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April 29, 2013

Monday Mumbles - 43

I am writing these on Sunday night for Monday morning publishing. Pretty cool, huh? 

1. Craig is giving the boys baths. I love that man. 

2. Sunday was such a beautiful day. The forecast for MOnday and Tuesday looks heavenly. But some nasty weather is in the forecast later in the week. seriously, Mother Nature. Double-yew. Tee. Eff. 

3. I had my exhaustion test for push-ups Saturday and I did 21. Oh yes. I wish I would have been able to do more, but then I remember that two weeks ago I could only do 16, four weeks ago, I could only do 6, and a little over a month ago, I could only do 2. So....I think 21 pushups at a time rocks. 

4. Couch-2-5K week 7 calls for 25 minute jogs and I'm glad...I've "graduated" to running and not walk/running. yay me!

5. I have a week before I start Foundations classes for Crossfit. Craig asked a buddy of his who is certified to train through Reebok for a definition of Crossfit (because I get asked any time I mention that I'm gonna be trying it). And he said that it was, "Constantly varied, functional movements at high intensity."  So, yeah. That's what I'm going to be starting soon.

6. I plan to keep my running regimen most mornings while I'm doing the Foundations classes since I still need to increase my mileage enough to run 10K on June 1.

7. But I am very excited to do this because I have heard so many good things about it. It might just -- um -- cause Craig and me to give up our community center membership in favor of paying for this instead. Just holding off in case it's not "the thing" for us.

8. Oh yeah, cuz Craig's going to do the Foundations classes the month after me and we're hoping to do this together.

9. To prepare me and get the diet hard-part out of the way, beginning Sunday, I am grain-free, legume-free and dairy-free. I'm trying to stick to that hard for 60 days. That should be interesting!!

10. 5 weeks until school is out for the summer for the kids. I can't believe it, but I'm breathing a sigh of relief for a couple of months off at least the school part of the craziness!!

Bonus: Check out this video of Vincent doing the bear crawl:

Have a good Monday!


April 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes - 48

Jen's back to 7QT! That's heartwarming news. Many thanks for hosting this big ol' Blog Carnival!  

--- 1 ---

Enjoyed sharing this little bit from tumblr on facebook the other day. Hmmm, just what should we call NFP?  Many kudos and thumbs up to iuseNFP and 1Flesh.org for putting these up!

One of my faves: 

When You Tell Someone Your Children Were Planned

Or this one, too:

When my mom (or mother-in-law or aunt or friend or whoever...) says, "You're just going to get pregnant, you know"

And I don't have this problem because I have the most awesome-est doctor in the whole world...but before I had him, I wish I had seen this to encourage me...

When My OB Says NFP doesn't work I'm like

--- 2 ---

Yesterday I took my Sarah to work for me for our company's Bring Your Kid To Work Day. She was with the older kids and they got to see a presentation on how to become a millionaire (I work for a bank, duh). I thought it was great for her to hear from them what I have been trying to teach her. 
An interesting statistic I heard during the presentation (I was volunteering to assist with this particular part of the day so I got to hear it, too):  Kids who open a savings account between the ages of 12-17 are more likely to go to college and kids who save $500 during that time are more likely to graduate college.  
Not saying it's rocket science, just thought it was interesting.
--- 3 ---

We took the kids to Worlds of Fun for the first time this past weekend and even Vincent got to ride a couple of things!!

He loved the airplanes :)

Dani was a sport, riding with him
 My baby girl got on the Mamba (which is this really fast, really metal coaster). She dragged me on the thing and I hadn't ridden it in 10 years! I prayed the whole way up that God take care of my baby girl...my how things have changed in 10 years. But Helen rocked it...then she went on a really fast wooden coaster called the Prowler and did really well on that, too.

--- 4 ---

My nephew, Gunnar, was baptized last Sunday! Yay another Catholic! He was tuckered out on his Grandpa afterwards...
--- 5 ---

After Mass, I got to see one of my (three) godsons...Maggie's Sam. He even smiled while I held him! He's so cute!!

--- 6 ---

We went to a Rosary/Chaplet prayer group on Sunday afternoon. While walking through some woods, I caught these...


--- 7---

The best part about writing Quick Takes is knowing that it is NOW FRIDAY! I'm starting to get my groove back with regard to my Fridays. Another work week is done, another weekend lay ahead with activities with the kids...
I pray you have a wonderful weekend. Be sure to go visit Jen for more Quick Takes!

