Saturday we ventured out with the baby (still always a little daunting no matter how many times we've done it) and actually stayed out with her for a solid 6 hours comprised of multiple stops which I consider a tremendous victory. First we checked out RVA Antiques on Lakeside because we are looking for two new dining table chairs to go with our benches (our current ones are on the squat side and make you feel like a 5 year old when you sit in them). They had a lot of awesome things that piqued my love of consignment, but unfortunately no chairs that worked. The baby hung out happily in the sling the whole time and received numerous compliments (I cannot tell you how many older people remark on the sling and say this exact same phrase "I wish they made those when I had babies"). Since we didn't find any chairs we figured we might as well console ourselves with beer, so we headed to Hardywood. It was packed due to some event, but while we were trying to find parking we noticed the new and adjacent Castleburg Brewery so we decided to head there instead. There was a huge group with multiple babies in tow (always makes me feel better because I think some people think it's inappropriate to take a baby to a brewery, and to those people I say you are wrong, but that's a topic for another time).
I had the cream ale brewed through some contraption that infuses it with the flavor of raspberries and strawberries (not girly AT ALL). It was nice and light and refreshing. My husband had a sampler and I loved the Wit that came with it. Wheat beer really is the best beer in my humble opinion. After the brewery we headed to Carytown (I KNOW, so ambitious right?). After a quick bottle feed in the car (so nice to be able to do that again) we took the baby in the stroller and spent a nice couple of hours walking in and out of shops while Ryley napped. We finished off our excursion by grabbing a cake to go at Shyndigz (for the next day, not just for our dinner, although I would get an entire cake for dinner from Shyndigz because they are that good) and then dinner to go from Stella's Market (can they please open up a second location in Goochland!). It was a perfect little Saturday.
Sunday was a little more exciting because of the fact that we decided we couldn't risk Ryley's soul going to purgatory a moment longer and got that baby baptized. (Totally kidding just in case you think I might be a totally hardcore Catholic who believes such things)
Plus Catholicism is strange in that even if you don't practice regularly you never really shake it. It has a secular, cultural component in much the same way I imagine Judaism does. My mom was Catholic. My grandmother was Catholic. It's a part of my family's legacy and part of who I am forever. I may not go to church on a regular basis, but I still feel Catholic, particularly when it comes to soul crushing guilt. And why wouldn't I want to pass on the heritage of soul crushing guilt to my daughter? (Useful for keeping her out of trouble in her teenage years!)
She actually did much better expected during Mass. She sat happily on my lap during the first half, shamelessly flirting with the people in the pew behind us. She of course started to get fussy during the actual Baptismal rite when we were standing in front of the entire congregation, but babies being fussy during baptism is kind of a rite of passage. She didn't mind getting the water on her forehead (she really loves her baths) and didn't mind getting anointed with the oil either. Our only slight hiccup was that my husband took her out to the lobby during communion because she was crying and forgot that there was a blessing for the parents after Eucharist. The priest called us and the other family getting baptized up to the front and my husband and baby were literally MIA. There were a few panicked moments when I thought I would have to go up by myself (AWKWARD, particularly during the part where the father is specifically blessed), but luckily Rob and Ryley made it back just in time.
It was a nice service, and I it did mean a lot to me to see her baptized in the church I spent so much time in as a kid (I went to school in an attached building next door and we had weekly masses there, plus any special event like graduation, Christmas concerts, etc). It also meant a lot that she was able to wear a dress my late grandmother made for my sister to get baptized in. My Richmond grandmother was there too, so it felt like one of those moments where you really see how important the ties of your past our to your children and how necessary it is to pass along those ties.
We ate to our full and drank mimosas (now that is a Catholic tradition, the drinking part at least). And then we spent the rest of Sunday in a food coma. We did attempt to put the baby in a the little baby pool we bought, thinking she would like it since she likes baths so much. The result...