July 31, 2010

A Beautiful Catholic Mother's Blessing

A mother's blessing is an Alternative to a Baby Shower. It is great way to prepare mom in a special way for the birth of her new baby!!!

A Mother's Blessing is a celebration of pregnancy and motherhood in preparation of new life. The guests are invited to spend time with the mother-to-be. The tone of the Mother's Blessing is positive - you won't find those horror stories of labors and early parenting that seem to be so common at traditional baby showers!

As a Catholic women, with the vocation of motherhood, it is important to be positive throughout our pregnancies. We should work toward having a positive birth experience also. We want to be good examples like Mary carrying on our pregnancy quietly without complaining. “Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart,” Luke 2:19. We also want to bless other mothers as Mary did for Elizabeth traveling three days to visit her cousin while she was pregnant.

As women we are here to bless Adrianne asking Our Lord, Mary Our Mother, and the saints to be with her now, through her pregnancy, birth, and throughout motherhood. We are celebrating birth and motherhood.

We can only attempt to be like Mary and I can say that I often fail!!! But I am very much working on not complaining about my pregnancy.

We set up the living room as a prayer room with candles and a pictures of Mary. We also had holy water available for blessings.

An added unexpected decoration came from the two Anne's:

Anne DooleyAnne Hougham

Each brought beautiful flowers!! I love fresh cut flowers from garden! The candle holder was the party favor. There were three colors but Adriana choose green!

The Format of the Mother's Blessing was:
Each guest introduced themselves and share a positive part of their pregnancies, birth, or the best memory of motherhood. For single women share your favorite mother/daughter memory we only had one single women, Sarah Rzasa join us. Thanks for coming Sarah!!!

Then we went into prayer.
Our prayers were Litany of Saints, Prayer to Our Lady of La Leche (Prayer for a healthy pregnancy, Prayer for a Safe Delivery – St Gerard, Pray for Mother, Pray to the Holy Family. If you are interested of any of the prayers they are listed below!

We planned to read scripture versus but time did not allow it so had all who were interested light a candle and pray then we went outside (it was a beautiful day) to pampered Adrianne. The pampering consisted of a Foot spa , back rub, and toe nail painting. While the pampering was going on a saint poster was being made. Each guest brought a prayer card with their favorite saint and added to a poster that Adrianne will have in here birth room while in labor!

Saint poster in progress, Anne Hougham adding her saint card and prayer:

Guests also snacked and socialized at this point and more positive birth stories were going around!!

Finally we closed with the Madonna Rosary from Shelia Kipley's book "Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood: God's Plan for You and Your Baby," it is beautiful and perfect for motherhood.

The Madonna Rosary
written by Father Sauppe

1. The Quickening: the Blessed Mother feels Jesus’ first movement in the womb.
2. His First Nursing: the Blessed Mother gives her infant his first nourishment.
3. His First Steps: Jesus takes his first steps toward his destiny
4. His First Words: Jesus speaks for the first time.
5. Jesus is Weaned: the last breast-fed bond between Mother and Son.

Anne Dooley stayed a little later to hang out, chat, and finish my foot pampering (adding two coats of nail polish!!!

Don't my toe nails look great!!!

Great job Anne!
Thanks to Rebecca Urban (Baby #3's Godmother), Anne Dooley (Adriana's God mother), and all my friends who joined us filling our freezer with dinners for after the baby is born!!! It was such a beautiful day!!!
Andrea and I Erin and Zachery, isn't his smile amazing!

The prayers we prayed!

Litany of Saints

God the Father, Creator of all things, hear our prayers and the intercession of your saints for the protection of mothers and their babies during pregnancy and birth.

Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have Mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Mary, Our Mother, pray for us.
Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us.
Mary Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
Holy Guardian Angel of all families, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, husband of Mary, pray for us.
Saint Anne, mother of Mary, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us.
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, pray for us.
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.
St Felicity, pray for us.
St. Thomas, pray for us.
St. Philomena, Paton of Adriana, pray for us.
St. Raphael, Patron of James, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, pray for us.
St Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Let us pray: Grant Adrianne and all expectant mothers a safe delivery, O Lord. Through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Your mother, and your saints may we attain the joys of eternal life, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for a healthy pregnancy

O Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of Your tender Mother, Our Lady of La Leche, who bore You close to her heart during those long months before Your birth,I place my baby and myself entirely in Your Hands.

Free me, I beseech You, from useless and consuming worry. Accept the sacrifice of my aches and pains, which I unite to Your sufferings on the Cross. Above all, most merciful and loving Jesus, protect this child .

You have given to me from all harm, bestowing the health and vigor every baby needs. Implant in my heart and on my lips the words and prayers of Your Mother and mine, our Lovely Lady of La Leche. All this I ask that my child and I may live to praise forever Your Holy Name.


