Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

We dressed Grace up like a bowl of candy corn today! Around here, trick-or-treaters don't come... the little kids get dressed and go to Halloween parties! The big kids do too - my neighbors sound like they're having a party!

My MIL and SIL are down here visiting, and we'll be having our own party tonight. It's been really fun having the extra company and help. Food too! My SIL is cooking and the kitchen smells heavenly...

Will has an interview in Baton Rouge tomorrow, so he's off cavorting with other applicants, residents and attendings! He'll be home tomorrow in time for All Saints' Day mass; my FIL will be down here by then too! I'm starting to research how to better live liturgically - perhaps by celebrating our favorite saints? Then mass again on All Souls' Day for our dearly departed? I'll write more on this soon.

Family picture before Will left to drive to an interview (dinner)
Today is also my little brother John's big 16th birthday! He's unreachable for a birthday sing until Sunday - he hopped on a bus to Tennessee today for a big regatta in TN tomorrow! He'll be in four boat. My brother Michael's girlfriend Lilah will also be racing there tomorrow at the collegiate level - prayers for both of them and their teams to rock their races!!

Love my little family!
I hope y'all have a wonderfully spooky evening! Do the Monster Mash!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

As I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Good night, sweet one month old! It's been an adventure already. You certainly keep your dad and me living on the edge!

Tummy time for all now!

And to all, a good night!

Friday, October 25, 2013

#7QT: Hey Jealousy

Apparently it is Friday... I am losing all track of the days. Thanks to Jen, Cari & co. for keeping "it" going! (psst, look at Cari's awesome post about her awesome book)


Okay, I am giving myself 15 minutes to write this post as Will paces back and forth with Miss Fussykins, a.k.a. Grace Harriet, the newest member of the Baldwin Bunch. (Birth story here for those late to the game!)

This morning, I woke up with the newest emotion to add to my "new mom emotion spectrum": jealousy. I was wildly jealous of how Grace just plopped to back to sleep after her morning feedings because "someone" kept me up till 2 a.m.

Instead of getting mad, I sang this song instead:

I saw them in concert a few years ago with my cousin Sarah... it was free, and awesome. Grace and I also jump in the car, but the cops don't chase us around. I also thought his song was "Hey Jessie" growing up, but we all know Rick Springfield already tapped that for a title.


If you want delicious reads to appear in your inbox each day, may I recommend subscribing to Prufrock: Books, Art, Ideas by Micah Mattix via The American Conservative? Just lovely. Subscribe here!


In college, my Latin professor loved telling us that at school, you could study, sleep or socialize - that is, pick two out of those three. I hated that advice, but maybe because my socialization usually fell through the cracks - clubs, newspaper writing, Kappa, eating, etc.

Now that I am an adult, I wonder: what are the three things one can do in a day, and then pick two of them? I've decided it's clean - write - take care of baby. (Coffee, eating and sleep are non-negotiable!)

What are your three?


In honor of Blessed John Paul II's feast day on October 22:


If someone told you they were considering converting to Catholicism and asked you to weigh in, what would you say? A friend asked me this week. Now, I've been blessed to have a couple friends convert and talk me through their thoughts, and pray with them, and pray for them. But every person is different, and so my answer is never quite the same... but it always comes back to the Eucharist for me. The whole of life stems from that, what it means, and our physical encounter with Christ.

Perhaps that is why my favorite part of mass is, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed."


In a fit of exhaustion earlier this week, after finally settling Grace down for her nap, I threw myself on the bed and my glasses broke. Join me in mourning the loss of my dear friends.

I know Grace; I'm really sad too!

Annnnnnnd Grace is still sobbing. But here's a cute picture of her to go! My friend Kate got her a "Future Senator" hat.

Her dad doesn't want her to go into politics; I think she looks smashing in pink!
Oh! Oh! For those who live in places where it is perpetually summer, how do you celebrate Fall?? I miss the leaves changing colors...

