Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Hecticity

Does anyone else think it's funny that their Google reader is completely empty? What? Do all you Bloggers have something going on?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Train Movie

A Review of While You Were Sleeping, by Moses, with Alia

I have rarely been as moved by a Train Movie as I am by While You Were Sleeping. The story begins when Peter gets pushed onto The Tracks of the "El" in Chicago. My pulse never fails to quicken as I watch the train coming down the tracks, blaring it's beautiful signal. Never mind that I have watched this movie a dozen times over the last month. My mother shares a love of this movie with me and so allows me to indulge in it often, although I believe that she may enjoy it for a different set of reasons.
Th centrality of the El to the movie is something that impresses itself upon me. Bullock is often seen exiting the train to visit Peter in the hospital, there is the confusion regarding the pregnancy at the station, and obviously Jack proposes at the station. But the crowning moment of all is when they ride off to their honeymoon in the caboose. I hope that someday I will find a woman who will share this dream of mine and we will, together, ride off in our own caboose.
I have often been overheard commenting that this is now my favorite movie and I would have to confirm these reports. This is because I love "trains without faces" - trains, hard at work in the everyday lives of people. People without family during the holidays. People in comas who may or may not be engaged to married women. People who love creamy mashed potatoes. People falling in love. Ahhh. I simply cannot get enough. But sadly, my days of enjoying adult cinema may be at an end because, innocent as this movie may seem, my mother did catch me chasing my sister around yesterday, shouting, "Come here! You one-balled bastard!"
I don't know why this quotation is causing a change of heart in her willingness to allow me to view this movie, she seemed to find it immensely amusing.
In the final analysis, I would have to give this holiday movie two-thumbs up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Holiday Request

Some very dear friends of ours from college and from my home town in MI - people who we have worked with in Catholic radio and have had joint birthday parties with - people who we have celebrated the birth of our children together and attended the funerals of mutual friends with - now have their own set of troubles.
The long and short of it is that Nick is 29, has had brain surgery and chemo but his brain tumor has begun to grow again. He recently had a seizure while driving his wife and 2 year old daughter to Thanksgiving dinner and totaled the car. He will be undergoing more chemo and radiation shortly.
On top of the serious medical circumstances that they now face they will be running into financial burdens too with copays and coinsurance. Nick has sacrificed a lot of worldly goods and prestige to work for Catholic radio and spread Christ's gospel message through this powerful medium. He has worked for my father for many years and believe me, Catholic radio is not the place to get rich. Heck, it's not even the place to get comfortably secure.
Please consider giving something this holiday season to my dear friends who are now suffering with Christ in ways that most of us are not called to.

There is a paypal option from this blog.

God bless your Advent season.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quick Takes Friday - Winter Edition

