Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Morning 2008

We woke up early so Hubby could pick up my mom at her hotel before Fritter got up. We sat by the lighted Christmas tree and drank coffee and had Christmas cookies for breakfast. When Fritter woke, he had a yucky cold. My poor son seems to get sick on holidays. :-( He came out and was presented with a new tricycle from Santa.

Fritter admiring his new bike

After gift opening, my dear husband made us all breakfast. He is the breakfast cook in the family, and has scrambled eggs down to a science. Unlike me who can just as well ruin an egg.

We had planned on going to Midnight Mass, but decided that a sick toddler, a newborn, and a mommy that doesn't do so good on only a few hours sleep did not mix well with a late night Mass. So we went to Mass that morning. Here are some pics of the kiddos all dressed up.

Fritter was not happy, but he sure looked cute.
I realize now that no matter how cute the dress, it's so much easier holding on to a newborn in a sleeper.
After Mass, we came home and watched Christmas movies and enjoyed all the cookies I've been forbidding my family to eat until then. We had our feast on Christmas Eve, so we relaxed and ate the wonderful leftovers that sirloin tip roast will make.
BTW, the cutest Christmas cookies are pfeffernuesse. I found the recipe in a cook book, and decided to try them, even though the recipe looked fairly involved. It was, but the cookies are so cute and have a really mild taste and a great aftertaste. I highly recommend adding these to your cookie list for next year! Because I can't find a link to the recipe, and it isn't mine, if you email me, I will gladly share it with you. Just click the link on my sidebar to email me.


I've started exercising a little before my doctors go-ahead, but really, I had to. I'm going crazy with only one pair of pants to wear, and even those should really not leave the house. I only have a week before my 6 week appointment and the official approval anyway, so what's one week?

So this morning, I put on my old trusty workout video. It's Weight Watchers Getting Started, and though I've never done Weight Watchers, my aunt gave me this video and I love it. The moves are easy for a girl with two left feet, and it's really fun too. Anyway, I'm getting into the video, and Fritter comes over and begins to do it with me. He was standing a little in front of me, so while I was moving, I could watch him. So entertaining! On one part of the video, we are supposed to grab our hand-weights and hold them by our shoulders and do little plie's. Fritter grabbed a Duplo and bounced up and down, all the while concentrating really hard on keeping his "weight" by his shoulders.

When he would look back at me, I had to keep a straight face and only give him a small smile before forcing all my attention on the video. You see, Fritter is not shy at all, unless he's dancing. There have been several occasions where we would be dancing together and I would look too long at him, and he'd run and hug my leg. Cutie patootie.

Speaking of the length of a week, guess who turns 5 weeks tomorrow?

I can't believe it. I'm already seeing some of her personality. She seems to be much more laid back, and she definitely cries less than Fritter did. Then again, with both grandma's here and a doting father, she hasn't really had the chance. ;-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Case For Humility

I've mentioned before that I am a very prideful person, and unfortunately it affects every aspect of my life. It seems that right now, God is really wanting me to learn some humility.

Case #1: It started when my MIL was here. She was so helpful, and wanted to do everything she could to help me. When she asked what she could do, my brain would run through the list I wanted to get done and say to myself, "Well, the laundry needs folded, but it would be strange to have someone else fold my laundry. The dishwasher needs loaded/unloaded, but I can do that myself, ect. ect." I had a hard time just letting someone help me, even when I needed it.

Case #2: On Wednesday, my doula came over for our postpartum visit. Part of her package is that during this visit she'll do some light housework. This is part of what we paid for, but when she asked what she could do, my automatic response was nothing, that I had it all under control. It was obvious that I did not, and had barely managed to get dressed that morning. But she persisted and asked if vacuuming would help. I said a quick prayer and told her it would. She told me to just relax while she took care of it. Well, that didn't happen, "What will she think of how dirty my floor is, just look at that piece of lint there!" But I did get a vacuumed floor out of it.

Case #3: After being up most of the night with a grunty Ladybug, I was extremely grumpy the next morning. I don't function very well without sleep and unfortunately, my family suffers as well. When my dh asked why I didn't ask for his help, and told him that since he had to get up and work the next morning, he needed his sleep. "Besides, what kind of a wife and mother would I be if I can't even do this?"

I realized just how prideful I've been when I received an email from my hubby that morning, reading in part: I know how badly you want to be able to cope with this on your own, but we need to work together at night. I got about 3 hours of sleep last night, but I would have gladly helped you in the process. I don't care about missing some sleep at night if it can get Maggie and/or you to sleep longer. You operate so much better off quality sleep that it is in everyone's best interest to make sure you get that. So true.

So last night, I humbly accepted help. While I laid down to go to sleep for the night after nursing Ladybug, my Dh stayed up a short while longer to burp her and keep her upright. It took me some time to actually fall asleep, though. Feelings of irrational guilt kept me awake. But I eventually did sleep, and the night went so well that I really didn't have a need to wake my hubby. The whole house actually got some much needed sleep. I'm learning that things actually run smoother when I take offered help that I need.

I'm sure there will be more opportunities to practice this form of humility. I think God knows that I'm a slow learner. ;-)

Another Update

Has it really been a week since I last blogged? Am I beginning to sound like a broken record?

Saturday the 13th we celebrated my birthday. We had a Christmas party to go to that evening, so after looking through my closet I realized that this two-and-a-half-week postpartum mommy had nothing to wear. So we decided that since Mervyn's is going out of business and was sure to have great deals, and that Dh was in need of some new work clothes, we would all go and see what we could add to our wardrobe. I should have known better than to try on clothes this soon after having a baby. Can you say, "depressing"? I managed to find three shirts that I just couldn't pass up, but a skirt or even reasonably dressy pants? Nada. So I went next door to TJ Maxx, and after another depressing stint around the store, my wonderful dear husband found a skirt for me that actually fit (although I'm praying it doesn't for too long ;-) ). He's a keeper!

This past week was my first week home by myself. I was feeling adventurous and picked Monday as the day to take both babies out by myself to run some errands. I was hoping I could get everything done on my list within an hour-and-a-half and be home in time for lunch. That was plenty of time, I reasoned, to run to Hallmark and get Christmas cards, drop off paperwork for Ladybug's baptism at the parish office, and do a small amount of grocery shopping at Walmart. I was wrong. Between loading the toddler in and out of his carseat and stroller, to loading the baby in and out of her carseat and sling, it took me twice as long. I was so exhausted by the time I got home that I swore I'd never go out by myself with the kiddos again. ;-)

I mentioned before that Ladybug was a grunter, and Monday night proved to be a difficult one with this. My hubby told me to make her an appointment the next morning, because he felt something was not right. So I broke my promise to myself in less than 24 hours. I took both babies to the doctor's office. How fun! (Sorry, I couldn't resist a little sarcasm). Once in the room, Fritter took it upon himself to rearrange the chairs and stools in as many ways as he could imagine, as the poor doctor tried to explain to me what was happening with Ladybug.

