Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Palm Sunday daybook

I'm posting this today because I'm going to stay off the computer for Holy Week. I'll bet I'll find time to get some of these pre-baby things done then! The computer has just been way too easy a way to feed my lazy behavior.... But if I'm lucky enough to go into labor, I'll let ya'll know! :)

Outside my window...It's beautiful right now, if a bit chilly. Not sure what the actual temp is, probably in the 50's, but a chilly wind is blowing.

I am hearing...Elmo's World

I am thinking...that I'm sloooowly getting some things done, but at a pathetic pace...still having a lot of aches and pains, so I unload the dishwasher, and sit for 10 minutes, and load the dishwasher, and sit for 10 minutes, etc. It works, if you aren't hoping to get too much done in a day. The trick is to keep the 10 minutes from turning into an hour.

I am thankful kicks. This guy had a rather quiet couple of weeks,,,I even laid down and did kick counts a few times. He must have just been resting up for a growth spurt, because he's very active again and packing a punch.

I am wearing...olive green yoga pants, what I now live in, and a black long sleeved shirt. Sneakers, because they are the only things I can stand to wear over this stupid plantar's wart. Come on, St. Peter!

We are currently reading...I'm still reading The Autism Book. I've been re-reading parts of A Mother's Rule of Life to try and give my self a kick in the pants. Kain and I are still reading The Long Winter. I have some Easter picture books out for the littles.

I am praying...for an early birthday for this baby. :)

Latest on the babies...38 weeks! So close, and yet so far away! Tessie's latest words include "toto" for tomatoes, which she *loves*, and "Caillou", her favorite program. Yes, my toddler watches too much pbs. *Everyone* is watching too much tv right now. I'll deal with it post-baby. I don't have the gumption to care right now. She is also putting together more sentences, like "Where's the ball? Where'd it go?"

From the kitchen...cereal. Toast. Leftovers. Easy crock pot meals. I'll make hot cross buns for Good Friday. John's birthday is April 1st, so we will have a corny April Fool's Day dessert like we usually do, but on Tuesday instead because April 1st is also Holy Thursday and it doesn't seem appropriate to celebrate then. Besides, he's working on the 1st. We are having Easter dinner at my parents' this year, and my big contributions are drinks and cupcakes.

Around the house...The living room may never get painted. Tuesday was my first "living room painting day", but now we are celebrating John's birthday on that day and I can't really very well put him to work moving furniture and hauling ladders and such. I'm playing it by ear, I have hopes...but it's all going to depend on when this baby actually comes I guess.

In the learning room...I've actually been spending quite a lot of time here making some plans for the littles for some summer learning.

In the garden- Forsythia, daffodils, hyacinths blooming...all with no help from me.

Plans for the rest of the week...Other than what I already mentioned in the kitchen section, we will start watching Jesus of Nazareth tonight. We do that every year during Holy Week. I'll attend mass/services on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, alone since John is working. Wish me luck there. Evening stuff is rough with the littles. We'll dye eggs on Saturday, and after mass and egg hunting we will go visit family on Easter.

Have a blessed Holy Week!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

a prayer for oomph

I. Am. So. Lazy.

I have no oomph. I want to have this baby and go back to normal. Stop laughing. Yeah, yeah, I know, nothing brings "normal" back like a newborn. I still am ready to have this baby. Because, really, I usually do just feel much better once the baby is here. And the baby is coming, regardless, and we are going to have to find that new normal anyway, so I'd just as soon do it now, thank you. Right after I catch up the laundry. So, that's what I need. The kick in the pants, just a week's worth of steam really, to go do all the things I still need to do, get the cleaning and laundry caught up nicely, etc. I mean, I haven't gotten *anything* ready. I haven't even broken out the wee little baby clothes, washed them, and put them in the dresser. Don't feel sorry for me. Yell at me. That's what I need. I need good Old Fashioned Catholic Guilt. I need Sister Mary Carmela, my 5th grade teacher, to come over here and find me sitting on the couch watching Good Morning America and say, "Look at that crucifix! Our good Lord suffered and died for your sins and look at you, just sitting here being slothful! You aren't even folding laundry or anything while you are sitting here! Get up! Go, fulfill the duties of your vocation and offer it up for the Holy Souls in Purgatory! Do it for the good of your own sorry soul so that you may spend as little time there as possible when you face the Judgement of God!"