1. What, WHAT, WHAT is up with the lawn ornaments is Western Maryland? I noticed that in the summertime there were often more pinwheels, flags, and rocks with scripture passages on them in gardens then there were flowers. Even, and it pains me to say this, but plastic or satin flowers IN the gardens. I kid you not. Not my style but hey - who am I to judge? That being said, I think that even Jesus, possibly especially Jesus, would judge the tackiness of the Christmas decor on most of the lawns surrounding me.
One gigantic inflatable snow globe is really bad enough but FOUR? Or how about the 2 dozen plastic, light up candy canes and snowmen lining the walk? You cannot drive anywhere without your eyes burning with the overwhelming sheen of the COLORED lights. Gag. And the worst offender that I've been witness to thus far is an oversized, inflatable santa on a motorcycle. Now - now I ax ya, what do you expect me to think?
I have an explanation. There is no snow. People feel like they have to go completely crazy "decorating their lawn" because winter is a bit ugly here. No snow, just dead grass and mud. Which brings me to...
2. I am a winter snob. This move from Michigan to Maryland has just confirmed the snobbishness in a severe way. The other day I was listening to my morning radio and heard the weather people warn about leaving the house using words like "frigid", "bitterly cold", "freezing". This last one cracked me up because the high for the day wasn't even actually below freezing. It was topping out at 34. Thirty-four degrees was the temperature that last year I chose as the temperature that I could still take the kids out for a walk or a 1/2 hour at the playground.
Then I went out in this "bitterly cold" weather and walked all the way across campus and my face didn't hurt. It was cold but it didn't hurt. That is my personal indicator of "bitterly cold", the face needs to hurt when it comes into contact with outside air.
3. Being in a warmer climate makes me homesick. Don't get me wrong. I am finding it very pleasant that I don't have to put gloves and hats on the kids when we go outside and I thoroughly love the extension of Fall and Spring that we experience here, South of the Mason Dixon line (by 2 miles). But I am sad that there is no snow, that there is no really good reason to drink Hot Chocolate. No days where you CAN'T dig your car out of the snow so you just stay home and watch The Grinch. Because of this homesickness I have done a very strange and possible unwise thing.
4. I bought skis. I bought a PASS to the ski resort down the street. I did this very economically (my ski boots cost $20 for instance) but it still seems like an utterly indulgent thing to do. Here are the facts: I have only skied for three weekends on my life. One of them was in CO and let's just say that my rear-end still isn't quite the same. But I LOVE it. I love the cold, the snow, the five or ten seconds that I'm upright and whizzing down the hill. It is glorious.
I will be going skiing by myself. I am not a person who enjoys doing much by myself - I prefer companionship but in this case it's probably better that no one sees me. Plus, God always seems very close when there is snow on the ground and quiet in the air. I won't really be alone.
Regarding my homesickness, there is always snow at a ski resort. They make it. I will get my, "winter fix," as my mother put it. She is also a winter-fiend so she understands my basic Maryland problem. So that is that. I did, I bought skis. Now I walk around saying things like, "I'm a skier. I ski." I haven't actually had a chance to do it since it's been raining non-stop all week but still.
5. We bought our first REAL tree this year. Until now we've been in apartments that have outlawed it. David hunted it and cut it down while we carried Gus in the carseat and Lily on our hip and Moses whined about being cold. But it snowed for us. Big, beautiful flakes. And while they were bailing our tree they served free hot cider. It was perfect. Earlier in the day we went down to the firehouse (the centralizing force in Emmitsburg - more on that in a later post) to see a magician and Santa. I think that magic tricks are mostly wasted on the preschool aged child. They accept as "normal" all sorts of things that don't make sense to them anyway, so why shouldn't a rabbit appear out of a hat? They live by Chesterton's "Ethics of Elfland" and so are not awed by "magic" as adults are.
Chesterton writes of his childhood perceptions and how they shaped his adult perception of so-called, "natural phenomena":
I had always vaguely felt facts to be miracles in the sense that they are wonderful: now I began to think them miracles in the stricter sense that they were wilful. I mean that they were, or might be, repeated exercises of some will. In short, I had always believed that the world involved magic: now I thought that perhaps it involved a magician.
The "facts" he now believes to be miracles instead of simply magic are the simple facts of everyday life - he uses the example of the sun rising. I have quoted him here before on this and actually, this blog's url is taken from this quote but it's so good that I'll share it one more time.
It might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life...for grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon...I may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.
I have truncated the quote for the sake of brevity but if you are interested please read, Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. There are few things more worth your time.

Visit Jen at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Planes, Trains and Space Shuttles

We took a rather impromptu trip to the Air and Space Museum today and even more impromptu-ly had a friend and his children join us. Moses and Paul are about the same age (4ish) and so for them most of the "Space" part of the museum was pretty new. In a gallery that was displaying the planets as balls hanging down from the ceiling we prompted the boys to "find the Earth. It's the blue ball. It's where we live." Paul found it first and shouted, "That's where we live." Moses angrily retorted, "No! That's where we live!" How am I ever going to explain this world to these children? Where do you start? I guess that "we all live on Earth" is a good starting point.

When we got home I asked Moses what his favorite part of the museum was and he dejectedly responded that he, "thought there would be trains there." He then called up a memory of happier times. His 45-minute train trip with my 7-year-old brother Vid.
"My favorite was in the 1940's, when we were in Michigan, and took an Amtrak to Dearborn with Vid."

1940's? Maybe I should start with a timeline. I just don't know, I tell you. It's a daunting task to get a little person oriented in this great big world.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quick Takes Friday

Thanks to Jen for the idea! Visit her for lots more quick takes (good grammar that, huh?).
1. There is SNOW. On the ground. I can still see the grass and I'm sure it will melt by noon but it's so homey and reminds me so much of being home that I put on Christmas music (I know, SO liturgically incorrect for my domestic church but hey - I'm no liturgy Nazi), put the kids snow pants, mittens, hats, etc. on (SO overkill!) and took a ton of pictures. Right now we are enjoying hot quadat (chocolate). We just have to embrace all the winter we can get down here in the deep south of Maryland.
2. Academic families are mobile families. Every August there is an influx and out flux of families from our little community. This makes me sad. It makes me feel unstable. The plus side is that the influx brings really interesting people because generally academic families are interesting - at least to other academic families :). But I hate to think that next August we will say goodbye to some of the people who welcomed us here this August.
3. We aren't healthy. This is a boring fact and so I will leave it at that but let's just say that all of our orifices are leaking and none are emitting pleasant things.
4. I have instituted a new rule that Moses can have a dessert every night but only if he tries one bite of something new. He generally eats about four foods (all highly processed) and will not even try desserts that he is unfamiliar with. So, in an effort break the nugget-cycle I am trying to bribe him out of his fears. It has not even worked once.
Me: Moses, I have an idea! How about if you eat one piece of cheese, dipped into my soup and then you can have dessert?
Moses: How about if I have pasta and then I have dessert?
Me: No. The new rule is that you need to try something new before dessert.
Moses: Hey! I have an idea! How about you change your mind?!
5. I am reading The Reed of God for Advent - again. I've read it for Advent every year for 3 or 4 years and get more out of it every year. I can't recommend it highly enough. Caryll Houselander offers tremendous insight into the role of Mary in the world, especially as the bearer of Christ. Thanks to my mom for the suggestion.
6. ALSO - Tolkien has a collection of stories about Father Christmas that are wonderful and little known. I love them, they are very clever. Probably best for grade school children.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fly on the Wall

