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!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Be Still


I sit here, fingers on the keyboard, researching antioxidants, oral cancer and toothpaste.

 

She always has a tummy ache, maybe she needs to go gluten free like my mom.

 

I just heard the big one cough again, maybe she’s getting pneumonia again. We went a whole year without it, I was hoping for longer.

 

She’s going under anesthetic, my baby. Are we doing the right thing? Is this cough really that important.

 

Type type, research research, yet my mind gets noisy again.

 

Am I giving them enough attention? I’ve been working a lot, and they are fighting a lot, maybe I am not doing this right.

 

Man, that election was killer. Will my kids know the freedom of carrying a Bible if they want? Should we buy a gun while we still can?

 

Focus. Type. Research.

 

Did I make enough this month? Christmas is coming, and Florida. Will we be good, or should I work a little more tonight? What if the work stops flowing this month? Will I make enough to cover tuition?

 

What about Tim. He probably wanted the house cleaner when he got home. I am not doing a very good job at that. Maybe I should take the day off tomorrow.

 

Type, type, type, click, click, click,

 

 This is a new client. The instructions are vague. How do I know what he wants? What if I am wasting my time?

 

Suddenly, a still small voice, Be still and know that I am God.

 

I love them more than you ever could.

 

I know exactly where your next client and your next paycheck is coming from.

 

I see you are doing your best with your kids and your husband.

 

It’s just a house.

 

Relax. Trust. Pray. And love them with all you have.

 

But in the end, Be Still and Know that I am God.

 

My anxious mind calms, my focus returns, and I finish out the night.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Update on Miss C

So, I wanted to put it down here even though it's already been on Facebook.



Miss C has had this strange cough since she was born. At first, her pediatrician and I thought it was a cold because Miss M gave her a lovely kiss right on the lips the day I brought her home, and she had a cold at the time. But, week after week it never really went away, and she never really acted "sick."

The cough sounds exactly like a croup cough. Most of the time if someone doesn't know her and hears her doing it, like at the grocery store, they tell me she's got croup. But, you cannot have croup for five months.

Her pediatrician suggested that it was probably a floppy larynx and we should keep an eye on it unless it gets worse. Then, she started having a lot of stridor, which is this strange whistling type noise that is not wheezing and is quite loud. We joke that she sounds like a seal or a goose.

Well, it did not get better, and if anything got worse. I called the doctor one day to see if they wanted to see her, but played phone tag with the nurse. She heard me say "stridor" and said I had to go to the urgent care ASAP. Even though her pediatrician knew about the stridor, when the nurse says that, you go.

That doctor was obviously not familiar with babies. He looked at her, said "She's not sick so she must have a cold, let's give her a steroid." It didn't matter that I told him she's had this issue since birth and her pediatrician thought it was anatomical. I said, "No thank you." and left.

The thing is, though, when they took her oxygen levels at first they were really low (85). So, the next day back to the pediatrician we went. This time I had to see someone else because mine was off for the day. She thought C didn't sound normal (in my ped's defense, he hadn't really heard her make the noise at her well-baby checks. This time we just got lucky).

So, chest and neck x-rays were ordered, which were pretty much normal, and we got a referral to a pulmonologist. That took a month to get through and get in, but we had that appointment Friday.

Thankfully (we had a lot of people praying) she made the noises in question several times for the specialists. They definitely thought it was not normal and that we needed to find out why. Their theory is that she has a narrowing somewhere in the airway or some other obstruction, but not hte larynx as the pediatrician originally thought. She is not in any distress at this point, but the cough is not going to get better unless we get to the bottom of it.

So, we are waiting to get a scope done of her airways. She will have to go under for that, which makes this mommy a tad bit nervous, but she is getting seen at the Madison Children's Hospital, which makes me feel better. It is an excellent hospital.

In spite of all of this, she is still the happiest, easiest going baby in the world. Right now, she has a cold on top of it all, and she's still so happy. She is such a blessing!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Dream

So, I have been bitten with a new dream. And I just can't get it out of my head. What is holding me back? My own insecurities. My own worries that I won't be "good enough." My own perfectionist fear that I might fail.

But, I think, this time, I am not going to let it hold me back. Because I think, this time, it's time for a change, and this might just be it.

So stay tuned. Something new is in the works. . . I think.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Miss M is Four!

Four years (and one month) ago, God blessed us with this 10 lb. 4 oz bundle of energy.
Miss M, one day old
Miss M, one year old

Miss M, two years old

Miss M, three years old.

Miss M, four years old

On July 31, my middle child turned four. All of the commotion of the end of summer, getting her birthday party in, and then school starting and working like crazy have made me forget to do her birthday post. So, without further ado, here is a bit about Miss M.

During her fourth year, she learned:

  • Her letters and sounds
  • How to whistle
  • How to snap (these two are much to the displeasure of the bigger sister who cannot yet do them)
  • How to face her fears of inflatable jumping houses and VBS
  • Became a big sister, a roll she embraces with zeal
  • Learned to pedal a bike
  • Said a line in a school program, without tears!

Miss M is a go getter. She knows what she wants, and she does not wait for permission or help to achieve it. She is full of spunk and always knows the funny thing to say. She will do anything to make us laugh, and definitely enjoys having a funny one-liner during a conversation.

She is a devoted sister, both to her big and her baby sister. She will do just about anything Miss N wants, as long as she is not too tired, and is more than willing, sometimes too willing, to help with the baby. She plays hard and sometimes too rough, but is always there with an apology when things get out of hand.

This child is a mover and a shaker. She has to be moving at all times, and she knows it. She even told me recently “That good exercise took my grumpy grumpies away.” She is very much aware of what she needs and wants, but cannot always communicate it, a fact which frustrates her. Still, she is learning.

She amazes me with her intelligence and observant nature. Sometimes she will say things that surprise me, because I was totally unaware she was paying attention. As her verbal skills develop, I am getting a closer look at just how amazingly intelligent she is. She is also able to entertain herself quite well. We spend many a morning while sister is at school quietly enjoying each other’s company, her playing with her dolls and me working.

She is going to be quite the good little mommy, once she outgrows her brute strength. She is always carting around a baby doll, hushing it, rocking it and feeding it. She tucks them in, turns off the light, and then requires us all to be quiet and leave the room alone while the baby sleeps. It is definitely humbling to see my own mothering skills reflected in her play.

She is my most stubborn child, and while that presents some parenting difficulties, it is also a character trait that could be beneficial. She will stand up for what she believes in strongly when she is older.

Dear Miss M.

Wow, you are four! How fast these four years have gone. I know you are excited about being four, and you have waited a long time for your birthday. Almost seems fitting that your celebrations lasted an entire month!

You have surprised me this year with your sensitivity. When we lost our Bailey dog, your heart was broken. I didn’t know you cared so much. Even now, you will sometimes cry for her, and she has been gone for months.

You love fiercely and with much passion. You are dedicated to your friends and siblings, and are very hurt when you feel left out. You love to be touched and will wriggle close to me whenever you can, begging for a tickle, reaching for my hand when we are walking.

My sweet girl, you are growing up. You are mommy’s little helper, always willing to lend a hand, and often asking to help even when I didn’t ask. I pray that I always embrace that help, so you will learn the joy of serving others.

