Baptizing and Barfing: 7 Quick Takes XXXVI

by | Nov 30, 2013 | 7 Quick Takes, Baptism, Sacraments | 35 comments

Quick Takes late Saturday afternoon, because I just had a baby and I can . . . 

So, things are still mostly great around here. Thanksgiving was delicious, Baby Lulu is sweet and squishy and sleepy. But also, there was barfing. Some on Thanksgiving, but most waited until Friday. About half of the people in this house, including some of the people who came here intending to be helpful and bringing toddlers of their own . . . were barfing.

Betty, Bobby, and Frankie got sick, and my mom and my sister. Whatever it is seems to be quick and just the tummy. But, not ideal. Fortunately, it seems like a quick illness and everyone’s been fine all day today.

I guess whatever it is, it’s probably not the flu. But just in case it is, I will share the results of my highly scientific survey of flu shot effectiveness. 

In the interest of the furthering of scientific knowledge and/or because I only had some of the kids with me the last time we went to the pediatrician, half of my kids got the flu shot: Bobby, Gus, and Frankie. Of the kids who have barfed, two had the flu shot, one didn’t.

I am a supporter of vaccines, but I’m not convinced about the flu shot. And this little bout is making me less convinced all the time.

Update: thank you to the nurses who have commented, it’s definitely not the flu (and I’m really glad we don’t have the flu, it sounds awful).

Lulu and I haven’t gotten the stomach thing so far (fingers crossed), so we’re just focused on regular old recovering from giving birth/being born.  It’s been interesting to me how my recoveries have been as different from each other as the labors and births have been. Some babies I’ve had terrible cramping, but that really hasn’t been so bad this time. And very little clotting either. But I don’t remember having much pain associated with nursing (aside from the milk coming in part) with the last couple, and, whew, that’s really been socking it to me this time around.

It’s fine overall, milk’s in, she’s latching, but I’m having to fight her a bit on keeping her mouth open wide enough, and I had a very unfortunate incident of sticking to the inside of my nursing tank on one side and now I’ve got some bleeding and getting her latched on is bringing back all those first-time nursing memories. Ouch.

I know it will all sort itself out soon. But in the meantime, ouch. Just, ouch.

We decided to go ahead and baptize Louise right away. Our baptisms have gotten earlier and earlier as we have come to focus more on the removal of original sin part and less on the cake part (but we do always have cake!).

And this time around, it happened that we have family in town and our dear friend Scott was ordained a Deacon just last week and is around town for the holidays before heading back out to the seminary, so this weekend seemed like perfect timing.

Until I realized that I hadn’t mentioned the plan to my mom, and she had the girl’s baptismal gown, which she and I and my other daughters have all worn, down at her house in San Diego. Oops.

That was Friday around 10am. So the reasonable choices were to a) borrow one, or b) go out on black Friday and buy one, or c) just relax and make do with something we have around the house.

Well, a) everyone I called had lent theirs out as well, and b) the one we’ve used before seemed special and i hated the idea of just grabbing whatever was cheapest and also the idea of shopping on black Friday, and c) Have you MET me?

So we moved on to the UNreasonable choices of a) driving a total of five hours down to San Diego and back to get it, or b) make one.

And then a) people were barfing, so b) I made one.

I grabbed some white fabric from my stash, cut out a gown shape and sewed it together. Lulu slept on daddy for an hour, and I was able to put something white and gown-shaped together in that amount of time.

Then I spent the rest of the day sitting in the glider with the baby embroidering it over her head!

So, the baptism was today, it was Deacon Scott’s first one, and we’re pretty sure it took. 

My parents and cousins and sister and her kids were here to join us, plus our friends and Lulu’s Godparents the Soejotos, some lovely neighbors and friends, and live on Facetime, Jim’s parents and sister and her family!

I’m not sure if I’ll be doing this again tomorrow, so here’s what Lulu and I wore!

Fascinator: Amazon
Shoes: Zappos
Skirt (stretchy!) and sweater: Modcloth
Lulu’s dress: scrap pile
Here’s the look we were going for, how do you think we did?

So, does anyone want a slightly rustic homemade baptismal gown? Only used once! Leave a comment if you’d like to be the next owner of Lulu’s custom baptism dress. I’ll ship it anywhere, to you or to the baby of your choice from you.

Update: Okay, so my lack of sentimentality is proving troubling to many of you. I just generally hate the idea of holding on to something for years and years and maybe she’ll be a nun or won’t have any daughters and then it’s been sitting about for twenty-five years when it could have been being used.

I saved Betty’s baby clothes for six years, then Anita was born in summer instead of winter and so I still couldn’t use most of it!

But, I think I have a solution that will work for everyone . . . A friend from our homeschool group who is expecting would like the baptism gown. So, I’ll give it to her to use, and then it will be local, so if I have second thoughts maybe I can get it back.

So, giveaway rescinded I guess. Thanks to those of you who were interested. Give me ten or fifteen years and I’ll open an etsy shop and sell ’em cheap.

