Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A quick update

We're all moved in to our new house (finally)! The rental house has been cleaned (not by us, thankfully, we hired some housecleaners) and Collin is meeting with the landlord on Thursday to give back our keys and etc. We're in the midst of changing addresses on everything and just got our new mailbox keys today.

We love this house and are just awestruck every day by the fact that it's ours.

Baby seems to be growing well and has started kicking the heck out of me. :) Elanor and William got absolutely spoiled this Christmas and have many new toys. All in all, things are going very well for us! Now that we're somewhat settled, I'll try to update more often.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's official!

We are homeowners!

The closing finally went through. Collin just picked up the keys from our realtor. The house is ours!

Thanks be to God!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm alive, I promise

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, but we're swamped right now what with the big move coming up. We should (finally) close on the house next week, and then the moving starts. Our lease is up December 31 so we need to be out of our current place by then.

We were hoping to paint the kitchen of our new place prior to moving in, but I'm not sure if we'll have the time now. We still need to purchase appliances as well -- we spent all last evening shopping (just looking and comparing prices for now). Plus there's Christmas shopping to do, so I wouldn't expect many updates from me until January or so.

St. Joseph (patron of homebuyers/sellers), pray for us!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!



It's been an eventful week. Both of the kids were sick on Sunday night/Monday morning, and on Monday night I woke up with what felt like contractions and went to the ER. The diagnosis was that I either caught what the kids had and/or a bladder infection (my urine test showed there might be one). Luckily, there was no dilation of the cervix or anything like that.

We had originally planned to go to my brother-in-law's and sister-in-law's place for Thanksgiving, but both Collin and I had flu-like symptoms last night (him moreso than me) so now we're not sure. We both feeling better today, but we also don't want to infect anyone else. So, we're still debating. If we end up not going we'll just have a nice little low-key Thanksgiving here. No turkey or mashed potatoes, but I can make some Butternut Squash Soup. I'll also make the Pumpkin Bread Pudding I'd planned to bring originally. We'll see what happens.

We have a lot to be thankful for -- three wonderful children, a new house (which we still haven't closed on, but hopefully will soon), terrific family and friends. Thank you God!

Friday, November 13, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

Sorry no quick takes last week -- too busy!

1. We close on our house on Monday! Collin is signing the papers that morning. We don't actually get the keys until Tuesday, though -- our realtor has to wait until the paperwork is approved by the county first, which probably won't happen until late Monday afternoon. Collin doesn't work on Tuesday so he'll get the keys from her then.

2. I'm going to spend the weekend packing boxes, I think. Our lease isn't up until December 31 so we have plenty of time to move in slowly, but I want to try get as much out as possible in the next few weeks to make cleaning our current house easier.

3. For the next few weeks, Collin is going to be working outside the home! He's participating in a program that involves working in an Apple store at a local mall so he can get more "hands-on" experience with both products and customers. He's looking forward to the change. The mall where he's working isn't too far from where I work, so we might be even be able to carpool a few days a week to save on gas.

4. Not much to report in baby news. S/he is still kicking away, and I'm getting bigger by the day. My next appointment is December 11, and then I start going every two weeks (holy cow!). I've had some unsettling nightmares the last few weeks (one about robbers and one about zombies), which is a symptom I had with Elanor but not with William. Maybe that means it's a girl? It's odd how I had such strong girl vibes at first, and now I'm having strong boy vibes.

5. I picked up a Boppy pillow at our church rummage sale last weekend for $2.00! I figured it'd be useful to have an extra one. Since our new house has two stories, I can keep one upstairs and one downstairs.

6. At my last appointment, I asked to be tested for anemia to see if there was a physical reason for the fatigue I've been having lately. They decided to test my thyroid as well. The results: normal for both. I guess I just need to start going to bed earlier! (Easier said than done...)

7. A belated thank you to all of our military service members, past and present! In the spirit of Veteran's Day, here is an article about my cousin Adam, and here is an article about my uncle Joe. Both are in the North Dakota Army National Guard and I am so proud of them!

Friday, October 30, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. We had our house inspection yesterday and Collin was able to get in and take pictures. The inspection went very well; there are a few minor things but nothing major. Overall everything looks great! Our official closing date right now is November 20, but paperwork and such is proceeding ahead of schedule so we may be able to close the week after next. 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3286555&l=ea042b656d&id=571261248

2. My 29th birthday is on Tuesday. Eeep! We have no plans to celebrate on the actual day, since we both work (Collin's shift doesn't end until 7:30pm), but I'm hoping we can arrange a sitter for next weekend so we can do dinner and a movie. I would love to see the new version of "A Christmas Carol" -- especially in 3-D!

3. Speaking of birthdays, I received a fantastic early birthday gift from my friend Rose. I'm wearing it at work today and am telling everyone that I'm a load bar for Halloween.

4. Speaking of Halloween, here's a quick joke: 

What do monsters use to drink their beer?

A Franken-stein!

Yuk, yuk, yuk.

5. Elanor has been asking to go trick or treat for the past week. She is terribly excited. William is excited too, but only because Elanor's so worked up. I'm excited too; they are both going to be so adorable in their costumes! (William is a cow and Elanor is Minnie Mouse.)

6. I heard a sweet song today, and apparently there's a video that goes with it. Check out here -- it's called "God and Dog".

7. Happy Halloween, and All Saint's Day! Remember to pray for the souls in purgatory on All Souls Day.    

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. I'm testing out the "post via e-mail" feature in Blogger... very impressive feature (once I get it to work)! It will make it easier to post pictures of the baby to my blog when s/he arrives.

2. We're going to a pumpkin patch/fall festival event this weekend. When and where, I don't know. Collin and his brother are organizing this excursion and I just heard about it last night. It should be fun! Elanor is very excited already... she wanted to know why we couldn't go today instead of tomorrow. If only, kiddo, if only.

3. Less than one month until we close on our new house! It simeltaneously seems so close and yet so far away. The inspection is taking place on Thursday, and I'm going to have Collin take a ton of pictures.

4. All is well with Baby 3.0. I felt him/her kicking me from the outside for the first time this morning -- s/he is a feisty one, that's for sure!

5. Collin joined the local Knights of Columbus chapter last week, and we had a KofC rep come over the other night to give us the insurance spiel. I received a pleasant surprise -- a gift of a new rosary, courtesy of the Knights. It's mother-of-pearl and just lovely. (Collin received a rosary when he joined, and the idea is to encourage family prayer.) I was/am very appreciative.

6. I'm having a very frustrating discussion in the Catholic Answers forum with a poster who continuously pulls quotes from papal writings completely out of context and then tries to claim that the Church has "reversed" Her teachings since Vatican II. It's been a struggle to remain charitable. Please pray for me (and him).

7. Collin found EGGNOG at the store last night! Yay! Let eggnog season begin. Soon it will be time for eggnog lattes, eggnog milkshakes, eggnog pie, eggnog ice cream... Mmmmmmm. I can't wait.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

All I can say is...

...WELCOME to any Anglicans who choose to cross the Tiber now that Papa Ratzi has given you a lifeboat. :)

This is great news.

Friday, October 16, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. The homebuying process has continued smoothly thus far. Collin's gotten all of the necessary paperwork as well as our earnest money to the proper people. Our realtor is out of town until Wednesday due to a death in her family, so we haven't been able to go in the house to take pictures, but hopefully we can do that sometime late next week. The next step in the process is to get the inspection done; again, hopefully something we can take care of next week or the week after. So far we're on track for our closing date of November 20.

2. I have to admit I'm not thrilled about moving again (especially not at six months pregnant) but it will be worth it. At least we can move in slowly, over the course of a month or so, instead of trying to do it all in a weekend. I may start some initial packing this weekend.

3. We are thinking we might paint the kitchen before we move in but save the rest of the rooms for later (e.g., when we have more money for paint and painting supplies!). The kitchen will be easier to do before the appliances (which we still have to buy) are in, though. Right now it's two different shades of peach, but I'm thinking I might like a pale yellow, or perhaps a warm gold. I've already reserved several books on interior painting at the library.

