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October 31, 2011

Monday Mumbers - 11

Good Monday Morning.  Let's get ready to MUMBLE!  (for some reason I always wanted to do that)

1.  Vincent turned 4 months old yesterday!  Isn't he cute??

2.  Lunch with the manager of the training area is today!  Say a prayer or two for me, would you?  It would be great to figure out a way to pursue my "dream job that isn't staying at home with my children"

3.  Our volleyball team won their first match yesterday in three games. 

4.  Our volleyball team lost their second match yesterday in three games.

5.  sigh.  I enjoy coaching, I really do.  But the season is long.  We've been practicing since mid-August, so I have to say that I am glad the tournament starts next weekend and we'll be doing a wrap-up.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that our calendar gets any less busy for some reason.  hmmm.

6.  Someone sent me this video via e-mail tonight.  I shared it on Facebook and I tweeted it and now I'm posting it here.  It's 33 minutes long.  It's important.  I hope you are able to take the time and view it.  Be ready to watch something incredible. 

7.  Yesterday another blog I follow shared this video of Rick Santorum.  It's NOT 33 minutes...but it's also worth your time.  (Yes, I'm in the video-sharing mood, I guess).

8.  Oh yeah...I guess something called Halloween is going on today!  Happy Halloween!  I hope your little ghouls and goblins and saints and (insert whatever your little ones like to dress up as) have a great time.  My clan?  We're going to the Vigil Mass for All Saints Day this evening.  My parish had an All Hallow's Eve celebration Friday night that we went to and I informed the kids that was our Halloween.  I'm not trick-or-treating on a school night.  Sorry.  (old-stodgy-scroogy-momma!)

9.  I guess some parts of the country got snow this weekend.  Ha!  We had beautiful weather!  I took each of my girls for a little run on Saturday.  Sarah was first and we did a run/walk that amounted to 1.2 miles.  Then I grabbed Dani and we did the same route.  (Dani was faster than Sarah...shhhh, don't tell anyone.)  Then I grabbed Helen and we went about .75 miles.  Poor Helen got a little short-changed because...well, honestly, because her Momma has had 5 kids and it's kind of rough (all you mothers out there that have deigned to run after having kids may know what I'm referring to...)  ANYWAY, it was lots of fun and I got a little 1:1 time with each of my princesses.

10.  Dominic has been rather fussy lately.  I guess he decided to give us a taste of Terrible Two's after all.  And here, I thought I would get through his third year unscathed.  Oh well, pray that it passes quickly, will you, dear bloggy-friends?

Hope you have a terrific Monday.  And go visit my dear friend, TOOJE, for more Mumbles.

October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursdays (2)

It's time for another edition of Thankful Thursdays, hosted by Rebecca at The Road Home.

Today, I am thankful:

For my friend TOOJE (aka "Jessica").  Do you know that I wouldn't have a blog if I hadn't stumbled onto hers a couple of years ago?  I worked with her and we became Facebook friends first.  Then I came across one of her blogposts, read it and saw where she referenced "The Catholic Lady" at work (and I figured out it was me!!!)  We've become a bit better than acquaintances I would say.  And I'm so thankful to have her in my life!

Leading on from #1...I am thankful that I started to blog because through Jessica and through my blog, I met Rebecca!  I can't tell you how much I appreciate this friendship.  Sometimes it's nice to know that someone else out in the big, bad world had an experience so similar to your own.  Rebecca and I share the experience of growing up "cradle Catholic" and largely ignorant of the teachings of our faith.  Then discovering the truths of our Catholic faith as adults.  We share the experience of growing up in a divorced household.  We share a love of sports for our respective schools.  I'm so thankful to have Rebecca in my life!

October 25, 2011

Stress and Relief

When a baby is born, and your family starts adjusting to the new addition, it's easy sometimes to forget what you had to do to get to that point.  I guess I should say that new stresses replace old stresses in a way.  You start worrying about diaper rashes, dietary considerations and sleep(less) nights.  You stop worrying about viability and progesterone and braxton hicks.

Yesterday, as I was thinking about the fact that it was a year since I found out I was pregnant with Vincent, I thought back to those first 15 weeks and I remembered the worry, the fear, the uncertainty.