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wanting/Needing: Baby Edition

Keeping it simple - it's a mantra to embrace, especially after surviving two moves post-wedding (with another one or two in a few years). When my husband and I added our belongings together, it seemed easy enough. We had minimal "things" collectively, and got to add on what we needed and were given through our wedding registry. We fit all our worldly possessions into a small uhaul and three cars, and voila! Here we are today.

Adding a baby to the mix has added a brand-new element of our "Do we need this? What are the baby's wants?" My husband is the Master of Less Is More, so I've had to justify every baby item we have in the house. Here's what I've deduced so far for infants only; as you get to know your baby, you can better know what they "need"!

2-3 newborn onesies
2-3 newborn sleepers
You will get so many clothes... especially from doting grandparents and friends. We did not find out the gender, so we have neutral clothes that work great. Also, unless have a baby bigger than 9 lbs, I would not worry about the baby not fitting into newborn sizes. 0-3 will be big on your baby, however, until 1-3 months, unless you have a bigger baby.

Nap time in the sleeper
1 Fisher-Price newborn rock 'n play sleeper
This sleeper is perfection - it fits newborns (and up!); it is safe to keep the baby in; the baby can sleep at an incline; the sleeper should fit next to the bed fine, and then you (mama!) do not have to get out of bed every time baby needs to feed. It is also very reasonably priced. I've heard of people using Pack 'n Plays as well.

You'll get these as presents. Lots of these. Wrap up that sweet thang.

1 car seat
You cannot leave the hospital without one! There are two options - convertible car seats and infant car seats + base. We currently use the latter with the former in storage.

1 stroller
Yes! I have this one - Baby Trend Snap 'n Go, which we use her car seat at the carrier and there is ample room below to carry groceries in; and as someone who lives in the city and walks to the grocery store with the baby, it really is invaluable. Yes, it has a cup holder too. I also found this snazzy Baby Jogger City Mini with car seat adaptability that looks awesome as well!

1 BabyErgo + newborn carrier
Serious love for this carrier - you can still use both hands and baby gets swaddled up so cozy. Helps calm fussy babies!

2 round pacifers
Babies like to suckle, and if your baby has a good latch, go for it. Seriously. They advise not before one month... I started a week or so in, just to calm Grace down. Her latch is still great and she loves it. I recommend round because that is the shape babies know in their little mouth; Grace would not take the contoured kind.

Her natural habitat
A sense of humor and patience
Oh honey, you'll need it!

1 Contoured Changing Pad
1-3 changing pad covers (I love anything aden + adais)
I was inclined to put this in the "need" category because I love ours so much, but I will concede that a fluffy towel will work just as well.

Toys, books and music
Baby don't care. Yet. The only amusement baby wants is to be held. That being said...

1 baby swing
Very nice and handy when you want to shower or clean up the kitchen or need a break. I love it when Grace falls asleep in it!

Crib, mattress, waterproof mattress pad, sheets
Grace won't be sleeping in hers for another couple months since she sleeps next to us. I know it's fun to set up the nursery, though! I like having our crib ready for action.

Changing table + dresser
Grace's dresser has space for her changing pad, which I treat as her changing table. That is upstairs, though, and since she is with us, the changing pad is on top of a flat surface in our room and her clothes are in a cute plastic box. She's all ready to move up there but, again, it certainly is not an immediate need. And really, if we had not been given the dresser, we might have improvised.

Bath tub, baby wash clothes & towels
Technically, you can always get by using adult ones (but the baby ones are much softer, so I like them) and washing the baby in/near the sink. My friend has this little bathtub and I might buy it for Grace too! It seems great!

Rocking chair
Honestly, you'll probably prefer the couch anyways.

1-3 nursing sleep bras
Invest in bras that can adjust cup sizes - I recommend wireless, too. I am 98% sure this is the one I have and I love it.

2+ boxes of nursing pads
I like Lansinoh's because they have adhesive on the back to stick to your bra... it's the little things.