When told that today he was going to get shots at the doctor's office Moses starts jumping up and down:
"See how high I can jump? I'm a big boy and so now I can hit the doctor."

As we walk out the door to visit some neighbors.
Moses: I don't want the people to borrow this hat.
Me (glancing at his hat with a mesh back and bold letters that read, "Poop Happens"): Yeah. I don't think you'll have any trouble with that.

Me: Moses! What are you doing?!
Moses: I don't want to tell you. (still too young for outright lying but a little evasion is right up his ally)

Moses is up in a "Quiet Time" but for some reason seems to think that it is fine to be shouting at the top of his lungs. When told to quiet down for the quiet time he quickly responds with what he thinks is a sure-fire explanation:
"But I'm singing songs to Jesus."
Sorry buster, not this time.

We enjoyed our first Corn Maze with friends of ours who also have a good showing in the "rather-fertile-young-Catholics" standings. As we adults waddled/moseyed down the paths with the little girls Moses would run way ahead. When he came to a dead-end he'd run back to us and and warn us off of the "blockup". And then he'd confidently announce that he'd found the "family way." Needless to say, both couples were rather nervous to be walking down the "family-way" again so quickly.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Birthday Blogging

In spite of throwing up last night out of shear upsetness about getting pink-eye eye drops Moses' birthday has dawned happy and fairly healthy for him. Not so for Lily who is sitting miserably on my lap and is burning up in spite of dosing her with Ibuprofen, poor darling. My fever has broken for the big day, thank God. I couldn't take anymore lying around on the couch or bed watching the mess grow and grow.
My Mother-in-law came by and, like a saint, did a load of laundry, grocery shopped for essentials and made the birthday cake. Wow. I laid there like a lump just trying to ignore the aching. OK, here's our birthday pics so far for the day. How can a day go wrong when you start with pancakes loaded with chocolate, whipped creme and smiles? Oh, here's how: at 3 we are all getting flu shots and/or immunizations for the big 4th birthday. Poor Moses.
Hopefully there will also be a trip to Toys R Us in the mix. But check out the cake - cool, huh?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Birthday Eve

Comments ala Birthday:

"When I'm four will I be able to eat in the living room?"

Upon the occasion of getting his pink-eye drops forced into his eyes: "Maybe when I'm four I'll like to get my drops." Somehow I don't think that will change overnight.

"After I'm 4 will I grow to 5? And after 5 will I grow to 6? And after six will I grow to 7 [etc., etc. until we get to 30 where we then skip to 100].
"100! But there's not enough quadat (chocolate) for that! Maybe when I'm 100 I'll buy mine own quadat."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Passion of the Cucumber

I don't mind being put into a box, provided that the box is well-defined and I find it attractive (you don't need to). In fact, I generally like my box and like other people to ascribe to boxes, because it simplifies things. For example, I'm a homeschooled Catholic. That's a pretty good box in my opinion and I don't mind being put into it and defending it.
But really, does Netflix have to "suggest" dozens upon dozens of VeggieTales movies to me because I rated The Passion of the Christ highly? How does bloody, violent, heart-rending movie with subtitles indicate that I am also interested in bouncing Vegetables? Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against the Tomato but, really. Puh-lease.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mass Children = Mass Embarassment

Sometimes going to mass can be embarrassing. As one friend put it, now we're the family the makes all the other families feel better. Last week we were at a daily mass where there are NEVER other children. Every noise my kids make echoes with vigor off the stone walls and through the elderly folks' hearing aids. It starts with Moses doing his hacking up a lung thing that he does every time we walk into that church. It has something to do with possible asthma or just a really long-lasting cough. Either way you can almost see people cringing and creeping away from him in fear of the contagion. As soon as he stops coughing and we all sit down Gus Gus begins a very long and very loud pooping process. Lots of grunts, followed by squirts and fart noises (just a little something to gross you out tonight). And during this pooping time I'm trying to get Lily to stay quiet by letting her do her guzzling down apple juice thing where she gasps for breath as she imbibes 8 oz of the good stuff as quickly as possible. Which of course is followed by several loud belches.

