This year I really wanted to savor this entire week leading up to Easter. I desired to be absorbed by the meaning of this most wonderful gift of heaven given to us in the most selfless of ways. We attended mass on Holy Thursday and participated in the washing of the feet. We attended mass on Friday evening as well and was able to venerate the cross. I was so thankful to be in church and to be able to receive the Holy Eucharist during the Easter Tridium. Last year our Easter looked very different. We dressed up, we joined the live stream of Easter mass and watched from our living room like most of our family, friends and fellow Catholics around the world. 2020 was a blessing in many ways, it required us to slow down, gain perspective and become even stronger in our faith. It required us to really lean in and trust God during such a confusing and uncertain time. It made us realize that we had been taking so many things for granted including our freedom to gather in church, receive the blessed sacrament and be in communion with others.
The girls had a play date with friends the Friday before Holy Week and brought home a bouquet of spider lilies that they had picked. Norah and I enjoyed lunch when we dropped them off and came home to nap and relax. I want to remember how Norah calls strawberries, “strawbeddies.” She also prefers Mia and Madelyn over me most of the times and loves to help with everything. At lunch that day she sang “rain rain go away” as she matched socks from my friend’s laundry basket. We are all completely in love with her and cannot believe she is going to be a big sister soon.
I have been taking the girls to the creek in the evenings. I usually have either something in the slow cooker or leftovers ready to warm up. I wait until Ryan has an hour before he is home so that he can help get us back to the house. We have been taking the stroller for the ride back. We have been keeping an eye on the dewberries that will be ripening soon. There are so many patches along our walk. Our creek time usually ends up with everyone getting in the water and Norah soaked. Of course we have sand everywhere which is all part of the experience.
A week ago (3.30.21) I had a bit of a scare with my pregnancy. My midwives had planned a home visit to make sure they were familiar with our home and that we had all the necessary supplies ready for our home birth. When they checked on Baby Boy, his heart rate was lower than normal, when I stood up it dropped even lower. The midwives suggested a bio-scan with an ultrasound and a non stress test. I just casually assumed this was something to plan on a few days or next week. My midwife said, “No, we need to check on this now.” I immediately started to internally panic. It was Tuesday, thankfully Ryan had come home to be there during the midwife visit and to take the girls to gymnastics that evening. Ryan took the girls to their class and I left in his car behind my midwife. The drive there was about 30 minutes but it might as well been four hours. I texted a few friends that would pray for me. I called my sister to distract me so I wouldn’t cry the whole drive. The ultrasound was normal but the non stress test showed a lower heart rate. My midwife seemed concerned enough to schedule another ultrasound and non stress test later that week. The Saturday before Easter we checked on Baby once more. It was a much better heart rate, very happy and normal for him. It turns out I did not get enough water and food that day. I had not been taking care of myself. After that scare I decided that I needed to focus on my pregnancy and stay away from stress. The ultrasound also revealed that baby was measuring a week early which also made us kick our preparation into high gear. My due date is April 26th but measuring the 18th. We turned our Holy Week celebrations into a week of prayer and thanksgiving.
The day after our scare I was determined to take it easy and enjoy being outside with the girls. I love that Norah pretends to read in all the cozy places in the house. Mia and I were playing a game and I needed to roll a four to win, I told her I was going to let the baby bump roll for good luck and sure enough I bounced if off my tummy and rolled a four.
We found some garden boxes online and painted them with a jar of paint I’ve had for years. We had just enough. Ryan has been teaching the girls how to cut the sucker leaves off our tomatoes plants so that the blossoms will thrive. Mia has also obtained three more garden boxes from the neighbor to add to her collection. I didn’t want to ask but she was adamant. If anything Mia is resourceful. We recently used basil for pizzas and cilantro for guacamole out of the garden. Mia has been responsible for gardening and she has been doing an excellent job. She pulls out weeds and makes sure they get plenty of water. Madelyn helps when she can turn watering into a water fight.
One of my best friends treated the girls to a day at P-6 farms in Conroe. She wanted to take them so that I could rest but I just had to come along and witness all the fun. It was Norah’s first time to egg hunt and there were so many fun activities I would have missed seeing. They had a miniature horse race, a petting zoo with a baby goat and chicken named Roosevelt. Norah loved pumping the water through the pipes to see her duck race around and back to her. I am so blessed with friends that love and spoil me and my girls.
Norah was not quite sure what to do with the eggs but once she got the hang of it, it became the best game. The property is so beautiful and they are always finding ways to make it more fun. They have a fun house, rides that spin and a big jumping pillow. The girls loved the slides and monkey bars and just running around the property.
Mia and Madelyn wanted to make the outdoor sunrise Mass which started at 6am. They set their alarms for 5 and I awoke to Madelyn standing by our bed looming over her dad. The girls got dressed, made their own breakfast and even started our tea. We made it just before the readings. I brought breakfast of mandarins and cereal for Norah and a blanket to keep warm. It was 48 degrees when we woke up. The cool temperature and the fact they were tired made for the best church behavior. They cuddled each other to stay warm and there was barely a peep heard from any of them. We came home and ate a big breakfast and Norah and I napped at around 10am.
We celebrated with friends for dinner. They spoiled us with ham, beef tri-tip, mashed potatoes and brussel spouts. Together we prayed a Divine Mercy Chaplet. There was a pineapple upside down cake for dessert. The kids enjoyed an egg hunt and a movie. It was such a fun evening relaxing with tea and conversations and Ryan playing guitar with our host. It seems our prayers for love and support for raising our family, multiply by the day.