Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

Pascha Most Sacred!

“Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered. Pascha most sacred is revealed to us today; Pascha new and holy; Pascha so mystical; Pascha most ven’rable; Pascha which is Christ the Redeemer; Pascha so spotless; Pascha so very great; Pascha of the faithful; Pascha which opened for us the gates of Paradise; Pascha which sanctifies all the faithful.” (from the Paschal Hymns of Resurrection Matins)

Christ is risen! Indeed he is risen!

Dressed in our Easter finery.

Dressed in our Easter finery.

On Sunday my family celebrated Easter for the first time in the Byzantine tradition. It was beautiful, edifying, moving, and inspiring. I was able to attend liturgies on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning, and each was beautiful as part of the whole story of Great and Holy Week. On Friday, we processed around the outside of the church with a Holy Shroud, an ornately embroidered cloth with an icon of Jesus laying out as though in a tomb; the icon was made of fabric, I think. We processed then took the shroud back into the church where it was laid in a “tomb” surrounded by candles and flowers. Each parishioner then approached the shroud, crawling on our knees, to kiss the face, hands, and feet of Jesus. On Saturday, the liturgy focused on the theology of baptism as passing from death into new life. During one of the songs, the priest picked up the shroud and laid it across his shoulders. He carried it out of the “tomb” and put it on the altar where it always rests. The sacrament of Holy Eucharist takes place upon the icon of Christ at every liturgy. I never noticed that before this week.

On Sunday morning, we started with the Resurrection Matins, which are sung only on Easter morning each year. Matins begins with another procession around the outside of the church, this time with the icon of the Resurrection. During Matins we sang the refrain, “Christ is risen from the dead! By death He conquered Death, and to those in the grave He granted life.” When I say we sang that refrain, what I’m saying is we sang it about five million times. After Matins, we jumped right in to Divine Liturgy. It was a long morning, but so beautiful and joyful. At the end of liturgy, Fr. Sal suggested all the parishioners go out to the front steps of the church for an Easter morning group photo. All the parishioners. That is one of the wonderful things about belonging to a smaller parish.

Our traditional Easter foods, and my natural-dyed eggs.

Our traditional Easter foods, and my natural-dyed eggs.

Jeremy and I also participated in the Ukrainian traditional Easter foods. The tradition is to fill a basket with the foods you will eat after liturgy on Easter day. You bring the basket to church Saturday and the priest blesses the food. Then, you take it home and you have to eat all of it, because it’s blessed! If you don’t want to eat that last egg, you have to bury it in the ground; you can’t just throw it away! The traditional foods are ham and/or sausage, hard cooked eggs, pascha bread, butter molded into the shape of a lamb, cream cheese, and beet horseradish relish. It was not like Easter dinners I’ve eaten before, but it was delicious!

For our Easter eggs, I decided to try natural dyes. I used some of the juice from my purple sauerkraut, and turmeric. I added a bit of water and vinegar to both. The eggs turned out blue and yellow, which happen to be the national colors of Ukraine! I did not plan that at all, those were just the natural things I had around that I thought would work to dye eggs! It was really fun using the natural dyes. I would like to experiment with other things, and I don’t see why colored eggs should belong to Easter only. I’m going to do it any old time!

So, after a long break away from my blog, I am happy to be back! We moved to a new home last week, so for a few weeks we were working flat out to pack up at the old place, then we moved and didn’t have internet yet, and we were working flat out to unpack the essential items. Now things are calming as we have reached the point that whatever is in a box isn’t urgently needed, so we can work at a more reasonable pace. And we obviously have internet again!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holy day. Remember to keep the party going: Easter lasts for fifty days!

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Changing the Lights

“Do you want to help with the lights?”

That was the cryptic question posed to Jeremy this morning while we stood around in the parish hall after liturgy. He just had to ask, “What does that mean?” One young parishioner explained that it’s a tradition at Holy Ghost. Two times a year, right before Christmas and right before Easter, all the men of the parish go up to the church after coffee and climb up on a huge ladder to replace the burned out light bulbs. This young parishioner also explained that it’s kind of a rite of passage for young guys, the first time a guy gets invited to help with the lights is a Big Deal.

