Friday, December 9, 2011
Because right now, the boys have no idea what is going on. Dominic does think that the Christmas tree is pretty...so pretty, in fact, that we don't have any ornaments on so that he can touch it all that he wants. ;-) Although, one of those Google+ers gave us a great idea of doing boughs of greens on the ceilings, where no little hands can touch them, instead of trees. Hmmm...that one's going in the vault.
But, I am so excited to do an Advent calendar, a Jesse tree and putting chocolate coins in their shoes on St. Nicholas' feast day. For Christmas we are still discussing what traditions that we will have. Presents before or after Mass? Lots of little presents and one big present? Three presents total since that is what Christ got? Probably we won't decide until we are in the moment. This year we are not doing presents at all because Dominic and Christopher have no idea what is going on. Poor Dominic is definitely getting the shaft...in years to come we will probably do something very small for the smallest baby since the older kids are getting something. But he won't know. ;-)
So, what are your traditions?
Monday, October 24, 2011
I know we should be thankful that people are accepting of our having kids at Mass. But, seriously, if you're sitting by us at Mass, don't try to make our kids giggle. :-|
Does this drive you nuts? Do you say anything?
Thursday, October 6, 2011
But, there is the sound of boy giggles from when Dominic gets you to chase him. There is the new found voice of Christopher when he coos and smiles. There are real words mixed in with Dominic's babble that make your heart melt. Words like "thank you" and "Iyou" (I love you). There is the smell of cocoa banana bread baking in the oven, and if you stop by later, you will smell the roast simmering in the crock pot. There is happiness and love emanating from inside this messy home.
And I'm happy with that. :)
Monday, August 29, 2011
Well we are now officially a family of four. Jason has had last week and this week off work and we are really enjoying our time together.
Christopher James Spano made his appearance on Friday August 19, 2011 at 8:24AM. He weighed 8# and was 20" long. He was born at 37 weeks 3 days gestation and we were happy to make it that far! He still has the light hair that covers babies in the womb, lanugo, on his back and arms and legs. Hopefully that comes off or we'll have to blame his dad's Italian heritage. ;-) He definitely has his daddy's skin coloring, whereas Dominic was cursed...er..blessed with his momma's. I think he looks like a darker version of Dominic but seem to be the only one who thinks that. I will let you judge.
We are definitely feeling blessed at this time as we enjoy the our newest little one and Dominic's antics. :) He is learning changing so much every day!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
OK so I am not good at keeping up with my blog, but I have high hopes that I will get better at it. ;-)
So I think it's a good time for some updates. Spano baby #2 has made life a little...exciting for us lately. At 32 1/2 weeks I went into pre-term labor in Lamar. They attempted a couple different medications to stop the contractions but they weren't able to. So the decision was made to fly me to Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs because they have a good NICU. Once I got there I continued the magnesium sulfate until I was able to get the steroid injections for the baby's lungs. At this time I was also diagnosed with pre-eclampsia so everyone really thought that the baby would make his or her appearance sooner rather than later. I was transferred to the Women's Pavilion (this unit is reserved for women like me or post-surgical) and placed on extreme bedrest. Apparently this was enough to keep the pre-eclampsia mostly down. I had to stay in Colorado Springs for 3 1/2 weeks. For those of you that don't know our location, that is 3 hours from home. Needless to say, that was rough on all of us. I never stopped contractions, in fact I continue to have them now that I am home. And yes, I'm still on bedrest.
Jason thankfully had a lot of vacation time as well as catastrophic leave time. He has been home from work taking care of Dominic (and now me too!) for a month! I think he is a better house husband than I am a house wife. ;-)
The exciting news is that we are so much closer to meeting this baby! Friday morning I go in for my scheduled repeat c-section. Please remember us in your prayers!
Monday, June 27, 2011
This week marks the end of my travels to Pueblo for weekends fiilled with work for me and randomly wandering the big city for Jason and Dominic. While I really enjoyed the opportunity to work at Parkview Medical Center, and loved the people I worked with, I am thankful for the end. 5AM is really early and to follow a 5AM wake-up with a 2 hour drive for work is hard! I did get to work with a level of patients and diagnoses that I probably will never get at my hour of work at Prowers Medical Center in Lamar. It has been awesome.