Ah, I mean no disrespect to Sister. I loved Sister Mary Carmela. She was one of my favorite teachers. She was one of those rare teachers that maintained perfect control of a classroom full of children and never even raised her voice. Or her ruler. She was very strict, but very fair, and the one thing I remember being most impressed with, even at age 10, was how very respectful she was of her students. There was this one unfortunate boy, Michael, in our class (doesn't every class have one?) that was very socially awkward and was teased quite a lot. I use the term awkward kindly. He really was a bizarre child. I'm not talking about a picked-on shy wallflower (that would have been MY role in the classroom), I'm talking about a child that had no friends and seemed to really not know how to make any. He antagonized the heck out of everyone and really was his own worst enemy. I think today he would be diagnosed with Asperger's or something. Anyway, he was going on and on about maps and directions one day in class, and the other boys were moaning and groaning about how terribly dorky it all was. Sister quietly had Michael sit down and, in a low and controlled tone, told us how terribly gifted Michael was in this area, how God has given his this gift or understanding maps and directions, how really he was quite a human compass, and how wrong it was for anyone to tease him for expressing his gift. She did not do this in a lecturing way, but in a motivational speaker sort of way so that by the end of it everyone just looked rather ashamed with themselves and grudgingly impressed with Michael. Me? I was impressed with Sister. What a talent with children! And, yes, she could deliver an old school Catholic guilt trip when appropriate.

Anyway, here's to you Sister, wherever you now are...she may be a little old nun somewhere now. Or she may be with God. If she is, I hope she'll pray me up some of her talents. In the meantime...thanks for reading this rambling post and helping me procrastinate some more. Now I really, really really, am off to do some laundry.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a bit late daybook

Outside my window...insanity. Last week it was in the 60's and beautiful. Then it snowed 10 inches and we had a hard freeze over the weekend. Yesterday it was in the 60's and sunny again and everything is almost melted already...and has turned the yard into a sopping mess. It's very weird to scrape snow off your van when it's too warm for a coat.

I am hearing...Jack chattering softly to himself. He woke up too early, and I'm trying to sell him on the idea of dozing back off on the couch.

I am thinking...about priorities. We are all off kilter here. Our daily routines are kind of a mess and we are just kind of flying by the seat of our pants every day. It's not good for anyone, especially the boys. I really need to work on our routines and get back into a good schedule. But, we are already hitting that "waiting for baby" limbo where it just seems futile to try and make new plans. So, I'm working on simple, open plans, not a schedule so much as a routine of events, open and gentle enough to carry us back into a new normal after the baby arrives, and maybe even through the summer.

I am thankful for...a husband that comes grocery shopping with me. Yesterday I just reached the "I can't take another step" point and left John to check out alone while I parked it on a bench.

I am wearing...gray capris, a white tank top with a black long sleeve shirt over it.

We are currently reading...Kain and I are reading The Long Winter. I love this one in the series. I always enjoy the children's reactions to reading about real and actual hardship...they don't appreciate how insulated they are from such things. Hunger around here is running out of favorite snacks before shopping day comes around again. I'm reading Dr. Bob Sears' new Autism just came out!

I am praying...that this baby doesn't go 10 days late like the last one. Please. Pretty please.

Pondering these words... "Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. " St. John Chrysostom

Latest on the babies...We are 37 weeks along. Wow! And I am in pain. I seem to have developed pubic symphisis dysfunction. I've diagnosed myself, heh. The two halves of the pelvic bone come together in a joint of cartilage at the front of your pelvis. Close to birth, hormones cause this joint to relax so it can separate during birth and help the baby pass through. In later pregnancies, this can happen a bit early. It can be quite disabling. I wouldn't say I've hit the "disabling" stage, but I've definitely hit the "in some degree of pain most of the time" stage. The softening causes the joint to be unstable and slip back and forth when walking, rolling over in bed, etc. This is cramping my plans a bit too. I wanted to start painting the living room next week. I'm not sure I can make that happen now. I feel like I could handle it with help from John and Maria, but I'm afraid of making this worse. Hmmm...

Jack is starting OT very soon, probably next week. He'll be going twice a week. They've also managed to switch Kain's OT appointment so it lines up with one of Jack's, so that will make life more manageable. We are still waiting on speech, because we are still waiting on our report from the children's hospital to arrive. But not at all in an obsessive "anxiously checking the mail everyday" kind of way. Nope. Not me.

From the kitchen...hahaha! Ok, no, sorry. Let's see. We switched over to a new spring/summer lunch menu. It's nothing impressive, just some different things that don't require use of the oven. Still fast and simple. I've not made any more freezer meals. But I am keeping meals very simple and collecting even simpler "fast food" type recipes to use in the coming weeks. I probably have about 10 freezer meals, so that's something.

Around the house...standing paint supplies.

