7QTF: While the Babe Naps

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Linking up for the first time in forever!

Sooo first there was a six week gap. And now there’s been a 4.5-MONTH gap. Here’s a brief rundown of things happening/what I’ve been thinking since Aslan now naps longer than 35 minutes at a time.

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Aslan is 5+ months old and thriving. He’s going through growth spurt after growth spurt and just a bit smaller than a 10-month old in one of our play/mom groups.

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Writing has fallen so far on the wayside. A couple of weeks ago, PJ was primary-parent-on-duty so I could spend all day catching up on some writing work and meet friends for dinner. It was in lieu of spending all weekend at a conference when what I really needed aside from workshops about content was actual content. And one time Aslan napped well enough that a friend and I could have a writing date.

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With so little written since Aslan’s birth, there is even less to submit. I did get a chance to send a blog post to a mommy site. I got rejected, but hey, I tried!

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It’s funny how motherhood (especially staying-at-home) was everything I thought it would be like and also nothing like it at all. But during this near-6-month sabbatical I’ve discerned something. I need to work outside the home–and after a lot of mental anguish, I’m beyond caring what anyone thinks about that or providing justification. My reasons have to be only good for our family, not for any naysers. To whit, I have TWO job interviews this coming week. Please pray for me!

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One unwritten (anywhere proper–it’s fully composed in my head) thing is a thinkpiece on Hulu’s adaptation of  The Handmaid’s Tale. Facebook friends couldn’t stop posting about it, so I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Anyone interested in reading “No Balm in this Gilead: Catholics and The Handmaid’s Tale” alternatively titled “Seriously, Mike Pence Would Never Let It Get This Far, So Stop Freaking Out, Ladies.” ?

Aaaand my brain power is shorting out, so how about a couple more baby pictures?

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Aslan was welcomed into the Church a little while ago. Gotta love that new Catholic smell. Shoot…this reminds me I was supposed to use nap time to write thank yous…

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Pro tip: Boy Baptism outfits make great (and cost-effective!) bunny costumes. Just add ears.

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My Sunday Best

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Linking up with Rosie and the rest!

As much as I wished I could keep up with blogging during nap time/slowly typing one handed while feeding…that’s just not our life right now. So, six weeks later, here we are!

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I’m in a sweater from INC, I think, and black pants from New York and Company. They fit like they did pre-Aslan, which is to say, I needed a belly band form Target. But since I have slight abdominal muscle separation, I’m not to do crunches. Oh well.

Aslan is in a “Christmas” outfit from Koala Kids. He did wear it for Christmas Mass, and it was HUGE on him at 9 lbs.  The newborn dress shirt was stretching across his linebacker chest too much, so that’s going in the storage bin after a wash. But he’s still swimming in the pants! Baby clothes sizing is ridiculous.

Of course I have things to say about things in the world, but for now, just going to sign off until the next quiet time.

What I Wore Sunday: Mom Hair Edition

So, I had my baby.  Sorrynotsorry for neglecting to write a post. More details to come. But we did make it to Mass at about 10 days old. Because this blog is public, little dude is getting a social media name. Meet Aslan! 

I’m in an old Old Navy sweater a week too soon for Gaudete Sunday and some gray maternity pants. I might fit into my pre-baby clothes, but I haven’t had time to unearth them from the bin. Aslann was in a cute coordinating outfit with a fox face on the butt. But it was cold, so he was in a little fleece suit with bears on it. 

And we have a bulletin for proof!

7QTF: Overdue Update Via Pregnancy Memes

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Linking up with Kelly and the rest!

Uh, so it’s been what, a whole trimester since I last posted? Oops. I meant to blog, but life and belly kind of sort of got in the way. Of course my return week has to be this week in November, and in the parlance of my generation, I literally can’t even right now. So funny pregnancy memes until I’m up for something more cogent.

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Obligatory bumpie comparison: 20 or so weeks (left) vs. 37 weeks (right).

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And feeling nothing remotely akin to early labor. But this is happening.

