Thank you to Grandpa R. and to Uncle Toby and Aunt Maureen for today's gifts!
This morning I got the real treat of going to a friend's house for a one-on-one sewing lesson with her visiting mother, who is an expert seamstress (and I do mean expert! wow!). I took over my new Bernina machine and my teacher, who has been using a Bernina for 30 years, was able to teach me some basics about my machine. She also showed me all the elements of how to make a precious girls' dress: piping, sleeves, yoke, gathered skirt. It was so incredibly helpful and she said that next time she's in town, we'll sew a whole dress together!
After my lesson, I was able to grab a quick lunch by myself, then do a grocery shopping trip before coming home. Upon arriving home, Chris had transferred my wet laundry to the drier and started a new load. He had fed the kids, washed the dishes, swept the kitchen floor, and mopped it. Further, during the day there were three times I asked John to help clean up a room full of strewn toys with me. Each time, he enthusiastically said, "Let me help!" and then he raced around the room, cleaning it spotless: no haranguing, no time-outs, no removal of privileges. It is quite possible that the pod people visited my home while I was gone at the sewing lesson and that at least two of my loved ones have been replaced! In fact, it took Mary only 20 minutes to fall asleep at night instead of 90, so I think all three were exchanged for pod people!
We finished the day in a nice way by attending the once monthly Latin Mass at 6:30 p.m. Our attendance has been hit-and-miss because an evening event at which the children have to behave well is very hard. I was so pleased that both children are now at ages where they can handle being out at that time of night. They were quiet in Mass, John earning an A+ for his Mass behavior and Mary doing pretty darn well. (She stayed sitting still on my lap all the way through the homily, keeping her tiny chattering observations to a whisper, and after that I stood in the narthex holding her for the remainder of Mass. As an aside, she is starting to echo things she is learning in Mass. She often asks what it means when the bells at Consecration are rung and I tell her, "That means Jesus is coming to be in the host." So at Mass tonight, a bell is rung at the very beginning of Mass when the priest is processing in and, in the silence, Mary shouted with joy, "JESUS IS COMING INTO THE HOST, MAMA!")
I know that this phase won't last long because then we'll add another baby to the mix, with the nighttime screaming colic, then the squirmy wormies, then the inability to be away from home that late at night. But for a few months, maybe we can reliably attend this monthly special Mass!