4-6 boxes of newborn diapers + wipes
They eat a lot; they poop a lot. Shazam. You change their diaper a lot. I am not in the cloth diaper camp. I have changed too many poopy diapers in my day to want to do anything besides throw them away. Also, if your baby gets poop on anything, buy Biz detergent. Miracles happen, I tell you!! I love this product.

Boppy/ pillows
Super handy while nursing and falling asleep/ resting 

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, books on tape... good luck reading (though I still try). Baby requires all hands on deck for optimal happiness!
Mom and I got gelato at Fresh Market - yum!

Have easy to prepare foods available for you, especially nutrient-full. Since you won't be moving too much, unhealthy foods will weigh you down and you'll be extra tired. You will want all the nutrients you can eat for energy and your baby! My favorites: eggs, oatmeal, fruits & vegetables, Chobain greek yogurt, Kind bars, Progresso soup.

Postpartum clothes
Don't buy too many. I prefer my pregnancy shirts to my nursing shirts. I love my yoga pants, but anything remotely comfy works.

1 keepsake box
I got mine at Michael's for $2; I put all the cards sent to Grace, stuff from the hospital, her ultrasounds, etc.

A good filing system
Start keeping track of all your baby's health records, milestones, insurance, social security card, etc.! And request two birth certificates at the hospital, if possible.

Pump, etc.
If you're going back to work. I have yet to try mine out; no real rush here.

Baby shampoo/ body wash; rubbing alcohol + cotton pads; Vitamin D supplement drops
Got to keep Baby clean and healthy! I also have Little Remedies gripe water for Grace's hiccups.

Thank you notes
For all the presents bebe will receive!

Never, ever, ever, ever let anyone take this away from you, new mama. EVER.

What baby really wants and needs - one on one time with you!
Anything I missed?

Mighty thanks to Anna for the inspiration/ asking the question!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Lion Sleeps Tonight (And Other Infant Tales)

This week, I made the decision: I was going to go to confession.

I have not been since a few weeks before Grace was born, and was looking forward to the soul-cleansing; the more I've been physically healing from child-birth, the more I've been aching for confession. I made the decision to go. I planned out my day accordingly. We cleaned up the apartment, had friends stop by, ate meals, watched a few more Poirot episodes (my current indulgence), tried to nap with Grace, and went to the grocery store for the week.

We got back and put the food away. I popped Grace into her car seat and off we drove to the church, just in time for communion. Whoops. We were an hour late to confession.

Yet, I still served my penance (partly). Grace cried - nay, wailed - the whole drive over. And tonight, Miss Fussykins was not wholly satisfied with the service provided her. I held her and carried her and fed her. Will changed her and walked her and bounced her. We swaddled her and repeatedly stuck the binky in her sweet mouth and cooed love. I can successfully type that she is now asleep and the article I've been working on the past two days is still not complete.

Oh well. The every day can feel like a hamster wheel, or insignificant when you write out your to-do list and dutifully check the boxes. That all changed for me the day I had Grace. And I'm okay with that.

I used to think writing was my calling, and perhaps it still is. But I've lost a certain joy (and, truly, all sense of what "deadline" means in the world outside) and I'm working on re-claiming my love of words. Grace is breaking me in a completely different way than ideas ever could- grasping my heart and soul, making me re-evaluate how I'm living every day to make sure I'll be the best mother for her. For all that Will is and how he makes me want to be the best possible woman and wife, Grace is round two in my personal sanctification.

St. Vincent Ferrar said, "Whatever you do, think not of yourself, but of God." I certainly think of God when I'm stressed and feel like the maid ("I just cleaned up this mess!"). I try to say my morning and mass prayers with Grace, and evening prayers with Will. I am patient with Grace's crying as I know God is so, so, so, so patient with me - comforting and loving - even if she (and I) have to cry it out a bit before seeing reason (or the binky). And yes, I get frustrated and absent-minded too.

