brad passed his good-natured teasing right on down to his first born. She giggles and darts as soon as I ask her to sit down so I can put on her shoes. She tries to head-butt and tap you. It’s always too hard and she always laughs. 
 
I sometimes yell to Brad when he’s leaving for work, “bring home the bacon!” So, now she’ll yell, “bring home eggs!”
 
It’s always 8 o’clock.
 
She’s proud of her bodily functions, and owns them openly (often with a big smile or giggle).
 
When Ronan’s asleep she’ll climb into bed and push her face against his face, giving him kisses, until he lifts his head. Then she’ll excitedly announce, “Ronan awake! Ronan awake now!”
 
She’ll tell you she’s “two old.” It sounds like “too old” and she means “two years old.”

Catholic Blessingway Prayers and How-to

If you’re looking for the quick link template and Catholic blessingway prayers, here you go!

(Some of the most amazing women + mothers I’ll ever meet, at Katrina + Claire’s blessingway.)

During a routine prenatal appointment my midwife Mercedes told me about blessingways. I can’t remember exactly how she described them. The gist was: spiritual, intimate, babies, delicious food, and wine.

At home I Google’d away. Everything I pulled up was pretty hippie. This was perfect because I have long curly hair, lived in Berkeley for <12 months, and occasionally wear Free People – pretty much your basic hippie, I know.

Blessingways are a celebration of women, motherhood, and life that I wanted to be a part of. I immediately asked my sister-in-law to host one for Ronan and I. Later, I had the honor of hosting one for her and Claire.

It seems to me not enough women know about them. So, here’s a little how-to. (Fear not – you don’t have to be a flower child to have a blessingway!)

This is a Catholic blessingway template. The prayers are adapted from the 1989 Book of Blessings from The Liturgical Press. We added petitions to some of our favorite mother saints and sang my favorite, “Ave Maria Gratia Plena.” Katrina created it for my blessingway and I added on for hers. The link is public – please share and print! Just change all of the blue writing to make it personal for the expectant mother and baby.

There is no right or wrong way, so take what you like and leave what you don’t.

Candles

You’ll light candles together in prayer at the blessingway. Have one woman set up a phone-train for later. Once the mother goes into labor, text each other, and light your candles. Keep the candles burning as a reminder to pray for the laboring mother and child. I was laboring at the hospital when Bradley showed me the photos the girls had sent of their burning candles. This was motivational and heartwarming for me. Here are the photos they sent:

(The candles are unscented and from Target. The plates I found at the St. Vincent de Paul’s Thrift Store earlier in the year.)

Beads + String 

Every woman brings a special bead. At the blessingway, thread a bracelet for the mother-to-be to wear until birthing time. When you thread you bead you share your intention for mother and child. The other women also receive simple yarn on their wrist. This reminds them to keep the expectant mother and child in prayer. (My sister told me this was the most effective way to remind her to pray for someone! If you want a lot of prayers just tie yourself to your friends’ wrists.) When mama has the baby you cut it off.

Intimate Group

Normally, I’m all about being inclusive. (Ayhem, I had 10 bridesmaids + 2 junior bridesmaids.) For your blessingway invite the women closest to you, who will bless and support you as you welcome this new life to the world.

Intention Slips

Have each woman fill out an intention slip. (These are at the bottom of the blessingway Google Doc.) These are a forever treasure for the mother-to-be.

Snack + Drinks

Wouldn’t be a party without them.

 

Happy Blessing!

 

2018, hey! + miscellany

Lemme clear this dust off the blog.
 
Fooooofph. Fooooofph. 
 
(^my authoritative spelling of the sound one makes when blowing dust off one’s things.)
 
Hey! 
 
Through dating/marriage, I told Brad again and again, “I never want to live in Texas!!” My reasoning went something like: heat, humidity, hillbillies, and other stereotypes. Lo and behold, here we are, living in Texas.
And, I love it. 
 
In some ways, nothing has changed. We play. We read. We eat. We clean. We pray. Bradley sells. I get my hot yoga on (and procrastinate on budgeting). Our kids are awesome. We go on long walks. We fight about who misplaced whose wallet. We watch too much TV. (I’m working on reducing that last one.) In other ways, there’s newness. 
 
TX affords much to love. Bradley misses the “bike-ability and small town feel” (his words) of South Bend, where he biked to work everyday and we had the greatest neighbors (Nisi, we miss you!). But considered alongside Arizona and Indiana, (and excluding sweet, sweet NorCal) it’s my favorite place we’ve lived so far.
Let me list thee reasons: mild-short winter, affordable, beautiful community, and family! 
 
We’re members of the children’s museum here – it’s called the Doseum. Eve asks to go everyday. Last Tuesday, Brad dropped me and the kids off on his way to work. One car family life has it’s pros and cons. Staying/stuck at the museum for six-hours that day provided opportunities for both, pros and cons, to entertain themselves.
 
Real estate here (according to my professional, and again authoritative, Realtor.com perusing) is a quarter the price of California and Maryland, where both Brad’s and my immediate families live. So, we’re in this weird place of not knowing where we’ll settle… eventually… someday…  
You know how millennials have some marriage/kids commitment issues? That’s me. But with real estate. Because: we just haven’t found “the one” yet; we’re not ready to make that sort of commitment; we love our freedom of exploring + moving wherever; we don’t want to be “tied down.” I’m being facetious here, if you can’t tell. ;)
 
The night we met we talked about wanting to live all over with our future families. We still intend on continuing to do just that. (We’re on state #4 now.) Even still, I keep telling Brad I’m ready for a semi-permanent stay. I say 10-years. You know – time to paint the walls, grow a garden, and be a part of the community.
Only God knows how things will pan out, and we’re pretty pumped to find out ourselves.
 
To close out this little stream of consciousness narrative, I’ll say… (now you’re probably expecting me to tell you about flowers I must buy for a party, or some mark on my wall… but no… Is my Lit dorkiness showing?)
Blogging 2x week (Mondays/Wednesday) was my goal for a while. A secret goal – one I dared not publicize, from fear of my chronic insufficient follow-through. Maybe putting this out there will keep me accountable. (This planner is changing my life. [Expensive – I know. It was a gift. Highly recommend you receive it as gift!])
Orrrrrr, maybe I’ll continue to succumb to the warm welcome of my cozy spot on the couch with Brad, leaving Our Favorite Days to gather cobwebs in some attic of the world wide web
 
Either way, hey! I’m happy you’re here. I hope your 2018 is off to a peaceful beginning. 
 
Do you have a word for the year? Please tell me yours! Mine is “toast.” Saint? Mine is Bl. Anton Martin Slomsek. I’m very inspired by his life’s testimony, and excited to continue learning about him this year. (Is it weird he’s just blessed?)