Saturday, April 28, 2007

The imp is poking and prodding

17 weeks

I've been noticing the imp in this last week. (Not the OCD imp, but the baby imp). I will be so glad when I know whether this baby is a boy or girl so I can refer to it as he or she instead of it. Now that I am no longer so sick, I can't really legitimize calling it Baby Butthole anymore.

I have been feeling more and more movement and yesterday even started to feel pokes. They certainly aren't strong enough to be called kicks, and I'm not feeling them on both the inside and outside of my skin, but they are noticeable enough to make me go, "Hey, there is actually a baby in there."

Feeling movement is, for me, the best and coolest thing about being pregnant. I am my own little science experiment.

I have told D that if my interest in the color blue is any indication, then we are having a boy. Normally I do not like blue very much, but in the last 2 weeks I have purchased some blue paint, blue shoes and blue capris. Maybe this is my psyche's way of telling me it's a boy. Maybe my psyche figures if it does turn out to be a boy, I better get used to seeing the color blue and tolerating it better.

We'll know soon enough, I guess.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Pre-vacation preparations

I have recovered from the WDW guidebooks, I think. It took a couple days, but I feel like we may just be able to survive this after all.

Now I am in shopping and pre-packing mode. I don't actually pack for trips until about 11 pm the night before leaving, but I try to get all my shopping done well in advance. What I have determined about this trip is that most of my shopping thus far has been to purchase 1. things I should have owned anyway, like umbrellas or 2. necessities that I have just been too lazy to buy (socks) and have made do with the crappy ones I already own (the ones with holes).

N's clothing is ready to go. I have taken everything nice and cute out of her room so that I don't accidentally put her in it before we leave. Neither D nor I has as voluminous a wardrobe as N, which will require some washing prior to setting out.

Last night I made the mistake of trying on bathing suits. Both of my SILs passed along maternity suits, and I had some bikinis from pre-pregnancy days that I thought might still do the trick (at least this early in the pregnancy). I love my belly and, in general, feel like I'm in a very cute poochy stage, but seeing myself in a swimsuit really takes the wind out of my sails.

Yes, I know I tend to be on the thin side (at least when not pregnant), but some of this thinness is due to not having hips. I am stick-straight, which is apparent as soon as I put on a bathing suit in the summer or am butt naked. I know some women complain about their hips, but hips are useful for a lot of things, like keeping one from looking like she swallowed a small basketball when she is only 17 weeks pregnant (which is how I am looking now).

Anyway, I am just ready to get on with this. Time seems to be in drag-it's-ass mode. I am ready for the WDW experience.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What have I done????

A friend offered me her guide books on DisneyWorld, which I happily and gratefully accepted thinking they would help me prepare for and plan our upcoming trip.

Unfortunately, I discovered last night that these books have the same impact on me as reading WebMD----UTTER TERROR and DESPERATION! Dear God, what have I done in planning this thing? What was I thinking? (Basically, the same thoughts I have had upon becoming pregnant both times.)

You see, I am not a theme-park person. I get motion sick in the car, on a porch swing, sitting on a boat dock, and on certain elevators, so visiting amusement parks has never been, nor ever will be, high on my list of fun things to do. I go to amusement parks to see the decorations and shows, to ride the baby rides, and to eat elephant ears (and riding the rides is totally optional). This vacation is solely for N's benefit and enjoyment.

Prior to N, D and I used to have discussions about the horror of ever visiting DisneyWorld, and that we wouldn't do it until specifically asked by any child or children we might produce (and at the time of these talks, it seemed highly unlikely that said children would ever be conceived). Of course, as with all things kid-related, everything you swore you would or wouldn't do prior to being a parent becomes the crow you eat on a regular basis once you are a parent. I am currently eating DisneyWorld crow with lots of worcestershire sauce.

My thinking on this vacation prior to my reading last night been that N will be pretty damn thrilled just to be in DisneyWorld. She has no expectations (at least that she has voiced). If she can see some princesses, ride a few rides, see a few shows, a parade or two and a firework display, she will be thoroughly amazed, and the trip will have been a success. Actually, it would likely take a helluva lot less to amaze her and make the trip a success.

Unfortunately, these books are geared toward people who want to accomplish something, and perhaps that is why they terrify me. My whole notion of this trip has been easy going....we'll go with the flow, do what N wants to do because I don't really care. But after about 30 seconds of reading these books, I start to wonder whether I need a plan, an agenda, a strategy for riding rides and seeing things.

