Friday, December 31, 2010

new year's eve

It is not quite ten o'clock.  I spent New Year's Eve with the babies and the dog while The Hubs had an appointment with a client. (Seriously? On a holiday? But anyhoo...)  I will be going to bed shortly because when you sleep for two-ish hour blocks at a time in the wee hours of the night/morning, staying up to see a ball drop and ring in the new year doesn't quite have the same appeal as it might to someone who gets a seven-or-more-hour chunk of sleep the majority of the year.  But here I am rambling.  That is nothing new. :)
This year has gone by quickly in many ways and slowly in others. I look at Bubby and Mac2.0, and I want time to sloooowwww down.  I look at my recent sleep deprivation, and I wouldn't mind the next few months going by semi-quickly.
This year has had high's and low's.

Lows:
Being lied about by someone I loved/being majorly disappointed by the behavior of others.
Ever accumulating medical bills.
Not having doors and windows opened like we had hoped in 2010 and wondering if things will get better in the coming year.
Having to put our faithful four-legged friend, Ebby, to sleep.

Highs:
Mommyhood -now times two - the poopy diapers, the temper tantrums, the medical bills that could have bought a new car and so much more... totally worth it for the baby sleeping on my chest as I type and the "mama!" I will hear once again in the morning
The blessing of amazing friendship/familyship (like that word?)
Seeing prayers answered for loved ones
Spending another year as a stay-at-home mom - I know that this may not always be possible, so I am thankful that things turned out how they did (as far as this aspect of life goes) this year

My hope is that in the coming year I will experience true joy and contentment with the people and things that really matter in my life.  And I pray the same for you, dear readers. :)

Happy New Year

Thursday, December 30, 2010

a few minutes of calm

I sit with a few minutes of calm this morning.  The Hubs went out to get us some much needed coffee (yay Christmas gift card!), Bubby is playing with his toy laptop and talking with me as I type by repeating everything his computer says (so cute!), the dog is sitting by the door, and Mac2.0 (who I am still thinking of a blog nickname for) is swaddled up and snug next to me in his Boppy.
Last night was my first evening completely on my own - no mom here any more or sister-in-law and brother stopping by.  The Hubs had four clients, so he was gone until after nine.  There were moments of insanity, which I eluded to on facebook, - such as when Bubby decided to put his Leap Frog Fridge Phonics in the dog bowl or when he decided to give his brother a book...right on his tiny little head. BUT I survived, and actually I managed to feed both boys, not kick the dog out, eat dinner myself (better late than never), play with Bubby, change several poopy diapers, and feel relatively okay by the end of the night. Most of the night went well.  A couple of moments went extremely well.
Well... I have more words but no brain cells.  Here are a couple of pictures of Mac.20 instead of more words:




Tuesday, December 28, 2010

home

We are home.  Mac2.0 came home on December 23.
I am exhausted.
He is a fabulous baby - very content and a great sleeper.
But we have to wake him up regularly to eat.
And he poops at least twelve times a day.
So I am exhausted.  More so by the rest of life than by baby.
So my blogging will be pretty sporadic.
Thank you for your prayers while we were in the NICU.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'll Be Home For Christmas???

Mac2.0 may be home for Christmas if he continues to do as well as he has done the last couple of days.  He has taken all of his feedings for the last 21 hours, so the doc said his nose tube can come out.  Then they will keep an eye on how things go for the next 72 hours or so.  If all continues to go well, The Hubs and I will then go with him to CareByParent (where we stay overnight with him in a hospital room to make sure everything is okay), and then he can come home.  This is all contingent on him having no other issues, passing his carseat test, etc.  He has been having some periodic breathing issues but not bad enough to be making him desat so they may be doing a sleep study on him and depending on how that goes he may come home on an apnea monitor like Bubby did.  Please pray that there will be no setbacks, everything will go smoothly and quickly, and we can get our little guy home soon - very soon.
It has been a very stressful last couple of days for me.  Even though the baby is doing better, I think my postpartum hormones are in full swing.  Let me tell ya, they make the progesterone emotions look like a cakewalk.  Feeling a little better this evening now that we got a potential timeline today.
We have had an amazing nurse the last two day shifts. I wish she could always be the nurse.  I really like her. I  think she may have cared for Bubby a day or two, too.  Sadly, I have not been up much to the hospital today - just once this afternoon, and I will go again tonight.  She told me when I called up this morning to not stress, she knows I am a good mom.  When I was up this afternoon she had Mac2.0 ready for a bath.  The little guy LOVED it.  He looked like he was enjoying a day at the spa, and was only upset when I took him out of the tub.
Santa came to the NICU today and so did a photographer.  The Hubs went up for that time slot.  Not sure the time frame of getting the pictures.  I do know that unless he peed on another outfit (which he has a tendency to do even when the nurses put the diapers on him), he should be wearing the very cool hand-me down turtle pajamas that Bubby got from cousin Stephanie.  (Mac2.0 that is, not the Hubs, haha.)
Well, Bubby is playing me a tune on the piano, so I better end this update.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.  

Sunday, December 19, 2010

After my pity-party yesterday, today was a better day.
Apparently last night Mac2.0 took a whole feeding from the nurse.  :)
This afternoon he took a whole ounce when I was there feeding.
He seems to be keeping his temp up a little better.
We had a really great nurse today, and the one who got him to eat last night (and seems also like a good nurse) is taking care of him tonight.
Praying he continues to make more progress and things really start clicking.

Random other thing: just like Bubby he is too long for preemie clothes.  They have him in some that the NICU has, and his skinny, long legs are squished.  I need to bring him up some newborn clothes, which he will "swim" in. :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

are we there yet?

I have not updated as much lately because honestly I am just stinkin' tired.
My life right now is: get up, pump, go to NICU, come home spend a little time with Bubby, pump, play with Bubby, make us lunch, pump, get Bubby to take a nap (and if he does try to take one too), pump, go to NICU, eat dinner, pump, go to NICU, come home hopefully in time to put Bubby to bed.
Somedays the schedule varies a little bit based on The Hubs work schedule. I may have the NICU visit at a different point in the day. On average I get there three times  day - sometimes two, sometimes four - which makes me feel horrible because I was there almost every feeding time for Bubby.  And it makes me feel horrible that I also would update this blog every day for Bubby and for Mac2.0 it is when I get around to it.
But I have a toddler at home.  And The Hubs work schedule varies unlike before.  And this is winter not summer so that just makes things different in a few ways.

Mac2.0 is still sleeping through most of his feeds.  He has a decent one now and then, and yesterday he had one really awesome round, and I got my hopes up only to have them dashed.  They moved him out of the incubator today.  We shall see if he can keep his temps up.

Today was a rough day, and I don't really know why.  Parts of my day were great.  A good friend came to visit us at the NICU today, and my sister-in-law was able to come up with me tonight.  The stres of the day wasn't really different than any other day this week, I think I am just tired of not having my baby home with me. I am tired of not seeing any progress. I am tired of feeling like the way the NICU system works my baby doesn't really have a nurse watching him/helping us very much (depending on the nurse) because the other baby they are assigned to is having bigger issues. (And I feel bad for that baby because I think he/she seems to be needing constant care and that breaks my heart for that family AND I think that baby should have a nurse all to himself/herself).  I am tired of feeling like I am not around enough for Bubby and that somehow he is getting the shaft, and I am tired of feeling like I am not around enough for Mac2.0 and that he is not getting held/touched/talked to enough.
I hate that he is not very alert when I am there (or anyone is there).  This wasn't a problem for Bubby.  Bubby had other issues, more issues actually, but the ones that Mac2.0 has break my heart just as much because I just want him to get better so he can come home.  It is a very unnatural thing for a mama to only be able to hold her newborn for a couple of hours a day - at scheduled times - with bells and whistles going off and wires attached and yellow gown on - and then at the end of the day have to leave that little baby behind in someone else's care - knowing that no matter how wonderfully trained the medical people are, that they will not watch and care for and love that little guy as much as I do.
And I think I have hit my breaking point today.  Because it sucks that my stupid uterus for some unknown reason does not keep babies inside long enough for me to have a "normal" mama-ing experience. 
And yet at the same moment I know that at some point my baby will come home, it just isn't as soon as I want.  Just this week someone I know lost their baby that was due this month.  And someone else I know is waiting for the paperwork to work out for them to bring their baby home.  And other people I know are still waiting on a baby of their own.
So I will stop this pity-party.  I just needed to vent it out.  Because I have heard from people how I am holding it together - and I am most days, most hours, most moments - but not every moment.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