Prayer for a Safe Delivery
St. Gerard Pray

O great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Savior, and devoted child of Mother of God, enkindle within my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love.

O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine Master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the patron and protector of expectant mothers.

Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which I now carry, that it may see the light of day and receive the purifying and life-giving waters of baptism through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Prayer of Mothers

Father in heaven; grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege— to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son.
Through the intercession of Jesus Your son and Mary His mother I ask your continued blessings on my family.
Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen
Prayer to the Holy Family

Lord Jesus Christ, you were raised by Mary and Joseph within the Holy Family in Nazareth. Your home was humble and holy. Help us discover the holiness in simplicity and obedience to our state of life. Help us to imitate the virtues of the Holy Family as we remain faithful to our daily duties. Please also help us to find ways to seek out solitude even in the midst of our busy lives so that we may unite our hearts with yours, dear Jesus. Please, Blessed Mother Mary and good Saint Joseph pray for us and protect us. Amen

Invitation to a Catholic Mother's Blessing

Please join us for a Mother's Blessing as we celebrate this new life and as we help Adrianne prepare for her labor with prayer, games, good food, and conversation.

A Mother's Blessing is a celebration of pregnancy and motherhood in prepration of new life. The guests are invited to spend time with the mother-to-be. The tone of the Mother's Blessing is positive - you won't find those horror stories of labors and early parenting that seem to be so common at traditional baby showers!

Please bring:

1 DISH TO SHARE & 1 FREEZEABLE DISH (can be the same as the dish you bring to share...just make a little extra to freeze) that Adrianne can keep in her freezer for when the baby arrives. (*Note: Or, if you'd prefer, you can bring a voucher that says you'll make her a meal when the baby arrives, or do a load of laundry, etc, etc.)

1 PRAYER CARD or picture of a beloved Catholic saint

And in lieu of a gift for the baby, Adrianne asks that those who are willing and able make a monetary contribution towards the cost of her planned homebirth with a professional midwife (every little bit helps) :-) We will have a jar at the shower where you can make anonymous donations if you'd like.

July 28, 2010

Funny Dress Up

The past couple of days Adriana and James have decided to play dress up. It is about time they only have a million dress up outfits. On this day they were wearing funny dress up clothes. James loves this Pooh dress up!! Adriana is wearing three layers, her bathing suit, a leotard and then a snow princess costume. Too hot!!!! Must love James' silly hat from his cousin Katelyn!!

The funnest part about the picture above is that most of the time James looks just like my Uncle Rick but in the picture because a such a sill smile he looks just like my Uncle Vernon!!!

July 26, 2010

Word of the Day: Simplicity

Why is today's word of the day simplicity?

Well it goes along with balance. I am really learning that in order to balance my life I have to make it simple!! I need to make some thing a priority like mass and dishes. I used to and probably will again make excuses for why I can't make it to mass. Did I mention that sleep needs to be a priority too, lol, I love to hang out at night just being but I need to start going to bed at a deceit hour. The easiest excuse is it is not my season (I'm pregnant, my baby nurses all the time, I'm homeschooling etc). But if I make it a priority I will get to mass more days than I do not. If I make my days more simple and focus on my priorities then I will be able to accomplish more of my plan of life. Mary lived a simple life. She didn't need to run Jesus all of the place. I love to have fun and visit friends. I love to allow my children to have fun too I also need to teach them that the simple things in life are fun!! I am working on making my life holy, simple and balanced. I want to be sure to make my list daily and sanctify my the work. I need to continue to surrender daily. This is my goal for life. I fail often but I need to begin again every minute.

July 25, 2010

Another LLL Co-Founder Resigns

Marian Tompson at the MA/RI/VT La Leche League (LLL) Conference. This was the light ceremony that Marian helped to recognize all the new LLL Leaders. It was even more exciting because I was one of the new leader recognized. It sounded like things were not heading backwards and she was really strong but unfortunately she could not handle anymore. It makes me very sad!! :( I believe she as good reason to resign, not that she needs my approval, especially as a co-Founder of an organization that is going a different direction than she planned! Marian, I'm glad you are being true to yourself! Below is the letter stating her reasons for resigning.

July 25th 2010

Dear LLLeaders and friends of La Leche League.

This is a letter I never expected to write.

After 54 years in LLLI, an organization I co-founded and have represented at meetings around the world, I find myself unable to continue to support the new version of LLL that has been put in motion by the Board of Directors and Executive Management.

So today, with sadness, I am resigning as an LLLeader. We each have to be true to ourselves and I cannot in good conscience support the organization that La Leche League has become.
But I am not calling for others to follow me in resigning.

You may find that being an LLL Leader still works for you. You may feel appreciated and respected. Perhaps your questions are being answered and you are provided with the tools needed to do your job. If you do not have to deal with power struggles or the confusion about assessment fees, liability and agreements, then there is reason to stay on. If being part of LLL brings joy to your life then by all means, don't leave.

