IHappy octave of Pentecost! It confused Little Bear a bit this week that 12:00 meant "Angelus time" instead of "Regina Caeli time," but Easter has ended; time to switch Marian prayers and antiphons. We talked last Sunday about the Holy Spirit descending on the Apostles and Mary, with the rushing wind and tongues of flame; he kept looking at me skeptically, so we went and found his little statue of St Jude and pointed out the flame above his head, and then it seemed to connect a little better.
He was much more excited about our Pentecost dessert:
Vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and strawberries cut in triangles to resemble tongues of flame. Yum! It's kind of a silly tradition, but I'm glad we do it every Pentecost; eventually Little Bear and Kit will be old enough to understand about the descent of the Holy Spirit, but even at very-little-kid-level, ice cream sundaes with strawberries is pretty easy to get excited about. Little Bear knows we're celebrating, even if he doesn't get exactly why just yet.
We all enjoyed a long, sunny weekend; Matt got two days off work this year over Memorial Day, so we got a lot more done around the house than I ever could have by myself: the garage is all reorganized, the new car seat does fit in the car, I'm actually all caught up on cleaning, and Matt filled my planters so we could plant herbs, salad greens, and nasturtiums. Tuesday morning he went out to the range with my dad and brother, and I enjoyed a quiet morning of putting my feet up and passively making a batch of yogurt while Little Bear played with my two youngest siblings and helped them fold laundry. Matt brought along his grandfather's M1 carbine, which they all enjoyed shooting, and on which Matt discovered he is quite accurate: at one point they put a water-filled milk gallon out at 200 yards to see who could hit it first; my dad and brother were both shooting higher-powered rifles with scopes while Matt only had the iron sights, but he hit it with his first shot!
Matt also taught Little Bear about a very important part of summer this weekend:
Water guns! The two of them came in soaked and grinning from ear to ear.
Monday evening we invited my family and our pastor over for a Memorial Day barbecue. I made potato salad and a veggie tray, and Matt grilled asparagus and pork. He spiral-cut two pork loins, stuffed them with a combination of apples, onions and rosemary, tied them up into roulades, and added some applewood chips to his charcoal to give them a nice smoked flavor. It was so good! He's excited to try the technique with other fillings over the summer.
The roulades, each 2 pounds, grilled over indirect heat (coals pushed to the sides) for about an hour until they reached an internal temp of 150 F, but he says next time he'd cook them to 140 F or 145 F instead.
It's been rare for us to host even small events like this one; it does take some work, but we were both really glad that we did! And it's apparent that we need to get into the habit of inviting priests over more often; after Father called to confirm that he was coming, Little Bear exclaimed, "No, but Father has to stay at the church!" We enjoyed having everyone over, and Little Bear did decide that he was happy to see Father (and his puppy!)
The rest of the week/this weekend was full of contractions and other aspects of prodromal labor (real labor that goes for a couple of hours and then just stops), not resulting in a baby but enough to keep me pretty unproductive. I'm trying to actively choose to believe that I'm just not going to go into labor for several weeks yet, to help myself try to ignore everything and keep being a functional mom/cook/housekeeper. Otherwise, if I let myself wonder each time "is this actually it?" and think about how I'm feeling, start timing contractions, etc, I'm just going to wind up spending half my time lying down being miserable.
The one flaw in this plan is that I was only at the hospital for maybe three hours before Little Bear was born, despite going in before I was even completely convinced I was in labor... and while I don't want to go in any earlier than I absolutely have to again this time, a) subsequent babies supposedly come more quickly, and b) I'm GBS-positive again, so I should ideally have completed the course of IV antibiotics before giving birth. Which only takes a half hour, so it shouldn't be a big deal, but if I do as good a job of ignoring/waiting as last time, I'm not certain how close I'll wind up cutting it.
I hope you had a good weekend. Hopefully I'll either manage to be better about posting this week, or else I'll have baby photos next time I post! Don't forget to stop by This Ain't The Lyceum for more SQT posts.