About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

19 Weeks Update

How far along? 19 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Decent

Best moment this week: Christmas! It wasn't "perfect" but it was fun!

Movement: Daily. I remarked yesterday to the girls that the baby was kicking me, and Miss M said, "The baby kicking - it want to come out!"

Gender: Unknown.

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Being a regular OB patient. I found out today I'm getting a referral to a high risk specialist. The bp medication was not as effective as she wanted, and I got some scary high readings, so she upped the dose (which so far seems to be working) but because of this I have to go to a specialist.

What I am looking forward to: Maybe getting an ultrasound (finding out gender) a little sooner. I think that's one of the tests the high risk specialist does.

Weekly Wisdom: Proverbs 3:5-6

Milestones: Not happy ones, but the carpel tunnel and intense (sporadic) hip pain has started. Isn't it early for that? Not fun!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chrismtas Memories

Ah, Christmas. This year I made msyelf all stressed out trying to make it perfect for my kids. It really was a beautiful Christmas. We woke to sweet girls waiting patiently in their beds (I told them to wait until we came to get them). We started the morning reading Luke 2, then we allowed them to open their stockings, and Miss N was thrilled to find Bella Sara (horse game) trading cards in it. She's been wanting these very badly for quite a while.

When I was getting Miss M dressed for church, I told her, "It's Christmas!" She got a very worried look on her face. "Aren't you excited?" I asked. "I no want see Santa. I no want sit on his lap." She was very worried she would have to see and sit on Santa since it was finally "Christmas." I assured her we would not make her do that ;)

After cinnamon rolls (frozen, not homemade, I can only do so much), it was off to church. All of their friends kept asking them what they got, and they were very patient to say, "We haven't opened presents yet."

We got home and finished some prep for dinner while waiting for Tim's parents to arrive. The girls were so patient waiting! Finally, we could not make them wait any longer. They started opening. They were every happy with their gifts, except one. I purchased a couple of games that were Toy Story themed, and M's response was, "This a boy toy!" Thankfully they really like them.

Dinner was nice, although my potatoes were lumpy (grrrrrr). After Tim's parents left, we watched Rudolph together. I love having it on DVD - no commercials or worrying about TIVO-ing it!

All in all it was a lovely Christmas. My one mistake was not giving M more "toys." She doesn't have a theme of toys she likes, but plays with everything, so I gave her games and craft stuff and a few toys. She was really into playing with N's new horses and doll, which did not go over well with N, so next year I will need to make sure she has new things of her own too that can be played with right away.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Let the Tears Flow

So, I am a weepy mess with this pregnancy! It's crazy! You can ask my husband, I am not one prone to crying. Sure, I have the emotional outburst occasionally (don't all women?), but it's not a regular thing with me.

Not so anymore.

I mean, just today at church a friend said Merry Christmas and gave me a hug and I was almost in tears. How embarrassing! The other night something fairly minor happened and I was fighting back tears the whole night in a public situation. Caused a few people to worry that something was wrong with the baby and it really was something minor. This week a sweet friend offered to come and help with some stresses I was having, and I found myself in tears again because of her sweetness and my inability to manage it all. That inability led to a huge meltdown later in the week. And don't even get me started on the Target.com fiasco!

What's a girl to do? I do not remember being THIS emotional any of the other times I was expecting. After they were born, yes, then I was a blubbering mess, but during the pregnancy, no!

I guess it's just time to keep the tissue box handy. Wish my husband luck! Are there any old wives' tales about weepy meaning a certain gender?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Miss M Funny

At night the girls take turns praying for the meal. We let either one pray if they want, actually. Tonight Miss M prayed,

"Dear Jesus, thank you for this food. Help mommy's baby come out so we hold it. Amen."

So sweet! They have been to two appointments without an ultrasound being done (I got spoiled early on) so they are really missing "seeing" their baby sibling. Three weeks until the "big" ultrasound! Actually, as long as my bp meds do their job, three weeks before I go back again (doc wanted to see me in two but she's out of town and apparently does not want me seen by anyone else).