But what is life otherwise? How else can we seek God if we are not constantly feeling the need to fall on our knees in thanksgiving or contrition? What say you, dear reader?

Fine, I wish I had not been late to confession and finished my article. But I'm enjoying baby snuggles and a husband who makes me laugh and shows me all the good, and the small, mundane blessings that don't deserve their own blog post. Like sleep. Which I am in desperate need for more, so au revoir! Until my next ramble, ramble, ramble.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Grace Harriet's Birth Story: The First

Those uninterested in the gory and glory details, don't read on... for the rest of you, enjoy!

In the beginning... of my full term week.

At my 40 week appointment on Monday, September 23, I waddled into my doctor's office and was hooked up the external fetal heart monitor, which measured my contractions (there, but small) and I got checked for dilation again.

I had been 1.5 for the past 3 weeks, and when my doctor said I was "almost 2" (after I asked, "Am I 2 yet?!?"), I replied, "WOOHOO!" (There may have been a fist pump too.) Will said that meant I was 1.75 cm. I took my victory anyways.

As it was the day before my due date, my dear doctor said we could discuss an eviction notice on Thursday, when I was to come in next. If that was the case, Grace could have been evicted on September 28, a Saturday, since her Dad was going to be traveling to an interview the following week. Many people have opinions on inducing labor, but I do not. I know babies can take up to 43 weeks to be born. I also do not know if I actually would have agreed to induce labor, but I certainly entertained the idea.

The next day!

September 24! Bebe's due date! Came and went with a deluge of Monk episodes and a pancake party.

The 12 Labors of Hercules ain't got nothing on contractions

I had been up half the night due to persistent Braxton-Hicks pains across my abdomen - dullish, but kept they me awake. I had insomnia for a majority of my third trimester and got up early for me, feeling sluggish and wanting breakfast. I didn't eat much, talked to my in-laws about an hour later, and told them that I wasn't feeling like today was the day. I watched Monk, worked on a writing project, and looked up what real labor pains were, and how to recognize them.

The one that caught my eye was lower back pain. I ate a small lunch and proceeded to go to the bathroom at least a dozen times. I started feeling ill and unable to focus on Monk. I had been gchatting with my sister Katie and told her I couldn't type any more, and that I'd talk to her later. That's when the back pains started. Then the contractions.

I cannot emphasize enough that YOU WILL KNOW when you are having a contractions. The first time I had Braxton-Hicks back in April, they scared me. I had never felt pain in my abdomen before; I was worried I was miscarrying. As the months went on, they resembled strong menstrual cramps. They hurt but are manageable. Sometimes I had to sit down and clutch my stomach, but, again, manageable.


Fortunately, Will had the piece of mind to start timing them. If you have an iPhone, I really recommend the "laps" feature on the clock app. While I was having contractions, I could barely click the "lap" button, let alone see what time it was between sets.

After an hour of contractions lasting between a minute and two (okay, definitely 4-1-1 here), I called my OB's office. They said to come in to be checked. I called my doula Chelsey so she could arrive within the hour. I'm glad I was already packed - Will loaded up the car as I moaned on the bed. I also took a hot shower before we left for the hospital, which may have been one of my best decisions of the day.

Hospital, here we come!

Will dropped me off in front of the medical office building to see my OB and I waddled inside, clutching my belly. I signed in and sat down in a chair and practiced breathing. All the pregnant women (and some significant others) stared at me. The lady next to me asked me if I was okay.

Oh yes, I said. I'M JUST IN LABOR. (Emphasis mine.)

She asked if I wanted water. I declined. She had obviously not gone into labor yet. I was saved by more awkward conversation making (why???) by the nurse calling me back. My doctor was at the desk in the front, and he gave me the "Are You SURE You're In Labor?" smirk. I told him to stop smirking at me; that this was for real. (And just in case you get the wrong impression, I adore my OB - we have an excellent relationship! Hence my sassiness.)