This year, I have gotten a glimpse of what you may look like when you are older, and frankly, it took my breath away. You have always been a beautiful baby, but now you are a beautiful little girl. All too soon you will be a beautiful young lady.

This year, you faced some challenges. You had to learn to let go of mommy and go out on your own a bit. It was hard, but you got through it. You learned to love new settings and new experiences. You overcame some of your biggest fears, while still holding onto some others. I have never been so proud of you as I was when you walked proudly up on that stage and said your line at your spring program, without tears, or when you went down the big big slide at the indoor playground.

I love you, Miss M. I hope your fifth year is as wonderful as your fourth has been!

Mommy

Friday, August 17, 2012

If I Could Freeze Time


The weight of a tiny head, nestled against my chest. The miniature fist, clenching a portion of my shirt. The rhythmic breathing, interrupted by a faint flutter sucking on a pacifier. The soft, nearly invisible eyelashes, gently closing against deep blue eyes. These are the memories I wish I could burn into my mind, the feelings I wish I could memorize to warm my heart on cold, difficult days.

If I could freeze time, it would be at this moment. For I know all too soon, your tiny feet will be pounding the floor, chasing after your big sisters. I know that before I am ready, your rosebud mouth, so quick to open into a wide smile at the sight of my face, will instead form questions that I do not have answers to.

As I hold you and rock you to sleep, I feel that invisible force creeping into the room. Time. Time that is waiting to rob me of your fleeting infancy, as it did with your sisters. Time that is pushing you, willing you to grow, and all I can do is watch.

Try as I might, I cannot push Time from the room. Every day, it is changing you, maturing you, transforming you from an infant to a baby, a baby to a toddler, a toddler to a little girl.

I could not stop Time the first time, either, but I was far too busy looking for milestones and worrying about whether I was doing this mom thing “right.” I could not stop Time the second time, but I was far too exhausted form the demands of a toddler and newborn to notice. But this time is different. This time, I watch as Time steals your infancy away bit by bit, opening the door to new wonders, but leaving this mommy’s heart just a little bit sad. And once again, there is nothing I can do.

So, for now, as I sniff your sweet head and rock you to sleep, praying over your future, I will myself to remember your sweetness, your scent and the feeling of your little body molding itself so perfectly to mine. Tomorrow I may not have this, but for today, I treasure it.

If I could freeze time, I would freeze it at this moment, at least for a little while, for the moment is far too fleeting.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

2 Months!

Wow, how time flies. It's already been two months with our precious C. I have told so many people that Miss C must know she is a third-born child, because she is the easiest baby ever. In fact, the few times she is fussy, I barely know what to do because it is so rare.

Both big sisters are completely enamored with her. Miss N (6) told me yesterday "I wish C could stay a baby forever. She's the cutest baby ever. I just love her so much." Miss M (almost 4) will repeatedly sing to her and coo at her and even at times overly love her to the point I have to separate them.

This precious babe is everything I could have ever wished for in a third and final child. She is so happy, laid back and beautiful. She smiles at everyone and everything, loves her sisters and daddy almroeady so much, and has a "go with the flow" kind of personality.

There is one strange thing that has been going on with her. Shortly after she was born I noticed this strange barking cough. I thought she had caught a cold her sisters had, but it hasn't gone a way. She recently did catch a cold and it got a little worse, but for her whole life she has been barking. It does not affect her breathing at all and her lungs are not congested according to the doctor. He thinks it is an immaturity or "floppiness" of her larynx. We just have to watch it I guess. I sure get some strange looks when I am out with my newborn and she starts barking!

Life with 3 is much easier than I anticipated, but it is not without its challenges. I find that I am more emotional than I was with just two, but I blame that on hormones. I have less patience for the shenanigans of the older ones. I also find that I am enjoying C much more than I did either of my other babies. with N I was scared I was going to break her and dealing with postpartum depression. With M I had the needs of a toddler to balance on top of the needs of a new baby, not to mention a baby that rarely tolerated being cuddled. Because the girls are old enough to be a bit self sufficient now, I feel like I have more freedom to just enjoy my baby. That, and the fact that we know she is the last one, make it easy to just snuggle and love on her.

So here are my baby's pictures for one month and two months. Enjoy!
 one month
 Two months - smiling big for big sister!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Miss C's Birth Story




The surgery to deliver Carlie Grace was scheduled for Thursday, May 17 at 12:30 pm. I was not a happy camper about this time, seeing as how I could have nothing to eat or drink since midnight the night before. That’s not so bad if your surgery is at 7 in the morning, but noon?

On the way to the hospital, I realized that I just didn’t like the name we had picked. So, we changed it. I thought naming Miss M two days before she was born was bad, but this baby was named on the way to the hospital!

We arrived at the hospital two hours before the surgery as requested, only to be informed that an emergency c-section had delayed our surgery time by a couple of hours. We were ushered into this huge room to wait. The room, which was actually larger than the surgery room, had a bed and IV supplies in one corner, a closet in the other corner for other supplies, and in the third corner was a toilet. The toilet was not in a separate room. No, it was simply separated from the rest of the room by a curtain. The curtain, I would come to discover, was not large enough to totally block the view of the room, nor did it go very far to the floor. Needless to say, there was not much privacy. Our funny nurse informed us, “That was designed by a man!”

So I changed into the first gown, got strapped to the monitors (why I needed to be monitored is beyond me. I mean, we had no reason to believe baby was in distress. I guess it’s just standard protocol in the Labor and Delivery wing).

And we waited. For two hours. Watching who knows what on the tiny TV hanging across the room. We didn’t bring in our computers because that would be something else to keep track of in and out of the surgery room. We were a bit bored.

Finally, it was time. I had to change into a different gown, one made out of paper that was stifling hot, and walk down to the surgery room. When I walked into the room I started to feel a bit panicked. There is a LOT of equipment in a surgical room, and you suddenly realize there is no turning back. I think there is definitely a benefit to being knocked out before you go into surgery for most other types of surgery.

I got myself up on the table and the anesthesiologist administered the spinal. It took a few minutes and I was panicking. I had just read literally that morning of a friend on facebook whose cousin or some other relative had a c-section and the anesthetic did not work. I was paranoid that would happen to me!

They had me lay down and suddenly I felt like I was going to pass out. I told the anesthesiologist and he informed me that my blood pressure had dropped from 160/100 to 100/50. He gave me a shot of something and elevated my head to fix that and I was fine.

The spinal worked as it was supposed to, they got me all scrubbed and draped, and they brought Tim in. I did not know they had started the incision until I heard my doctor say, “We have a breech baby. Nicole, was she breech?” The answer was no, she was not as of two days prior to the surgery.

Then, I heard the doctor ask for fundal pressure. Apparently the baby’s head was stuck up in my ribs and one of the nurses had to push and push while the doctor tugged on her feet to get her out. I could not see any of this, but I could feel my body shaking. Then, the shaking stopped and she was out.

She did not cry right away. That made me a little crazy, but then she was crying, and so was I. It was a long journey to have her here safely, and I was just so happy she was out, she was crying, and she appeared healthy.

It made me crazy that I could not see her. The way the drapes were it was impossible for me to see her. Even when Tim brought her over, I could only see the top of her head.