4. Collin flew to North Dakota yesterday for some male bonding time with his dad and brother. It's 30 degrees and snowing there. Ha, ha, ha. :) It's supposed to hit 100 degrees here this weekend! He'll be back Sunday evening and I bet he'll appreciate the warm weather more than ever.

5. Our trip to the Grand Canyon last week was a lot of fun. The Canyon is incredible -- pictures just don't do it justice. Here's one I took:



6. We also enjoyed the Flintstone Village in Valle, AZ. Here we are in the Bedrock Jail:



7. The baby's been kicking more and more lately. I love this stage of pregnancy -- the kicks are lovely flutters and not painful jabs, I don't feel terribly enormous, and except for being tired I'm pretty asymptomatic. Still, I'm eager for him/her to arrive.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ultrasound news

My ultrasound went great today. Baby is 11oz and measuring 19w4d. Very cooperative too, but we resisted the urge to peek.

Here are the pics I finally got scanned in:



Here's a profile pic. I think s/he looks more like William than Elanor, but still different than either. Isn't it amazing that they can look different even in these grainy u/s pics?



Baby foot!



The baby with its hand up by its head. One of the kids (I think Elanor) gave us the exact same pose.

It's odd... up 'til my u/s I was having major girl vibes, but now I'm thinking boy. I guess I should just admit that my mother's intuition is broken!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Great news!!

As I mentioned on Friday, Collin and I put in an offer on a wonderful house last week, and we found out today that it was accepted! We are going to be homeowners for the first time!

The house is right behind our church --we have a magnificent view of it from the master bedroom. Great neighborhood, lots of small kids, close to good schools. 4br, 2ba, a gorgeous backyard with a firepit. There's even a cupboard under the stairs (if we make that William's room, maybe he'll go to a school of magic someday...)

The only drawback is that the interior paint job is pretty ugly (varying shades of peach with one accent wall that's red).  Oh well, we can paint. Elanor's room is not peach but rather pink and purple with a Disney Princess motif -- perfect for her!

We are so grateful to God for this opportunity! If all goes well we will close on November 20. Our lease on our current house isn't up until December 31, so that gives us plenty of time to move in.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Return of Sanity

Collin's mom took the kids for a few hours on Sunday so I could have a few hours of peace and quiet... I think it helped keep my sanity intact. :) Thank goodness for sympathetic grandmas!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy....

Elanor is driving me crazy today -- throwing a fit if I so much as blink in her direction. William is having periodic "Demon Child" moments. My house is a mess but I feel too tired to clean it. Collin is working (this is the last weekend he'll work for several months, and all I can say to that is THANK GOD). Baby 3.0 is the only kid who seems to be behaving so far today. Oy, I wish I could have a glass of wine tonight.

Just needed to vent.

Friday, October 2, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. We looked at a WONDERFUL house last night... we are making an offer today. The location is fantastic; it's right behind our church! The neighborhood is wonderful and there's a firepit in the backyard. It has everything we want and is in our price range, too. Please say a prayer for us; we both really, really want this one.

2. Still no word on the short sale of our current house. Our realtor called the bank and they said they'd hopefully have an answer for us on October 14. I'm not holding my breath.

3. 20-week ultrasound is a week from today. Feeling very impatient to see the baby.

4. We're planning a quick trip to the Grand Canyon next weekend to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of our move to AZ. I can't believe it's been a year! I've never been to the Grand Canyon, and neither have the kids, so I'm looking forward to it.

5. My sister sent me a surprise gift today:



She is awesome! I'm going to use her sister-in-law's banana bread recipe this weekend.

6. I can't believe it's October already. Only one short month and a few days until I turn 29. Eeep.

7. I bought the kids' Halloween costumes last weekend. They picked them out themselves -- Elanor is going to be Minnie Mouse and William is going to be a cow. They will be so adorable; I just can't wait for Halloween!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A slight change of plans

Collin's work schedule is changing (from a Saturday-Wednesday shift to a Monday-Friday one, woohoo!) so I rescheduled my 20-wk ultrasound for Oct. 9. Even though we're not finding out the gender, I'm excited to see the baby sooner than originally planned!

Friday, September 25, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

Soon after I got my iPhone, I discovered podcasts. As I have a job that requires several hours of fairly monotonous work, podcasts are a great way to alleviate the tedium and make the day go by a little faster (I've also discovered Pandora, which is wonderful, but that's a topic for another day). I've also started listening to them during my commute. Today, I thought I'd talk about some of my favorite podcasts.

In no particular order:

1. Catholic Answers Live. I've been a fan of this show for several years and have listened to it on the radio or via MP3 download since 2005 or so. It's great to have the day's episodes automatically downloaded to my iPod every night so I can keep up! My favorite apologists are Tim Staples and Jimmy Akin. I especially enjoy episodes where Jimmy and Patrick (the show's host) discuss deep theological issues such as, "Is it morally permissable to utilize zombie labor?"

2. The Daily Breakfast with Fr. Roderick. "The perfect way to start your day, with a 30-minute mix of music, news, movies, tv-series, videogames, history, health tips, inspiration, science fiction and more. Hosted by the Dutch catholic podcasting priest Fr. Roderick." I love his Dutch accent too. :)

3. NPR's Piano Puzzler. Short and sweet. I can often get the tune, and sometimes even the composer!

4. Among Women. This show focuses on Catholic women; each podcast features the life of a saint as well as an interview with a contemporary Catholic woman. I find it very inspirational and very soothing as well. The hostess, Pat Gohn, has a lovely voice.

5. The Catholics Next Door. This weekly podcast is actually an hour out of a three-hour daily show done by husband-and-wife team Greg and Jennifer Willits for The Catholic Channel on satellite radio. It is rare that this podcast does not make me bust a gut laughing. The Willits have five kids, four boys and a brand-new girl, so the show's also chock-full of fun stories about family life and Catholic parenting. Greg is also a kindred spirit as he's a huge Star Wars fan (one of their sons is named Benjamin Kenobi -- how cool is that?). Jennifer reminds me a lot of Laura, one of my good friends in Fargo.

6. NPR's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me. I just discovered this one recently and it's HILARIOUS. The only drawback is that I have to struggle to stifle my laughter during work.

7. Pregtastic Pregnancy Podcast. By, for, and about pregnant women. I bet you can guess why I like this one!

There are several more I listen to, but I'll have to save those for another entry. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The dark side to IVF

Cases like this one break my heart. For me, it serves to reinforce the Church's teaching that IVF and other forms of ART that essentially replace conception in the womb are immoral. I'll bet the scientists who invented IVF never foresaw circumstances like this one.

I find comments from secular perspectives that Ms. Savage should have aborted her pregnancy appalling. Why punish an innocent child for wrongdoing when it had no control or responsibility for the circumstances of its conception? Killing the child would have done nothing to bring any good out of this wretched situation.

I am grateful that Ms. Savage chose not to abort. In that respect, she is to be commended. It is a very difficult and, in my view, heroic act to carry a baby in your womb and then give the baby up. She and her husband are in my prayers.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Baby kicks!

I felt the baby kick for the first time last night! I've felt what I suspected were movements for the last week or so, but I was never 100% sure that they were movements and not just indigestion or something. Last night, however, there was a definite *kick*, coming from right where the doctor said the baby was (right below my belly button, on my left side) based on where he found his/her heartbeat. What a great feeling!

I still keep referring to this baby as "her" in my head, although Collin keeps talking about when "he" arrives. I guess between the two of us, we have our bases covered.

Friday, September 18, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. 16w3d today. My appointment went well. Weight, blood pressure, etc. looked good; baby's heartrate was 160. We scheduled the 20-week ultrasound for October 23.

2. We looked at a house last night that we really liked and submitted an offer this morning. However, there are apparently several other offers on the table, so no telling if we'll get it. I guess we'll have to wait and see. My constant prayer during all this homebuying hassle is "God, may Your will be done." I just wish we could know -- I hate living with uncertainty.

3. I'm taking the kids to the Kidsfaire expo this weekend. Lots of fun stuff to do -- I know we'll have a blast.

4. Last Sunday, Elanor said, "Mom, turn off the Wiggles and let's go see Jesus." She has the right idea!

5. We've enrolled Elanor in a church program called "Little Church." Basically she'll go to that while William and I go to Mass. It'll be a relief only having to wrangle one kid. I hope she has a good time.

