A Little Bit of Nonsense

I learned some new facts this week.

First of all, I attended mass with Daniel at his school Thursday morning, and the priest began the service by chastising the congregation for taking down their Christmas trees and decorations, especially their manger scenes. I didn’t expect to hear that, so I paid extra close attention. It turns out that the Catholic church celebrates Christmas until Jesus’ baptism day (the Sunday following epiphany). My thoughts immediately turned to my house in which our Christmas tree still stands proudly, fully decorated and lit every night. It’s not every day that I feel virtuous in a church, so I relished the moment.  So take note: if your Christmas decorations are still up, you are not a slacker; you are devout 😉

Secondly, I discovered a variety of apple I had never heard of before: Cripps. My first thought was that was a bold way for the gang to make some legitimate money and market itself. Would you have to launder money made from selling branded apples? I can see it now: “Hey, Aiden’s mom packed him a Cripps apple in his lunchbox! Wish my mom were that cool!”  It turns out, though, that Fresh Market (where I spotted the aforementioned apple) was being cheeky because the Cripps apple is better known by its other name of “Pink Lady.” When I tweeted about it yesterday, my tweetstream soon devolved into Grease references and quotes. A Pink Lady to a Cripps is quite a transformation.

Thirdly, I found a new brand of yogurt.

Quark Yogurt

Sounds yummy!

You see, I’ve always liked quarks. I don’t know why. God knows, I’m no scientist and find physics as mysterious and improbable as others would ghosts or magic. Maybe it’s the word and something delightful about the “qu” combination. Maybe there is something “quirky” about “quarks.” Maybe it’s because the names of the 6 flavors of quarks display a whimsy that you don’t often associate with particle physics. I think I need to buy some of that yogurt.


The three of us are back to work and school and our normal routine this week. Daniel and I are grumpy about it while Jimmy is less so because his “demotion” came through before the holidays, and he now gets to work at home. It’s a good change because we had discovered that some of the household tasks that give us fits – laundry, dishes, etc. – are so much easier when one of us has even a few extra hours at home during the week. While I don’t expect him to become a househusband, it is great knowing that he could do a load of dishes or run to the grocery store every once in a while. We think it will be a huge help although it’s difficult not to be a teensy bit envious as Daniel and I suit up in our school and work clothes while Jimmy gets to stay in his PJs if he wants!

I hope the first full week of 2014 was kind to you!

The Day Before Forever

Tomorrow is Mum’s funeral mass, so I suppose that makes today “Funeral Mass Eve.” I can think of better Eves.  I bought a new dress because my typical “go to funeral” outfit is more of a summer outfit.  Jimmy brought home his new suit, purchased months ago. The day he bought it, when Mum was still sick,  he commented to me, “I hope that my first time wearing it is not at a funeral.”  We went to the mall on Tuesday and bought Daniel a pair of nice black pants and a button-down white shirt with which he’ll wear a black sweater vest.

Jimmy’s brother, sister-in-law and nephew arrived in town late last night.  My mother-in-law picked up Mum’s ashes yesterday.  We placed the obituary and ordered flowers for the church. This is really happening.

My household is a little blue.  We adults feel it acutely and even Daniel seems to feel it.  He has been subdued this week and very close to tears if we thwart his wishes.  Some of that is being a two-year-old but some of it is internalizing the sad, tense atmosphere around him I think.

We have had a few conversations with him about how Mum is in heaven, but I don’t know how much he understands.  He’s 2!  How do you talk to a toddler about death in any meaningful, comprehensive way? He’s very sensitive to sad faces right now, so we are very concerned about how he will do tomorrow at the mass when he sees a lot of sad faces.  I’m going prepared to take him out if needed.  He was so loved by Mum and we want him to be there, but she would be the first to tell us to take care of him and not let him be distressed.

Tomorrow’s funeral mass makes her death official. In some ways it seems like we’ve been hiding out this week, but tomorrow will be extremely real.

Earlier this week when we were tucking in Daniel, he said, “Mum is happy.”

Out of the mouth of babes hopefully.


Daniel and the Monsignor

Daniel was baptized on Nov. 8 at St. Michael’s in Cary. We were grateful to have so much family as well as friends in attendance on that special day. J and I were a bit nervous because we never were able to have anyone explain to us exactly what would happen during the baptism, so a main goal of mine was to avoid making a fool of myself.

Daniel wore a gown his Mimi made him, and as she predicted, he looked like a little pope! He was perfect during the mass, never crying but looking around with interest, despite being trussed up like a turkey in his ornate gown!

After mass, we all went to Grandma P’s house for a wonderful party. She did a beautiful job, and we all had a good time.

The gown