Sunday, April 29, 2007

Attempt at Geddes

The cherry tree in front of our house has dumped approximately 2 tons of blossoms on our front porch. Gabriel wasn't entirely thrilled to be sitting in them... although this appears to be a little giggle, it's actually the beginning of a shriek! I was discovering pink blossoms in Gabriel's diaper all afternoon....!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nature baby

Here's Daddy and son on our first adventure in the woods with the hiking backpack. Hopefully there will be some more before he's too big to ride on our backs!

Monday, April 23, 2007

The 411 on Gabriel

My little son is not so little any more. Every once in a while I look at his face and he’s got a little I’m-a-little-boy-just-ready-to-get-into-wonderful-amounts-of-trouble kind of grin, and I marvel at how much he has grown is such a short time. Here’s a photo of him standing at our coffee table. He has gone through several “playing” phases already though he’s only 8 months old. First I noticed him looking at the mobile toys, then swatting aimlessly at them, then grabbing them, and all of a sudden one day he pulled the whole mobile over, so into the closet it went. Next he loved containers and shiny objects, no matter what the type (those are still pretty amusing, actually), and now he has moved on to anything he can pull himself up onto. This includes the dishwasher and dryer doors, chairs, the toilet, his diaper pail, the coffee table, the sofa, the piano bench, and even my pant legs when I am attempting to cook dinner! We spend a lot of time “toddling” around the house together, him holding onto my hands and leading us where he wants to go–usually towards an electric outlet, power cord, or wherever Daddy is. In the past week he has started “conversing” with people... he says “ba”, waits, then I say “ba”, he laughs, says “ba-ba”, waits, I say “ba-ba”.... so far no sounds connected to objects/people as far as I can tell, but I’m just waiting for his first word to be “brown bear, brown bear” after his favorite Eric Carle book. He now has a little training potty, mostly just so he can be used to its presence. He sits on it (fully clothed and diapered) and we read books...I figured it would just be a getting-used-to-it kind of thing for now. He also has a full-blown case of separation anxiety almost any time he is away from me and I am still in sight. If I’m not in sight, he can play happily for a while with whoever is interacting with him. But if I appear, he becomes Mr. I’m-so-pathetic-and-needy-I-want-Mommy-right-now-eeeeee! Hopefully it’s just a phase...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Why such things should not exist

Regarding the VA Tech gunman:

"Several Korean youths who knew Cho Seung Hui from his high school days said he was a fan of violent video games, particularly Counterstrike, a hugely popular online game published by Microsoft, in which players join terrorism or counterterrorism groups and try to shoot each other using all types of guns." The Washington Post, April 17

I know video games are not the root cause of the tragic turn to evil that this young guy made, but surely allowed for a certain amount of desensitization to violence.

Can't say much more. It's all too sad. Many prayers for the Tech community and those who have lost loved ones.

Good friends, good times

Michael, Gabriel, and I just spent the weekend up at Deep Creek Lake in MD with the other couples who are part of the Teams of Our Lady movement. (Just a short note of description: this is a Catholic organization dedicated to fostering the spirituality of married couples and their families, that originated in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in France in the 1940s, hence the Teams of "Our Lady" name. It consists of monthly group meetings with the other couples, where we do prayer, sharing, and a book study on Catholic or marital topics of interest. During the rest of the month each couple commits to a variety of "endeavors" like praying together and with the children, reading Scripture daily, and meeting together at least once a month for an official "sit down" to discuss the state of the marriage, any issues that might need to be addressed, etc. It's a great thing and has helped Michael and I a lot as we have begun our married life together!)

This weekend was our yearly "retreat" together. I put this in quotes because it was not your traditional meditative, silent, long-walks-in-the-woods, type retreat. We went with seven couples and eight children under the age of two, because most of these babies have never been away overnight from Mom and Dad and weren't ready to start that quite yet, but we still wanted to try to "get away". We were housed in a beautiful lake house free, thanks to the generosity of our "mentor couple" in Teams, and I think we really did "retreat" a bit! I think we all went with very low expectations of how much we would actually be able to do, other than just hang around together. The kids were bumping around the living room during the talks, there were babies crying intermittently, but for the most part, we were able to do our group discussions, activities, and even allow each couple a little bit of alone time without their children. Meals were chaotic, the weather was a bit gloomy, and Mass involved synthesizer "smooth jazz" as prelude music, but it was a good weekend despite all that. Mostly I feel blessed to be a part of such an awesome group of young couples who feel like my new extended family.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In the age of the IPOD

Any thoughts from my humble blog readers on these two articles? The first seems like a search for authenticity, though it might be a bit...overboard? Love the shout out to Santiago de Compostela, though!

Some of you may have seen the second in Sunday's Washington Post Magazine, about violinist Joshua Bell playing in the Metro. (It even hit European newspapers secondhand on Monday!) Michael found parallels between this and people's ability to disregard God (who is Beauty himself) in the midst of everyday busy-ness.

Belgians Hail the Middle Ages

Pearls Before Breakfast

Monday, April 09, 2007

Christ is Risen! Happy Easter!

I know, I know, the blogging has been sparse. There have been other projects afoot and Baby G is increasingly time-consuming... no more typing away at the keyboard while we nurse! After he ripped a couple keys off the laptop, computer time became an "only when he's sleeping" activity.