In the learning room...again, just working with Maria mostly. I ordered her a new spelling program. That's a weird thing to do in March, huh? We will work on it through the summer though. Her spelling is just...atrocious. I'm making one last ditch effort with something new that was highly recommended for dyslexics. You can see it here.

In the garden- Our bulbs started coming up. Now they are covered with snow. Not sure what will happen to them now. Maria has been clipping branches of forsythia to force into bloom indoors. They still haven't bloomed outside. Usually they bloom in February, but we have had a weird, long-running winter.

Plans for the rest of the week...This month has been insanely busy. Things are slowing down this week, thankfully, and should stay a bit saner as I avoid scheduling as much as possible and activities begin to wind up for the school year towards May. Kain is still in day treatment and should be getting out sometime after the baby comes...hopefully later than sooner. I'm not sure if I am going to homeschool him next year and change my mind about it constantly. I want to homeschool him. I'm just not sure I'm up to homeschooling someone that I have to do battle with over things like rinsing his toothbrush, you know? I guess we have the summer to figure it out.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fun With Saints!

So, the reason I was in the clinic the other day was because I have an extremely painful plantar wart on my foot. These are notoriously difficult to get rid of, but I'm trying. My last ditch solution is to have it removed, which is usually no simple task because they can grow quite deep. I'm not thrilled with the idea of spending my last few weeks of pregnancy hobbling around with this thing as I try different remedies. I'm not wanting to have it cut out. But I can't even tolerate walking on it at all unless I have sneakers on, and I'm just picturing myself in active labor, limping around the birthing center in my pajamas and sneakers. So, it seems like a small and petty thing, but I'm praying for divine intervention and asking for the prayers of St. Podiatrus, the patron Saint of foot disorders. He was an ancient Roman martyr, and before he was killed he had his feet cut off and had to watch as they were fed to the lions.

I'm totally kidding. Haha! John and I made that up this morning after wondering who the patron Saint of foot disorders is. Because one thing we knew for sure, there definitely would BE one. There's a patron Saint for *everything*! So, I looked it up and found.....

...there are TWO! Bonus!

St. Peter the Apostle

and St. Servatus

I have put some time into researching why these two are the patron Saints of foot issues, and I have not come up with much! St. Servatus, especially, I've never even heard of. He was a Bishop in the early church in what is now Belgium. As with many very early Saints, there is a wide overlap of historical fact and legend. But I found nothing about feet, hehe. It's hard to say how some early Saints, especially, became patrons of different things...many times it started out as a tradition based on some little known fact about their life or death, so something related to a miracle attributed to them. Anyone know? Because now I'm just curious!

Friday, March 12, 2010

old and pregnant

I recently went to a clinic for something un-pregnancy related. I was chatting with the nurse, and she was asking me about my pregnancy, and of course the inevitable happened...she found out that this baby will make us a family of seven. I saw the shocked look on her face and tried to make ready for the questions that so often follow that look. But this time it was my turn to be surprised. She said, "Well, I've been thinking about having another baby. But...isn't it harder now that you are older?"

Hmmm. Well, that was a new one, at least to be asked so directly. I mean, it's no big secret. I know I'm considered old to be pregnant. This is written on my prenatal chart in fact...except they call it by the arguably more sensitive term, "advanced maternal age". It's a risk factor for this pregnancy, and any that follow...old eggs and all. I earned it by turning 35 this past October. I felt the pressure to defend my situation, to speak some pro-life, pro-family significance that would make a gentle but strong statement about being open to more children. I had nothin'. It was too unexpected, it caught me off-guard, so I was just honest. Yes, it is harder now that I'm older. It's a lot harder to be pregnant at 35 than it was at 21. I'm having a really hard time these last few weeks. Not just because my back hurts and my hips hurt and all of that, but even more so because I'm *profoundly exhausted* by 3 o'clock in the afternoon, even with plenty of iron supplements and an afternoon nap. And, also unlike being pregnant at 21, I have other children to care for, so giving in to my exhaustion and just ordering take-out and crashing on the couch until an early bedtime is not really an option. And I'm a little afraid that after this baby is born I'm going to need a little wagon to pull my uterus around behind me for the rest of my life.

