Monday, 29 July 2013


 Godparents truly are a wonderful thing. In my own life I had kind of a sore run with Godparents. My original set from my Baptism lived far enough away that I don't remember them (before they sadly became divorced). I received a new Godfather for my Confirmation. He was a sweet man, but I barely got to know him before he passed away. As for my Husband, his Godparents are family members, so he's been lucky to keep in touch with them. When it was time to pick Godparents for our kids, I wondered if the people we picked would stay in their lives, act as a model and guide for many years to come, or fade quietly into the background.

For our oldest child, we picked my brother-in-law and a school friend of my Husband's who I really liked. It has been beautiful watching their love for her over the years. While she doesn't see her Godmother often enough by far, she knows about her and prayers for her all the time. She knows she is loved in a special way by them.

For our oldest son, we picked the Superior of the religious order where we met and an old friend of mine who I met a hundred years ago at an all city choir. I still remember the day our boy was born. His Godfather came, bursting with as much pride as my Husband and I were, held his tiny Godson and stood there with a look of complete adoration. The fact that our little boy shared his name (less the Italian O ending) was a matter of great joy as well. His Godmother, who has two little boys (and another baby coming!) close in age with him, has been a source of great spiritual support and joy for me. Our boy adores her, asking often to see her. Even though she and her family have followed the call to move to another province, they still feel spiritually very close.

Our middle boy, our darling clown of a child, has for his Godparents my eldest brother and his significant other for Godparents. They live in a different province but visit often enough to be a special part of his life. His Uncle is something of a clown himself, so it's funny to see the two of them together. I know as he gets older he'll appreciate the choice we made for him even more.

Baby girl is lucky to have two dear friends for her Godparents. Both my husband and I knew her Godmother from before he and I had met. He met her at school and I met her through various Church activities. She introduced us to her then fiancé not long before they were married. As fate would have it, we were married in the same parish but a few months apart. Our kids are within a year to six months apart. We were just reconnecting with them as a couple when we found out we were pregnant with baby girl. They were a completely natural choice for Godparents, as they are devoted and faithful Catholics. They have been good friends through hard times and I know as baby girl gets older they will be a special part of how she learns to live the Gospel.

When we found out we were pregnant with baby boy, the first thing we started puzzling about is Godparents. You'd think by the fifth baby the well would have run dry on who to choose. We actually had a short list of no less than three couples that we prayed about. It became clear very quickly that God was pushing both of our hearts towards a particular couple. I found this very interesting as I didn't really know the couple in question very well, but God kept putting them in my heart. I'm glad we let God take the lead on this one as they have become an essential part of our family. I feel like I've gained a brother and sister. The kids all love them with an ease we're not used to (especially from middle boy and baby girl, who are shy pants even with family). Having them in our lives made this pregnancy all the more special. If you read back through the months of the pregnancy you'll see that they were a fixture in many of the updates, from ultrasounds, to date nights, to the night baby boy was born. Their faith is rock solid and they have been a great comfort to us.

As I look back through all these Godparents, I can only hope that our kids will feel comfortable enough to turn to their Godparents for spiritual support and guidance. We have been blessed by the guidance of God who has gifted our family with people who went from friends to family. I thank God for each of them and pray for them every day, as do their sweet Godbabies. May God bless them with firmness of faith to take on the heavy and the life long task of spiritual leadership entrusted to them through the Sacrament of Baptism.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A Few Months Older

Baby boy is almost 2 months old, so it feels like time for an update. I've started this post a million times but each time I have been predictably distracted. The baby has cried, big sister has tripped, or the three oldest have wanted stories or snacks or just attention. I can honestly say I'm happy for all the distractions. I was only able to blog so much near the end of pregnancy because I felt too big to move, or too exhausted to do anything of substance. We had the TV on almost constantly to entertain the kids, but I wasn't engaging with them as much as I would have liked to.

So where are we almost two months later? The first thing to note is that we didn't just turn off the TV. We took it out of the room completely. We disassembled the TV stand and put the whole mess of stuff in the basement. It has not been put together yet. We never go in the basement but our plan is to fix it up and make it more kid friendly as a cool retreat on this hot summers days. Along with the business of taking the TV out of our living room we took the leap to finally redecorate the living room. We painted over the dark orange (that I truly hated, beyond words) with an inviting blue that made the whole room feel bigger and brighter. We bought some new photo frames and put them up on the wall and hung on the opposite wall beautiful frames with all five kids' names, birth weight and length, birthdays and times. The room really feels like it's ours. We also got an ottoman and need toy bins for storage. We no longer have piles of toys all over the floor (well, when they're put away anyway!). Since we're spending a lot of time in the living room while I feed the baby it feels good to have it feel like our own. It has inspired us to get to work on the other rooms. We can't wait to tear up the wretched reeking carpet upstairs.

As for baby boy, he is doing beautifully. He's still growing well from what I can tell. He's feeding like a champ, sleeping at night, and just generally being a joy. He started to smile a week or so ago and I can confirm that no matter how many babies we have, there's something about those toothless grins that make my heart grow another size or two. I could spend my whole day staring at the little man trying to make him laugh and smile. The big kids are completely in love with him too, and when he's asleep in his playpen I often find a little collection of kids craning to watch his sweet, slow breaths. This, of course, tends to have the affect of waking him up, but I don't have the heart to be upset (most days) as I know they are all SO in love with him. Seeing how much they treasure him makes me love all of them even more. I adore seeing my kids together.

Speaking of the big kids, we've had a rough couple of weeks. One after another the kids have gotten sick. First the biggest girl. We discovered she was sick when she suddenly had a fever at Church, followed by her getting sick on the beach the same day. After that came biggest boy a few days later, who only got sick the one time (of course in his bed). Next was middle boy who never actually upset his stomach, but has looked pale and slightly green for the better part of a week. Lastly was baby girl, who had the good sense to wait for a visit with her grandparents to projectile vomit several times in the course of a half hour. So glad we had blueberry smoothies for dessert. It all seemed more festive and colourful. Today we're having what I hope is a recovery day. Middle child still seems out of sorts, but overall they're all feeling much better. I can't wait to get out of the house to smell some fresh air. I have a little bit of catch-up to do with the housework, but I don't mind as I'd do all the housework in the world to have my babes all better. Sweet Hubby is battling the flu now, but like the trooper I know him to be he's toughing it out at work. Saintliness in all things.

As for myself, I'm finally feeling much more myself. I have my energy back and I love that I can spend the better part of the day reading, playing, and generally experiencing my kids' day without the cloud of exhaustion. I've lost more weight than I thought possible in such a short time, which is giving me back my old stamina. I feel blessed, joyful, energetic and, most of all, grateful. If I had known how easy and beautiful 5 kids would be, I would have run full tilt towards it.