6. William has started walking a LOT more lately. It's a relief because I was starting to think he'd crawl off to college! He's finally decided that walking isn't half bad.

7. Yarrrrrrrr, me hearties! Shiver me timbers! Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum; a pirate's life for me! Don't forget to celebrate National Talk Like a Pirate Day tomorrow. I may wear my Pirate's of the Caribbean mouse ears in honor of the day. :P

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

G.K. Chesterton on birth control

Ignatius Insight

My favorite part:

Now a child is the very sign and sacrament of personal freedom. He is a fresh free will added to the wills of the world; he is something that his parents have freely chosen to produce and which they freely agree to protect. They can feel that any amusement he gives (which is often considerable) really comes from him and from them and from nobody else. He has been born without the intervention of any master or lord. He is a creation and a contribution; he is their own creative contribution to creation. He is also a much more beautiful, wonderful, amusing and astonishing thing than any of the stale stories or jingling jazz tunes turned out by the machines. When men no longer feel that he is so, they have lost the appreciation of primary things, and therefore all sense of proportion about the world. People who prefer the mechanical pleasures, to such a miracle, are jaded and enslaved. They are preferring the very dregs of life to the first fountains of life. They are preferring the last, crooked, indirect, borrowed, repeated and exhausted things of our dying Capitalist civilisation, to the reality which is the only rejuvenation of all civilisation. It is they who are hugging the chains of their old slavery; it is the child who is ready for the new world.

Friday, September 11, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. In exciting homebuying news, the appraisal was completed and the bank contacted our realtor, telling her that they'd have a decision by the end of the month. That's astonishingly fast for a short sale. Good news or bad, at least we'll have a decision and can move on from there. Collin is going to start looking at more houses next week, just in case. Here's hoping!



2. I saw a rainbow on my way home from work. It was nice to see such a strong reminder of hope today.



3. The kids were being cute at the library last week, and I took the opportunity to try and get a picture of them together. This (sadly) is the best of the lot.



4. I attempted a belly shot tonight, at 15w3d. I'm still in that "looks fat and not pregnant" stage -- you know, the annoying one where all your regular jeans are too tight but all your maternity pants are too big. If only I could wear pajama pants 24-7...



5. Collin and I were having a baby-preparedness talk a few nights ago, and I said, "We should have everything ready by February 2. That's 36 weeks." (William was born at 36w3d, so that's my cutoff just in case this one comes early too.) Collin nodded and then said, "Right. So if the baby sees its shadow..." It took me a minute to get it but then I laughed myself silly. I shared the story on a message board, and someone posted the following cartoon in reply:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


6. We watched a really interesting movie last night: Interstella 5555. The entire film is set to an album by a band, beloved of Collin, called Daft Punk. They're doing the Tron 2 music and he's terribly excited. He'd seen clips of this movie before but never the whole thing, so when I discovered it was on Netflix he moved it up to the top of the queue immediately. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much we all enjoyed it. I think we'll have to add it to our home collection eventually.



7. 09/11/01: We remember.

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image from here

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mmmmm, pot roast.

This is the recipe that I used today when I made pot roast. It was wonderful so I thought I'd share. It's from the cookbook Fix It and Forget It: Feasting With Your Slow Cooker.

Roast Beef with Ginger Ale

3-lb beef roast
1/2 cup flour
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 envelope dry brown gravy mix
2 cups ginger ale

1. Coat the roast with flour. Reserve any flour that doesn't stick to the roast. Place roast in slow cooker.

2. Combine the dry soup mix, gravy mix, remaining flour, and ginger ale in a bowl. Mix well.

3. Pour sauce over roast.

4. Cover and cook on Low 8-10 hours or until the roast is tender.

Simple, easy, and delicious!

Friday, September 4, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. It's the Friday before a holiday weekend! Woohoo! Collin has to work both Saturday and Sunday, so I need to keep the kids quiet and/or out of the house both days. It's supposed to be a bit cooler this weekend -- only upper 90s -- so I'm hoping we can play outside a good bit. Of course, it's also supposed to rain all weekend. I guess we'll figure out something.

2. Our house is somewhat clean for a change. The house owners' bank called on Tuesday evening (around 6pm) and asked if they could send over an appraiser on Wednesday morning. Legally, they're supposed to give us 48 hours' notice, so Collin said no and managed to reschedule for today at 10am. That works out better since Collin doesn't work today. So we've been cleaning furiously every evening this week -- we even cancelled our date last night -- and our kitchen and living room look really nice. The bedrooms are iffy, but I'm past the point of caring. I'll work on them more this weekend even though it won't matter as much. Now we just need to hope that the appraisal comes in at less than our offer so the bank will look upon the sale more favorably.

3. I did end up buying The Messies Manual: The Procrastinator’s Guide to Good Housekeeping by Sandra Felton, and I have another of her books on hold at the library. I haven't read much yet but I'm hopeful it'll contain some helpful advice. I'm really tired of always having a messy house.

4. I am craving pot roast, so I think I'll make one this weekend. Anyone have any good recipes? I'd prefer a crockpot recipe, but it's not strictly necessary.

5. Mashed potatoes are another craving. Oddly, I craved pot roast and mashed potatoes with William as well, which contradicts my girl vibes.

6. We are more than likely going to my 5-year-old niece's birthday party tonight (her b-day was 8/31) and Elanor is terribly excited. She helped me pick out a birthday card last night and talked about the party all morning as well.

7. I'll close with a quote by G.K. Chesterton: "The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice." - A Defense of Humilities, The Defendant, 1901

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

She must know something I don't know

This weekend, Elanor was carrying a doll around the house, wrapping it up in a blanket, putting it to sleep in her doll crib, etc. At one point, I asked her, "Is that your baby?"

She replied, "No, this is my baby sister."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

14 weeks today!

We went to an introductory Bradley class last night. The instructors (who, as an interesting side note, are both blind) have had 10 homebirths! Their oldest is 33 and their youngest is 9.

We listened to one couple's amazing birth story (and met their adorable 2-month-old, Elias) and chatted for quite a while. We're looking into seeing if I can switch to a midwife and Olga (Bradley instructor) is looking into that for me. The trick is seeing if the hospital will allow the midwife to deliver there. I will probably keep my OB as a backup OB if he is amenable to that.

We're still not sure if we're going to take the classes (Collin is hesitant about the price -- $300 for 8 sessions + 4 optional review sessions), but he was impressed so I'm hoping he'll agree. If nothing else, we made some new friends.

It's also our eighth wedding anniversary today. That's, what, twenty in celebrity marriage years? We're going out for dinner and possibly a movie (sans kids!) on Thursday to celebrate. I am looking forward to many more happy and fruitful years, God willing.

Friday, August 28, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. My sunburn is much better, thanks to the vinegar. I put it in a spray bottle and misted it over my legs. It helped the pain, and I've never had a sunburn fade so fast. We did have a wonderful time at the waterpark despite the burning (and neither of the kids got burned, thank goodness).

2. Collin and I celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. We don't have any big plans for the day, but Collin's mom gave us a $20 gift certificate to her favorite restaurant and offered free babysitting as well. I think we'll go on Thursday night. If we manage a movie, I'd love to see Ponyo.

3. I'm in my second-to-least favorite part of pregnancy -- the early second trimester where the m/s is gone but I still don't feel movement. I'm always so paranoid that something will go wrong and I won't know. I wish I had a doppler, but it's an unnecessary expense right now. My next appointment is Sept. 18 and I'm anxious.

4. I'm craving a tuna Subway sub today, so I think that's what I'll do for lunch. Tuna, cheddar, spinach and mayo toasted on honey oat bread... Mmmmmmmmm.

5. Still no word on the house situation; we're still waiting for the owner's bank to respond. In the meantime we'll start looking at more houses next week. Collin will look on his days off and only have me and the kids look if he thinks it's a strong possibility. It'll be slightly less exhausting that way.

