Thursday, August 27, 2009

Small Successes Vol. 1


It's my first time to participate in Small Successes. It's kind of sad that this is one of the first times that I actually have some small successes to post about!

1. Remember those portraits I took of the kids weeks ago? Well, today I finally ordered the prints! I can't wait to see them hanging on my wall. Of course, that means I need to go buy some frames. I wonder how long it will be before I'll be able to post a small success that they are actually framed and hung on the walls? :)

2. I took my camera out today and tried to take some pictures. I'm so out of the groove with my photography hobby and I think it is showing in my stress levels. I tried to capture some shots of some hummingbirds in our backyard. They are so fast that I don't think I really got any good shots, but at least I tried!

3. We got through homework time yesterday without anyone getting sent to their rooms. That's a big success! It's been hard for the kids (mainly Jonathan) to stay focused on his homework and actually complete the little he has in a reasonable amount of time and without having a bad attitude. But, we've got a good homework routine going and hopefully from now on it will be a much less frustrating part of my day!

Head over to Faith & Family Live! to find more moms posting their Small Successes! Also, while you're there, check out Blair's featured article!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

20 week ultrasound

I had my 20 week ultrasound yesterday. We decided not to find out the sex of the baby. Early in the pregnancy I thought I would really like to find out this time. But, as time got closer to the 20 week mark my feelings changed. I'm really glad to not know right now. It gives me an excuse for all the time I spend pouring over baby name books; I have to come up with two names now instead of one! :)

The ultrasound did reveal one thing we weren't expecting. I have a low lying placenta. Not placenta previa -thank you, Lord! - but the baby's placenta is very close to the cervix, only 1.5 cm away. Normally during the course of pregnancy the uterus stretches and the placenta moves away from the cervix. My doctor said that my placenta is in the part of the uterus that does not stretch very much so it may not move very much. It needs to move to at least 2 cm away from the cervix to avoid an automatic c-section. If, at delivery time, it is in the 2 cm to 4 cm range, he said I would be induced about 2 weeks early under controlled conditions where an anesthesiologist is available in case of an emergency c-section is necessary and blood is on hand in case I would need a blood transfusion. The concern is that the placenta would detach during labor which would, of course, put the baby in danger and I would be in danger of excessive bleeding.

So, I'm really praying that we can get to the 4 cm mark at least. There is plenty of time between now and when Button should be making his or her debut, so I'm trying not to worry and just be patient and see what happens. I go back in 5 more weeks for another ultrasound to check the position of the placenta.

In the mean time, I think I'm going to go see if I can find a novena to St. Gerard. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

First Day of School!

Last Thursday was the first day of school for Jonathan and Elizabeth.

Jonathan (a new second grader) is a pro at the whole going to school thing so he was very cool and jumped back into the school routine without a hitch.

Elizabeth was a very wide eyed Kindergartner. She was very excited to be there but she also climbed all the way back into her shy shell. She would nod "yes" or shake her head "no" to questions asked of her, but that's about it.

By the second day she declared that she already had a best friend and a good friend and that she spoke to the teacher that day. She is so cute. She wants to be big so badly and she really is trying to overcome her fears.

On the second day of school I asked Elizabeth if she wanted me to walk her into her classroom again. The first two days the parents are allowed to walk their kids in before everyone falls into the regular car line routine next week. Honestly, I was hoping that she would say "yes". But, she didn't want me to. She had her brother with her and she assured me that she is a big girl and knows where to go. Sigh... They grow up way to fast.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dress up clothes

When I did the kids' portraits a couple of weeks ago, I let them pick out the clothes they would wear. I figured Elizabeth would pick out some dress up clothes and, sure enough, she did. But, the outfit she picked has some history. My mom and dad were in town the week before and Mom brought some old dance costumes that I wore as a child that she thought Elizabeth would like to have. She saved them for the last 25 years and they are still in really good shape and, of course, Elizabeth absolutely loved them.

In the mail today I received a letter from my mom and enclosed was a small 3x5 picture.

I was 6 years old in this shot (gosh I was tall even then!) and I'm doing one of the poses from my dance routine. What a fun little trip down memory lane! I remember this brick wall from the tiny little house we lived in. It was the official picture taking spot and all of the pictures of us dressed for any occasion have it in the background.