For each of my last three pregnancies, I have had trouble having enough progesterone through the first trimester.  It started with Helen and I was able to supplement orally with progesterone tablets nightly through 13 weeks.  Then, with Dominic, I had to supplement again, just a little bit differently.  With Vincent, I had to move all the way to getting injections twice a week of progesterone directly into my bloodstream.  Stress.

The first few weeks of pregnancy are just periods of worry between blood draws, hoping I have enough progesterone to get to the next one without losing the baby.  With Vincent, every time my phone caller ID came up "Dr. H......." I knew I was about to find out something about my progesterone.  With every call in those early weeks, it was always the nurse saying, "Well, your number is still dropping, so we need to do X, Y or Z"  More Stress.

I went to see our priest to get the Annointing of the Sick as we began the progesterone injections.  I remember the feeling of peace after the Sacrament had been administered and I knew it was in God's hands at that point.  All I could do was take care of myself and pray for my little baby. 

Then came an impromptu visit to the doctor due to some cramping.  And in that moment, I forgot that everything was in God's hands.  I was about 12 weeks along.  Dr. could not find the heartbeat.  I had heard my other babies' heartbeats by 9 weeks.  The tears started to fall.  I couldn't help them.  So, he asked if he could do a pelvic, and I agreed.  He had a med student following him that week and he came in and between the two of them, they jostled me around until we heard that little heart beating away.  Relief.  Though temporary.

It's so funny, but once I was past the injections because my progesterone numbers jumped sufficiently around 15 weeks, I all but forgot those early weeks of worry and stress.  I spent the rest of my pregnancy relaxing and simply waiting.  I busied myself with all of my other children and their activities, my job, my activities.

It's amazing to me now that I hold Vincent in the evenings and he's this perfect little baby boy.  He coos.  He grins.  He laughs.  He eats.  He sleeps.  

A year ago, he was tiny, helpless, vulnerable, and to the world...  invisible.

Today, he is still tiny and helpless and vulnerable...but to the world, he is no longer  invisible.

A year ago, my stresses centered on my own health and my body's ability to carry a baby through the first trimester.

Today, my stress centers on giving Vincent enough to eat, making sure he gets enough sleep, working on developmental milestones.  Acclimating him to our family life.  Acclimating our family life to him.

I have to force myself somewhat to remember those early weeks because they are now a very distant memory.  

And four months from now, when Vincent's earthly age has doubled, today will feel like a very distant memory, too.

October 24, 2011

Monday Mumbles - 10

Good morning!  It's Monday!  Time to Mumble and Grumble my way back into another busy busyweek.

1.  Ugh.  There's a general PTO meeting tonight and guess who didn't set up a babysitter?  oy.  First one I will miss, I think EVER.

2.  My 5th grade girls won their volleyball match yesterday!  They only had one, though...so it kind of kept us exactly where we were in the standings.  But they played well and beat a team from a really big school (that team has THREE teams from their 5th grade...).

3.  I really hope some things calm down related to work.  Like family members passing away and family crisis, and all that jazz.  You know, just in time for the Holidays and everything that comes along with that.

4.  One year ago tonight, I came home from the general PTO meeting and took a pregnancy test.  I found out my little Vincent was on his way.  I have a series of posts I am working on as I reflect on the first trimester of a year ago.  It was quite an interesting time in my (and his) life!

5. Our family descended on the Pumpkin Patch this weekend!  Got some good photos.  I even got some with all five of my kiddos (Sarah holding Vincent).  Maybe I'll update my photo header again.  (BTW - when Kelsey redesigned my blog, I think the best money I spent was having it so I could just send her pictures to update that thing any time I needed it).

Well, I'm running late, so 5 mumbles is all I got!  Have a great Monday.  If you would like to see where Mumbles originated, go visit TOOJE, and read her Mumbles for today.  And if you Mumble on Monday, let her know!  She gets all tickled when other people Mumble on Monday, too.  :)

October 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes (12)

--- 1 ---
So, that lunch yesterday with the other manager didn't happen.  I knew in the beginning she had a meeting that might run long, so I wasn't surprised to get her proposal for a new day/time.  But I was sad just the same.  Oh well.  Gives me something to look forward to!