poopy day - literally and figuratively

It was a poopy day in the NICU today.
We had to deal with a difficult nurse.  Very difficult.  I called this morning, first to talk to her, and then when that didn't give me the info I needed, I talked to her boss.  That made things better and worse in some ways.  So she was going to be assigned to Mac2.0 tomorrow - but The Hubs called up tonight and talked to the person in charge tonight to see that such a thing wouldn't happen.
And thankfully we are back to a wonderful nurse tonight.  And it turns out I went to college with her sister-in-law.  We were on the same floor one year.  And this nurse was once again very helpful and caring both with me and my child.
But there has been blood in baby's poop today (we didn't find out about it until our night nurse told us -- grrr).  So far there are no other warning signs/symptoms of something bad, but they will be watching it tonight and also consulting the docs.  When Bubby was in and this happened they took him off his feeds for a few days.  This is an AWFUL HEART-WRENCHING experience to watch your baby cry about his empty belly and not be able to do anything about it.
PLEASE PRAY that the poop issue resolves itself, that it is nothing serious, and that Mac2.0 will not have to be taken off of his feeds. 
It is a lonely drive home at night from the NICU when you get bad news.  When Bubby was there, The Hubs and I made those drives home together, but now with his work schedule, I made that drive alone tonight remembering and praying and trying to hold myself together.
But we know there are people lifting us up in prayer.  We are so thankful for our family and friends who are doing that for us.  It is the only way we could make it through our journey last time and again this time.  Prayer brings peace where it would otherwise be absent.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Multitude Monday 357 - the NICU edition


"Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel." Phil. 4:6-7 CEV

357. a pretty easy delivery
358. the epidural :)
359. a fantastic NICU staff that is taking excellent care of Mac2.0
360. tons of fuzzy, dark, outta-control, wild man hair on my baby boy
361. belly loops going away and being nothing
362. my mom continuing to stay here, buy groceries, cook meals, help with Bubby, etc.
363. family and friends helping, praying, encouraging
364. long baby toes and tiny baby nose
365. hope that, even with the recent setback, baby will be home soon

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dec.12 - another update

So Mac2.0 is having a little bit of a set back. He is not keeping his temperature up.  This takes a lot of his energy so at meal time he is lethargic and not taking all of his food by mouth. So they have to put a large portion down his nose tube.  Looks like he will be going back to an incubator so he doesn't burn all of his energy/calories trying to keep himself warm.  Once he gains some more weight, this should help.  But it is disappointing that his little body just isn't mature enough yet to do everything on his own.  So Homecoming Day will not be as soon as we had thought/hoped. We are thankful that even though this isn't great news, it could be so much worse.
Continued prayer for:
weight gain
energy
ability to regulate his own body temp correctly
jaundice to stay away
ability to eat on his own
digestive issues to stay away

the positives of the NICU experience

No matter the length of time or the reason for a NICU visit, it is never a good feeling to be there.  Our journey there so far with Mac2.0 is less intense (since he did "cook" for five more weeks than Bubby), but there are still ups and downs, still worries about the "what ifs," still the guilt an sadness of leaving the baby there each night, still the disappointment of not having the normal bringing baby home experience.
But there are a couple of positives that I am able to see more clearly this time around.
The medical staff at our NICU is fantastic.  The nurses are skilled and compassionate.  Those we knew from our time there with Bubby have been so sweet.  There is an additional doctor and a nurse practitioner in the NICU now, and I have been highly impressed with their knowledge, decision making, and bedside manner.  We know without a doubt this time that our little guy is an excellent care.
The other positive is the outpouring of help, support, prayers, kind thoughts, and love from our friends and family.  My parents and stepmom were able to rush down and be here this week.  My brother and sister-in-law have been extremely helpful with Bubby care.  My sister-in-law deserves an award.  our California, Illinois, and Iowa family members and old friends from college and childhood have called, left messages on facebook, texted, and have asked their friends (strangers to us) to pray for our little boy.  Our church family has surrounded us with prayer, even people i do not know that well.  I have even had an ex-aunt (formerly married to my uncle) send me a very nice message stating how she is thinking of us and praying for us.  You know who your real friends are during times like this.  And we are incredibly blessed.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

NICU update - Mac2.0 edition

I know I still need to write out the birth story.  Just haven't had time between NICU visits, pumping, and spending time with Bubby, I give brief facebook updates when I can, but that is about it.

So here is what has happened so far this week:

Tuesday - Had Mac2.0 - things were looking pretty good all things considered

Wednesday - things were still going pretty well - he was eating but spitting up a lot.  Then they took him off of his feeds

Thursday - No meals, IV, jaundice lights, put in an incubator type of bed, pic-line

Friday - Able to start small meals again using soy formula - stomach loops turned out not to be NEC or anything serious and went away - handled feeds well through tube, started back on meals through a bottle

Saturday - able to start taking breast milk through a bottle instead of formula, having some residual in his belly this afternoon/evening so please pray that he digests more/all of his food well - off of jaundice lights - back in a non-heated bed to see if he can regulate his temp

If Mac2.0 keeps eating full feeds (they are increasing more and more each meal) and gaining weight for a few days in a row with no issues it seems like he may be able to come home by the end of the week or so.

Please pray for:

  • effective and healthy digestion
  • weight gain
  • jaundice to stay away
  • body temp to be self-regulated
  • no other issues to arise

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where Have I Been?

So I haven't been blogging this week because I haven't had computer access BECAUSE...

Mac2.0 made his entrance into the world Tuesday afternoon.

5 lbs 2 oz
19 inches
LOTS of dark outta control adorable hair

I will write out his birth story later but here are few things for now:

I went in EARLY Tuesday morning with contractions.
Around 8:00ish I think I got my epidural.
He arrived with just two-three rounds of pushing at 2:58 PM.

The medical staff were able to take a little more time with him getting to see us before going to the NICU than what happened with Bubby.  He was taken to the NICU and it seemed like he would only be there a day or so.  He was doing great for a preemie.

BUT...
yesterday he was having issues with eating that got worse.  In the middle of the night last night they completely took him off of his feeds because loops were showing up on his belly (this is hard to explain what this is/could be if you aren't familiar with it, but basically they have to make sure it is not something serious like NEC)

So he is on an iv.  The Hubs just got back from visiting the baby and was told he was getting a pic-line since IVs are only good for a short time.  Mac2.0 is also now under lights for some jaundice, which is typical with preemies.

It isn't as bad as things were with Bubby - we got five more weeks of development in, weight is good, breathing is good, and when he was allowed to eat, he was coordinating his breathing/sucking/swallowing pretty well.  But the news from the last 24 hours or so is disappointing and still scary especially because we know what can go wrong and what the belly loops could mean.  Please pray that our little guy just needs some more time for his body to handle milk, and that everything resolves itself smoothly and quickly.  I am hoping that when he gets to "eat" again by that point he will not need formula - I will have enough to supply his meals and that will also help any feeding issue he may be having.

just minutes after arriving





Dec.8 - before the feedings were taken away

Dec.9 tummy time

Monday, December 6, 2010

apple pie adventure and MM343

Last night I had a craving for a McDonald's apple pie (real quality stuff, ya know!) and hot chocolate.  The box of hot chocolate packets ran out several days ago, so I headed out to get my 2 for $1 apple pies and hot chocolate.  The nearest MickeyD's (which was advertising the warm beverage on their marquee) told me at the drive-thru that they were OUT of hot chocolate.  I told them never mind.  The Hubs (via cell phone) told me to try another.  On the way there, the gas light on the car came on, so I had to fill up on the blustery night.  The Hubs told me to wait, and he'd do it in the morning, but I had a fear of going into labor and running out of gas on the way to the hospital.  "Good point," he said.  So after refueling, I made it to McDonald's #2, which had a long line that was actually moving along at quite a nice speed.  I order.  I pay.  I get to the next window. I wait. And wait.  A polite worker opens the window and tells me that the "cafe machine" has run out of milk, and I had to pull forward to wait.  So I did thinking how ridiculous my quest for two simple things had become.  And after a few moments my pies and warm drink arrived, which I consumed before I even arrived back in my drive-way.  The satisfied craving was completely worth the time.  (But I do need to purchase more hot chocolate to have on hand at home.)