6. Collin's bosses suddenly realized that his new schedule required him to work 10 days in a row, and arranged it so he has tomorrow off instead of next Thursday. So we'll have tomorrow together and we can go to church (and probably reconciliation). He has to work overtime tonight, though, since Apple just released a new OS.

7. My house is a mess. Collin keeps saying he'll clean it on his days off, but in the meantime the mess keeps growing. I hate the thought of cleaning on one of the few days we have off together, but the mess is really driving me crazy and I'm too tired to clean most weeknights.

Sorry this post is a bit of a downer, but it's been a long, tiring week.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ow.

We had a lot of fun at the waterpark yesterday, but I didn't reapply sunscreen often enough and now my legs are horribly sunburned. Ow, ow, ow. I think I'll take a cool vinegar bath tonight in hopes of getting some relief.

Friday, August 21, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

These will be quick because my lunch break is almost over.

1. I really, really don't feel like working today. It's awful but I keep hoping for a power outage or something so the office will close early. Not going to happen but it's a pleasant daydream.

2. This weekend is our last weekend together for the next six weeks (if not longer) so we've planned an excursion to the new Wet N Wild waterpark in Glendale. Collin is terribly excited. I won't be able to do much, but hopefully it'll be a fun day.

3. Homebuying is going slowly. Our realtor has submitted a bid to the bank that has the mortgage to our house, and the owners have sent in documents requesting a short sale. We're just waiting to hear what they (the bank) have to say.

4. I've really been craving cheez whiz lately. Especially on toast. Mmmmmmm....

5. The temps here are starting to cool down lately, and I'm glad. It'll be nice to be able to take the kids to the playground during the say.

6. We're going to a free introductory Bradley course on Aug. 31. The teaching couple have 10 kids, all born at home! I don't know if we'll take the actual course due to money reasons, but I at least want to check it out.

7. I find that patience is in short supply for me these days. It's probably hormones, but I feel bad because it seems like I'm constantly snapping at my family. *sigh* I need to work on that. St. Rita, pray for me!

Monday, August 17, 2009

11w6d appointment

I had an appointment this morning. The nurse found the baby's heartbeat with the Doppler - nice and strong at 160bpm. What a beautiful sound!

I've lost a few pounds but my bump is more noticeable. Second tri, here I come!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. We've put homebuying on hiatus until September. Our lease isn't up until December 31, so we need to shoot for a November closing date so we're not stuck paying rent and a mortgage payment in the same month. Plus we don't want to spend our last two weekends together looking at houses.

2. We are looking a little closer at buying the house we're in, though. Originally we'd been hesitant because it'd have to be a short sale, and those can be long and complicated. However, the current owners of our house seem gung-ho about it, so we've decided to explore our options in that regard. We love our current house, and it'd be nice not to have to move!

3. I have a prenatal appointment on Monday. I'm hopeful I'll be able to hear the baby's heartbeat via Doppler.

4. I also spilled the beans at work this week. Everyone's excited for me, though my boss (an unmarried guy about my age) seemed a bit weirded out. :P

5. Elanor got into my purse the other night and drew all over her bedroom door with lipstick. She was punished and had to help scrub the door, but it was a rather nice drawing. I kind of wish I'd gotten a picture!

6. William and Elanor were dancing together to the Wiggles the other night. It was the cutest thing!

7. Collin and Elanor went to the grocery store last night, and came home with flowers for me. :) So sweet!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Feeling discouraged

We put an offer in on a house we just saw on Monday and loved. Unfortunately, our offer was rejected. We counter-offered -- rejected again. There's no way we can offer higher. We're going to take a break on the homebuying front for another month anyway -- just too stressed right now to deal with it.

Collin got his new work schedule today. In two weeks' time, he starts a Saturday-Wednesday schedule. :( That means we will have no days off together, and we're both very disappointed about it. At least we get the next two weekends off together (since he'll be doing training Monday-Friday). He's due for a new shift in October and I hope and pray it'll be a better one.

The job schedule is going to make life more difficult. It means I have to keep the kids out of the house or very quiet the entire weekend, so I get zero relaxation time. It's hard to deal with since I'm so exhausted during the week the way it is.

*sigh* We're trying to count our blessings. There are a lot of people in this country who'd be grateful for a (rented) house to live in or any job at all.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

House-hunting

After Mass this morning (where I didn't get a chance to get a picture of the new crucifix), we spent today house-hunting with a realtor. We looked at nine houses (I am absolutely exhausted).

We found two extremely good possibilities and it's going to be difficult to decide between them. One is gorgeous but doesn't have all the appliances; it's also a split level, which is nice in some ways but not in others.

The other is very nice and has brand-new appliances, but we're not sure about the layout. It is about $20,000 cheaper than the first house, though, and in a great location. Collin is going to go see them again tomorrow with his mom -- we really trust her judgment and could use her opinion -- and go over our financials again before we make any decisions.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A good day so far

Lo and behold, I seem to have a bit of energy today (for the first time in several weeks). I've gotten supper in the crockpot already, as well as the dishwasher emptied and loaded again, and a load of laundry in the washer. There's still tons of housework to be done, but I'm feeling somewhat productive nonetheless.

Friday, August 7, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. We apparently had a small visitor in our home last night. Collin woke me up to tell me that he'd caught a baby lizard, and did I want to see it? I was still half-asleep and mumbled that I'd rather not, then went back to sleep. Apparently he did show the kids, because the first thing Elanor asked this morning was, "Where's the baby lizard?" I explained that Daddy had put it outside so it could be with its mommy and daddy. Her reply was, "Let's go look for them!" In lieu of that, I promised her we'd go to the local library this weekend and find some books about lizards. She seems excited about that. Perhaps I have a future herpetologist on my hands! (Yes, I had to Google that.)

2. In homebuying news, we're going out with a realtor on Sunday to look at some potential houses. It doesn't seem likely that we'll be able to buy the house we're currently living in, which is a disappointment -- I really didn't want to move again, especially not while pregnant. But owning our own home takes precedence, and what we've seen online in our price range so far looks promising. There's one house I'm particularly excited to see -- it's only a few blocks from the public library, and it has a gas fireplace! I've always wanted to have a fireplace. Kind of silly in Arizona, I suppose, but winter evenings here can be cool.

3. Speaking of the weather, the high today is only 103! That's a pleasant change from the 110-115 degree temps we've had the last few weeks.

4. The kids and I had a good time shopping last weekend. I had a book to return to Barnes & Noble, and we stayed there looking at books and playing with train table for a while. They both were well-behaved so they each got a treat; Elanor picked out a stuffed elephant and William got a new book, The Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five (Mommy picked it out for him). After that, we went to Saver's. I got four pairs of maternity pants, four maternity shirts, and six gender-neutral baby outfits, all for less than $40! Our last stop was Wal-Mart, where we got the van's oil changed and picked up some groceries. I was absolutely exhausted when we got home, but it was fun.

5. While at Wal-Mart, I picked up "Horton Hears a Who" for the kids. What a fun movie! Elanor loves it too -- she's always acting out parts of the movie with her stuffed elephant and kangaroo. Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, and Carol Burnett all do an excellent job. It has a great pro-life message, too -- "A person's a person no matter how small."

6. My goal for tomorrow is to tackle Mt. Laundry. I can't see the bedroom floor anymore because of the layers of dirty clothes. Maybe I'll get ambitious and clean up the living room, too.

7. Our church has a gorgeous new crucifix. I'm going to try and remember to take a picture of it this weekend, and if I do I'll post it here. It's simply stunning.

Well, ciao!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bronchitis

Since I've had a chest cold for 10 days now, I finally went to see the doctor. The diagnosis is bronchitis. Lovely. At least I'm getting some medication to deal with it.

The nurse decided to do a u/s to check the baby, so that was a pleasant surprise. S/he looks great! I didn't get a pic, but we have one adorable alien baby.

Friday, July 31, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. Collin's pay raise is a bit more than we originally expected. Not a huge sum, but hey, more per paycheck is always nice! It's payday for me today, too -- of course, most of it will go to rent, but it's still nice when payday falls on a Friday.

2. I must give kudos to my wonderful husband. This past week I've barely managed to drag myself to and from work; I've pretty much come home and just collapsed. He's been taking care of supper and the kids for me so I can rest. Thanks, honey!