That little outfit sure did stand the test of time! The hat got a little squashed somewhere along the line and even though it seems to constantly drop copious amounts of sequins, it still is just as sparkly as ever.

I think Mom and Dad got their money's worth.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Two year old talk

Isn't it fun to listen to toddlers talk? Gustin adds new words to his vocabulary all the time. The other day we had a fruit salad of strawberries and blueberries and Gustin was very proud of himself for being able to say, "stawbees and doobees." A day or two later we were at my brother's house having dinner and fruit salad was again part of the meal. Gustin was excited to practice his new words some more. However, over the 24 hours since he last said them, his pronunciation changed. Now they were, "stawbees and boobees." Oh no. I'm sure you can imagine how Eric and my brother encouraged him to repeat his new word. Men are so easily amused. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Trying to turn over a new leaf

We've had a very busy summer (as I'm sure I have stated over and over again!) and unfortunately, I have not been dealing with all stress as gracefully as I would have liked. Even though my morning sickness is gone, the fatigue has continued well into this second trimester and I'm afraid that my exhaustion and the endless to-do lists have led to me being rather snappy toward Eric and the kids. I even feel that I was grumpy and distant while my parents were visiting a couple of weeks ago and I really regret that.

The thing is, I know things are going to get even crazier, especially after Button arrives. I have got to find something to help me deal with all the stress now before things get worse and my family decides to disown me! I've been thinking and praying about it for the past couple of weeks and in mass on Sunday a solution finally presented itself (or the Holy Spirit knocked me upside the head, however you want to look at it :)).

So, this Saturday morning and every Saturday after that (God willing) I'm going to leave first thing in the morning and head to church for some quiet time with the Lord. I know it is not that ground breaking of an idea -- to go to adoration every once in a while -- but I think it is exactly what I need. In college, even though I was very busy then as well, I was able to stop in at church at talk with Jesus for a few minutes at least daily. Because of where I parked and where my classes were, I would walk right by the church several times everyday and rarely walked by without at least stopping in to say hello. How I miss that easy access to the Blessed Sacrament! But, after entering married life and then adding one, two and three babies into the mix, those trips to adoration have become rare.

I wanted to be sure to post about this decision because I need the accountability. I think this is important and is God's will for me and I don't want little things (being tired or busy or not in the mood for prayer) to distract me from following through. So, we'll see how this Saturday goes and how the graces flow into the rest of my week. I sure do need those graces because I've already proved that I can't do it on my own!

Struggling along to live my vocation as it is meant to be,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sharing my loves

I love being able to share things that I loved in childhood with my kids. Usually that manifests itself in movies and books. My kids are too young for many of my most favorite books (Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, Little Women, all the Jane Austen novels, etc) and I'm having to hold myself back so I don't introduce them too early and bore them.

But, I have been able to show them some of my favorite movies. The boys don't seem to appreciate them quite as much (no surprise!), but Elizabeth loves them! She's seen Annie, Mary Poppins (the boys actually liked this one), The Wizard of Oz and even The Sound of Music. Yes, she sat through all of Sound of Music (we watched it a little bit at a time over several days) and loved it! What I love even more is that she loves the music. I downloaded the sound tracks to many of the movies on my iPod and we would listen to them on our half hour long drives to and from the school (not a half hour anymore, though! Yeah!). She sings and sings and sings along to all my favorite childhood songs. Some of her favorites are My Favorite Things (she calls it Raindrops on Roses), Tomorrow and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

But, she is not the only one who sings. When he was about 21 months old or so, Gustin started to sing along with the music, too. It was so cute! "Momorrow, momorrow, ell-ah, momorrow... AH-WAY!!!!" (Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you're only a day away.) He would even sing to himself while he played or in his crib he would sing himself to sleep.

Such precious, precious memories. Isn't it wonderful to be able to share our loves with our children?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Kids' portraits

When I got a digital SLR camera about a year ago, I was excited that I would no longer need to go to the portrait studio to get my kids' pictures taken. I could just do them myself! Well, in the past few months we've celebrated all of the kids birthdays, so it's time for some new portraits. I got this idea from another photographer on flickr and I'm really pleased with how they turned out! Here are the pictures that will soon be hanging on the wall in our living room!

The kids picked out their own clothes and props (except for Gustin) and I think their unique personalities really shine through in these pictures. Just what I wanted!