Thankful today for:
343. hearing of dear friends blessed by the amazing miracle of adoption
344. Christmas concert at church - simple, classy, beautiful - best one yet
345. fast food apple pies
346. Andy Stanley Christmas series
347. first wobbly steps
348. peaceful late night conversation after tense Sunday morning drive
349. thirty-four weeks and counting...
350.  MO sister-in-law who comes over to help
351. CA sister-in-law who frequently writes, comments, texts to stay in touch
352. friends to call for extra Bubby back-up when Mac2.0 arrives
353. cousins' blogs
354. toddler who loves music
355. new picture book suggestions from librarian friend
356. learning to love the new dog since she loves my son so much

Sunday, December 5, 2010

At what point does one have to re-evaluate life decisions and consider doing something different?  Which sacrifices are acceptable to make at certain points or after certain events, and what things are non-negotiable?  How many pro/cons lists can a person make on the same topic/theme over and over again?  When does a person suck it up and let go of a dream, an ideal, a seemingly unrealistic expectation, at least for the short term, so that in the long term it may potentially come to pass?  How much should one factor in what those who have gone before her have done or what "everybody else is doing" right now?
I need a voice to tell me.  Just like last spring I was clearly told to say "no" to a job, I need a that same strong voice to clearly tell me if in an upcoming season of life I am supposed to do something different than what I am currently doing or if this is just another test in faith and trust.
I hope this post doesn't sound depressed or desponant.  I am neither.  Just once again wishing for some answers on how everything is supposed to work.  Because honestly, I feel like I followed the voice last spring, and I am not sure that anything came from it other than the fact I still feel confident that I did what I was supposed to do even though I didn't really see any results from the decision other than some peace.

Christmas pictures

I wanted to take some Christmas pictures of Bubby last night after the church Christmas concert because he was all dressed up in the cute outfit I bought this fall for him at the resale.  He looked pretty dapper for just spending a few dollars.
Last year I got some cute pictures with my little point and shoot camera, but Bubby wasn't mobile back then.
So hopefully in the next week I will find a place (because the big chair in the living room isn't workin' so much any more) and a time and the ability to get some pictures.
And hopefully by Christmas 2011 I will have saved up enough money to get a "real" camera and maybe a class on how to use it. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

progesterone and more

I have gone two Wednesdays without my progesterone shot.  The high-risk doctor, when he talked to me in the hospital last week, indicated that it could be up to me if I continued taking the last few rounds (since I was being put on meds now to stop contractions I think).
Can I just tell you that I *almost* feel like my old self again?  I have a love/hate relationship with the extra hormones.  I am very thankful that they have kept Mac2.0 cookin' as long as they have.  I did not like the emotional roller coaster I felt like I was on somedays.  It is nice to not just randomly start to cry for no reason.
I think The Hubs is thankful that the hormone shots are done, too.
So a few weeks of "normalcy" before postpartum hits.  Enjoy.  :)

*also  - I am 34 weeks today! Each week feels like a huge accomplishment, though I have started having a recurring fear (dream? vision?) of having this baby at home.  Today I realized we were down to one clean bath towel in the house, and I had visions of a 9-1-1 operator telling The Hubs to get clean towels only there were none to be found.  So I did a huge load of towels today.  They are folded and ready to go.  Hopefully we will not need them as I became a big fan of the epidural with Bubby. :)*

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

eighteen month stats

Bubby went for his eighteen month appointment today.  He did not have any shots because we have to wait a few more days for the second dose of his flu shot and his shot records did not transfer yet from his other pediatrician.  That's right - in his short little life so far we have been through three pediatricians (technically four because we are back to his original) due to insurance company changes and our favorite one moved clinics to where our insurance did not cover.  I was pleasantly surprised that his doctor today was the most personable I have ever seen her.  Anyhoo... we will go back whenever they get his shot records.  I know he is up-to-date as of 15 months, so there shouldn't be very many.
The doc was pleased with how he is progressing in his various developmental skills, especially given the preemie factor.  He is doing really well on the growth chart, too.
His weight -  23 lbs 8 oz - 25th percentile for 18 month olds (in between 25-50th percentile if you compare him with the age he "should" be.)
His height - 33 inches - 75th percentile for 18 month olds (90th percentile compared with 15/16 month olds)
He is going to be tall, I think!

Other things Bubby is doing these days:
repeating lots of sounds
able to follow one step directions (when he wants to, haha)
chasing the dog and trying to climb on her
saying "Hi-yuh" when he plays with phones
opening the dishwasher - he has figured out how to unlatch it
announcing every now and then when he is going to po-po - that's right - just moments before he poops he occasionally lets us know

Words he says that others can probably understand/decipher (some of these may have been listed in previous blog posts): mama, dada, nana (banana), mo (more - with sign and sound), no, hi-ya, po-po (poop)

Words he says that The Hubs and I know what he is saying but other people may or may not know:
dah (dog), lo-lo/wo-wo (lotion), mmpoo (shampoo), bah-bah (lamb), bah-bull (bottle - for shampoo bottle or other similar looking containers), kir-cle (circle from shape sorter activity), app-a/app-il (apple - which he does not like to eat), app (up or help depending on context), ca-ca/cock(sock), nah-nah/ni-ni (night-night)

Words he says that only The Hubs and I can probably decipher  - he makes sounds for car and truck ( don't know how to type the sounds out), ch (chair), sheya-sheya (cheerios), doh (door or drawer depending on context) breh/bra (bread), bowl (spoon - yes, we are working on fixing this error, haha), and probably some others I am forgetting

His receptive vocabulary is awesome.  He just can't always get the words out himself.  He can point to quite a few objects/rooms/etc. around the house.  He can predict parts of his favorite stories.  He remembers things from books (even books I try to hide because they are annoying and I don't want to read them!).  He can request a couple of his favorite books "Bo-ba (or something like it) for Brown Bear, Brown Bear, "Dahk-a-dahk-AH!" (with expression) for In A Dark, Dark Wood, and a weird swishy motion and soundfor I Love You Through and Through (because The Hubs has read the book with awesome noises and motions).  When they visit he can point to who is Auntie Missa and who is Uncle Fman. In the short times they have been here recently, he can even point out who is Grampy and who is Babushka! He points to his mouth when he wants to eat something or if someone mentions food/eating.

He loves music.  He points to his cd player in his room and says "mo" for more music.  He is learning some of the motions to Itsy-Bitsy-Spider and "requests" the song by doing a funky "spider" motion (you would never know what it is outside of the context).  He can also do parts of "If You're Happy and You Know It."  He used to clap his hands for it very easily in the right spot, but now he is obsessed with "Stomp Your Feet."  On the "Say Amen!" part about 50% of the time he will echo "Meh/Men!" at the appropriate time.  He also likes the "I'm in the Lord's Army" song, but hasn't quite caught on to the motions/"Yes, Sir!" parts.

Phew!  Well, I am not keeping a traditional baby book, so this will help me when I go to compile his next Shutterfly photoalbum next spring/summer.  If I don't write it down here, I don't know where I would. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

first steps

Today we celebrate.
Bubby took his first independent wobby steps back and forth between The Hubs and me this morning.  We had a few rounds.  It is just two to three steps each way, but to us each of those steps are a huge accomplishment.  We have been doing our best to implement what our physical therapist recommends/teaches, though some weeks are better than others.  It won't be too long till he is walking all over the place, I think.
Bubby turned 18 months yesterday.  What a big boy he is becoming.  I type this news with a big smile and holding back some tears as he approaches me after several laps of cruising around the coffee table.

