Friday, November 29, 2013

He's my baby




No one has four babies five babies six babies seven babies eight babies anymore.



But I am thankful for my baby. Number eight. The youngest of the five boys whom my husband and I call our "Catholic babies" -- the five who wouldn't exist if God had not changed our hearts.


My baby, born when I was weeks shy of 43.

Some cynics say, "I'd rather be 40 than pregnant!"
I say, "I'd rather be 40 (or 42!) and pregnant, if it means I get a treasure like my baby."


Weeks after I had him, I started writing a blog. Yup, my baby and my blog are the same age.

My baby is cuter than my blog.


Yes, he ate a fudge-sicle. Or three.


My baby's innocence and goodness (he is the sweetest, kindest, most helpful baby in the world) make my heart ache.

Okay, he's not technically a baby anymore. But darn it all, he's my baby.

And he's got a couple of other "mommies" who fawn all over him.



And now he has a brother-in-law who is more like another big brother -- in addition to the five other big brothers who cannot stop vying for his affection.




Oh, the poor neglected child! So lost in the shuffle! How he suffers!




But he's always got another Mommy looking over his shoulder:


He's her baby, too.

So I think he'll be okay.









36 comments:

  1. So this is what happens when you ditch facebook! The Bubble explodes with posts!!! Adorable pictures as always and yes I am already getting impatient for the first photos of you with your grandchild :)

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  2. This was my favorite part... because I love snark...
    "Oh, the poor neglected child! So lost in the shuffle! How he suffers!"

    ...until I saw this part!!!
    "But he's always got another Mommy looking over his shoulder...So I think he'll be okay."

    Love Mama Mary so much.

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  3. Thanks, ladies! You know, I did not take these pictures thinking I would write a post about him (they were a few out of many Thanksgiving day pictures of extended family), but he's just so stinking cute, and then the pictures with Mary… I couldn't resist!

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  4. Life is beautiful!
    That look on his face. It's simply care free.
    It's the "I know nothing but love, so that's what I'm giving back" look. We were just tonight discussing the "would ifs" . We call 5,6,7 our Grace babies. Simply don't know if we would have made it without them. Thanking God from our undeserving knees.
    Shoot, you guys get it, what am I talking about?

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    Replies
    1. **would ifs**
      As in...Would if I hadn't ditched my English classes?

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  5. Amen, Chris! We understand each other! Undeserved, that says it all. And, I have seen your little ones… "cherubic" comes to mind!

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  6. Bravo Leila (and Dean and the rest of the gang)! Yeah!

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  7. So, so, so cute! And blessed.

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  8. Loving this photo essay. A great tribute to your son and to our loving God.

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  9. I continue to be impressed by how you have lived according to your faith and all the good that has come from it. Thank you for sharing your personal life with us. At some point, though, you might want to consider celibacy. :-)

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  10. He is precious! Somehow I had forgotten that you had five boys in a row at the end... wow! That's a lot of legos! heehee!

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  11. Leila,

    How precious!! We, too, have 3 (so far, but I am 44!) babies that wouldn't be here if our hearts weren't changed. We now have 7 beautiful gifts from God and I am in awe that the good Lord would entrust these souls to us. Oh how I pray for all couples to remain open to the will of God....

    Thank you for this blog- I recommend it frequently to others and share many things from here. Just wanted to let you know since I rarely comment :))

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  12. Thanks everyone! And I love hearing from the people who don't comment often. Nice to "see" you!

    Monica, yep, we had a girl, then a boy, then a girl. And we were "done". I remember feelings so sad for my son that he would never have a brother. Bwahahahahaha! He has five now! We haven't had a girl in the family in 19 years. Can you guess what I am secretly wishing my grandbaby is? ;)

    Bill, ha ha, well, since I was not called to the single life, and I was not called to a religious vocation, I am not called to celibacy, sorry! :)

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  13. He is so incredibly cute! And what wonderful pictures!

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  14. By the way, lest anyone mistake, this is not my house and yard!

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  15. Love this baby post! I am pregnant with #5 (how did I get here?) and it will be our 4th baby boy! I wonder what he will be like as they are all. so. different! One is very analytical and questions everything, another just wants to fight the bad guys and cuddle in his blanket, and the baby wants to stir up trouble wherever he goes. Yet they all have similarities..big heads, fat feet, chubby cheeks...different versions of their daddy. And they've all had the natural talent of turning toilet paper rolls, sticks, you name it, into swords. Love those little boys, and my growing family. Does it get any better? And it must! As they grow their personalities come out and our loving bond turns into something more...not quite friendship, as they are still my children, but something close to that. Something deeper. Something that almost mirrors---the Holy Trinity, perhaps?

    My oldest is my daughter I had when I was 20...my "crisis" pregnancy when I had not 2 nickels to rub together, no college degree, and was doing things "my way". I'm sure lots of people thought at the time I was pregnant with her that she should have been aborted. But what would I do without her? She is a princess, a star, a light shining in the darkness...so talented and beautiful and wonderful! She is dying for a little sister...maybe someday she will get her wish...but for now God is content to let me know just how precious 1 crisis pregnancy can be!