My first thought was, “She is so tiny!” Miss M weighted in at 10 lb, 4 oz, and we expected this baby to be about the same size. She did not look like a10 pounder at all. I was also surprised that she had little hair compared to Miss M. The ultrasound gal at my doctor had told me multiple times that she had a lot of hair, so I was expecting another full head of hair.

At this point they took her out and Tim went with. Finishing up the surgery took a while because there was another procedure they had to do. I was so anxious to meet my baby and actually look at her! I had made it very clear to the nurse that I wanted her with me ASAP after the surgery. When I had Miss M, they kept her for three hours after surgery!

While they were finishing everything, the nursery called down and gave us her stats. Carlie Grace was 8 lb, 9 oz, 20 inches long. Everyone kept saying how that was a “good size,” but all I could think was how small she was!

We went into the recovery room, and I reiterated that I wanted the baby soon. Within an hour of having her, she was in my arms. She nursed immediately and perfectly. It was like a dream come true!

It took about two hours to finish the recovery and get wheeled into the actual room where we would stay for our hospital stay.

All in all, it was an uneventful delivery. She is here, she is perfect, and we are thrilled!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Finish Line

Today, I had my last prenatal appointment with my wonderful doctor. It was short and sweet. Baby didn't pass the NST but she passed the long ultrasound so no worries. She's head down, contractions have begun, and she could come any time between now and my scheduled surgery Thursday.

I am feeling a tad emotional. This has been a very long, drawn out process. I am so grateful that none of the horrible complications that she was watching for happened. Sometimes, I feel a little foolish for being worried now that we are "done" (although there is still a risk of developing HELLPS or Pre-eclampsia in me after delivery), but when you have been down that path before, it is hard not to remember everything when similar things start happening.

Baby is almost here. I am almost ready to hold her in my arms. I have been longing for this day since November of 2010 when we said goodbye to our last baby so suddenly and so unnaturally. There have been so many emotional ups and downs in this process. Wondering if we were truly pregnant at the beginning when my numbers were going whacky. Waiting through signs of a miscarriage and wondering if baby would make it. Dealing with the blood pressure starting to creep up at 12 weeks and stay up throughout the process. Seeing the high risk people, doing test after test after test, and now, at the end, all of these crazy appointments.

We are done. She is almost here. And this mommy is feeling a bit teary.

Today I did my preliminary blood work and registration at the hospital. A couple of the people I interacted with asked if I was disappointed about the third girl. Honestly, when you have been down the path we have, how can you be? She is apparently healthy, full term, and almost here. How can you be disappointed in the gender God chose for her?

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Letter to Baby Girl

Dear Baby,

We are so ready to meet you! In just a few short days, you will be here. You have a family waiting to greet you with open arms, a daddy ready for you to wrap around his little finger, and two big sisters who are waiting to teach you all about fancy shoes, princesses, and ponies.

Most of all, you have a mommy who cannot wait to hold you. I have been waiting for this day for two long years, ever since your little brother or sister was taken from me so unexpectedly. You are loved, you are wanted, you are treasured, and you are not even here yet. I am ready to breathe that sigh of relief when you are finally here, safe and sound, and complications are no longer a concern.

The doctor says you have a lot of hair. You look chubby in your pictures. I envision you look like your big sister Miss M, more so than Miss N. Will you have brilliant blue eyes like M, piercing, thoughtful gray-blue eyes like N, or green eyes like your momma? Will the name we have chosen for you fit? I'm not as in love with it as your sisters' names, and somehow I wonder if we will change at the last minute when we see your little face.

I wonder how your sisters will respond. They are excited, but your littlest big sister has been having a hard time with mommy not being her normal self these past few days. Will she transition into the big sister role easily? I hope so. I imagine your biggest big sister will love you, but not be totally sure what to do with you. Babies don't do a whole lot at the beginning after all.

Of course, there are other questions too. Will we discover something unexpected when you are born? With all of the ultrasounds we've had, it's hard to imagine, but I suppose it could happen. Will you be making your appearance early after all, or waiting until Thursday? Will you be as big as mommy feels you are, or will you surprise us and be only six or seven pounds?
But truthfully, none of the answers to those questions matter. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, however you look when you are finally here, and we cannot wait to meet you.

Thursday. It feels so far away. Mommy is almost done with work, and I wonder how I will fill these next few days while we wait. Waiting is hard, but I know that soon, oh so soon, I will have you in my arms. And I cannot wait.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

38 weeks update

Here it is. My last pregnancy update. I don't think I will make one next week with baby coming the day after. It's been a long, somewhat eventful pregnancy, and I cannot wait to meet this new little princess! I also cannot believe that she will be here NEXT WEEK! A week from tomorrow. At this point, all of the extra testing just seems silly, but I suppose it is worthwhile to ensure we are not missing something obvious at the very tail end of this process. 

How far along? 38 weeks!

Maternity clothes? Yes, and frankly, none of them fit. Miss N told me yesterday, "Um, mom, I think you need to get some longer shirts." Baby has dropped and it's hard to cover the belly up!

Sleep: Not too shabby.

Best moment this week: Spending the morning with my sad baby girl. She is much better now! And my bp did not spike.

Movement: Steady and strong.

Milestones: I think she is finally head down and planning to stay that way.

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Nothing incredibly new to report.

What I miss: Not sitting on the couch all day

What I am looking forward to: Having a baby next week!

Weekly Wisdom: Sometimes, your kiddos just need their mommy.

Complications Update: nothing new. Everything is staying stable and she keeps testing well so it looks like the 17th is d-day!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sad Baby Girl

So, if you read my last update post, then you know that i have been put on modified bed rest, if you will. Basically, I am supposed to sit as much as possible, no grocery shopping, chores, etc. I can still leave the house, if need be, to go to church or pick up the kids from school, but that's it.

This is hard.

I  am not tallented enough to parent from the couch. My kids are not yet self sufficient enough to get much of what they need for themselves. So, this arrangement has forced me to find care options for them.

And one of them is having a VERY hard time with it all.

Yesterday, I had to go in to the hospital because I had a very high spike in BP. My in-laws came and got the girls and took them to church, and I was explaining what was happening. Miss M, my younger one, started sobbing. She just wants mommy. She just wants her normal routine. I buckled in my baby sobbing her head off, you know, the big chocking sobs. It was so hard.

Then, this morning I was explaining the plan for the week. Unless my doctor decides 37 weeks is fine and we have a baby this week, my parents are coming this weekend just so that we can have some sanity and a bit of our normal routine back. But, until then, we decided the best option was to send the kids to school full day. I can pick them up around 4 and then I will only have an hour that I will need to tend to everything without Tim. Since I am not on full bed rest, this should be OK.We have people willing to babysit, but this seems to be the closest to the normal routine, and saves quite a bit of driving time since most of the people who have volunteered live by our church, which sadly we are not close to.

So, I was explaining what the plan would be for the week. Miss N was so excited. She has been dreaming about staying at school all day, like it is some sort of rare privilege. Miss M melted into a puddle of tears.

"But, I just want to be wif you mommy."