Monday, November 29, 2010

prayers are still answered

Today I read the best news I have come across in awhile.
Friends of ours got a call today, apparently out of the blue from their adoption agency, to come meet their new little baby girl.
I cried when I saw the pictures/news on facebook.
We met these friends shortly after moving to Missouri, and got to know them first at a church camping trip and then through a Sunday school class and small group.  They are missionaries to Zambia.  They are the most sincere Christians I know.  I cannot even begin to tell you about the journey to parenthood they have been on - it is not my place to share - but through it all, they have clung to Jesus.
And today prayers were answered with "yes." 
And a whole lot of people are cheering and celebrating and crying happy tears with them. And I am reminded of one more reason I cling to this Hope I know, this Faith I have come to believe is true.  Because within the community that shares it, people will pray with you and mourn with you and laugh with you and carry your burdens and shout with joy for you.  It is not just an answered prayer for this couple, but for a community of people who love them and want amazing things to happen for them.
They will be incredible parents because they are incredible people. I am blessed to know them.  I want to be like them when I grow up.

lying

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."  ~Mark Twain

"They've trained their tongues to tell lies,
   and now they can't tell the truth.
They pile wrong upon wrong, stack lie upon lie,
   and refuse to know Me." 
  Jeremiah 9:6 (MSG)


"With lies you may get ahead in the world - but you can never go back."  ~Russian proverb

"A lie has speed, but truth has endurance."  ~Edgar J. Mohn

"A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future."  ~Author Unknown

"I have no greater joy than to hear that My children are walking in the truth."1 John 3:4 (NIV)

Throughout my life I have seen the devastating effects of dishonesty in a variety of circumstances.  Some of these relationships have been healed through remorse, repentence and reconciliation, and others have yet to be because some involved choose to not do what is right.
It is heartbreaking to see the devastation dishonesty causes yet again. And yet again, just like in previous situations, the people who point out the lies are the ones who are accused of wrongdoing.

I often wonder how people sleep at night and live with themselves knowing what they have done and continue to do.  Am I one of the few people who toss and turn if I have done something dishonest or uncalled for?  Am I one of the few who cannot rest until I do what I can until I make it right?  Is it really easier for some to ignore doing what is right and hoping time erases the errors instead of just taking the steps to confess and begin the healing process?  Grace is available, but it cannot be fully applied until there is acknowledgment of wrongdoing and accountability for such.

These are just my unhidden thoughts today.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Big 3-0 and MM 327-342

After the holidays are over in a few weeks, I will be turning the Big 3-0.  I have mixed feelings about this, but I think most of them are positive or neutral.  Honestly, with everything else going on, I have little time to think about it. 
I know I am not having a party.  Not because I am anti-party, but Mac2.0 is "supposed to" arrive just a few days before my birthday, and even if he ends up arriving much earlier, I do not think I want a bunch of people around my newborn in the middle of winter giving him the gift of germs.
I do have something I want for my birthday, but it cannot be wrapped in a box.  I semi-jokingly told The Hubs and my mom about it, saying I was going to put out a request on facebook for it.  But last night I was hit with the idea that I should ask people to pray about it for me.  I know this sounds vague and maybe a little kooky, but if you are person of faith (or even if you are not and you want to), please pray that God will provide this semi-miracle I am wanting before or on my birthday.  Pray and listen and see if He says anything to you about it.  If you are not a person who believes in God or prayer, consider at least wishing on a star or throwing a few coins in the fountain for me and my birthday wish.  I will post around my birthday regardless if God moves in the way I am hoping He may.  With all of the big needs of people around the world, mine seems trivial in comparison, but I believe everything matters to Him, and I am taking a step of faith putting this vague request out into the universe.  And maybe that is part of the gift I will be getting - increased faith.  If that is the only part I receive this year, I will be thankful for that.

Now sharing thanks with Ann's community:
327. being home in my house for Thanksgiving instead of in the hospital
328. surviving a nurse-in-training giving me an IV
329. my incredible parents driving down quickly to help with Bubby and incase Mac2.0 arrived
330. family doing pretty much everything for Turkey Day
331.  The Hubs going above and beyond with Bubby-care
332. laughing uncontrollably with The Hubs two nights in a row - the first night not even knowing why we were laughing - it felt really good
333. a couple of days into week THIRTY THREE
334. leftover cold turkey
335. pumpkin bars for breakfast and chocolate Fannie May turkeys
336. a full table and full bellies
337. blond hair in a ziplock baggie
338. people who care enough to call, text, send a message
339. going to bed with a clear conscience and the realization that I cannot make people change (and being sad, but okay with that)
340. pizza and Miracle on 34th Street with everyone at my bro and SIL's apartment
341. Uncle Fman and Auntie Missa taking big chunks out of their schedule to be on Bubby-duty
342. Advent - HOPE

Bubby's First Haircut

We had trimmed up the back several weeks ago, when the rest of Bubby's hair was still short.  And with the fine, blond hair that he has, it is hard to notice when it is getting long, especially on top.
But his hair was starting to get long-ish in random spots, so The Hubs got out his beard trimmer, and I held my baby-not-so-much-any-more as he squirmed and laughed at the buzzing sound and feel of the trimmers and Babushka took pictures on her iphone, since I did not know where my camera was.
First haircut for my firstborn.  One more first of many, many more to come.







Friday, November 26, 2010





Even with all of the craziness leading up to Turkey Day, I would say this Thanksgiving ranks right up there with T-Day 2003! (If only we had Arizona weather...)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A brief Thanksgiving update

Well - Tuesday at my doctor appointment I was 2 cm and 80% effaced, so she sent me directly to the hospital to Labor and Delivery.  I was released Wednesday about 7 PM.  I am on drugs (procardia) to keep away the contractions, and I am supposed to stay off my feet as much as possible.
My parents drove down Tuesday night incase Mac2.0 came as quick as Bubby did once he really decided to arrive.
The high risk doctor has told me that people who at this point of pregnancy are at 2cm/80% have a 50/50 chance of going into labor soon.  And then with my history of preterm labor, my odds increase.  So Mac2.0 could arrive at any point - tomorrow or in eight weeks.  He mentioned that there is less and less evidence that the procardia works for more than 48 hours - it works for some people, but not for all.  It didn't work with Bubby for more than a few days.  So my gut is telling me within a week, but my hope is to make it at least 2-3 more weeks.
Anyhoo...
I have amazing family and friends.  Auntie Missa and Uncle Fman were on Bubby-duty both Monday night and Tuesday afternoon/night until the grandparents arrived.  So many friends have asked us what we need and how they can help. (Just by praying right now.)  Loved ones posted on facebook for people to pray for us.  We are blessed.
Today Missa and Fman and Missa's mom coordinated Thanksgiving - which was still hosted at our house because of space and my bro frying a turkey.  They cooked and baked most everything, and everyone pitched in with dinner prep and clean up while I pretty much took it easy.  It is really hard to stay off one's feet on a holiday - let me tell you - it is completely unnatural.  The food was awesome, and we had a good time eating, hanging out, and playing a little bit of cards.
Well, this brief update ended up not being so brief.  Perhaps there will be pictures another time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

while my son is entertained and the dog is being punished

Just a short post to update.  Bubby is playing with his toy computer and Penny is being punished for digging in the backyard and getting her paws very muddy and mud clumps all over my floors while I started laundry.  
I started having contractions last night.  About 6:30.  So I did what I was supposed to do.  Drank water. Tried to rest (as much as you can with an 17 month old).  Kept track.  They came every 10 minutes.  After 90 minutes I texted my sister-in-law to say I may need her to come watch Bubby - that I was going to call the doc in 30 minutes if the contractions kept up.  They did.  I called.  Was told to come to L&D triage to be placed on monitors.  Amazing sister-in-law and brother came over.  Bubby was sleeping.
We got to the hospital a little after 9 - still same contraction pattern.
Once on the monitor they didn't come as regularly right away, but then they started again - every 10 minutes, though at least half of them weren't as strong and the monitor didn't pick them all up.  After awhile, the nurse checked me.  A change from last Wed. when my doct checked me and I was just "soft."  1 cm dilated and 70% effaced.  Two more hours on the monitor. Contractions regular but not as strong or lasting as long.  Checked again after two hours.  No change.  Sent home.  Going to my doctor this afternoon.
We are now taking bets on when Mac2.0 will come.  We are still praying for January. 
But my money is on Dec.10. 
The Hubs said Dec.18 (I think). 
Uncle Fman said Dec.12 and Auntie Missa said Dec.5 (or maybe I have the two of them mixed up - it was after midnight for this brief discussion).

