Laughing, Weeping, Living

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

What I Wore Sunday: November 3

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple.

Today we got to go to church as a whole family! And we didn’t have to visit the hospital afterwards! Yay! In other awesome news, I managed to get Stephen to go upstairs to the choir loft with me, so I got to sing with the choir! Yay! And I must say we sounded pretty darn good today, too. Today we sang Tone 7, which I remember the last time we sang it, it was not so good. We all brought our “A” game today though, and we rocked Tone 7 like nobody’s business. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks, because there are several big feasts coming up, and Advent starts soon. It’s going to be fun in the choir, especially if Stephen keeps being adorable and well-mannered in the loft. Today he wasn’t so sure at first that he liked the idea of being upstairs, but I held him up to look over the railing at the people below, and we saw Jeremy and Agnes, then I held him for a while while we sang. When I put him down he stood around mostly, looking at the other people in the choir. After the homily he became comfortable enough to walk around the little area, pause to look over the railing, play with the toy he brought, come over by me for a bit, walk around some more. I did miss communion because I waited too long to go down, then I went at a toddler’s pace down the stairs. Oh well.

100_1875I’m hoping we can go to Liturgy on Friday. It’s the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and All the Bodiless Heavenly Powers, or something along those lines. Doesn’t that sound way cool? “Bodiless Heavenly Powers.” Neato.

For church today I chose my favorite skirt; I bought this at Savers in Albuquerque. I love long, full skirts. I’m also wearing a black shirt from Motherhood Maternity; it still fits me because it shrinks a tiny bit every time I launder it. Grr. Finally, I threw on that long sweater vesty thing that I like to wear during in-between seasons, plus my Clarks boots.

Today Stephen had a great time helping my dad take Quinn for a walk, and then later they raked leaves. Grandpa is pretty much awesome. Stephen also requested that grandpa do his bath tonight. It’s cute.

Today Agnes is doing pretty well; she’s been sleeping a lot. She has learned how to freak out again so that people will pick her up and hold her. I think she probably figured out in the hospital that doesn’t work too well, but at home it works every time. She sure knows what to do to get attention. I need to get her a “drama queen” shirt or something.

Tomorrow we are getting some professional photos of Agnes and Stephen! It was arranged through Palliative Care at the hospital, I think because Agnes is “special” or because she was in the NICU. Whatever, free photos of my kids. The reason doesn’t even matter!

I’m looking forward to a little more down time this week, since Agnes’ schedule isn’t so packed. The only outings we have scheduled are the photos, and hopefully church on Friday. No doctors. I’m going to go right now and start enjoying my downtime.

Head over to Fine Linen and Purple for more link ups.

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What I Wore Sunday: October 27

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple.

Today when I woke up, I stood in front of my closet for 10 minutes contemplating my choices. I had a couple shirts to choose from, a few more skirts, and a few dresses that are not quite cool-weather appropriate. It was tricky. I need to buy some more clothes. Anyway here’s what I decided to wear:

100_1850100_1849I’m wearing the skirt from last week, my trusty black Merona Target skirt I’ve had since high school. I’m also wearing a Daisy Fuentes shirt I think I got at the Goodwill in Billings, MT but I have rarely worn it. I have long thought the shiny fabric was not very flattering, but since lately I have so few choices, I’ve been wearing the shirt anyway. This morning when I got Stephen out of bed, he pointed at my shirt and said, “pwetty.” Toddler approved. I’m also wearing my new Clarks boots. My pink watch was a Christmas gift from Jeremy. It’s a Relic brand watch. It came packaged in a pretty sturdy little tin that seemed like a waste to throw away, so we kept it. We use it to store all the holy cards we have with relics. It’s our Relic reliquary. Ha!

Today the Eastern Catholic calendar celebrates Christ the King, or at least that’s what my calendar at home says. You would not have known there was a feast day from the liturgy because the music was all just from the regular Sunday rotation. I don’t quite understand the hierarchy of feast days in the Eastern calendar; in the Roman calendar, Christ the King is a really big deal with different hymns and prayers. The really big feasts in the Eastern liturgy have all kinds of special music where you change out the regular songs for the festal songs, less important feasts have some special music, and the least important feasts have maybe one special song. All the other feasts seem to be simply noted on the calendar. I’m sure I will come to understand more and more. I hope. It’s been a couple of rough weeks in the choir since the lady who leads has been on vacation. She’s coming back next week! I don’t know if I will be able to sing in the choir once we can start bringing Agnes to church; it all depends on if I can convince Stephen to come upstairs with me!