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In discussing Christmas wish lists, was asked for my sizes. Dear Husband told the family to just ignore clothes for me this year. “But surely her shoe size won’t change?”

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Down to two pairs of shoes out of six clsoed toe options. Flip flops, you say? Tomorrow’s high is 45. Farenheit. But I did just resign from the first of two jobs this week. Might write more about that later. For now, I’m just glad I can wear slippers more.

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I also have a longer span with which to increase these intervals:

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The struggle is too real. Thank God pregnant women can indeed, yes, it’s been studied, have coffee. *sips her pumpkin spice as coolly as Kermit swills his tea.*

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I’ve been having mostly good days, but then some bad ones. Like this:

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I was especially that otter yesterday at Trader Joe’s with all their Christmas goodies. Unfortunately our state will only allow them to sell beer, so no Brandy Beans made it into the cart. BUT I have MA and FL connections who might be able to hook a new mama up. Because as we can rejoice again, studies show when it comes to drinking post partum, if you can drive, you can drink. Or eat small chocolates with yummy yummy liquer in them.

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And on the good days, I feel like this!

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Baby is healthy, I am healthy, we’re basically all set up and ready to go. But watch him overshoot his Thanksgiving due date by at least a week and become a December baby.

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And on that note, while birth story blogs are a  nice genre many women enjoy, here’s my advance warning about my (non) contribution.

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Maaaybe I’ll take Jen Fulwiler’s lead and do haiku. Maybe.

Happier week ahead to you, dear readers!

7QTF: NFP Week 2016

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Linking up with Kelly and the rest!

To conclude my week of NFP posts, something light! NFP memes!

So, on one of our honeymoon drives, PJ and I listened to one of his favorite soundtracks to one of our well-enjoyed movies, Top Gun. My sense of humor being what it is, and my musically Ignatian prayer life literally seeing God in everything, started thinking of NFP memes based on the lyrics–drawn from a communal well of experiences relayed in public forums, articles, books, witness talks.

*TTA: trying to avoid, TTW: trying to whatever; TTC: trying to conceive

*Phase 1: period, Phase 2: fertile, Phase 3: infertile

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God, forgive me.

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 If you practice a sympto-hormonal method or would like to learn and need the gear, Simcha Fisher has just one more day left of her ClearBlue fertility monitor giveaway!

7QTF: Pregnant. And a Pause.

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Linking up with Kelly and the rest!

So there was a little pause there with my blogging, and no it wasn’t “pregnant” (meaning it wasn’t serving some greater purpose); just lazy. : P To give you an idea of how much I have to muster up the wherewithal to commit to this project that has given me joy, an outlet, etc., I started this post on Sunday.

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Happily still pregnant, even if as Sunday’s picture shows, not really looking at it. In the interim, PJ and I found out who we should be expecting around Thanksgiving!

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Meet Sweetie, Jr., y’all. His name will be the surprise.

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Saw this recently and laughed and laughed.

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Yup, that’s pretty much what it’s like.

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I may have mentioned on an NAS post (“What I’d Miss ABout Being Single”) about loving my bed. It’s like a cloud. And when PJ and I started talking about how we like to sleep and appropriately testing out his existing mattress, I told him, “We’ll need a new mattress. I like ’em soft enough to think I’m on a cloud.”

People, my cloud came last week.

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That’s the LeachCo Back n Belly surround-fluff system. Worth every penny (and got us to qualify for the Amazon Welcome Box for Moms, as well as a SkipHop toy for Prime Day).

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Sunday featured many young ones raising their voices to the heavens–some in delight, most in supplication. Our son was all

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and that little fist (or more likely foot) of his echoed in reply.

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 Speaking of kicks, every time I feel him move (or is it his hiccups?), this is how I react:

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 Yeah, totally had an XL Kit Kat for second breakfast. What? I needed something to go with my half-caff coffee, which I needed because I had an earlier shift at work…

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IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR’S RIGHT?!?!?!

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Little dude is due Thanksgiving, and already I’m thinking about how we’ll need to get back into the practice of NFP. More to come next week, as I’ll try to do my usual recognition of NFP Awareness Week with some posts. But, yeah, getting excited that there’s potentially even MORE clarity post-partum than what Marquette/Boston Cross Check offers.

