I need to start by saying that I have some really amazing friends! When I was pregnant and decided to come out of lurkdom on the message boards I've been checking out since my engagement days, I never thought I'd meet such an amazing group of ladies who enjoy talking about babies and other random, fun things. I'm so glad that these ladies posted, and we got to know each other - they are an awesome support network, and help keep me sane/lift my spirits when Judith, John, & I are having a rough day with everything. I've already given them some thanks today, but I want to give them huge props here too - I don't think I can thank them enough for their support and for the surprise package they sent us today! You ladies rock! <3
And now for the other half of this post. Judith was able to attend her first Ash Wednesday service this year. Last year we were unable to go since we were under lockdown, so I was excited to take her to church for this new experience.
Things were ok. Judith was cranky - a combination of being tired and teething (those pesky molars are working their way through, and I know it's really bothering her), and I did have to take her out of the church during the sermon. Part of the problem was there were too many people for her to look at in the back of the church (I thought ahead on that one, and had the sense to sit as close to an exit as possible... just in case!), and the other part was she just could not find a comfortable spot in my arms. I started out wearing her in the ring sling, much like I do for Sunday morning services, but she was getting pissed by being more restricted in that. Then she got mad because I refused to let her eat my bulletin, and gave her an appropriate toy to gnaw on. She wasn't really noisy up until the sermon, when she started to fuss because she couldn't get comfy. So I got up, took her out into the hallway, and listened to her make random noises (excited screams included) because she made the discovery that the acoustics in this particular hallway are excellent and there's a small echo. So much for trying to fall asleep!
I was able to take her back in during the Hymn of the Day, when I realized I forgot to grab my small LBW so I could participate. ::facepalm:: The hymn was very familiar to me, but I don't have it memorized, so I could only sing bits and pieces. Judith was still awake, but acting sleepy. Since she was awake, I decided that she could receive the ashes - I was half bracing myself for some side-eyes from people about my decision, but thankfully didn't notice any! Judith was absolutely fascinated by the ashes. Hers didn't last long (I wasn't really expecting them to, and my shoulder and jawbone ended up wearing hers after about 5 minutes), but she was so curious about mine, touching my forehead trying to figure out what was there.
Judith finally fell asleep during the service... about 5 minutes before it ended. ::cue another facepalm:: These evening services are hit or miss with her - last year, at Easter Vigil, she had a massive meltdown. Other services she was fine, and others were like last night. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that future services will go more smoothly!