Monday, July 26, 2010

Family Time

My dad and sister Mary Theresa drove through the night Friday night/Saturday morning from Michigan and arrived just in time for the baptism on Saturday. What troopers, what dedication, and what love. It was very nice to be able to introduce them to our friends in the area: for a few moments, two special spheres of our lives combined.

Madge and Peach loved spending time with Beeba and Aunty Mimi. Of course, they spent a lot of time loving Baby Caleb. He's our cutie! Some highlights included music and dancing thanks to the guitars of Beeba and Aunty Mimi, meals together at home and at Ikea, Mass and the baptism, Pictionary and cards (below is picture of Baby Cal's first card game!), and hanging out together inside (since the weather on Saturday reached 107F).

We love you, Dad and Mary T! Thanks for making the effort to come out and visit us. It was such a special blessing to have you share Baby Caleb's baptism.

[As I type this, Baby Caleb is lying on my chest. He's looking up at me and saying, "where is my grandpa and Aunty Mimi? I told him that we'll see you again in just a couple weeks!]

Some Pics from the Baptism Party and Sister Pictures

The Little Guy is Now a Part of the Family

On Saturday, July 24, 2010, Caleb Ross Jr. was baptized into the Catholic Church. We were very blessed to be surrounded by family and so many friends. Fr. de Rosa presided over a private baptism ceremony for us at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church. In line with Pope Benedict's July 2007 motu proprio announcement, Fr. de Rosa celebrated the baptism in the old rite, but in English so that all could understand. It was a most beautiful ceremony. Caleb Ross Jr. is now a member of the family of Christ.

My dad and sister Mary Theresa drove in from Michigan to join us and Mary's mom was with us too for the baptism.

Baby Caleb Posing as Moses

Nothing But Madge Pie

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

He Has Arrived

Caleb Ross Jr was born at 9:33am EST in Fairfax, VA. 6 pounds and 14 ounces. 20 inches long. The little fellow came after an hour of labor. He is a cutie and, so far, very well behaved. He looks like his big sister Madge, when she was a baby. (We're having internet connectivity problems at the hospital, so photos will have to wait at this point.) Thank God for a peaceful delivery, for a healthy baby and healthy mom. Mares was a champ all the way through. The girls haven't had a chance yet to meet their little brother, but they will this afternoon. I can't wait to see them as they hold him. We love you, Baby Cal. Welcome to the world. Welcome to our family.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Birth Watch Update


Just kidding. (This is not our baby.)

The baby hasn't come yet. Mary has been getting some strong contractions over the past few days, increasingly yesterday. The contractions have been frequent but not regular. It appears that some are weaker (more in the back) and some are stronger (more pressure downwards). I'm not sure how much more this little guy can drop! I hope and pray it'll happen over the weekend. Due date is tomorrow. Hopefully, the little guy gets the memo!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NYT Article: Accepting That Good Parents May Plant Bad Seeds

Here's a zinger of an article that everyone (and his or her mother) will have an opinion about.

A couple thoughts
For years, mental health professionals were trained to see children as mere products of their environment who were intrinsically good until influenced otherwise; where there is chronic bad behavior, there must be a bad parent behind it.
While not true all of the time, I still believe that that this is true 75% of the time.
We marvel at the resilient child who survives the most toxic parents and home environment and goes on to a life of success. Yet the converse — the notion that some children might be the bad seeds of more or less decent parents — is hard to take.
I would argue that this is becoming a trend: many children with advantaged backgrounds, because they've been afforded the option to choose, choose lifestyles that contradict the expectations of their parents (whether at the moral, emotional, physical, or financial level).
Not everyone is going to turn out to be brilliant — any more than everyone will turn out nice and loving. And that is not necessarily because of parental failure or an impoverished environment. It is because everyday character traits, like all human behavior, have hard-wired and genetic components that cannot be molded entirely by the best environment, let alone the best psychotherapists.
True. But, true to form, reductionist postmodern psychology does not view the human person in an integral fashion and completely disregards free will. Sure: some elements are hard-wired and/or genetic and/or environmental. But by and large, the choices that we make define who we are. We are responsible for our choices, not for the way we were raised or our natural proclivities.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Birth Watch

Okay: the countdown has begun.

We went for perhaps our last doctor visit before the birth. The doctor said that the baby had dropped significantly more and that labor could begin any day now. Everything is looking good.

Mary said that she been feeling back pain/contractions over the weekend. They've intensified over the past 24 hours. Exciting!

Thanks to our years living in Hawaii, we have an excellent birthing song. The refrain goes: "Drop, Baby. Drop, Baby. Drop. Drop [all your love on me]." That's what we're asking our little guy to do: drop, baby, drop, baby, drop.

A nice rendition of the song here and original here. (Warning: it's one of those infectious songs.)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Just Cuz She's So Cute

What more can a proud father add, except this: We love you, Guadalupe. Thanks for brightening our lives!

Some Perks of Summer Reading

We love books. We go to the library on average at least once a week. We read at least a half dozen books on a daily basis with the girls. Now that it's summer, our local library hands out some extra perks for reading--gifts (swag), and free food coupons. The girls enjoying the fruits of their labor!

Note Maddy's lady-like posture. So cute and funny!

Pita on the Potty

Now that she's 2 years old, Pita must feel the added responsibility. We were proud of our girlie going number 2 on the toilet.

At Fantasy Park

Since the weather was in the 100+F (38+C) most days this past week, Mary took advantage of the mornings (like 8am) to take the girls out to play at one of their favorite parks--Fantasy Park. She took some great photos there. The girls love. Madge has been loving the fireman's pole and both girls have been enjoying the tire swing.