18 weeks

Kids are on break and my kitchen is a disaster (can anyone keep a clean kitchen while baking?) so this will be short. 18 weeks today!

How far along? 18 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Decent

Best moment this week: Having a day when I didn't feel the baby kick (which was also the most stressful day of the week so that added stress didn't help) and as I was reading my Bible that night, it gave me some real strong kicks to let me know all was well.

Movement: Daily

Gender: Unknown.

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Not thinking about my bp every second of every day, not taking it three times per day.

What I am looking forward to: Getting good news on my test results today because it WILL be good, right?

Weekly Wisdom: I definitely am not drinking enough water. Let's just leave it at that and not go into why I have come to know this. Thanks.

Milestones: None I can think of.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Birthday Party Quandary

So, Miss N's sixth birthday is coming up in the beginning of March. I know that is two months away, but since we have a tiny house and need to have the party elsewhere, and venues tend to book quickly and are expensive, I have already been thinking about it. And now I am left with a quandary.

As a child, especially as a teen, I was always the one not invited. I was the excluded one. The "big" parties either invited everyone, and then I was included, or not, and then I was excluded. It hurt.

Now that I am the mom planning the parties, I do not want to inflict that pain on any child. But, this brings up a difficulty.

We have a lot of kid friends. We have school, and her class has 17 kids in it this year I believe. We have a handful of same aged friends at church. We have a group we have been friends with since toddlerhood. We have a smattering of friends here and there as well.

Last year, I invited everyone. I ended up with over 50 people at her party when you counted the parents and siblings that came. It was outdoors at a park so not a big deal, and we did have fun, but man was it stressful! I even had to hire a babysitter for the kids whose parents dropped them off - I didn't trust myself to be able to keep my eyes on that many kids in a big outdoor space.

So, now I am left wondering what to do this year. There are variables we didn't have last year, like additional cost. We won't be doing a park party in May since I will be having a baby then, so the party has to be in March at an indoor venue, making it more pricey. The venue I have chosen requires a minimum of 10 children, so I can't get by saying just two or three. I like the idea of "invite a child for every year of your life," so she could have 6 since she is turning 6, but that doesn't work for the venue she wants.

In Miss N's eyes, we could probably get by with inviting just the girls in her class and these two boys that are good friends, but what about the other boys? I know kids, they will talk. I know one friend whose parents I know was really hurt last year when a child had a party and invited almost everyone, but not her son. They had a 15 child limit at the venue and there were 18 in the class. Ouch. I don't want my child to be responsible for hurting anyone!

Then there are the church friends, the friendships I really want to cultivate, the friendships I want to last a lifetime.

So that is the quandary. How do you keep a birthday party sane and reasonable without hurting someone? I haven't decided what I am going to do yet.

I am definitely ready, I think, for the years of "invite three friends for a sleepover." What an easy birthday party! And no one can be faulted for limiting the party when it's a sleepover, right?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

17 weeks

Ok it's Wednesday, and that means time for that weekly update post!

So, blood pressure update. It's been all over the map, but I'm still not sure I am reading or taking it accurately. Friday I go back in for a bp check, so I plan to take the two machines/cuffs I have with me and compare readings. Yesterday I got 140/100 for my evening measurement, then this morning (laying in bed) it was 120/70.

I am very nervous about ending up on bed rest. Sheesh, I have two small kids, a husband who cooks only using the grill (and it's winter), and a thousand responsibilities. How will we eat? How will my kids get bathed, fed healthy food, dressed, lunches packed, out the door on time? How will the laundry get done??? I know others have ended up on bed rest with little kids, but I am praying it does not happen to me. But a b/p reading of 140/100 seems very high. Hopefully I am just not taking it right. Tim is convinced it is stress and worry making my bp high. . .