You see, my normal M.O. when taking a trip is to have a plan. Wherever D and I have gone I have wanted to see certain things. In Italy I was intent on seeing Michelangelo's David, the Sistine Chapel, the golden baptistry doors of Florence, St. Mark's Square in Venice. Had I not seen these, I would have been disappointed. In Savannah I wanted to see the cemetery from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In Greece, it was the Parthenon. But these were all places I had my own deep personal desire to see. My only reason for going to Disney is to see the joy in N's eyes and see her experience the excitement...that is from where my joy will sprout.

Of course, these guidebooks make it seem like you better be standing outside the gates of DisneyWorld at least 45 minutes prior to opening and be prepared to dash to get your FastPasses for whichever rides have wait times of 6 hours. And I guess for some rides this is the case, but I can't ride these because I'm pregnant, and wouldn't ride them even if I wasn't. And even if I wanted to get there early, I have a 3-year-old with me and a husband who takes longer than both his wife and child to beautify himself in the a.m. And even if we managed to get there early, I get winded nowadays walking to the mailbox, so even fast-walking to the FastPasses would require marathon-type training, which I certainly haven't been doing.

So I am having to breathe deeply and tell myself that we will be fine on this vacation if we just pace ourselves and rest when we need to and take a mid-day break most days. I am already worn out just anticipating Disney. I'm sure I'll be hospitalized with exhaustion by day 3.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Adventures in 3-year-old cool

Today some of my neighborhood friends and I got manicures and pedicures. After seeing my orange fingernails and toenails, N said, "I wish I had pink toenails." And the way she says it is like she has never been given anything in her life, not even a drink of water and she is parched for just one snippet of anything. So, of course, this means we must run to Target after supper to buy nail polish from the dollar bin. She sat on the couch with her daddy while mommy painted her nails, happily watching Curious George and feeling oh so grownup.

The picture below is why I don't buy expensive band-aids very often. I have tons of the dollar store cheapies, but they aren't quite as fun as the ones with pictures of Disney princesses or Backyardigans or Barbie.

It is funny the things that 3-year-olds do or want to do. It is also funny the things for which I will break out the camera to snap photos. Thank goodness for digital media.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Can't top this....

I like to think that I am just humorous as all get out, but nothing can top what came out of N's mouth this afternoon.

She and I had walked over to take Jack, Diane and Jessie, the resident donkeys who live just outside our neighborhood, some old, stale bread slices. After feeding them, she decided to run barefoot in the grass in the open spaces closer to our subdivision. I suggested she roll down the "sand hills" (which is what we call any hill we find and can roll down, courtesy of the Wiggles).

So down and over she tumbled, which soon resulted in the itchies. We headed back home to take a bath so we could go out to eat with daddy. It was after her bath while still naked that she hit me with it, perhaps the funniest and most gross thing she has ever said. She said, "Look mommy," and showed me that she had her thumb sticking in her butt. I said, "Now don't do that" (since we all know that I have issues with poop and, therefore, the place from which poop derives).

She replied, "My thumb doesn't taste good when it's in my heiney-butt."

I certainly can't verify her statement, since I think the last time I had my thumb in my heiney-butt I was probably 3 myself and have no memory of the act, but I'm going to take her word for it. This is one of those times I'm going to put my trust in what my kiddo says.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Love that girl

It is nice when I look at N and realize just how crazy I am about her.

When she was an infant I was a little too adoring of her...but I blame a lot of this on anxiety. Only I could do anything for her (feed her, soothe her, etc). If I wasn't involved in an activity or play with her, then it didn't actually count as being worthwhile. My adoration of her was certainly obsessive and bordered on smothering. It helped when she started in on tantrums. Nothing like a childhood fit to make you step back from the adoration to see your child for who they are: human.

I saw mother love as a perfect thing at first, a wholly unrealistic viewpoint, I now realize. Loving N meant never getting angry, frustrated, bored, tired, basically any negative kind of emotion. If I felt anything of that nature, I was instantly overwhelmed with guilt. "Does this mean I don't love her?" I wondered. Mothering her equaled being perfect, a skill I have longed for but never possessed.

So as she has gotten older and I've weathered my fair share of tantrums and fits, I've come to see mother love as what it really is: imperfect, delicate, fierce and unyielding. And sometimes it is all of these things all at once....a strange blend, especially for someone who tends to see the world in black or white. How can a mother's love be so complicated? And yet it is.

