Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cravings+Busy Body+Hubby in School+Sugar=

Entirely too much fun.

I got to help out with a wedding shower for my cousin recently. So what do I pick to do? Desserts of course! Like you wondered.

Bum deal is we ran out of time to do decor the way we really wanted. But I think it turned out ok. And the weather cooperated which was our biggest concern! It was a beautiful warm day-which is amazing when you consider that it's been snowing off and on for the past two weeks. Including right now. Nice.

We stuck with a black and white color palate, with a little green thrown in for good measure.

The food turned out lovely (at least in my opinion, and by the comments of the attendees. Unless they are all big fat liars- in which case I'd rather just be lied to). Some of the classics, and a few new favorites.

Lemon Pannacotta

Lime Tart

Coconut Cupcakes with Lime Curd

(I was terrified I'd misspelled that label and that it would read "lime crud")

And those always requested, like the cheesecake and the coconut cream cupcakes.

Wish I would have planned ahead better, finished the decor, and taken my own camera (that would have been helpful, huh?).
But for a neurotic pregnant woman with very little brain capacity lately, not too shabby.

(For those who asked about recipes, you can find coconut cupcakes, coconut/pomegranate panna cotta, and lemon tart here on the blog. I will get the others up asap!)


Not that it's slowing her down

Also titled: Why I haven't been able to use the bathroom alone for nearly 12 years.

Because this is what happens:

Less than three minutes lapsed between my bravely attempting to take a bathroom break by myself and the moment I found her like this.

The kicker is that she didn't even get the good stuff. She ate unsweetened chocolate.
But she was still entirely too happy with herself.
I'm thinking it's a good thing her hand is bandaged well.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'll have one Sunday morning, with an extra helping of chaos please

Those of you who have kids know just how much fun getting everyone ready for church on a Sunday morning can be. I'm sure you can imagine that party that is our house every Sunday about two hours before church. Good times.

Is it only us, or does something always go wrong on Sunday morning?

Usually it's just the typical missing socks, or one of the boys has ripped a hole in his pants and not told us prior to one hour before church starting, or a white shirt has been stuffed under the bed instead of either hung up or put in the laundry where it would be washed, so we find ourselves scrambling to find something to dress that child in. Or the girls are having hair issues (who knew it started that young?). Or one of my personal favorites; everyone is dressed, looking nice, and ready to go......and then someone spills. All over themselves. And it has to be something that you can't just clean up and go-it totally kills whatever clothes they had on. Good times.

Last Sunday started out typical, and actually a little better. Kids were getting dressed-in appropriate matching clothing (score!), being cooperative (for the most part) and being kind to each other in the process. Except the "no one will button my dress meltdown", but that's an issue all by itself.
We did the typical sock hunt, though I'm still not sure WHY after all the boys got the glorious gift of yet another pair of church socks in their Easter basket this year. (have I mentioned the sock issues we have in this house?) Grand total locatable new church socks: 1. 1 0f 8. Go figure.

We should have known things were going too smoothly.

Heck, the oldest two had even gotten out the iron and ironing board to get their own shirts done! Woo-hoo! Kids who want to iron their clothes! And are actually capable of doing so!

But that's where the best of intentions went slightly South.

Everyone was off getting their own things together while I was scrambling to gather things for my lesson. Have I mentioned that teaching adults throw me into a tailspin? It does. Freaks me out.

While we were all busy, Charlotte was being her normal self, just cruising around, playing, flipping through books....and then she wandered.
You know where this is going.
Right out to the ironing board.
Where the iron was plugged in and red hot.

And then comes the blood curdling scream.

She had pushed the piano bench over to the ironing board and climbed up to check things out. Which is when she grabbed the iron.
And did a number on her hand.

Nothing says Sunday morning fun like a trip to urgent care!

We were just watching it for a bit to see how she did, but when after an hour of crying (even with ibuprofen in her for the pain) she was still going strong, we figured we'd better check it out.

She got it pretty good, waking up yesterday with a hugely swollen blister right in between her thumb and her index finger, and up the side of her thumb. With a nice little perfectly round blister on the tip of each finger to match. We were aiming for 'try to keep it from popping for now'. We made it two full hours on Monday morning-all the way until 9am. Go us.