How far along? 17 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Decent

Best moment this week: Miss N asking almost every day, "Are those your pregnant clothes?" Cracks me up.

Movement: I think so

Gender: Unknown. I thought it looked girl-y on the ultrasound we had last week, but the tech said she could not call it because the umbilical cord was running between the legs.

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Not thinking about my bp every second of every day, not taking it three times per day.

What I am looking forward to: Hopefully scheduling my ultrasound sometime soon. I want to know the gender! I am tempted to go to Naperville because there is a place there that does the scan for $59. But, $59 is probably best spent elsewhere. I just need to be patient.

Weekly Wisdom: But my God shall supply all your needs. . .

Milestones: Not pregnancy related, but I allowed my girls to skip their naps two days this week (since we had nowhere to go after dinner) and they played so nicely together I was able to get my work done even with them awake! This is a huge thing around here! Gives me hope for the days when they are no longer napping, which are coming very soon.

Friday, December 9, 2011

16-week Appointment

Well today's appointment has come and gone. My weight gain was less than desirable, but with the goodies of the season I am not surprised. The doctor could not find the heartbeat so off to Ultrasound I went (again). Baby was VERY active and HR was 154. I asked it it was too early to see the gender, and she said she would try. Baby was busy playing with the cord and sucking his/her hands. Sadly, the cord was running right between the legs so she couldn't call it. I personally thought it looked pretty girl-ish, but I guess we will have to wait another four weeks to try again.

I opted out of the quad screen. This one tests for genetic abnormalities, but, well, it's not going to change anything for me, and the really bad (aka fatal) abnormalities, like the trisonomies, are detectable, at least in part, on the 20-week ultrasound. It just didn't feel important.

Now for the bad part - my bp was high (138/74) - that is not terrible I guess but it is higher than the doctor wants it and higher than last time (when I was really nervous). So, I have to monitor it at home three times per day and go back in a week for another check. Please pray that it goes down or does not go up. This is exactly how my pregnancy with Miss N started, and I ended up delivering early with pre-eclampsia with her. The doctor said that it is "highly unlikely" to have that problem since I have the same husband, but I personally know at least two women who had pre-eclampsia on their third pregnancies with the same spouse, and they didn't have it with the first (I don't think) so I am at higher risk just because I did. So, I guess for me "highly unlikely" does not seem all that reassuring. I would really rather avoid being put on bed rest at this point. The fact that she wants me back in a week makes me a little nervous.

Christmas Carols According to Miss N

I love listening to my kids sing. Here are a few treasures from my oldest for the season.

Away in a Manger

"Be near me Lord Jesus,
I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray
Bless all thy dear children
In Thy Blender care,
And fit us for heaven to live with Thee there."

Silent Night

"Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round young version
Mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in Heavenly peace
Sleep in Heavenly peace."

Angels We Have Heard on High (chorus)

In and out each day-o
In and out each day-o."

Gotta love the way they hear things!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

16 weeks

How far along? 16 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Rough week with sick kids and hubby.

Best moment this week: Feeling those flutters

Movement: I think so

Gender: Unknown.

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Pants that don't fall down all the time. I am not a fan of maternity pants.

What I am looking forward to: Appointment tomorrow!

Weekly Wisdom: You need to stop and do a craft project every once in a while.

Milestones: Pretty sure I have felt those early flutters.

Monday, December 5, 2011

School Age Children, Accomplishments, and Pride

I have a very smart little girl.

Without getting boastful, let's just say that she does very well in school. From everything I can tell her sister will be doing so as well when she gets to real school age.

I did very well in school, so this is not surprising to me.

What is surprising is the new questions it has raised in my mind as a parent.

As a teacher, I always tried to find ways to praise my students for their accomplishments. I felt it encouraged them to try harder and push themselves next time.

What never occurred to me was the issue of pride.