3. I hope I'm over the worst of this chest cold. I was actually able to get a decent night's sleep last night. Being sick while pregnant is no fun.

4. The kids and I are going to go see Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella on the big screen tomorrow morning -- something one of the local mega-churches is doing in conjunction with a local Christian radio station. Should be fun! I love VeggieTales and so do the kids.

5. Afterward, we have some errands to run, including scouting thrift stores for maternity clothes. I think I'm going to need some pretty soon.

6. Collin and I are seriously considering starting the home ownership journey this fall. We'd love to buy the house we're renting if we can get financing. It's something we're praying about, anyway.

7. Prayers for my sister and BIL, please. I can't be more specific, but they could use them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ups and downs

Up: Collin got a promotion and a pay raise!! He starts training for his new position on August 17 (and, if the training is Mon-Fri, we'll have weekends together for a while! Yay!). I'm so proud of him.

Down: I've had an icky chest cold since Saturday. I took Monday off of work but couldn't afford to take any more days off. Lots of coughing and phlegm. Thank goodness the nausea has settled down this past week. I still get queasy if I cough too hard, though.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thank you...

...To the lady at McD's who carried our tray for me, as I was holding William and couldn't carry it one-handed, and

...To the mom at McD's who shared her table with us so we could sit in the very crowded play area.

Yours gratefully,

A tired mom who really needed those little acts of kindness today.

Friday, July 24, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday



Hosted by Jen

1. We have a baby bean! Cute little thing, isn't s/he?



2. Now that I'm feeling (reasonably) confident that this pregnancy won't end in miscarriage, we've started discussing names. So far, we have one main boy name with two backups, and two girl names we can't decide between (I like one best and Collin likes the other best, although they're both beautiful names). We still have a while to decide, of course, especially since we aren't finding out the baby's sex until birth. Until then, we've nicknamed the baby "Thor," because Collin thinks it looks like an Asgard at this stage of pregnancy.

3. As for gender preference, we'll be happy either way, of course... but Collin would like another boy. This baby and William will have about the same age gap that he does with his middle brother, and they're very good friends. Collin would like William to have a close relationship with a brother, too. A boy would be nice as we still have a lot of William's baby clothes (nothing below 3-6 month, though, because we gave away so much when we moved); however, I think a girl would be wonderful as well. I love buying all those beautiful frilly dresses.

4. Speaking of clothes, I need to start buying maternity clothes. I have a few shirts, but that's it (again, gave most away when we moved). Guess I'll be hitting the thrift stores and Once Upon a Child (and maybe the clearance racks at the local Motherhood Maternity)! Too bad it's not rummage sale season around here.

5. I showed Elanor the ultrasound picture and explained to her that there was a baby in Mommy's tummy, and that when the baby was born she could help me feed the baby, and clean the baby, and read to the baby. She thought about this for a moment, and then asked, "Can I help snuggle the baby, too?" I said yes, of course she could, and tried not to cry.

6. I won a podcast contest last week! I listen to the weekly Among Women podcast, and a few weeks ago the hostess announced a contest, the prize being the book Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom. All you had to do was send in an e-mail asking to be entered. I did, and I won! It's a wonderful little book (and a terrific podcast, too). Podcast #16 is the one where she announces my win. :)



7. We are going to make a third attempt to see "Up" this weekend. This time, instead of finding a babysitter, we're just going to take the kids with us and hope for the best. They really enjoy the other Pixar movies, especially WALL-E and Finding Nemo, so I'm hoping it'll go all right. This time, I plan not to gorge on popcorn and then be sick the rest of the day, as happened when we saw Harry Potter 6. Thankfully, the nausea seems to be petering off a bit.

Have a wonderful, blessed weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A great appointment

I had a FANTASTIC appointment this morning. I did get a transvaginal u/s, and the baby looks great. S/he is measuring 8w5d and has a strong heartbeat. I'm so relieved! The doc did a pap smear and, because of my history of preterm labor, also did the GBS test. I go back in four weeks. I know we're not completely out of the woods, but our odds are excellent so I'm feeling positive.

I'll post a picture of our little bean after I get home tonight.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Problem resolved!

Collin was able to take a half hour off of work on Thursday, so he can just watch the kids while I go to my appointment. Whew!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I've often wondered...

...if Mary had to go through first trimester nausea when she was pregnant with Jesus. I tend to think she did, given that her body was a human body. If so, I heartily sympathize, and ask her to pray for me right now.

I've never had an epidural during childbirth, but I do wish I could get one for the first trimester. I hate the all-day nausea, the occasional vomiting, and trying to make it through the workday when all I want do do is crawl under the covers and whimper.

I do have nausea medication (Phenergen), but I'm reluctant to take it at work as it makes me drowsy. It's hard enough staying awake while at work the way it is!

A few more details about this pregnancy: I got the positive test on Father's Day, June 21. Collin was thrilled by his surprise gift (I wrapped up the test and gave it to him after I showed him the slideshows I'd made of the kids). Over the course of the next week I had two quantitative HCG tests done; my number at 15 days past ovulation was 256 and my number at 17dpo was 667. Both excellent numbers, and doubling nicely, as they're supposed to do. My progesterone level was 19 - also excellent. I've had a "paperwork" appointment at the doctor's office and go in on Thursday, July 23 for my first actual appointment.

I'm not sure what I'll do with the kids. I don't really want to bring them with given I'll be getting a Pap smear done, but Collin's not sure if he can take time off of work due to a project with which he's involved. I may just bring them to daycare and then drive back to Surprise for my appointment, but that seems like a waste of gas (it's a 45-minute drive, one way, to their daycare). Still, it may be worth it. I'll have to think about it more.

I'm really hoping I'll get an ultrasound at my appointment, but from what I understand they're not routine. Still, given my miscarriage history and the fact that I won't be far enough along to hear the baby's heartbeat via Doppler, maybe the doctor will take pity on me and give me one anyway.

Friday, July 17, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday



Hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary

1. Our trip to North Dakota (July 11-15) went very well. The kids both LOVED flying on the airplane. William never stopped moving, which made for a tiring flight (he was a lap baby). Still, we got to see lots of relatives, most of whom we hadn't seen since October.

2. Sadly, one of my favorite parts of the trip was going to Taco John's for potato oles. There's only one Taco Johns in AZ, ad it's on an Air Force base in Tucson. I miss potato oles.

3. We didn't get to see everyone we wanted to visit -- just not enough time. We did get to see Harry Potter 6, though! I liked it quite a bit, even if they did leave out some scenes from the book I was hoping to see.

4. At the airport, they had to test the juice in William's sippy cup to make sure it wasn't explosive. Our tax dollars at work.

5. Even though it's only been a two-day workweek for me, I'm ready for the weekend. Maybe the kids will even sleep later than 7am!

6. Another reason I was glad to be able to visit family was that it meant we could share our big news in person. And that news is...

7. I'm pregnant! BabyW v3.0 is due 3-2-10. My blood tests are great so far, and I'm hoping for an ultrasound next week. Please keep us all in your prayers. I'm in the throes of nausea and fatigue, which makes going to work lots of fun. Luckily I've been able to manage so far.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Anniversary


Collin and I had our first date nine years ago today. We went to see the movie "Chicken Run", and then we went to the Barnes and Noble release party for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. We stayed in the parking lot of B&N talking (and maybe a little necking) ;) until two a.m.

Nine years, two kids, two miscarriages, and two moves later, we're still very much in love. I love you, honey!

Friday, July 3, 2009

No 7 Quick Takes today

Too busy! Having a great time so far.

But I wanted to share the before and after pictures from William's first haircut. He was mistaken for a girl yet again last night, so we finally bit the bullet and took him in for his first haircut today.

Before:



After:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Some random thoughts

My best friend, Rose, is coming to visit this weekend! We were roommates in college for two years. I saw her back in October, but only for a few hours (the kids and I stopped in CO to visit during the move to Arizona). She's in Flagstaff, AZ during the summer, working on her master's degree, and so she's coming down to our neck of the woods for the Fourth of July. I'm so excited to see her!