--- 2 ---

On Facebook, I converted to the new Timeline a couple of weeks ago.  I have had a blast looking through my status updates from 2007.   First of all, I joined Facebook at 8:02 p.m. on June 6, 2007.  And at 8:14 p.m., Facebook recognized my marriage.  haha.

--- 3 ---
Remember when every status started with YOUR NAME is - and then you would write out whatever it was you were doing?  

And shortly after I started getting the hang of Facebook, they changed it to where it was only your name and you could type "is" or you could type something else to note your "status."  

The only thing Timeline shows is what I typed in after "(MY NAME) is..." or a little bit after I joined, "(MY NAME)"

Sample of some of my status updates in 2007:

August 30, 2007 at 9:23 p.m.:  "Getting ready for Dani's 4th birthday tomorrow!!"

November 17, 2007 at 9:05 p.m.:  "is celebrating the Jayhawks Football team being 11-0!!!"  

Haha, that will probably never happen again in my lifetime.  :)

November 7, 2007 at 2:53 p.m.:  "is riding around Richmond, VA with Grandad visiting family and catching up."  

That was the last day I saw my Grandad.  I miss him sometimes.

Okay, I am going to have to do a whole post on this topic.  it's too great!  I like the Timeline thing on Facebook (no kidding, right?)

--- 4 ---
Our volleyball team is in 3rd place.  The top four teams advance to the City Tournament after the season.  I was kind of surprised to see we were solidly in 3rd place, but I'm not sure why.  The girls have come on strong the last couple of weeks.  We have beaten a couple of teams that beat us earlier in the season.  I hope they continue to improve!

--- 5 ---
Craig ran his first half-marathon last week.  And he lived to tell about it!  So he capped off his 40th year with a bang!  I think we're planning to run together next year...maybe the full, but definitely the half!
--- 6 ---
I caught this video of Dominic singing his ABC's.  I love it that children are not self-conscious when they are little.  Sing it, sweetie! 

--- 7 ---
Okay, I cannot get enough of the cuteness.  Seriously.  Can you?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursdays (1)

So, after my post last night, I think I need to spend some time in Thankful mode so I don't wallow in my non-me-time too long.  :)  Thank you, Rebecca!

1.  I am thankful for Fall.  I love the fall.  Besides football and falling leaves, I love Chili cooking in the crockpot with cornbread baking in the oven.  And I love the anticipation of Halloween.  And Thanksgiving.  And Christmas.

2.  I am thankful for my husband.  Who cleaned our bathroom yesterday.  Not sure how I picked up such a gem, but I sure am thankful.

3.  I'm thankful for changes at work.  Even though I have to decompress/debrief and stop being scared of my own shadow...I'm starting to get used to it all.

4.  Lunch with the manager of a different department at work today.  She's the manager of the training element of our Human Resources area.  Yay!

Have a great Thursday and visit Rebecca for more Thankful Thursday entries!

October 19, 2011

Funky Monkey

Have you ever had one of those days/weeks/months where you wish you could just be left alone?

I'm a fairly outgoing person.  I like to talk to people.  I like people to talk to me.  But lately, I haven't wanted to talk to many people and I've wanted to avoid having people talk to me.  

This includes my children to some extent.  I am short with them.  I rush them when they are trying to tell me something.  I avoid beginning discussions when it's about 15 minutes to bedtime to avoid having them stay up late and talk to me. 

An exception is Sarah.  I have been trying to talk to her more lately...I want to know what's going on at school...are the girls treating each other well?  Who did she eat lunch with?  What did she do at recess?  Does she like the book she is reading?

But for the most part, lately, I'd be perfectly content to sit on the couch and hold my almost-4-month-old baby all night long because, well, he doesn't talk yet.

Is this normal? (Of course it is...)

Don't get me wrong.  I still want to see my children and take part in their active lives.  I still want to see my husband and hang out and do something.  But I want to spend more time alone than WITH anyone.

It's not ALL the time.  

But it's the last couple of weeks.  

And maybe it will be the next couple of weeks and be gone.  Or maybe it will be longer than that and I will not notice it until it passes in 6 months and I have managed to alienate someone.