I was strapped up to the fetal heart monitor again, and was checked for dilation again. Hello, almost 4 cm. To the hospital I go!

Fortunately, my doctor called ahead. Unfortunately, there were no beds.

Will and I had met Chelsey outside the hospital, and I was having a rough time with my contractions. She started helping me with breathing exercises and encouraging me to stop moving when I felt a particularly painful one. As there were no beds yet available, the nurses put me in a wheelchair and sent be in the waiting area. I feel particularly bad that all the visitors waiting had to witness me moaning and crying through my contractions, but I did what I had to do!

For those who are interested in a doula (or learning more), I cannot more highly recommend one. My SILs "gave" me Chelsey's services as a baby shower gift, and it was one of the best presents I've ever received. She helped me visualize my contractions as a wave, with a peak, and help me know that each one would end as well as begin. She held me while I cried (Will had to run out to re-park the car and get our bags since we didn't know whether my doctor was actually going to send me into L&D); she encouraged me and acknowledged by pain and helped me slow my breathing down. She had me smell this orange-y essential oil and gave me a ball to squeeze. Will was my rock during the whole process, and Chelsey was my motivator! Labor is definitely a team effort.

Will and me, and his bag of Wheaties - we packed the essentials!
By the time they had a room for me, I had gone up to six cm. And oh thank God, in came the anesthesiologist. Chelsey thinks I could have gone all the way naturally, but that epidural was heaven-sent. I have no qualms about pain relief. The only downside was Will and Chelsey were both not allowed in the room while they gave it to me. Fortunately, Maria the nurse agreed to hold my hand.

Needs for hospital: zip up hoodie, thick socks. I was freezing cold post-epidural because of the saline.

Baby's heartbeat and contractions!
The next few hours were great - I was relaxed and could talk and laugh easily. Chelsey and I chatted while Will studied; I called my parents and in-laws; I was not able to sleep. The baby's heartbeat was strong and the contractions were steady. By the time midnight rolled around, I was ready to push.

Hanging out before the real fun began
The Gang's All Here

As I am married to a newly-minted M.D., I have a soft-spot for medical students and residents. When a nurse asked me if I would be okay having residents and med students come in and check on me, I said, The more, the merrier! (Or something like that.) While I might get embarrassed wearing a two-piece swim suit, I was insanely comfortable with my legs propped up and medical personnel looking at me, or rather, my lady area. Why? Because it's their job. They're not oogling at me; they're there to learn, and if patients do not give them the opportunity to observe and practice, how can they become better doctors? (Hopping off my soap box now.)

My first 30ish minutes of pushing was especially hard, mostly because I've never had to push a baby out of me before, and pushing, in general, is hard. Also, about 30 minutes before I started pushing, I got a terrible pain in my left upper thigh. It turns out, I had a hot spot where the epidural did not numb me. For better and for worse, I knew exactly when to push. Believe me when I say, the pain I felt in that one concentrated area reminded me of the beauty of modern medicine and made me swear I would never-ever-ever go natural, if I could help it.

I'm also a person who laughs and makes awkward jokes while she feels awkward (hello, legs up!) or needs to feel distracted, so between contractions, I was named coolest patient ever (direct quote) and they even laughed at my jokes, God bless 'em. By the time my doctor showed up, I was ready for labor to be over. Chelsey kept telling me to relax my face, and the resident would have preferred I grunted less, but oh well. I did try...! So much pain. I also focused on Will and held his hand. He's the best, and I tell him so quite often.

The baby's head was observable for a decent chunk of my pushing time, which did not help my morale. I couldn't believe she had hair already! (Maybe that's where my heartburn came from?) Or that her head was poking out and every time I pushed, she wasn't coming out any faster. I swear the nurse kept telling me "One more time!" as she counted to 3 (and sometimes 4) big pushes per contraction, but no one remembers that like I do. My doctor kept telling me to push "differently" and I timidly asked for ice water - I was so dehydrated. Finally, after an hour and a half of pushing, I told everyone that I couldn't do it any more, and everyone told me I could. One push later, Miss Grace Harriet Baldwin came out into the bright world!