Apparently she is having a hard time digesting my breast milk, so she is extremely gassy. Besides trying gas drops, and keeping her elevated, the doctor recommended that I eliminate all milk products and eggs from my diet. I tried this for a couple of days, and it didn't seem to help at all. In fact, because I get the majority of my "fatty" nutrition from milk products, my milk quality seemed to suffer and Ladybug wanted to nurse constantly. So last night, I decided the milk wasn't the problem. I did some light research and read that some newborn's digestive systems are just a little immature, and with a little time they will begin to digest properly. Until then, the extra burping, along with keeping her upright (including elevating the head of her crib) seems to be helping.

So there you have it. The update on what we've been doing. On Monday my mother comes into town. She will be here until Saturday, so that should be fun!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Back In The Saddle

Wow! A whole week without a post. I'm neglecting you. I do have good reason though. ;-)

My MIL just left this morning, and my hubby is back to work, so today is really my first day all by myself. It's going good. I am busier as I anticipated, but it's the good kind of busy. Ladybug nurses every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, but she is such a sleepy girl (so was Fritter) that it takes close to an hour for her to finish. If I didn't work to keep her up so she can eat a full meal, I think I'd be nursing every hour or so. But she is doing good, and at her 2 week check-up, she already weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz. It's amazing how in love with her I am.

One funny thing about her. When Fritter was her age, he grunted. A lot. At one point we were even worried that he was having some sort of digestive problem, because he grunted all the time. The doctor said he was fine, and was just a grunter. My SIL said her three boys all were grunters, but her two girls were not. She thought it was just a boy thing. Now that we have Ladybug, we know that is not true. I didn't think it was possible, but she grunts more than Fritter did! She's finding her voice more now, but at first that was how she complained. She even succeeded in grunting for two hours straight one night. I think I'd prefer crying. ;-)

Fritter is still very sweet to Ladybug, and two days ago said I love you to her for the first time. When she wakes up crying in the daytime, he will point to our bedroom door and say, "Baby cryin' ". His tantrums are still in full force, but are becoming less frequent, and he is loving with his mamma again. I'm glad, because I missed his hugs.

I'm taking this next week to get back into a routine, and focus on my husband and children (how fun is that to say?!) And then my mom will be here on the 22nd to celebrate Christmas with us. Our first one not in Wyoming. While I'm sad that I won't get to see snow over Christmas (not to mention my family) it will be nice to start a little of our own tradition.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ladybug Pictures

Proud daddy

Could a hospital bed get any cozier?

Beautiful girl.

Fritter's first gift to Ladybug.
Big brother.

She already has his heart.
Dad and big boy fun.

Ladybug's Birth

Warning: Men and impressionable children will probably not want to read any further.

After having quite a few strong contractions, but nothing really regular, I went in for my normal doctor's appointment on November 25 (Tuesday) thinking I would be even more dilated than I had been before. I was actually hoping the doctor would say that I was 7 cm and almost ready to deliver. ;-) In reality, I was still at 2 cm and 50% effaced. My doctor told me it could really be anytime, but it could also be another week.

I was very disappointed, and not only very sick of being pregnant, I wanted to hold my new baby. When I got back to the car, I called my dh to let him know and then cried in the parking lot for a few minutes. As I was driving home, however, I resolved to try to forget about being pregnant and go about my day. It was hard, and the only way I could do it was to stay busy. I made a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, cleaned the house, and went for a walk. I avoided taking a nap, because I knew I would start to think about having my baby. When I sat, I sat on the birth ball.

By that evening, I was fairly tired, so I went to bed early. I woke at around 11 with some strong contractions, but again, they weren't regular so I went back to bed. I woke at 1 am with more contractions and this time they were timeable at about 10 minutes apart. I got my hubby up at 2 and told him that I was pretty sure it was the real thing this time. We called our doula who got here about 3:30ish and also tried to call our friend (Mrs. G) who was supposed to take care of Fritter. Unfortunately, she wasn't answering her phone, and after trying 4 times, I gave up and called another friend. This one said she had to go to work, but to let her know if we couldn't get a hold of Mrs. G. Right after hanging up, Mrs. G called and said she slept through the rings, and would be here soon. She got here about 4:30 to take Fritter. I had been a little nervous about how he would react, but he did fine and didn't even cry. We were told he had not only Mrs. G's 4 kids to play with, but also her 4 nephews who were in town for Thanksgiving.

I continued laboring, and my husband timed the contractions using this nifty timer. They were very strong and regular. When the sun came up, it started to rain. This was the first rain we had in 80+ days, and so my hubby opened the window so I could listen to and smell it. At one point, I looked out the window, and a small bird was taking shelter on the rail of our balcony.

Around 11 am, the contractions were very strong and about 2-3 minutes apart, so our doula said it was probably time to leave for the hospital. As we were getting ready, she encouraged me to eat, because once I got there, the nurses wouldn't let me have anything more than ice chips.

We got to the hospital around 11:30 and got checked in. Things really started getting hard then. I think at that point I was more interested in running from the pain instead of working with it and so exhausted that I just wanted to sleep. I remember at one point begging for a C-section so I could just be done. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep and I was sick of being in pain. I don't think it was too long after that that our doctor recommended that we break my water. I was at 8 cm and 95% effaced. My husband later told me that my bag of water was bulging and making it hard for the baby to descend any farther. I was afraid that if we broke my water, the baby would go into distress, so I waited.

My husband and doula were very encouraging, and talked me into breaking my water. Right afterwards, I remember looking down and thinking how gross it was. I made the nurse throw away my socks. Really quickly, the contractions came one on top of the next, and about a half hour later I got the urge to push. After 20 minutes, at 4:01 pm, little Ladybug was born and laid on my belly. She was just a tiny thing at 6 lbs. 11 oz. but had a nice strong cry.

It's amazing the difference between having a C-section and having a vaginal birth. While the pain is no joke (I told my hubby at one point we were never having kids again ;-) ), the recovery is so much easier. I was able to hold my beautiful girl right away, and nurse her immediately. I was able to get up that same day, and didn't have to bug the nurses to help me get Ladybug out of her bassinet so I could nurse her. We came home the next night, Thanksgiving, and I was able to sleep in my own bed.

We had our Thanksgiving meal on Friday evening. We simplified it, but it wasn't the food that was the main thing this year. We were so thankful for a natural labor and delivery, and for the health of our Ladybug. We are very blessed. I'm so grateful that my son has a sibling. I was able to give him something that I never had.

Fritter is very sweet with his little sister, and is always trying to show her his toys and giving her kisses on the head. He has been going through an adjustment though, and has been more fussy and temperamental towards his dad and I. Thankfully, my dh has had some paternity leave to help him through this, and they have been heading out to the park and everywhere else together.

My MIL comes into town tonight, so I'm not sure if I'll be blogging much while she's here, but I'll post some pictures soon.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's A Girl!

M.E. aka "Ladybug" was born Wednesday afternoon at 4:01 pm. I'm still processing the whole experience, so I'll save the details for later, but everything went well and we are both home resting. She weighed 6lbs. 11oz and was 20" long.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Still Here

It was a long night. Our doula came over around 5ish this morning, but by then my contractions had petered out. She still thinks that we'll have a baby in our arms tonight or tomorrow morning. My dear husband stayed home from work this morning to take care of Fritter for me, so I could catch up on some much needed sleep. I have to say, it's a bit discouraging. Jen (the doula) said my body is just working on effacing some more before it really goes into good labor. So she gave me some black cohosh drops, and also some evening primrose oil capsules to move things along a little. The drops are really, really awful, but if they help, I'm willing.

