Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It continues...


I know it seems like most of my posts lately are about illness, but that is our reality right now. Eric's sickness that I mentioned in the previous post turned out to be the flu. And, despite our best efforts at prevention, the baby seems to have caught it, too. (sigh) I'm taking him to the doctor this morning. I seem to be the only one who has not been sick, and I pray that it remains that way. My sick baby needs me.

Update -
Well, I now officially have the flu, too! Eric was able to take Tamiflu, which greatly shortened the length and reduced the severity of his illness. But, Tamiflu is not for babies under the age of 1 and nobody seems to know if it is safe for breastfeeding moms (I called my general practitioner and my OB and neither knew if it is safe!), so Gustin and I are struggling along as the illness takes its natural course. Hopefully, I'll be back blogging again soon with a houseful of healthy people! The pediatrician said that Gustin has crammed two years worth of illness into one month. I think we have had more than our fair share!

Friday, January 25, 2008

One long month

January has been crazy in our house so far. Gustin's illness began on New Year's day and he finally got over the last of it about a week ago. About a week and a half ago, he started teething. The front two on the bottom are making their debut and Gustin is NOT happy about it. He has been extremely fussy. Strike that. He has been screaming his head off! The only thing that seems to give him any relief is nursing. So, he has been nursing constantly (between bouts of screaming) for the last week and a half.

I mentioned in the meme post that Eric and I have been watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy in small chunks in the evenings after the kids go to bed. The first time the Ring Wraiths made an appearance, Eric and I looked at each other and we were both thinking the same thing. That's exactly what Gustin sounds like when he is screaming! A Ring Wraith! My son is a mini Ring Wraith!

Moving on.

Jonathan and Elizabeth also took turns being sick this week and Jonathan missed a day of school. After all this illness and general grumpiness in our household this month, I told Eric on the phone today that all I wanted this weekend was one hour of quiet where I could read or nap or do whatever I wanted by myself.

Tonight Eric walked in the door looking kind of puny.

"I'm sick", he told me.

Oh, well. So much for that hour to myself this weekend. A mom can always dream. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Now I understand

Elizabeth: I know what "fall down" means.

Me: You do?

Elizabeth: Yes. It means . . . (long pause) . . . fall down!

Monday, January 21, 2008

My first meme!

Lillian tagged me for my first meme!

Not specifically, but my name was chosen in honor of someone. My grandfather was a proud Irishman and in honor of him and our heritage, my parents gave me and my sister and brother Irish names. Colleen means "girl maiden" in Gaelic.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Three days ago when I stopped by the memorial website of the daughter of a friend of mine who died at the age of two.
Yes, it's a lot like my Mom's.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Three beautiful souls.
6. WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes. Then I would have a friend who shared all of my interests. :)
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I have no desire to.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? At the moment, Frosted Mini Wheats.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Most of the time.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Moo-llennium Crunch and Mint Chocolate Chip
15. RED OR PINK? Blues and greens.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF? How long it takes for me to get comfortable around new people.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My husband. He should be home in approximately 37 minutes.
18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Dark blue jeans and khaki colored slippers.
19. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Dried pineapple.
20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Gustin crying. I think he's teething. He's been crying ALOT for the last few days.
Deep blue.
22. FAVORITE SMELLS? The fresh smell of the rain right before a thunderstorm, grapefruit, freshly baked brownies, freshly cut cilantro.
24. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Basketball, football, Nascar, tennis, baseball, figure skating, gymnastics, the Olympics. I love most sports!
25. HAIR COLOR? Brown (we'll just ignore those stray grays for now).
26. EYE COLOR? Blue
27. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope, glasses.
Seafood (shrimp, scallops, crab, lobster)
29. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Only happy endings.
30. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Eric and I are watching the trilogy again in 30-45 minute chunks after the kids go to bed.
33. HUGS OR KISSES? Both, the more the better.

34. FAVORITE DESSERT? Chocolate. Cheesecake. Chocolate cheesecake.

35. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? A Gathering of Angels by Katherine Valentine. It's a fiction book centered around the parishioners of a small town Catholic church.
36. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I haven't owned a mouse pad in years.
37. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Packers vs. Giants game.
38. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Baby laughs.
40. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? I'm not sure what is further away; Bakersfield, California or Northeastern Nebraska or Cozumel, Mexico.
41. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I'm a good listener.

42. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Omaha, Nebraska

I tag Jill and Christine.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Poor baby

He was sick for more than two weeks including a two night stay in the hospital and just as he is starting to feel well enough to start interacting with the rest of his family again, what does his Daddy do?Daddy makes sport of him. And, then Daddy lets his brother and sister join in.
And, how does the wee one take it? With a smile. Just as he always does when his Daddy is up to some kind of mischief.
It's good to see your smile again, baby boy. We've missed it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Now this was fun

I was trying to think of something fun to do with Elizabeth on this cold, wet day when I saw this post by Margaret. Fun with bubbles was the perfect idea!
We made bubble mountains, the biggest bubble in the whole wide world, and bubble caterpillars. I could spend hours (well, maybe more like a bunch of minutes) looking at all the amazing colors and shapes that the bubbles made. Elizabeth didn't want to just sit and look at them. She wanted to pop them!

Try it out! You'll be glad you did! You just need a shallow pan, a straw, 8 tablespoons of dish soap and 4 cups of water. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A question of faith?

We have some friends who are going through a very hard time right now. They are the most amazing family I know, so full of faith, so generous and overflowing with Christ's love. But, they also are carrying more crosses at the moment than it seems possible to bear. Both the father and youngest daughter are dealing with very serious health issues at this time, and these are just their newest burdens. Some members of our parish are currently coordinating meals, house cleaning, etc., and, of course, prayer for this family in an effort to try to help lighten their load. They sent an email out asking for help and most especially for prayers for this family so they will be blessed with the graces they need to get through this hard time. Another woman in our parish replied to everyone and said that we should do even more. She said that we should "take the leap of faith and pray for total healing". She also said that we should "pray for healing and restoration with confidence that God wants that for them more than we do."

The reason that I am relaying this story to you is because it has reminded me of a question that I have been struggling with for a long time. It is a question of faith and God's will. I don't know what God's will is for this family. I know that He already has done amazing works through them and that their example will probably lead many more souls to Christ in the future.

But, does He desire for them to be physically healed or is He allowing these struggles because they will help the family bear even more fruit in the future? I don't know.

So, in an attempt to be a good faithful Catholic, I am struggling as to what my prayers for them should entail. Do I pray for total healing and trust that God will answer that prayer? Is doing any less showing a lack of faith? Or does it demonstrate more faith in God to let go of trying to control the situation and just pray that God's will be done, regardless of what the outcome might be?

All my life I have watched my father struggle with a myriad of health problems. I prayed for years that he would be healed and it has yet to happen. A couple of months ago I realized that, unintentionally, my prayers had changed over the years from requests for healing to just asking for God to give Dad the strength to joyfully bear his cross. I don't know if this means that I gave up on the hope of healing or if I have just accepted that it seems to be God's will that Dad carries this heavy burden for the good of souls. I do believe in the redemptive power of suffering, but I also believe in miracles.

I would welcome any wisdom or guidance that any of you could share. Do I keep faith in a miracle happening or should I have faith in God's will and just pray that it be done even if it requires great suffering? These are questions that I have been unable to answer on my own. Any thoughts?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Elizabeth's perspective

Yesterday afternoon we were watching the Cowboys game (and they lost! Arrhh!). Elizabeth saw the Cowboys' running back make another good play and she said, "I see a girl playing."

I said, "Well, actually, that's a boy with long hair."

"Long hair like a girl?" she asks.


She thinks for a few seconds and then says, "Then, that's a boy-girl. When there's a boy with long hair like a girl, then that's a boy-girl."

Somehow I don't think that Marion Barber would agree!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

We're home!

We brought Gustin home from the hospital yesterday. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and well wishes! He is doing so much better. He's nursing well and gaining back some of the weight he lost from a week and a half of being sick. He is still a bit fussy and fighting some diarrhea so he's not completely over it, but he's definitely on the mend. The doctor also put him on Prevacid because he was throwing up every time he ate which the doctor thinks could indicate a reflux problem along with the stomach bug. Thankfully all the x-rays, ultrasounds, cultures, tests, etc. that they took in the hospital came back negative so we're not dealing with any more serious health issues.

I want to say thank you again for all the prayers. It's so nice to know that we have so many online friends as well as our local community and family praying for us. This Catholic blogging community is such a blessing. God bless you all!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Please keep praying

I just came home from the hospital for a few minutes to get cleaned up since Gustin was admitted yesterday. He's dehydrated and their not sure if all the vomiting is a stomach bug or some kind of reflux problem. He will remain in the hospital at least until tomorrow, depending on how quickly he responds to the fluids and if he stops throwing up. I would appreciate any prayers. It's no fun being in the hospital and I would really like to know why he is so sick. Thank you!