100_2079100_2081So Jeremy, of course, agreed to help. After all the men left, the ladies were explaining to me what all is involved in changing the lights. First of all the ladder is enormous. “How tall is the ladder?” I asked. “…uh,” each lady said. “…it’s really tall.” At least as tall as the inside of the church, however tall that is. Second, the ladder is really old, and really heavy. It takes every man in the building to help with that thing. How many church guys does it take to change a lightbulb? They all take off their suit jackets and drape the coats on church pews. Then they troop over to the rectory garage and get organized to lift the ladder down off the wall pegs, carry it over to the church, and very carefully raise it upright. They have to be very organized and focused. A mistake could send the ladder toppling down to crush guys, the icon screen, and anything else in its path. Then they position the ladder under the first burned-out light, and Michael climbs up 30, 40, 80 feet in the air. Who knows? It’s just really high. Michael stuffs the large, fragile bulbs in his shirt and climbs up while all the other guys hold the ladder steady. While Michael is at the top of the ladder stretched out to reach the light, the church is silent. All the guys stop chatting and just watch Michael switch the bulb. You can hear the scratching of the threads as Michael unscrews the bulb. He changes the bulb then climbs down, breaking the elbow brackets as he descends so the guys can fold up the ladder and move it to the next position. The guys start talking again. I asked Michael if he’s the only one who climbs the ladder and he laughed and said, “I’m taking volunteers!”

After all the burned-out bulbs were replaced and the guys had very carefully lifted the 90-foot ladder back onto its wall brackets in the garage, I told Jeremy that I think this tradition is really cool. He sat there in the car picking ladder splinters out of his dressy pants and said, “I guess so,” in a not-very-enthusiastic voice. Well, at least the pants aren’t his favorite anyway! Now we have an excuse to go shopping.

This tradition is cool because it’s unique to Holy Ghost parish and it’s part of the folklore of this community. It’s a duty the men perform ritually and at specific times of year. All the guys know about it and all the guys know how to do it. Jeremy and I, as new parishioners, had to learn about this tradition. It’s a mystery that belongs this parish. One of the ladies told me they should just get a new aluminum ladder to make the whole job easier, but the 150-foot-tall ladder is part of the story. No one needs to know how tall it is; the vagueness of the ladder’s height is part of the story. No one needs to know how old it is. This ladder has been used for this job as long as anyone can remember and that’s part of the story. There is one guy who climbs the ladder, and that’s part of the story. What if he doesn’t come to church on the weekend they want to change the lights? I don’t know. Perish the thought. I guess they would just do the lights the following week! It’s a rite of passage for young male parishioners and that’s part of the story. It’s wrapped up in the spirituality of Advent and Lent, preparing for the two high points of the liturgical year. It’s important for the holy days, yet not obvious like setting up the Christmas tree or arranging the potted lilies.

Modernizing the procedure would probably make the job easier. Aluminum ladder. Longer-lasting light bulbs. But the ritual surrounding the activity of changing the lights is important, and I think it is a blessing for the life of Holy Ghost parish.

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The Holy Things for the Holy

343_vierge_orante_large iconDuring my days as a graduate theology/liturgy student, I had the pleasure to attend a lecture by a favorite scholar of mine, and she was talking about the different elements of the Roman Catholic Mass. Her position was that when the liturgy was reformed after Vatican II, they left a dis-jointed sequence of texts leading up to communion. Her biggest beef was with the acclamation, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof; only say the words and my soul shall be healed.” She didn’t like that we had this penitential prayer right before we receive communion. We are holy, she argued. We already did the breast-beating part earlier; we have witnessed the transformation of our gifts into the Body and Blood of Christ; we are now standing around his altar in praise and thanksgiving, why do we have to ruin the mood by harping on our sinfulness yet again? It’s redundant; it upsets the “flow” of the liturgy.

Now, at that particular time and place there were a number of liturgy scholars who saw the Eastern Rite as the more sophisticated and mature older sibling to the Roman Rite. These professors saw the poetry and mystery of the East and wanted some of that to imbue the rituals of the West. They loved the Roman Rite and wanted it to be the best it could be.