This is after it popped:

The picture very much does not do it justice, it runs from the bottom of her finger across that skin between the finger and the thumb, all the way up the side of the thumb. It wraps over that skin toward the top of her hand too. It's pretty gross.
But now it's covered (better than this picture-this was making do with what we could find in the house), and she alternates between loving having her hand wrapped, hating having her hand wrapped, and ignoring the fact that she has her hand wrapped-moving on with life as normal.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Life Lessons: Crossing the street

We walked home from church today. It was a beautiful day, and the walk was wonderful. Even in 3 1/2 inch heels.
(until I got tired of them and walked in stocking feet for the last few houses)

There were a couple of streets we needed to cross to get home, and trusting that most of the kids are smart enough to not get killed on the way home, I let them run ahead, leaving just Lincoln and Malia with me.

Lincoln is one big fat ball of energy, and things like stopping to look both ways are just slowing him down.

First street he stopped at the edge of the sidewalk to wait for me. Yes! Progress! I asked him to look for cars, he saw one and waited for it to pass.
Then it was time to look again. Thankfully no cars were coming as he looked just to his left, and kept his head looking to the left as he ran across to the sidewalk on the other side.

After Malia and I also made it across, he turned around and said "Phew! Not dead! We're not dead Mom!"

At least he knows the basics; when crossing the street, the main goal is to not die.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Actual picture of what's going on

I talked about what is happening in my baby's head, but realized that I've not added a picture here. And with as generous as MFM is with u/s pics (yay!!), we have a lot of great pictures of our little guy.

This profile picture is one that really shows what is happening:
In an ultrasound, fluid is black. If you look at his head here (I'm assuming you can tell that he is laying face up-this is a profile shot), you can see the amount of fluid in his head. The light gray area that spans the top of the black area is his brain matter. This picture is from about 4 weeks ago, when it wasn't being compressed quite so much up in the front and on top-now you can see just a thin layer around the fluid and not the bulk up toward his forehead.

Anyway, hopefully this provides a better idea for those who didn't quite understand what I've been describing.

And if nothing else, you get to see his cute little profile. With the same nose that a couple of our other kids have.

Baby Update

Long story short, mostly just more of the same.

Samuel's vents have increased in size, but considering that he is three weeks bigger/older than last time we measured things, that isn't very surprising.

While yes, optimally the vent size would stay stable making the ratio of fluid to head size less and allowing his brain less pressure and some room to actually sit instead of being squished up against the sides of his skull, we weren't expecting that to happen. And considering the alternatives, this isn't too bad.

Last time his ventricles were measuring roughly 15 and 18mm, yesterday they were 19.7 and 22.3mm. His head is still measuring large, but is now measuring 3 weeks ahead instead instead of the 2 weeks ahead it was measuring in the past. This isn't necessarily a horrible thing-if his head is growing a little bigger then it might give his brain tissue some room to develop instead of just being so compressed, but we also don't necessarily want his head to get huge because of the problems that this can mean for both myself and baby. It's kind of one of those things we feel stuck in the middle of-either way comes with benefits and risks.

He is still nice and active, and the rest of his body looks flawless. We even got to see what it looks like to watch hiccups via ultrasound. That was kind of fun.

The one really disheartening part of yesterday's appointment was the dr we met with. I am not an idiot. I get that I am not the dr, not the one who went to school for all those years, but that does not make me an idiot. And quite frankly, when it comes to things pregnancy childbirth related, I certainly feel like I know more than the average person. I feel like I'm getting there with some components of hydrocephalus as well. I certainly don't know it all and would never pretend to think that, but I am not stupid.
So when 99% of what came out of this dr's mouth yesterday contradicted everything we have been told or discussed with perinatologists over the past month, as well as all the research I have done on my own, it was a huge red flag for me. There were a couple of comments that the dr made that clearly told me "this is not even worth commenting on, let alone arguing with her." It was very plain that she-in many ways-was much of what ticks me off about drs; "I'm the dr, you have no say in any of this, this is the way it is, this is the way it will go, and that's the way it is!"

