Archive - 2010

1
Advent Upon Us
2
Happy Thanksgiving
3
Thankful
4
Choose Yer Poison
5
It’s All Coming Back
6
Real Quick
7
Saints and Heroes
8
Twelve
9
This is Halloween
10
The Journey

Advent Upon Us

So here we are, on the brink of Advent. This year I’m going to keep it simple, focus on the traditions that are most meaningful to our family and focus on the what Advent is all about.

I say the same thing every year. How about you? I mean it this time. Really.

This year I’m going to try to go easy on myself. I’ve got most of my shopping done and I plan to be finished by the end of the week. Instead of trying to get all the decorating done this weekend, I’m going to pace myself and do it little by little. I think I’ll let the children help, too. They’ll enjoy that. Most of what I put out is mostly for their enjoyment anyway.

I found a good devotional for children called My Little Advent. It is for children K-2nd grade, which is perfect for Bip. But I think that my 4th and 6th graders will be able to get something meaningful from it, too. Couldn’t we all use a reminder to keep a smile on our face while thinking of the happiness of others above ourselves?

I’ve finally figured out a way to do our Jesse Tree and stick to it this year! Remember long, long ago when I hosted a Jesse Tree craft swap? Well, I hate to admit it, but we’ve never actually seen the Jesse Tree through to Christmas. I think it is because the readings, prayers and reflections that accompany each ornament were too long. This year I got the idea from someone else’s blog (sorry, I can’t remember who) to read from a children’s bible story book instead of from the Bible. I think that will be much more manageable.

Will you be making any changes this year to help your Advent be less stressful and more meaningful? What have you let go of over the years, or added, that has made a difference?

Thankful

I haven’t been completely forthcoming about recent events around here. I know I’m not obligated to write about every little thing that goes on, but still – what’s the point of having a blog if you’re not going to write stuff.

Our new baby, Pipsqueak – that’s his blog name until something else fits him better – was born with an ear tag. It’s just a cosmetic thing, a little tag of skin located near his ear. His doctor tied it off and it has dried up and we’re just waiting for it to fall off, like his umbilical cord. Once it’s gone, you’ll never know it was there.

The thing is, a good percentage of babies born with an ear tag also have some sort of kidney problem. Now that doesn’t seem to make sense does it? Turns out, ears and kidneys develop at the same time in the womb.

Both our midwife and Pipsqueak’s doc made mention of the potential for kidney problems, but neither were overly concerned or indicated that it was urgent. The doc ordered an ultrasound so we could take a look.

So last week I bundled Pipsqueak up and we went off for the ultrasound. The whole procedure took about 20 minutes and little PS was more insulted by the interruption of his nap than anything else. I was told I’d hear from the doctor on Monday.

Monday rolled around and the hours ticked by. I tried not to notice. Finally the call came – ultrasound is negative, everything is OK.

I quickly called my husband at work and gave him the good news. As I was talking I started to get choked up and I realized then just how much the whole thing had been weighing on me. I was trying not to worry, but really, how can you not? What a relief to know that Pipsqueak’s kidneys are healthy and perfect. Especially because Rebecca’s kidneys were damaged from VUR that had been occurring in utero.

So this year, I am thankful not just for the addition of little Pipsqueak to our family, but for his good health.

May YOU be blessed with family, friends and good health this Thanksgiving.

Choose Yer Poison

The other day, I was reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to my oldest children. In order to readjust the nursing baby, I paused near the beginning of the chapter called “The Dementor”.

“Ooo, Denominator,” said Boo. “I saw those in a Lego Harry Potter set in the Lego catalog!”

Dementor, Boo. Denominator is a math term,” I replied.

“Yeah, well, I’m scared of that, too.”

It’s All Coming Back

I forgot just how much work babies are.

They are always wanting to nurse and be held. Fortunately, there are always lots of volunteers. For the holding, that is. For the nursing, I’m on my own.

I forgot just how much longer it takes to get out the door with a baby. We’ve had lots of appointments, with regular check-ups with our midwife, plus bilirubin follow-ups, and I think we’ve been on time for one of them.

I forgot just how sleep deprived one gets with a new baby. And how that affects everything else.

But it’s worth it.

Real Quick

…Baby and I spent Friday night and Saturday in the hospital due to his jaundice. Not a new experience for me since two of my other children had to go under the bili lights too, but it is something I just hate doing. Now we’re home but have to keep a biliblanket on him pretty much 24 hours. It’s a pain, but at least we’re home. However, I can only move him as far as the cord will stretch, so my computer time is extra limited.

