Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's A....

Baby Girl!

C.M. was born yesterday at 2:46pm.  She weighs 6 lbs. 15 oz. and is 20.5 inches long.  It was a very long, very hard labor and delivery, but thanks be to God we are both doing well and home now.  Details will follow when I can find the time and energy. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Daddy's Little Engineer

The large tree branch was taken from our wood pile and I'm told it's a flagpole.

The black string is from a broken toy and it's a spider's web.

The dirt clumps are clumps of grass pulled from the sand.  Not sure what those are, but the green thing at the bottom is a paper airplane I made him last week.  Maybe these are airplane hangers?

I'm just hoping he doesn't someday use his skills to set booby traps for the rest of us.  ;-)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In The Meantime

I'm amusing myself with my newest book.  Forever, Erma by Erma Bombeck.  In a conversation I had with a friend the other day, I mentioned my New Years Resolution of joy.  She knows me and knows just how serious I can be and recommended any one of Erma's books.  I did some searching and ordering and it came today.  Yay!

I just finished my first column and wow.  Is she hilarious or what?!

 While they were pumping his stomach, we took a good look at ourselves.  My husband was in a pair of thrown-over-the-chair denims and his pajama top.  I was wearing yesterday's house dress with no belt, no hose, and a scarf around my uncombed hair.  I was clutching a dish towel, my only accessory.  We looked like a family of Okies who had just stepped into the corridor long enough to get a tin can of water for our boiling radiator.  ~From Paint Tint Caper, Forever, Erma

Perhaps this is just the medicine I need to get my mind of things.  Goodnight all!

I've Been Here Before

Today is almost the end of day two of on again off again contractions.  Some will be 10 minutes, others are 15 minutes, and still others are 30 minutes apart.  It's pretty much ongoing.  For two days.  I've taken two long walks today, sat on my birth ball, drank a glass of wine in order to relax, and I'm still waiting for the real action to happen.  Yesterday, if asked, I would have told you we would have a baby in our arms by nightfall.  I woke up to the alarm this morning, disappointed, but still optimistic.  Today, I thought, today for sure.  Alas, it is the close of the day and I'm tired of watching my uterus.  And I'm tired of my husband watching, and I'm tired of the neighbors across the street watching. 

On a positive note, I spoke with my doula today, and she reassured me that this kind of progress is good.  It means less work when active labor really comes.  I keep trying to remember that.  In God's time.  In God's time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Air Show

Today we went to an air show at the Air Force Base in our area.  We have been looking forward to this for about a month.  We had the option of park and ride, but we took the park and walk.  I figured hoofing it a little might help get things moving.

Fritter all smiles.  This kid loves airplanes.  I think we may have a future pilot on our hands.  As long as he chooses the Navy, his dad will be happy.  ;-)

Ladybug was all smiles too.  Until she realized I planned on keeping her in the stroller for as long as possible.  Then she wasn't as happy.

Fritter analyzing his chances of hopping in the cockpit.

Like Father, Like Son.

So cool.  You can actually pay to take a 45 minute ride in this one.  I was told that certain sacrifices could be made for a certain persons birthday at some point in the future.  Hmmm...we'll see.

There is something about seeing all these old war planes coupled with being on a military base that brings out the patriotism in a person.

We had front row seats for the airshow.  But we forgot the chairs.  And that ground?  Not so comfy.  Fritter and Ladybug didn't seem to mind.  They just saw a fence and wanted to get on the other side.

The Golden Knights started the airshow off with a very cool jump.  I could not believe how fast they fell, and how long until they opened their parachutes.  The airplane that dropped them proceeded to chase them through the sky. 

He landed right in front of us.  We were thrilled, and I managed to get a picture of him the moment his feet touched the ground.

I can't remember what kind of airplanes these are, but their show was amazing.  They are so fast, and so maneuverable.  Fritter couldn't take his eyes off of them.

The same planes, passing each other.  Had I not wanted a picture, I would have closed my eyes.

An A-10 was also part of the show.  It was amazing how fast he was and the things he could do in the sky.  It seemed impossible that he could stay in the air when he did certain moves.  They simulated bombing for us.  One of the "bombings" was so big, we could feel the heat from it.

