The members of #cathsorority
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The members of #cathsorority
Friday, February 28, 2014
You've probably seen or heard a pregnancy announcement. An ultrasound picture, a cute shot of the couple or family with a little pair of baby shoes. Maybe a phone call or a chat over a cup of tea.
If you're like me, your heart fairly bursts with happiness for the new life God has created. How wonderful! You rush to offer well wishes.
But what if the circumstances seem less than ideal? Should you offer condolences, admonitions, or ask them if they "know how that happens?"
No. You shouldn't. It's not your decision. It never will be, and it never was. New life is cause for celebration and joy, no matter if the couple has zero, four, eight, or twelve children. It doesn't matter how many bedrooms their house has. What matters is the tiny miracle developing in the warm comfort of his or her mother. God chose them as parents. That's what matters.
What if it's their first child, and you already have children? Shouldn't you tell them how their lives will change forever?
No. You shouldn't. It's an insult to their intelligence, for starters. In this age of information, they're probably overwhelmed with all sorts of facts and opinions about life as a parent. If they are curious about your experience, they'll probably ask.
What if the relationship (if one exists) is not a stable, happy, marriage? Shouldn't you tell them how terrible this is-or worse, say it to everyone you know behind the mother and father's backs?
No. No. NO. Absolutely not. "Congratulations!" is appropriate. Leave it at that. If you're close to the new mother, offer your support-"I'll help you in any way I can. I'm here for you." Maybe that means knowing she has a place to stay if things aren't going well at home. Maybe it just means accompanying her to a doctor's appointment to help her get the best care possible. Maybe it's something much more powerful, like offering emotional support if she chooses to give up her baby for adoption. Maybe, for a mother of several littles, it means offering to help her family through her crippling all day sickness in the first few months. Your support in these cases could be life changing.
What if they've got several other children already? It's our duty to make them aware of "how that happens" or the current state of the rest of the world, right?
Umm...no. Your only duty is to congratulate them, and offer to help if you can. Bring a meal. Come over to their house and watch the other kids so the expectant mama can go to a doctor's appointment in peace, or just so she can put her feet up. Unload the dishwasher. Fold some laundry. Offer her a list of ways you'd like to help them out and support them, then let her choose and follow through.
Our/my life ended when we had children, and it's my mission in life to pass that on to every first time expecting couple I meet. Right?
Absolutely not. First of all, if you actually feel this way, I'm sincerely sorry and I'll keep you in my prayers. Second, it's not your job to pass on your own regrets to other people. Yes, they will sleep again. Maybe not until noon on weekends, but sleep comes eventually. So do dates and regular clothes. And the fullness and richness of parenthood more than makes up for this, in my experience. So strike this from your lexicon.
Finally, if you flubbed your response to a pregnancy announcement, it's okay to apologize and admit you were wrong. I've done this. A close friend announced a new baby on the way, and I said (honestly) that it was a surprise. As soon as it left my mouth I knew it was wrong. So I apologized, and expressed my joy at the new life they'd been blessed with. Turned out it had been a surprise, but the apology was still appreciated, if not entirely necessary. So if you think you may have said the wrong thing, don't hesitate to go back and make amends. Chances are you will be glad you did!
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Scarves, to me, are the ultimate accessory, particularly for moms. You can wash them, use them in a pinch for a nursing cover or a pillow for a sleepy toddler, distract a baby or small child while you're waiting, and you look more put-together when you're wearing one. Plus they come in all sorts of fun patterns and colors, and you can even make your own if you can't find what you're looking for.
|This is a fairly simple way to tie a scarf. In this picture,|
the length is hiding my post-baby tummy nicely!
|This scarf is much thinner and shorter and can only be|
tied one way or worn as a headband. It
pulls the outfit together, though!
|Another way to tie a scarf: wrapped around and around.|
The scarf doesn't have to "match" your top, either!