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  16. Just noticed Mama Mary in the background of the pictures...So clever!!!

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  17. Manda, beautiful story! You are a walking, talking, typing testament to God's amazing grace. :)

    And, we are both knee deep in "boyness"! Soul sister!

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  18. Those "babies" are precious. My little one lights up our family and adds so much joy. So thankful we were open to life.

    Your son has the best brown eyes evah.

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  19. So sweet! Looks like everyone had a wonderful day. I'm the youngest of five and my mom had me at 42. She always said I kept her young....ha ha ha. Big families are awesome. They have their own challenges but there is so much you learn from one another.

    I am so thankful for my big brothers. I've learned so much about life from them.

    By the way- I am totally jealous of the blooming flowers in November!

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  20. Leila, those pictures are awesome! What a special little guy!!! Our youngest boy (also boy #5) is the cutest little guy. (He's 3 now). When we were expecting him, people asked if we were just trying for a girl. They were trying to rationalize why we'd be so crazy as to be expecting our 5th baby in just over 6 years. (Really goes against the contracepting mentality of todays 'Cuture of Death'.) They really thought we just wanted a girl and that was the only reason for the last few boys. Most people just thought (and think) we are crazy.

    The blessings of being open to life are abundant! If only all couples would open their hearts! Children are, as JP the Great says, "the supreme gift of marriage."

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  21. SO beautiful! As a "young" (well, not so much anymore, but I still think of myself that way), I see so few IRL examples of a big, Catholic family. So thanks for being my example!! I am pregnant with #5, and struggled alot with how I can "handle" another. Your post reminds me of the beauty that awaits with this baby's arrival. Nothing more precious than watching the older ones love the little ones. And, we have the opposite going in this house--3 girls and 1 boy.

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  22. Congrats Angie! Sometimes I wonder how I can handle my 6 kids when my wife has to work all weekend (like this weekend; pray for me!) I often-times feel I lack the patience and the selflessness that is needed. So I turn to Jesus and tell him what I lack. I've come to learn that He always gives us the grace necessary to do His Holy Will. He, Himself, supplies what is lacking in us. Our misery is no match for His Mercy!

    It is great to hear how much God has blessed your family. I am sure you'll do great!

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  23. You even got a photo of him in orans, ha! What a cutie. But then, all those of us youngest children are. *ahem*

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  24. He is super cute! I will be praying for at least one more before I hit 40 (and that age is coming up way faster than I like!)

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  25. What a lovely post! Hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving.

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  26. would love to redo those pages in my life…..I am soooo happy for you.

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  27. Angie,
    When I got the positive test result with this recent pregnancy, I wondered the same thing. It really took a few months to come around to the idea. How will I handle another??? But as the months go by, I find myself feeling more and more prepared, as if I am a different person than I was even 6 months ago. I recently read Simcha Fischer's book, The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning, and in one chapter she talked about how we should not plan our family size based on how prepared we feel right now, in this moment. God is working on us, we are changing and growing, and we don't know what we will be doing 5 years from now. What she said really struck me as true, and it's just like that saying, God doesn't give you anything you can't handle. If we think about whether today ME can handle a life-altering event that is going to come 6 months from now, this can really cause us unnecessary stress and worry. We are being groomed for our 5th babies just as we are being groomed for every other situation coming down the road. We just happen to know what's coming when it's a baby. One day at a time. But, I know exactly how you feel!

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    1. The looming 3rd trimester will do that to you! Ha!

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  28. I'm always happy when I hear about a string of boys in a Catholic family. I need good pool of young men for some of my five daughters to marry. (I'm praying for at least one religious vocation in the bunch.) LOL

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  29. Hooray for large Catholic families! I remember when your baby was a baby because it was the same time I had the twins. I still remember the email you sent and I thought cool she's got a solid Catholic family she could give me some great advice! Love you Leila.

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  30. Thanks for the encouragement, Mike and Manda. Each day I'm feeling a little more prepared. I'm finally, very slowing, climbing out of "survival mode". I was asked to join an Ignatian prayer group and refused. Then asked again from a different source, and again said no. Then my husband suggested I join, and again I said no. I just felt too busy and overwhelmed to add one more thing! When I was asked AGAIN by a friend, I realized this was the Holy Spirit asking. I have joined it, and now am feeling more refreshed and have confidence that God will give me the energy and patience I need to love one more little soul!

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  31. Such a sweet and wonderful little face! Joining you in thanking and praising God for this little guy--who is no doubt destined to be a priest.

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  32. What a beautiful son! He is precious. Love your blog. haven't checked in as much as I'd like, but I'm going to try harder. My daughter was in religious formation for 3 years, and then decided it was not for her. But, her faith has grown and spread to all of us. The older I get, the more I appreciate my Catholic faith. A funny sidebar: I won a contest on a blog called Mormon Mommy Writers, and they then asked me to write a post for their blog twice a month. I said, "i'm not Mormon", but they told me that was OK, they wanted my perspective on life. You never know how God will work!

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