Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Monday, April 29, 2013

Henry's baptism

Well, this weekend we did our duty as Catholic parents and had that baby baptized. By now, we have this baptism thing down to a science. After all, we've had seven baptisms in seven years. Between the Eddys and Kaufmans, we are a well-oiled baptizing machine.
 
Except for the well-oiled part.
 
Henry, huge baby that he is, is too big to fit in the gowns the other kiddos wore, so we ended up buying him his own gown at St. Gertrude's Monastery. It was made by Sr. Miriam, who was on our Engaged Encounter team last weekend, so it's extra special.
 
Our usual priests were out of town and we had a visiting priest, Fr. Russo, say Mass. He's a Franciscan...and I think does not perform many baptisms. He delivered a beautiful homily about being fully alive and gave an example about being fully alive while parenting in the way we love our children. It made this postpartum mom cry. Beautiful.
 
And then it was time for the show.
 
Amy, Kevin, Joe and I headed up to the altar with Henry Elton Kaufman. One by one, most of the Co-op kids straggled up behind us, even though we'd planned for our chaotic bunch of progeny to stay in the pews with the rest of the extended family.
 
So much for plans.
 

Our camera's autofocus decided to stop working that day so LeeAnne had to do her best at taking pictures with manual focus.

All was going fairly well, though, and I felt a surge of pride when I looked at our clean, beautiful children standing around this little baby. I got teary as I started to think about each of their baptisms. Noah, our first precious baby--we were so inexperienced. Sam--how he startled as the water was poured over him and Fr. Dat proclaimed him "awakened by the Holy  Spirit". Kate and Glory--being baptized as Amy was being admitted to the hospital. Natalie Doris--whom Henry looks just like in his baptismal gown. And, Ellie--during her baptism last year, Fr Les said to Joe & me, "Looking at her kind of makes you guys want another one, huh?". We adamantly said no, we were done...only to find out we were actually pregnant with Henry. What a crew of blessings in seven short years.

Then, Glory quietly and quickly leaned forward and blew out one of the altar candles.

That's when the wheels came off the bus.

Joe tried to relight the candle and Fr. Russo got a bit discombulated by the whole affair. He tried to get us back on track and continue the baptism...

...and ended up calling Henry "Elton John" for the remainder of Mass.

Oh, well. God knows who he was talking about.

After Mass, we headed home for a celebratory brunch. It was a great afternoon of eating, baby snuggling, visiting and kid wrangling.



Whew. Baptism is an exhausting sacrament. Elton John was quite happy to snuggle in his Grandma's arms by the end of it all.



Henry's two month bear pictures



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Easter present hunt

Back in the days before we had children, Joe and I had ample time to discuss exactly how we would raise our children. Of course, we thought we knew everything there was to know about raising kids...despite not having much experience with the real deal ourselves.
 
Three kids later, most of our initial theories have been proven baseless, but we finally got the chance to try out our theory on Easter. See, we always grew up with a lot of excitement about Christmas. We thought this was because we grew up with lots of family, presents and celebration at Christmas...but somehow Easter didn't get the same billing, even though it was equally...and perhaps MORE...important than Christmas.
 
So, we thought that when we had kids, we'd make a big deal about Easter. As big a deal as Christmas. And what better way to drive the point home to kids than to get as many Easter presents as Christmas presents? (Well, the jury's still out on that one).
 
So, this year, we tried out our plan. We spent some time talking about Easter during the last weeks of Lent (kind of like we talk about Christmas throughout Advent). Then, before church on Easter morning, we had a present hunt instead of an Easter egg hunt.




I'm not sure if our kids understand really understand the meaning of Easter, which is much harder to explain to a preschooler than "Christmas is Jesus's birthday!". But, we certainly upped the excitement about Easter this year.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

weekly wisdom: brownie pops

This story starts with a four year old boy and his crush on his awesome preschool teacher, Teacher Sasha. Sasha has made a strong connection with our boy who, a year ago, hated going to daycare. Now, he loves it...and gets dressed in the morning based on what he thinks Teacher Sasha likes. (I now know orange is her favorite color and she likes Transformers and superheroes).

So, we had Teacher Sasha over for dinner and a movie last week. Sam really wanted the day to be extra special, so he asked if we could make brownie pops.