This scholar held a similar opinion. She had this example of “Lord, I am not worthy…” and for contrast she offered a line from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the primary liturgical celebration for Byzantine (Eastern) churches. She stood at the podium facing the audience and said that, right before communion during Divine Liturgy, the priest holds up the Body and Blood and acclaims, “The holy things for the holy.” Then the scholar demonstrated the gesture with her hands up, and moving her imaginary vessels out towards the audience. It was a powerful moment. All of us in the audience made that “ohh/mmm” sound you hear during powerful moments among a crowd. The scholar’s point was, the priest is acknowledging the holiness of the assembled people, their worthiness to now receive the Precious Body and Blood. That’s all fine; that was a nice point to make and it certainly sold her argument. I can tell you I was sold on her argument.

But now, having attended the liturgy where this moment occurs, I can say she had it completely wrong. Totally wrong. If that scholar had ever attended the Divine Liturgy she would immediately notice that priest spends the entire time standing at the altar, facing the tabernacle, so his back is to the assembled people. When he does indeed hold up the Body and Blood and acclaim, “The holy things for the holy,” he gestures toward the tabernacle–toward God–who is holy and who is receiving the holy gifts we his servants are offering to him. The priest is speaking on behalf of the people, addressing God, and offering God the holy sacrifice of the Body and Blood. This is completely the opposite from the point that scholar was making many years ago.

The other piece of that long-ago scholar’s argument was that the penitential line, “Lord, I am not worthy…” is misplaced and doesn’t belong immediately before communion. She can have that opinion, but she needs to find another counter-argument because the Divine Liturgy only offers an even more extreme act of penance immediately before communion. Again, if she had ever attended Divine Liturgy, or even read a complete liturgical text before drafting her lecture, she would have known this. During Divine Liturgy, after the priest acclaims, “the holy things for the holy,” the people pray:

I believe, O Lord, and confess that You are truly Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. Accept me this day, O Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical Supper. I will not tell the mystery to your enemies, nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief, I confess to You:
+ Remember me, O Lord, when You come into Your kingdom.
+ Remember me, O Master, when You come into Your kingdom.
+ Remember me, O Holy One, when You come into Your kingdom.
May the partaking of Your Holy Mysteries, O Lord, be unto me not for judgement or condemnation but for the healing of soul and body.
+ God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
+ God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
+ I have sinned without number, forgive me, O Lord.

Then, in a suitably humble frame of awareness, we walk up and receive Eucharist. As an aside, I have noticed some members of my congregation actually beating their breast during those last three lines. The liturgy scholars would be horrified.

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Family Mission

First, it turns out this is my 200th post on the blog! Woohoo!

Jeremy and I were able to go on a mini retreat over the weekend. It was the annual Marriage Enrichment retreat put together by Marriages of Grace, a local organization founded by an ordinary married couple about seven or eight years ago. The retreat last weekend featured a couple keynote speakers, some smaller talks, time for each couple to be together to reflect on the content of the program, then Mass and a dinner. It was a great program and I encourage anyone in the Cleveland/Akron area to consider attending future events.

Anyway, the small talk Jeremy and I attended was all about dream building and setting personal dreams and family dreams, then figuring out what behaviors and habits are helping you to realize those dreams. That talk got us thinking about our family’s mission, which we have thought about before a few years ago. Then we forgot about it and never developed our ideas. The family mission is a great way to focus our energy and attention when it comes to philanthropy, supporting different organizations, even the activities we get involved in. For example, the couple who founded Marriages of Grace obviously support the sacrament of marriage as part of their mission. They focus a lot of energy and resources toward programs that build up married couples and help marriages flourish.

Jeremy and I thought of a few ideas. I really want hospitality to be part of our mission. I think it’s important for there to be snacks and coffee at a bible study. If you can have a lunch after a church meeting, you should. I would love to be able to spontaneously invite overnight guests to stay at our house. I want to have dinner company often, especially clergy and religious. We met the two Brothers of the Holy Spirit after Divine Liturgy on Sunday, and they confessed to us that they have started a new ministry: the ministry of eating! I want to support them in that by having them over for dinner!