Happy Advent everyone!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Tori

    Oooh, I'd love to have Lulu's gown! I'm super impressed that you threw that together so quickly right after delivering! I just had my first baby 2 months ago, baptized 1 month ago, and we used a beautiful second-hand gown my mom bought at an estate sale. Unfortunately, someone (?) got something (?) on it – luckily after the baptism – and I haven't been able to get it out yet. I'd love to be able to yours for subsequent babies, provided I never get the stain out of ours.

    • Tori

      Also, I think you pulled off the Kate and George look very nicely! I almost dressed up as her for Halloween (Baby Hannah was baptized on October 26, so I thought she could be George in her baptismal gown and no strangers coming to our door would realize she's a girl…).

  2. Miss Jill and Mister John

    Oh my!! Your Thankgsiving sounds like our Christmas last year. My mom laughs and says it really wasn't bad if you forget that all of us kept puking. Ugh. Not one to repeat!!

    Super impressed w/the gown! I am an adoptive mom (in Los Angeles) and the LA Archdiocese won't allow you to baptize children until the adoption is all final which can take upwards of a year. I thought I'd get away w/it because…. well, why not?! Long story short, my girls both wore 3-6 month long flowy gowns which turned into tea length gowns on their 12 month old bodies! So much for well planned out.

    God Bless you all! Stay well.. and love the nickname Lulu!! (Louisa was short on my list of names. Alas my new baby is a boy.)

  3. Katie

    I'm so impressed with your sewing/embroidering skills!

  4. Amelia@One Catholic Mama

    Wow…that is a gorgeous gown. I'm so impressed! And you and Lulu both look fabulous! I'm so impressed you could pull all that off just days after birth.

    Regarding your barfing illness….sorry you had sick kids. I hope no one else gets it (especially NOT you or baby). However, you can't use that as a gauge for whether or not the flu shot works. The flu shot is for influenza which is a respiratory virus…basically akin to being a really, really, really bad cold that involves fever, chills and extreme lethargy along with other cold symptoms like runny nose, cough, etc. It's not a vomiting illness.

    What your kids had was a gasterintestinal illness which is mistakenly called the "stomach flu" but actually isnt' THE flu and isn't the disease the vaccine the is meant to protect against.

    We've never gotten a flu shot and last year I did get the flu just days after my 4th child was born (she was about 6 days old). The flu hits really suddently. I took my baby to the pediatrician for her first visit and was fine in the beginning. By the end of the visit I had fever, chills, and was extremely tired. It was all I could do to drive home and crawl into bed. Thankfully my mom was there, and I basically downed garlic like there were vampires all around my house (I think I ate about 12 cloves of raw garlic (wrapped in bread) throughout the course of the day along with taking large doses of Vitamin C and by the 2nd next day I was fine.

    • Kendra

      Wow Amelia, thanks. I'm so sorry you went through that and you're right, we don't have the flu.

  5. Mandi

    I would LOVE to have that gown, Kendra! I love that you now have a Lulu too, although your is a Louise and mine is a Lucia. How fun!

    I love your outfit and I think you pulled off the fascinator very well! That skirt! It looks so useful and beautiful!

  6. Stephanie Weinert

    Oh Kendra! It's a beautiful gown but don't you want to keep it for Lulu to have when she grows up? It's such a great story and labor of love that I'd imagine she'd love it some day. If I win it I'd keep it for Lulu ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Rachael

    I love your Kate and George look for the baptism!

    Something popped into my head as I read about your breastfeeding woes, and I know I shouldn't have any advice to offer a veteran multipara like yourself, but I have to ask: have you tried just exposing your nipples to the air? I remember my midwife advised my to do that when I had that cracked and raw skin in the beginning. It made a huge difference just to go completely topless whenever I could. Warmth, light and air will promote healing. I had someone else to watch my other kids while I hung around in my room topless, and I don't know if this will work in your situation, but I just had to throw it out there!

    • Kendra

      Thanks Rachael, I certainly can try it overnight!

  8. Elizabeth

    Have to agree with Stephanie W. on this one – I'd put it away in her memory box, if it was me! But if you're bound and determined to give it away, it will be treasured in this house.

  9. Monica McConkey

    Wow, Kendra. Is there anything you can't do. Embroidering a handmade baptismal gown days after you gave birth, with 6 other kids underfoot. Wow. I think they need you to speed things up at the post office.

  10. Laura Pearl

    I can't believe you made that gown in a day. You are so talented! (I meant to leave a comment on the post showing the priest's vestments you made for your friend–extraordinary!)

    I'm not sure I could give away that precious gown! You're better than I am!

    And you and Lulu look very royal indeed in your Baptism finery! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Lisa

    That gown is beautiful, Kendra! I'd love to win it if you're sure you want to give it away.
    And I love your outfit! Royal family all the way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

    I was pretty sure you were a robot after reading about the vestments…and the mustache party….and the birth story written just hours after birth. But now I'm really convinced. You are most definitely a robot.

    But that's ok. I have no problems reading about the beautiful life and love of a robot and her awesome family. You always present things in a way that doesn't make me feel like crap. Even though I accomplish less in a year than I think you do in a single week.

    Welcome to the Church Lulu!