Here he is, looking like a glowworm, with the bili light shining through his blanket.

I’m hoping this will all be over tomorrow and we can start working on a regular routine. More later…

Saints and Heroes

I totally forgot to post these pictures yesterday…

This was the first year that any of my children opted to go as saints for Halloween. We don’t give them much guidance on costume selection other than to steer them away from the gory and scary. They pretty much do that on their own, anyway. Boo doesn’t mind a bit of a scare on Halloween, but Pumpkin Girl hates it. She avoids houses that go beyond cute pumpkins and ghosties and we all cringe a bit at the disturbing costumes that we see.

So anyway… this year we had St. Michael the Archangel.

(It’s a gladiator costume plus a pair of wings.)

And Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.

And Batman.

When there’s a Batman, there’s always a Robin.

A merry band of saints and heroes.

Twelve

Boo turns twelve today. I was due in early November and the one thing I did not want was for him to be born on Halloween. So much for that.

I don’t even remember what my thinking on that was, but as always, I was making plans instead of letting God do the work. So Boo arrived on Halloween – thus giving him the nickname “Boo”. It’s not just a family nickname, everybody calls him that. Everybody. It goes on certificates, his Boy Scout uniform nametag, and everything else. He does have real name, and it’s a nice one. I use it when I’m mad at him.

The top five things on his birthday list this year were an iPod Touch and iPod related accessories. Including a $50 iTunes gift card. A boy can dream, right? He actually already knows he’s getting the iPod Touch because he’s paying for most of it with money he saved up himself.

He likes 80’s music, Star Wars and being a Boy Scout. He loves history and will sit through any documentary. Right now he’d like to follow his dad’s exact career path.

Tonight he is going trick or treating as St. Michael the Archangel and he thinks that next year he’ll reuse the gladiator costume, minus the wings, and then that might be his last year trick or treating. But he’s not sure.

He loves being an alter server, he doesn’t like to draw, he couldn’t care less about spelling and math is still his arch nemesis.

He grew five inches last year. He and I wear the same size shoe. He drives me crazy most of the time. I look at him and I see both the little boy he once was and the man he is growing to be.

Twelve years ago I became a mother. This is why.

This is Halloween

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere

When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—

…the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze

Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days

Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

from When the Frost is on the Punkin by James Whitcomb Riley

The Journey

“Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace…”

The journey to Tuesday morning was a long one. I didn’t talk too much about my pregnancy on my blog because it would have been a lot of complaining. I was hot, tired, uncomfortable, swollen, worn out, and just crabby in general. I had an irritable uterus that liked to have contractions, and I was plagued with worries and anxieties, both my own and Bip’s.

And yet the baby and I were healthy and my pregnancy was uncomplicated. So really, what was there to complain about?

And I was fully aware that many women would gladly suffer through such a pregnancy and worse, but are unable.

So I kept my complaints to myself. At least here. At home, not so much. I don’t suffer in silence well at all. Yet, my family suffered me the whole time.

The day I reached 37 weeks was a stressful day for me, which triggered uncomfortable contractions all day. I was officially at term, but not due for another 3 more weeks. Not a good place to be.

At 38 weeks I was more than ready to be done. I tried very hard to trust God and His timing. But my prayers sounded like this: “Please, please, please, let the baby come soon. ”

At 38 weeks and a few days, my mom arrived to provide support and childcare. We counted off the days as they passed.

39 weeks and I was 50% effaced and 3 cm dilated. More days passed. I hung on only because I knew I wouldn’t be pregnant forever.

Monday afternoon my water broke. Still the journey wasn’t over.

My previous three births went quickly – 2 hours, 1 hr and 15 minutes, 1 hour. Water…baby…birth – just like that. This one, not so much.

Hours passed, 14 in fact, with only mild to slightly uncomfortable contractions. I was dilating enough to keep my midwife happy and I was in no real pain, so I was content.

Around six in the morning my contractions needed concentrated breathing and relaxation techniques to manage. I got in the tub and stayed there for a while. After a time I got out and Phil and I did the labor waltz, where he holds me and I grab him by the belt loops, head pushing into his chest and I try to breathe.

Then I got back into bed in order to better rest between contractions. Somebody helped me move my leg. The pain became excruciating, somebody grabbed my hand, the one not clutching Phil’s. I pushed with all the strength I had left, through the pain, through the encouraging voices. I pushed again and heard Phil tell me that the head and shoulders were out. It was 7:31 am.

Our son was lifted out and laid on my chest. He cried and I loved him instantly.

The journey was over.

And another one begins.

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