After liturgy, we went to visit Agnes at the hospital. Tomorrow she can come home! We’ve requested a morning discharge, so hopefully we won’t be stuck at the hospital all day. It will be nice to stay home and snuggle Agnes freely, and not have to go to the hospital every day. Too bad Agnes has so many doctors appointments! I think I have to take her to the pediatrician on Tuesday already! Well, we’ll get some down time at some point this week. While we were at the hospital today we watched the Disney Channel to keep Stephen occupied. We caught a few episodes of “Dog with a Blog” and it was hilarious! I wasn’t expecting to like it, but it was really funny. The premise is that the family pet can talk and only the kids know it. The dog writes about the family on his blog after they all go to sleep at night. If you ever have to watch kids television programs, I recommend that one. Stephen was actually not very interested beyond “puppy!” but Jeremy and I both enjoyed the show!

I guess that’s all we did on Sunday. You can read other bloggers at Fine Linen and Purple.

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What I Wore Sunday: August 25

If I wasn’t doing a fashion link up, I would definitely not include a picture of what I wore, but since that’s the whole point of this post…fine.

100_1750Here’s an outfit that is church-appropriate, even though the fit is not too great. Lately I’m having a hard time picking clothes that flatter my figure. I feel like nothing in my closet fits right now. Today I ended up wearing an Old Navy top, a thrift store skirt, and my beaded Minnetonka Moccasins. The veil is the one I made for myself! At least the veil fits pretty well, and flatters my ‘do!

This Sunday I did manage to sing with the choir and it was really fun! There was nothing surprising with the music since it was just a regular Sunday with no important feast days. I practiced a little last night and things went smoothly this morning. I really enjoyed singing with the group. All the music at Holy Ghost is done a cappella so it was stimulating to follow the leader and sing in harmony without any help from a piano or organ. Jeremy and I tried to sit as a family up in the choir loft, but for some reason Stephen was not happy with that solution. Jeremy ended up sitting with Stephen down in the church. Maybe next week we can convince Stephen it’s fun to sit up high.

Since Agnes has been in the hospital it’s been hard to hit the gym as much as I want to. I did go four mornings, but I wasn’t able to stay for long each time because we had to get to the hospital early in the mornings if we wanted to talk with the doctors. I ran on an elliptical and it did feel good to exercise, but really it just made me feel even more like an out-of-shape elephant. Hopefully this week will be more affirming, and a reasonable workout won’t feel so difficult! The whole reason I wanted to start an exercise routine was to feel better about myself, but so far I think I feel the same if not worse, because now I have actual proof that I’m terribly out of shape. I’m not even going to weigh myself this week because I’m sure the numbers will be discouraging. I do tend to stress-eat, and Agnes went to surgery on Wednesday, and I spent the night at the hospital a couple nights, so I’m pretty sure my diet was mostly crap even though I vowed to “turn over a new leaf” or whatever.

But I won’t get discouraged! It’s a new week and Agnes is recovering well. I can do it. I can do it.

The only problem is Stephen has picked this week to develop some obnoxiousness. He is flat refusing naps, and his new favorite noise to make is difficult to describe, but trust me, it would be less annoying if he had decided to cry at the top of his lungs. Also it looks like maybe he is suddenly afraid of the dark. He wakes up sobbing. I’m not sure what to do about this since he already has a bright night light on the white noise machine in his room. And he also a randomly picky eater. Like, he suddenly refuses foods that used to be his favorites. This afternoon he refused to eat cheese. Cheese. Who is this kid?

But really, I love children. I love my children. School of charity, yadda yadda.

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple. Head over for some other Sunday posts!

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What I Wore Sunday: August 18

sunday 8-18-13

dark hospital room lighting.

Well, yesterday was Agnes’ two-month birthday, and today we had to go to church infant-less once again. It was kind of strange, people just asked us who was taking care of the baby, was she with Grandma? I guess that might be a normal question but I was just thinking that if we had Agnes in our care she would definitely be coming to church with us. Anyway, we had to tell folks that she is back in the hospital. It’s sad. Poor Helena, Fr. Sal’s wife. She weeps every time I tell her sad news about Agnes. I can’t wait until I have something good to tell her! We went to the hospital after liturgy and took the WIWS photos there. I’m wearing that mysterious dress from the thrift store in Albuquerque. The one with absolutely no labels anywhere in the garment. So far it hasn’t disintegrated in the wash, so I guess I’m laundering well enough. I also wore my cream colored veil that I made myself. I took it off in the parking lot of the hospital! And my black Minnetonka Moccasins. You may have noticed that I didn’t wear them last week–proof that I do own other shoes. I would also like to point out my hospital armband, a fine accessory for any look, any season.

sunday 8-18-13 with stephen

Reading a story about an alligator raised by birds.