Given it's complexities, it is so nice when I just feel the simple adoration of my girl. When I just feel love for her and see her best qualities and find her funny and kind and wonderful.

Sometimes I am amazed by how beautiful a child she is. I think there is something gently striking about N (but I am, of course, totally biased). Sometimes when the 3 of us are together, I ask her daddy, "How did we get such a cute girl?" When she was a baby, I hoped that she would resemble me, but she is so much cuter than I ever was. I am so glad the power that is decided not to listen to my request. I never dreamed I'd have a blond curly-haired, blue-eyed girl.

Tonight D said something about could we imagine not having N, like had she never been born. It occurred to me how hollow I think of our lives prior to N. At the time, we thought we were full up with life, and we were because that is what we knew. It was enough because we knew nothing else. But then N came into the picture, and everything we knew became so much less important or completely unimportant.

I'm sure tomorrow, when it is rainy and I've cleaned the basement and been inside the house all day with N, I will wonder, "Do I even like this kid?," but right now, I am thinking about today's drive home from the park, as I looked in my rearview mirror at my daughter's face and thought, "God, I love that girl."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Creeping anxiety

Correction: In the post titled "Most Leadership," I noted that only illness or death are good enough reasons, in my humble opinion, to back out of something to which you have committed yourself. Let me add moving hundreds or thousands of miles away to this list. G, you know I adore you and hold your dear husband solely responsible for taking you away from me. :)

Ok, so here is the anxiety of the day. I am fretting over not feeling very pregnant anymore. My belly is still pooching, my boobs are still veiny and big, and I still have occasional bouts of nausea, but perhaps because I am not heaving over the slightest smells and on the couch non-stop, I wonder if I am really still pregnant.

The only thing I distinctly remember about N's pregnancy is feeling her kick when I was 21 weeks. I was sitting at my desk at school typing and felt her sock it to of those kicks that rattled the outside of my stomach skin. In her baby book I wrote down that I felt the butterflies at 14 weeks, but I don't know how often that happened or how movement changed in the following 6 weeks.

I'm not losing sleep over this (yet), but that little nagging voice is there. Oh, to be oblivious to everything.

My friend K and I used to have conversations about whether we'd prefer to be dumb and oblivious or as we are (intelligent and fretful). We always chose the way we are, but I sometimes have my doubts. Yes, folks in the former category make stupid, stupid, stupid choices a lot of the time, but frequent repeat stupid choices sort of implies one is oblivious to the fact that one is making stupid choices.

I know if I was able to trade psyches with someone else I would likely find my own to be far more "normal" and "stable" than I give it credit for being, but I just hate when an ugly anxiety creeps up sneakily and whispers.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Most Leadership

As a high school senior, I was voted "Most Leadership" by my fellow classmates. I had been itching to be voted "Most Likely to Succeed," so was actually a little disappointed when I received the other title. At the time this seemed like the best a surefire guarantee that success would be yours if the majority of voters thought you fit the role. Looking back now I realize that "Most Likely to Succeed" is too nebulous an honor to actually be worth anything: it doesn't actually name the traits that make one most likely to succeed. Is it charisma? Stamina? Knowledge? Strong work ethic?

My peer who won "Most Likely to Succeed" went on to drop out of veterinary school. Last I heard she was gainfully employed at a veterinary clinic, but certainly not in the "successful" capacity of vet. I guess being a former 6th grade Language Arts teacher and now stay-at-home mom wouldn't qualify me in the "successful" category either, had I been named "Most Likely to Succeed."

But that "Most Leadership" title. That actually had some value...perhaps because it put a name to what others saw in me and helped me recognize it more clearly in myself. Lord knows when I think of my accomplishments in life, which isn't often, I don't venture back to this "honor," but I am in the midst of a conundrum that for some reason got me thinking of leadership.

I am the president of my local moms club, a job which I have actually enjoyed this past year (for the most part). It felt like somewhat stimulating brain work, but it wasn't a huge time commitment, and it allowed me to work with some nice ladies.

However, with this pregnancy, I am eager to give it up. Given my anxiety problems after Norah's birth, I just don't know that I will have the mental capacity to handle the commitment, and if there is one thing I hate to do it is commit to something with which I can't actually follow through. If there is one thing I disdain it's someone who commits to something and then gives it up for a reason other than illness or death.