Or everyone.

Do you go through times where you prefer to be by yourself?

Perhaps I should spend that time in prayer...but even then, I don't really feel like spending time with God either.  (Oy, does that make me a heathen?)

I am feeling like I'm in a funk.  I'm back at work so my weeks feel like 5 days of going to work and then going to sleep all rushed together followed by 2 days of endless running around to church, school events, volleyball games...

I feel very selfish for what I am about to say:

I feel like I don't get a chance to do anything I want to do. 

Wow, I feel like the worst mother ever for saying that.


October 18, 2011

To My Pro Life, N F P Doctor

Dear Doctor,

Thank you...

for taking me on as a new patient when I was pregnant with my 2nd child.  My husband and I had been using Natural Family Planning for 10 months.
We were new to NFP----the mindset, the openness, the Grace.

It was a scary thing for us, this NFP life.  

That sounds so silly to me now.  

I mean, it seems silly that we’d be scared of growing our family and spacing our babies in accord with God’s plan for marriage.  We have found such peace in this life.  And I know that YOU were a big part of helping that PEACE find its place in our hearts.

Thank you...

for the experience in your office whenever I become pregnant.  The receptionists, the nurses and you are all congratulatory at the news of another baby in our family.  

I never have to answer...

Are you going to keep it?” 

Do you want to know your options?”  

And you call “it” a “baby.” 

Not a “fetus.”  

Those may seem like small things to some, but they were huge to me.  Every time.

Craig and I have not always been met with the most joyous reception of our news from some people closest to us.  It seems odd that the doctor’s office would be a refuge from the disappointment of family...but your office has been that for us at times.

Thank you...

for striving to do what is best for me and for the baby.  You treat us both...and you treat us as one.  

You treat me like I already have a baby (which I do) throughout pregnancy and not just after the baby is born. 

Thank you...

because I have never had to answer the question, “Are we doing a tubal ligation after this baby is born?”  I don’t know if you can know how important it is to me that I NOT be asked that question at such a vulnerable time like right after having a baby.  

With every baby, at the end of the pregnancy, I can’t imagine that I’ll be open to doing it again.  

But every couple of years, I have been back in that spot again and wondered how God opened my heart, but so grateful that He did.  

It’s comforting to know that my weak nature doesn’t have to be strong in the face of temptation. 

Thank you...

for being there as we have transitioned from a family of three, all the way to our current family of seven.  Each time we’ve added a baby, there have been some different concerns.  No pregnancy and no baby are exactly the same and I’ve been happy to experience those differences within your care.

Thank you...

for supporting us in our Natural Family Planning efforts.  You know much about the natural cycle of a woman’s fertility.  I frequently learn new things from you.  We have used different methods over the years.  I have been impressed with your ability and willingness to adapt your care to different methods of NFP.    


I think about writing this letter after every baby is born.  This time, I actually took the time.  

We can credit baby Vincent being such a good baby and going to bed at 8:00 like his siblings even though he is only 3.5 months old.  :) 

Thank you, Doctor.  

God bless you.  

October 16, 2011

A Sing For Joy Hymn Festival: When in our Music God is Glorified

Have you ever been to a hymn festival?  

I had not until last night.

I attended and enjoyed a hymn festival at the Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Kansas City.  It was put on by The St. Olaf Cantorei and was one of a series of these "A Sing For Joy Hymn Festival."  The name was "When in our Music God is Glorified."

Apparently Sing for Joy is a radio program.  The host of this radio program, Bruce Benson, read the reflections and Scripture readings throughout the program. The series of hymn festivals are produced through this radio program, it seems from the information available in the program.

Having never been to one of these before, I didn't know what to expect.  When we arrived, it was a quick walk to the seating area in the church.  We visited for a bit before the music began.  

The first thing I noticed was the program contained all of the music for the evening because audience participation in the singing is expected.  I didn't mind because I love to sing.  And I noticed a few of the hymns were familiar.  

Since I didn't know what a hymn festival was, I had not expected that the evening would be full of prayer.  What a pleasant surprise!

The St. Olaf Cantorei sang beautifully.  This hymn festival was structured like a 90 minute scripture part-lesson, part-reflection.  There was a reading from the Gospel of Luke (the story of what happened on the Road to Emmaus) and there was plenty of scripture in the music as well.  