108 degrees today. Whew. It's not as bad as I feared, but then again I've never experienced monsoon season. I can't wait 'til October or so when it starts getting cooler. I will say that the 2-3 months of hot unpleasantness is far superior to the 9 months of subzero temps and blizzards of North Dakota.

We're starting to hammer out our itinerary for our North Dakota trip in July. I'm really looking forward to the trip. With the exception of my grandmother, who stayed with us for a month or two this winter, I haven't seen any of my family since we moved.

With that, it's time for bed. 10pm and I can barely keep my eyes open. *yawn*

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Beautiful Prayer

My church had a stack of flyers with this prayer on them in the narthex this morning - I thought it was beautiful.

Prayer After Holy Communion - St. Thomas Aquinas

I thank You, O holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, who have deigned, not through any merits of mine, but out of the condenscension of Your goodness, to satisfy me a sinner, Your unworthy servant, with the precious Body and Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this Holy Communion be not a condemnation to punishment for me, but a saving plea to forgiveness. May it be to me the armor of faith and the shield of a good will. May it be the emptying out of my vices and the extinction of all lustfull desires; and increase of charity and patience, of humility and obediance, and all virtues; a strong defense against the snares of all my enemies, visible and invisible; the perfect quieting of all my evil impulses of flesh and spirit, binding me firmly to You, the one true God; and a happy ending of my life. I pray too that You will deign to bring me, a sinner, to that ineffable banquet where You with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, are to your Saints true light, fulfillment of desires, eternal joy, unalloyer gladness, and perfect bliss. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, June 26, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary.

--- 1 ---


We've bit the bullet and are putting the kids in a new daycare, starting Monday. We love their current daycare, but it's just too expensive. Their new daycare is in the home of a lovely lady named Margie. She has 20+ years of childcare experience, is charging us $200/week less than our current daycare, and will take the kids when they're sick. Both Collin and I have had to miss a lot of work when the kids were ill, so that last bit is huge. I'll probably cry today, saying goodbye to all of our friends at our current daycare, but the extra $200 per week will help us a lot.
photo credit

--- 2 ---


We really need to get a better handle on housework. We did really well for a while, but then both Collin and I got sick at the same time (him with samonella, me with a UTI) and we let things slip. We've also been pretty busy on our days off the last few weeks, and that hasn't helped. We're having company over the Fourth of July weekend (my best friend, Rose, who's currently working on her Master's degree in Flagstaff, AZ), and I'm hoping the motivation of company will get my butt in gear for a cleaning binge this weekend.



--- 3 ---

I heard something humorous while listening to EWTN's Mother Angelica Live Classics podcast today. She told a story about a cardinal who was at some sort of state diplomatic function, and the lady seated next to him at dinner was wearing a gown that was quite low-cut. When the dessert course came around, the cardinal picked an apple out of a fruit platter and handed it to her. The lady inquired, "Your Eminence, why did you give me an apple?" He replied, "When Eve at the apple, she realized she was naked and felt ashamed. I was hoping it'd do the same for you."

Boy, what I wouldn't give to be able to do that to some celebrities who wear next-to-nothing!
photo credit

--- 4 ---

I really, really want to see the movie Up. Everyone I've talked to who has seen it gives it rave reviews. We were hoping to go this weekend, but we may wait until next weekend instead, since I get paid on Wednesday.

Speaking of Pixar, we recently purchased Wall-E and Ratatouille. Elanor has been watching Wall-E via Netflix instant view for the past few weeks, and she loves it, so we decided to add it to our DVD collection. Ratatouille was on sale so we picked that up as well. I've only seen parts of it, and Collin hasn't seen it at all, so we're looking forward to doing a family movie night this weekend. Another movie on our list to see, thanks to Wall-E, is Hello, Dolly! That one is available to see via Netflix instant view as well, so maybe we'll end up watching that one too.


--- 5 ---

We're flying to North Dakota for a visit on July 11. I'm looking forward to the trip, but at the same time I'm halfway dreading the flight. Neither Elanor nor William have ever been on a plane before. Thankfully it's a non-stop flight. It'll be nice to see family members whom we haven't seen since we left in October, and catch up on all the news. We fly back to AZ on July 15.

--- 6 ---

William just turned 16 months yesterday. He is so close to walking unassisted. He can get himself into a standing position without help, he walks along furniture and pushes toys, but he hasn't taken that first unassisted step yet.

His newest words are "cow" and "hello" (heyyo!). He's quite the little talker, much more so than I remember Elanor being at this age. He also has learned what the DVD player does, and will bring me a movie while pointing at the DVD player. Such a smart boy! He's growing up so fast.

--- 7 ---

Collin's dad, Keith, was in town for a visit last week; he and Collin spent the day after Father's Day together. They went out shopping, and Keith bought us a brand-new TV/DVD player for our bedroom! We've been wanting one for a while (as that's where I keep the kids on Saturdays when we're in the house, since Collin's working). We've been making do with Collin's computer, but it's a pain to lug it back and forth from the office to the bedroom (even though it's a Mac and easy to transport, since it only has one cord and no tower to deal with). When Keith heard that we'd been moving the computer back and forth, he insisted on buying us a TV/DVD player for the bedroom. I have an incredibly generous father-in-law!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I've been feeling under the weather the last few days, and thus not up to much blogging, so in lieu of an actual post from me - I recommend reading this one.

Monday, June 22, 2009

William says "Grandpa"!

I shot this on Saturday and sent it to William's grandpas on Father's Day. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our Father's Day

We have had a wonderful Father's Day today. Using the fabulous iPhoto software on Collin's Mac, I made two slideshows out of the kids' pictures (one for Elanor, and one for William) for him, and he loved them! I will have to see if there's any way to post them online.

We went to Mass this morning at 11am, and afterward Collin felt like exploring. We ended up going to Wickenburg, AZ and out to the Vulture Mine. It was a long, hot trek around the mine, but very interesting too. When we got back to Wickenburg we ate at a very good Mexican restaurant, Los Rancheros.

And now we're home, tired but happy. It was a really a nice day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

Participating in this for the first time, thanks to Jen's inspiration.


--- 1 ---


Elanor woke us at 4:30am this morning by vomiting all over our bed. Lovely. And by lovely, I mean totally disgusting. Neither Collin nor I could afford to miss work today, so she's in the care of a very nice lady named Margie, who lives just down the street from our regular daycare. Margie works nights at a local hospital and does babysitting during the day. We "met" via phone a month or so ago when we were frantically calling local hospitals to see if there was a sick kid's daycare. She was the receptionist at a hospital we called, and though their daycare had shut down, she offered her place as an alternative. We ended up not needing her then, but boy did we need her today! I checked out her home and references and felt satisfied with both, and so far Elanor seems to be doing well.

I'm glad we have some back-up for when the kids are sick. I have a feeling we'll be utilizing her services more often.

--- 2 ---


The reason Elanor was sleeping with us was due to the trauma of watching Dad swat flies. At first she thought it was great fun, but once she realized that swatting = death to flies, she became very upset, to the point where she couldn't sleep. I told her shecould sleep with us -- in retrospect, a bad idea. At least it forced me to change our sheets, but I'll probably need to take our bedspread to a laundromat to get it clean.

--- 3 ---


We don't have any big plans for Father's Day. Collin just wants a quiet day at home, so that's what we'll do. I'll make a special dinner and we'll play World of Warcraft, or maybe watch a movie. He already got his gift, the Star Wars Legos computer game (he bought it a month ago and told me it was an early Father's Day gift -- works for me!). I am working on something else for him; hopefully I can finish it tomorrow.

--- 4 ---


I feel the urge to do some cooking/baking this weekend. So far my plans include making waffles, banana bread, and homemade pizza. We'll see if my motivation stays the course.

--- 5 ---


Our iPhones were upgraded to OS 3.0 yesterday. One of the new features?

The ability to copy/paste.

LOVE it.

There are some nice new iPod features too, such as the ability to e-mail a link to the podcast you're currently listening to -- very neat.