Monday, November 22, 2010

new every morning - or moments after that

I was reading from a variety of things last night before I went to bed - Matthew 4&5, Alicia Chole's Intimate Conversations book, Genesis 1-3, and The Overton Window.  Quite the assortment, right?  And I was journaling, which is something I have done less and less frequently due to the ease of blogging, but something I miss. Pen on paper recording thoughts, prayers, questions, answers.
And something struck me while I read through Genesis - the familiar creation and Adam & Eve story - familiar even to many who do not consider themselves a person of faith.  I cruised through the days and the "it was good," for I don't remember ever NOT knowing this account.  And then I got to the part where the serpent asks Eve, "Did God really say..."
And I was struck with a new thought.  Adam and Eve had it perfect - had everything they needed - the good life. And it wasn't enough.  They through all they had been given away to grasp at attaining something else.
My life is not perfect. But I have everything I need.  I need not throw it all away for the grass that will end up not being greener on the other side.

I went to bed thinking all of this, feeling full of faith.

And then Monday morning hit, and I had no memory of the precious time I had been given the night before.  I muttered, "I hate Mondays." as I trudged down the hallway for some Monday morning task.
But somewhere between the grocery store trip and the shower (yes, in that order) and the corn chowder with chiles and the fussy toddler who needed to eat and nap, mercy came down again. In the form of The Hubs home briefly at lunch but long enough to finish loading the dishwasher.  In the form of Bubby's crankiness stopping just by kissing his pudgy cheeks.  In the form of other bloggers sharing good news and struggles and profound thoughts and simple moments.  In the form of a few moments of quiet, just the clicking of the keys on a Monday afternoon.

His steadfast love pursues us even at the moments we deserve it least, but need it most.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

shaking off the gloomies and MM 327-336

I was in a funk off and on all day.  I could not shake it.  I did not want it. I was consciously aware of feeling down, but like I said to someone today, my mood/feelings clung to me like a sock clings to a towel right out of the dryer.
The Hubs and I were just feeling discouraged.  We do things right. We live within our means.  We do not ask for handouts from people or establishments or governments.  We are thankful for the gifts we receive.  We honestly don't want much.  We would like to live in a safer neighborhood.  We would like to not have medical bills and upcoming medical bills.  We make smart decisions with our money - my credit score is in the ninety-seventh percentile.  We tithe. We give But sometimes we look around and we wonder, "Why are things not working out the way we want?"  And when these gloomy days come I sometimes want to throw up my hands and say, "What is the point?  I will just be like everybody else."  But I don't really want to be like everybody else.  I want some of the things they have, but I'm sure there are things that come with the baggage of having all (or most) of the things that you want that I am not aware of.
Last month at our women's retreat, Alicia Chole asked a lot of questions.  One of the ones that stood out to me then and now was when she asked, "Are there any if-then euqaitons in your soul?.... If God 'behaves,' then I will_______, but if He doesn't 'behave,' then_______"
Ouch.
This is me, friends.  This is my struggle.
If God meets my expectations, then I will trust Him.  If not, well, then I will not, at least not really, truly completely.
If God provides in the way I need/want/desire Him to, then I will be content.  If not, then I will whine/complain/mope.
This isn't to say that I can't be real with God, can't ask Him questions (that is another Alicia point I want to write about at another time), but I have to surrender the if-then equations, first with Him, and then with others.
And I really just wanted to not write this - not type out the struggles and questions and complaints of my soul today, but I think in being authentic there is healing.  And with that the ability to open my eyes and be grateful for all that I have been given - this week and beyond.

With that said, I join Ann to count my blessings:
327. time to nest
328. Bubby laughing when The Hubs ridiculously asks, "Do you have any gum?"
329. Thanksgiving plans and groceries
330. lots of clients lined up for The Hubs shortened work week
331. thirty-two weeks
332. Bubby requesting the song "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with some hand movements
333. our physical therapist
334. gloomies that only last a day and mercies new for the morning
335. flannel sheets
336. homemade noodles and the sweet memories they bring
holy experience

Saturday, November 20, 2010

nesting...finally!

It is hard to nest with a toddler in the house.  When he is napping, I just want to nap/rest, too.  And I feel like when I clean up something, it just gets messy again.  I had done some pitching/cleaning/organizing in the bedrooms a couple of weeks ago, but things just felt unfinished.  Today I was able to accomplish a lot both with Bubby content to entertain himself/"help" me, and then my lovely husband also took him to run an errand at Target. On a Saturday.  Before Thanksgiving.
Here is what I got done:
  • lots of bedding/linens washed
  • kitchen counters, table, stove top, and microwave decluttered/cleaned
  • mail sorted to be filed, shredded, paid
  • dusting of bedroom and living room
  • master bedroom/closetpretty well organized/ cleaned  - at least as good as it is going to get for now (still need to do under the bed, but that is not going to happen right now)
  • Bubby's room/closet organized .. at least for a few hours!
  • living room decluttered
  • one annoying cabinet organized
Still to do before Turkey Day:
  • clean bathrooms
  • have The Hubs vacuum
Still to do in the next few weeks:
  • organize/clean out totes in garage and find a place for their contents
  • Christmas stuff
  • minor decluttering of the office

stuff my kid is doing

  • Cruising like a pro.  Bubby can now pull up on walls and cruise along like a toddler spider man.  He still prefers cruising with the help of furniture though.
  • Getting into the trashcan.  Even though it has a pushbutton/pop-up lid, my genius child has easily figured out how that combo works and how to get into the kitchen garbage. Yuck!
  • Instead of just signing "more," Bubby is now saying "mo" or "momo" or sometimes "mama" but clearly meaning he wants more and not mom.
  • Repeating everything we say.  He usually just gets the beginning sound or the end sound and everything else is forgotten or said in his own way, but he definitely has the intonation down.
  • His receptive vocab seems strong.  Bubby can follow many simple directions and can point to a zillion different things.  He seems to be recognizing rhymes/words that sound a like.  For example, if I say "crash" when he knocks down his blocks, he points to the beloved trashcan.
  • He likes to say, "Go, go!"especially to the dog when she is chasing the tennis ball.  He will also say it when we are going in the car or sometimes when he is playing with his pushcar.  Last night he said it while I was stopped at a red light.  Road rage, already?
  • Some new "words" or rather sounds for objects since they aren't completely formed words - jer-juh (turtle - he is obsessed with the one that beagoodmom sent, but sadly Penny chewed it to bits when we weren't looking.  When he sees his other toy turtles, he goes and looks on the shelf where his other turtle used to live.  Sad.  I will need to get him a new plastic turtle this weekend.), Cheerios - 'sheyah-sheyah' (which always sounds to me that he is saying thank you in Chinese), ju/jus - juice (which he rarely has so I don't know why he picked up on it so quickly), app-a (apple, which he does not like to eat), hup - help - which I am teaching him to say when he gets stuck and needs help.
  • Bubby continues to make this adorable "oooh" face, which is extremely difficult to catch on the camera.  Thank goodness for digital.   

Friday, November 19, 2010

the best laid plans

And I had plans of typing and writing all of the things I had stored up in my head and my heart this week. Because The Hubs works many Friday nights, and all day I anticipated Bubby going to bed and the magical sound of fingers hitting the keys commencing around nine o'clock.
But my sweet boy cries each time I put him in his crib, so tonight I set aside my plans, type this with three fingers, and remember I have years ahead of me to write, but Bubby will only want to snuggle for a season.

blegch!

Once again I must say I miss having a working router(?) at our house.  Without it my computer time is extremely limited because Bubby cannot be entertained easily (well by his own toys) in the office.  I miss reading blogs at sippycup time and naptime.  Lately I have been napping when Bubby naps.  Napping is taking priority over blogs.  Sorry.  A toddler and an in-the-womb-baby are zapping all of my energy.