Oh, I'm sorry - you didn't realize that you sat just in front of the "Bodily Functions Pew"? Well, next time I'm sure that you'll be sure to sit far away - if you know what's good for you.

Liturgy of the Hours the day after the election

Job 1:21; 2:10b
"Naked I came forth from my mother's womb,
and naked I shall go back again.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord!
We accept good things from God;
and should we not accept evil?"

Need I say anymore?

God bless America.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

October Wrap

My October Lily
Favorite picture:

Favorite story:
Yesterday she woke up from her nap infuriated that Daddy wasn't home. She was throwing a tantrum that I'm certain only the female portion of our race is capable of. Nothing was consoling her until I offered to let her sit on the dryer and help me put the dirty clothes into the washer. She was calm for the first 10 seconds until we came across one of Daddy's shirts at which point she melted down into tears, "Dadddiiieeee!" From this point on she would only put his clothes into the wash.

My October Moses
Favorite picture:

Favorite story:
Upon returning home late on Halloween I pointed out to Moses the vast amount of stars that were visible.
"There are so many, Moses!"
"Yes. I think it's because Jesus very likes lots of them."

My October Gus:
Favorite picture:

Favorite story:
How he still only wakes up once or twice a night, how he smiles now and how he is a baptized Christian now.

That's a wrap - now on to November.

Christ the King

Many of us today will experience varying levels of anxiety and possibly even depression, I know that I already am. But I thought that I would share a little nugget of truth and comfort from the Liturgy of the Hours Morning Prayer today:
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever."

Christ is King of all, and that will not change, regardless who is temporarily at the helm of our nation.

God is good, now and always.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

pretend post

I'm going to do a meme that I'm tagging myself for based on Aimee at the Mother Load's suggestion. I've done this once before too but, whatever, it's easy.

Rules: Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences on your blog along with these instructions. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST. Tag five other people to do the same.

The closest book to me is a toss up between the Scholastic Disney book "Cars" and the slightly more sophisticated, "The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook", by Beth Hensperger. Since the great American novel, "Cars" only has 45 pages I'm going with the bread book. I'm actually intending to give making my own bread a go because, well, apparently that's what people around here do.

"A favorite dish of princes, old English recipes for payn pur-dew refer to bread soaked in an elixir of spiced sherry, eggs, spices, and cream. In Germany it is called Drunken Maidens or Arme Ritter (Poor Knights), with regional variations sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar or touting poppy seeds. The Swedes serve it sandwiched with ham and cheese for dinner and the Mexicans know it as fritada. For the Jewish holiday of Purim it is served "Queen Esther's Toast."

Not thrilling but stick around for an update on my bread-making experiment, that is sure to be titillating.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fly on the Wall - 1

I've decided to do a series of posts entitled "Fly on the Wall" that will keep track of the many ridiculous things that the kids say and do - I mean, that is half the fun of parenting little children, right? So, with no further ado - the first installment.

Moses: Can I watch a movie?
Parent: Not right now.
Moses: Please!
Parent: No.
Moses: But somebody has to do something to make me happy!

Moses: Rakes are fighting-things. For fighting dogs.

Moses: Mommy - you look like a very serious woman.

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right (or so says Anne of Green Gables)? Yesterday I had to give Moses a spanking and so I sat down on a step and bent him over my knee and did the deed. Lily was, of course, right there trying to hug him for the duration of the spanking because even when the offense does not involve her she insists on being in on the reconciliation. After he got up and we were about to move on she started throwing herself down over my knee for her spanking. I hugged her and told her she didn't do anything wrong and anyway, she is too young for spankings. She continued to repeatedly throw herself down on my knees and when I failed to spank her she started holding out her hand for me to slap it. It's almost as if she has it in her pretty little head that sometimes we hug and sometimes we hit - but whatever is happening, "I want in on it!" And this is exactly why she is clearly too young for spankings.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

no time to catch up...

There's no time, no time! I have so much to say and no time to say it. I've thought of SO many posts that I should do but the fact is that I'm back on my feet enough now that I have no blogging time. Whatever. It's nice to be a capable human being again. I appreciate all the help that David and family and friends give me but I also am really enjoying not only being on the receiving end of help. But that means no time.

So, tonight I did a wild and crazy thing. Imprudent must be my middle name because after getting an ID card for the university's fitness facility (yea! free gym access!) I decided to attend a group fitness class. I have never been in an exercise class before. I have never done Pilates before. Also, I have not actually exercised since Gus was born, and if we're being honest here, then since that pregnancy-test was positive. So, there I was, sporting an ample post-lovelette belly, surrounded by college students, huffing and puffing, and definitely NOT able to do all the moves. But frankly, I feel great. I have three kids - what do those college girls have except firm and perky parts? I win that contest for sure.
OK, some stories. Geez, I really wish that I could remember more of them. I laugh all day long but 2 minutes after it's over I can't remember why I was laughing.

