Sunday, November 24, 2013

Teresa's Baptism

Not much to say, other than it was a beautiful, Spirit-filled day. We are such proud, joyful parents and so grateful for the very rich faith that we welcomed Teresa into today. Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate!

Here is Teresa wearing the baptismal gown that my mom made for my baptism and that both of our daughters have now worn.

The best shot of the day. Welcome to the Church, Teresa!
Mike, Teresa's godfather, lighting the baptismal candle
Teresa's godmother Jenny - how special that we are now godmothers for each other's daughters
The very proud daddy with a peaceful baby
Adrienne, who just arrived last night, holding Teresa for the first time. She is an amazing big sister and so good with babies - our children are so lucky to have her!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Two months!

From 17 days to two months! I cannot believe that Teresa is two months old. While in my last post, I spoke of how hard we had worked in those first seventeen days, now another 45 days have passed! Wow! Where has the time gone???

On Sunday, Teresa will be baptized! I am so excited. It's odd to say, but with each child, I have become more excited for their baptism. I think as we raise our family, the roots and traditions of our faith mean more and more to me. The sacraments mean more to me. Jesus means more to me. So consequently, I find the day of their baptism more inspiring and moving.

This is contrary to what I think many people believe about the younger children in a large family. It is assumed that parents won't be as excited about their milestones as you have experienced them before with older children. But so far, I have found the opposite to be true. First of all, I am a calmer mother and am not as stressed out. This alone makes it much easier for me to enjoy babyhood. Secondly, I know how fast this is going to go. It has fleeted before my eyes three times already. It is easier to accept now that every day will be different and that there is no routine, as this is a short-lived phase. And as I fully realize that this will be gone before I know it, I also cherish each coo, each smile, each nursing with more ferocity. As autumn slips into winter, so too will this season slip by.

While I could never say that the transition of having a new baby has been easy, I will say that it has gone well. It has gone well in lots of ways. For the most part, I believe that Joshua, Noah and Veronica have adjusted well and are used to the new little person in our house. Teresa is a pretty easy baby so far. She is happy most of the time. And in the past week, at night she has been sleeping for 6-10 hours at a time without nursing. Thank you, Lord!

The most challenging part for me lately has been feeling somewhat isolated. As I am home with the children by myself on most days, I can get a little stir crazy, lonesome and hungry for some adult interaction. Realizing this in the past week or so, I have reached out to more friends and am so thankful to feel their love and support. Otherwise, I might just go crazy!

Homeschooling has gone wonderfully. It's not easy and it requires a lot of flexibility. But we have definitely been able to complete more work in the past two months than I had expected. This has just been God's blessing on us and an answer to prayers. For if we had a baby that was crying all of the time or if I was seriously sleep deprived, then surely homeschooling wouldn't be happening so consistently. That is what I was most nervous about before Teresa arrived. As we have chosen to educate our own children and have taken on that responsibility, I would feel some serious mom guilt if it wasn't happening enough. It would be irrational guilt I realize, because it would just be a phase and really would not affect their education in the long run. But mom guilt is usually just that - irrational.

As my heart has grown with this new babe, so has my patience. I told Jason the other day that I must have received a shot full of God's grace in the arm when we were at the hospital. It's as if I have gone through a growth spurt in my patience level. This is something that I have prayed about and struggled with for a long time. I'm not saying I don't ever lose it with the kids. Of course I do. But those times are further apart and I am finding more ways to work out conflict with my kids without losing my temper. All of the sudden this seems much easier than it used to. Like I said - it's God grace bestowed on a mother of four who needs it :)

Teresa has been growing too. At the doctor's office on Wednesday, she weighed over 12 pounds, what the doctor said was the weight of an average four month old! It's time to get out some bigger clothes for her and make sure that I don't miss a moment of her growing up!