This plane was not part of the show, but needed to take off during part of it.  He was on his way to Libya.
We didn't get to stay for the whole show, but what we saw was amazing.  The walk back to the car seemed way longer than the walk there, and the drive home seemed even farther.  I told my dear husband that if I don't start labor after that exhaustion, nothing would help.  Thankfully we all were able to take nice long naps when we got home, and our sunburns are light enough they will probably just be tans by tomorrow evening.

It was a great day spent with my favorite people.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Forever Pregnant

Yesterday morning I awoke to the feeling that this was the day!  This was the day we were going to meet our Little Cub.  I have been excited and anxious for about a week now, and at my appointment on Tuesday revealed I was close to 3 cm dilated.  The doctor assured me I would go into labor by Saturday (Why do they tell us that?!  It's enough to drive any woman mad!)

Most of the day yesterday I had mild Braxtons with a couple of strong ones and by 5pm really thought things were going to get moving at some point soon.  I was supposed to go do a 40 Days For Life hour with a group of friends, but called and said I thought it was best for me to stay close to home, and my dear husband agreed.

By the time we got the kids in bed last evening, the contractions (or maybe Braxtons?  It's so hard to tell at this point.) were coming every half hour.  In reality I know that this means nothing.  But in my anxiousness to I wanted to believe it meant something.  But, after falling asleep and waking this morning without a baby in my arms, I can fool myself no longer.  I am going to be the first woman to ever be pregnant forever.

I've consoled myself with reading other women's birth stories, including my own.  I've told myself that it will happen in God's time.  When I talked with my husband this morning and told him how things were going, he kindly consoled me with an encouraging, "Yep, you're going to putter."

My plan for today?  Sit on the birth ball, finish the laundry, snuggle my kids.  I'd like to say have a baby, but I don't want to get my hopes up.  The due date is more than a week away.  The reality is it could be another...three...weeks.  I shudder to think.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Can We Say Nesting?

So here's the to-do list I made myself this morning.  The goal is to have it finished by the end of the week.  We'll see how it goes.

floors swept and mopped
fridge cleaned
change tablecloths
vacuum furniture
vacuum rugs
clean teapot
clean microwave
scrub main bathroom
organized toys in playroom
go through To Do folder
pay all bills
scrub master bathroom
change sheets
put sheets on cradle
finish packing
update baby books
order and put up wall pictures for kids
pick up and organize yard toys
make banana bread
make oatmeal raisin cookies
make a list and pick up extra food staples
organize linen closet

What's funny is originally I had clean fridge on the list twice.  Guess I really need to get that job done quick.  I keep telling myself that if I go into labor soon, I can accomplish some of this in between contractions.  Or maybe not.  ;-)

Friday, March 11, 2011

12 Steps To Cure The Grumpies

1.  Read Grumley the Grouch
2.  Everyone takes turns thinking of everything they like.  You start.
3.  Be amazed by the small things the little people like.  Eyes, ears, sunshine...
4.  Realize you like all those things too.
5.  Notice the cute piggy toes next to you.
6.  Realize you like those too.
7.  Tickle the piggy toes.
8.  Realize you love the result of piggy toe tickling.
9.  Announce how much you like to nap. 
10. Be amazed when the little people announce how much they like to nap too.
11. Announce that it is now nap time.
12. Finally, bask in the ungrumpies, and be thankful for your blessings.  (Don't forget to nap.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Unplanned - A Review

I cannot tell you how much Abbey Johnson's book Unplanned impacted me.  Besides the book being well written and easy to read (I read it in two days, I know of others who read it in one night), it inspired me to get off my duff (so to speak).  So often we complain about the horrors of abortion, but we never really do anything about it, except complain.  Unplanned has been the catalyst I needed to move me to action.

Abbey Johnson tells about her journey from the director of a Planned Parenthood in Texas to a voice on "the other side of the fence".  Her story is hard to read.  There are parts where I wanted to shout at her "How could you be so blind!", and other parts where I couldn't stop the tears from gushing over.  Within the pro-life movement, I think her story is one of the most important to come to light.  She was a modern everyday person who was sucked into the lies of the abortion industry, all while truly believing she was doing what was right and best for women.

A story like Abbey's shows us that change is possible.  But sacrifices must be made, whether they are of time or resources or both if we hope to see any change at all.  I think that were enough pro-life people to read this book it could inspire so many to do much more.  I can only imagine what could happen if enough pro-abortion people were to read it.

*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 Unplanned. They are also a great source for serenity prayer and baptism gifts.