Daddy: Moses, you're are acting like a CRAZY man!
Moses: No I AMN'T!

After Lily's bath she wanted to run all over my bedroom naked with the hooded-towel flying behind her from her head, as is usually the crowning event of bath-time. But since it's getting chillier I grabbed her, thinking how good I'd be at catching a greased pig, and was trying to actually dry her off before the streaking commenced. Daddy showed up at the bathroom door at this moment and she implored his help by saying, "Daddiieeeee! I duck (stuck), I duck!!!" How dare I intrude on the sacred ritual?

While we were visiting MI this past week (ah, a taste of heaven!) Lily got into my suitcase and wandered all over the house with her arm through the leg-holes of my panties, utilizing the underwear's little-known ability to stand in for a purse.

I wish I could remember more for you, for my kids in later years but, oh well. OK, now I'm off to enjoy my non-pregnant, non-moving, non-justoutofthehospital, non-traveling life. Ta Ta.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tales from the Early Weeks...

Let me set the scene for you:
Mommy on the couch with peacefully nursing, two-week-old Thomas. Anthony is at her feet playing with blocks. The domestic perfection is palpable. Oh, but wait. Rosie is missing and mommy is hearing a plinking sound coming from the kitchen, which she can not see from her chosen nursing chair.
"Anthony, where is Rosie?"
Anthony responds lightly, "Oh. She's on the counter, with the medicine."
Sure enough, Rosie, the height of all B.T.ness (Big Trouble) is a. standing on the counter, b. pouring out a bottle of pre-natal vitamins c. is standing in close proximity to a very large, serrated knife, and d. has turned the toaster-oven on to broil. To sum up, here we have height, drugs, weapons and fire, all in one neat little package. But don't worry, things here are under control. I can handle three kids, I can...I can.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rosary-Inspired Comments

Overheard on this Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary:

Moses (to daddy): Would you like to pray the rosary prayers? It's pretty exciting and fun.

Moses (to mommy): Would you like to be the Conductor sometimes, and have keys and the rosary?

I'm sure that Mary would appreciate that our little conductor has these two essential tools at all times and that he finds the rosary exciting and fun.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

As Time Flies...

Love in Review, the Fifth Anniversary Edition:

The Crush

The Dating

The Wedding

The Newlyweds

The Expectant Parents

The Parents

The Expectant Parents - The Sequel

The Expectant Parents - Edition III

The Big Move

Five Years Later...and counting.

Happy Fifth Anniversary, David. God is good.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

First Week in Review

Happy First Week Gus Gus! It has been a wonderful week - he is just such an easy, easy newborn. So far. I realize that as soon as you say that a newborn is one thing or is another thing that is the universal signal for them to change. As soon as you identify a pattern (for instance, he seems to cluster feed around 10 am, 5 pm and 10 pm) you can be assured that on the morrow the pattern will have morphed into something unrecognizable. But as far as we can tell, he is easy. In fact, I really wish that he were a little (just a little) more demanding because then I could have an excuse to pay more attention to him. As it is the other two are significantly more trouble so I can't just sit around gazing at him the way I should be able to.


When I had a little, mini postpartum emotionality that involved some tears Moses came in and saw me.
M: Are you crying gecause you're sad?
Me: I'm OK buddy, just a little bit sad. But a hug from you would make me happy.
M: Mommy, I want to tell you something. I love you gecause you are pretty.

Moses is sitting on the couch "holding" Gus and I overhear him singing Rock-a-bye Baby. Life can't get any sweeter.

Lest you think that Moses is all sweetness, I'll include this little episode from earlier today. Lily and Moses are playing with some play tools and she starts sobbing, obviously there was some sort of Moses-inflicted injury. His reaction, "Uh...Sorry Lily, for biting you in the chest."

Lily spends all her time climbing in and out of the baby's carseat, bouncy seat and swing. That and tickling him while making clucking noises and trying to gouge out his eyes while saying, "iiiieeeessss".

In case you are wondering, I am not ready to be alone with these three yet. We've given it a couple test-runs but the basic fact-of-the-matter is that a person with these three children CAN'T sit down if they are all awake. The person who is left alone with them will be standing for hours regardless of a minimalist approach to life and a strict reading of the phrase "take it easy". There's no way to "take it easy" and be alone with them. So, luckily, David can cut corners at work for the rest of the week and rescue me. Also, my brother is coming to visit us from college this weekend, yea! OK, I can't really think anymore...here are some pictures instead. They are in chronological order so you can see his vast growth. Also, my mother wants credit for most of the pictures...so - here it is mom!

So teeny...so tiny...so perfect.

This could be an advertisement for my new BabyHawk carrier. Thank you Maria!!!

My view from the BabyHawk...

