Monday, October 25, 2010

Feeling the Love

My friend Serene posted today about gratitude, specifically about people who have done seemingly small things that turned out to be huge, and invited people to link up, sharing their experiences.  I have so many, even in the past few weeks and months.

A few months ago, a friend called me out of the blue and asked if I had plans for the weekend.  We rarely have exciting weekend plans, and when I told her so, she said, "Good.  Then we're taking your kids Friday night and Saturday morning so you and your husband can go overnight."

I wasn't sure I had heard her right.  So I asked her, 


"I know what it's like to not have family around to do things, and to want to get out.  You guys deserve to have a weekend away before your baby comes."

"Umm..."  I sputtered, "I don't even know what to say."

She laughed.  "Say thank you.  And have fun."

And we did.  While this angel woman came and slept at my house, (including soothing my toddler who woke up at an ungodly hour!) we went overnight to a fancy-schmancy hotel (that was free thanks to some perks from my husband's work,) saw a movie, got massages, and came home relaxed and happy.   Not even my parents have taken all three kids overnight before.  I still shake my head in amazement at her kindness and sheer courage.

A few weeks ago, I got pneumonia.  Now that's bad enough, but when you're pregnant, it's extra bad.  So of course, I whined about it on my blog.  A few hours later, I got a comment from a sweet blogger friend that she was bringing me dinner.

And bring me dinner she did.  Homemade chicken noodle soup, and freshly baked, warm bread.  Can I just say that bread was a little piece of heaven?  My husband and I devoured it on the spot before my children even knew it was missing. 

There is something so incredibly nurturing about someone making a meal for you- it's like giving someone a tangilble evidence of their love and concern.  Such a blessing to sit down to a hot meal that I didn't have to prepare.

This year, for the first time, I've started teaching students before school at some obscene hour that no one should ever be awake for.  Despite my chronic inablity to be a morning person, everything has worked out well so far.  That is, until two weeks ago when I decided I hadn't had enough excitement and spent the batter part of the night in the hospital with preterm labor.

I had a lesson the next morning, and since I didn't leave for the hospital until 10:30 at night, I sent a text telling the mom I wasn't teaching in the morning and begging to reschedule.  I knew she was an iPhone addict like me, and thought that would be the safest way to get a message to her.

I arrived home at 3:30 that Tuesday morning, and crashed into bed. We all rushed around in a panic the next morning trying to get out the door, and it wasn't until my kids were gone that I thought to check to make sure the mom had gotten my text message. 

She hadn't.

Which means this poor mom had gotten herself and her daughter out of bed and hauled across town at 6:15 am, just to find my house dark and no one answering the door.

I apologized, embarassed.  She brushed it off, laughing, asked me how I was doing, then informed me she was coming to get Max in a few minutes so that I could sleep that morning.

I thought about protesting, but I was too tired and too drugged.

She came and got him, played with him all morning, took him out to lunch, then brought him back to me right before naptime.  Max had so much fun that he ran after her crying when she left.

She had every right to be mad at me.  I would have been pretty irritated to get up that early to arrive at a dark house with no one responding.  Instead, she came and took my toddler all morning so I could crash. 

People are amazing.  I have been blessed by so many who have taken the time to love and serve my family.  Just thinking about this has made me resolve to do better to watch out for others. 

Like Serene said, the words "Thank You" seem pretty small and insignificant for things that impacted me so much.  But I can't say enough about how these womens' efforts to reach out and help me, despite the inconvenience, has impacted me. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


This baby loves surprises.

First, there was the surprise of even being pregnant in the first place. 

Then, when my husband decided it would be fun to wait to find out the gender until the baby was born, we added that surprise to our list.

I was very surprised at 28 weeks pregnant to find myself planning a hospital birth instead of a homebirth. 

And now, just when I thought we were done with surprises, I've found myself in the hospital twice in the past two weeks for pre-term labor.

(That's what I get for thinking that I had already experienced all the craziness possible when it comes to being pregnant and birthing a baby!)

The past two Mondays, contractions hit regularly.  I tried valiantly to ignore them.  Then they started coming every 2-3 minutes, making it impossible.  Both times, I called my midwife, who said I needed to come into the hospital to have them stopped.  So for the past two consecutive Monday nights, I've made the trip to the hospital in the middle of the night to be filled with injections of terbutaline and niphedipine.  I've started dilating and effacing, which isn't great news.  But we were able to stop the contractions, which is good news.  

The new goal is to get this baby to 36 weeks- three weeks from now.  Thanksgiving would be better, but at this point, anything that ends with a healthy baby and little to no NICU time would be fantastic. 