Walking With God

Walking With God is the newest book by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins.  It's subtitled A Journey Through The Bible, and that's exactly what it is.  I have always felt called to read and understand the bible.  But, being a convert to Catholicism, and not having much experience with the bible before my conversion, I never really knew how or where to start.  So I did what you do with most every other book.  I would start at the beginning and planned to not stop until the end.  But not understanding much about the background certain stories were told around, and getting lost somewhere among all the genealogies and the Thou Shalt Nots, I usually gave up halfway through Genesis.

That all changed when I received Walking With God as my newest review book from the Catholic Company.  I read each section from the bible the book described, and then would read the chapter from the book.  I cannot believe it myself, but I have now read most of the Old Testament and have a greater understanding of the New.

The book is set up according to The Great Adventure's Bible Timeline:

...which organizes the events of the Bible into twelve periods and follows the basic storyline of God's revelation by focusing on just fourteen "narrative books" that together give the "big picture" of Scripture's plot.  (Once the plot of the story comes into focus, the remaining fifty-nine books, which The Bible Timeline program calls "supplemental books" can be fit into their historical contexts.)

Walking With God makes the whole story, from God's creation to his Revelation, so much more understandable for those of us who are not biblical scholars.  Not only would this make a great Lenten read, but honestly I think all Catholic homes should have this on their bookshelves with each family member reading it as age and understanding allow.  Knowing and understanding our biblical background solidifies who we are as Catholic Christians and can help us grow closer to God through His Son.

*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 Walking With God . They are also a great source for serenity prayer and baptism gifts.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Somehow I remember being here before....

Today I've:

made 3 lasagnas (one for a friend, one for the freezer, one for dinner)
made 2 loaves of bread using a new recipe
made 2 large batches of strawberry shortcake (mmmmm)
made 2 large salads
ran to the grocery store for a couple of forgotten items from Tuesday
put kids down for naps
talked to my dear husband about 37 times while waiting for his much delayed flight to bring him home
lay down to take a nap only to realize we had to leave for a doctor appointment in 45 minutes
went to doctor appointment
took food to friend (or at least soon this will be accomplished)

And now I sit waiting for my hubby.  Tomorrow I may do nothing but sit.  ;-)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On Sacrifice

Sacrifice is one of those things that I haven't really practiced much.  "What?" you say, "Don't you Catholics have a whole 40 day period called Lent where you are supposed to fast, pray, and almsgive?"  Why, yes we do.  And I've done what I'm supposed to do during my...five Lents I've been either Catholic or almost Catholic.  I've fasted on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. I've stayed away from meat on Fridays during Lent.  I've even given stuff up.  My first Lent, I gave up smoking.  What I've found, though, is that most of the things I've given up, I've been able to console myself with the thought that it's better for me anyway.  Not once has there really been the conviction of sacrificing out of love for Christ and his Church.

A few weeks ago, at a prayer group I go to, we talked about sacrifice.  And that's where it really hit me.  We sacrifice things that are truly a sacrifice, we give where it hurts, we pray fervently.  At least, we're supposed to.  That week, I was supposed to do a small fast from something I find myself attached to.  It was hard.  It was supposed to be.  And at the end of the week, I was amazed.  Something had happened to me.  I was looking for other places to give throughout my day.  Someone interrupted my morning prayer time?  Offer it up, and recognize it as a part of my mothering vocation.  Hips hurt?  Offer it up for the growing baby inside my womb.  Someone cut me off in traffic?  Offer it get the idea.

I think I must be a slow learner, because I remember when I first came into the Church hearing my mother-in-law (and others) talk about offering it up.  And I kind of understood on an intellectual level, but on a real life level the idea was completely over my head.  When something goes wrong (according to my plans) I tend to just react and not really think, so "offering it up" was always thought of too late.

But after my small sacrifice this past week, it's been easier for me to recognize those moments in my day that can also be offerings, insignificant though they may seem. 

I'm looking forward to Lent this year.  I've always loved the season, it is so rich and beautiful and full of meaning.  But this year I understand the season so much more than previous years that it seems even richer, even more beautiful.  Especially with the abundance that rules for much of the year, Lent is our opportunity to relish simplicity, to seize the day in a spiritual sense.

Even small as they are, our sacrifices, our pains, our frustrations, our inabilities, our smallness can be turned into big grace for ourselves and those around us.  Maybe you already knew that.  But it's another big lesson for me.