Monday, December 24, 2007

Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus
Ex Maria virginæ, gaudete!

Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born
Of the Virgin Mary, rejoice!

Tempus adest gratiæ
Hoc quod optabamus,
Carmina lætitiæ
Devote reddamus.

It is now the time of grace
That we have desired;
Let us devoutly return
Songs of rejoicing.

Deus homo factus est
Natura mirante,
Mundus renovatus est
A Christo regnante.

God has become man,
And nature marvels;
The world has been renewed
By Christ who is King.

Ezechielis porta
Clausa pertransitur,
Unde lux est orta
Salus invenitur.

The closed gate of Ezechiel
Has been passed through;
Salvation is found there,
Whence the light rises.

Ergo nostra cantio,
Psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino:
Salus Regi nostro.

Therefore let our choir
Now sing a hymn in purification
Let it give praise to the Lord:
greetings to our King.

Blessed Christmas to all!

Anna's snappy grinch of a post.

SOrry to vent a bit here but with my last trip out into the holiday madness of the grocery store put me out me over the edge a bit.

So EVERYONE I tell that I have a Christmas due date, particularly ladies in the grocery store, tell me how horrible it will be for this poor babe to have a birthday around Christmas time and how he or she will grow up as a deprived child because they won't have the full lime-light on their "special day." Well true, if birthdays are celebrated as the narcisstic extravaganzas that they are in our cutlture, than certainly one would feel a bit put out having to share their moment of glory with oh, say, only the most important human EVER in the history of mankind.

Sure it gives mom more to do during the Christmas season, always having a birthday to prepare for in addition to everything else but I can't think of a more beautiful, peaceful or divine season of year to be born other than the Christmas season. All my siblings but me were born in the Christmas season and I always loved having all the birhday parties around Christmas time with all the decorations up. In fact, it fit perfectly with the festivity of the season.

Additionally I find it interesting that the old European tradtion is to celebrate one's feast day or "name day" as a birthday with cake, presents etc. In fact the opposite of the current birthday madness. Instead of "glory be to me" the child is immediatley made aware of the veneration of the saint under whose patronage they have been established.

After all, its not like thousands of people don't all have the same birthday as me or those ladies at the grocery store or anyone else for that matter.

So while this pregnancy continues I only get happier knowing that this child will most likley have a birthday some time in the Christmas season. .. . .hope I haven't ruined everyone's Christmas eve with my rantings. . . .

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No baby yet, but my mom is coming Sunday and I can't wait to see her.

I had this strange dream that Matthew Gelise read my blog and sent me pugliese bread. Isn't that strange? What can it mean?

I don't know but my mom told me she would bring me a panetone, salami, and smooth smooth beautiful lavazza coffee when she comes from California bearing all the wonderful italian foods. I wanted to ask her to bring me an almond torta from the Victoria bakery in San Francisco ( not visist site if hungry) which is absolutley divine. It has a layer of rasberry jam at the bottom. But I didn't have the guts after asking her to bring out all the other stuff. Besides you can ORDER it from their website and they will ship it to you! SWEET! This is the same bakery that made my parents wedding cake too.

I spent the morning doing all kinds of fun crafts with the girls. We made a little gnome and a pretty angel out of wool batting and yarn for the new baby. My midwife had to cancel the pre-natal this week because she had a birth which was great because i didn't have to drive all the way down to Rockville for the check-up.

In other news I finally watched "Into great Silence" the documentary on the lives of the Carthusian monks at the Chartreuse monastary in the French Alps. All it takes is to watch this film, in all its silence, and quietude (no narrarator-no talking) to give you the best argument in the world for that absolute validity and necessity of the cloistered life for the greater Church. Probably the only reason modern Catholics question the value of this vocation in a time when the church is in such need of active vocations is the same reason the church has a lack of active vocations. In the austerity of the cloistered life, particularly that of the Carthusians there is a beauty so profoud that it gives us a glimpse of the peace and intense joy of the world that is so come.

Our culture bombards us with the message that this world is all there is, and when it gets right down to it you can live your life every day as if this world IS it or if it is NOT. The holy brothers of the Chartreuse definitley live their lives by that latter thesis and wow. . . . it is truly amazing.

Meanwhile i await the new baby who will soon end his or her great silence as soon as he gets some air in his lungs. What a starting feeling that must be.

Full moon is the 23rd. . . . .

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just so I don't break a promise here is the sourdough.

The other day I thought i was in labor and thank goodness it wasn't the real deal because there was nothing to eat in the house. So today I made three lasagnas and two loaves of bread and got a little decorating done to boot. Perhaps I am having that final rush of nesting energy. Okay baby, just come next tuesday or wendesday. That would be perfect. . . . . otherwise I think I want an after Christmas baby.