Now, how on earth am I supposed to respond to that? She's three. Yes, she needs to "buck up" or whatever, but she's three. It broke my heart into tiny pieces. I tried to explain it would just be for a couple of days and then grandma and grandpa would be here and it would all be back to normal. She spent most of the morning clinging to my leg and sobbing.

I am ready to be done with this pregnancy and be back to being a mommy!

Now, even writing all of this, I realize that many people have it much worse. I have one friend working on her sixth month of bed rest, and a newly adopted four-year-old at home. I have others who cannot have babies. I have others who are dealing with preemies and all that comes from that. I know I have so much to be thankful for, and I am thankful. I am thankful that we are in the safe zone, that really my pregnancy has not been dangerous in spite of the complications and the "could haves," and I am thankful that the bed rest is working.

But when your baby is crying because she wants you, it still makes your heart ache.

Soon, sweet child, life will be back to our crazy version of normal. Soon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

36 weeks update

How far along? 36 weeks!

Maternity clothes? Do you really have to ask?

Sleep: Not too shabby.

Best moment this week: Finding out my 24 hour test got better? I guess that means that all the complications are not making me ill. Oh, and getting a new gig that I think will be really good for the post-baby period when my schedule will be up in the air.

Movement: Steady and strong.

Milestones: All major organ work is done. Now she's just gaining weight.

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Contractions have actually slowed down.

What I miss: Not getting told how huge I am by complete strangers.

What I am looking forward to: Um, I guess my next appointment. I keep hoping she will decide we are in a safe enough zone and say let's have a baby :)

Weekly Wisdom: I got nothing.

Complications Update: So, they changed my medication dose, but it didn't have much of an effect. I am still spiking quite a bit later in the day. So, I am now on mostly bed rest. It's not full bed rest - she said I can go to church, pick up the kids from school, but otherwise I need to have my tush glued to the couch. Thankfully, between the school being willing to work with me and the wonderful church family we have, I think we will be OK until we can have this baby. My mom can come at a moment's notice too so if we need to have her this week, all will be OK. My doctor actually hinted we could do it now, but that there was still a little risk of a NICU stay at 36 weeks. So I am pushing for the 37 week mark just to be on the safe side. However, if I get any readings above certain levels, I have to call RIGHT NOW. So, it could be sooner rather than later. . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

35 weeks update

How far along? 35 weeks!

Maternity clothes? Yep! I had to try on four shirts this morning before I found one that would cover my bump with the capris I am wearing. Sigh.

Sleep: Working too much.

Best moment this week: When my doctor hinted we might not make it until May 17. Let's face it, the last month of pregnancy is not comfy. I wouldn't mind having this baby a couple of weeks early. Also, the way Miss M's face lit up when she thought I said the baby was coming out. She really, really wants to meet her baby sister.

Movement: Remember how I said she wasn't moving as much. Yeah, well, she got over that. She was moving so much during my last NST that they had to keep repositioning the sensor and I had to wait forever before they got the reading they needed.

Milestones: All major organ work is done. Now she's just gaining weight.

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Lots and lots of contractions, but not too uncomfortable.

What I miss: Energy

What I am looking forward to: Finding out the results of my latest 24 hour collection. This could mean we keep on trucking or it could mean we push for an earlier delivery. I was hoping they woudl call today but no. Since my doctor is not in on Thursdays, I will probably have to wait until my appointment Friday. Also, baby shower at my church this Saturday.

Weekly Wisdom: I got nothing.

Complications Update: My bp was high at my Tuesday appointment, and that fact combined with the contractions means that we might have to go early. But we might not. It's all a waiting game at this point. I would be happy if we got to 36 weeks. Of course, I have no newborn and few 0 to 3 month clothing so going early would mean a shopping trip, but I am ready to be done.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

34 weeks update

How far along? 34 weeks! Miss N was born at 34 weeks, 1 day, which is today. I am so thankful to not be there at this point! But, I also feel very strongly that we are now in the "safe" zone.

Maternity clothes? Yep. Getting down to only a few shirts that fit. I will NOT buy more!

Sleep: Not enough. I'm cranky.

Best moment this week: Got to see my doctor again. It's been like two weeks. I cracked up when I mentioned I was not impressed with the high risk doctor I saw last week. She went off on that doctor! Apparently she (the high risk doctor) doesn't have much of a reputation.

Movement: She is definitely not moving as much. I have been doing kick counts which I never did with the other kids.

Milestones: She's head down! Doesn't really matter since I am having a c-section but that means she's getting ready for birth!

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: No signs of labor, but lots of practice contractions. They wear me out!

What I miss: Feeling normal. I am so uncomfortable! My back, hips, abdomen, and other areas just hurt, constantly. Getting up off of the couch to attend to the girls is so painful! I feel like an old woman! The doctor said it's because it's my third baby. How do people have 8+ kids and not go crazy!

What I am looking forward to: Meeting this little girl in five weeks!

Weekly Wisdom: Sometimes, you have to apologize to your kids. Sometimes, you lose your cool. Apologies and hugs really do heal.

Complications Update: Bp is starting to go up. The High risk doctor said this will happen at about 33-34 weeks. I am starting to swell at night, but that's normal. I am not sure if this is complications or just what happens at the end of pregnancy. Baby didn't pass an NST this week, but she passed the biophysical profile (ultrasound) so she was deemed fine. Lots and lots of monitoring, but we look to still be in the clear.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

33 Weeks Update


I think she is going to take after Miss M with that round face. Definitely filling out.

Ok, so I missed a few weeks. It's been busy, what can I say?

How far along? 33 weeks! In my first pregnancy I was in the hospital on horrible drugs and awaiting my girl's lungs to develop enough that they could deliver me. So thankful to be where I am right now!

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Hot flashes, potty breaks, and crazy dreams mean poor sleep. normal at this stage in the game.

Best moment this week: Um, the floors are done! Also, got a 3D picture of her sweet face.

Movement: She is definitely not moving as much. No one but me seems worried by this.

Milestones: Growth ultrasound showed her to be 5 lb, 1 oz, and they said I don't need to come back to the high risk ward. Still waiting to see if my doctor is done monitoring her growth. . .

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Contractions have started, at least I think that's what they are. Nothing regular, but I don't think I ever had contractions until I was induced with Miss N and never with Miss M. They make me tired.

What I miss: My energy!

What I am looking forward to: Hopefully seeing my doctor next week. Haven't seen her in a few weeks due to unforeseen things like sickness and emergency c-sections. I don't enjoy repeating my entire history over and over or being told I am a "good girl" by the stupid nurse practitioner. I am not 12.

Weekly Wisdom: Sometimes, your three year old needs extra snuggles. Give them to her.

Complications Update: Well, proteins in my urine were not a concern to the high risk doctor. I am being monitored twice a week but bp seems to be holding steady. I am beginning to get the impression that all of this monitoring, scares, etc., is going to end up being for nothing. Oh well. I guess it is better safe than sorry when we are talking about bringing a new life into this world.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wow, But She's So Big!

I have two children, and most of the people who read this blog know them. One is petite, and one is not. That is why they are often mistaken for twins. The younger one is as tall as the older one, and unless someone has an unexpected growth spurt, she will be taller within a year or so.