When I was in the midst of my nervous breakdown, I had to tell my former boss that I couldn't continue doing some work that I had told him I would do (although I had nothing unfinished--I just wouldn't be able to start anything new). He was quite understanding, but I felt like an unholy turd (of course, maybe this was partly the anxiety and depression making me feel that way).

Anyway, what frustrates me is that other chapter members don't seem to be stepping up. I guess I am frustrated that no one else seems to want to be "most leadership." Maybe it is too soon, but, God knows, I have sent out enough emails haranguing members about the role. And my biggest problem is that being the way I am, that over-the-top leader in me can't hardly stand the idea of there being no leadership, which then makes me think maybe I should continue to provide leadership WHEN I REALLY DON'T WANT TO!!!!

Nature, and obviously me, abhors a vacuum, so here I am thinking about filling the void with myself, again, for another year. And let me reiterate that I REALLY DON'T WANT TO. It is almost like a Jekyl and Hyde condition with me. Someone please keep me from hurting me!

Or maybe I have a savior complex...I have to "save" the chapter from itself and take on the cross of president.

Although I have worked very hard since high school to improve my leadership skills and have used them in a variety of ways with others, I think this is one of those times I have to lead myself to the best choice. Being a leader right now is about taking care of myself. I think this is likely one of the hardest things for a leader to learn: when to say no.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

OCD and lawn maintenance

I am one of those neighbors...the kind who poo-pooh the neighbors who have weeds in their flower beds and have bare spots in their mulch and who plant too many different kinds of plants without any semblance of order to their landscape. I don't poo-pooh them to other neighbors, just on the inside where only I know I'm poo-poohing them.

Mind you, I do not have an ab-fab yard. It is neat for the most part, but certainly not the English garden of my dreams. I simply have had neither the time nor money to create the yard I envision in my mind.

There are some neighbors who have immaculate yards. These folks are ALWAYS retired. Then there are the younger marrieds with children who keep neat, though not fancy yards. Then there are the people who's yards unscrew the cap on my repressed OCD urges and make me want to scream. Some of these yards are downright messes...rampant weeds in every flowerbed, shrubs and bushes growing into each other. Others are just poorly a modern-looking house with down-home country elements (a wheelbarrow, for example) interspersed with contemporary bonsai-like shrubbery. Some of these landscape features do not go with the others, and I can always tell which ones should be eliminated.

There is something about seeing yard disorder that drives me nuts. My yard is very much like who I am. The front yard is simple....rocked beds with evergreens, and in the summer I have a pot or 2 of flowering annuals. Neat, presentable, not overly done...kind of how I think I present myself initially to outward appearance. And then there is the backyard, which is unfinished, but certainly more relaxed than the front yard...kind of how I see my inside self. There is the English garden dream, but it is a work in progress. I would like for myself to be more free, more relaxed, more natural, the way I think of an English garden.

Of course once I start obsessing about yards, then I start thinking about all the other things I notice about houses, like siding that needs to be power-washed, crooked mini-blinds in a garage, a downspout that has come unattached from the side of the house. And don't even get me started on the things I see inside houses when I am on a binge like this: spiderwebs in corners, a slight chip in paint, a cracked tile. Let it be known that I do the same thing in my own house. I have only just recently gotten to a point where I can take a picture off the wall and hang another picture over the hole I left without first patching, priming and repainting the tiny dot of a hole first. Just knowing there was a tiny hole underneath a picture caused me anxiety.

It is really a shame my OCD just makes me notice disorder rather than making me a great detective or forensic scientist or something useful like that. All it makes me is a really annoying neighbor whom no one wants to invite over.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Craving a time of not-craving

With N I never craved anything...aside from basic nutritional sustenance when my ob just about allowed me to starve in the final third of my pregnancy (no one should lose 7 lbs while pregnant thereby making their entire weight gain a mere 11 lbs. Yes, I am still bitter over this and refuse to let it happen again).

This pregnancy is all about cravings, which means I am carrying a....what??? Is there any old wives' tales about this?

Early on, I wanted Arby's beef & cheddar sandwiches and burgers. Protein, protein, protein. Lately all I've wanted is Kroger Derby City chicken salad and strawberries. I've probably sucked down 4 lbs of strawberries in the last week and a half. In the last day or so I've been daydreaming about when watermelons will come in season.

I cannot tolerate any kind of sweets---pies, cookies, cake, ice cream. D and I took N last weekend (before the temperatures plummeted to near-Arctic records) to the frozen custard place. I got a vanilla with hot fudge, which tasted excellent at the time I ate it. Within an hour I was feeling a nice strong surge of nausea that lasted far longer than it took to eat (and perhaps make) the custard.