She had very expansive lungs. She also had very impressive APGAR scores: 9 and 10. Chelsey says it is because my doctor pushed the blood from her umbilical cord up to her body immediately after birth. Will cut the cord, and they placed that beautiful screamer on top of me. I didn't cry like I thought I would, but I was also terribly exhausted and so, so, so, so very glad to meet my baby.

Hello, bebe!
September 26, 2013 at 1:29 a.m.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


It's the weekend. And what a looooovely weekend it's been too.

  • My sister Katie is home from Africa today! She's also the birthday girl today. Wish her a good one.
  • Carrots for Michaelmas blogger Haley's husband Daniel wrote an awesome response about kids bringing the party to church.
  • Rod Dreher asked his readers to recommend 3 books about one religion, and list in order of preference. Here is Leah's response (and more background) and now, here are mine:
    • An Affair to Remember by Graham Greene (fiction)
    • The Imitation of Christ by St. Thomas a Kempis
    • Introduction to Christianity by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (as Joseph Ratzinger)
  • Comedian vs. Smart Phone - the saga continues at TIC. 
  • How do you like my new blog look? Because I am actually very happy with it... and I did it! (With a friendly thanks to my friend Kate for helping me with re-sizing the header picture.)
  • Talk to me about meat for dinner. What kind of meat dishes do you like? How do you decide? Do you think it's worth buying meat at Whole Foods/Fresh Market vs. "regular" grocery stores? How much of your budget (% or $$) do you allot for meat?
Love so great for a person so small...
And now, an excerpt of a reflection by Pope Francis (as Jorge Bergoglio) on the lepers' encounter with Jesus (today's Gospel is Luke 17:11-19); as found in October's Magnificat (emphasis mine):

Everything in our life, today just as in Jesus' time, begins with an encounter. ... 
We cannot understand this dynamic of encounter which brings forth wonder and adherence if it has not been mercy. Only someone who has encountered mercy, who has been caressed by the tenderness of mercy, is happy and comfortable with the Lord. ... 
In front of this merciful embrace...we feel real desire to respond, to change, to correspond; a new morality arises. ...Christian morality is simply a response. It is the heartfelt response to a surprising, unforeseeable, "unjust" mercy... The surprising, unforeseeable "unjust" mercy...of one who knows me, knows my betrayals and loves me just the same, appreciates me, embraces me, calls me again, hopes in me, and expects from me. This is why the Christian conception of morality is a revolution; it is not a never falling down but an always getting up again. ... 
Jesus is encountered, just as two thousand years ago, in a human presence, the Church, the company of those whom he assimilates to himself, his Body, the sign and sacrament of his Presence. ...It is a question of starting to say "You" to Christ, and saying it often. It is impossible to desire it without asking for it. And if someone asks for it, it is because in the depths of his being he feels attracted, called, looked at, awaited...There from the depths of my being, something attracts me toward Someone who looked for me first, is waiting for me first.
I hope you all are enjoying a blessed weekend!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

What the Opposite of Insomnia? Zombie Land.

When I was pregnant with Grace, I had insomnia, even while taking sleep medications. It was positively horrible. I was so tired that I couldn't do anything but think about how tired I was. I would try to pray the rosary, but forget where I was (usually counted on my fingers) or how to say the prayers. I would get up to work, bur be too tired to read or write. It was a fate worse than death - tired and unproductive by day and night.

So, pretty much preparing me for a normal life post-Grace.

Monday: Grace was awake between 2-4 a.m. As I fed her and burped her and changed her diaper (twice) and paced around the six steps between our bedroom door and the outside wall), I wondered, Why you were still awake?

Wednesday: Grace cried for 3-4 hours for seemingly no reason. Fortunately, before bed. 