They are both healthy and at a good weight for themselves. I have asked the doctor about this. I have wondered about childhood obesity with my “big” child and failure to thrive with my “small” child, but they are both on their personal growth curves and have been for a while. He is happy with their growth.

So, lately, I have been thinking about this. The younger child is always exclaimed over, “She can’t be three, she’s so big for three!” “Wow, she’s a big girl!” “Oh I thought she was five!”

I wonder, do these comments sink in? We do not use the word “fat” in our house, even though I definitely could fall into that category. We talk about exercise and healthy food. We try to encourage healthy behaviors. But one child is, undeniably, bigger than the other. It’s just in her genetic makeup. My kids have a lot of tall genes in their heritage, one just failed to get any of them. And, for the record, the "bigger" child is not overweight, nor does she have a BMI issue. She is just genetically "big."

I know that body image is a very real thing for kids, and that it is becoming an issue at younger and younger ages. I know this because I taught. I know this because I was a kid with a body image issue. I want to protect my daughters from this struggle, yet people are already making comments about their bodies. Comparing them to each other. It hurts me.

I was always the “big” kid in my class. Looking back at pictures, I absolutely was not overweight, but I felt like I was. I remember feeling this way from about fifth grade on. I was not petite, I developed early, and, well, other people in my class were slim and trim. I probably never in my life wore a size 2, but many of the girls throughout my junior high years did. I was also tall, which when you are taller than all of the boys in your class is not always a good thing.

I remember being self conscious about my size. I do not want that for my daughters, any of them. But, when people are already making comments about how “big” she is, and I even catch myself doing the same thing, I wonder. Is the damage being done now? If they continue to follow their growth curves, my younger child will have a small, petite older sister she towers over. How will she feel about that? How will I help her accept herself as she is? She already weighs more than big sis. How is she going to feel when she realizes what that means, exactly?

But, more importantly, what do I do now? What do I say to the well-meaning older ladies at the store who make comments? How do I assure my little girl that she is fearfully and wonderfully made without being rude to these strangers?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hooooooop It!

Last night the girls made up a basketball game. N would pass the ball to M across the living room, then M would dribble it to the front door and "shoot" it at the wall. I thought I heard N yell "Hoop it, hoop it M!" so I peeked my head in the room. Sure enough, N was cheering her sister on: "Dribble it, dribble it, now throw it. HOOP IT M! HOOP IT! Yeah! You hooped it!"

This, of course, meant "shoot it." as in "shoot a basket." I was cracking up! Then this morning she tossed her jammies up on her top bunk, "Mommy, I love to hoop it!"

You just keep hooping it sweet girl, and loving your life and your sister!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

31 weeks update

How far along? 31 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Slept through the night two days in a row this week!!!

Best moment this week: Finding out that my doctor still thinks we will go to term, just with lots of extra monitoring.

Movement: Slowing down a little, but any time I get worried I can get her to move :)

Milestones: On my babycenter week-by-week email I got notice that she should be about 3.3 pounds this week. She was 3.5 at my ultrasound three weeks ago. We grow 'em big! We also have a NAME!

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Nope. A few Braxton Hicks but they are going away.

What I miss: My house not being a construction zone. Tim is working hard and doing a great job, but this flooring is taking longer than we thought it would!

What I am looking forward to: Finishing this pregnancy.

Weekly Wisdom: It's ok to relax sometimes. In fact, if you don't, your doctor may just prescribe it ;)

Complications Update: Ok, so, my 24-hour test came back with proteins. That means that my kidneys are not functioning properly. Now, there are two things that could cause this - the high blood pressure and my little adventure in dehydration land over the weekend (which landed my in the hospital). Regardless, this has caused me to be sent in for a consult with the high risk people again. She thinks maybe we need to adjust my medication, but every time they have increased it I have gotten really dizzy and feeling like I am going to faint. My doctor thinks that it is NOT pre-eclampsia and does not anticipate putting me in the hospital or on bed rest, she also thinks we will make it to 39 weeks and a full-term delivery. However, the kidney and blood pressure issue and even the pre-eclampsia do put me at higher risk for placenta failure or placenta previa, not to mention HELLP disease. So, because of that, I have to be monitored very closely.

This means twice a week visits to the doctor for two-hour appointments where they do a non-stress test, ultrasound, blood pressure check, and measure the baby. I am so blessed to have good friends. I have already had two offer to help with Miss M during this time so I can go on non-work days. The school also said I maybe could add her to the days she does not come, depending if they are full or not. I am not sure what we are going to do - need to make wise choices because Miss M still needs time with her mommy too. Also, with gas being $4 a gallon, I am not thinking that driving all over town (most of my church friends live in a different town) is a good use of my money, but putting her in school five days per week is not a good use of my time as a mommy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quotes from Big Sis Miss M

Miss M is excited about becoming a big sister. Here are a few quotes.

"Mommy, da baby will cry, and I will give her a nuk nuk, a kiss, and a drink in her bottle. Then she not cry."

"Mommy, the doctor gonna cut your belly like this (hand running across belly), take da baby out, then stick your belly back on. You gonna have an owie." (this after I explained how the baby comes out after she asked some fairly detailed questions. I explained both types of birth but this one is definitely easier for her to grasp at 3.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

30 weeks update

How far along? 30 weeks. For some reason, this feels like a milestone.

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: So tired. Enough said.

Best moment this week: At church Sunday the baby was moving so I took M's hand and put it on my tummy. Her face was so sweet. She got this look of wonder in her eyes and just smiled so big. I love that.

Movement: Still very active.

Milestones: passed the glucose test!

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Nope

What I miss: My energy. Do you know where it went?

What I am looking forward to: Not much. We are getting to have lots and lots of testing weekly from here on out. Oh boy!

Weekly Wisdom: My children do not like me to cry. It makes them cry.

Complications Update: Today my bp was up at my appointment, and I have had some higher readings this week. I can get them down if I sit for a while, but my life does not involve a lot of sitting. I have also been swelling some at night. SO my doctor is starting more aggressive testing. I have another 24-hour test to do tomorrow into Friday, then weekly non-stress tests and ultrasounds to monitor growth. It makes me tired just to think of it. This is the first time I have felt concerned that something could be happening way earlier than expected. Honestly, I am overwhelmed. I have no place for this baby yet (of course, if things go south she will be in the NICU for a while which I don't even want to think about. How on earth do you do the NICU with children at home? I know people who have done it. . . but I don't know how we would swing it!)

I have so much to do to be ready for this baby. We need a dresser, and would prefere not to buy the cheap new one we can afford but rather a sturdy used one. I haven't even thought about going through the clothes yet, because there is nowhere to put them. The big girls' room is far from done, and Tim is still working (hard) on our flooring. He's doing a great job but it's taking way too long. I wanted to do this prep while my mom was here and it just didn't happen. I am overwhelmed, wishing for a little more time and a little bit of help :(

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

One of "Those" Days

It wasn’t really a bad day.

Just one of those days I question my decision to become a parent, and especially to become a mom of three. And one of those days that solidified my desire to be the mom of ONLY three.

First, let’s set the stage. It all started with the time change. Now, my kiddos are older, and they have taken time changes in stride before. Not this time. This one has thrown them for a loop and they are just, shall we say, off. It doesn’t help that the great bunk bed transition has made for a little less sleep all around. They are adjusting beautifully to sharing a room, though.

