We have finally scheduled Bubba's baptism. We had to wait on my Father-in-law to get back from the Philippines and my sister-in-law's husband to get out of boot camp, but now that everyone is present and accounted for we can move forward. The same priest that baptized me when I entered the church will be performing the baptism, which is kind of neat. I was absolutely amazed at the difference in the rules from when Bella was baptized to now. When Bella was baptized I wasn't catholic, so my perspective was very different, as well, but:
- Bella: had seven Godparents (another Filipino tradition, for some), none of whom were actually confirmed practicing catholics. A couple of them were baptized catholic, and one had made it as far as first communion, but that was it.
- Bubba: only permitted two Godparents, at least one of whom has to be a confirmed, practicing catholic and can provide a letter from their parish priest to verify that.
- Bella: we registered at the parish the day we called the parish office to set up Bella's baptism.
- Bubba: you are required to be registered at the parish for three months prior to arranging a baptism.
- Bella: The state of our marriage was never brought up.
- Bubba: When I called to set up a meeting with the priest I was asked about our marriage, and the first things Father did in the meeting was schedule a convalidation.
- Bella: We took a brief class with a deacon and then he performed the baptism after a mass. There was not a priest involved at all.
- Bubba: We met with the parish priest for roughly an hour where he discussed baptism with us, and he will be performing the baptism himself after mass.
On a lighter note, let me just tell you: nobody celebrates a sacrament better than Filipinos. Oh, yes, friends and neighbors, immediately following Bubba's baptism there will be a lunch to beat all lunches on the shores of beautiful Perdido Bay, and as per tradition, there will be lechon (I will be having chicken - I like pork, but pulling it straight off a pig is a bit unsettling for me), and pansit, and lumpia, among other things. It is Filipino tradition to have a huge, blowout party following the reception of a sacrament. My in-laws were stationed back in the Philippines when my sister-in-law was baptized, and it was huge - like, close down the block and invite the entire community huge. We are not taking it that far, but it's apparently going to be pretty big. My in-laws are planning most of it - I'm just around to help roll lumpia and carry things, I think. I'm not going to stress over it, though - I'm just going to keep in mind that my baby will be baptized and that is what matters most, that is the highlight of the day. Yikes!
Bubba is slowly becoming more and more picky, and he makes me laugh on a regular basis. He loves to be out and about - he is the most portable child in the world. You can take him anywhere, and as long as he can see what is going on around him, he is a happy camper. But take him home? Forget it. Homebound Bubba is an unhappy Bubba. When I tell people this, they say, "Well, just take him out!". It's not that easy, though. I take him out whenever possible, but I cannot drop everything else I have to do - housework, taking care of my other child, sleep, things like that, just to keep him entertained and happy. I would love to spend every moment of my day being entertained, as well, but that isn't exactly how life works. Bubba is going to have to learn that lesson early.
People don't believe me, but he is slowly starting to reveal himself. My sister took both kids to the zoo last week, and he was good as gold while they were at the zoo, but once they got back to her house? He screamed his little head off. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law took him out shopping with them the other day, and he was almost angelic. But once he was home? He was fussy. Tuesday we went to lunch, two museums, then a long walk that ended up at a downtown pier with one of those interactive water fountains. A long, long (hot!) day during which he only cried briefly when he was getting sleepy. And then once again, upon our return home? Grumpy, fussy and whiny. I'll never understand it. But I guess it is a good thing that he is good somewhere. I'll take what I can get.
He is also starting to show a preference for certain people and a slight aversion to some (but not all) strangers. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it, though - he will spend all of Bella's swimming lesson in the arms of a stranger, just some woman who walked by and wanted to hold him, and he will be perfectly OK. But then when Jacelyn's swim teacher holds him, he sticks his bottom lip out as far as it will go and cries even though he has known her almost since birth. We ran into a friend of ours at Wal-Mart, and when she leaned over him to talk to him he started crying. But, when I went to the uniform exchange at Bella's school, one of her friend's dads held him the whole time and he never protested - he even cooed and gurgled and made little cute spitty noises and had everyone in the room fooled...I mean, charmed.
He seems to like men - he will behave like an angel for his daddy, or one of his uncles, or any man that he knows (and some he doesn't). At night, it takes me about twenty minutes of rocking and cajoling and singing and patting to get him to sleep, and throughout all of it he screams his head off like I am hurting him until he finally gives in and sleeps. He does the same thing for my sister-in-law, who watches him while I work. But he will sit in his daddy's lap and slowly drift off, never protesting, just sitting still and quiet and falling peacefully off to sleep.
Bella got her report card and she had a wonderful year in kindergarten. And on top of her good 'grades' and behavior, she missed only one day and was tardy only once for the entire year. Hooray! She is spending her summer so far playing Wii and catching up on her cartoons. Swimming is going well - she is enjoying it, and we are signed up and paid for lessons through mid-July, so she is excited about that. I think, however, that after that we are going to take a break and not do anything for a while. Swimming has been every Monday, Wednesday and Friday since April, and while she had enjoyed it and learned a lot, it will be nice to just have nothing to do for a while, until school and Girl Scouts get started again.
I will close with this little tidbit: my apartment is apparently where roly-poly bugs come to die. I have noticed sugar ants lately, and an increase in the amount of spiders, but every time I sweep (which is generally daily) I am finding deceased roly-polys. I'm sure they are looking for moisture, and it is hot as all blazes outside (the temperature last Saturday with the heat index was 108) so that has to be why they are coming in, but I don't understand why they have to die. The ants and spiders are surviving, why not the harmless little roly-polys? Poor things. They hold a special place in Bella's heart as they are the only insect she will touch. We do have a picture of her holding a butterfly she raised from a caterpillar, but in the picture she is looking warily at the butterfly and holding her sleeve closed, so it doesn't really count. If Bella finds them she puts them outside, regardless of whether they are dead or alive. I didn't stay on top of sweeping them off the patio and she noticed that they weren't moving and got a little upset. When I explained the whole moisture thing (it was the best I could come up with) she decided that, from now on, we should keep a bowl of water outside for the roly-polys. So, if you were to look at my patio, you would see a bunch of dead plants in colorfully painted pots, one live plant that needs transplanting, and a little bowl of water for roly-polys. Six is a magical age.