Anyhoo...
Wednesday night I was thrown up on without warning.
Bubby was a bit fussy in his crib. I went in to check on him, and smelled "popo."  As I went to pull him out of the crib, my lovely son puked. all. over. me.
As in on my shirt. Down my shirt.  Even down the clothing that I wear under my shirt. Nas-ty.
Premommyhood I think I would have thrown up with him right then and there from just the sound and smell of it, not to mention the feeling.  But I didn't.  The Hubs and I both went into action cleaning up the mess and Bubby.
The first half of the l----o----n-----g night Bubby was crying in pain, I think from his stomach.  Then the second half his nose became Niagara Falls.  I slept on the floor of his room. Bubby ended up on the floor, waking up frequently from his misery.  At 3 AM The Hubs took over for about half an hour because Bubby started grinding his teeth. Loudly.  That made me want to puke more than the puke.
Thursday was spent in survival and recovery mode.  Bubby did not eat or drink hardly at all, which concerned me.  All of the suggestions from friends on facebook did not work.  He ended up in bed with us last night, which meant a foot in my face at about 2:30 this morning.
But he seems to be on the mend and is much more himself today. Still not eating a ton, but drinking a decent amount.  The Hubs took full responsibility of Bubby for a couple of hours this afternoon, and I got caught up on some sleep.
And Starbucks had buy one get one beverage free today, so we sleep-deprived parents took advantage of free coffee.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

nana confusion

Bubby is obsessed with bananas.  It is one of his favorite words, and he enjoys eating them, too.  He will point them out when we pass by them in the grocery store, he recognizes them on a fruit puzzle he does during P.T., he can find them in a picture book he has.
There is a problem though.
Always part of the way through eating his cut up bananas he gets upset because they do not look any more like the banana in the pictures.  No peel.  No crescent shape.  He points to the bananas still on the counter and will yell, "Nana!"  Sometimes I allow him to eat the banana like a big boy (or like a monkey), but he is not very coordinated at this.
I have tried hiding the other bananas, but he will still get upset.  He does not understand that the banana on his high chair tray is the same as the other bananas.
It is about to make me go bananas!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Remembering Papa Today

Papa went Home a year ago today.
Instead of writing something else today,here, once again, is the eulogy I gave at Papa's funeral.

I also made homemade chicken and noodles, a Papa specialty.  I have only made this dish once, about six years ago, and this time it turned out tasting much better.


Monday, November 15, 2010

po-po

Most people think of the phrase po-po as being related to the police.
Not my son.
Yesterday after lunch he got a look of extreme concentration on his face.  His skin turned pinkish-red for a moment.  Then he uttered the phrase "po-po."
Yes folks - Bubby announced that he went "po-po."
So I changed him.  And he was right.  There was a big po-po.

He also let me know later that evening (not in advance or right after but while I was changing his diaper) that he went "po-po."

We are nowhere near the potty training phase, but I am glad I can record one more word in his vocab - even if it is slightly off.

MM316-326

It has been an interesting last week filled with ups and downs.  If I just look at one area of my life it felt like a downward spiral of a mess that really is quite ridiculous because it stems from one person's dishonesty over something stupid.  I loathe dishonesty.  But when I look back at all the other areas of my life from last week, everything else went pretty well.  The drama just tried to overshadow all of the good.
Yesterday someone read a quote (and I don't remember the author) that said, "Happiness is a consequence not a destination."  There is never a magical number of things or accomplishments that will guarantee our happiness, but it will happen as a result of our outlook and our intentional thankfulness, even on days when it is hard to be thankful.

holy experience

Thankful today for:
316. The Hubs spending a lot of time this weekend deep cleaning the carpets in our house.
317. News of a major accomplishment for my friend's little boy reminding us that miracles are still happening every day.
318. Fun times with friends at the 80's arcade
319. discussing without arguing
320. years of good memories that cannot be purchased, bartered for, or taken away
321. call from best friend across the country
322. books in the mail for Bubby and a check for me to purchase an Alicia Chole book (thank you gift giver - I was able to get TWO!)
323. the library calling to tell me that it was finally my turn for the novel I requested weeks ago.
324. medical bill error being cleared up
325. groceries bagged the correct way
326. thirty-one weeks and counting

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa(s),
Many of you have asked what our family would like for Christmas or what we still need for baby.  I have a list of sorts set up for Bubby and Mac2.0 set up under my name under Target lists.  Mostly it is stuff we still "need" or "want" for Mac2.0's arrival (sheets, burp cloths), but a couple of clothing ideas for Bubby and also an extra carseat base and a cover for the carseat for winter weather.  I figure this way the various Santas that are purchasing for the boys can avoid duplicating things.  If more ideas are wanted for toys/ books/music I can try to add to the list for those things as well. 
I do know a couple of things Bubby is already getting from some of the grands/great-grands/unclesandaunts: Leap Frog Fridge Phonics, Leap Frog School Bus, some toy with tools that make sounds, ABC wooden blocks.
Bubby is wearing mostly 18 mo now and some 24 mo - so clothing in the 24 mo range is best.  He is tall and skinny so it is hard to find clothes that really fit him. :)  I bought size 4 baby shoes for him and they have a little room to grow. 
FYI: Something I have learned that has changed probably since many of the "Santas" had kids -- babies and toddlers cannot wear coats in their carseats.  It is unsafe.  Therefore the carseat cover for Mac2.0 would be great and fleece hoodie zip jackets for Bubby would be great. I do have a winter coat for Bubby already for the times he is out of the car in winter-weather.  Bubby loves books and music of all kinds.  Anything to help him build his vocabulary is great, too.

A final note to the Santas - the Mac family is on a very limited budget this year due to the job change and medical bills both current and the ones we know we will incur from Mac2.0's birth.  We say this to say just like last year our gift-giving will be limited.  We are not purchasing for each other or really spending much on others.  We say this just to let you know upfront why there will not be a huge UPS box from our house to yours, and not receiving one from others is once again just fine with us.
Those of you who have inquired what The Hubs and I would like anyway - gift cards or money or contributions to our medical bills are all great ideas.  We prefer to live debt free so that in the future we can be wonderful givers.  But at this time, we just have to get (medical) debt free. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Today I miss my grandfather.  In just a few days, it will be one year since he went home.  And at different times I think about him and miss him.  But I went to bed last night thinking about how I wish he was still here with us all.
And I wonder what he thinks from his viewpoint now about his family as he observes some of us lately.  I know he would be extremely proud of my mom - the only daughter he knew he could really count on 100% - and how she is still trying to take care of things, just like she did her best to help my grandmother take care of him.  At his funeral last November, I overheard so many people mention this and some came up to me directly and said how much a help my mother had been to her parents.  My mom doesn't do things out of obligation.  If you know her and know her personality (from which I get a good portion of mine), she will not do anything she doesn't want to do.  (She inherited that from Papa.)  She helps people because she loves and cares about them.
But I am digressing a bit here...
I think Papa would be sad at some of the things he is seeing.  And that makes me sad.  Almost sad enough to be like, "I should just ignore poor behavior and act like everything is okay."  But I know for a fact my grandfather would not want me to do that.  I know because of conversations I had with him.  I know because over the years he saw me have to face a variety of difficult situations where I had to take a stand for what is right, even when it meant people not liking me or my decisions, and he always had my back.  He would talk to me about his days as a fire chief, losing friends over making unpopular decisions, but how it was always important to do the right thing.
And you know what?  In this mess that I somehow became involved in just by trying to get to the truth, I have done the right thing.  There is one small statement I made last night to someone that wasn't the wisest, but it wasn't the worst thing either.  I was just trying to play someone's game, which I shouldn't have because I am better than that.  So I'm sorry, Papa, although I think you know my reasoning behind it, and I will apologize to that person for that one small statement.  But everything else I have said is truth.  And I will not apologize for that.  And I can hear my grandfather's voice saying, "You don't have to. Stand your ground."

