Well. :) Lots of updates today. It'll be a long post, so settle in with some tea. I'll start with this morning, and work my way backward, ending with details from Easter weekend, which was very special.
First, I thought I'd post about my morning. It's always interesting when you have small children. :) Hank slept in today, because he was so tired from a hardcore weekend of playing with his cousins, so I took the opportunity to sneak in the bathroom ahead of him and ready for my 36 week ob/gyn appointment. When he woke, all sleepy eyed at 7, I went in to greet him immediately and zero in on an adorable face kissing session. Don't you just love it when they're freshly woken? It's the cutest time of the day. So I proceed in and kiss his head.
Hark! What is that I smell? All experienced parents become attuned to certain smells, and this is one of them: OLD POO. It's quite distinctive.
"Honey, did you go poo in your underwear last night?"
"NO!" *look of shocked indignation at the question*
"Are you sure?"
*Catholic Librarian crosses her fingers and hopes the smell is coming from a prior poo encounter's leftover wipes fermenting in the garbage can after our long weekend away*
"Can I have privacy to get dressed?"
This is also another one of those parenting red herrings. I'm sure some children, especially girls, develop the desire for privacy at 5, but not my son, who streaks around the house buck naked at every given opportunity. I shut his door and tap my foot outside for approximately 5 seconds, when, in a totally expected development, I hear:
"Um, Mommy? Can you come in?"
When I open the door, the smell of old poo is no longer subtle; it smacks me right in the face. And old poo is the *worst* kind of poo to clean up, because, well (cover your eyes, those with sensitive dispositions) it's all dried and stuck to everything. In a *crevice*. Not pleasant. This is one of those times that you really know that parenting is a two person job.
*call downstairs* "Honey? Do you want underwear duty or butt duty?"
Because both need to be rinsed out and scrubbed down. The life of a parent: glamour, all glamour.
So after that adventure-filled start to the morning, I dropped Hank at his before school program and head to the doctor. Starting this week, I'll be there weekly. And they'll be seeing an awful lot of me, if you know what I mean. *sigh*
So, I had the Group B Strep screen today, and hopefully that will come back negative next week. Otherwise, I'll need antibiotics during labor, and I'd like to avoid that. Baby CL is officially in the vertex position (head down, doing a good job of following directions) and growing right on target. Next week, I'll be officially full term, and we'll see if my body has made any progress toward labor. It's all very exciting.
I'm feeling totally great, albeit like a woman very "full with child". I've gained 24 pounds, which is fabulous, but you know. I feel a bit like a beached whale. I've gotten very used to it, and the end is so close, I'm handling it psychologically much better than I did when I was carrying Hank, when it felt like I may be the first woman to officially be pregnant FOREVER. But it will still be very, VERY nice to be the only one in my body coming up here pretty soon. That will be a very good day.
Ok, so. Flashing back to this weekend. Saturday was crazy, but so very worth it. We arrived at my sister's house at 1, and by 3:10 I was on a train on my way to New York City to attend the Easter Vigil. I met up with my friend Mary, and we spent some time visiting prior to Mass. By time we headed to the church, I was feeling great emotionally, but not so great physically. I still had a cold and was hacking unattractively, plus I hadn't eaten a proper dinner. I had eaten, don't get me wrong, it's just that my body is used to eating a full dinner at 5:30 pm every night. Mike and I are a tad freakish that way. As Mass begun, I was feeling a bit light headed with an upset stomach and a cough, not a good combination.
However, I hung in there, and it was worth it. I love how the Easter Vigil starts, with the service of light and the lighting of the candles in the darkened church, and then the lights come on, signaling the official beginning of Easter.
As the Liturgy of the Word proceeded, I started to feel a tad better, although the hacking remained. Finally, it was time for the Liturgy of the Sacraments of Initiation, and, really, all I can say is that it was so, so special. My friend Mary and one other woman were the only 2 catechumens (the rest, a significant number, were all candidates to be confirmed) and so we proceeded up to the altar first. The priest went through the baptismal promises and the affirmation of the Catholic faith with each, and then baptized both. As one of her sponsors, I was so delighted to be able to right up there with her as this was all taking place.
After that, the rest of the congregation affirmed our baptismal vows, and then the confirmations took place. We went back to the pew to await the Liturgy of the Eucharist. And so, for the first time in our 14 year friendship, Mary and I received the Eucharist together under both species. It was truly magnificent, and the atmosphere in the church was almost magical.
I've only attended 1 other Easter Vigil, and when you know someone receiving the sacraments on that occasion, it's simply not to be missed. What an awesome opportunity provided by God. I'll never forget it.
I took it easy on Easter Sunday, another bright and beautiful day. And with the birth of Baby CL approaching, I feel joyful all the time. Life is truly very good.