Ugh. Brownie pops.

Don't get me wrong. I love to eat the things. It annoys Joe to know end that I will happily plop down hard earned money at Starbucks to buy three of them for me and my crew.  He groans, "One bite of cake on a stick for a dollar fifty!" and shakes his head.

But, never being a crafty sort of girl, the thought of making them seems like a huge amount of work! I think "one bite of cake on a stick for ONLY a dollar fifty!".

But, it was really important to Sam...and we saw a Pillsbury brownie pop kit at the store. I read the directions. It seemed simple enough. People do this every day. Why not? How hard could it be?

At first, things were going well. Sam and I made a box with holes poked in it to hold the pops while they dried. Then, we baked the brownies, cooled them and then rolled them into balls. We melted the chocolate wafers and stuck the sticks in...and then let them chill. All seemed to be going according to plan. I was sure the hard part was behind us.

Last task: melt the chocolate again "but be careful NOT to overheat", dip the pops in the chocolate and coat with sprinkles.

Well, we melted the chocolate about 15 seconds too long. It seems to be a special kind of chocolate because instead of melting, it turned into this rock hard brick in the bowl. Plan B was melting a bag of chocolate chips to coat them with, which turned out to be a messy, but viable option. Soon, our kitchen was covered with melted chocolate smears and sprinkles. The chocolate started to cool and get more difficult to dip, so we ended up breaking off two pops in the dipping process. (Sam and ND were happy to eat the mistakes).

We finally got them done. I chiseled the brick of chocolate out of the bowl. Uncle Phil came over the night before Sasha's dinner and sampled one.

And, Teacher Sasha loved her one bite of cake on a stick.

But, this whole process taught me something: If I made these things for a living...I'd be charging a whole lot more than $1.50 a pop.

Monday, April 08, 2013

high-ho, high-ho...

...it's back to work we go.

I'm really thankful that my clinic is baby-friendly and is letting me bring Henry to work with me while he's so little. We have a comfy recliner to nurse in and a baby swing for Henry to sleep in. I share an office with our office manager and both of us spend most of our day hopping over baby stuff in our little space (well, it didn't seem little until we crammed all Henry's stuff into it!).

In theory, going back to work with a newborn should be pretty much like going back to work without a newborn. After all, newborns are rumored to sleep, on average, 16 hours a day.

(Sleep deprivation--it makes all things seem possible...and makes moms more foolish.)

In reality, going back to work with a newborn is like trying to talk with a patient, bounce a crying baby and sign papers with a pen in clamped between your teeth. Henry's 16 hours of sleep apparently come in 15 minute increments.

I can't get anything done at home with a newborn and two kids...so I'm not sure why I didn't expect actually going to work with a newborn would be a challenge. At home, at least, I can park the two big kids in front of a movie, hand them some string cheese and they are more than happy to wait while I nurse this hungry baby for the millionth time. That strategy doesn't work so well with adult patients in the clinic setting.

We get through the day, though, with relatively few delays. After dropping the big kids off a day care, I straggle into the office, loaded down with my diaper bag, my laptop, my lunch, my purse...and my Henry strapped to my chest. We have a quick diaper change and nursing break...and then he usually goes down for a nap in the swing for a bit. If he doesn't, I bounce him and put him back in the Baby Bjorn to go see patients. I was worried about patients' reactions to seeing a baby at their appointments, but 100% of them have been delighted. And, all of my "regulars" have been disappointed when Henry's been down for a nap and they've missed out on seeing him.

My co-workers have been wonderful about pitching in and spending a few minutes snuggling Henry if he wakes up while I'm with a patient. None of them get too squeamish about a bit of spit up...although I've noticed no one has eagerly volunteered to jump in and change a diaper. :)

And now we are on to week #2...wish us luck.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

friends from the womb...a year later

 
Colette was in town for her dad's birthday and brought her girls over for a visit. It took awhile for ND to warm up to the idea of sharing her toys, but soon they bonded over Cinderella and cookies and were off and running. Sam played upstairs for awhile while the grown-ups visited, but eventually went downstairs to "check on the little kids", which really means "watch Cinderella".
 
And this time, we managed to get a picture of Maren.