AND OH, would the Caitlin E. and Deanna T. who entered the latest Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean PLEASE email brittleighbooks@gmail.com? Thanks!

That’s all I’ve got. Happy weekend, everyone!

NAS: Wedding Fun

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Linking up with Morgan and the rest!

We are now fully immersed in wedding season! What are your favorite parts of a wedding? Where do you find the best dresses for the occasion? Have any unique gift ideas? Share anything and all tips and tricks with us!

Well…I meant to do a whole series of posts each Tuesday this month on weddings and marriage, as my first wedding anniversary was July 11! 😀 Buuuuut my unintentional blogging hiatus meant it’s half gone. So here are some thoughts from a recentish bride who LOVED going to weddings and how she felt once she actually became one herself! Bonus: Some pretty pictures at the end!

Favorite Parts

Most weddings I’ve attended as an adult were Catholic Masses, or in one case, a church celebration of the Rite of Marriage (no Eucharist). By far my favorite part was seeing what musical pieces, hymns, and readings the couple selected. After attending a few, I came to piece together my own wedding liturgy…years before I’d even met my groom, PJ!

When PJ and I finally did pick out the elements, I did get some of my long-dreamt-of selections, but it was also surprising to see how certain things changed. Since it would make the post too long, I’ll do a future one on what we decided on.

And of course, seeing the bride and groom so happy and in love. Just overall the feeling of JOY everyone has.

Also, a favorite part, to be honest: open bar! Now, I did not get toasted after the customary champagne toast, but it’s always real nice to enjoy something delicious and bubbly without worrying about carrying cash. At one wedding, when I was 20, I had to pay for a soda, while the keg was free. Naturally when it was my turn to plan the reception, treating guests was a must. Plus, there are many classy ways to do so without worrying about people taking things to extremes.

THE Dress

I always like dressing up, and consider weddings, no matter how casual, to be special occasions, and as such, deserving of something a tick above my Sunday best, at least. Most of my favorites came from a consignment shop in the Boston area (also in CT), Second Time Around. Others were from random department stores. One came from Express. For church, I usually used a nice wrap, cardigan, or shrug. A tip for finding Mass-appropriate or modest dresses is to avoid the Juniors section or trendy stores and try the Special Occasions racks at department stores or shops like Ann Taylor. Though they may have had a past reputation for frumpy or “stuff-only-your-aged-aunt-would-wear,” the trend now is for classy frocks. Plus most women of most ages want to look youthful, but not ridiculous.

When I finally got to go wedding dress shopping (a whirlwind 18 hours over a Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning involving 20-some-odd dresses), I knew I wanted sleeves and an appropriate back, given my hair will not hold a veil. Thanks to Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, and Downton Abbey, sleeves are more of a thing now, so I got my wish all in one dress, ON SALE, at David’s Bridal. And for the showers, bachelorette party, and rehearsal dinner, I got them all at ModCloth.

Gift Ideas

When attending weddings, I usually just went in on group gift from the registry, or added a personal touch, especially if the bride and I were dear dear friends. For  a non-religious couple in our family, my husband and I got them this wine storage box with some selections we knew they’d appreciate. They had bought a house together a year previously, so they pretty much had it all.

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Some of PJ and I’s favorite gifts:

  • A “bouquet” of Masses in our honor
  • This prayer offering from a fellow Knight of Columbus, who just so happens to be be the brother of the Vocations Director at the Oblates, who was once a spiritual director of mine during a Spiritual Exercises Lenten retreat. SMALL, BEAUTIFUL WORLD!

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But truly the best gift of all was seeing the smiling faces of family and friends who made it all the way to some random town in CT to see us wed and celebrate the start of our lives together. Auntie Seraphic wrote about weddings and acknowledged how sometimes the experience of attending weddings as a single person is not always a blissful one, but do know your presence and happiness for the couple is truly a blessing.

And now some pics from the amazingly talented Jon Cerritelli and Prestige Barkley Photographic Design!

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