I am choosing this time to stop going because I'm far enough along in my pregnancy (30 weeks hooray! 9 more weeks!!!) that it is getting difficult for me. But, also this week marks my first week taking care of baby Olivia! A coworker of Jason just had a sweet little girl and she wanted someone a bit more personal to watch her so my husband suggested me and I'm so excited! Hopefully this will prepare our household a bit for a second baby.
Well, speaking of Olivia, she's here now! Time to get on the job! :)
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
So, here I was yearning a bit for this real Communion that Jason had discussed with me; this connection to Our Lord that seemed to be available only to Catholics and yet, I was so involved in the lives of all of my Mormon friends and feeling accepted and loved by all of them. My first "calling" (aka job) in the Mormon church was teaching Sunday School to 8 year olds. I thoroughly enjoyed this, but honestly, I never taught them anything about the Book of Mormon. They rotate and the year I was doing this teaching we were learning about the New Testament. The focus was on things like Christ being God's only begotten son; things that I knew about all throughout my life. Nothing seemed weird at all. About the time I really began to question things, I was switched to teaching Young Women's and the year changed and the focus became more on the BoM and I found more and more inconsistencies with certain aspects.
I sat in to learn a bit about genealogy one Sunday and I was informed by the woman teaching us that I needed to hurry up and get married because if I died unmarried, they would just "pick" someone to marry me to in the temple. :-O Yikes! That was odd. After a discussion with Jason about the "Great Apostasy" I found myself using the info from the Mormon church in conjunction with the Bible to see if I could "prove" it. Well, funny thing, all the supposed proof in the Bible, if you read the context, is really about other things. The "proof" for the BoM stumped me for a while, Jason and I had discussed the part of Revelation where John says that no more can be added to that. When I went to my Mormon scholars, they informed me that the truth is that Revelation was probably written much earlier than other books of the Bible, and it's placement at the end wasn't because of the order when it was written. As I said, I did not know much biblical history, so I honestly didn't question it. When I took this back to Jason he pointed me to some information where I could look it up and learn for myself. But I didn't. Yet. I think by this point Jason was almost giving up on my conversion. We tried to stop talking about it. It was the elephant in the room all the time and our friendship was seriously strained.
Around this time, my Mormon friends were working on getting me "Temple ready" and had in fact planned my first trip to the Temple. The first trip was supposed to be to do Baptisms of the Dead, but it would be shortly after that when I would go for the real deal. Literally the night before we were scheduled to leave there was a snow storm. And I don't mean just any old snow storm, this was the beginning of the SE Colorado Blizzard of '06. We got 36 inches. We did not go to the Temple. When it was rescheduled there was another snow storm that stopped it. I am not kidding, I am certain that God was intervening in a very real, very physical way. After the second trip was cancelled I had enough questions that I told them I didn't feel ready or OK with taking part in it.
By this time Jason and I had decided not to discuss my conversion specifically, as it was the only way we could stay friends. So, you're wondering what the deciding factor was? Well, it was a conversation I was not part of. I was working in the office filing and two of my coworkers were chatting about various things and came to discussing religion. One of the ladies, a Protestant Christian asked the other, a Catholic, if she believed there was marriage in Heaven. The Catholic said, she wasn't sure, but she didn't think it would be the same. Now, this perked my interest because one of the BIGGEST selling points of Mormonism is that it is the only religion that allows for Celestial, Eternal marriage. The Protestant said "well, I don't, in fact Christ says that there is no marriage in Heaven in the Bible." And I said "WHAT?!" Again, I had so little knowledge of the Bible I had never heard this line. I sent a text message to Jason and asked him for the reference, he gave it to me and I went home and poured over my KJV Bible that I had gotten from my mom, not the Mormon one.