--- 6 ---


Speaking of, I've become quite the podcast addict. My favorites are Catholic Answers Live, The Catholics Next Door, Daily Breakfast, NPR Performance Today, Among Women, and both The Journey Home and Mother Angelica Live from EWTN. Occasionally I'll get the LibriVox podcast, too.

--- 7 ---


Speaking of LibriVox, I've decided to start doing some recordings for them. I'm still playing with the software, but I'm hoping to record a story this weekend. I've gotten so much enjoyment from their audiobooks that I wanted to return the favor. I'm not sure how well I'll do, but I at least want to make the effort.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nothing yet

I didn't get William's ultrasound results today. Hopefully tomorrow.

Man, what a day. I just feel like I've been run over by a truck. Commuting 45 miles (one way) every day is getting old, but there's really no end in sight. I guess I should be thankful I have a job at all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Woes of William

William had another episode of vomiting today. It seems to happen every few weeks -- I get a call from daycare saying, "Uh oh, William threw up, better come and get him." I get there, he's happily playing, I take him home and he's absolutely fine the rest of the day.

We took him to the doctor the last time it happened, and the doctor's opinion was that it was teething-related (he was getting a molar). I took him again today, and this time the doctor didn't think it was teething, given that he didn't seem to be in any discomfort. He checked his ears -- all clear.

Then he felt his tummy and opined that there may be some sort of partial blockage between where the stomach and the intestine connect (I can't remember the medical terminology, but it's something definitely fixable with minimally invasive surgery), and so he referred him for a stomach ultrasound to check. We were able to get in for the ultrasound today and will hopefully get the results tomorrow.

If the results are negative, I'm not sure what the heck is going on. The daycare thinks dairy allergy (because he threw up after drinking a cup of milk) but I and the doctor aren't sure. He drank milk all weekend with no problems.

But this really has to stop. I only have 3 hours of PTO left. My husband has only 3 hours of PTO left. We're going on vacation in July (have non-refundable plane tickets) and I'll probably have to take most of the days unpaid because I keep having to leave work when William vomits at daycare. My husband, luckily, gets to differentiate sick time from vacation time so he won't have that problem, but he does get docked points if he takes more than a certain number of sick days in a given quarter, and he's getting close to the "danger zone."

I absolutely love our current daycare, and I'd probably cry if we had to leave it, but I'm seriously thinking of switching to a home daycare that won't freak out whenever he's throwing up. (Our eventual goal is for me to be a SAHM, but we're nowhere near financially able to do that yet.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

What I accomplished yesterday

- Taking out the garbage
- Laundry, both washing and putting away clothes and bedding (I got some done)
- Shovel out my bedroom (nope, not even close to done)
- Shovel out Elanor's bedroom (shouldn't take too long) (just needs to be vacuumed!)
- Tidy up the kitchen/living room (doable)
- Finish Collin's Father's Day gift (I made cookies instead)

Tonight, after I get the kidlets bathed and in bed: more laundry. Ah, what an exciting life I lead. ;)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Today's agenda

Collin is taking his mom to the airport today (she's flying to ND and staying in that area for a month or two), and then he's going to play some D&D with a new gaming group he's discovered at a gaming store in Glendale. He went last week and had a fantastic time.

When he came home, he said, "It was so nice getting out of the house and interacting with new people for a change!" I didn't understand what he meant at first, and then I realized -- he works from home. All his human contact during the day takes place via phone, and he rarely leaves the house until I get home or on his days off.

Since I work outside the home, my perspective is different and I didn't realize how much he was craving actual face-to-face interaction with people while doing something he enjoys. I hope he has fun today, although I'm going to miss having him here to run interference with the kids.

William's really starting to get into his terrible twos (yes, already!) and he gets into EVERYTHING. Elanor actually does a really good job of keeping him distracted for me, but sometimes they start fighting and I have to referee.

I was out shopping with the kids pretty much all day yesterday, so I couldn't get much done. I never can on Saturdays given that I either have to keep the kids quiet or out of the house (since Collin is working). I usually opt for the latter, because it's easier. Still, that only gives me one day to get housework done (and not really any time for relaxation, which is one of the disadvantages about Collin working Saturdays).

Today's agenda includes:

- Taking out the garbage (should've done it Thursday night, but I was too tired)
- Laundry, both washing and putting away clothes and bedding (it never ends)
- Shovel out my bedroom (this is ambitious, but I want to make an attempt)
- Shovel out Elanor's bedroom (shouldn't take too long)
- Tidy up the kitchen/living room (doable)
- Finish Collin's Father's Day gift

I hope I can at least make a dent in this list, anyway.

The kids are suspiciously quiet, so I'd better go see what they're up to. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Elanor's birth story - January 2005

The birth story of Elanor Mary
01/13/2005 (39w0d), 12:20pm CST
Weight: 7lbs 10.8oz, Length: 20 inches

Elanor, just a few minutes after her birth

In preparation for childbirth, Collin and I took a Lamaze class from our hospital and we also did a Bradley homestudy course since the Bradley course in our area wasn’t being offered until January. We were both determined to have a natural, drug-free childbirth with as little medical intervention as possible. As my due date approached, we practiced relaxation and massage techniques, and I began drinking red raspberry leaf tea.

At my 39w OB appointment on January 11, my OB told me I was dilated to a 2 and 50% effaced – she was actually surprised that I hadn’t yet gone into labor, given that I’d been steadily dilating for two weeks. I told her I was convinced I was going to go past my due date – little did I know!

Collin woke me up at 6am the next morning, January 12, wanting nookie. I obliged and jokingly told him that it might start labor, so he should be prepared just in case. Who knows, maybe it was the trigger!

I started having contractions at 9am – I first noticed them as I was driving to work. They felt like mild menstrual cramps so I didn’t think much of them, and then I thought they were Braxton-Hicks contractions since I hadn’t had any up to that point. I started timing them around noon. They were coming about 10 minutes apart. I made an effort to drink a lot of water – sixty ounces – but they kept coming. At one point during the day I sent Collin an instant message telling him that things might be happening, and I also called and e-mailed my mom to let her know. My mother was one of my labor coaches and she lived 20 miles away. There was a severe winter weather/blizzard warning in effect for our area, and I wanted to let her know that things might be happening in case the weather got bad.

The contractions became a bit more intense as I was driving home. I picked Collin up from work (we carpool) but let him drive home. Once we got home, I drank more water, moved around, and took a shower. The contractions kept coming, still about 7-10 minutes apart (Collin was timing them now). I called my mom to let her know she should probably come over since the contractions hadn’t gone away. We also called the hospital birth center, and they said this was “probably” early labor but they didn’t want to say for sure.

Collin went to the grocery store to get some last-minute supplies. While he was gone, my mom arrived. She did some housework for me while I packed our hospital bags. Collin got home and we continued timing contractions.

Sometime around 11pm the contractions started coming closer together. They only lasted about 30-40 seconds and weren’t very intense, but they were three minutes apart. We decided to go to the hospital birth center since they were so close together. In retrospect, this was a mistake – even though they were close together, they weren’t lasting very long so they weren’t doing much. Had I remembered this from our Bradley course, we would have stayed home, but my mother had told me that neither she nor her sisters had had labors that were longer than four hours, and I was concerned that I’d go fast too.

When we got to the birth center, I was put in the triage room. A nurse came in and hooked me up to an external fetal monitor, and she also did a pelvic exam. I was only dilated to a 3. My contractions were still three minutes apart but weren’t very intense. My mom went to the family lounge to take a nap; Collin and I stayed in the triage room until about 2:30am. The nurse checked me again and I was still only dilated to a 3.

By this time I was very irritated and unhappy – I’d been confined to a very uncomfortable bed and hooked up to monitors; how did she expect me to dilate??? Collin and I walked the halls for half and hour and I got another internal exam. I was still a 3, so they sent us home. I was NOT pleased. Luckily, we lived only four blocks from the hospital so it wasn’t like we had to make a long trip.

When we got home, about 3:30am, Collin and I went to bed (my mom sacked out on our couch). He slept and I tried to, but I mainly just dozed between contractions. About 6am I decided to try the bathtub. The water felt good, but our bathtub was so small that I was cramped and uncomfortable, so I got out about 45 minutes later. The contractions were starting to get more intense and it was hard to talk through them. I sat on our birth ball for about an hour – it felt wonderful and I didn’t want to get off of it. However, the contractions were really starting to hurt, so we knew it was time to go back to the hospital.