I particularly enjoyed a piece setting the story of Elijah's encounter witht he Lord from the first book of Kings.  The song was written and performed in such a way that you had a profound reflection on the fact that the Lord was there in the still small voice/whisper after all of the loud and "big" events in which people expect God to be.  

The reflections were thoughtfully written and spoken to link the music to the Bible and to our relationship with God.

If you're like me, the only way you ever knew there was a place called St. Olaf was because the character Rose, on the T.V. show, The Golden Girls, was from there and always relayed funny stories about "life in St. Olaf".  But I am happy to say that I now have a greater appreciation for St. Olaf.  St. Olaf college was founded in 1874 and is a liberal arts college o the church in the Lutheran tradition (ELCA).  I enjoyed reading about their college in the program and about the conductor, John Ferguson.  

This is the kind of "cultural" experience I haven't had a chance to cultivate for many years.  It was a spur-of-the-moment type of invitation to attend this last night and I am so glad I went!

October 10, 2011

Monday Mumbles - 9

Welcome to the Columbus Day edition of the Mumbles.  I'm so glad TOOJE started these.  It's fun to get a post up early in the week (when I sit down and get this done anyway!)

1.  I find that I don't really care how inaccurate or incomplete the history about Christopher Columbus and whether he did or did not *really* discover America.  I do, however, enjoy having the day off work.

2.  I caved and turned my A/C back on this weekend.  It's been getting up into the mid- and high 80's for about a week now and I kept waiting for it to stop doing that and cool off again, but alas, my house was too hot for sleeping Friday night.  So, I turned it back on.  I hope to turn it off for good very soon.

3.  I had delayed the whole summer-to-winter wardrobe switch and with this last little heat-blast, I guess I'm glad I did.  But, this weekend, that ended as well.  Tank tops, shorts and flip-flops are now stored for the winter.

4.  I picked up a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake Saturday night.  The kids are really enjoying it.  I haven't had any since I'm watching the caloric intake these days.  But I think i might have gained 2 pounds just looking at it.

5.  If you would not mind, please keep my Nana in your prayers.   I went out to visit her the week before I went back to work and I am very glad I did.  Her health has been failing for awhile and I heard this weekend that it's going very fast now.  

6.  Another prayer request, if I may, for my Aunt Bea.  We also got notice this weekend, that we should check with Aunt Bea's nursing home before coming to visit her now (apparently, she'd still tell us to come and that she is okay to have visitors, but she's not really doing that well).  Her health is also failing faster now.  She's 2.5 months shy of her 100th birthday. 

7.  I think I might go for a run today.  Outside.  I have stuck to the treadmill so far with my running, but I am itching to see how far a certain route is around here.  We'll see.

Hmm, I think that's all the mumbles I have in me.  Happy Monday!

October 7, 2011

7 Quick Takes (11)

--- 1 ---

Sarah - 5th Grade

She is growing up so fast.  I can't even keep up.  She's beautiful and she's smart.  She loves to read C.S. Lewis and the Harry Potter books.

--- 2 ---

Danielle - 2nd Grade

She loves being a kid.  She loves to play sports and run around with her best friend.  She loves to read these Rainbow Magic Fairy books.  She's an artist.

--- 3 ---

 Helen - Kindergarten

She is my heart and soul.  There's just something about Helen.  There really is, too (I'm not just saying that to be cute).

--- 4 ---
This week, a 10-month old girl went missing from her home.  This is right in my neck of the woods.  Probably only a couple of miles from where I live.  It's kind of been on my mind this week.  I would be sick if one of my babies was taken, went missing, whatever is going on.  At first, they issued an Amber Alert.  The story was the girl was abducted in the night from her crib.  Then it came out that the cell phones were missing from the house, too.  Now, apparently, the parents are "no longer cooperating" with police investigation.  Very odd.  Very strange.  Very tragic.  Prayers all around.