Then I started asking questions of my Mormon coworkers and friends, and finally I saw how their responses were not satisfactory. They would lead me somewhere but when that raised more questions they would turn to the standard Mormon answer of "logics does not have to be involved, we are talking about the Holy Spirit burning in your bosom". My standard answer to that at this point was that if I read a novel based on a fictional character living during Christ's time it is likely that it would leave a good feeling for me, but that wouldn't mean it was inspired. Privately I held that I knew Satan could mimic those good feelings. I also started asking questions of Jason again, but he was a little more guarded, he did give me a book of the Wisdom of the Church Fathers to read, but more on that in a moment. I also spoke to one of my Mormon friends' daughter who was attending a Baptist church along with the girl I rode to PTA school with who is a non-denominational Christian. Where they led I followed. Except on the point that there isn't "One" true church. I couldn't buy that, I mean, here I am following the Bible throughout my disassociation from the Mormons, using it to "disprove" aspects of the BoM, and Christ said He would be with us even to the end of time. So there must be some way for Him to guide us. He must have had a plan, and that plan must have been specific.
So, I read that book of the wisdom of the Church Fathers that Jason gave me. And what do you know? They were all Catholic. Even better, they discussed the Eucharist. That one, special way to bring Heaven to Earth and have Christ TRULY present. Then Jason agreed to take me to Daily Mass and explain things to me. We sat in the cry room and he explained what was happening. It was beautiful. There was something, no, SomeONE there. He gave me his Missals to look over to understand more. Then I was gone for a couple of days for surgery in Greeley (see my post related to Endrometriosis for more on that), and when I returned I'd made my decision. If I believed Christ in the New Testament telling us that He would be with us, and I believed history, there is no other way for me to go. I was already Catholic in my heart.
I started reading, and reading, and reading more. Thank God that Jason has lots of books about Church history and understanding. His Baltimore Catechisms came in really handy! He bought me Catholicism for Dummies and a Bible, you know one of those Catholic Bibles. ;-) And he introduced me to the priest who I started meeting with weekly to prepare for my Conversion. I started my true conversion process in April of '07, because of my private meetings with the priest and my individual study, he allowed me to be Baptized on September 2, 2007. Happiest. Day. Of. My. Life. . The first time I received Our Lord, I was complete. We refer to that day as my Heathen no More Day. :)
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I had been entrenched in the Mormon life for about 4 months when I met Jason. We met at work and I figured out that he was Catholic (he wore a St. Christopher medal, and hey, I'm smart), and after a few emails also learned that he was really moral and proper. He did not drink, he did not swear, he did not like movies with sex or other immoral things in them. And I thought that was so cool because I had lost all of my friends who weren't married with kids (those were my new Mormon friends) because of giving up drinking. So, I thought it would be fun to hang out. I did *not* have any desire to date him at that time, and he didn't have any desire to date me. Although, if you ask him, he's certain I had a crush on him. ;-) Anyway, I honestly just wanted someone to hang out with that I didn't have to worry about judging me for my new-found morals. We started spending more time together and since I was so "on fire" for my new religion and Jason is very dedicated and passionate about his faith, the subject came to religion.
We discussed so many aspects of our religions, it was really neat...and it was really heated. It got to the point that we couldn't have the discussions in person. We were soon sending emails back and forth. Jason would question something, and I would counter, sometimes hatefully; I distinctly remember even sinking to the "yeah but all those pedophile priests..." and he answered really well. He did not deny them, and he did not defend anything. This was so new to me, because often if you question a Mormon about polygamy you get some major defense of the situation, or you get some major anger. Also, as I've stated before, I did not have a lot of religious background, so I did not know the Bible particularly well. Moreover, there is a lot of stuff that as an "early" Mormon you aren't necessarily told. So, when Jason would ask something, I'd take it to the Missionaries or my coworkers. That sort of made Jason uncomfortable, but I think it also gave him some leverage. When he asked me why I did not drink tea and I told him because it was in the Doctrine's and Covenants, he was able to really push it and help me to question it more. Honestly, I don't even know if he knows this or not, but some of the conversations we had about why I would blindly follow some random proclamation to not drink tea or coffee stuck with me the most. I spent some time on Mormon Apologetics websites trying to get a good answer, and couldn't come up with one.