Add in a Monday. Mondays are hard. Sundays are busy, and we are tired on Mondays. This Mom-of-the-Year scheduled a checkup on a Monday. During quiet/nap time. Mistake #1.

So, we pick up big sis from school and she is in a mood. Daddy warned us that she was tired when he dropped her off, and this was not a bit changed. After warning after warning that she will be laying down before we leave if she did not adjust her attitude, she finally did adjust.

So, we head home. Mistake #2 (at least in their eyes), mommy does not offer junk food for lunch. Apparently healthy sandwiches and fruit are no longer desired, but only spaghettios. Oye.

After a compromised lunch (homemade lunchables), we commence to play. At this point, Mommy thinks the day is going to be just fine. We play well together for a while, mommy gets some work done, and we pack up to leave (on time!) for the appointment.

We play nicely in the lobby until we get called back. We get put in the room with minimal books (uh oh) and children commence to playing “store” with the books that are in there. The nurse asks her questions, and leaves. So far, so good.

Then, the kids get bored.

When they were younger, my oldest was typically a mild child. She would sit on my lap and let me read those same books over and over until the doctor came. The younger one would happily sit in the stroller and eat cheerios.

No longer so. Now, they are wild children. After “store” got boring, we started tossing a toy we brought from home back and forth. Innocent, yes? Until tossing ended up meaning all of the paper from the exam table got pulled off. So, we tried to set up a different tossing zone, only this ended up being “let’s run the doctor’s stool around the room and crash into the walls as hard as we can.” Of course, our wait is much longer this time than normal, so by the time the doctor comes, we are completely and totally riled up.

Now, lest we think that mommy was not trying to ward off this scenario, we talked about what to do when the doctor came before he showed up. We talked about sitting down, talking quietly, and looking at books so mommy could talk to the doctor. I had some concerns to discuss with him, and I needed some sanity.

This, though, was not at all what they did. And the thing is, they were not being “bad.” They were just being kids. Wild, crazy, energetic kids who are ready for some outside time in a bad way.

While I was talking to the doctor, we once again pulled all of the paper off the exam table. Oye.

And to think I used to pride myself in how well behaved my kids were at the doctor.

Finally, we were done, and we headed out with sugar-loaded lollipops in tow.

Enter, Mistake #3. Mommy decides to swing into the Goodwill to look at dressers, as we need one badly and are not on this end of town often.

The Goodwill is not a store to shop at with children. It is not kid friendly. It does not have any entertainment value.

After assessing the fact that there were, in fact, no dressers, but the 1970s inspired rocking chair was, according to my children, quite comfortable, mommy made Mistake #4 – deciding to glance at the maternity clothes. See, I am outgrowing my stash, and since we are likely done having babies, I don’t wish to buy new ones to use for two months. So, low and behold, they had some clothes. Only, they were only 90 cents. I cannot use my debit card on two 90-cent shirts. Thus, we “had” to look at a few kid’s items.

In reality, my kids behaved well, they were just hyper and crawling in and out of racks. I really don’t blame them, because after all there was nothing to do. But, it was bit much.

So, lesson learned – we are not going to Goodwill when we are already tired and bored and energetic, and the next time we go to the pediatrician, we will bring the Leapsters.

And this mommy needs a nap.

I guess, in the end, we all have days like this as parents. I am blessed to parent two beautiful girls who are tremendous blessings and overall very well behaved. No one can be perfect all of the time, right?

On a side note, how on earth do you allow kids to be kids while still teaching them appropriate times for craziness and appropriate times for sitting and being quiet?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Sixth Birthday!


Five years ago tomorrow, I became a mother. Miss N arrived six weeks early and spent the first 13 days of her life in the NICU. I was a new mom who was unsure of everything, and she had the privilege of being my "guinea pig." In many ways she still is. :) She has grown into a smart, sassy, sensitive child who I love more than life itself. Thank you for introducing me to motherhood, sweet girl, and for growing into a sweet youngster.
Natalie: One Year Old



Natalie: Two Years Old

Natalie: Three Years Old

Natalie: Four Years Old!

Natalie: Five years old!


Natalie: Almost six years old

At six, she is very grown up all of a sudden. She is questioning things and less willing to accept my answer as fact. It is challenging and exciting to see her become even more her own person with her own ideas.

Here are some accomplishments over the last year:

Starting kindergarten

Becoming friends with her sister

Learning to add

Riding a bike (albeit with training wheels)
Learning to ride a pony
Discovering a passion and aptitude for Legos
Moving up a level in swimming lessons
Discovering a passion for art
Counting to 100
Counting by 10s, 5s, and 2s

Dear Miss N,

You are a beautiful girl with a big heart. You are always willing to share with others, as long as it is not required of you. You love with your whole self and feel it deeply when you have to say goodbye to someone or something that is precious to you.

You are an amazing big sister. I am so proud to see the way you have really learned to love your sister. You are also teaching her to stand up for herself with some of your efforts to get her to do what you think is best during your play, but all in all you are her best friend, and I love to see that in you.

You have a passion for nature and animals and are very comfortable around them. I remember when we went to the county fair and the farmer invited you into the cow's stall to see the baby calf. You had no fear even though that cow was a hundred times your size. You went right in and handeld yourself well. You have no fear around horses and know what to do and how to treat them. Pony camp and pony lessons helped with that.

You have an insatiable curiosity that is sometimes exhausting to your momma, but that I love nonetheless. You want to know everything you can about everything, and when mommy doesn't know the answer and cannot find it, you get frustrated. Do not worry, sweet child, soon you will know how to look up the answers for yourself, but for now I welcome the chance to teach you a bit.

You enjoy life to the fullest. Your passion is creating new and beautiful things. Every morning the first thing you do is pull out the crayons, paper, and scissors to create some sort of masterpiece before you go to school. Making a "project" is one of your favorite activities.

School is your favorite thing about life. You love your friends and your teachers and are truly thriving. While sometimes I miss you like nothing else when you are away, I am so thankful that you are doing so well in school.

As you turn six and continue growing into the young woman God has for you, I pray that you will allow Him to mold your sensitivity into something He can use. I pray that you will continue to love deeply and completely, and that your relationship with your sister will continue to blossom into the "best friend" thing I am seeing now.

I love you Natalie Joy, and you will always and forever be my first baby girl.

Love,
Mommy

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

29 weeks









Well, we are nearing the 3rd trimester. I think it is next week. The further along we go, the happier I am to still be pregnant and really fairly uncomplicatedly so. Here's the update for this week:

How far along? 29 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: not so good this week due to a reaction to all of the dust in the air from our NEW FLOORING!!!!!

Best moment this week: Taking my MIL and mom to the ultrasound. The tech was able to work with us to get some face shots even though baby is plastered up against my side. She is measuring in the 75th percentile at 3 lbs, 5 oz., which is ahead of target for her. The main concern with the high bp on the baby's end is her not growing, so she is growing well and that makes me happy.

Movement: Still very active. At my last OB appointment they couldn't get the heart rate because she was moving so much (I blame the drink from the glucose test. . .

Milestones: Not sure

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Nope

What I miss: Not thinking about bp all the time.