I guess the more relevant question would be, is it worth it? Would I do it all over again? *Am* I planning to do it again? And the answer to that would be, yes, God willing, I am planning to do it again, and yes, it's worth it. I mean, come on, in a few weeks I'm going to have a *baby*! Babies are beautiful! They are soft and warm and squishy and snoogly and completely worth a few weeks of fatigue and a few drooping body parts. Not to mention co-creating an eternal soul to serve God for all eternity. Oh, that's a lofty thought! One that's easy to forget in the face of the very earthy concerns of sciatic nerve pain and swollen ankles. But that's another benefit of age...perspective. I know that this will pass, quickly pass, that in a few weeks, even weeks like these that feel like an eternity, this baby will be here among us, and we will all marvel at him, "so fresh from God", and we will look at his sweet face and breathe his yummy baby smell and we will know. We will know he was worth this, and much more.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The picture of evil

I detest these things. I have no idea how long they've been around, but I had my first child 13 years ago, and they were just as evil then. You think they could improve these somehow. When Maria was born, I spent 23 hours fighting with the nurses over the fetal monitors. They would only work if I was perfectly still and laying nearly flat. Every time I tried to reposition myself, or shift my legs, or BREATHE, they would lose her heartrate and some nurse would come in a gripe at me to be still. For 23 hours. Of active, pitocin-induced labor. Evil. And that memory of being strapped into a bed for 23 hours was probably my main motivation for seeking out homebirth information for my next pregnancy.

Well, the other night I got to revisit the fetal monitors. After my last post, my blood pressure zoomed on up to 220/120, and we ended up in the ER of a local maternity hospital. I was attached to the monitors for just three hours this time, which might not have been so bad in an actual bed, but since it was an ER I was on a gurney. It was so, so uncomfortable and my back is still feeling it. Why oh why can't they come up with something that works better than this?

Anyway, gripe over. The rest of that story is that once I got to the ER, even though my blood pressure had been rising at the midwife's office and high at home all weekend, it was normal when I got to the hospital and stayed normal...better than normal, in fact. When I left, it was 116/68! I thought maybe it was the herbal stuff the midwife prescribed kicking in, but I haven't taken it since...I've just been monitoring my blood pressure to see what happens first...and it has stayed down. I do believe we've had a mini-miracle. Heaven knows (literally!) that I had plenty of good people praying for me. Here's hoping for an uneventful next few weeks!

Monday, March 08, 2010


---I'm feeling tired and spacey and a bit overwhelmed,,couldn't get it together to post a daybook. So, I just thought I'd post some thoughts and happenings.

---Jack had occupational therapy for the first time today. Actually, it was his evaluation. He didn't handle it too well. He and Tess had a fever a couple of days ago that has since resolved, but they have both had some diarrhea today and I think that's what his issue might have been. He had diarrhea twice when we got home. I have a feeling he was spending most of his energy trying not to poop. Ah well...the therapist seems very nice and has lots of good autism experience. She thinks Jack will qualify for as much as three hours of OT a week!

---It's a loaded month. Maria has many Irish dance performances and extra practices, what with St. Patty's Day and all. And Kain is supposed to be coming home from day treatment soon. Jack will be getting evaluated for speech therapy as soon as we get his reports from the developmental pediatrician, and I need to schedule an audiologist appointment for him as well. My brain is pregnant and overwhelmed and swimming just a bit. I've finally just about finished organizing the schoolroom (YAY!), but I've got lots more I want to get done.

---And on that blood pressure is up. I've not had this happen before, and frankly, I'm not very happy about it. My pregnancies are all disgustingly healthy and normal and I've just kind of taken that for granted I guess, because it was a bit of a surprise when this happened. I mean, I had gallbladder issues with Tess, but that didn't really affect my actual pregnancy much. Other than the agonizing crawling-on-the-floor, puking-in-a-bowl pain. hehe. Anyway, I had a midwife visit last Friday and it was 140-ish over 90-something. I've been having John keep an eye on it over the weekend, and today it got up to 150/110. Not good news, people. I called my midwife and she has prescribed a bunch of herby stuff to try overnight and I'm supposed to call her in the morning. If it doesn't go down, I have to go in to get "checked out". I'm not really sure what this means. Her back-up obstetrician up and had a heart-attack a few weeks ago (rude!) and his practice has closed, so technically she doesn't really have a back-up doctor at the moment. I'm not sure who would check me out, if I would end up in some other office or at the hospital or what. Either way...not happy about it all. I'm trying to keep it in perspective. I don't have any other symptoms to worry about (abdominal pain, headaches, swelling, etc). And baby is still moving around frequently. I really, really don't want to go see some random doctor, I really, really don't want to have to have this baby in a hospital, and I REALLY, REALLY don't want to be induced. I really don't like feeling like I'm losing control over this. I'm trying to remember that I never really had control over this to begin with, and at the end of this pregnancy, having a healthy baby and momma is going to be blessing enough.