I plan on resting a little more and then I think Fritter and I are going to go for a walk.

Restless Labor Syndrome (RLS)

Well, I'm fairly certain this is it. I started having some weak, irregular contractions around 9pm. My dear hubby pulled out the stop watch, and while they weren't regular, they were close together. I called my doctor to give her a heads up, and also called my doula. I then decided it would be a good time to go to bed and get some rest.

Around 2 this morning I woke up not from a contraction, but just feeling very restless, so I started pacing, and started having some fairly strong contractions. They were on average about 15 minutes apart, so I called my doula again. That's where I'm at right now at 4 am, and still feeling very restless and bored, however I can't sleep, so I may be blogging again. ;-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Fun...My Band Name

Band Name: Kimberley Park Railway Station

Album Title: The Shame Of Art

(Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art. - Izaak Walton)

Album Art:

Want to do your own?
Here’s what you do:

1. Band Name: Random Wikipeda Link
2. Album Title: Random quote generator (take the last four words from the first quote on the page ... I scrolled to the end of the quotes and clicked on new random quotes)
3. Album Art: Flickr Interesting Photo (pick one)

HT: Nutmeg

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Contractions and Worries

Well, I thought yesterday might have been it. I had been having much stronger contractions, and quite a bit more of them all day, although they were irregular and not really close together. So I did like any other mother would do. I put the oven on self-clean and set the timer for 4 hours and 20 minutes. Unfortunately, I didn't think about how warm it would get in our apartment. The windows were all opened to let the smoke and yucky smell out, but it didn't help to cool the place, because it was 88 yesterday. It was worth it though, my oven is now clean and ready to cook a Thanksgiving turkey. ;-)

This morning around 3am, I woke up with a low back ache, and some more contractions. I had maybe 6 or 7 in an hour, and really thought my labor was starting. I woke up my dear husband just to prepare him, but told him I was going to hop in the bath for a little while and that he could go back to sleep. I did, and he did, and they stopped. I thought I would be able to go back to sleep easily, but I got the middle of the night worries. Am I completely packed? I need to make sure I tell our friends who are taking Fritter that they really watch him, because he's very fast and will run in the street if he gets a chance. I still haven't folded that laundry...ect, ect. I finally fell asleep around 4:30 or so.

I have a doctor's appointment this morning, and am hoping she will have some good news for me about whether I've made any progress or not. Maybe today will be the day. Or maybe not.

Updated a little late: My doctor said I was 2 cm dialated, 50% effaced, and the baby was at -1 station. So while it may not have been the real thing, at least it did something!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm Ready

38 weeks and 3 days is how far they told me I am today at my ultrasound. I feel more like 48 weeks and 6 days. ;-)

I'm ready. My hubby is ready. I'm not really sure if Fritter is ready, but he's probably as ready as he's going to get. We're just waiting for the little one to decide that he/she is ready. My cold is mostly gone (yeah, I finally got sick), the laundry is mostly done, I've baked those apple pies (one for us and one for our unlucky neighbors who get to live below us and the often noisy toddler), and the freezer is stocked. I'm not sure what else I could possibly do, and my patience is waning. Today I took a nice long walk with Fritter. I told my husband that anyone who saw the large pregnant woman walking briskly pushing a stroller probably had to keep from falling over laughing. :-) I've been sitting on my birth ball, swaying and bouncing, at any chance I get. And I'm resting and eating those carbs and drinking my water. *sigh* Tell me the baby will come when he/she's ready.

My ultrasound today said the baby weighs anywhere from 6 lbs. to 6 1/2 lbs. Little thing. Also, my amniotic fluid level has gone down to 7ish. They're not too worried at this point, and I'm guessing it could have something to do with me being sick. Or maybe it's almost time? I was hoping by lunch today I'd be calling my dh to come home from work, but alas...

Did I mention I'm ready?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day By Day

Everyday I fall more in love with my soon-to-be-born son or daughter. As I was laying in bed this afternoon after waking up from a great nap, little one seemed to wake up with me. After a couple of quick moves, the baby settled down for a nice round of hiccups. :-) It's actually taken me longer to get to this point than it did with Fritter, mostly because I'm too busy to really just stop and dream about and feel my baby. But that doesn't mean that it's any less amazing this time around. Every night, I lay down to go to sleep right next to the new baby's crib, and wonder if when I lay down the next time the crib won't be full of a little swaddled baby. Tomorrow we will be 38 weeks pregnant. It's getting so close, yet it feels like a lifetime away right now. My patience is already dwindling, and yet I know that this little one will be born when it's time. I'm just excited to touch his/her little face and hands and feet and wonder at the marvel of new life.

Day by day I'm falling more in love with you
And day by day my love seems to grow
There isn't any end to my devotion
It's deeper dear by far than any ocean

--Frank Sinatra

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Melancholic Day

I'm feeling a little down today. Maybe melancholy is the right word. And when I get like this, I start to question everything. The big thing today is am I being a good mother to Fritter? What happens when the new baby comes? How can I possibly give him enough attention, when I already struggle with it now? How much attention is enough, anyway? Danielle wrote a post a while back about playing with our children, but since Fritter is the only one right now, and I am really his only companion at this point, do I have more responsibility to give him more of my attention? Honestly, lately, I'm feeling more inclined to sit on the couch and read my book, than chase him around the living room. Not that I get much of a chance to sit and read, the time I had to do that before is now taken up by a much needed nap when Fritter goes down. And I do realize that the fact that I even get the option of taking a nap is a blessing.

His dad gives him quite a bit of this personal attention, by wrestling with him, and chasing him. I tend to read to him, sing him songs, and do puzzles with him. But generally, during the day, he's doing his own thing. Granted, he's usually right by my side, but he's still involved in his own play. I let him "help" me while I'm cleaning up the house, and he seems to enjoy that, but really is this enough? And does the very fact that I'm questioning it mean that it's not? I'm very grateful for being able to stay home with him, but when I get in this mode, I wonder if I'm really doing him any better than someone else would.

My patience is very thin today as well. Not just with Fritter, but with everything and everyone. I even got frustrated at the paper towel roll for refusing to give me the sheet I wanted without tearing it. :-) Maybe it's the hormones, and maybe it's just one of those days. Maybe I'll feel better after my nap.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fluid Levels

...are up! Yay! I had my ultrasound this morning, and my amniotic fluid is at 12. Which is good, because it was at 9 last week. Not that that's too bad, but if it had gone down this week, even after all the extra water I've been drinking, then it could have been. Because I've had a C-section, and am having a VBAC this time (God willing) this stuff really gets important. I can't be induced by using Pitocin, because it's too hard on my uterus. I can do natural things like walking, ect., but that doesn't always work. So if my levels had been even lower, then my doctor may have suggested we schedule a C-section. But they're up, which is great. I still have to get an ultrasound done every week now until I deliver our beautiful baby, to keep an eye on things, but I'm not as worried as I was. I just have to keep focused on drinking water.