Jeremy and I also want our family mission to include evangelization–Catholic in particular, and recruiting for Holy Ghost parish in particular. We love our parish family and we want the parish to succeed long term. I believe there are many people longing to experience the beauty and mystery of the Byzantine rite, but they don’t even know we are here and that they are welcome to come! It’s not widely known that Byzantine Catholic liturgies are open to Roman Catholics; Roman Catholics can receive sacraments because the Byzantine churches are in communion with Rome. They recognize the Pope as the head of the Church. The format of Divine Liturgy may seem foreign at first, compared to Mass, but it is actually similar. There is a series of petitions, then readings from scripture, then a homily, then Eucharist, then dismissal. We sing “Lord, have mercy” a lot, but other than that it is remarkably similar. I really like that Mary the Mother of God is mentioned so much in the Byzantine Liturgy. She is mentioned in nearly every long prayer the priest says, plus she gets a petition in all the litanies, plus there are at least two hymns for Mary sung during the liturgy. Roman Catholics may think they have Mary all to themselves, but I think the Byzantine liturgy texts mention her way more! So if you have a particular devotion to Mary, check out a Byzantine church! My personal, most favorite part about coming to church on Sunday is walking in amidst all the beautiful icons, gleaming gold in the lamplight, and inhaling the combined scents of incense and frying onions. It’s just perfect. It smells so holy and homey at the same time.

So, those are a couple ideas we have had about our family mission. I’m sure we will continue working out what God’s Plan is for our family. We continue to pray for inspiration and for the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and hearts.

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Our Journey to the East

Someone just sent me an email asking what took Jeremy and me to the Eastern Catholic tradition, and as I was writing I thought, “gee, this would make a purdy good blog post.” I hope my emailing friend doesn’t mind!
Jeremy and I had been going to Roman Catholic church, but as you can imagine, every parish has its own “vibe” and the way they do things. So when we moved to Akron, we took some time to shop around to find a parish that had the things we liked, and lacked the things we were happy to do without. We wanted a parish that celebrated reverent liturgy, with a priest who was obviously spiritual and not “tired” of his ministry. We wanted good music, or at least music that didn’t make us want to plug our ears! We wanted a parish where the prevalent mood was one in support of the Pope and keeping with Church teachings. We love the Pope and we wanted to be surrounded by others who do, too. We wanted a parish with a strong devotion to Mary the Blessed Mother. We wanted a parish where the actual church building looked like a church inside and out, rather than like a gymnasium or auditorium with an altar at one end.
So, with all that in mind, we shopped around. We actually have a few friends who worship in the Eastern Catholic tradition so we had heard about it before. The way the Catholic churches shake down is, there are two major branches: the Western (Roman, Mozarabic, and Ambrosian) and the Eastern (everything else that is Catholic). The Eastern Catholics tended to branch off more specifically according to ethnic groups, geographical regions, and language spoken. The Bishop of Rome (the Pope) is still the universal pontiff for everyone, but all the different Eastern Catholic Rites also have their own Patriarchs. And each ethnic tradition has their own Archbishop. There are several major Eastern Rites: Alexandrian (Coptic and Ethiopian Catholics); West Syrian (Maronite, Syriac, and Syro-Malankara Catholics); East Syrian (Chaldean and Syro-Malabar Catholics); Armenian (Armenian Catholics), and Byzantine (Albanian, Greek, Melkite, Ruthenian, Ukrainian and others). All these Eastern Rites are in union with the Pope of Rome, so we say all these churches are “in communion” with Rome. That is why Jeremy and I could just up and decide to go to a Ukrainian Catholic Church! There are some differences in the organization of hierarchy and stuff between East and West that I don’t feel really comfortable discussing, so I’ll move on to the liturgy!
I’m not too familiar with all the Eastern Rites, but each Rite has a favorite liturgy they use for worship. The two big ones for Byzantine Catholics are the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom and the Liturgy of Saint Basil. Any Eastern Catholic Church that uses these liturgies for worship are going to be similar to each other. The main difference will be with whichever ethnic language is thrown in. Jeremy and I have learned how to do a couple of the responses in Ukrainian!
This is the biggest difference for me between a Roman Catholic Mass and a Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy. The feel of the two liturgies are totally different. The reforms of the liturgy that occurred in the 1970’s for Roman Catholics did a lot to streamline Mass, update the language, and open up some areas for a parish or diocese to do something individual. The liturgy of the Byzantine Rite didn’t go through this reform so there are lots of repetitive prayers and litanies, and the liturgy is almost entirely the same week to week. There are just a few things that change for each Sunday or feast day. I like the repetition. I like that the priest sings almost everything and the congregation sings all the responses. I like all the litanies. The Eastern Divine Liturgy feels mystical to me, with the cool chanted music, incense, bells, symbolic gestures, and icons. I love that we are hit with the fragrance of incense as soon as we walk through the door on Sunday. The fragrance of incense and pyrogies! I love gazing at the beautiful icons of Mary and Jesus and the saints.
I grew up Roman Catholic and Jeremy has been catholic for 15 years, so it’s hard for us to put aside the Roman thing! We still are more in tune with the Roman calendar of saints and feast days. We still pray the traditional Roman Catholic prayers at home. We still really like Latin! We celebrate liturgy at a Byzantine church and we try to incorporate some of the Eastern spirituality into our lives. We love icons and pray with icons at home. We try to remember to make the sign of the cross “backwards.” It’s a process, like any faith journey. And we’re enjoying it!
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What I Wore Sunday: September 1