What I am looking forward to: Finding out the results of my glucose test.

Weekly Wisdom: Even though I am not the best housekeeper, having my house up in shambles is something that makes me very cranky, even though it is a good cause. We did lots of getting out and about this weekend.

Complications Update: Everything still looks great.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hiccups

Tonight the baby had the hiccups and I was letting Miss M feel it. I wish I could have videoed her response. First, when she felt one her eyes got huge and she said, "I feeled it!" Then she felt some more and she said, "She has the hicumups. Like me. I get the hicumups too." Then, she got this very worried look on her face. "Is her getting sick?" I assured her the baby was fine and hiccups were good for babies, then she gave me a huge, excited hug. She is going to be a great big sister.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

28 Weeks

How far along? 28 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep. And starting to outgrow some :(

Sleep: Sleeping HARD. Tim even heard one of the kids before I did this week.

Best moment this week: Last night I was working and just happened to have my hand on my belly. I felt a definite elbow or knee (I'm thinking elbow unless she flipped from her last ultrasound) rub across my belly. I don't remember ever feeling that before.

Movement: Still very active. Seems to be the most active from about 7 until 9. Not keeping me up with movement though.

Milestones: Definitely movement can be felt from the outside now.

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Nope

What I miss: Being able to walk without waddling. The hip pain is in full swing. Oye.

What I am looking forward to: Getting new floors this week!!!!

Weekly Wisdom: Mommy is much more plesant when the dogs do not sleep in the master bedroom. Just sayin'.

Complications Update: Nothing new to report. Everything seems on track, swelling is minimal, and I have the Gestational diabetes test Friday. Curious about that one as I am definitely having issues if I don't get enough protein and get too much sugar.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fearful

My husband has been working hard to get the big girls' room ready for the big move-in. We are redoing it quite a bit so that Miss N does not feel like Miss M is "invading" her space. It is going very well and I am so thankful for a husband who works hard all day doing manual labor and comes home and is willing to do it all again, but with kids underfoot.

Yet I find myself fearful. It is time to start preparing for this baby. I mean, she is coming in less than 12 weeks max, and it takes time to redo things around the house when you have little ones underfoot. But, the "what if" thoughts are overwhelming.

What if we are doing all of this and we are not able to keep this baby. What if my bp goes crazy, the placenta dies, and she dies. What if. . .

I am sure many pregnant moms feel these thoughts, but I don't remember having them with either of my other girls. This time is still different. The loss makes it different. The Reality that sometimes, things do not go as planned makes it different.

She will have quiet, still periods, which I do know is normal, and I will get fearful. I will reach for some sugar or jiggle my belly to try to wake her up and get her to move. She usually obliges. Sometimes I will pray for a little, reassuring kick. She usually obliges. But, I wish I wasn't so fearful. I was reading online the other day about someone who lost a baby due to a chord accident at 27 weeks. I was reminded we are never truly "out of the woods." That is scary.

I do feel better being in viability zone. I do feel better with how stable everything seems right now. Yet, I wonder if it is ever possible to really, truly relax when you are expecting a rainbow baby?

This I know. My God is in control. He is trustworthy. He has blessed recently in ways I can never possibly hope to explain. His word says, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee." This is a verse I share with N quite often. It is a verse I am clinging to now.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Carrying on a Legacy

When I was a little girl, my mom read to me. She read "big" books, like Black Beauty, the Secret Garden, and even a few Nancy Drew. Long after I learned to read, I treasured these times of her reading to me.

I have been waiting anxiously for the chance to carry on that legacy with my own children. We have read to them since they were old enough to enjoy it, but reading Mr. Brown Can Moo for the umpteenth time is not the same as progressing through a novel with your child.

Miss N, who is almost six, is finally ready. She has shown some interest in chapter books for a while, so we tried one about a puppy who ran away from home. Even with the interruptions of Christmas, she liked the story and was able to remember from session to session.

But now. Now I get to share true literature with my child. Together, we have cracked open the pages of one of my all time favorite stories: Misty of Chincoteague.


My girl is perhaps as horse crazy as I was as an older child. She loves everything about horses, so this book is perfect.

So far we are just two chapters in, basically to the introduction. We have not met the kids yet. We have not met the Phantom yet. And we certainly have not met Misty, but I am thrilled. I cannot wait to delve into this book with my girl and experience the magic of the friendly filly through her eyes for the first time.

Next up: The Chronicles of Narnia.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

26/27 Weeks

Oops, missed a week! Tim's grandmother passed away this past week on February 17 at 93. We have enjoyed time with family looking back over a life well lived. I did not know her well, but after hearing stories about her I realize that she left an excellent legacy and I am thankful for her life. But, all of these events plus the sickness (it was N's turn and my turn this past week for the tummy flu) have left me with little blogging interest. So here's a double update :)

How far along?
27 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep. And starting to outgrow some :(

Sleep: Starting to get a bit uncomfy.

Best moment this week: At the funeral yesterday, our niece played a violin solo. This baby does not respond to music the way her sisters did, but she went nuts when the violin was playing. She settled right down as soon as it stopped, too. Interesting.

Movement: Still very active. It is not bothering me, but I do find it interesting that my doctor has commented on how active she is at my last two appointments. So, I am thinking she will take after her younger older sister rather than her oldest sister. . .

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Nope

What I miss: Sleep. Chalk it up to the dogs again this time, not sick kids, but it's been a while.

What I am looking forward to: Having my mom and MIL at my next ultrasound in early March.

Weekly Wisdom: Be careful what you discuss at my OB's office. The walls are paper thin. I had a very interesting time yesterday listening to another patient's appointment the next room over. Makes me wonder what other people overheard about me, especially when we had the tubal.

Milestones: No new ones to report.

Complications Update: Everything seems OK. The dizziness I was having was likely due to the pending stomach flu rather than blood pressure.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rambling Thoughts


Sometimes, I feel entirely inadequate as a mom. I mean, I have these two, soon to be three, precious souls who depend on me for so much, and so many times I fall short.

I see the moms on Pinterest, Facebook, blogs who sit on the floor playing for hours on end, no laptops or deadlines in sight I see the spotlessly clean houses and “easy organizational steps” and look around my hopelessly cluttered house, even sometimes dirty house, realizing I will never attain that level of perfection. I read about moms making homemade kefir and sourdough bread from scratch and sigh as I pop a frozen pizza in the oven – again – because the meat for dinner did not thaw fast enough or someone needed an emergency run to urgent care.

But truthfully, those things are superficial. Where I really feel my failure is in the fact that I often do not feel connected to my kids. I am happy when they are playing on their own or napping. I do not long for them to wake up so we can play. I do not burst with creative ideas for engaging games we can do together. I turn on the TV far too often. I do not revel in the chance to play I Spy for the 100th time. I love them as much as life itself, but I do not always feel like I connect with them.


Then there is work. Work and parenting seem to be in direct conflict with one another. I can be a good writer or I can be a good mom, but some days it does not feel like I can be both. I know what my priority should be, and I try to keep that in mind at all times, yet we need this income. Private school is expensive. Healthy food is expensive. Doctor’s bills are expensive. Mommy has to work.