When we got there, at about 8:15am, we were sent to triage again. I got an internal exam and was dilated to a 6! This time they were going to let me stay. ;) We got into our LDR room and I got on the birth ball again.

The contractions were getting more intense. Collin coached me through them, reminding me to breathe deeply and normally. He and my mom constantly massaged my back, which was the only thing that helped me get through them. Any time either of them would pause for even a millisecond, I’d yell, “Don’t stop! Don’t stop!” I was also chewing lots of ice chips.

The nurse told me that my doctor wanted me to have a heparin/saline lock, but I refused. We were committed to having a natural childbirth and I didn’t want the temptation of easily accessible medication, nor did I want fluids that might stall labor as long as I wasn’t dehydrated. Also, the last time I’d gotten an IV, it had HURT – and the prospect of more pain was just unbearable! We told the nurse we didn’t want the IV and she didn’t push the issue.

Arin (our nurse) wanted to do another internal exam, so I got into bed. I was almost dilated to a 7 and 100% effaced – my cervix was “very thin.” This was good news to everyone but me – I was so disappointed! I’d hoped to be further along.

Arin put fetal monitors on me again to make sure that the baby was tolerating contractions well. (She was.) I stayed in bed, laying on my left side with pillows between my legs, as Collin and my mom massaged my back and fed me ice chips. Collin suggested the tub but at the time I didn’t want to go through the ordeal of waiting for the tub to fill, getting out of bed, and getting in/out of the tub. In retrospect, I wish I had gone into the tub (they had a nice Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom attached to the LDR room). It might have helped me tolerate the contractions better, but at the time I just wanted to stay put. I told Collin, “I don’t want an epidural but I can certainly see the appeal of one!”

Suddenly I had an overwhelming feeling of pressure on my rectum and an urge to push. We called the nurse, who came in and did an internal exam. I was still only at 7 centimeters! The reason I was feeling so much pressure was because the baby’s head was “right there.” I wanted to push SO badly but I couldn’t, as it could cause the cervix to swell and stall labor

For the next two hours, I had to pant, blow, and huff during each contraction so I wouldn’t push. At this point the contractions were incredibly intense, lasting well over a minute, and coming 1-2 minutes apart. I was in agony – the urge to push was overwhelming and it was so difficult to have to suppress it! Plus, I was going through transition and had the shakes, so on top of the pain I was shaking so hard I could barely breathe. Collin and my mom were so wonderful – they kept encouraging me, telling me what a great job I was doing, and reassuring me when I told them I couldn’t stand it anymore (another sign of transition). Arin came in about 11am and did another internal exam. To my great relief, I was almost fully dilated, with just a small lip of cervix on the right side. I turned on my right side and huffed my way through a few more contractions. Finally, FINALLY, I was given the green light to push!

Arin reclined the bed to a 45 degree angle so I could be in a sitting squat position. By this time I was sweaty, exhausted, and in a lot of pain, so pushing was difficult. At one point I started hyperventilating – my head was spinning and I couldn’t catch my breath. Collin, my mom, and Arin helped me calm down and reminded me to breathe, because the baby needed oxygen too. This helped me focus and I was able to breathe better.

I pushed for over an hour. I found that what I’d read about pushing was true – it felt like I was having the biggest bowel movement of my life! At some point I pooped on the bed, which had been a concern of mine while pregnant – but when it happened I could not have cared less! All I cared about was getting this baby OUT so the pain would stop.

Sometime near noon, Arin said she could see the bag of waters bulging out of the birth canal. Collin and my mom saw it too. I pushed more and it still didn’t break, so Arin broke it (with my and Collin’s permission – I was hoping it would speed things up). Collin kept making comments like, “Oh, my God, this is so disgusting, but so amazing” and “I can’t believe the baby will fit through there!” At one point I think I told him to shut up.

Once the baby’s head crowned (“I can see hair!” Arin said), they called my doctor. She was across the hall delivering another baby, so it took her a few minutes to get there (it seemed like HOURS to me!). By this point I was sobbing and telling Collin that I didn’t think I could push anymore, I was just too tired. My OB put her face just inches from mine (she has VERY intense eyes), stared me straight in the face, and said, “JoAnna, just a few more pushes and the baby will be out. YOU CAN DO IT.”

Her words gave me a second wind and I pushed with all my might (making sounds that I didn’t think were capable for human beings to make!). I definitely felt the “ring of fire,” and it gave me the impetus to push even harder. The supreme thought in my mind was, “GET IT OUT GET IT OUT GET IT OUT!” I pushed so hard that the baby was born very quickly, and I got a second-degree tear in the process. (I was glad to tear naturally as opposed to an episiotomy.)

Collin said, “Oh my God, it’s a girl!” and started to cry. I said, “What? What? A girl?” and started to cry too. They put the baby on my chest and I sobbed to her, “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry I’ve been calling you a boy for the past nine months!” (We hadn’t found out the gender beforehand, and I’d been convinced it was a boy.) Collin cut the cord and we looked at our little girl. She was absolutely beautiful, with a full head of hair, and screaming to beat the band.

The nurses took her and dried her off while my doctor delivered the placenta. She was pulling on the umbilical cord to deliver it and I bled a lot when it came out. (I’m not at all pleased that she did this, as I thought that it was better to deliver the placenta naturally than to have it pulled out. It’s a moot issue now, but one that I plan to raise with my doctor during any subsequent pregnancies.)

My birth plan had specified that I did not want routine pitocin to deliver the placenta, but I ended up getting a shot anyway since I was bleeding so much. My doctor was not pleased that she had to give me the pitocin directly instead of through an IV, but I’m still glad I didn’t get one. I also got a shot of anesthetic into the perineum while she stitched up my tear.

So, it was a long exhausting process, but ultimately I’m so glad that I did it all naturally! Elanor was SO alert after birth – her eyes were wide open and she didn’t even nap until about four hours after she was born. I breastfed her about ten minutes after birth – it took her a while to figure out how to latch on, but once she did she breastfed like a champ. The nurses delayed the newborn procedures so we could have the chance to bond with our baby, and when it came time for the newborn procedures they did everything in our room – weighing, eye ointment, vitamin K, etc.

We had the baby room in with us the entire time we were in the hospital. I had no pain whatsoever from the tear, but it took me a while to go to the bathroom afterwards. The night nurse kept threatening to catheterize me (something I did NOT want) if I didn’t pee, so I drank five cups of water in the span of several hours and got into the Jacuzzi (that was SO nice). Finally, I was able to pee. And then I was up several times during the night going to the bathroom due to all the water I’d had!

The most unpleasant part of our stay was when they had to move us to a much smaller and not-as-nice postpartum room because the birth center was really full. (Eight babies were born the same day as Elanor, and five of them were born around the same time she was!) I was glad to get out of the hospital; I was so tired of having nurses come in constantly to poke and prod. We went home on January 16.

We almost didn’t get to take Elanor home with us because her bilirubin levels (jaundice) were so high. We took her in for daily blood tests and her level still hadn’t gone down, so the hospital sent a bili blanket to our home and we started 24/7 home phototherapy. After a few days her level went down and we were able to take off the bili blanket.

The story behind Elanor’s name:

It was important to us to choose a name that would fit our daughter as a child and as a woman. Also, we wanted something unique but not outlandish.

“Elanor” is a name from the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien. (The books, not the movies!) The first reference is in The Fellowship of the Ring – an elanor is a golden, star-shaped flower that blooms in winter in the forest of Lothlorien. In Return of the King, Samwise Gamgee and Rosie Cotton name their firstborn daughter Elanor (the name is suggested to them by Frodo Baggins). Both Collin and I are huge Tolkien fans, and we both loved the name. Also, I liked the nickname “Elly” for a little girl and thought that “Elanor” was an elegant name for a woman.

“Mary” is a reflection of our Catholic faith – it’s in honor of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, and also after the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, MN, where Collin and I were both confirmed into Catholicism.

Elanor, about 3 days old