April 25, 2013

The Buzz of Normalcy

It struck me this morning that we are headed down the path to our new normal. I've been exercising regularly, the kids have just about a month more for the school year and that will be over, Craig and I go about getting to our jobs, coming home and caring for kids. Even Dominic and Vincent have their own routines. Vincent's mostly entails asking for his Daddy every. single. morning. and never asking for his Mommy unless it's very clear he cannot have his Daddy.

I was re-reading some of my posts last night when I got to this one about time and the way it passes. I wondered when time would speed back up for me, because I knew it would. This morning, I thought a bit about it and realized time has probably picked back up. The weeks are flipping by at the pace I consider normal for the end of the school year when spring is upon us. (It sure would be nice if Mother Nature would cooperate and provide us the proper season...but I digress.) I'm back to the pace where I don't have time to look at the stuff on my desk and organize it -- both at work and at home. I'm back to the pace where if I don't run in the morning, it's kind of hard to work it in at any other point of the day. I'm back to the pace where I'm looking forward to the summer away from school and activities and homework. I know the kids will still have activities, but they are different in the summer when we don't have to work in full school days, too.

I'm aware enough to realize I haven't sent thank-you's from Helen's birthday party (it was the Saturday before all of this happened) so I've started that process, hoping people understand the delay.  

Find Image Here

I realize that I don't mind the buzz. I kind of like it. I am engaged and participating. It's not unsettling and every day seems a little less sad.

I still have moments, though. Something someone says hits me weird. I see a quote on Facebook, or I read something that brings on the tears.

Then it passes. 

And I move on to the next thing I'm doing.

It's not the same normal it was before. It's different. But...it feels normal, still.

April 19, 2013

7 Quick Takes - 47

Being back in the swing of things has limited my time for writing, but I have so many things percolating in my brain to write about! So for now, I'm at least going to get some Quick Takes up here! Jennifer Fulwiler's son, Joseph, has come home, but I'm guessing there's lots going on there and the lovely Grace at Camp Patton is hosting 7 QT this week. Go check her out (she's hilarious).

--- 1 ---

There's been a little too much trauma and death in the last 2 months for my liking. Not just in my own little circle, but ripples outward, too. There was a family I know of who lost a young boy (I think he was 11 or 12?) to a tragic accident, I read about Dwija's friends who lost a 13 year-old daughter, I know of a family in our area (we share a mutual friend) who lost a teenage boy in a farming accident. Ripple it out quite a bit more and there's the #Gosnell case going on and all those poor babies and women! Then the Boston Marathon bombings this week followed by the explosion in West, Texas.  Sometimes I wonder just how much longer we will have to live in this world like this. Rebecca sent me a text this week that says it nicely: "Jesus can come back anytime now." Word.

--- 2 ---

I have accelerated myself right into starting week 5 in Couch-to-5K tomorrow! Yay, me! I'm running more than I am walking now which is encouraging. And I am doing sets that total 50 pushups when I do my 100 pushups app. 

I plan to run a 5K on May 4 for Corporate Challenge, then Craig and I are registered to run a 10K on June 1. Rebecca and I are looking into half-marathons in August and Craig and I are planning to run a marathon in October here in Kansas City.

I had the thought today that Imma jus' gonna run this grief away. And while I'm mostly kidding -- I mean it's not like I can run from or run through this process -- I think the running helps me process things. I pray when I run, I think when I run. I was getting annoyed that I couldn't find earbuds that didn't fall out while I was running, but now I find I kind of like the silence and my thoughts as my company. We'll see how I feel when the runs start lasting 2 hours, though, ha.

--- 3 ---

I'm gonna take a moment and plug NFP ( that is, Natural Family Planning, for the newbies) for a second. After we lost Gregory, I didn't want to chart or keep track of my next cycle. I just didn't. Craig and I agreed we'd simply abstain and I decided to take another month or so off from charting. So, now I'm having to chart and I'm having the tell-tale signs of my estrogen-overload / progesterone-deficiency and it's frustrating. I can't wait until I get to the point where I can take my Prometrium to start balancing this out. The plug comes in because I don't have to go to the doctor to find out what's wrong with me! Because I already know. Because I know how my body works (and it most likely works differently than anyone else's) and I already know how to correct the imbalance and understand that for now I just need another week (probably) and it will be time that I can take the supplements and I'll be on my way back to "normal" (whatever that turns out to be this time).
--- 4 ---

Our parish got a new Altar! Last night, our Bishop came and said Mass and we witnessed an Altar Consecration and it was beautiful. I will try to get a picture of it after Mass this weekend so I can post it...I bet you'll love it, too. An added bonus for the Mass was that before any of this was planned, some friends from work (including Jessica) paid for that particular Mass to be said for Gregory. I was so touched when she told me about it about a week or so ago. Then we found out last weekend it would be the Mass where the Bishop would consecrate the new Altar! 