  13. Haley @ Carrots for Michaelmas

    KENDRA. Girl. You rocked that fascinator hat for Lulu's baptism. I told Daniel the other night, "I wish Kendra was 30 years older than she is, and all her kids were grown and she was looking for things to do to keep busy, and she lived next door and helped run my life and told me what I should do in all situations. Yes."

  14. Tamara

    Welcome to the Church Lulu! Congratulations Kendra. I hope Betty lets you hold the baby sometimes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Jenny

    That is one darling little chapeau, an amazing last minute gown, and a pretty darn cute baby. My last minute sewing projects don't look nearly that dear.

  16. Kendra

    Dear Anonymous, that's true and I've never said otherwise, but I don't see what it has to do with sewing that gown. I deleted your comment because it was bringing down the mood of the comment section I think, and because it was anonymous. If you'd like to email me I'd be happy to continue a discussion with you.

  17. Julia R.

    New to your blog and love it! Just wanted to share that the flu shot is supposed to protect again influenza, which is a respiratory illness that causes typical cold symptoms PLUS body aches and high fevers. It doesn't do prevent the stomach flu. Wish we had a vaccine for that!

    You have mad sewing skills. I love seeing your cloth creations. Beautiful gown! We also baptize our babies very early. It just seems appropriate. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Anonymous

    Your daughter's baptismal gown is BEAUTIFUL!. Please think about keeping it for Lulu's children to wear at their baptism. It will be such a treasured heirloom for your daughter; she could never purchase anything that pretty! (This from a sentimental Mom of four.) You look wonderful in your fascinator!

  19. Catherine Faux

    What a beautiful baby and baptism dress. I was expecting some sort of pillowcase dress, but it really does look amazing and you look very beautiful–especially After just giving birth recently.

  20. Micaela Darr

    You're one gorgeous faux-princess, that's for sure! Can't wait to meet Lulu!

  21. Tamie

    Beautiful gown AND baby! Sorry to hear about the barfing. It is probably norovirus…..flu shot does nothing for it…

  22. kelli

    I will take the gown… two of our kids were baptized through RCIA/RCIC when we were baptized. The next two babies were baptized naked because we didn't have a gown. I'm hoping for at least one more (although we'd be happy with more), so I can finally have a baby baptismal gown to start the long line of Catholics ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Chris

    You are absolutely amazing! I want you to send me just a little of your calm and your creativity.
    Terrific pics…all of them. Less than a week old and look at you both! Just beautiful.

    I hope all of those who are ill GET BETTER fast!
    Enjoy your sweetie, Kendra!

  24. Bonnie

    Holy smokes! You are amazing. And I love, love, love the hat!

    • Bonnie

      Also, we had stuff coming out both ends at our house on Thanksgiving. ๐Ÿ™

  25. Brianna

    Wow, that baptismal gown you made is beautiful! It's funny that you mention removing original sin vs cake. lol. I told my husband I wanted to baptize our children very shortly after they're born (whenever we happen to have them) and he says, "but what about the party and family?" etc, etc. Ironically, he was raised Catholic and I converted. Also, (the nurse in me HAS to say this) the flu is NOT a stomach bug, nor does it ever has stomach symptoms. It is a completely respiratory related issue. I don't know why everyone believes this (including myself before nursing school) but now I feel like it's my duty to educate the public. lol. Congrats again on baby Lulu!! You both look very happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Kathryn

    I'm left speechless at the awesomeness of it all – sewing the gown, baptizing that sweet baby and doing it all just days post-partum. You have a gift, Kendra! So sorry the ickiness was at your house for Thanksgiving. Been there, done that. I'm with ya on the flu shots. I only got on of my kids vaccinated for it this year.

  27. Lisa D.

    Lovely! Lovely baby, lovely gown, lovely mama (cute Godmother, too). I hope the rest of you were spared the barfs ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. Christy from fountains of home

    Ok. What the frick-ity-frack! You seriously embroidered a baptismal gown only a couple days postpartum, and its your seventh child. You are officially the craziest person I know/super-est person I know. And I will from this day forward, not be surprised at all your further awesome antics, just be in awe!

    And what did I tell you about the fascinator!?! You totally pulled it off and looked smashing! Like, I can't believe you just had a nine pound baby, then made her baptismal gown, then took seven kids to Church, AND wore a fascinator. You win Kendra Tierney, you win my friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Renee

    You're awesome and crazy Kendra! Wow, I don't have children (yet) and I don't have the energy like you do!

  30. Kim

    I haven't welcomed lulu yet…she is gorgeous and I loved that smocked thanksgiving dress she had on. We have a lulu too as well. With the previous 6 we always got the original sin part out of the way as soon as possible. But, I felt like I was missing out on the party part so for 7 I had to wait a few months and have a party for 7. Haven't decided what my plan is for 8 yet.

    I loved your dress you wore. So pretty.

    The making the gown part? ….ummm this confirms it. You. are. Superwoman. I seriously have never met anyone capable of accomplishing as much as you do. My MIL made the baby's gowns but it took her months. What she did is frame them and put them on her wall under glass like a picture. They could be folded up into a small square even and just display the top part. It does look nice like that.

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

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