My doctor's appointment yesterday was a good one. My doula came to visit the doctor and see how things were going. I'm dilated a little more than 1cm still. Also, my Group B Strep test came back negative. Yay! So my doctor said I can labor at home for as long as I want. I plan on making it to the hospital in time to push. ;-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stocking The Freezer (And Other Baby Preparations)

This week looks to be a busy one for me. I plan on having a freezer stocked full of meals and snacks for us by Friday. Tuesday morning I have a doctor's appointment and Wednesday morning I have another ultrasound. So between time spent with doctors and water drinking, not to mention giving love to Fritter and my dear husband, I will be in the kitchen cooking. Unfortunately, I am usually so exhausted in the afternoons (even after a nap) that the mornings are the only time I have to get anything done.

So, tonight we are having meatloaf with homemade mac-n-cheese and a frozen veggie. I've already made the meatloaf, including an extra one for the freezer, and tonight I'll just have to pop it in the oven. I plan on making an extra batch of mac-n-cheese for the freezer as well. Tomorrow we are having lasagna and I'm making an extra for the freezer. I'll make a batch of spaghetti sauce for the freezer tomorrow too. Wednesday we're having crockpot chicken, and the leftovers I will shred and portion for the freezer to be used for chicken noodle soup and chicken tacos. One portion of the chicken will be left out for a chicken and rice casserole that I'm making for the freezer on Thursday. Wednesday I also plan on baking oatmeal muffins, banana bread, and oatmeal raisin cookies. Friday I will use to make up anything that I wasn't able to get to the rest of the week. I already have a ham and potato casserole in the freezer, so all this should get us by.

Other than the meals, which will be done this week, we're ready. We bought a new infant car seat yesterday, since our old one was not only purchased used for Fritter, but had been sitting in a hot garage all summer. Laundry is mostly caught up, except it needs to be folded and put away. I've been trying to maintain the house as best as I can with the low energy that I have, but I think we're ready for survival mode. One thing we do need to do is get Fritter's bed set up for my mother-in-law who is coming on December 3. Basically we just need to get a box spring so that she doesn't feel like she's just laying on a mattress on the floor. It works for Fritter, but for her I'm not so sure. When she comes, he will get the porta-crib set up in our room. It'll be cramped, but we'll make it.

Whew! I'm off for a nap while I can get it.

Happy Birthday Fritter!

I can't believe you're two years old already! Where has the time gone? For your birthday, we had originally planned to take you to the children's museum, but when we woke up Saturday morning, Dad was feeling adventurous, so we drove north to Prescott (Biscuit) . Once there, we found a hiking trail, and after only a couple of missteps, you got the hang of things pretty quickly.

We then went into town and visited the courthouse, which seemed to be where everyone liked to hang out. You had a lot of fun pushing your stroller around, and your dad enjoyed watching you run into the curbs because you couldn't see where you were going.

Dad treated us to a hotel room, which was not in the original plan, (didn't I say it was high adventure?). We ordered a pizza, and we got you a rather large piece of chocolate cake. You enjoyed it, and we enjoyed watching you go crazy in the hotel room for the next two hours because of all the sugar.
I had forgotten Duckie (how could I?) but you fell asleep around 8 with no problem. I think it was the sugar low. Around midnight, though, you woke up and proceeded to tell us all about the mountains, and pine cones, and trees that you had seen that day. By 2 am, you were still awake, and so we decided, with the final order being issued from Dad, that we would just pack up and head home. You usually sleep well in the car, and this time was no different. We arrived home around 5 in the morning, and we all went to sleep in our own beds.

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Fritter,
Happy Birthday to you!

Friday, November 7, 2008

36 Week Ultrasound

I don't have any pictures to show, mostly because the baby is head down with his/her face towards my back. It was neat, though, to see him/her practicing breathing. ;-) The baby looks good overall, and is a little small, at about 5 1/2 lbs. Fritter was only 7 lbs. 1 oz. when he was born, so I think this will just be a petite baby.

Unfortunately, my amniotic fluid levels are a little low. The range is between 5 and 20 (cm I think), and mine is at 9. I'm upping the amount of water I drink (I'm really bad at drinking water) and my dear engineering husband is having me chart it. My doctor called this morning, and encouraged me to use the pool if I could. I don't think I'll be getting in the outdoor pool when it's only 78 degrees outside (those of you in the north are laughing, I know), but I will be using the bath. Also, I'm scheduled for another ultrasound to check the fluid levels again next Wednesday the 12th. I would appreciate any prayers you could offer for us. Hopefully the levels will either be up or stay the same so we won't have anything to worry about.

Until then, I am forcing water down my throat as often as I can. So far today I've had 20 oz. Only 76 more to go and 12 hours to do it in. Ugg.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lost Phone

...or, Where IS That *%^& Ringing Coming From?!

My dear husbands cell phone has been lost for a few weeks now. We've looked everywhere, including all over the house, all over his office at work, and all over (actually, in) our cars. Nothing. Not that we use our cell phones all that much. Our last bill stated we used 25 minutes out of our shared 700. We've thought of just canceling, but whatever would we do without them?

Anyway, this morning, about every five minutes or so I will hear a "ring, ring". That's it. Two faints rings, enough to get me out of my chair, and search the area I heard it coming from. The problem is, it's coming from the dining area, which doesn't have many nooks for a cell phone to hide in.

You're saying, "So call the phone!" Right? I've tried that. I get a busy signal. Actually, it's more like a voice on the other end telling me all service to the voice mail is busy. *sigh* At least it's keeping me from thinking about the election results.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't Forget

...to vote today! As I heard on the radio today, some Iraqi's walked two days, through terrorist and suicide bombing areas just to vote. Yep, it's that important. And for a great reminder about how important this election is, visit Danielle.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rosary Shower

Two women from our church threw our family a rosary shower in honor of our new baby yesterday. There was a total of 6 families that came, which means there were A LOT of kids. It was so fun watching them run around outside. Fritter was the youngest by quite a bit. The next oldest was 5, but he kept up with them pretty well. Amazingly enough, he was not the dirtiest by the end of the day. He came in second. ;-)

It was a nice shower. All the kids sat on the floor while the adults sat on the chairs, and the kids took turns leading the rosary. There is something so wonderful hearing a 5 year old lead a rosary. Even Fritter filled in with his own "Amen"s now and then. Afterwards we had some delicious cake and punch. The men were all afraid we were going to make them play shower games, which was kind of funny, but it wasn't that type of a shower. We all just enjoyed each others company. It was welcoming to us to be thought of by such wonderful people. It's taken us quite sometime, but we are finally settling into our new home. The shower was a lot of fun.
Here is a picture of the cake, and below it the table set-up.

36 Weeks

I had my 36 week doctor appointment this morning. I need to remind myself that, while an appointment at 8:30 is manageable, an appointment at 8:15 is impossible. We were about 10 minutes late, mostly because I still haven't learned to add in the extra time it takes me and the toddler to get down three flights of stairs and across the apartment complex to get to the car. We are definitely not fast.

We did the Group B Strep test today, and then she checked to see if I was dilating yet. I'm 1 cm, but am not effaced at all yet (which is good, we're still a little early, no matter how eager I am to meet our new little one). My doctor wants me to go in for a third trimester ultrasound to check the size of the baby. Not that she's worried or anything, but because I will be having a VBAC she wants to be careful.