--- 5 ---
At Dani's soccer game last night, I got a little freaked out when I lost sight of Dominic.  There are woods around the park where the soccer games are played.  I couldn't see Dominic anywhere.  I had tried to gather Sarah and Helen while trying to hold onto Vincent and took my eyes off Dominic for the smallest of moments.  And then he was gone.  Of course, I was worrying about where he wandered off to and whether someone had taken him.  Especially with the recent abduction/missing baby in our area of town fresh in my mind.  It was probably only two minutes that I was freaking out and telling every person who asked what Dominic was wearing and how old he was...but it felt like 30 minutes.  It was horrible.  

And then I saw him running aimlessly around the soccer field.  

I think it's true what they say about a mother's schizophrenic emotions.  One minute, I was crying inside wanting to hug and hold my son, fretting, almost panicking.  The next minute, I wanted to swat his little bottom and tell him not to worry his momma that way.  Don't worry, no swats took place...he was, after all, simply enjoying some awesome weather and being a 2-year-old boy.  He didn't think there was anything wrong with running around aimlessly without a care in the world.

--- 6 ---

We have a volleyball tournament this weekend.  Pool play Saturday and if we have the best record in pool, we move on to the tournament Sunday.  The girls are improving all the time.  Last week, they won their first match.  

Well, okay, they one (ahem) won the very first match they played, but I don't think that team was awake...because I've seen them play since and they've done MUCH better.  Our team has progressed, but just haven't had a lot of wins to show for it.  Here's to turning the corner!

(OMGoodness, I came back to read my post and see I had put "one" instead of "won" and I about died.  I'm major OCD about my grammar/spelling!  my own...not anyone else's...usually)

--- 7 ---

My post yesterday about Where I'm From (writing exercise) gave me some ideas for blog posts.  

I also have three posts started in my drafts, and I just can't seem to get any traction on them.  One of them will be written if and when I ever get around to writing the letter I want to write to my doctor.  Another is a compilation of things about being Catholic that no one ever told me growing up and I wish they had.  I mean, I'm a cradle Catholic...but I never really learned some very important things about Catholicism until I was 28 years old. 

What do you do when you feel "stuck" with your blog?

Have a terrific weekend!!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

October 5, 2011

Where I'm From

A few weeks ago, I read Dwija's post about where she's from.  I realized as I traveled through the blogosphere that this was a writing exercise and I decided I wanted to try it out.

So, here I present to you...

Where I'm From

i am from t-shirts and blue jeans, from speedo and
cabbage patch kids and monchichi.
i am from the dilapidated shack on the wrong side of the railroad tracks,
and rooms filled with raucous laughter and flowing tears,
the smell of musky early summer morning hanging in the air.

i am from the rhododendron, the yellow rose, the clover.
i am from large brunch buffet spreads,  and responsibilities, and frugality
and book-smarts and street-not-so-smarts.
i am from Poliquin and Helen and Beau Rivage.
I am from the talking to hear yourself talk and
incessantly insisting on having the last word
and not letting anyone else get a word in edgewise.

i am from "just do it!" and walk-like-you-have-some-place-to-go;
from "pay attention to the game" and "don't play if you don't expect to win".

iam from saints and virgin mary.
i am from rosaries, incense and candles, a creche, the crucifix.

i'm from the plains, quebec,  strawberry rhubarb pie
and bbq spare ribs on a sultry summer night.

i am from grandad informing a large room full of family that
he was the reason for most of them being there.

I am from aunt bea's thanksgiving dinners,
and kids hanging out playing spades for hours at a time.

i am from distant cousins who feel like sisters
when you meet them after twelve years apart.

iam from pictures not taken, belongings lost in move after move.

iam from memories relived through conversations
with sisters whom i could not live without.

i am from broken dreams and from faith in happy endings.

October 1, 2011

The Saturday Evening Blog Post (1)

Each month, Elizabeth invites us to go back through our posts from the previous month and pick our favorite.  I had three posts in September that I thought about linking.  My baby girl broke my heart one night, I made an attempt at a quiet house, and I reflected on the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01.  But, I went back to work this month after a twelve week maternity leave.  My experience the fifth time was finally one of graceful acceptance of my role as a work-outside-the-home-mom (WOTHM).  And this is the post I have linked to over at Elizabeth's blog.

Be sure to stop by Elizabeth's and see what everyone else's favorites were.