(Note: Some of you may be wondering if this has to do with my brother. Not at all.  We typically have one argument a year, get everything out in the open, grow from it, and move on.  I do much better with that than what I am dealing with right now.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ostrich

Apparently I am not supposed to email people involved in a mess that was created, and I called out into the open. I did not create the mess, I actually was very indirectly involved in it until I could no longer handle the injustice and watching other people get hurt.  So here I am venting on my blog because, well, it's my blog, and if people don't like it, they don't have to read it. I am not saying that with a snotty tone, just with a matter of fact tone.
I can handle a lot of things, but I can't handle people who stir things up and then can't take ownership of them.
I love being de-friended for just asking questions and pointing things out.
I love still not getting a response from a person who created a whole bunch of drama over something stupid, trivial, and selfish.
Apparently princesses always get their way.
I wouldn't know. I was never a princess. Thank goodness!
So continue sticking your heads in the sand instead of just answering questions and dealing with the issue you created.
There is a common denominator to the drama.  And it wasn't me. I just was the whistle blower.
And I am thankful that I was raised to be one instead of having to always pretend everything is okay so as not to rock the boat.

thursday - an update

Well after a rough couple of days, today is actually going better.
Went with The Hubs to get his free Veteran's Day lunch at Chili's. We had great food there today and AMAZING service.  If today you haven't thanked someone who has served in the military, please make sure you have done that.
I got a hold of someone with a little power regarding my medical bill.  He said he would talk to the people who keep messing up and get back to me.  I heard back from him literally in three minutes, and he said that the office manager who has been holding things up would be fixing it today and calling me this afternoon.
Bubby napped - I can hear him just now stirring and considering waking up - and I got a nap in as well.
With what remained of Bubby's birthday money, I finally ordered the first year photo album/baby book I made for him  It arrived today, and other than one page that seems to have a mistake from the company (how the paper was cut), I am extremely pleased with the end result.
I am realizing, once again, that happiness is a choice, and am going to surround myself with people who I enjoy being with.  Not perfect people, not people who always believe exactly what and how I believe (some are soooo different than I am), not people who never annoy me or me never annoy them, but people that when push comes to shove I know I can count on to do the right thing and be the type of people I want my son(s) to know and have involved in my life.  I am not going to let the selfish decisions of others dictate my health, holidays, or happiness.
I appreciate those of who who left kind words earlier, and those of you who continually are praying for/thinking of me during this pregnancy, and well, life in general.
I saw yesterday my sister-in-law went for a run (she is a runner), and even though I am anything but a runner I would have given anything to run off some steam yesterday or earlier today.  Today I wish I could run for more than that, for the physical feeling of freedom that I assume comes from running.  Instead, I will probably make cookies later tonight.  Not eat-because-I'm-so-stressed-cookies, but eat-because-overall-life-is-still-good-and-God-is-in-control-and-knows-our-hearts-cookies.

Thursday

Usually on Thursday I join Emily's amazing community at imperfect prose.  I still intend to go read and comment there if/when I have a little more free time today.
But today I have no poem, no prose, no art.
I have stress.  And I am doing my best to not let it get the better of me.  Last night I laughed about some of it - me temporarily losing my cell phone (turns out the Hubs accidentally grabbed it by mistake), breaking my car key, Bubby peeing all over me during a diaper change.
But some of it is not laughable.
Dealing for now two months with a mistake on a medical bill and it STILL not being cleared up.  Dealing with the people trying to collect payment on part of that bill which I do not owe.
Dealing with different drama on a more personal level. And deception. And selfishness. And being called rude for just trying to get to the bottom of things and pointing out the truth.
I honestly don't need the stress people.
And really the drama could have been avoided if people just were truthful instead of underhanded.  I am a lot of things, but one thing I am not is underhanded and sneaky.
Confrontational? Yes.  Mouthy? At times.  Passionate?  Uh-huh.  But dishonest? Not usually an adjective that describes me.
So you see, I have no poem today.  I am trying to keep everything under control, but it isn't easy. 
Thank goodness for a husband who gets me ice cream and a toddler who right now pulled up to me with a kissy noise.  These are some of the things that keep me going when I just want to throw my hands up in the air and say, "Forget it!"
And this is not the hormones talking.  It is the raw, honest truth. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

to learn or not to learn... that is the question

So at thirty and a half weeks I have a question...
Do I take a birthing class?
With Bubby I was signed up for one, but he came too early.
Giving birth to a three pound baby is one thing.  Giving birth to a regular sized baby, I think, is another.
But I don't want to watch a birth video.  I have managed to get this far in my life without seeing the whole amazing process. And I believe it IS an amazing process.  I just don't know that I want to see how it all happens in living color.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
Is this wrong?  Should I take the class or am I right in figuring women have given birth for thousands of years without a class, so why should I learn about something my body should be designed to do?
I am thinking I will just watch Baby Mama for the fiftieth time and call it good.

My Favorite Thanksgiving

I have been thinking about Thanksgiving lately - trying to figure out exactly what we will be doing on that day.  And I can't help but remember my favorite Thanksgiving.
It was the one I spent with family, but not my biological family.
It was my first year living in Arizona. I lived by myself.  The majority of my family lived in Illinois or Iowa.  I did have family friends that lived about three hours away - these people have known me since I was born and had been good friends with my parents when they all lived in the same area.  Anyhoo, they invited me to come stay with them that weekend, and it was the best Thanksgiving ever.
Holidays were somewhat rough for me at times being a "divorced kid."  I really don't know how to explain it, but if you are one, you probably understand a little bit.
And that Thanksgiving there was no drama, no sadness, no being annoyed.
There was food and time outside playing games (because the weather is lovely in November in the southwest) and conversation and love.  And lots of people.  I think half of the people there were not related to the host family.  There was me, the Turkey Day orphan :), people from their church, people from their kids' work, an international student, and their actual family and extended family.  Thanksgiving didn't just revolve around the food, it revolved around hospitality.  We didn't wake up Friday morning to partake in the consummerism/commercialism like a lot of Americans.  At some point that day someone came over to teach us how to make homemade tamales.  And we made a ton of them.  I felt welcome and not like an outsider at all, and I wondered if all of their holidays were like this.
I think probably so.  Because this family is the real deal.  And it doesn't matter how long it has been since I have seen or talked to them, they still treat me like family.  They would probably treat anyone like family.  That is just how they are.
I wish I was headed to Arizona at the end of the month.


(Note: This is not to say I have never enjoyed a family Thanksgiving.  But Thanksgiving 2003 was by far my favorite.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Suzy Q's

My stepsister sent me a box of Suzy-Q's this weekend.  I had been craving them, but I had not purchased them yet. Upon arrival, I stuck them in the freezer because a SuzyQ is good, but a frozen Suzy Q is delicious.
A frozen Suzy Q?
Yes.
Something I picked up along the way when in summers of my early adolescence I would spend a week at Grandma and Grandpa M's condo with a cousin - I think a different cousin each summer.  The week would include ordering Happy Joe pizza for lunch, lots of swimming, walking to a library, a trip to the mall in the evenings when Grandma got off of work, and raiding the freezer stocked with Suzy-Q's.
I bite into the cold treat and am transported back a decade and a half or more.  Girl with a whole wide world of possibilities waiting for her.  Girl who still has boy-ish figure, still scribbles middle school drama into diary pages, still paints fingers and toes in rainbow colors, still tries to be like My-So-Called-Life-character dying hair auburn.  Girl who has yet to be kissed, yet to have really traveled, yet to worship with her whole heart, yet to believe that everything will work out someday.
And this week I stand at my very own kitchen counter, trying to hide the chocolate from my seventeen month old cruiser and husband of nearly six years.  Girl who struggles some days to smile at the mirror, who struggles to balance passion and conviction with compassion and grace, who struggles to step out of her wallflower comfort zone and dance.  Girl who now can't remember the last time she went swimming with cousins,  who now knows the bonds of family may wear thin but somehow they remain amazingly intact,  who now loves in ways never imagined.
All this from the gift of a box of a childhood treat.

linking up with Tuesdays Unwrapped 

Monday, November 8, 2010

good news/bad news

The good news:  Bubby took a very successful drink from an open cup all on his own.
The bad news:  It was while he was in the tub - so it was bathwater. Gross!!

MM304-315 and other thoughts

I've been thinking about rudeness lately - the opposite of grace, which is something I have also been pondering for weeks.  There are so many times when I have not thought before I have spoken or acted and the result has been rudeness.  Sometimes it has been unintentional, and sadly, sometimes I have deliberately chosen to be a jerk.  It all comes down to selfishness really, putting myself before anyone else's feelings, wants, needs, and I think now more than ever I really am trying to not be selfish rude person.  Recently I have seen the result of selfishness and rudeness, and while it only indirectly affects me, I think watching other people get hurt is just as bad or even worse than being hurt yourself.
I know this sounds weird for a Multitude Monday/Gratitude post, but I am grateful that I am learning to try to not be selfish(though I have not mastered it yet).  It is such a difficult thing because it is human nature to look out for yourself and say, "Sucks to be you!" to everyone else, but I am hoping that I don't forget  that such an attitude always has consequences.