Nice Helmet, Grandma!

Gus Gus is ONE WEEK OLD!!! Yea!!!!!!!!

Rock-a-bye baby...Awww....

Two of the three best-lookin men in my life.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Whole Story...

For those of you who want more details I am trying to sort through pictures and details and put together a coherant Tale of Gus Gus. Here goes...
After a night of very little sleep we left for the hospital at 6:45 in hopes of getting there early enough for a "new room". Alas, we were not successful. BUT the Labor Fates did have mercy when it came to nurses. We initially had Judy who was a wonderful Grandmotherly-type woman and put me at ease.
I was apparently already in early labor and having some regular contractions so they put the gel in to kick it into higher gear and into higher gear did we go! Fast and furious. They told me that there would be a surge and that it would die-off after about a half-hour, I wasn't convinced about the dying-off part of the equation so we ordered the pain meds right away and they came right away. The rest of the story is much less painful as a result, for me, for everyone else in the room and probably for you too.
David and I took it easy, read Peralandra, did cross-word puzzles and tried to wrap our heads around this whole parenting THREE children thing. My mom came and shortly afterward things began to move more quickly. The doc decided to rupture my membranes and went to find the nurse to do so but while he was gone they decided to erupt on their own. In reality it was a very small eruption but still clear what had happened. This was at about 1:15. I immediately tried to get into my happy place because I knew that delivery was immanent now and this being my first epidural I thought it better to expect the worse and be prepared for the Ring Of Fire then to move glibly along and be surprised that having a baby causes pain. In the end the pain was very endurable and Gus was born at 1:35 after I pushed 1 and a half pushes. When the doc checked to see if I was fully dilated Gus' head was crowning. So the head was the one push and the shoulders were the half push.
David got to joyfully announce the sex (there was no second guessing himself this time, it was obvious), they put Gus straight on my chest where I got to ask about 15 times in one minute if anyone else was worried that he was so little and so blue and then he peed all over me. I think he was marking his territory.
Everyone keeps telling me that 8.2 is not that small of a baby but having a kid who's face doesn't ooze to one side because they are so fat is just throwing me off.
He immediately proved his nursing prowess in spite of the fact that he had swollen and bruised lips because apparently he was pushed down so fast once my water broke. His lips took several hours to recover from the shock and the bruising looked like a gotee for a day or two.
After his arrival David and my mom called and called while Gus and I ate and ate. In the evening the Trammas and FK Marsh brought the kids down to the hosital for the first meeting. Moses was quite shy initially (shocker!) and took a little while to reassure him that mommy was still mommy, even in a hospital. Lily saw the baby and immediately cooed and ooed and didn't get weirded out until she saw my helploc - then she lost it and needed her daddy. The next days visit went much better. Moses speaks about Gus in a very, very high and sqeaky voice - "he's the cutest baby that I've never seen!"
After the kids visit in the morning David spent the afternoon at the mechanics because of course the van wouldn't start...but I don't really want to relive that part of the story so I'll just say that it's over and fixed and it wasn't terribly expensive.
We FINALLY got to leave at exactly 48 hours, to the minute, after Gus emerged. We made it home in one piece in spite of the drive over the mountain with me lying flat on my back to mitigate the spinal headache that is making writing this post a very slow process. We had birthday cake and singing and kissing and hugging in spades and life has basically been great since being home. Gus did decide that he wanted to party from 10 pm - 5 am last night but we are all hoping that the arrival of The Milk today will help that party be the ONLY party of its sort. Today we're just trying to wait out the spinal headache, shower, write a post and deal with The Milk. Ambitious enough for me!
It is wonderful to be home, healthy, happy and together.
Sorry it's not a more entertaining post, it really was a very entertaining event, if you can call labor and birth entertaining.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Gus Gus Arrives!!!

No, I haven't been in labor this WHOLE time...but I was lead astray in my belief that there was internet access at the hospital so I didn't arrange for anyone to update the blog...so sorry!
But, in brief...
We put the gel in at 8:15 am and Gus was born at 1:35 pm on Wednesday, September 10. He was a perfect 8 lbs 2 oz and 20 3/4 inches long.
That is the brief. More details and pictures to come after dinner. Oh, he's very cute, as my be imagined.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Baby Soon