Not worth my effort to even comment.

It ticked poor Aaron off and scared him in addition to that to have gone from the aspect and opinion of drs who wanted our input and thoughts and actually cared about what we feel toward this entire situation to a dr who actually told us "this is not about you. This is not about avoiding a surgery on yourself because you "don't want" it. This is about the baby. not you." Of course she also told us that even talking about inducing this baby more than a week early was not possible-unless baby's life was on the line (and eventually she conceded my life as well), and that inducing two weeks early would only be possible with amnio to check for lung maturity and steroids for baby. She actually told us that anything before then is "essentially terminating your baby." Yes, she used those words.

And I said nothing, because I realized it wasn't even worth it to point out her factual medical errors. You know, that the vast majority of drs won't stop labor at 35 wks (5wks early). Or that I've had an elective induction at 38wks (2wks early), or that I've given birth to half of my children at 38wks. Or the kicker-that the actual medical definition of a "full term" baby is 37 weeks. But heaven forbid my baby be born at 37-that's termination according to her.

She blew off tests that the perinatologists (and leading hydrocephalus researchers) sing the praises of as being extremely helpful in situations like ours, and insisted on some totally unnecessary tests.

Needless to say, I will NOT see that dr again.

Upon looking up her credentials and position when I returned home I found that she is a clinical geneticist. Why she thinks that gives her clout to comment on how my pregnancy and delivery will be handled, I do not know.

But being one of those people who will occasionally get to a dr appointment with a question or two, the fact that I have a page and a half of questions and concerns after yesterday's appointment speaks volumes on how convoluted everything I was told yesterday is. I'm so glad this is happening at a point in my life when I have the gumption to address my concerns instead of going along with something just because a dr told me so. When I've educated myself more and have the research to back up my opinions on the situation. When I know that the drs work for ME, not the other way around and that I have every right to look for other drs if I find it necessary-that I'm not stuck with someone just because they happened to be the dr I saw one day.

But hey, my baby is beautiful. He is strong. And he is well enough that we don't have to go recheck his measurements for 3 weeks.

And my next appointment is with a real doctor who we've already seen-and felt comfortable with. Hallelujah.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On a lighter note....


Also, I get to see my baby in two hours.

And food!

I've been well overdue for some baking therapy, and it hit early in the morning last week.
Since a cheesecake isn't exactly practical at 7am (and you can't eat it till it sets anyway), I figured something like muffins would be a tad bit more practical. and healthy. Look at me being good.

Since we are in the midst of that whole fruit thing with the kids, we had some pears sitting around that were being neglected and needing to be used. And then I remembered a recipe that I saw at GoodLife Eats a few months ago. Bingo!

Except I didn't have any almonds. And there were still a couple of kids sleeping, so grinding up some wheat flour wasn't happening. I use one of those killer blenders for grinding (go to youtube, look up "will it blend"), and let's be honest, it's loud when there is a bunch of wheat flying around in that jar. It only takes 2 minutes to get 5+ cups, but it's loud! Not worth waking kids.

Time to tweak.

For the almonds-quick oats.
For the wheat flour-well, more white flour. a little ground flax too. and a little more oats.
Cardamom? Yah, no on that too.
And vanilla beans? Well, there's a reason I just had a friend talk someone she knew who was going to Mexico into finding my favorite vanilla. That's plenty good for muffins!

Hey, my kids will eat just about anything. Especially if it looks like cupcakes. It was worth a shot.

They turned out surprisingly well.

Also, I noticed when I went back to link that recipe that we have the same little square plates.
Love the plates! Yes, I love dishes the way I love shoes. All that means is I have to be creative with storage space.

When you add the sunlight streaming in through the windows that morning, it made for a very happy start to the day!

My tweaked version of GLE's muffins:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups grated fresh pear, drained of excess water
Streusal Topping
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 Tbs cold unsalted butter, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
Mix streusal topping, cutting in butter with pastry cutter. (or forks, or knives or whatever works. Truthfully, a hand mixer usually does the trick well too) Set aside for later.
Cream butter and sugars, add eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl. Alternate adding flour mixture and grated pear until it's all well mixed. Drop into muffin cups, top with streusal topping, bake for 20-30 min until they look done. And smell delicious.