Giving thanks for:
304. an equal partner in the parenting process
305. Suzy Qs from my stepsister
306. time with family this weekend
307. the back and forth of cool and warm autumn weather
308. a toddler who took the time change like a champ
309. having enough
310. a new door to investigate for the coming months
311. the tradition of Saturday mornings with coffee, muffins, and my guys
312. Bubby cruising along the piano keys
313. the inconvenience of no longer having wireless internet and the blessing of less time on the computer
314. promising medical news for one of my favorite people
315. the number thirty

joining with Ann in a Monday of thankfulness

Friday, November 5, 2010

internet

So we are having problems with our internet. The Hubs spent yesterday morning on the phone with the techie people and has it temporarily fixed.  However, we need a new router or to have it fixed, so until then my commenting/reading won't be as often as I like because wifi is almost essential with a toddler.  The room where the computer is now he and the dog get into lots of trouble. :)
A few quick bullets of Bubby's funniness the last couple of days:
  • telling the dog "no no no."
  • calling anything he can't touch (cords, remote controls, trashcan) "no no no"
  • (I really do try to limit saying no - and the dog hears it 10 times more than Bubby)
  • while I was showering, Bubby got a hold of the toilet brush and was waving it around like he was in a parade - YUCK
gotta go - he's into something!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

time IS a gift

I watched son #2 on the ultrasound screen this week after a scare and an order from the doctor.  Mostly I saw the top of his head, his leg, his belly, his heart because it was not the fun twenty-week ultrasound.  It was a we-need-to-make-sure-all-is-okay-ultrasound. (And it was.)
But for a few brief moments I got to see his face - slightly ghostly/alien looking with a smooshed appearance in two dimensional black and white. Eyes open.  Mouth open and shut. Open and shut.
Amazing that at this point of Bubby's journey, he was here  with us on the outside- also alien-kind-of-old-man-looking - hooked up to machines, less than half a pound bigger than Mac2.0 is right now.
So here I sit thinking of Alicia Chole's words from this weekend,
"Do you view time as a gift or a grinch?"
It is most certainly a gift
Each day now is a new day in my pregnancy journey.  I have never been twenty nine weeks six days pregnant before.  Friday I will be thirty weeks along, and I will celebrate this milestone of me saying throughout this pregnancy, "If we can make it to week thirty..." 
Each day 2.0 stays inside is a gift. A gift of development. A gift of weight gain.  A gift of the ability to do more and more without medical intervention or assistance. A gift of time.
"For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ...
All the days ordained for me
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:13 & 16 NIV)

Celebrating on Emily's imperfect prose today.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

yet another Mac2.0 scare

A few weeks ago I had contractions.  It turned out okay because they stopped.
On Friday Mac2.0 decided not to move at all all day.  So the doctor sent us to the hospital.  He finally started moving and all was okay.
Today I had my regular two week appointment.  After waiting forever and a day, she checked the heart-rate. Good.  She checked the measurement of my uterus.  Not so good.  Everyone keeps telling me how I don't look very pregnant (grrr), but up to this point my doctor has been happy with how I am measuring.  Today there had not been a significant change over the last two weeks.  So she sent me downstairs to get an ultrasound.
Everything is okay.  Mac2.0 is measuring small - especially his stomach measurements - but none of his measurements were low enough to be concerned.  (Cause for concern is 10th percentile.)  He is weighing three pounds even. 
(I think this little guy just wants to make sure he gets every bit of attention his older brother got! haha)
I now have to go from seeing my OB every other week to now going in every week.  She wants to keep a close eye on me, for which I am thankful, even if it does mean sitting in a doctor's office for hours on end each week.
Sidenote: Bubby was born at this point (29 1/2 weeks gestation) and was 3 lbs 6 oz and lonnnnng  (16.5 inches) according to the NICU nurses. They didn't tell me how long Mac2.0 is at this point.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped - Contentment

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

November is the month many people (at least Americans) focus on being thankful as Thanksgiving stands out on the calendar.  Handprint turkeys, pumpkin pie anticipation, over-the-river-and-through-the-woods-to-grandmother's-house-we-go, all cause many of us to make our thankful list to share at the table on Turkey Thursday.
Yet looming in my head is something related to thankfulness - contentment - and Alicia Chole's question, "When is enough, enough?" and definition, "Contentment - everything you long for is contained in what you actually have."

So what do I have today, wrapped up and contained in these four walls of my house or the four chambers of my heart, that I have longed for?




Monday, November 1, 2010

a little bit of Alicia

This weekend Alicia Chole posed about a dozen questions for us to reflect upon. Some I took tons of notes on, journaled about, thought about, prayed about, listened for answers to, and some I think were questions for a different season in life. The couple of questions that were the very profound OUCH/AH-HA moment questions I am not quite ready to blog about. But I am ready to blog about some of the other ones I found meaningful to me.
"When is enough, enough?" she asked.
Okay - that one was pretty much an ouch, too.
Some notes/thoughts I took away from that one -
  • Contentment's etymology actually used to have the meaning "contained."
  • Contentment - everything you long for is contained in what you actually have.
  • To be content we need 1)to know where we are going, 2)to be alert enough to know when we get there, 3)humble enough to know if we don't need to be there
  • What is the address for contentment AND is it WORTHY of your life?
  • What will FINALLY make you content?
  • Contentment is less about a place and more about a person.
  • Do we know who holds us and is that enough?
I think another question she posed later in the day was a great follow-up to the previous question:
Do you view time as a gift or a grinch?
At this phase in my life, this is a struggle.  On one hand, the mama-side of me realizes what a gift time is because every day I see it slipping through my fingers with Bubby.  Even though his gross motor skills are delayed, he is still growing up too fast.  Every day there are more lightbulb moments, more new things to record, and more facial expressions that are cute-little-boy-instead-of-sweet-baby.  On the other hand, I view time as a grinch.  There is rarely enough time to sleep, keep up with laundry, get the house the way I want it, call people back, and so on. Additionally I often think to myself, "I am almost thirty years old and what have I accomplished in this amount of time? Nothing extraordinary."  Time seems to be marching on, and yet often I feel stuck - physically, mentally, spiritually, relationally, etc.
Alicia asked us, "How are those around us affected by how we misview time?"  For me, they are affected by my discontentment, my crabbiness, my frustration, when I feel time is not on my side. 
She reminded us, "Time is a servant of sovereignty."
This month, when I am tempted to view time as a grinch - when the day starts too early, when the to-do list gets longer instead of shorter, when I wonder why we are still here, in this house, in this town, with this car - I am going to remember, "Time is a servant of sovereignty" and look for the ways in which time is really a gift for me to use and appreciate.

(Interested in Alicia Chole?  I don't know her personaly, but this weekend and during a week in college my life was impacted by her speaking.  Her website is truthportraits.com - and she has written some books I can't wait to read and am putting on my Christmas list- Finding an Unseen God: Reflections of a Former Atheist; Annoymous; Intimate Conversations)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Multitude Monday 291-303

I cannot believe October is over.  October is one of my favorite months, and it flew by much too quickly this year.
This weekend was such a blessing.  Not only was I encouraged and challenged by the women's retreat (more on that later this week), but I was able to get away while The Hubs took care of Bubby, the dog, and the house.  I came back Saturday evening, and things looked well-maintained.  No new clutter, no big messes, no sink full of dishes (the dishwasher was even unloaded), no chaos after my time away. In addition, this morning we went to late service, and The Hubs took care of the morning stuff - dog out, Bubby changed and fed, etc. - so I could sleep in an extra hour even though I'd already had a bunch of "time off" this weekend.  I know there are times when The Hubs and I drive each other crazy, and we are much too human as we don't put each other first, but this weekend he went above and beyond, and I am so thankful.

holy experience
And my list continues
291. Alicia Chole's questions
292. time to really reflect
293. having a few ah-ha moments - some of which were also ouch moments
294. getting to know some people better
295. beautiful end of October weather
296. cutest little tiger at all Halloween events (of course I am biased)
297. polite children at trunk-or-treat
298. my friend's five year old's chat with Bubby - he is the cutest five year old I know - think Jerry Maguire kid
299. Reese's Peanut Butter cups
300. everything being okay with Mac2.0 after another scare Friday
301. friends and family who pray for us - especially in crisis
302. a funny nurse who prescribed a pumpkin pie concrete
303. being twenty-nine weeks along - every week after this will be a new experience for me!

Happy Halloween