Why I’m Busy Friday Mornings

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There are a number of significant days in the Catholic Church that are defined not by their date on the calendar, but by their day of the week–Easter Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday–but one of my favorites, and certainly Bonnie’s, is unique to St. Dominic’s parish in Garden City. That day is Fritter Friday.

Years ago, or perhaps months ago–I’m no church historian–someone from the office decided to get donuts one Friday morning and Fr. Reggie requested a raspberry fritter, which is available only on Fridays. According to Church tradition, that first Fritter Friday brought frosting, merriment, and a sudden uptick of productivity never before seen so close to the weekend.

When we moved to Garden, I laid out a detailed schedule for myself, which included three hours of editing every morning, three hours of writing/reading every afternoon, lunch with Susan, games with Bonnie, and daily Mass every day. By the end of our first week in town, I had written twice, was woefully behind on my edits, and had taken Bonnie to daily Mass exactly zero times. So that Friday morning we wandered into the sanctuary to find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the “Children’s Mass,” which is put on by the elementary school.

“Can I be here?” I asked Fr. Reggie. “I mean adults. Can adults attend?”

He smiled and assured me that we were welcome.

Bonnie was a hit immediately with the children who saw her and the adults who came up to us after the Mass. So it should’ve come as no surprise when she caught the attention of the church staff when we went to register our family with the parish.

They immediately called for Fr. Reggie to register Bonnie as a new parishioner:

New parishioner

The following week, we were invited to participate in Fritter Friday.

While I ate donuts and drank coffee, the church staff put Bonnie right to work on a calculator doing important parish business. She did such a good job they elected her employee of the month:

Employee of the month

The images are horizontal because these actually appeared on the cover of the St. Dominic website a few days after introducing this little girl to everyone. No joke. Have I mentioned how welcoming Garden City has been?

Food is one of the best ways humans show community. It’s no great surprise that the Jews all ate the same meal before departing Egypt or that Christ’s last meeting with His disciples before the crucifixion was over a meal. Who we invite to our table says a lot about us, and I’m honored to have been invited to this table. As my grandma Moses used to say, “A cute baby can get you into anywhere.”

Spring Break 2016

Let’s do a couple catch up posts, shall we?

Since I started working big girl jobs, I’ve tried to save some vacation days for Thursday and Friday of spring break so that I could watch the first round of March Madness. It was always a nice treat to keep a little spring break for myself and build a pillow fort and watch basketball for 10 hours straight. So I was thrilled to discover that the college is closed on Thursday and Friday of spring break so now I get to keep the tradition going without using any of my precious vacation days. What luck!

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Of all the new cool toys at Beau and Hailey’s, Bonnie loved this tiny orange egg the most.

This year, instead of staying inside and watching basketball, we decided to road trip to Oklahoma City to hang out with the Coffindaffers. It was the first time we’d made the trip from Garden City and we missed several turns both there and back. Yet another reason we’ll need to make the trip more often so we can get the hang of it.

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Love taps.
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Sweet friends.
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Eskimo Joe’s shirt!

When we visited, Bonnie hadn’t really started moving yet, and I was anxious for her to get the hang of it. Wade and Eli were scooting and rolling and crawling all over the place, and by the time we left, Bonnie had gotten quite a bit more interested in mobility. I credit all her progress in the past month to Wade and Eli’s good example.

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Babies on the move.

The last time we were there the kiddos had just turned 4 and 5 months old and still weren’t all that interested or aware of each other. It was great to see them play together and watch each other and giggle. We had a great time taking them out to eat and entertaining our entire section of the restaurant. For some reason, Bonnie and Wade kept ending up on one side of the table with poor Eli stranded on the opposite end. Several people asked if they were triplets, but most decided that Bonnie and Wade were twins and Eli was on his own. So fun watching these three grow up together.

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I guess they kind of look related?

The weather was pretty nice, but a little too cold for the zoo, so we took them to the park one afternoon. It was Bonnie’s first time at the park and first time in a swing and she was… unimpressed. Eli had a better time, but Wade showed them the appropriate response to a trip to the park.

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Rolling deep.

 

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Unimpressed.

 

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Equally unimpressed Eli

 

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Wade knows how to enjoy the park.

 

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Coffindaffer Crew.