Today we were a little late for church because we were ready to leave ten minutes early. Wait a sec, this will make sense in a minute, I promise. So we were ready to leave ten minutes early, and we decided to hang out a little before leaving because one time we got to the church twenty minutes before liturgy and the doors were still locked. So we hung out for a while, then left maybe five minutes later than we should have. Then about .2 miles from our house, the “low fuel” alarm on the car starts beeping. Curses. So we had to stop for gas. Then we were late to church. Because we were late, I didn’t go up and join the choir this week. Next week I will! It’s okay though, because I studied the worship book carefully last night and figured out which tone to use (tone 4) and placed my ribbons, and even practiced the troparion, kantakion, theotokion, and prokemion. However. Apparently we are still in the post-feast period for Dormition of Mary (Assumption) so the music was a little different. I figured it out pretty quickly during liturgy, but I wasn’t prepared for it ahead of time. Next week I will be a good choir member!

I did go over to Planet Fitness and sign up for a membership. They are running a promotion for $20 a month for 12 months, with no start up fee. Remember I said I was due for something good around here? Well, Planet Fitness bills the monthly dues on the 17th each month, and they don’t prorate the membership when you sign up, so my first payment won’t be until September 17th! One month of free gym time! I’m excited to start tomorrow. I also need to go buy some fresh athletic wear so I don’t look so frumpy at the gym. Oh darn, shopping. Poor me. Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple like y’do.

 

Agnes from a few days ago. It's been awhile since I posted a recent pic.

Agnes from a few days ago. It’s been awhile since I posted a recent pic.

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My Happy Goals

First I would just like to say, “Happy Two Month Birthday, Agnes!” Yep, Agnes is two months old today, and has spent a total of two weeks at home, the rest at the hospital. At least this time she has her own private room with a private bath that includes a shower, and a TV. The room includes a TV, not the private bath. I realize how that looked up there so I want to make it clear. Plus, Agnes can order room service from the cafeteria whenever she wants and the tray will come up in about 40 minutes. So, long story short, this hospital stay is pretty nice, except for the fact that it’s mostly 6 to 12 year olds on the floor and Agnes’ nurse is usually very busy with her other patients. Oh well. Hopefully Agnes will go to surgery on Monday or Tuesday to get the tracheostomy and the g-tube. Then she will hang out in the PICU (same as NICU but “pediatric” instead of “neonatal”) for a couple days before transferring up to the floor where all the trach kids pal around together.

Now that the shock of Agnes’ new news has had a chance to sink in, I think I can mentally move on to other thoughts. Thoughts along the lines of: I need to do something active to promote my own happiness because it ain’t gonna happen on it’s own. The first step I will take is tomorrow I am going to a fitness club to sign up as a member and I will start an exercise routine on Monday morning. My fitness goal is to tone my postpartum baby belly and fit into a new pair of jeans that have a regular old zipper fly and no elastic. I will buy these beautiful jeans when I believe my goal has been achieved. My other fitness goal is to lose at least 30 pounds, but preferably 40 pounds. I have a question for you fitness calculator type people. If I exercise hard 3 to 4 mornings a week for approximately 90 minutes each time, and find opportunities to move throughout the day and on the off days…and I observe a non-deprivation diet that is mostly portion control and snubbing high fat/calorie foods most of the time: how long can I expect this goal to take? This is just for my information so I can set a reasonable timeline for myself for motivation. You know, like, lose the weight by Christmas or something. Because if this plan is going to take a really long time, I will up my game so I see some results sooner.

The other step I am taking to actively promote my own happiness is I have joined the church choir. I am maybe overqualified to participate as a lowly member of the bunch, but that is what I want to do. There is a lovely lady who kind of leads the operation now and she is way more qualified than me to lead a Byzantine choir. I’m still finding my way around the worship book and I have no idea about the different tones. The choir is fairly informal now, and I’m not sure if they will do more once the summer ends. I hope there are some regular practices because that is the best time to learn the ins and outs, and to ask questions!

Finally, the third step I am taking to promote my own happiness is, starting in September, Jeremy and I will begin following a household budget again. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but we have just been floating and we feel kind of aimless. We are ready to start telling our money what to do. It will help us to feel more independent and give us some direction for the future. Jeremy has been keeping track of all his tips that he earns, and how much he spends on gas as a delivery driver. He is also saving his August paychecks so we can add up all the amounts and see what our true monthly income is; then we can plan for September with a fairly accurate figure. Hopefully we will be able to start saving so we can eventually restart our student loan payments and maybe even move into our place.

If you don’t mind, I will keep track of my happiness and fitness progress here on the blog. Well, I guess I don’t care if you mind! It’s my blog and I’ll write what I want! 😀

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