I'm fairly confident that I can deliver a baby normally. Fritter was a C-section baby for fetal distress and failure to progress after I got to the hospital at 7 cm. As I've mentioned before (I think) our doctor was more than a little surgery happy, which didn't help the situation. Fritter was not a big baby, only 7 lbs. 1 oz. so having a bigger baby should not be an issue. Actually, I haven't gained as much weight this time as I did with Fritter, and I'm carrying very differently, so we'll see. Anyway, she also gave me Mother's Cordial to help get my body ready for birth. This is what the handout says about the ingredients in it:

Partridge Berry: Strengthens the uterus for child birth and quiets nervous irritability.

Blue Cohosh: Used in labor to relieve false labor pains while increasing the strength of the contractions during actual labor. It also makes a good remedy for "after pains". It helps to facilitate a natural birth process when it is taken in the last month of pregnancy.

Cramp Bark: Helps tonify the uterus.

False Unicorn: Ovarian and uterine tonic. It helps to tonify and support the uterus during labor and childbirth.

I am supposed to take 1/2 tsp. 3 times per day. I think I'll be putting it in my pregnancy tea to disguise the taste of the tonic. It doesn't look that tasty. ;-)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Graced and Gifted

This has been on my to-do list for quite some time, and I'm just now getting to it. Oh, well.

I received Kimberly Hahn's book Graced and Gifted as part of the review program for the Catholic Company. I was excited when I read it, because I knew I was in for some great advice. I was not let down. Graced and Gifted has got to be one of the best homemaking resources I have. It's full of practical ideas for homemaking and also in living a faith-filled life. It's a study on the Proverbs 31 woman. Before, I looked to the woman from Proverbs 31 as an unattainable ideal, but Kimberly Hahn has broken down the ideas into practical wisdom that I can actually aspire to in my everyday life. Not only does she give her own ideas to make our time as homemakers more efficient and joyful, but throughout the book, she gives many other resources as well.

I had to promise myself when I first started reading this book that I wouldn't just jump in with a new project because I was excited about it. Instead, as I read, I kept a list of ideas and things I would like to implement, along with the other resources the book offered to help with the task. I was glad I did this, because I was able to go through, once I finished reading, and decide what was most important to implement first. I started with organizing, and worked on my bedroom and set-up for our new baby, and moved on to our desk and organizing our papers.

I then moved on to organizing housework by using an idea I got from Graced and Gifted using 3x5 note cards for each task. I won't go into detail about it here, but if you get the book it starts on page 115. This is a system that so far (for the last month) has worked for me, and instead of making endless lists that I'm unable to finish and moving everything to the next day, this system allows for those things that I don't get done. It's also one that is easy to restart once I've fallen away from it (as I'm sure to do, especially when the baby comes).

Besides housework, Kimberly Hahn provides wisdom on time management, feeding our families, being frugal women, and even gardening. At the end of each chapter, she provides a section on the sacraments, and how they relate to the life of a homemaker and the woman of Proverbs 31. I definitely recommend this book for any woman who takes her homemaking seriously.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Graced and Gifted - Biblical Wisdom for the Homemaker's Heart.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Frosting Inspector

After testing both the taste and texture of his birthday cake frosting, my dh said, "Honey! You NAILED it this year! The first cake you ever made me for my birthday turned out...well, weird. The second had butter chunks in the frosting, and last year's frosting turned fudgey. This cake's frosting is perfection. Great job!"

Psst...don't tell him I followed a recipe from the back of the cocoa box. ;-)

Persistence In Prayer

This morning I read about Jesus healing the paralytic in Luke 5:17-26.

One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven you." Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, "Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, "Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Stand up and walk'? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-- he said to the one who was paralyzed--"I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home." Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen strange things today."

It was interesting to me that Jesus forgave the paralyzed man his sins, because of the great faith of his friends. When they could not get the man through to Jesus the first time they tried, they went even farther and came in through the roof. How incredible is that?! How many of us would be so persistent to have a friend healed?

It brings to mind the story of how St. Monica prayed for 17 years for her son before St. Augustine was finally converted. One priest is said to have told her that it was not possible for a son of so many tears to perish. This persistence in prayer is what is important. We are told this so many times in the Gospels. Praying for our friends and family, especially those who are wayward, is giving them a gift. The grace may not be realized right away. It may not even seem perceptible to us, but just like in the Gospel, God works on the heart first. Perhaps it may not even be about something quite so dramatic as St. Augustine's conversion, but how many of us are in need of prayers? I know I could use as many as possible. When nothing else can be done, the answer should always be prayer. I plan to incorporate a prayer for friends and family into my day. Won't you join me?

Saturday, October 25, 2008


After dropping off the first load of groceries, I headed downstairs for the second (DH is out of town). When I came up, I saw that a large, white, blue eyed rat had gotten into the produce bag. Here's what he did to the tomatoes (sorry, it's a little blurry):

I was able to catch up with the sneaky rodent and snap a picture while he was still hanging onto a piece of the evidence:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Hope He's OK

To the person who came here from googling "low grade fever after dresser fell on him", I'm not sure if you found what you were looking for, but I'm praying he's ok.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nesting Much?

Hmmm...You think? Wednesday after my morning sabbatical, I got inspired to work on our bedroom and get a few things set up for the baby. I did this during Fritter's nap, when I usually nap as well, and regretted it for the rest of the day. I basically exhausted myself. I took it easy that night, and the next day I had my relaxation visit with Jen, my doula. She did some guided relaxation with me, and then gave me a short back and foot massage. I'll remember next time to not forgo the nap in the name of nesting. ;-)

So, here are a few pictures of what I have set up so far. No before pictures, sorry about that, but they were boring anyway.

My nursing spot. Complete with a journal, pen, spiritual reading, and a couple of reference books.
The bottom drawer is for a change of sheets and mattress pads, and extra blankets and swaddlers.
The top drawer is for nursing, burp cloths, a pump, pads, Lansinol, and hand gel.
The baby's bedding is already laid out and stored to keep it dust free.
Under the bed is a quilt for laying on the floor or bed with, and all the gender specific (all boy of course) clothing up to size 6 months. If we have a girl, these will easily go back in the garage, and then we'll need to purchase some. We have a lot of gender neutral clothes to get us through until then. I'm fairly certain in the garage, is another bag of clothes with a few girl outfits we got at Fritter's baby shower. I just need to find them.
And finally, a view of my side of the bed so you can see just how close we'll be.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

To Whom It May Concern

After a rough morning, management has decided that the rest of the morning, and possibly the rest of the day will be a vacation day. Pajamas are the attire of choice, and although not necessary, slippers are a bonus. Have a good day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Afternoon Napping Dream

I have to get this down, because if I don't I'm sure to forget it and it was really strange. A little background info. Fritter and I went shopping today for pants for him and my godson. We looked through rack after rack of clothes marked 2T, and passed many racks for other cutie pies.

To the dream:

Fritter and I went into a store that sold baby animals after looking through a bunch of different catalogs to see which stores were having sales. This particular store was set up like a Country Buffet, with several different heating tables, and sneeze guards to protect I'm not sure what, since all the animals were already behind glass.