For there is no other organization, at this point in time, that provides the unique and inspirational support to breastfeeding mothers and their families that LLL does. How many times have we been thanked for changing people’s lives?

There is no other system offering breastfeeding support that has worked so closely with the medical profession from the beginning to ensure the scientific basis of what we teach. We couldn’t have done this without the the generous help of the Professional Advisory Board and the Health Advisory Council. Unfortunately, the continuation of this working relationship with the medical community is currently in jeopardy.

I’ve done everything I can to help the LLLI BOD understand the peril LLL is in under the current management and because of the way the reorganization from Chaordic to Renewal to Distributive has been handled. The latest term used, “Distributive,” is particularly ironic given that so many of the changes in LLLI now either come from the Executive Management or have to be approved by them.

The board’s dismissal of the concerns of Leaders as documented in the Leader Satisfaction Survey made it clear that the board and management were intent on plunging ahead with their plans no matter how many valuable and generous Leaders they lost and no matter how the reorganization impacted the growth and influence of LLL and the morale of so many
I’ve missed seeing you at our International Conferences. As other Leaders have said, I will be happy to return when and if LLLI returns to the principles on which it was founded and the mission it should serve. There have been some very good suggestions on how to bring this about in the letters of resignation recently sent to the Board by other leaders.

In the meantime I wish there was some way to thank each of you in person for making our dream come true. The world is a happier and healthier place because of you and La Leche League has enjoyed a stellar reputation because of your commitment.

Thanks to you and because of you, we’ve made great strides in the past 54 years toward our mission to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother to mother support, encouragement, information and education and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.

My love to all,


“When you don’t follow your nature there is a hole in the universe where you were supposed to be.” Dane Rudhyar

My permission is given to forward or post this email in the LLL community.

My independent Boy!!

While I was napping and Daddy was watching the children, James decided he wanted Peanut Butter and Jelly Sand which!!!

When I woke up after my nap I could her James clanking around in MY KITCHEN!!! I don't like anyone especially children in MY KITCHEN, it is tiny!! I called down to my little man to see what he was doing with no reply. I quickly came down to find below:

James was making his very own Peanut Butter and Jelly sand which. He opened the peanut butter, pulled out the bread, and started to spread the peanut butter on the bread. I was in complete shock. It was pretty amazing. I did finish making the sand which but I was impressed by his independence! I hope he hold onto this independence when the baby comes!!!
Yummy!! (Thank you Mama)

July 24, 2010

Today's Steals and Deals

Today after a long of cleaning and festivaling I decided to take advantage of my $10 off anything at Kohl's. We found this dress for Adriana, her Birthday Dress. This dress was a surprising $1 after sale and coupon. It was $22 dollars originally, 1/2 off the original price bringing it to $11 plus my $10 off coupon bringing the grand total down to $1.
James had to be in a picture!!!

Toys R Us was my last stop. Today was the last day for the Crayola buy one get 2 free sale. I also had a coupon for $5 off any purchase. The grand total for this purchase was $2.11. This is the best back to school deal yet!!! The Super Tip Markers were $4.99 + Twistables crayons were $5.19 + 96 count crayons were $6.99 = Total $17.17 - Free $10.18 - $6.99 - $5 off coupon = $1.99 + tax $0.12 = for a grand total of $2.11.

Great deals today!!! Worth the extra time I spent out of the house.

Niall's at Lowell Folk Festival

An afternoon at the Lowell Folk Festival!!!

We went up to the Lowell for the folk festival mostly to get out of the house with the children for a hours! I have been really wanting to see the Yo-Yo People show staring John and Rebecca Higby I am glad we made it to the end of the show. (Finding a parking spot was crazy!) They were very much worth the trip!! We stayed to see what else the festival had to offer.

We are not big on characters but when you see them in the street it is always fun to stop and say "hi." Dora, Adriana, and James

Here is the children's center they had set up. The first game we came across was box hockey. Adriana had fun trying to get the puck through the little holes!

Arts and crafts - we took a picture of the shield they made because it didn't make it home!

This was even more fun, they made yarn dolls. Adriana added a face to her doll.

James showing off his doll. He must do everything his sister does weather or not it is girly!!!
Quick stop into the Lowell National Park and the children had to play on the Trolley!
As we were walking to our car we saw this lady doing braids and beads for a $1. Just for fun!

At a festival, carnival, or fair you have to have fried dough so we did indulge. James didn't like it strange pallet on the boy!! We also played a silly adventure game to recieve a free Kashi bag. It took about and hour to go through and tired us out just enough to eat a little more free Sabra humus and go home. We love hummus and even more we love Sabra hummus!!! YUMMY!

The best part of the day was at home when Adriana came over and gave me a big hug, she said "Thanks you for a fun day Mama." The morning was hard it is so worth it to just get out for a few hours sometimes!!!