I'm not on bedrest yet, and crossing my fingers that it doesn't get to that point.  Because while a day or two of mandated rest sounds like a fantastic idea, being stuck in bed for three weeks sounds crazy making.  Not to mention what it would do to my poor toddler, who has very little patience with a mom who wants to just hang out on the couch. 

Here's hoping that we're done with surprises.  Because while being on a first name basis with the nurses on the L&D unti is great and everything, I'd really not like to go back until this baby is actually ready to be born. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What family scripture study is really like

As a family, we've been working hard to read the Book of Mormon daily.  We've gotten into a pretty good groove, and over the course of the last two years or so, we've made it through most of the Book of Mormon, at the rate of 5-10 verses a night.  We've had some great experiences, and have watched our daughters grow into great readers as they daily encounter words such as "inasmuch", "iniquity," and "Gidgiddoni."

Tonight was not one of those spiritual nights.

It started when we told Ashlynn to take a shower, as we do every night.  (Oh the horrors!)  Then, big sister Abby asked to take a bath.  Because there's no school tomorrow, we agreed, causing Ashlynn to collapse into a fit of despair, literally crying to anyone who would listen how unfair it was that her sister got to take a bath and she didn't.  Never mind that she didn't ask to take a bath, we were just supposed to know that she wanted a bath, and it was all our fault that she didn't get to have one.  She then flopped down on the couch in the middle of her tantrum and promptly fell asleep.

Things got even more fun when we woke her up and insisted that she join us for scriptures. 

You see, we've been reading for years, and have just now come to the end of Moroni.  We would have finished last night, but got interrupted by two girls who couldn't have stopped giggling if their lives depended on it.  So tonight was the night.  We  were going to have a wonderful spriritual experience as we finished the last four verses of the Book of Mormon.  We all piled onto our bed, and settled in.

Problem is, Ashlynn can throw one heck of a fit when she wanted to.  The only way we got her to actually hold the scriptures was by threatening her with loss of privileges tomorrow.  (I know, I know.  But we tried to tease, talk and tickle her out of her foul mood and nothing worked.)

Tom had gotten through one line of the first verse when Max took a swing at him and ended up smacking him in the face.  After nicely reminding Max that we don't hit, Tom playfully shoved Max a bit and Max fell flat on his face into the bed.  Any other day this would have made him laugh hysterically, but a chronic lack of nap time meant a flood of angry tears.  So now we had one scowling, one screaming, and I looked over to find Abby picking her toenails in my bed.

"Abby," I said, thoroughly grossed out, "Please don't pick your toes in my bed."  All she did was giggle.

We got one more verse read, valiantly trying to ignore the screaming, refusing-to-be-comforted Max, when I looked over to find Abby once again picking her toenails.

"Abby!"  I growled, disgusted beyond belief.  "I don't want your toenails or toejam in my bed!  Knock it off."  That was it.  At the mere mention of the word "toejam" she collapsed laughing.

Tom muttered something about how we were ruining some of his favorite verses of scripture.  I looked at my crying toddler, (who was banging his head against the wall at this point,) my scowling seven year old,  and my nearly nine year old who was laughing so hard that she could barely breathe and ended up with a serious case of the giggles myself.  Tom sped-read through the last two verses, rolling his eyes.

The only interruption in the last two verses was when I had to remind Abby that picking her nose wasn't acceptable behavior either.

So much for our spiritual outpouring. 

The good news is, we finished the last four verses.  And there will be many more years of family scripture study ahead. 

How about  you?  Any good family scripture/prayer stories to share?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One of those rare times a mom likes to hear the word "no"

We had a follow up ultrasound yesterday. And while I am generally sick of hearing "no," especially when it comes from my obstinate not-quite two year old, I was thrilled to hear "no" twice from the perinatogist yesterday:

There is NO evidence of craniosynosyosis in this baby! Siblings with cranio are extremely rare, but then again, much of what we have been through with Max is. I was very relieved to see a normal head shape and several open skull sutures. (And it was more than a little fun to shock the perinatologist by identifying the saggital suture on the ultrasound. Being an obsessive researcher has it's privileges.)

And there is NO more worry about placenta previa. The placenta has very obediently moved up and out of the way.

Oh and one other no. NO, I didn't peek at the baby's gender. I wanted to, but the ultrasound technician remembered me, and remembered that we didn't want to find out. Busted. Buy we've made it this far, we can make it six more weeks, right?

I was going to upload what has to be the Cutest Ultrasound Pic ever, but my scanner has decided that it no longer needs to do it's job. Much like my van, which sputtered to a stop about 10 miles from home this afternoon without warning while I was carrying 5 violinists home from rehearsal. I was tempted to send them all out to play their violins on the side of the road to see if they could earn the money for what is probably going to be an expensive repair, but then decided that probably wasn't the educational experience their parents are paying me for. Too bad, because it would have made for a very funny post.
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