The conversation that really sent me questioning the first time though was about Communion. I was babysitting for one of the families, and was using their copy of the Bible, BoM and D&C but couldn't find the answer. Jason asked me if we believed that when we received Communion it was the body and blood of Christ. I said yes. He questioned me, and said that most non-Catholics believe it's symbolic. Based on the prayer that is said before the Sacrament (what Mormons call Communion), and the fact that it has to be said PRECISELY or it was not valid, I believed it was more than symbolism. I made a phonecall to one of my coworkers, and spoke with his wife. She told me of course it was symbolic, otherwise it would be cannibalism. Well, how do you argue that?! So, I regurgitated what she told me to Jason and we moved on. But I didn't. Jason quoted John Chapter 6 to me and I went home and read and reread that. Jason said that if Christ was being symbolic, why would He not clarify. He pointed out other parts in the Gospels where Christ corrected those that had things wrong, but I didn't remember the specifics of those references. What spoke to me was Christ present; yesterday, today, and always. How intriguing, how exciting, how could one not want that?
**Looks like my trip from Mormonism to Catholicism will take longer than one post. ;-)**
Monday, April 25, 2011
Triduum was a little more difficult for us, as we've been having some difficulty with Dominic's sleeping lately. He's been teething and been so achy and not napping well, which of course makes him go to bed early. Jason went to Holy Thursday by himself, but did come home and let me go to Adoration for a short bit. It was definitely worth it. We did make it as a family for the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, but again Dominic went to sleep early that evening so it was my turn. I attended on my own. Jason stayed home and cuddled the adorable boy so he stayed asleep. On Saturday, Dominic took a late nap so we decided that we would make an attempt at the Easter Vigil Mass.
Dominic did surprisingly well. We actually started in the cry room, but it was actually a CRY room that evening. As in, two babies were in there crying inconsolably, and quite sick as they were hacking like crazy (why would parents take their sick kids to Mass?!). So, we left the cry room for the comfort of the pews. Unfortunately people behind us thought that Dominic was so cute that they needed to try to make him smile and giggle. We really try to keep him mostly calm during Mass, not that he's getting a lot out of it right now, but we're trying to develop good habits. If you see an adorable baby at Mass, please wait until after Mass is over to attempt to make him or her giggle. Jason even had to sternly tell a little girl to stop trying to play with Dominic.
All of these difficulties with timing, and people in Mass obviously didn't change the beauty and overall wonderfulness of the Triduum for us, but it certainly made me appreciate the quiet times at Mass we've had in the past. It also made me really look forward to passing on the beauty and tradition of Lent, Holy Week, Triduum and Easter to Dominic and our still baking Spano fruit (and all subsequent fruit on the Spano family tree). As I read through blogs and posts of friends I saw so many ideas of how to bring the beauty to life for them, and I am excited. From resurrection rolls teaching the kiddos about how Jesus rose on Sunday, to 3D lamb cakes (not sure I'll ever be awesome enough for that one! ;-)) for Easter dinner.Oh yeah, plus chocolate crosses for Easter Sunday of course! :)
What are some of your favorite Lent, Holy Week, and Easter traditions?
Do you have favor
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Despite this being the hardest Lenten sacrifice I've done thus far (my fourth), I have not given in and messed up my sacrifice. I gave up all drinks but plain ole water (sometimes w/ a splash of lemon juice), I hate water. As strange as that sounds, it's true. I can't stand it...even good water. Because I need to drink more water (especially while pregnant) I usually add Crystal Light to my water. And I love Diet Mtn Dew. So, yeah, this has been super rough. And we don't allow ourselves to have any on Sundays either. I'm not sure of Jason's reasons, but mine is that I have a tendency to be gluttonous so I know I would just overfill on those days and it wouldn't end up being much of a sacrifice. So, I'm really rather pleased with how my Lenten sacrifice has gone.