You don't have to match your scarf to your outfit, either, particularly if you're wearing a neutral top and jeans. This is where you can introduce the bold, colorful patterns.
|Close-up of above scarf. See the owls?!|
|Bright patterned floral scarf with bright yellow sweater.|
Nice and dressy for Sunday Mass.
|Much more casual. Same bright floral scarf dressing up a tee.|
|Very bright and fun scarf, tied neckerchief style.|
Subtle pattern on the skirt, but otherwise all solid colors.
|Close-up of the pattern on the scarf in above shot.|
|Same scarf as in the first picture, but I'm not using it to hide|
anymore - just to stay warm on this day!
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Yesterday was just a seriously exhausting day. I came home from work, coaxed the girls down for a nap, and slept for an hour and a half myself. I was still tired. This mom-recovering-from-a-concussion-while-working-full-time is exhausting, I've decided. So I nap when I can.
Anyhow, enough with the tired. Here's five things I'm loving right now:
1. Scarves. I have one in almost every color, a motley crew sourced from clearance racks, thrift stores, and some of my favorite value stores. These particular two are from Old Navy a couple of years ago, and I still absolutely love them. I wear a scarf every day right now!
Monday, February 24, 2014
The other night, I got out a box of macaroni and cheese and asked Erin if she'd like that for dinner. In hindsight, I probably should have explained that I was going to cook the contents of the box. She pursed her lips and shook her head. "No. Uh-uh. Yuck."
I sighed and asked her what she did want for dinner. Or perhaps she didn't want dinner tonight?
Erin: "No. Yes. Food."
Sarah: "Okay, then this is what we're having. Macaroni and cheese."
Erin (takes box and shakes it, is delighted with rattling from inside): "MMMM! Nummy! 'Heez! Food!"
I suppose even if she can say the words, she doesn't necessarily know what they mean. Nor can she understand that we cook boxed food before we eat it. Do I actually want her to understand that? Well, as a working mom, I probably don't really have a choice. At any rate, she and her sister consumed vast quantities of macaroni and cheese mixed with frozen vegetables, with no mentions of "yucky", or her new favorite when something undesirable is pressed on her, "away!" (not to be confused with another favorite word, "hoo-way!"
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Yesterday was much worse. I had to go home early from work because my head felt like it was going to split in two. The pain isn't necessarily what bothers me - it's not knowing exactly what's causing it that I don't like. My doctor doesn't really like that either, so he's having me get an MRI Thursday to see what's going on in my head. (Cue ALL the bad jokes!) Rest usually helps the most with the headaches. Conveniently, I am home during my girls' naptime every day, so as long as I can convince them to go down, I can sleep for a while too. That's mostly how I make it through the day right now.
But then there are the other days - the ones with doctor's appointments, errands, etc, in the afternoon. Those are much harder. I still try to sneak in a quick catnap when I get home, but it doesn't always work out. By the end of those days, my poor brain is exhausted. I feel like I have the flu - in my head only. My doctor phrased it yesterday as feeling like I was getting over meningitis. Well, that explains a lot.
This recovery process is so slow. I've never been good at patience - in fact, I've given up impatience twice for Lent. That there should tell you something. I want a list of things to do and not to do, and a prescribed timeline to feel better. Instead, there are nebulous phrases - weeks, maybe months - of time that I won't quite feel like myself. Sometimes that means me with a headache. Sometimes that means tired like I haven't slept in days. Sometimes that means I can't peel myself out of the chair and we are watching "Super Why" on repeat.
Perhaps God is trying to teach me a solid lesson in patience. (If that's the case, I know I still have a ways to go!) Perhaps I'll just wake up one day feeling great. He will have completely healed me. Perhaps the MRI results will give my doctor (who has really been wonderful the last few weeks) a path to better treat me. I have faith in God and His plan, but it's hard when it doesn't seem to line up with my plans. (Perhaps I'm supposed to be learning that I will sleep through all of my best laid plans? Hmmm...)
I am grateful for my relative health, and the good health I've enjoyed throughout the majority of my life. I know this pain and dizziness is trivial in the grand scheme of things. I am grateful to live where health care is available and accessible, and to have insurance so we are able to afford it for the most part. Headache and all, I am truly blessed.
Friday, February 14, 2014
|This is how we spend our rainy afternoons...|
Mandi and her family. Please keep them in your prayers as they weather their second loss in the past three months.
|This was what I came out to at 5 am. He got home at 12:30 am. I'm lucky.|