OK! So, we have blast off scheduled for tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. I'm 2 cm. and 70% effaced and my doc will give me some prostaglandin gel to get me started but he thinks that it will be easy and quick (isn't that just like a man?) - no Pitocin neccessary. Actually, I have a feeling that I'll go into labor all on my own tonight sometime, things are just feeling labor-y. If they don't then I'm just fine with the gel solution. Soooooo....
Lovelett III coming soon to a blog, email or facebook page near you!
I decided today that the doctor should provide a handicap tag for every 8 and 9 month pregnant woman. It's just fair - I'm definitely handicapped.
Also, it would be very nice if the police could provide a pink and blue flashing light that you could pop on the top of a car, like an undercover cop, when you go into labor. That way everyone would see it and say, "oh-there goes one of those labor lights, better get out of the way."
Those are my new ideas for the day. It's been very productive.
I am just over the moon excited to meet this little person. It's been such a strange pregnancy, with SO much happening that I've hardly had time to realize that there is an actual PERSON coming along here. But I'm finally at the point where the faceless anonymity of this baby has been going on long enough. It's time to meet! Can't wait to share the news...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Open Letter to the Labor Fates

Dear Labor Fates,
I have a few requests in preparation for this grand event that will soon be upon us. The first is that you will decide to begin your work on Monday night or Tuesday morning. This would ensure that my mother will be here to participate. Monday would be better so that the baby will be born on the Birth of Mary. Plus, I'd rather not be induced.
Also, I would prefer that my water break in Triage. Not in the car on the 40 minute ride to the hospital. Also, other things that may leave the body during early labor are best reserved for some other time then the car ride (don't think too hard about this part). Very important to me is that Hurricane Hanna does not adversely effect the ride - given the flash flood warnings in effect I would prefer you to avoid her.
Moving on from the car-ride...
A non-negotiable item on the agenda is that I want to get there with enough time for some pain medication. I'm pretty sure this time around that I want it. If I don't want it then I want ample time IN THE HOSPITAL to decide. If you can arrange a room on the "new wing" for me while you're at it, I'd appreciate it. You know how easily effected I am by my surroundings - even though it's all the same equipment and stuff you know that the prettier wallpaper will make me happy. Also, David would appreciate the built-in bed.
Finally, please make sure that Dr. Smith is on-call or is somehow able to be there and that my nurse is nice and not a hick without teeth and with tatoos.
As to the sex of the baby, I don't think that really falls under your job description so we'll just leave that alone for now.
Mother of Lovelett III

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Guess who's coming to town...

Just a very quick baby-update. I am due Saturday, (as in 3 days) and if I haven't had the baby by Wednesday then I will be induced. The doctor doesn't think anything is immanent and I concur. I did have a leg cramp in the middle of the night last night that made me think the baby had lost it's way and was trying to push his head out my calf but, as my stomach is still large enough to be hazardous to those in my path I think that it was just a cramp :(.

Just a couple people who think that they are going to come to the hospital with me, in the bag.

Age-defying lotion

Lily is in some ways a girly-girl. She sits with me at my vanity every morning to get her hair done while covering her cheeks and lips and tongue with chapstick. But today she took it upon herself to do her morning glamming-up by coming out of the bathroom carrying the Desitin, having spread it all over her lips for lipstick and her eyes for eye-liner/shadow. Every time I kiss her I can taste the butt cream. Yummy.
Upon further consideration I think that Desitin is probably a very effective age-defying cream, a little stinky perhaps, but I always smell like Desitin anyway. I'm not quite ready to give it a try personally but Lily is certainly driving me to gray hair and wrinkles before my time so perhaps in the near future.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gum - not a toy.

M: Mommy. My gum is gone.
Mommy: WHERE is it gone to?
M: In a dark place.
Mommy: WHAT dark place? This is very important.
M: You can't see it - it's in a dark place with lots of other things.

Oi. I am too big to be crawling around in dark places with lots of other things. I guess we'll find it next time we move.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