My Lenten promises? Not so awesome. I wanted to make it more of a priority to attend Daily Mass. So did Jason, and I think he's only missed one or two. He rocks. Me...not so much. Some nights I've slept so horribly the idea of getting out of bed early makes me feel sicker than my normal morning sickness. On those days, Jason would get up with Dominic and take him to Mass with him while I slept. Then when they got back Dominic would be ready for a little nap so I'd go back to sleep some more. I felt better, but talk about epic fail. This sleep issue also interfered with our other Lenten promise to make sure we prayed more together especially the Rosary. Some days were awesome, even if I didn't get up, others though I went to bed before Jason was done working so we didn't get the chance. Though I feel sure that he prayed the Rosary on his own. I know I've mentioned this before, but Jason is an amazing Spiritual Head of Household; he is knowledgable and he is passionate about his faith. Just what is needed with a leaning towards slothful at times wife!
So, some failing and some rocking...and along comes Holy Week. We have made it to Mass together all 3 days they had morning Daily Mass and prayed LOTH and the Rosary together each day so far. I don't feel like this makes up for all the days I failed, but I think it pleases Our Lord. And, I feel like I've got a bit of a habit started and it will stay with me, so I can be a good help mate to Jason as he continues to lead us in our Spiritual life.
How have you done this Lent?
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
So, today I cancelled my 20 week ultrasound. Do you know how much those things cost?! It's ridiculous. And while getting to see the little one is so incredibly cool, we aren't convinced it's worth it. Especially considering that we aren't finding out the sex. We are terrified we will "accidentally" find out. And considering that we are having a healthy pregnancy, it's not necessary. So...I cancelled it and we will tell the doc at my appointment next week. Hopefully he's OK w/ it, but if not..well he can't force us.
We declined all the extra tests as well, and we're nearing the time for those, I'm not sure if the doc will ask us again about them or not. I feel certain that when we leave the office the doctor and nurse will roll their eyes, but that's OK, being a parent means doing what you feel is best and right for your family.
We think saving the $240 and the chance of knowing what we don't want to know, is important enough to be "those" people.
Monday, April 11, 2011
So, usually Dominic is pretty good at Mass. I mean he likes to chatter, and giggle, but overall he is a happy baby. On Saturday, we went to Mass in Pueblo at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Jason had to wake Dominic up from his nap at some point, and he hadn't been able to get back to sleep. So at Mass he was pretty cranky.
Now, we are pretty sensitive because we both get distracted really easily. But this time Dominic was REALLY bad! Screaming, squirming, and scowling. He was so tired he would go between extremely loud giggling to screaming as though he were in agony. The screams were short lived and overall people would have thought he was happy. There was no cry room so Jason took him to a little alcove by the restrooms. The weird thing? Nobody seemed bothered. Nobody looked at us, no dirty looks, nobody did any of the awful things I hear about.
I think the reason might be that at the Cathedral people are really chatty. Not just in those the pews, but of particular chatty-ness is one of the ushers who speaks in a normal volume throughout the entire Mass. So maybe people are used to noise and so the boy's giggling and loudness wasn't a big deal? Or maybe they were thankful for small children at Mass?
What bothers you more? People chatting or noisy babies?
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Yep that's right we are almost halfway through this pregnancy. What a whirlwind! I know that we are not focusing on every minute change like we did with Dominic because, well, there is Dominic. We are so busy being new parents that it is hard to focus on the little things at times. But we need to make more of an effort so that we have this memory as well.
It struck me yesterday that when Spano Baby #2 makes his/her appearance, we will have TWO babies. Dominic will only be 13 months old so it will still be like having two babies. I am so excited, nervous, scared, excited. It will be a blast to watch them interact...but I'm thinking of the mundane. You know, like navigating the grocery store w/ a (maybe) walking 1 yr old and a baby in a carrier. Moms who do this w/ more...you are my heroes!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Well, one of my Lenten sacrifice/promises was to go to Daily Mass regularly, and like I mentioned yesterday, Jason is doing great...me not so much. I am SO tired sometimes. :( It makes me feel really bad but I know it's normal to be this tired while pregnant.