No! Not my gum drop buttons!
Friday: We're having another crying day. She cried with her Dad. She cried with her Mom. She cried in the 10 minute drive to pick up Will from class, only to promptly fall asleep for the next two hours. After dinner, Miss Fussykins and I walked to Wal-Mart to look for a new day planner (no success, but Christmas decorations are out!), and she fell asleep. She's awake again, so this post will be short.

Her, earlier. I'm savoring that moment.
The opening to this morning's Psalm was Isaiah 28:8 - The Lord God will wipe away/ the tears from all faces. I laughed when I read that - thank you Lord! I need a good wiping too!

Grace is officially 15 days old today. She's expanded our hearts in so many ways, and stretched me further than I thought I could handle. When I was asked today "what I do all day", I said that my day starts around 3 a.m., when I feed Grace and change her diaper. Back to sleep. Then 6 a.m., when I feed Grace and change her diaper. Maybe sleep? (Will gets up around then; I'm toying with daily mass in the morning vs. before lunch.) Same for 9 a.m., etc. and all the way till the evening, when she goes to sleep for a few hours before her 3 a.m. wake-up call.

My mom left this morning, so this week will be our first alone - just Will, Grace and me. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law will be down in a week or so, but I already miss my mom (and not just because she fixed me an omlette every morning, made sure I ate plenty of vegetables, and believes strongly in dessert). She reminded me to nap and to suppress my "busy bee gene". She helped me not feel overwhelmed when Grace refused to be soothed. She carried Grace, changed her diapers, gave her baths, showered Grace with love, and introduced her to the "No Such Thing As Too Many Pictures" family motto.

Okay, you caught me. Binky to the rescue!
I'm so tired now. I can fall asleep and stay asleep. Tonight, on our quest for a new day planner, I could have sat down and snoozed for a few minutes. I walked around in a daze, jealous of Grace sleeping while being cuddled in the baby snuggly.

And it is such a good tired. The kind of tired after a good work-out; the kind of tired when you know you're doing a job well done. I'm tired, and I've never felt so fulfilled day after day. It really is amazing. I'm not totally organized - I did two loads of laundry and folded one - I did not make it to the grocery store - I'm still writing out thank you cards - I'm hopelessly behind on my real writing projects - I am content.

This evening's verse before the Canticle of Mary prayer is Acts 3:6 - Peter said, 'I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, [rise and] walk.'

The beauty of living out one's purpose, one's vocation, is that one's soul is happy. The work load may be heavy or tedious or crabby, but the reasons for your work is in its fruits. I still can't believe how blessed I am to be married to Will and doubly blessed with our daughter. God is so good, and works through all the cracks of our flaws and failures to lead us on the path of salvation.

I fully admit that I'm a bit terrified of being a stay-at-home mom. I'll still be writing and editing, but even that has taken a backseat through my rough pregnancy and now recovering postpartum time. My mom worked outside the home while I was growing up (her vocation is in medicine as well as being a mom!), so my main influence has been a work-home balance. Fortunately, most of my mom's side as well as my mother-in-law stayed home with her kids, so I'll have many sounding boards.

Friends, how do you walk in this life? Is there a hop in your step or do you drag your heels? Do you consider your job part of your vocation or more of a career which will you will gladly relinquish one day?

Annnnnnnnd she's asleep (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). And so I adieu, adieu, to you, and you, and you! This zombie needs to re-charge her batteries.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'm Gonna Scream! And Shout! And Let It All Out!

One week ago, I was in the worst pain EVAH. I was having contractions and was up to six cm. The epidural was coming soon...

BUT WAIT! This ain't no birth story. (I'll write one soon.) This is a birth announcement!

On September 26, 2013 at 1:29 a.m., my sweet baby Grace was born.

Right after they handed her to me

Grace and her Dad

Grace is the prettiest baby you ever did see!
Sorry for the radio silence - we've been enjoying our newest addition to the family.


Sleepy time

Grace Harriet Baldwin
To be continued!