|Photography by Julie MeGill|
This month was filled with walks to the creek and the trail behind our house, petting zoos and pumpkin patches, two trips to Disneyland, weekly swim lessons, dance class, her running alongside us on our walks (racing Trevi), morning cuddles with the cats in bed, Bounce-U, two fall festivals, playdates in the street and Mass.
We officially joined our local parish and I enrolled A in a weekly religious education class at St. Vincent de Paul. About a year ago, I asked our local church if they had any religious education for children under 5. They did not, surprisingly, and I also searched other nearby parishes. What about planting those seeds early? When she did just one week of VBS this summer with me, it made a huge difference. So I was so happy when my friend Stella told me about St. Vincent de Paul, and their religious education that starts at age three. I only wish I had learned about it sooner! She loved her first class and was excited to return. From their website:
Level 1 - for the young child (Ages 3-6)The 3-6 year-old child is particularly capable of receiving and enjoying the most essential elements of our faith—the announcement of God’s love, in the person of the Good Shepherd, who died and is risen. Materials on the life of Christ and his teachings help make the mystery of God concrete for the child. The geography materials establish Jesus as a real person in the time and space and Israel as the land through which God realized salvation for all. Infancy narratives announce the Incarnation with the words of Scripture, moving from the Annunciation to the Birth of Christ, to the Flight into Egypt. The model of Jerusalem and the empty tomb are the starting point for the Paschal narratives which the child lives in a special way in celebrating the Liturgy of Light. Selected parables serve as keys to unlock the mystery of the kingdom of God and to nurture the child’s natural sense of wonder. How beautiful and precious is the kingdom of God! How small it begins! How slowly it grows! How magnificent it becomes! Through the arranging of the chalice, paten, altar cloth, candles, and crucifix, the child becomes familiar with the articles of the Eucharist. The child lives his relationship with God in a particular way in the liturgy—the child enters the mystery of the Eucharist through the most important gestures including the preparation of the chalice, the epiclesis and offering, and the gesture of peace. From these gestures, the Eucharist emerges as the Sacrament of the Gift. The child becomes acquainted with the historical character of the liturgy through the events of the Last Supper, Christ’s death, and His resurrection. The liturgical colors and calendar situate the child in the Church year, expressing the Paschal Mystery—Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. Our prayer table reflects the liturgical cycle with appropriate colors, prayers, and songs.
Baby C is two months now and is the happiest,
easiest baby. He is content anywhere, and still an amazing sleeper. This month he started cooing, learned how to bring his hands together and is all smiles. He's wearing size six month clothing, weighs 15 pounds, usually drinks 6 ounces per feeding and is still sleeping through the night. I do wake him once to feed because he goes down in his crib at 9pm and we do not get him up until between 7:30 and 8:30. That's when we all snuggle in A's bed with the two cats and Trevi. They each have their milk and I drink a sugar-free monster, something I need to stop...next month.
I love our neighborhood and especially being at the end of a cul-de-sac. There are some older boys next door who are in 7th grade, and they often play basketball or ride their scooters out front with two younger girls from down the street. Baby A saw this one day and was so excited when the youngest, a girl who just turned 7, invited her to join in. She sort of took A under her wing, perhaps happy to not be the youngest anymore. Not wanting to impose, I thanked her for playing with A and she said "It's okay, they don't play with me anyway." It was both simultaneously adorable and awkward to watch A try so hard to fit in and make friends with them, calling out "Hi friends!" when she saw them the next day. We were then very happy to meet a girl the street up who is 4 and much closer in age. Their developing friendship is much more natural, and less like watching an episode of The Office.
We had our first rain in our new home, complete with a thunder and lightning show, a rarity here in Southern California.
The month ended with our haunted housewarming party the Saturday before Halloween. Because we chose this date, we were concerned about a low turn-out. But we had about forty adults and twenty kids. Baby A had so much fun running around the backyard and playing with all of her friends. Check out the decorations here.
She also had a blast trick-or-treating but has yet to eat any of her candy, even though I have offered it several times.