I cried throughout Mass at different points. I decided it's not worth it to try and figure out what sets me off because it's never the same thing. But Gregory was on my mind, heavily.

--- 5 ---

After Mass last night, some of the women from my Familia prayer group I participated in a couple of years ago approached me and gave me a card, said they'd love for us all to get together for breakfast some time when I was free, and told me they left something for me at our house.  So, when we got home, this is what I saw:

From the front

From the side

from the other side

--- 6 ---

Tuesday night I met my newest baby nephew, Gunnar. I'm not going to lie. It was hard. Not as hard as some of the things I've had to do, but harder than others. But I was glad my sister and her family came over so that I could hold him and look at him and cry all over him. I stood and swayed with him and he fell asleep and cuddled up to me like a good newborn baby boy. It was hard not to think about the fact that as I watch him grow up, I will probably always be reminded of my own boy who went on to Heaven first. I realize right now that is painful, but perhaps it will grow to be less painful over the years.

Oh yeah and...he's really cute.

--- 7---

I know it gets said a lot when bad things happen, or you lose someone prematurely, or there's too much stress and we need the reminder, but seriously, love people. 

Look at people with the Heart of Christ and love them. 

Smile at people you don't know. Offer a helping hand to someone who may or may not need it. Pick up that $20 on the floor and turn it in to the Security Guard since it's not yours. Hold your kids close. Kiss your spouse. Enjoy the moment you're in and don't pine for material things. Pray for people. Say "Thank you." Say, "I love you."

 Life is too short and you never know when it will be the last time you see someone.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thank you, Grace, for hosting!!

April 15, 2013

Monday Mumbles - 42

It's another Monday. And I'm mumbling, since I have something that fits the format. Hope you had a fabulous weekend. I enjoyed two days away from work, running around with my minions and such. But alas, back to work I go!

1. Today is a rest day from running, but get this -- when I do my Couch-to-5K workout tomorrow, I will be running longer stretches than the walking segments. That is cool, eh?

2. I have accelerated the program because I signed up for a 5K on May 4 and I really would like to run the whole thing without stopping. That's my goal anyway. The 5K is for our city's Corporate Challenge and I am the only woman in my age category who is signed up, so no getting out of it (they only take two participants from each company in each age group per event). And what the heck that I am in the 40-45 age group, right? When did I get so old?

3. My husband and I are planning to run a 10K the first weekend in June. We ran it last year, too, but my hope is to do better this year anyway.

4. And that 100 pushup app experiment thing I'm doing?  Well, I repeated a week so I just finished Week 2 which was really 3 weeks of focusing on pushups. Two weeks ago I did an assessment and I couldn't do more than 6 pushups at a time. Yesterday was my next assessment before moving on to week 3 on the app and I did 16! And those are "man-style" pushups, yo. NO KNEES!  :)

5. As I was running the other day, I realized that I really wish my mid-section would get the memo that I am not pregnant anymore. I've lost almost all of the weight I put on in this previous pregnancy, but my lower abdomen is stubbornly sticking out there to remind me that I was supposed to be pregnant still. Unfair.

6. I know everyone's blogging about the Gosnell thing and the media not covering it and all that stuff. I want to join in, but the whole thing is so darn evil. I read a good portion of the grand jury report and had to hold back bile, and I shed some tears. I realize it might not have been the healthiest choice to read that only 6 weeks after delivering my dead baby -- the one who died at 17 weeks and was fully formed, and precious and how much I wished he would have still been alive so I wouldn't have to deliver him. The kind of baby that had Gosnell encountered alive would have murdered. What kind of sickness must infect, no infest that man's soul to do the things he did? And what kind of government and society do we have that this sort of thing happens and hardly anyone is outraged?

7. On that note, I'll just link to this piece, "Why Didn't They Cover Gosnell?". It's short and to the point and doesn't mince words. Spot on, it is.

8.  Sarah's club volleyball season wrapped up this weekend. She had a good time. She really likes the girls she played with. She even said she'd be okay doing a "waiver" next year to play with them and due to her being young for the cut-offs, I'm inclined to let her. (A "waiver" means she is technically supposed to play U13 ball next year, but she can keep playing with the girls on this team in U12 and they just couldn't play any gold tournaments. Based on how many teams we seemed to play this year that had players on waiver, I don't think this would be bad...)