Also, it doesn't hurt to wait a few minutes so that you don't burn your tongue.

And check out great recipes!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

The small things that throw you off

You're cruising along just fine, moving on with life, dealing quite well with every day and then one of the little things just throws you totally off. It's like stepping off a curb and getting hit by a bus that you didn't even see coming.
(well, I assume it is. I've never stepped of a curb and been hit by a bus so I can't speak personally for that.)

Case in point:
I'm an emotional person. A crier. Just one of those things. Add the pregnancy hormones and, well, let's just say that last time I bought the little travel tissue pack....I bought 6.

So imagine my surprise (and frustration) when after doing so well for so long, making it through church just fine today, not 5 minutes before church was out I just lost it. Lost it.

and what was it that caught me so off guard and brought an onslaught of tears?
I was reading, or rather I was going to try to read a simple paragraph for the lesson. The lesson was on the Creation of the world. I was asked to read the last two paragraphs in the manual:

We are now living in this beautiful world. Think of the sun, which gives us warmth and light. Think of the rain, which makes plants grow and makes the world feel clean and fresh. Think of how good it is to hear a bird singing or a friend laughing. Think of how wonderful our bodies are—how we can work and play and rest. When we consider all of these creations, we begin to understand what wise, powerful, and loving beings Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father are. They have shown great love for us by providing for all of our needs.

Plant life and animal life were also made to give us joy. The Lord said, “Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul” (D&C 59:18–19). Even though God’s creations are many, He knows and loves them all. He said, “All things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them” (Moses 1:35).

I got through the first two sentences (kind of) at which point I handed the book to the cute girl next to me and let her take over the rest.
Now, as I read out loud, my eyes kind of skip ahead to the sentences coming up, so I knew where the reading was going. I'm sure there were some women in the room who thought, "oh, poor Catey-she is really struggling!". I'm sure there are some who still don't know all of what's constantly racing through my mind every day that thought, "hmm-that's weird. What's her deal? Why is that making her cry?"

And then there was me, wishing I had enough gumption to add to the comments made after reading those paragraphs to explain why I hadn't been able to suck it up long enough to finish reading them.

So, to those of you who sat in that lesson with me today, allow me explain just what was going on. I did explain to my cute neighbor who was teaching the lesson what my deal was, so at least she knew what was happening, but I'd like to share with the rest of you why reading the sentence "Think of the sun, which gives us warmth and light" brought me to tears today.

Obviously life has been a bit overwhelming for much of the past few weeks. A lot of the time spent at our many dr appointments has been focused on worst case scenarios, on dire prospects and disheartening diagnosis. I have thought so many times over the past four weeks about how grateful I am for the timing of all of this. You see, I've always considered myself a sun baby-I just can't get enough of the sun. Seasons are wonderful and I'm glad I live in a place where we experience all four distinct seasons, but truthfully, by the time February rolls around each year I am just dying for warm weather and sunny days.
I have never been more grateful for Spring. Each time I walk away from saddening news and the frightening situations that I have to consider, I am so glad that I walk out to budding trees, greening grass, and the beginnings of flowers breaking out from the ground.

Everywhere I look I see life.

Spring has come, with (mostly) sunny weather, and it feeds my soul. The days have been so beautiful lately, the sun shining so bright.....I have neglected many things that I should have been doing this past week in order to just sit outside and soak it all up. And as I sit there with the sun washing over me, I feel my baby dancing away. He often sits fairly far back-as have most of my babies-but once I'm in the sun, he moves right up to the front of my belly. Every time I am in the sun, Samuel rolls right up to where I can feel him and easily see him moving around in there. The sun is not only bringing everything around me back to life and warming the temperature, it seems to encourage the life inside of me and warm my heart.