I do not feel like a good mom. I do not feel like the kind of mom who wears her child on her hip like a badge of honor. In fact, I rarely wear my child on my hip – she weighs nearly 45 pounds and I am pregnant for goodness’ sake!

Yet, when my child gets sick, she wants only one person – mom. Miss M has had pneumonia and then the stomach flu back to back, so she’s had a rough time of it for a few weeks. She’s on the mend now, but she wanted nothing but mom. I sat for hours watching videos on my computer because all she wanted was mom’s touch. I was the one who knew she was not breathing right and needed to see the doctor right now.

It is in those moments when I realize an important truth: I may not do everything perfectly. There are probably many superior moms out there who would do a much better job of raising my kids creatively. But, nothing will ever change the fact that these three precious girls are mine, they need me, and I need them. In this crazy life we live, I will always be their source of comfort. I hope to be their confidant. I pray that they know that even though mommy does work a lot, mommy also loves them dearly, and I will always be here for them, even if I do not play on the floor for hours on end.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

25 Weeks

Ok, so I am late this week. It's been CRAZY around here. Doctor's appointments, pneumonia, stomach flu (both Miss M), and work work work have left little time for blogging, let alone energy for it!

Baby News: Got the official word that I have a 7:30 appointment to deliver baby on May 17. I kind of like knowing the day ahead of time. I am such a planner!

How far along? 25 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Kids are not sleeping means mommy is not sleeping.

Best moment this week: The girls got to see my belly dancing. That's still pretty rare at this stage but they got to see it. Miss M is fascinated by where the baby's parts are and asks me all the time where her head, feet, ears, etc. are. I was glad to have had a scan Monday so I knew the answer. I know where the baby is (in my belly) but I am not good at figuring out positions.

Movement: Still very active.

Gender: Confirmed Monday that she is for sure female.

Labor Signs: Nope

What I miss: Sleep.

What I am looking forward to: ?

Weekly Wisdom: ? It's been survival mode this week.

Milestones: Definitely in viability mode!

Complications Update: So, I had a growth scan Monday and she is "on track" the nurse said. She was clearly sucking her hands/thumb and that was so sweet. I also had a more complex test this week to test for proteins and sugars in my urine, and that came back clear. So, all in all, things are where they should be! Yeah!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It's All About the Attitude

Up until about a year ago, discipline was fairly straightforward in this house. The child disobeyed, there was a consequence. The child obeyed, there was praise. Simple as that.

Now, it's all about the attitude. We get obedience, but it's with a tossed head, rolled eye, and a "FINE!" The sass is quite impressive, actually.

I know this is not biblical obedience, yet I struggle with the proper way to address the behavior. We have prayed, we have had heart to heart discussions, and we have been firm, but it is not making any headway. If anything, the problem is getting worse.
Ignoring it does not work either, as it just gets louder and more persistent.
Any seasoned mommies found a way to deal with attitude?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Miss M Funnies


It's been a while since I have recorded some of the funny things my kiddos have said. Miss M is definitely in that stage at 3 1/2.

One of the cutest things she says is "bless you." Not when someone sneezes to be polite, but rather that is what she calls the sneeze. We were talking the other morning about covering our coughs, and she says, "And your bless yous?"

Part of what makes a conversation with Miss M so entertaining is the way she talks. She still doesn't quite have her pronouns right, and she has a very distinct way of saying things that is just her way.

The other day sister got her first behavior mark in school. She has been very proud of not getting any behavior marks, and she is so much like me I thought it would be devestating to her when it did happen, so I was very surprised she hadn't said anything to me. So, I asked about it. This was the conversation that followed:

Mommy: It says here you lost a snowflake. What happened?
Miss N: I was talking.
Mommy: Oh, I see.
Miss M: Natee, you need somefing, you raise your hand
Miss N: I didn't need something, I just couldn't hold it in!
Miss M: You talk out?
Miss N: Yeah, I talked out. I tried not to but it just happened! (she is very chatty so I am surprised she went this long without this problem!)
Miss M: You no talk out, my teacher say that. That naughty.

Ok, maybe it was only funny to me, but I was cracking up.

A few months ago we got this gem:

Miss M: Mommy, I's gots a best friend!
Mommy: Really? What's her name?
Miss M: Um, hers name is, I don't know!

She is very curious about the baby. From time to time she will look at me and say, "Yous gots a baby in your belly. Why yous gots a baby in there?"

She was, and sometimes still is, my challenging child in many ways, but she is so funny. I love her to pieces.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

24 weeks

Baby News: My c-section has been officially scheduled for May 17, provided we can keep all complications at bay. So mark your calendars - ha!

How far along?
24 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep. And some are starting to not cover my belly. Sigh, the joys of having a long torso while pregnant.

Sleep: Lots lots better. Not sure what the insomnia was all about but I am glad it is gone.

Best moment this week: Swelling went away!!!!!

Movement: Still very active.

Gender: She's a girl!

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Nothing really this week.

What I am looking forward to: Picking a name. We need to get on this.

Weekly Wisdom: Sometimes, it is best not to rush to the doctor when your kid is sick, no matter how hard it is!

Milestones: In the most technical sense of the word, I believe we are now considered viable.

Complications Update: So, the doctor upped my prescription again at my last appointment. It took me a few days to remember to take it properly, but then I started feeling incredibly dizzy. If I stood up, I would nearly pass out, yet when I took my bp it was normal. After a few days of this and one really bad day I called them and they are lowering the dose. At my appt. yesterday it was only 110/70, which is really low for me, even on the lower dose. Part of me wants to lower it again for myself, but I don't have confidence to do this without the doctor's oversight. I hate all of this playing with meds - my baby's life is dependent on getting this right! Waiting for another high-risk scan soon and another test this week to make sure my liver/kidneys are working properly.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

23 weeks

How far along? 23 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Slept on the couch for the first time ever. The dog was sooooo loud and I couldn't make her be quiet without waking Tim, who had already gotten up to let her out once, so I just went to the couch.

Best moment this week: My sweet big girl wrapping her arms around me when I was sobbing on the couch about a cut up check.

Movement: She's an active little thing, but is nice to her momma at night so far. Miss M would kick me all night long! I don't remember about Miss N.

Gender: She's a girl!

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Walking without hip pain. Not having swollen feet.

What I am looking forward to: Reaching viability. I think I will feel so much better!

Weekly Wisdom: If your child cuts up a huge check, the bank can reissue one, and maybe even without fees. If you receive a huge check from a client, the piano is not the place to set it. Even though your child never touches the mail and knows she is not to touch the mail, she will find it. The top of the refrigerator sounds like a safe place.

Milestones: Getting mostly over the anxiety issue (I hope!)

Complications Update: I guess I will add this category since I know there are a few of you who care. My doctor had to change my bp medication this week. It has times throughout the day where it spikes too high. Now I feel like I am on soooo much medication. She is not thrilled that I am swelling this early, so next week we do another test to make sure I am not dumping any proteins. I am also supposed to get another ultrasound at the high risk place to check growth and placenta health, I am assuming. Over all, I feel pretty good, but I am starting to feel more and more strongly that we will not make it all the way to May. Because of this, I am trying to figure out the best way to broach this subject with my brand new clients. Not an easy thing!