9. I signed Helen up to start the FUN league for volleyball this summer so she can start getting a handle on the fundamentals. She actually shows some interest in volleyball and basketball without me having put her in anything yet. I say that's a plus.

10. One more! I hit my 5% goal with Weight Watchers this past week and I'm still moving down. I have been reading a lot lately on hormones and guess what I found out? Progesterone deficiency is most likely the main reason I gain so quickly and so much when I'm pregnant...because I don't make enough of it to counteract the hormones that are supposed to fatten me up for breastfeeding and all that jazz. So, no balance, means that I just pack it on for 40 weeks (or 20 in this past case). The good news is that now that I'm cycling again and I will take Prometrium 10 days per cycle, it should assist with my weight loss.  Who knew these hormones were such ornery suckers?

Have a great Monday! Here's a fun photo of Sarah and Helen wearing their ears at Disney!

April 9, 2013

Life Goes On

My 2-week work vacation is over. I went back to work yesterday.

The kids spring break ended and they went back to school yesterday.  

Craig's schedule started again Saturday.

Saturday was full of activities like ballet, swim practice and guitar lessons. Sunday held another volleyball tournament for Sarah.

I know this is a good thing, but it feels so odd. Over the weekend, I realized I was ready to go back to work. I didn't think I'd feel ready to cry at the drop of a hat. There's a part of me that wants to hold on to the sadness, but yet, I can feel it starting to slowly chip away. The past two mornings, as I ran, I prayed the rosary and at the end of all my prayers, I was able to say a few words to my Gregory, too. It's been odd to think about having a child in heaven. The idea makes sense to me that he can intercede for us and everything, but I just hadn't had it in me. And even now, I think my attempts are a bit hollow, but -- they are attempts. 

I think as the sadness starts to go and I get fearful that I will lose my connection, that talking -- just a few words -- to my baby boy might help me to understand how I can still have a relationship with him. How I can ask him to pray for me, for our family. If I can maintain this awareness and this connection, without the sadness, I might be able to help my other children to have a connection with Gregory, too.

Last week as we waited for the fireworks outside the castle in Magic Kingdom, we struck up conversation. As we talked, Dominic said, "I miss my brother." And I replied, "Yes, I miss Vincent, too. But I bet he is having fun with Grandma." and Dominic said, "Yeah. I miss my other brother, Gregory, too." 

Dominic will regularly ask to see Gregory on my Mother's Ring. He likes to point out all the children on the ring by pointing to their birth stones. It's hit me that Dominic is old enough that he will remember this sadness in our house that we've had over the past 6 weeks. It has already impacted him and he might need the connection to Gregory that I think of between siblings.

So, life has moved on. My heart is still heavy, but I can feel the burden lifting a bit -- at least outside of Mass. Mass is still difficult and it may be for awhile. I've decided to accept it for what it is. I'm trying to find joy in this Easter season and trying to be positive, even if it feels like a stretch. I figure that's the only way to go at this point. The toughest part is reminding myself that I am not forgetting Gregory by moving on with life. It feels like I should mourn forever...and I suppose I will in some fashion. Or is that supposed to turn to rejoicing at some point that he is in the presence of our Lord and held in the arms of our Blessed Mother? I don't know. As life continues, I guess I will figure it out.

#1-4 on Easter Sunday

And #5 -- Sweet Vincent

April 5, 2013

7 Quick Takes - 46

Good Friday Morning!  I'm linking up with Jennifer Fulwiler today for 7 Quick Takes.
--- 1 ---

We are home from vacation! It was very nice to get away. I missed Vincent (not as much as he missed Daddy, apparently, but I digress...) very much and was extra excited to see his cute and sweet face when we picked him up yesterday.  Of course, I noticed almost immediately that I really need to get that boy's hair cut.  :)
Shaggy or no, this boy is so darn cute

--- 2 ---

Disney was fantabulous. The kids all had a blast. We had a couple of mealtimes with Disney friends (lunch one day with Winnie the Pooh and Friends and then we did Mickey's Backyard BBQ, courtesy of Craig's brother and wife). We stayed late one night in Magic Kingdom to watch the Electric Parade (we were right in front of the castle and had a great view!) and then the beautiful artistic displays on the castle and then fireworks.  It was a great time. 
When I said front row, I meant FRONT ROW! :)

Caught this gem of Big-sister-Little-sister moment (watching Fireworks)

So pretty!

--- 3 ---

We hadn't been home 10 minutes and my doctor's office called yesterday.  They had the final pathology report on Gregory and basically, he had an "unknown infection" that he was unable to recover from. There was nothing they could have done to detect it and there was nothing they could have done to treat it or prevent it. 