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple.

Happy New Year! Today in the Eastern Catholic Rite, we celebrate the beginning of the church year. I’m not sure why September 1 is the beginning of the new year; in the Roman Rite the first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the church year. It is handy that the date is always the same. Though I wonder what happens when September 1 is not on a Sunday? Is it a big deal? We did sing a special kontakion for the feast day, but everything else was for a regular Sunday. I sang in the choir again this week and it was fun. There was a visiting priest celebrating Divine Liturgy with Fr. Sal, and no offense to Fr. Sal, but the visiting priest was a really good singer! I enjoyed singing the responses even more than usual. I guess the visitor was the parish’s former pastor who had moved to a different parish in Cleveland. I really like Fr. Sal, but I wish I had known this other guy, too. His wife sang with the choir today as well, and she was just lovely. She is going to pray for Agnes!

Sunday 9-1-13For church, I decided to wear this dress I found in an Albuquerque thrift store. I really like the design and the colors, and the dress is cool without being too revealing. I wore my long Spanish mantilla with it. And I probably don’t even need to tell you what shoes I chose. Okay, fine, I will. My black Minnetonka Moccasins! Seriously, these shoes are the greatest. They conform to my feet, they don’t slip off my heels when I walk, they are nice enough to wear with dressy clothes, and casual to wear with jeans and t-shirts. I’ve worn them to church, to the hospital, to clean the bathroom. I actually wouldn’t recommend that, but in my defense, I hadn’t planned to scour the shower stall with Ajax when I went in there wearing my moccasins. I got carried away. But, good news: a damp towel was all I needed to wipe the Ajax spots off the moccasins and they’re good as new. And finally, I’ve owned these for just over a year, and they show no sign of wearing out, bursting a seam, splitting away from the sole, or discoloration. And my pictures week after week prove that I wear these shoes all the freakin’ time. Okay, I’m done raving. If you have the opportunity to purchase a pair, I recommend. That’s all.

Today my family’s fun event was visiting the hospital! Whoo! We completed some more parent education about caring for our trach baby, Agnes. I had my turn to change Agnes’ trach tube and do the care of her stoma (the hole in her neck) and change the ties. Jeremy and I also practiced listening to Agnes’ breath sounds and suctioning again. We rounded that out with some brief instruction regarding Agnes’ g-tube and the feeding pump. We are almost “checked off” on all the required pieces. We just need to check off on g-tube care, feeding pump, bagging with the bag (yes, nurses actually say this), and the CPR class. Then we can do our 12-hour stay. Then and only then can Agnes come home! She will probably come home in about 9 days. Maybe Tuesday September 10. Here’s hoping.

Toodle on over to FLAP for more link ups.

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What I Wore Sunday: July 21

It’s been awhile since I linked up with Fine Linen and Purple for the weekly What I Wore Sunday. It feels good to be back at it. Head over there to read the other linkers (we’ve been through this before…).