Now that I am a parent on the other end of the child's life, I am beginning to wonder what role pride plays in school accomplishments.

Here are a few things I know:

  • God hates pride. It is a very despicable sin in His eyes. In Proverbs 6 it is listed with murder as one of the sins considered an abomination. That's serious talk!
  • Pride is easy and natural for sinful humans.
  • Our abilities are gifts from God and are intended to be used by Him.
  • God wants us to do our best. To do less than our best does not please Him. To have a child who did not work to her full ability in school would not please the Lord just as much as having a child who is filled with pride over her abilities.

Ok, so here is a scenario. A child comes home from school and announces that her reading group has finished x number of books, and other reading groups have not.

The child is stating this as a fact, not in a boastful way.

Is this pride? Is this sin? I do not think so. She is just making an observation.

Yet, when the child comes home and says, "Me and so and so counted to 100 today, and no one else could do it." that strikes me as pride.

Yet, is a small child really able to understand the concept of pride? There are definitely spiritual concepts that she does not comprehend. Should she not be taking pleasure in accomplishing a hard task?

Do we not take pleasure in accomplishing hard tasks? I know when I complete a large writing assignment and have worked hard on it, it brings me pleasure. I do not feel this is sinful, so perhaps it is not pride.

So what I am having trouble discerning is this: where does a biblical view of pride fall in applauding children's accomplishments. If my child is standing in front of the crowd saying lines in the school play some day, I am going to feel parental pride. Is this wrong? Is it wrong for the child to also feel a sense of pleasure at this?

Perhaps we have termed "pride" what should be termed something else, like "sense of accomplishment." Perhaps there is more to the biblical definition of pride than just feeling good about something you accomplished.

I know for now, when my daughter is happy about something she accomplished in school, I am going to be happy for her, but I am also going to point out that her good mind came from God and it is something to be thankful for. If she starts to notice others that struggle, I am going to have to come up with a strategy to help her be loving and kind and not boastful. I lost a lot of friends in school because I was book smart and did not carry it well, and I want to protect her from that, while also teaching her about the biblical view of pride.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sensitive Girl

My oldest has always had a sensitive heart. Sometimes, it is difficult as her parent because it is so easy to hurt her even when it is completely unintentional, but other times it is the sweetest thing to watch. On the way home from our Kansas City trip, I heard her say, "Miss M, will you please forgive me for all of the times I was mean to you?" It touched my heart to realize that she has a sensitive spirit to this, even after the fact.

A couple of days ago I raised my voice at nap time. I had to apologize to Miss N because I let stress about my workload impact my attitude toward her. She forgave me, and then the next day when I was laying her down (yes, she's almost six and still naps most days) she prayed, "Please help mommy to get all her work done while we rest." That sure motivated mommy to be diligent that day!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

14-15 weeks

So, blogging about pregnancy was the last thing on my mind while in Kansas City this past week. Really, these two weeks are not much different, so I will just make one update.

How far along? 15 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep. And I am sad because it appears I will need to buy some. I was really hoping to avoid that.

Sleep: Up once per night usually but not too bad.

Best moment this week: Eating dessert like a normal person and not getting sick!

Movement: Too early

Gender: Unknown.

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Not being winded all the time. I wish I knew for a fact this was normal. The baby isn't big enough to be causing this yet. My doctor said "You are just out of shape" but I was pretty well out of shape before I got pregnant and didn't have this problem.

What I am looking forward to: Feeling movement. Should be happening sometime in the next few weeks. Feeling a baby moving inside of me kind of creeps me out, but it's also very reassuring that all is well. Without feeling movement, you have no guarantees that anything is going well until you have those once a month appointments (which I must say are way too far apart!)

Weekly Wisdom: My perspective of how good or bad of a mom I am is always going to be tainted negatively. It is nice to see myself from someone else's view and realize I am doing a fairly decent job at this thing. Not perfect, but decent.

Milestones: Sickness is almost all the way gone!