I was confused at first because they mentioned "placental abruption" but I called back to clarify and the report basically stated that usually with a death at 17-19 weeks gestation, it is due to a placental abruption, but that was not the case here. So, I guess I can put my mind at ease about the progesterone. And, I mostly had, but this just kind of sealed the deal and I'm glad. I'm not glad my baby boy got sick and died, but I'm glad there was nothing we could have done and didn't do to prevent his death.
--- 4 ---

Oh and while we were on vacation, we also visited the beach. I wanted our children to see the ocean. They loved that day, I think. :)

Helen playing in the sand

My girls playing together :)

Dani and Sarah

My Dominic

The girls having fun in some small waves
The girls
--- 5 ---

I began working the Couch-2-5K app on my phone. I love this thing! It tells you what to do and when to do it. My kind of app. I also started using the "Just 6 Weeks" app to 100+ pushups. And yes, I do those on my hands and toes (no knees!) I have already seen quite a bit of improvement. When I did the first assessment test, I could only do TWO pushups on my hands and toes. At the next assessment test, I could do SIX!!

--- 6 ---

I've decided I have got to make myself strong physically. I used to be so strong, I ran a marathon for goodness' sake! But since having Dominic, I never got back into the shape I was in before I got pregnant with him and I need to remedy that. And I need to do that for a few different reasons:  One, because I need to be healthier; Two, because I want to look better; Three, because I need to prove to myself that I am still a physically strong specimen of a woman -- I don't know, part of me thinks if I can get strong again that I will believe I can be strong in other ways. Of course, I know the strength comes from God, but I know He gave it to me and I've been letting it lie dormant for too long.

--- 7---

On that note, I am planning to start CrossFit and eating on the Paleo plan (they say it works well with CrossFit). I think Craig wants to do it, too, so that will be added motivation for us to both go and get stronger. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Don't forget to go visit Conversion Diary to "meet" other bloggers! 


April 1, 2013

Monday Mumbles - 41

My friend Jessica has begun blogging again.  I look forward to her posts all the time.  Monday Mumbles was her brainchild so I wanted to give her due praise (and LINK LOVE!)  It's the 2nd Monday of my vacation.  We're enjoying some much needed fun in the sun!
1. At my sister's house last Thursday, there might have been 12 children ages 13 months to 11.5 years old hanging out.  There might have been some serious fun stuff going down. 

2.  Fun is the word.  :)

Matt and Dominic kicking the ball with each other

Sarah, Helen and Julie working on cheer stuff

Sarah, Julie and Helen playing on the Tire Swing

Dominic playing Goalie while Matt tries to score!

Jenna and Dani playing some kind of duel-game

3.  So....KU.  Yeah.  Ummm, well, as I know it's true that only one team finishes the season on a win, I'll just say, that's the way of the world of collegebasketball that they lost.  Kind of Really disappointed that they dumped a 14 point lead and lost, but well...this team DID lose to TCU this year.
4.  On to baseball!  Let's go Royals!!
5.  Have you started using Bloglovin? I have.  Fairly easy.  Get an e-mail each night with updates to the blogs I follow.  Apparently Google is pulling it's Reader thing in a few months.  This seems like a reasonable alternative.
6.  One month.  I'm not sure whether the month thing has the same significance as four weeks did.  It is a new month now. And at some point, the week anniversaries will not line up with the month anniversaries so close. 
7. I cried through Mass again yesterday. I guess a part of me thought that might not happen since we are in Florida and not at our home parish.  But, that thought was crushed right around Responsorial Psalm part. 
8. Not that I care, but I sometimes wonder what people around me think about that lady who can't stop crying. 
9. The church we attended had a nice petition in the Prayers of the Faithful that mentioned praying for "those who grieve as they try to find the joy and light of Easter" or something like that. I thought it was a nice petition.
10. This wild vacation continues! Craig and Sarah go to Universal Studios today, and I am on my own with Dani, Helen and Dominic.  I need to figure out if we want to try a different park like Animal Kingdom or just do Magic Kingdom again since we didn't get to do everything in one day. I'll be sure and let you know what we decide!
Bonus: The kids are really having a good time and I am so glad. We've been to Magic Kingdom and to the beach (Cocoa Beach). I love hearing what Dominic has to say about everything, he's such a smarty-pants! And the girls seem to really enjoy the characters, the parades and the shows as well as the rides.  I'm exhausted, but absolutely believe it's entirely worth it.  :)