Vegetables are still difficult. I cannot cook them at all. The only way I am able to eat them is in salad form, and once again Kroger came to the rescue with their broccoli salad. Tonight I also picked up an artichoke salad that looked pretty good. I figure I better eat vegetables in whatever form I can tolerate them.

So now, similarly to my pregnancy with N, I am thinking about food all the time, which is so unlike me in normal life. It is really a pain, although I can now go about 3.5-4 hours without eating as long as I've had a good blend of protein and carbs in the previous meal.

I am hoping my little love affair with Kroger deli food doesn't last too long, otherwise we'll be opening a line of credit to fund my addiction or I'll have to take a part-time deli job to learn all the recipes. I guess there are worse places to work.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Piss on potty-training

Let it be known: I HATE POTTY-TRAINING.

I would have been perfectly content to let N continue wearing diapers, but I started to feel a little pressure from D. I guess maybe he talks to guys at work who's kids are N's age? The fact that N is now 3 was some motivation, especially when literally every kid in her playgroup is potty-trained or being potty-trained if they are younger than her.

Pull-ups do not work for N because they are glorified diapers as far as she is concerned. If it even remotely wicks the moisture away from her heiney-butt, she will not even think about stopping whatever she is doing to pee.

So I have just been sticking her in underpants, and she has been doing pretty well. Yesterday, she peed at the dentist's office, and then when we got to the allergist, I asked if she needed to pee-pee again. She said no, and then proceeded to flow all over her tights and soak her tennis shoes. Now I carry around extra panties and pants, but I do not bring extra shoes. She cried and cried, which is probably a good thing because I don't think she wants a repeat of that experience.

She has pooped on the potty one time, for which she earned a bag of M&Ms, but she refuses to do it again, even though she knows the reward is another bag (small, individual bags of M&Ms, mind you).

Today at the zoo, I took her to the potty twice, and she wouldn't pee. She started getting really lovey towards me, sitting on the pot saying, "Mommy, I love you," which usually means she needs to take a crap. So I wasn't surprised to find a load in her underpants by the time we got to the gorilla exhibit. We went to the Australia section and put on clean underpants (and she peed in the potty). She and a little friend frolicked at the playground for 10 minutes or so, and by the time we started heading to go ride the carousel she had dropped a bomb again. Damn it!!!!!

Now changing a diaper is a picnic compared to dealing with poopy underpants. It is like a juggling act in which you don't want to actually touch the stuff you are juggling. Trying to keep the poop balls from falling on the floor as you're removing the underpants is a royal pain. And at least a diaper you can toss in the garbage. Underpants you have to fold up and carry around with you until you can get home and throw them in the washer. I've taken to carrying around the clear sacks the newspaper comes in, which can hold a pair of size 9 tennis shoes, a poopy pair of panties and a pair of tights with room for more if needed.

Aside from the fact that potty-training entails dealing with one of my most unfavorite things in the world (poop), it also requires haranguing in some form or another. Asking whenever we set foot in a restaurant, a doctor's office, anyplace with a public restroom, "Do you have to pee?" Asking before we head out the door, "Do you have to pee?" Asking whenever I see her hand move in even the slightest way toward her crotch, "Do you have to pee?" I am sick of hearing myself ask, so I can only imagine she is about to strangle me.

I hate the nagging. When I was a kid, my mother would call me for breakfast by giving me a head's up on the time, "C, it is 6:45." Now had my mom waited until 6:55 or 7:00 to call again, that would have been one thing, but mom's reminders were like this: "C, it is 6:45." "C, it is 6:47," "C, it is 6:48 and 23 seconds." AHHHHHHH! It drove me nuts (although not nuts enough to actually get out of bed). So me asking N over and over about peeing sends me back to my own mother's repetitiveness. And it is everyone's worst nightmare to turn into their own mothers, right?

Who in the hell would have known that potty-training for me would bring out so many of my obsessive-compulsive issues? Probably most everyone who knows me, actually. I am usually the last one to realize anything.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Pregnancy stupidity or something else?

I am a little embarrassed by my enthusiasm for my pregnancy. With Norah I wanted to hide my pregnancy from everyone and forever. A lot of this was fear I now understand. My drugs must be fabulous but I am all about my belly with this kid. I don't necessarily think I am outwardly bubbly, but I certainly feel giddy and a little stupid on the inside.