So today as I read those words "think of the sun", I thought of my baby. My son. I thought of what such a simple thing as the sun coming up each day means for us. I was overwhelmed with the love I feel for him. With the gratitude for each day he lives within me, and with hope that he will in a few months live with us....but knowing that even if he doesn't, we will have the opportunity to live with him again one day. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for another Son-our Father in Heaven's Son. For his sacrifice on our behalf, and for all that it makes possible. Because without him there would be no hope, there would be no life.

I can only imagine how much more difficult this would all be for me if this were happening just a few months ago when everything around me was either dead or dormant. Would I be able to be hopeful? Would I focus on the fact that with Spring those things would reawaken or just focus on the moment and that they were shut off from life? Thankfully I don't know how I would have reacted to that. Thankfully everything around me is alive. There is color, there is brightness, and hope and warmth and light. And Life.

Today my emotions did get the best of me, but it was due not to sadness and grief. It was tears of joy. Tears of hope. Tears of gratitude. I have never been more thankful for life.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Holy posting!

If you happen to be particularly bored, looking for help falling asleep, or just morbidly fascinated with the chaos that is our life, I finally got those few pictures off my phone and got the posts from March up. I never did get the cord for the video camera (dangit!!), but oh well.

So, if you feel so compelled, you can scroll back through March and catch up on all that I missed, or rather just never published when it happened. Including Jacob's tonsillectomy and a bunch of blabbing.
'Cause that's what I do.

All you lucky feed subscribers and Google reader people just get to scroll down to them. You'll either love me or hate me for that.

And now, my sudden domestic urges are calling. 17 jars of jam last night, maybe some sewing tonight....oh the possibilities!


Giving my kids reason for therapy since 1998

I'm sure my kids already have more than enough ammo for therapy sessions later in life.
Thankfully no Dr Phil worthy moments, but hey, isn't it every parent's duty to do things that tick their kids off?

Yes it is!

And this month brings a joyous little exercise that they will certainly remember for years to come.

My oldest is going through this weird phase where she hates anything fruit or vegetable. Kudos for her not going with the trend and wanting to be vegetarian or vegan or something, but really? "I don't like fruit or veggies mom!"? Really?

Enter obnoxious mom.

I have taken it upon myself to change my daughter's mind. Or at least tick her off trying.

A few weeks ago I decided that April would be fruit and veggie month. At least one fruit/veggie every day that isn't a common default in our home. You know, we have peas all the time, she likes carrots, and she'd gladly eat her weight in applesauce, so those things are out. Out I say!

Thus far we've concentrated on the fruit side of things, because, well, I'm the one doing the grocery shopping and I happen to be craving fruit. 'Nuff said.

So far this month we've sampled:
Asian Pears
Champagne Mango
D'anjou Pears
Red Grapes

With Mango, Papaya and Coconut next in line.

I know many of the above aren't exactly exotic, but a couple of them I wanted to make sure she knew the difference between canned and fresh (pears, peaches, pineapple), and between jam and the actual fruit, and others were killer prices that were too good to pass up. Besides, the girl says she hates all fruit, so she's going to get as many fruits-common or rare-as I can get down her gullet.
And no, I'm not making her eat excessive amounts, but she must try at least a few bites of each thing.

I have met some resistance, but I am very pleased to say that she's actually liked a few things. Progress! We have progress! Mango, grapes, kumquats ("but they were just ok, they were really tart!"), have all gotten a thumbs up.
Others she swears she hated, but I think it was just in effort to prove her point.

The kumquats were very tart-which made for a highly entertaining dining experience.

Dallin didn't fare so well-he just gave up and spit it out.

Sorry-that picture is gross but makes me laugh my head off. It told you I'm mean.

And see? Look at that faker-it's not even in her mouth yet!

I'm so bummed that Aaron missed this one. I should have done it on a night when he didn't have school.

I'm going to be really mean and make her come up with her 10 or 12 favorites when this is all done. Maybe I'll make her sit and recall everything she's tried and rank them in order from favorite to least favorite. Hmmmm....the possibilities......

And you know, I'm having so much fun with this whole thing, maybe I'll just make May veggie month and let it drag on for a few weeks longer. Bwahahahaha!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

6.2-Unity Pass

I did it today.