I also wanted to start doing some religious reading each night, and so tonight I am going to work on that! It might take until the end of Lent, but I think I can develop some good habits. Pray for me and I will for you!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Dominic is growing so fast and doing new things all the time. He has a couple teeth poking up in the bottom, and it's affecting his sleeping a bit...so it's affecting ours. It's pretty rough, but I know we'll get our sleeping boy back soon. He likes to try to get people's attention and smile and giggle at them so that they will smile at him and pay attention to him. It's pretty adorable. Dominic will take a few steps when holding our hands, especially excited if it's towards Mama or Daddy. But, he hasn't quite figured out crawling; he will stay on his tummy a bit more and just today brought his knees up underneath him himself, so maybe crawling won't be too far off. I'm sure that we won't be as excited about it once he starts getting into things!
We got to hear the littlest Spano's heartbeat today at our OB appointment. It was 163bpm, which is quite a bit higher than Dominic's was. I think his was usually around 148bpm, but I'll have to check back on old blog posts to know for sure.
We are so excited to meet the new baby and are really enjoying Dominic's first year. Our growing family is such a blessing! :)
Thursday, February 10, 2011
1) I have kept the house relatively picked up, this is a big deal to me because lately I've been really struggling with the daily routine and figuring out how to do it and still use the time when Dominic is not napping to spend with him. So, this week I'm proud of myself for the doing the dishes more than once, and even doing the laundry!
2) Cooked something new, and it didn't completely suck! I roasted a whole chicken for the first time ever on Tuesday. It was kind of a pain, and as Jason said, not sure the difficulty involved was worth the meal, but it was cool that I did it and it tasted good. I'd really like to try cooking something new every week, we'll see how Jason goes for that! ;-)
3) Dominic rolled over for the first time!OK, so it's not *my* success per se, but it was so wonderful that I decided to put it here. I guess in a way it is our success as parents as we have been better about giving Dominic the time he needs on the floor. We love holding him, so we spend a lot of time playing with him in our arms, and I think it sort of hindered that instinct a bit. So, we've made a more conscious effort to leave him on the floor playing a bit more.
So, what are your small successes this week?
Friday, January 21, 2011
The new name is courtesy of my awesome husband, Jason Spano, I just added the ellipses...what I like them?
Speaking of this pregnancy, it seems to be going well, I'm about 8 1/2 weeks pregnant (we think, we'll have a better estimate of that after Monday and the ultrasound). I'm much more nauseous than I was with Dominic, but if I can keep from getting those itchy rashes I'll take it! Even if the nausea means that my dreams are about getting sick. OK, well, last night was the first one, but it was super weird and left me wondering if I actually DID get sick. Like that saying about the man who dreamed he was eating his pillow, and woke up chewing on it...or something? With this pregnancy, we'll be planning a repeat c-section as our hospital does not allow VBACs. I'm coming to terms with it, but it is difficult. We don't want our family size limited by what my scar tissue can handle, but we're going to pray that it is all in God's will. We would gladly accept your prayers as well. :)
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Today I am thankful for:
1) Getting to Daily Mass, it has really been a struggle lately, Dominic has started waking up again a couple times in the night and I'm just.so.tired lately from being pregnant. I do not have the leisure this time around to nap for 3 hours in the day and then go to bed at 8PM. So, getting to go to Mass and receive Our Lord in the Eucharist, is truly a blessing for which I'm thankful!
2) The mostly clean living room, two weekends ago when I was at work Jason stayed home with Dominic and he got the office cleaned (and usable!) and also cleaned the living room. This has meant that it has been simply a matter of picking up for me lately, and not a major thorough cleaning twice a week!
3) My husband that works so hard, so that I can be home with Dominic (and future babies)! He works all day at the hospital, he does extra side jobs, and he teaches at the college (3 classes this semester!). It is stressful and at times very hard for him, and I'm not sure that he knows just how much I appreciate it.
What are you thankful for on this Tuesday morning?
Saturday, January 1, 2011
I'm checking out posting on my blog from phone, and thought I'd use this time to share some exciting news! There will be a new fruit coming to the Spano kumquat tree this year! We are feeling very blessed and excited, and would appreciate your prayers!