August - the Dog Days

I have been praying that I'll just wake up one morning and this month will be over. There are many, many stressful things about August for the Loves. But at some point this week I woke up and, lo and behold, I had actually slept. WHICH means that a. I have insurance and will not be paying for this baby over the next 5 years b. we furnished the guest-room, even in the middle of an income gap c. David has finished his syllabi and is feeling a lot more confident - which makes my life a lot happier too d. I found a grocery store that I feel at home in.
This last point may seem small but it really helped me figure out why this is such a hard transition. It's not that things here are better or worse, they are just different. And I've been walking around generally thinking, "OK, this has been an adventure. I'm ready to go home now." It's not that I don't like Wal-mart but see, I never shopped at Wal-mart before and so now that I have to it throws me off. Everything is so different! I just broke down in tears last week while waiting to see my new OB because even though he's very nice and all the practice is VERY different then my doc's at home. Every time I've gone in there I've had to do deep breathing just to keep my anxiety level manageable (obviously the day of tears shows that it was still not entirely manageable). And the hospital! I have it on good authority that the staff is wonderful and it's a good hospital but...wow. So different. And you have to drive to get to anything familiar.
But yesterday (after driving almost an hour to go to Borders) I was almost home and decided to stop at the Food Lion in the next town over. I'm in love. It's like Busch's but with Kroger's prices and mainly, it feels right. It feels familiar and the people who shop there and the staff seem familiar. And it's not an hour away, it's just 5 minutes down the highway. I can do that.
It turns out that at this stage of my life, I like chain-stores. I like them. It's like going to mass in a foreign country - it's always the same, even if the language is different. I also like a lot of the little local places here but right now it just makes me feel foreign.
Anyway, this post's main point is that it has been a really, really, REALLY stressful 3 weeks since moving but yesterday I had a little glimmer of emotional hope that this is going to get better. I'm going to find places and people where I'm comfortable (thank you Food Lion!) and I'm going to get used to driving places to get the services that I need (and all the drives around here are really beautiful and relaxing - gorgeous mountains and no traffic!). It's getting better...I think that my "Dog Days" are finally over. I've slept well for 3 days in a row now (and by "well" I mean that I was able to go back to sleep after all 4 times that I had to get up to pee) and that's a good sign.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Maybe I'm crazy or maybe I'm just wrong about my due date but I really don't feel as pregnant as I remember feeling the last couple times I was this pregnant. I keep reading these little blurbs in the preggers-books about how I should be so uncomfortable and swollen and generally miserable but, I'm not really. I'm thinking that it's part the fact that the stress and distraction of moving and having no health insurance yet have resulted in my gaining less then I did for the other pregnancies - just slightly above normal this time around. And second part would be expectations. I just did this last year, you know? I remember this time. There was no unrealistic expectations of what I would get done or how good I would feel - it sucks and I remember it. Either way, I'm very happy to not be miserable...man am I insightful.

(This is the most recent pregnant picture I have. I did have shorts on, despite appearances. This is my friend Kate - also pregnant - and me on taking a break with our twin girls on moving day.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I think that we can say that we are officially unpacked. There are a few more pictures to sort through to decide where they go and the bookcases could use a little organization but other then that there aren't any boxes left to unpack, the closets are organized and life is looking pretty good down here.
Life is good but very different so far. I hardly ever drive but when I do it's for at least 20 minutes. My doctor (and hospital) are 40 minutes away...this concerns me a little but perhaps we'll be inducing anyway. Except for my doctor's appointment this morning I hadn't gotten into my car since Friday morning. Lily used to hate the car but now she claps and squawks with joy whenever we get in. I think that cabin fever may set in every once in a while, even though the yard takes the edge off. Hopefully after the baby is born and we "start school" we'll do more planned activities.
Mass has been a great way to get out of the house and start out each day though and since we don't even have to get in the car to get there it's been almost obscenely easy to make it each day. The parish is not the same as good ol' CTK, that's for sure. There are 4 retired priests and 1 non-retired priest who does most of the pastoral work. One of the retired priests has taken it upon himself to accompany himself with a little bit of guitar strumming during daily mass. He strolls into mass, carrying a guitar to the altar. He then leans it against the presider chair where it sits until the Gospel acclamation. Here he picks it up, and plays and sings the Alleluia while walking across the sanctuary to the ambo. The guitar goes with him to the altar for the Eucharistic prayer where is leans against the altar until the Sanctus. He then picks it up and leads us all in a rousing chorus of Holy, Holy, Holy. Moses was beside himself laughing the first day of this. What do you tell your 3-year old about Fr. Sings-a-lot? Even he can tell that it's clearly absurd. Ah well. I'm not complaining, just reporting. I'm very, very grateful to be so close to the church, even though some things will take a bit of getting used to.
Moses has had a few funny little comments recently that I could share.
Mommy: We are going to go to a store called Walmart, to get some things for the house.
Moses: (puzzled) But...houses don't eat food, they are just houses.

Mommy: I am going to pray.
Moses: OK, I want to stay and hear you.
Mommy: Well, I'm not going to pray out loud, just quietly.
Moses: Oh (he taps my forehead). Are you going to pray in your forehead?

Mommy: It's almost time for a nap, bud. And we have to hurry because Lily and I are VERY tired and I want to take a nap too.
Moses: SOME people don't want to sleep two times, and are sad when Mommies and Lily's sleep.

Moses: Mommy, I take trains very seriously.
Well, isn't that the understatement of the century?

That's all for now folks, keep us in your prayers as we make it through this next month - it's a doozy!

Here are some pictures of our life in the new house for those of you who may be Love-child-hungry.There have been a lot of thunderstorms the last few days and the kids wanted to run and play in the rain...it proved a little too thunder-y for them to pull it off for very long though.
Here's Moses trying to keep his cast in his sleeve so it doesn't get wet. He's a maniac about keeping the cast dry and on. I think he takes doctor's very seriously.

Just before it all went bad...

The fun is done. Cruel to take a picture before comforting her? Well, that's probably why I am very clearly not the favorite parent.

The other night he had apparently been spying on us from the stairwell after bedtime and did such a good job that this was what we encountered when we went up to bed around 10:30.