The prayers, hymns, and acclamations of the Byzantine liturgy are really beautiful. I notice a different thing every time we go to liturgy, and today I noticed a beautiful petition in one of the litanies that occur throughout the liturgy. The petition says, “For an angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us ask the Lord.” And all respond, “Grant this, O Lord.” Angels have recently started to fascinate me, like in the past year or two. It is really neat to think about my guardian angel following me around and protecting me and leading me away from danger. A couple months ago I met a really neat young lady who has a special gift to see and communicate with angels. She told me that I have three angels! She says different people have varying sizes of angel entourages. Sometimes when I pray to my angel for intercession and help, I ask him/her (?) to bring all the available angels in to help as well. Every angel can’t be busy all the time, right? Then I imagine the room filling and filling, crammed full of angels, piling in up to the ceiling. It’s pretty cool, and it helps me remember that I am not alone and I don’t have to deal with my trials with only my own strength. 

I could have used some angelic intercession this morning because I was having the hardest time even getting out of bed! I got up to pump at 5:30am, then went back to sleep until my second alarm at 7:30am. That’s already pretty late for a Sunday morning, but on top of that, I couldn’t drag out of bed until almost 8:00! And we had to leave at 9:00 to get to church! And I still had to drink my coffee, eat breakfast, pump again, pick out my church clothes, get dressed, and do hair and makeup! “…Let us ask the Lord!”

sunday 7-21-13

On the steps of Holy Ghost.

Luckily I was able to do it all. Barely. I had to cram my veil in my purse and do it at church, though. Also luckily, I had already more or less decided on my outfit in my head. I picked this new top from Old Navy, a maternity skirt from Target, and my trusty Minnetonka Moccasins. The veil is my new beautiful Spanish mantilla.

I like this Old Navy top more than I expected to. Last week, I half-heartedly went shopping for some new clothes that actually fit me now that I’m not preggo anymore. I tried on a bunch of shirts that did. not. work. and finally passed the table full of henley tops on my way to register. The style looked like it might work for me, so grabbed one in the size I thought was best and bought it without trying it on. Good for me, it fit. The neckline is a little more revealing than I prefer, but it still qualifies as modest.

That skirt. I really need to stop wearing it because it was just a teensy-tiny bit too large when I was pregnant, and now I’m not pregnant. Plus there is something about it that table corners, furniture arms, staircase railings, and my walking feet find really attractive. One good tug and this thing will be long gone. I tempt fate every time I wear it. I know this, and yet I keep wearing it. “….Let us ask the Lord!”

My moccasins. O how I adore thee. Amen.

The veil. I’m still the only lady who wears a veil at church. I actually expected someone to ask me about it, but so far, no one has mentioned it. I guess no one really cares. Whatever. I really enjoy wearing a veil to church so I’m going to keep doing it!

After church we all trooped over to the hospital to visit Agnes. She was moved twice this week, first to the sub-intensive room, then to a semi-private room in the TLC section of the NICU. More and more, people are talking to us about when we take her home. No one has given us a specific date, but it will be soon. Possibly even this week!

Jeremy and I have to learn a few things before we can bring Agnes home. First, she is definitely coming home with an n/g tube. We have to learn how to put one in and how to care for it, keep it clean, and make sure it stays put in the right place. The nurse showed us how to put one in and we took turns listening to Agnes’ tummy with a stethoscope to verify that the tube was down in her stomach where it belongs.

Second, we have to learn how to administer feedings through the tube. This will involve a syringe with tubing that connects to the n/g, and possibly an electric syringe pump unless we can talk the doctor into letting us try gravity feeding.

Third, we have to learn how to draw oral medications into a syringe and administer them through the n/g. We will also have to learn how to crush a pill into small enough fragments that Agnes will either be able to suck them off a finger or the pieces have to fit through the n/g.

Fourth, the doc may send her home with caffeine as one of her medications. Caffeine helps little babies regulate their breathing and take deep breaths. If Agnes comes home on caffeine, she will also need continuous monitoring of her heart rate and respiration rate. We would get a little battery powered monitor that we would have to pack up and take along when we take Agnes out of the house.

Now that we’ve started getting information and training for going home, I really think we’ll be out of there in a week. Next Sunday I may be able to feature Agnes in What I Wore Sunday! Here’s hoping!

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Jeremy took this pic while he was holding Agnes. Them’s skilz.

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