A friend of mine told me that with your 1st kid, you read the books and know exactly how many weeks you are along and you are so into being pregnant. But then if you have more kids, you are so busy you don't know anything about what is going on. Lord knows I've long needed hobbies, but I find myself reading the week-by-week websites and checking out ultrasound photos at different weeks of gestation. I've been jotting down names I like and thinking about the nursery. At 14 weeks, I am doing all of this about 20 weeks earlier than I did when I was carrying N. For the longest time with N, I told people I was likely carrying a giant hairball, not a baby. Partly this was because I simply couldn't wrap my head around having a baby (as I think all first-timers are unable to do, really), and partly it was intense and essentially overwhelming anxiety.

The excitement I feel is a little unnerving for me. Whenever I get this Peppermint Patty sensation, I'm instantly zapped by a negative, catastrophic thought, but I keep coming back with the insistence that I want to enjoy this pregnancy. I want to suck the marrow out of it because I totally failed to do so when I was pregnant with N. My enjoyment has no correlation with outcome, positive or negative (I just have to keep stressing this to my overwrought brain).

There are very few things I look back on in my life and think about with anything like regret, but my inability to enjoy my 1st pregnancy is one of the biggies. I am thankful to be pregnant again so that maybe I can relish this one, at least as much as I allow myself to relish anything (besides hot dogs---ha,ha--that was totally a D joke).

Of course if something bad does happen I'll be the first to blame it on this silly giddiness over being pregnant. I guess until that happens I should just keep being silly giddy and get over myself.

Monday, April 2, 2007


Here are highlights from the past week or so:

Thursday---visited doctor and drug D with me because of my fear of not hearing a heartbeat. We did indeed hear a heartbeat and will have an u/s in 6 weeks. Even though I felt so much better after that Doppler magnified the "swoosh-swoosh" sound, I still fret. I guess no amount of drugs or therapy is going to change the basis genetic substance of my nature...which is to be anxious. So until this kid pops out of me I will worry. And then after this kid pops out I will worry even more but about different things.

Saturday--- took N to an Easter event at a local Christian church. She enjoyed herself. They had chapel and sang songs about Jesus (which was a little weird for me having been brought up Catholic--I'll explain more about this later***). N just sat on my lap listening and watching--she wouldn't move from me. Then at the end, the youth minister gals invited all the kids up on stage, and my daughter, of all people, hightailed it up there. I said, "Now N, mommy can't go with you." She replied, "I'll do it myself," and walked up there like it was no big deal. She didn't sing or sway or clap or anything...just stared out at the audience. She baffles me.

Sunday--- D, N and I went to see the Doodlebops in concert. What can I say about a Doodlebop concert? I guess it was ok as far as children's concerts go. I was a children's concert virgin prior to this, so I have no other experiences with which to compare it. Suffice it to say, unless N expressly asks to go see someone (like after having seen a commercial or something), I don't imagine we'll be going to another.

N is such an observing child...which is very different from how I am. I tend to want to just get in and do something. If the instructions are clear or I can read them, just let me have at it. I guess I learn by doing. N prefers to sit back, watch, listen, and then after an extremely long period of time in which it takes her to get comfortable, become actively engaged. This is how she was at the concert---just taking it all in. Not really giving up too much enthusiasm (as I would). Sometimes it is hard for me to know whether she is actually enjoying something because she is so reserved. I told D there is no doubt whatsoever that she is his child because he is the exact same way.

***About the Easter service:

This was my first attendance at any kind of religious event that was not Catholic so I didn't know what to expect other than that it would be like a Catholic service. Mind you, it has been many years since I attended any kind of Catholic service, so things may very well be totally different. However, I was a practicing Catholic for like 26 years and things never changed that much so I don't suspect there has been a major reformation that I've missed.

Anyway, the thing about Catholics is (or at least the Catholics I know) that we aren't really open about how we feel about God or Jesus. It is a very monotone, subtle experience. There is no saying, "I love Jesus" or "Jesus is my hero." Usually this type of thing is said about beer or bingo. I guess the feelings about religion are kept hidden, internal, whereas it seemed to me at the Christian service that they are more expressive about their feelings and beliefs. So it was just odd. I wish N could express better what she thought or if she was confused. She kept talking about Baby Jesus, and I had to keep reminding her they were telling the story of Grown-Up Jesus.

That's all I got.