In addition to baby time, the Dads watched all three kiddos for a few hours on Saturday so that Hailey and I could sneak away for Starbucks and pedicures and shopping. It was lovely and reminded me of our last pedicure together last May – a week before Hailey had the boys. It’s amazing to think about how different each of our trips to OKC have been. Last year in March, we went to DC to see Beau graduate and then they moved to OKC. We visited in May for Hailey’s birthday and one last bash before the baby invasion. Then we came up in August to meet the boys and introduce them to Bonnie. We all went out to eat – it was the boys first trip to a restaurant. I don’t think we left the house at all the rest of that trip. When we visited them again in early November, I remember feeling like we would never make it to Garden City. At that point we didn’t have any interviews lined up and I felt like time was running out if we were going to make it there by the first of the year. Fast forward to our next trip in March of 2016 and we had already been living in Garden City for 3 months.

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26 and 23 week bellies in DC.

 

 

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1 and 2 month old babes.
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4 and 5 month old wiggle worms.
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8 and 9 month old cruisers.

Just goes to show how much happens while we’re busy being impatient. Thank goodness for these adorable blessings who force us to slow down every once in awhile, sit on the floor, and experience the joy of playing with a plastic orange egg.

9 Months

Inelegantly, and without my consent, time passed. ~ Miranda July

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4 months

 

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5 months

 

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6 months

 

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7 months
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8 months
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9 months

Impossibly, Bonnie is 9 months old today. As you can see, she’s still adorable. Her latest project is crawling, and it is so fun to see her slither toward me when I come home from work. It’s also pretty fun to watch her crawl all over the room in pursuit of our dirty old shoes.

She got her first tooth last month, and has been working on the second one for about 3 weeks. The edge is there, but the rest of it seems a little shy about joining the world. Once she officially started teething, the ear infections began as well. The first one was discovered after a full weekend of fevers and anxious parents. The second one was discovered at playgroup hearing screening. Whoops. Luckily, she’s an astoundingly happy baby, even when sick. The biggest change is the extra laundry.

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What your shower looks like when you have a baby on antibiotics and no washing machine.

We finally got signed up with Parents as Teachers here, and Bonnie’s been enjoying going to playgroup once a week and visiting with our Parents as Teachers lady each month. She brings toys and activity books and teaches us songs and games and how to make our own toys. It’s been a great support for this new phase of mobility and growth. Bonnie seems to be growing and changing and learning new things every hour. It’s astounding and vaguely heartbreaking. Slow down, time! I can’t catch my breath.

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How Bonnie lays on her back now. Why is this more comfortable? Maybe she has lower back pain too.

Speaking of heartbreaking, we finally had to start supplementing with formula this week. Having to supplement makes me feel like I’ve failed her in some way, like I am ill-equipped to provide for her. Logically, I know that’s crazy, but emotionally – I struggle with it. It was 100% the right choice, though, which also makes me feel guilty about waiting so long to start it. Since we made the switch she’s been much happier during the day and is sleeping a lot better at night. In those first few days and nights of nursing every 2-3 hours, I would have to remind myself that this schedule wouldn’t go on for 18 years. Now I’m clinging to every feeding and can’t believe that we’re already beginning the transition to independent eating. You so tricky, time.

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What I see when I leave for work in the morning. Sweet little stinkers.

Bonnie and Steven have been having a great time hanging out together during the day. Steven was able to bring his editing job with him to Garden City, so he hangs with Bonnie during the day while I’m at work and then puts in his work hours in the evening. Steven is a far better stay-at-home parent than I was and they have a great time going to playgroup and story hour and Fritter Friday and daily mass, etc. This week, she’s been playing in her exersaucer on the back porch while Steven works on the backyard. I think I took her outside on my own twice during my 12 weeks of maternity leave. Dads are the best. It’s been so nice to have them at home, but I do fear that it’s made Bonnie a little wary of other people. She definitely prefers us, and while I love that she’s so attached, I would also like it if she could sit with other family members without screaming. Dream big.

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Sleepy snuggles with Poppa.

 

Steven just got offered his first community college online teaching gig, so starting next week, Bonnie will go to daycare one day a week. She’ll be going to a home daycare, and the situation is just the most Garden City thing ever.  When I met her on Monday I introduced myself and she stopped me and said, “I know you.” Turns out she took care of me when I was in Community Daycare. Later in our conversation she asked how we liked our new/old stove. (When we first moved back to town, my cousin contacted me to see if we needed a stove because her friend just got a new one for Christmas.) Lo and behold, that friend is our new daycare provider. Little connections like that pop up every day in Garden City and it’s one of my favorite things about being back home.

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We forgot to take before pictures of the backyard, but trust me – this is MUCH better. If Steven and Bonnie had been standing there before, you wouldn’t have been able to see them. Steven = tree slayer.