Each table had several different stations, again like a buffet line, where a different animal was displayed. Above the animals were little tags reading the ages of the animals. 3-6 months Here! 1-2 years Here! The one I particularly remember was for kittens that read 1-2 years Here! Under the glass were several different kittens, but they all were immobile like they were stuffed. It was assumed that once you bought it, it would come to life.

One lady that was looking at the same heating table as me had a very large white sheep dog on a leash with her. When I say very large, I mean the biggest dog I've ever seen. It's head was as high as mine, and it was nice and chubby and fluffy like a sheep dog should be. This was a particularly loud, misbehaved dog and she was having trouble controlling him. Why she was looking at the cats in the first place, I don't know, and I think I must have been weirded out by that in the dream too, because I moved to a different heating table.

All of a sudden, her dog (on it's leash) ran around my heating table, dragging the lady behind him. The leash was one of those retractable ones, and spun across my throat, choking me. I remember yelling, "I can't breath!" several times before I was let free. My throat burned as bad as it did after the bratwurst incident. I was very angry, because I had a singing recital that evening (now you know I'm dreaming!). I took down her name and phone number and promised to sue, and Fritter and I left the store.

Isn't that a weird dream? I still keep getting the images of the immobile cats behind their signs.

Baby's Crib

We finally decided that instead of buying a new bassinet, (even though it would take up less room in an already crowded apartment), using the vacant crib was a better idea. The problem we had, though, was that our bedroom was designed really strange. The door to come in is set in an angled wall, a very large window takes up another wall, and the door to the bathroom and closet take up yet another wall. So the only walls open to put a bed and dresser against are right across from each other. This doesn't leave much room to walk through the bedroom. We also keep our bookcase in our bedroom, which was against the same wall as our headboard. Keeping things the way it was only left room for the baby's crib right up against the window. Sorry, but no.

My dh suggested that since the closet is a walk-in, we could put the crib in there and turn it into a small nursery-like room. The problem there is that the ventilation is not very good, and how would we get to our clothes?

There was a small amount of room across from our bed, right next to the dresser, but the crib would have covered part of the door to get into the bathroom. I could just imagine us trying to go in there in the middle of the night and bumping loudly into the crib, waking the baby. I know now how important it is to for me that the baby sleeps, especially at night. ;-)

So, we eventually decided to move our bed over as far as we could while still allowing space to walk around it to get to the closet and bathroom. Then we moved the bookcase to the spot next to the dresser. We moved the nightstand from next to my side of the bed and put the crib in where the bookcase used to be. It's not perfect it covers a small part of the window, but the baby's head will just go the other way. I've thought about putting plastic over the window to really make sure it's sealed, but dh doesn't think it's necessary. The crib is a little too close to the bed, but it acts like a guard, so at least I won't be falling out of bed anytime soon! ;-)

Overall, I think it works for us right now. Eventually, we may move Fritter's room around and put the baby in there when he/she gets a little bit older. Hopefully we'll be in a house by April, though, so that may not happen.

Seeing the crib up in our room, really makes it real to me that soon we will have another little baby in our home. As nervous as I am about having two kids to take care of (can I really do it?) it's also soothing. It seems right. And I'm also very excited.

Today I'm sorting through Fritter's clothes to decide what fits and what doesn't, and see what we need for him. I know he's going to need some long-sleeved shirts (can you believe it got down to 45 last night?!), a pair of brown dress shoes, and some warm pj's. I need to decide on pants, ect. though. Tonight, dh is bringing up the baby clothes from the garage so I can sort and wash those and get them put away. I'll feel better once that is done.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pride and Humility

In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural Passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself...For even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility. - Benjamin Franklin

Oh, how true is the last part of that statement. I constantly struggle with my pride, and I'm just now realizing how rooted it is in every part of my life.

I mentioned before how I decided to take the advice of my spiritual director and start with a very small thing to conquer before moving onto the next. I've been working on waking up at 6 when the alarm goes off and not hitting the snooze button to go back to sleep. While I have not been perfect at this, I am beginning to rely on my one hour of my time. This was apparent to me this morning when Fritter woke up early at 6:30 and cried at his door. Generally if he wakes up before 7, he'll play happily in his room until I come to get him, but not this morning. This morning he needed his mom.

I grumpily went to get him, all the while thinking how unfair it was that I didn't get my whole hour to myself. But when I opened his door, and he looked at me with his big blue eyes and gave me a hug, I realized just how prideful and self-centered I can be. Here I am, complaining about not getting to be alone for a half-hour more, when my son just wanted to be with me. I snuggled him, changed him, and gave him his breakfast, and he was ready to play independently while I ate my breakfast and read my daily blogs.

So I did a little searching online about developing humility, the enemy of pride. Christ mentions pride and humility so often in the Gospels, that had I really been paying attention, I could see how important humility really is. There are so many books and websites about this virtue that it almost seems hard to know where to start. I say almost, because I should know to always start with prayer. I found the Litany of Humility that I'm going to start praying everyday. I'm also going to put a copy of it on my fridge to remind me every time I see it.

Besides praying, I feel I should actually do something. Right now, I feel I should work on my tone of voice. I know this seems like it doesn't go along with pride, but trust me, in my case it does. I raise my voice needlessly at Fritter and at my dear husband too frequently. Because, of course, it's all about me. So lowering my voice and concentrating on speaking calmly is my habit to work on, until I'm more in control of it. And just because I'm working on a new habit, does not give me the excuse to give up on the one I've mostly cultivated (thanks be to God!).

Litany of Humility
Taken from Confraternity of Penitents

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed,
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,
Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
That others may be esteemed more than I,
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. Amen.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Praying For A Healthier Week

Whew! Am I glad last week is over. Wednesday after his nap, Fritter woke with a low-grade fever. To make a long story short, we ended up taking him to a pediatric clinic in our area that is open all night long, with a fever of 102.6 and after he vomited twice. He was diagnosed with strep throat, and started him on antibiotics on Thursday morning.

Thursday afternoon, he refused to nap, and when I went into his room, I noticed he had a couple of what looked like small mosquito bites on the side of his face. Thinking maybe there was something in his room that could be biting him, I changed all the sheets, scrubbed the mattress pad thingy, and dusted and vacuumed everywhere. I never saw anything, but I was hopeful I had taken care of it. That night he had a hard time falling asleep, and by 10 I was so tired, I brought him in bed with me. DH slept on the couch ;-).

He started seeming better Friday, but I noticed two more mosquito-looking bumps on him. Saturday morning he had one very large bump on his cheek and another on his head, and he was complaining of itchy eyes. I realized (finally) that he was having a mild allergic reaction to his amoxicillin. So I called the pediatricians office, and they ordered him a new antibiotic.

Also, Saturday morning, DH had a list of things he wanted to get done. He left after breakfast to get the car washed and vacuumed, and when he got back he was pale and sweaty and feeling really tired and yucky. He had a fever and so went to the Urgent Care (so much better than the ER) to get a throat culture. It came back negative, but the doctor said it was only 60% accurate and since Fritter had strep, he put DH on an antibiotic.

After an entire weekend of Fritter getting better and my poor DH getting sick, it's Monday. My hubby went to work this morning, despite still feeling really bad. He called around 10 this morning to ask what to take to get his fever down. I asked him to come home, but he said he had meetings to go to that he couldn't miss. *sigh* I'm beginning to think that DH doesn't have strep after all, and has a case of the flu or something.