Monday, January 7, 2008


Gustin is on his seventh day of an awful stomach bug. The doctor said it would last 5 to 7 days, so I'm hopeful that we're near the end. But, the last two days seem to be much worse instead of better. It's been tough trying to keep him from getting dehydrated and my freezer is full with all the extra milk I've had to pump. If you have a minute, will you say a little prayer that he gets better soon? Miraculously, none of the rest of us have caught it.

I'm sending up a few prayers for all the newborns during this cold & flu season. I hope you all stay healthy!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Christmas pictures

Here are some of my favorite pictures from Christmas and our holiday travels. I really did try to keep the number of them to a minimum. Really. I promise.

All packed up and ready to go. First destination: my parents' house in west Texas.
WARNING: Obnoxiously cute baby pictures ahead.

Sweet siblings all ready for Christmas Eve mass.
Gustin with my Dad.
This gift wins the award for being the most appropriate. My brother got this sign for Eric. It reads, "It's hard to be humble, when you're a Texan." Nothing can describe Eric better!
Santa brought all the girls and kids fun, colorful wool socks.
Gustin is not very thrilled about beginning solid foods. We've been patiently trying for about a month and a half now and he's still not taking to them. My mom was sure that she could get him to eat.
Nope. He doesn't like it from her either!

After Christmas we headed to Eric's parents' house in central Texas for some more fun.

All bundled up and ready to play.
Fun in the fall leaves and sunshine.
Elizabeth can play on this swing for hours.
Jonathan had fun fishing and knocking pecans out of the tree in the front yard. For some reason, he's a little confused, though, because he calls them "apricans". Never heard of it? Apparently, it's a new fruit/nut hybrid, half apricot and half pecan.
I hope everyone had a holiday that was as fun and relaxing as ours was. The kids even did amazingly well with all the driving (we were in the car driving for the majority of four different days). We made some great memories.

If you can relate...

... to my resolution #1, then go check out this post by Jen at Et Tu?. She has such an awesome way of putting into words problems that I am experiencing. And the cool thing is, she offers some solutions, too!

And, it makes me feel so much better knowing that I do not struggle alone.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I know that I have done New Year's resolutions in the past, but to be honest, I don't remember a single one. There has only been a few times that I have actually written them down and even when I did, I could never remember where I put them. It's pretty hard to be held accountable when you don't remember to what you are holding yourself accountable. But, this year, I have a blog. So, now I can write them down and I won't be able to lose them!

1. I will not be so hard on myself. I tend to get down on myself about the cleanliness/tidiness of my house, children, self, etc. But, I am finally recognizing that much of it is a result of my state in life. I can't expect a perfectly clean house while there are three small children living in it. I am not a failure as a housewife if there are toys all over the place and perpetual piles of laundry that never seem to get completely put away or if I only rarely "do" my hair. I need to get better at recognizing the truth of this situation on a daily basis.

2. I will trust more in God. I've been having some struggles with prayer lately and I think it all boils down to not trusting in God and His plan for my life. I have allowed irrational fear to control me at times and it makes life miserable. I need to let go and let God.

3. I need to reduce the clutter in my home. This resolution may seem in conflict with my first one. But, to keep untidiness from overwhelming me, I need to set up some systems to help control clutter. Right now, everything does not have a place. I need to create places for everything to go, which will take some planning and buying storage and organizational supplies. I also plan to purge the house of anything that is not longer being used or unnecessary.

I truly hope that this time next year I will read over these resolutions again with a smile on my face because I have made significant progress in each one of these areas. I have a lot of work to do, but it is exciting to think how much more peaceful life will be if I meet these goals.

What are your New Year's resolutions?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


We're back from a wonderful, exciting and busy Christmas vacation! I have so much laundry to do and blogs to catch up on and so many pictures to post. Where did all the time go?

For now, I want to congratulate Blair and Veronica on their beautiful, new little boys. Check out their adorable pictures.

Also, here's a little story about Elizabeth. She has been hearing her brother talk about Star Wars a lot lately (he's heard about it from the kids at school) and they've been pretending that they are Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader. Elizabeth also got a pink, hooded, flower bath towel at Christmas. The other day she was running through the house with her pink flower towel on her head with it streaming behind her like a cape and yelling, "I'm flower Darth Vader! I'm flower Darth Vader!"