Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent begins

I've read a number of articulate, stirring posts on this Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. (Arwen's is amazing, as usual.) I cannot even pretend to have the ability to write like that, but I want to write something about my Lenten plans. If for no other reason, I will have an official record to keep me accountable for my Lenten sacrifice(s).

I am going to focus on areas of doing without and clearing the noise and getting closer to God.

Doing without

I am going to go meatless on Fridays and at least one other day of the week. We eat a number of meatless meals, but I am going to do this far more consistently and with a purpose. Note - this is OPTIONAL here in Canada. Just like some of the HDO's in the US (we only have 2 non-Sunday ones - Christmas and January 1st).

- I am going to curb my judgmental thoughts - those towards others and the world in general. The silent rants at the "slowpokes" on the bus, the grumbling about the cold - when I catch myself doing this, I am going to focus on the blessings in my life - blessings that are more bountiful than I deserve.

Clearing the Noise and Getting Closer to God

We are going to do the "40 Bags in 40 Days" Challenge wherein we will divest ourselves of a bag of stuff for every day of Lent. Due to the reality of our lives, we won't be able to do a bag a day (and by bag, I am aiming for shopping bag), but this will motivate us to be more organized and less distracted by STUFF. I will post updates as to what was in the bags - stuff for the foodbank? Books from our duplicate pile? Old clothes? Shredded paper? How thrilling, huh? But it will be a good exercise in humility, I think - how much we have and how lucky we are.

- I am going to pray at least one hour of the Liturgy of the Hours - either morning or evening, if not both. I did this during Advent and it really helped me focus, and I think it will help my resolve.

So - there you go. What are you doing for Lent?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who wants to see birthday photos?

Will cute pictures distract you from my lengthy absence?

Oh internets, I am so sorry. I am so, so tired, and trying to blog in the two hours between when Teddy goes to bed and I should has been fruitless. I am going to persevere tonight, though.

So - Teddy turned one on the 20th of January. My parents came down in the afternoon and GrandmaNonna made one of his favourite dinners - BisNonna's chicken and potatoes. He was thrilled.

She also made a traditional Italian cake, which is filled with lemon creme. He really didn't know what to make of it (see photgraphic evidence). Nor did he understand why he was getting presents. But he received a lot of phone calls (Nanny and Poppy, Uncle Barry, Aunt Wendy and the girls, BisNonna, Aunt Pat, Fred and the girls, and many more), received some wonderful gifts and had a great day.

They threw him a little party at Daphne's the following day, too.

The Sunday following his birthday, we threw a little party for some of his friends (aka our friends with children). Rory came with his parents (Aunt Isha and Uncle Joe, and Emma), Claire brought Uncle Mark and Aunt Tania, and Sarah and Dave brought Elliott and Adeleine and Isaac (their twins). Below, you can see an excited (and blurry) Teddy hanging with all the kids. We served ice cream cake, which Teddy did not understand. "Why is this so cold?" he seemed to ask. The adults, Emma and Elliott enjoyed it, though. And Teddy once again got some cool swag (Mommy still has to write the Thank you notes. This weekend - I swear!).

Are these (blurry) kids not super cute. Poor Claire didn't even make the shot.

The week after Teddy's birthday party was fun but uneventful. Then - the visitors descended! Daphne was away for over a week at the beginning of February. Her son and his wife who live in Korea had a baby and she wanted to meet her grandson. As a result, Teddy's grandparents looked after him. My Mom (and Dad, at various points) watched Teddy on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. My inlaws came up to Ottawa and watched Teddy on the Thursday and Friday. They stayed until Superbowl Sunday, when my parents came back and watched Teddy on the following Monday and Tuesday.

Then, four days later, our friends Blaine and Colleen came up for the weekend with Aidan, their son who's 4 months older than Teddy. It was a busy weekend -- Aidan is very active and climbs like a monkey - but we skated on the canal and watched the Olympics. I also attended a baby shower for our friend Cathy.

On the Teddy-specific front:

  • he's weighing in around 25 lbs and continues to be a great eater. He's down to two bottles of bmilk per day (and two of cow's milk) and that's going well. My supply has totally dropped, but with the frozen stash we will make it to at least 14 months. I am going to write a whole post about my lactating experience, so you squeamish readers - take note!
  • he is such a happy kid. He cried a couple times when my inlaws were here and my father-in-law exclaimed "That's the first time in 48 hours that he's shed a tear!"
  • he is walking like a total champ, and can easily pull himself up. He still crawls, but generally only to a place where he can either push or pull himself into the standing position.
  • he's trying to speak - he will say 'cat' and tries to say 'apple'. Lots of 'Dada!" and some "Mama!". He makes a crazy "Aieeeee-ooooo" sound when he follows the cats. On Sunday, he followed Aidan around making the same sounds, so ???
We are doing well - keeping very busy with work and home. I am indulging in lots of Olympic viewing - I LOVE the games. Dave and I get super excited watching events where Canadians can do well - you should have seen us with the Alexandre Bilodeau win. Alex's father works at Dave's firm, so we knew about him well before the games, but he's just so wonderful! Such a sweet kid! Inspired by his older brother with Cerebral Palsy! Fluently bilingual and so optimistic and gracious! He's doing the country proud.

I'd better get ready for bed, but don't worry. I have a bunch of stories to tell soon, so I won't be away for long, I promise!