Thankfully I haven't gotten sick, and am doing my best to stay healthy and nurse everyone else back to full health.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Can It Be?

Has Fall really come to Arizona? Our high today is only 85! That's right, 85! Tomorrow the high is 84! I'm thinking we're going to be outside this weekend.

It's not going to last too long though. We're back up into the high 90's next week. The seasons are teasing me. But before long, it will be soooooo nice.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Baby List

Things I need to either buy or do before the new baby comes.
  • decide if we want a bassinet or figure out where to put the crib
  • 3 bassinet sheets if we decide to go that way
  • newborn diapers
  • new infant carseat purchased and installed
  • write out Fritter's schedule for the sitter and pack bag
  • go through and wash newborn clothes
  • plan two weeks of easy meals and decide what I can do ahead of time
  • research and purchase a new sling
  • go through nursing bras and tops, decide what I need (if anything)
  • sew nursing cover
  • order humidifier filters and clean both
  • sort through paci's in case we decide to use them
  • gather parts and wash pump
  • decide about hospital bag, and pack
  • bottle of Dreft
  • go through swaddling blankets
  • make sure we have stuff for circumcision care in case it's a boy
  • tour hospital
  • plan hospital route

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Little Counter

Can I just brag about my son for a minute? The video shows it all, but he can count to five almost by himself! Yay!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dinner Guests

So I'm totally freaking out. I went out on a limb and invited one of the girls from my Familia class over to dinner this Friday, along with her husband (whom we've never met). She just recently moved here from North Dakota and is pregnant with her first (they're due in December). I figured, heck, she doesn't have any friends and neither do we, so this could benefit us both! ;-) I'm half kidding. She seems really nice, and get this...she's my age! Yay!

Here's what I'm freaking out about, though. 1) We live in a small apartment, and I actually have to go to Target this week to find two matching dining room chairs, because we don't have enough seats to sit at the table. I'm comforted to know that they live in an apartment also, but still. 2) Because we don't know each other well, and we don't know her husband at all, what are we going to talk about? I know we will suffer through a couple of awkward silences. 3) I'm making homemade pizza for dinner (it's fun, easy, and good) but don't know what to do about dessert. Any ideas? Maybe brownies.

I'm sure it will all turn out ok, but this is definitely new to me. I just don't do this kind of thing. Please pray for me, and any advice is a plus!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Two-Year Old Mind

I don't know where he got this, but it sure is cute.

Take My Breath Away

First, let me start off by saying that I did take Michelle's advice (scroll down to the comments) and upped the amount of protein I'm eating. That's helped. I also mentioned this to my doctor, who said that when you eat carbs, your blood sugar goes up, and without the protein to balance things out, it also comes crashing down really fast. She said I needed to be eating at least 10 grams of protein with each meal.

It seems there's always something going on during this pregnancy. Last evening, while DH and I watched The Count of Monte Cristo, I felt like my breath was getting short a couple of times. Nothing dramatic, just a quick shortness of breath and then it would be normal again. I didn't think too much of it until I went to bed that evening. While laying there, it happened a few more times and I also felt like my heart was skipping a beat. So I felt for my pulse and just relaxed and waited for it to happen again. Sure enough, when I would get the shortness of breath, my heart would skip.

At first, I got a little scared and told DH what was happening. I then got up and walked around a little, which seemed to help. So I got online and did some searching, and it seems that this is a fairly normal thing to happen during pregnancy, especially when the mom is carrying like I am this time. That was comforting to know, but it didn't change the fact that it was still happening and wasn't exactly a pleasant experience.

I thought maybe the baby decided to shift a little and put pressure on something, so I did some cat-cow stretches to try to get the baby to shift. It helped a little bit, but I ended up falling asleep sitting up, because it didn't seem to happen as much. It's happened a few times today as well, and while I'm not worried, I think I'm still going to put a call in to my doctor.

It's funny how each pregnancy is different. With Fritter, I did not experience as many of the things I have with this one. I also carried very different. This time everything is right up front, and I almost look normal from behind (almost). I was much wider with Fritter, and gained my weight all over. Perhaps this means we're having a little girl!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fritter's Art

After carefully arranging the objects just so...
...his masterpiece was finished.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fritter's Hot Coffee

Notice the coaster underneath. He's a gentleman, that's for sure!

My Little Rule

I was inspired by Cheryl and a few other mom's a while back to begin reading A Mother's Rule of Lifeto try to gain some control over my day. When I start scheduling, though, I tend to start all at once because I get excited, and then I never stick to it. The book, as good as it is, eventually went back on the shelf, and I struggled with making time for prayer and most everything else during the day.

I've also tried Flylady and my own version of keeping a Home Management Journal. Flylady helped some on things like swish and swipe and making my bed in the morning, but the clutter factor has remained...well, cluttered.

On Saturday, I went to spiritual direction and spoke about this very thing. Morning prayers were becoming nonexistent, daily mass was being neglected, and about the only thing I was accomplishing was keeping my home surface clean. My spiritual director told me that I should start small. The most important thing is to make sure I am setting aside time each day for prayer. And not just those prayers uttered throughout my day, although those are important as well. I needed to "go into my inner room and close the door".

I am not a morning person, and it seems that when I do get up early, Fritter gets up as well, and then my day just starts, no matter my intentions. Because I have a weak will, my director said I needed to exercise it by doing one small thing. Set the alarm for 6am, and get up when it goes off. That's it. So I'm working on that and only that. But it sets up my day for success. I get up at 6, and if Fritter is up, he plays by himself in his room until 7. This guarantees me an entire hour to pray, shower, eat, ect.

Yesterday and today it's been great. Not that I've just jumped out of bed, I have had to force myself, but I don't have to sneak in a shower while Fritter is watching Caillou. And I have the time for praying! I'm not going to set any type of a deadline and then move on to the next thing, because this may take me some time to master. But I'm determined, and my spiritual director is sure to hold me accountable for it.

A Mother's Rule of Life will be coming back off the shelf soon enough. Also, I just received my new review book Kimberly Hahn's Graced and Gifted in the mail, which pertains to this same topic. I plan on reading it through once to get a good idea of things (and also so I can review it) and then slowly going through it again to really make progress. I'm excited about my little steps, and maybe one day, I'll be the ideal I want to be (or close to it).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hunger Pangs

They say never go to the grocery store when you are hungry. But what do you do when you get hungry just about every hour? Out of nowhere it'll hit me, and it's like if I don't eat something at that exact moment, I might end up chewing on my own fingers. :-)

Seriously though. Last Sunday, before Mass, I had a nice breakfast of oatmeal and toast. But during Mass, I suddenly felt faint and weak and broke out in a cold sweat. Why? Because I was hungry! Crazy, right? It also happened on Wednesday during my Familia class. I was sure everyone could hear my stomach growling.

Which takes me to today. I made sure I ate well this morning, and Fritter and I headed off to the grocery store. I had a small list this week and was sure I'd get out of there with a bill of under $65. No such luck. Halfway through the store, I wanted to open the boxes that sat so teasingly on the shelves and sit on the floor and have myself a picnic! I didn't, but I did end up buying too many things that were not on my list, and that are definitely not good for me. I even got one of those king size Snickers bars at the checkout for my drive home. No sharing with Fritter either!