I went down to the midwife on tuesday and afterward went to this Amish bulk foods store with my sister-in-law. I asked if they had any butter in the back for sale as I was told that they carried raw butter. They did. The stuff is beautiful and bright yellow and only three bucks a pound!!!! Marvelous. Anyway it is always a bit surreal to be around the Amish. I just know if i could ever be part of a religion that is so lacking in images and feasting but I will take off my hat to anyone who sells raw butter on the black market and stubbornly refuses to own a car. Just tonight we were putting our kids in the car, in the cold, fiddling with the carseats, etc., and Ben is always two steps away from getting rid of ours, at moments like that. . . .

I swear in two hundred years the midwest will be entirley populated by Mexicans and the Amish. Just bring on the mariachi barn raisings (hold the tequila.)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My stove is fixed! I baked a cake! Happy feast of the Immaculate Conception!

We had a rather hectic day. We did mass seperatly today because, well, it was one of those rare days where it was a good idea. I went to St. Mary's because they had a noon mass and this lady sitting in front of me had really crazy shoes and I thought, wow, those are like Sheila Klinker shoes, and it actually turned out to BE Sheila Klinker!!!!!!!! How odd.

Anyway I saw John and Katie Schaeffer at mass and then later in the evening when I put my cake in the oven I called them to see if they would like to come share it with us, which they did and it was really fun to talk to them. Their son is so cute too and he seemed to really play well with Zita.

I also went and bought a cute little dresser at an antique store on Main street so now the baby's things are finally neatly folded and put away and I can't beleive how much releif that gives me. Ben asked me if I was going to go into labor now that I had a dresser for the baby. That made me laugh.--which is historically what really throws me into labor. So anyway our little baby now occupies six or seven square feet of our tiny apartment which is a wonderful feat of compacting of which i am quite proud, having limited it to the dresser, the moses basket and the diaper pail.

Why is it that cranky old ladies ALWAYS work at thrift stores? I really liked the lady at the Front Royal Salvation army who had just started working there. She must be the only happy, upbeat middle-aged woman in the world who works in a thift store. She deserves some kind of award.

Lastly here are the last of the belly shots as I am behind. THe first is seven months, the last eight. Look how much huger I am now! Sorry this first picture is tilted so all you folks in neck braces will be cursing the heavens. . .

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Okay I promise nothing about labor or birth in this post. Promise.

My third batch of sourdough bread is in the oven right now. This in itself is a feat because the aparment oven has so many issues. I keep having to relight the damn thing with a match because it is always turning itself off, in addition to the fact that the spring to the door is broken so I duct tape it closed (ahh, duct tape, is there anything it can't do?) and then rig up this apparatus involving a chair to brace it closed. Yes I have no right to complain. I could have rented an aparment with a normal stove but instead I had to have to one oozing with charachter and all broken. But that's me.

I have to admit the contraption is pretty old and any stove from the world war two era still happily baking away deserves some degree of respect in an age of planned obslessence. Still--it is rather a love/hate relationship we have, that stove and I.

We had our first snow last night and it was really pretty this morning. It made me miss our woods in the snow out in Virginia, it always looked so pristine out the kitchen window. But the girls and I had a nice little snow walk and they spent twenty minute intervals out in the little tiny yard next to the aparment tearing about in the snow.

I'd better go tend to things. I hear some chaotic yells comming from the bathroom. And I know I misspelled "obslessence" and probably ten other words. I can never find spell check. . .

Monday, December 3, 2007

Another birthing post. Dang it.

Advent is upon us! Hooray! This is the BEST time of year. I just love it--AND it is supposed to snow tomorrow night. Hooray!

Man I really REALLY can't abide Rikki Lake but this does look interesting. There is a preview you can download and watch if you can stand watching snobby Rikki Lake(yuck) --- ( in a cowboy hat too-double yuck).

(caution: there is some labouring footage and one a bit exposed breastfeeding shot---I just don't want to scandalize anyone--particularly sensitive little ones who may be looking over mom's shoulder- or people who are in general more sensitive to that kind of thing )

Can you all tell what is on my mind today? Because sometime in the next five weeks or so we are going to have another one around and the reality is beginning to hit again. I am so exited to see this little stranger!

Ben took me out for a really REALLY nice dinner at the Bistro and a Mozart concert at the Long Center. It is always nice to have a last hurrah before the baby comes.

Okay well I didn't want this whole post to be about birthing but it practically is. DANG it. That is such a pregnant lady thing to to.