I wondered if I still had it in me.

When I found out that Zumba toning-my regular Saturday morning indulgence-was cancelled, it was all the motivation I needed to at least try.

Unity Pass.

I realize that that makes no sense unless you also live out here in the middle of nowhere.

For the past couple of months I've been making my dear husband drop me off over on the other side of Unity Pass (the top of the hill that divides the little valley I live in from the other half of my city) so that I could just run home.

It's a decent hill up there. Enough that in the cold and while I was sick, I didn't think I'd have the gumption to run up it. So I made him drop me off on the other side of it so I could run down it! Good thinking, huh?

But this morning, it was beautiful out. The sun was shining, the sage smelled amazing as I was out running on the was just too good to stop.

Ok, well, I did have to stop about a mile and a half into it to use the outhouses at the field in the middle of nowhere (seriously, I'll post pictures sometime-playing fields in the middle of nowhere!).
But that was the only stop. And it meant that I didn't pee my pants, so it was ok.

I told myself that if the hill felt too steep, I'd just walk up it.

That if I was worn out when I got to the top I could walk part of the way home.

But once I was out a few miles in the sun and the light breeze and I found my groove.....*sigh* was a little piece of heaven. My little Sam might never be a running partner years in the future, and me may never even be able to be tucked in the jogging stroller for a run with mom. But for now, he makes the perfect running partner.

I made it to the top, turned around to come home, and ran.

There was one point where I played the find a marker game; I'll make it to that sign and then I'll walk for a bit. But then I passed the sign and still felt good. Then it was I'll make it to that big rock by the dirt road and then I'll walk for a bit.

And every time I hit my markers, I felt even better than I had before.

I did cut through the back of the school, so it made the distance a tad bit less, but I figured I'd better not push my luck.

I comfortably ran the whole thing.

My good old Saturday run. My how I've missed it over the last few months!

6.2 miles never felt so very very good.


5 in 14

Yesterday was another appointment for me. My 5th appointment in 14 days. Considering that 4 of those days were Saturdays and Sundays when they don't do appointments, that equates to 5 appointments in 10 days.

I'm getting a bit doctored out.

One more step in our new "normal".

Thankfully this appointment was just my boring regular monthly check-up with my midwife.
I still don't know if those will continue or if I'll be just transferring everything to Perinatology.

Guess I'll find out at my next Peri visit in a week and a half.

Anyway, all is fine with me-by all accounts I'm still a remarkably boring pregnant person. Just 3lbs gained in the last month (nothing short of a miracle considering all that's been going on and the fact that I'm an emotional eater), blood pressure nice and steady at a whopping 80/50 (yay!), and I'm still measuring 4 weeks ahead.

Ack! 4 weeks ahead!

Which explains why for the past month I've been looking in the mirror and at past pregnancy belly photos and thinking "I look like I normally do at about 24 weeks! I don't show this soon!"
What do you know-this IS about what I normally look like at 24wks. For real. There's a reason I've been thinking that.

Oh well, my body is just trying to make sure Sam is nice and comfy in there. Give him as much room as he wants. That's ok with me.

It was a little difficult to go over everything with her; she had the reports from Maternal Fetal Medicine, but wanted more details on everything and wanted to make sure I was ok.
It was quite a compliment when she told me she could tell that when I said "I'm doing pretty good. We're going pretty good." that she could very plainly tell that I wasn't lying.
I'm sure that sounds weird, that that seemed like a compliment, but if I can say that out loud, face to face, while discussing the details of everything that's going on right now, that reassures me that I really am doing good. I'm not just faking it.
It's oddly comforting.

Next appointment is our next ultrasound on the 21st. I'm looking forward to seeing my sweet little boy again, but nervous at what the measurements will be. 11 more days.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Just so you know-

I ate the best salad ever for dinner last night.

A big plate of lettuce smothered in black bean and corn salsa, chicken, pineapple, granny smith apples (stay with me here!), coconut, and some extra black beans.

The only thing that could have possibly made it any better is if the chicken had been mesquite lime chicken. Mmmm.....time for some marinade....