Unfortunately, my grocery bill this week reflects all this. The grand total was $100.17. Considering I did get Fritter a $3 shirt, a $7 pair of shoes, and a $6 package of socks, and I got an $8 bin for our closet, that still brings my grocery total to $76! Hmm...could it have possibly been those oatmeal cream pies, or the box of processed macaroni and cheese, or even the box(es) of muffin mix I may never use? *sigh* I still have 2.5 months left of this pregnancy, and I can only imagine that I'll just get hungrier and hungrier. I'm going to have to start eating right before I walk into the store.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Heaven's Song

Well, it's taken me quite a while to get to the point where I could write my review on Heaven's Song by Christopher West. Although I love to read and usually finish books quickly, lately it seems I either don't have the time or am too tired to read more than a page before I fall asleep. So, if you read many of the same blogs I do, you've probably already read a few reviews on this book. Here's one more.

I was a little nervous when I first picked up Heaven's Song. Knowing that it was based on Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, I thought I was in for some tough reading. I was wrong. Each chapter in Heaven's Song starts with a small, real-life story and tells the end of that story (good or bad, it is real-life) at the end of the chapter. Also, each chapter ends with reflection questions that a person can use to apply the teachings to his own life. This was critical for me, because I was able to stop and really understand what I was reading.

I learned quite a bit from this book, not only about the ideal of marital union, but also about things that I didn't even know had affected my ideas regarding the body and sexual love. One such thing that comes to mind from this book is the idea of modesty. Before coming into the Church, I had never really thought about it before, but my own immodesty was pointed out to me a few times afterwards. I began to view the body as something that needed to be hidden, or covered up, because it was bad. But, really (as I'm sure many of you already knew) that's not why a person should dress modestly. To quote Mr. West (pg. 58):

Why do we feel the need to cover our bodies... in a fallen world? We cover our bodies in a fallen world not because they're "bad." The notion that our bodies are bad is a heresy! We cover our bodies in a fallen world because they are so good and we feel an instinctive need to protect the goodness of the body from the degradation of lust.

This may not come as any revelation to anyone else, but to me it filled in holes I was missing. There are so many other places from this book that filled other holes for me, that I couldn't begin to list them all.

Whether a person is new to Theology of the Body or not, there is something to be gleaned from Heaven's Song. It meets you where you are and helps you go even farther. I would even venture to say that a person could get different things from it after reading it a second or third time through. Especially if someone has holes that need filled or are looking for healing, this is a good place to start.

This review was written as part of The Catholic Company product reviewer program. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Heaven's Song.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our First Night Visitor

Since moving Fritter to his "new bed", he's slept pretty well at night. Last night however, I heard him on the monitor fussing a little bit. Nothing dramatic, just a little noise making. It lasted about a minute before I heard him settle back down. I assumed he went back to sleep so I did, but about 15 minutes later or so I heard a little whine in the doorway of our bedroom. I sat up to see a small cute little boy, holding on to his duckie, standing in our room. Our bed is only a full, and my pregnant belly and body pillow take up most of the room, and even my poor DH doesn't have much space. Otherwise I would have tucked him cozily in with us, but I scooped him up in my arms and carried him back to his bed and laid him down. He just wanted to be with me, so I sat by his bed for a few minutes until he relaxed and got sleepy again.

I may not think this is so cute later, but right now, I'm glad that he's ok coming to get me when he's up in the middle of the night.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

On Glucose Testing and Sleepiness

Tuesday morning found Fritter and I in my doctor's office. It was time for the 1 hour glucose test. Thankfully this particular office has a play room, and they also offer childcare for when you go back.

Today was the first day someone was there while I was, so the kind lady offered to watch Fritter while I went back to have my blood pressure checked and listen to the baby's heartbeat. I decided to try it, since I wouldn't be in the back very long, and we still had to wait another 45 minutes to have my blood drawn. Big mistake. Fritter is not used to being watched by anyone other than his dad. I should have thought about this fact, but I didn't. My brain has been very slow the past couple of weeks (thus the lack of posts). As the nurse took my blood pressure, I could hear Fritter crying very hard. I'm sure the pressure was elevated at that point.

When I came out, he was still crying. I calmed him down and got him interested in a couple of the toys in the playroom, while apologizing to the nice lady who offered to watch him. Although he was now calm, this had put him into a very sensitive and fussy mood. He fussed when I took him back with me to speak with my doctor. He fussed while I got reflexology done on my feet that she recommended for my hips (we were in the playroom even). He fussed while I got my blood drawn, and he fussed all the way out to the car. Once in his car seat, he quieted down, and was happy for the rest of the way home. I think he was finally content to know that I wasn't going to be leaving him again. ;-)

One of the things I mentioned to my doctor was how tired and unmotivated I've been. I could sleep all day long if I was allowed to, and during my waking hours, I just want to sit or lay down. She asked about my diet, ect. and chalked it up to my not sleeping well at night because of my sore hips. After the reflexology, she recommended the chiropractor, which I'm still thinking about.

Yesterday, while napping (that's when I get all my phone calls) she called and said they had the results back from my glucose test. The glucose levels were normal, but my iron levels were very low. She recommended, on top of my regular prenatal, an iron supplement. I had some in the house already, so I took one with my vitamin last night before bed. I still had a hard time waking up this morning, but I definitely have more energy today, and may actually tackle some of the jobs that have been piling up on me. I'm not sure if that was the iron, or if I just slept better last night, but I'm feeling better. Pray for me!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fritter's New Bed

After Fritter climbed out of his crib for the first time, we began thinking about putting him in a bed. We didn't have a chance to worry too long about it though, because we left for our trip to Wyoming. While there he slept in his porta-crib. But again, right before we left for home, he had started climbing out of that. So for the rest of the trip, he started sleeping with us, and then I'd move him in his crib after he was asleep. Nap time was interesting, but thankfully we only had a couple of days left until home. That had solidified our opinion that he needed to be in a bed.

I asked the ladies in my class that had older kids how they made the adjustment to a big bed. Most said that their kids just stayed in bed and they never had a problem with it. "Gee, they are either great parents or they have really easy kids," I thought.

One of the ladies had taken apart the bunk in her daughter's room and was wanting to get rid of the top bed. She asked if we wanted it. A free bed? Hmmm...let me think about that for a minute. Of course we took it, and it's perfect. It sits low on the floor, and because it was a top bunk, it already has the side rails that come with it. We put it up yesterday, and Fritter loved it. He kept walking around saying, "New bed? New bed? Bankie, duckie, bear, new bed?"

That afternoon Fritter took his first nap in it. When I heard him playing a few hours later, I went in his room. All his blankets were bundled on the floor, with him sitting in the middle of them. I think that might be where he slept. But he stayed put and got some sleep which was the whole point. Last night, before we went to bed, we looked in on him, and there he was, sleeping right where I put him. He hadn't moved an inch. Maybe I'm the one with the easy kid!

*Don't worry, we moved the electrical cord to the outlet behind the dresser!*

Giddy-up Horsie