And I'm going to go have it again for lunch today.
Go eat something good.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Half baked

Yes, today marks the official halfway point!

Hopefully not too far past halfway....

I think it's appropriate that I indulge to celebrate. Especially appropriate if it's this:


Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Name

Most of our kids have had names as soon as (or shortly after) we learned what their gender was. A few kids ago that seemed to change.

Lincoln had his name minutes after the ultrasound when we learned he was a boy. But it wasn't Lincoln. The name Lincoln came just days before his arrival. Good thing we didn't monogram anything.

Charlotte's name was a long time coming, decided just a few weeks before she arrived.

This time around I figured we'd do the same as we did with Charlotte, no pressure, we'll figure out the name before August. Plenty of time. I had some names I liked, a list approaching about 30 at last count. (Aaron holds a powerful veto card-I was leaving my options open!)

Since last week I've felt a much stronger desire to find this little boy's name. Quickly.

Walking out of Maternal Fetal Medicine on Monday, I needed his name. I needed for him to have an identity.

Suddenly many of the names on my list just weren't right. As I crossed of name after name, I wondered in desperation if I could find the right one. A name is so much more important than just a label of what to call someone. Especially in this case, it couldn't just be a "good" name, it needed to be the right name.

I feared that it would still take weeks to decide what his name should be. I'm so glad that was not the case.

Though Tuesday was a better day than Monday, Tuesday night brought some difficult conversations about choices that we will be facing and decisions that will need to be made. More than ever that night I needed this child's name. Thankfully it came in those hours late Tuesday night and into the early hours of Wednesday morning as I lay fighting for sleep in the midst of tears. And thankfully when I mentioned it to Aaron, he too felt it was right.

This little boy is Samuel James.

Not an unusual name, one of the more common in fact. But a strong name, a name with history. A name picked not for how it sounds or looks, but for what it means and who it represents.

This little boy needed a strong name, he is a strong child.

As I lay on my bed yesterday afternoon feeling him roll around inside me, then actually being able to watch him move back and forth, already able to see his little body, his little arms and legs already jump around inside of me (I told you he was strong!!), I was struck with two very deep emotions. Absolute joy to know more of who this child is, joy for his strength and his life, but a deep sense of grief at the fact that this is now even more personal and more intimate. It was suddenly, in many ways, more heartbreaking to know that his time with us will be limited.
As I awoke today, I found myself grateful that as time passes, intensity of emotions seems to settle. After a very difficult day yesterday, today has been peaceful. Today I find nothing but joy in feeling my little Sam jumping around. Joy in this belly of mine that seems to be growing exponentially faster than it ever has in the past. Joy in the hope I have for this little boy. Joy in knowing that even though he is not in my arms, I will hold him for every second of this day.


It's frustrating, and yet oddly comforting that life just moves on. Part of me wants everything to just stop. But I am also glad that the duties of every day life keep me busy, and keep the hours passing by.

Yesterday I did laundry. And finally folded all the "single" socks that came through the wash and were stuck in the sock drawer.

I put together 110 pairs of socks.

There are still 60 single socks in that drawer.

9 people make for a lot of socks.

I tried making matching socks a punishment chore once. I realized a few days later that the offender had just started putting socks together even though they didn't actually match. Nice.
A creative way to get out of your punishment more easily. And probably a large part of the reason that so many socks have ended up back in the drawer again.

Now I just do socks myself. With the help of my younger boys, telling them it's a matching game.
And bribing them with Smarties.

Sugar will get you a lot in this house.

Speaking of sugar, I baked yesterday. It was nice to bake. It's been too long. Last week when I tried to bake I ruined my cookies. Like they ended up as one big giant blob all over the cookie sheet. I don't even know the last time I messed up cookies. Who does that? Oh well, it was a good laugh. This week I baked cinnamon rolls. Thankfully much more successfully than last week's attempts at baking. It was nice to end the day with the house warm and smelling good as the snow fell again outside.

And today, just like every day, I got up, got the kids off to school, did some dishes and laundry, and broke up a fight between two rambunctious little boys.

It's nice that I can count on some normalcy.