Monday, August 29, 2011

Boy, oh boy!

So... we are officially having a sweet baby boy! I am over the moon excited and already hopelessly in love. The kids are also very excited to be having a baby brother. None of them have ever had a baby brother since Lucas is the oldest. Molly is a little unsure, in fact she cried. I promised she would love him when he gets here and that was all the consolation she needed. She is now of the opinion that we should name the baby spaghetti and meatballs! Oh, Molly! The baby is now affectionately referred to as "meatball".

Due to an anti-body that I currently have (probably from one of my miscarriages) my pregnancy is considered high-risk. Since the beginning of this pregnancy my doctor has been checking my anti-body levels monthly. The last 2 months my levels have doubled and then doubled again. Now that my anti-body levels are a little higher I have to go to the perinatologist at the hospital every 1-2 weeks to have MCA scans to check the baby for signs of anemia. It sounds kind of intimidating but, it is a level 2 ultrasound where they measure how fast the baby's blood is flowing in his brain. Too fast would be showing signs of anemia which would be cause for intervention. At that point we would need to go to a hospital in either Chicago or Milwaukee to do an intra-uterine blood transfusion. It's not likely that it will get to that point, but not impossible. If at some point the baby's anemia becomes life threatening they will deliver the baby early and treat his anemia and related issues from the outside. We have every reason to be hopeful. The plan is to keep checking the baby with the MCA scan every week or two and go from there.

I had my first scan today and everything was perfectly healthy and normal. I continue to hope and pray for continuing good news. So, I have A LOT of doctor appointments in my future but it will be great to see our sweet boy and watch him growing every week on all those scans. Here are 2 pictures of our boy from today!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Goodbye facebook, hello old friend...

So I have officially been done with facebook for about 2 weeks now. What a relief! I don't miss it. I don't miss the drama and the annoyance and I certainly don't miss the compulsion to check it all the time either. Nothing happened. I am not offended or mad at anyone. It was just time for me to be done and I am happy with my decision.

My poor blog has been severely neglected during my love/hate affair with facebook. My plan is too spend more time here and document all these precious things in my life that are flying by way too fast. That and I promised my Aunt Karen that I would blog if I wasn't going to be on facebook anymore. Look at me keeping my promise!

We have had a crazy busy summer and school is going to be starting in just another month. We are busy and that is just life with 4 kids. I hope I can keep up with 5. We will soon find out...
It's true! We are expecting a new sweet baby in our home January 24th!!! Everyone is very excited and everyone is chanting boy vibes under their breath too. Please be a boy! Not that 4 girls in 7 years wouldn't be fun, but oh, we all want it to be a boy. I would love having my two sweet boys as bookends to our family. I am about 15 weeks and still feeling sick. Part of me is done with being sick but another part of me is happy for those pregnancy symptoms. It means I am still pregnant. Having suffered too many losses in the last year, I am grateful to be sick. I am just counting my blessings and trying to enjoy this pregnancy.

I have lots of pictures from summer that I want to post and a belly picture in the works too. Way more than I can catch up on but I will work on a summer highlight reel for you Aunt Karen!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

This year I will become more invisible...

The Invisible Mother
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?, Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was Almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

This was sent to me in an email some time ago and I kept it knowing I would want to read it again. It's the start of a new year and everyone is setting new goals and making resolutions, including myself, but it just wasn't really setting very well with me. I have my ever long list of things I would like to quit doing (drinking soda), start doing (exercise at least occasionally), and be better at (you name it...). I think it is time for me to be the kind of person I really want to be and stop wishing I was her. I am going to be a builder, a builder of my family, my children, myself, and those who I come in contact with. I can choose love, service, and sacrifice over bitterness, hurt feelings and selfishness. I can choose to do more of what He sees and less of what only others can see. Some of those choices will be easy ones and others will be much more difficult, but I can't see how this can do anything but make my life better and more fulfilling. I am ready for a new year, making better choices, loving more, giving more, and taking less, even if that means being invisible to some at times.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a choice...

Since I last posted we have traveled to Indiana and back twice, had 1st day of school, 2 birthdays (including our very first slumber party), BELLA TURNED ONE, started ballet again, played flag football, dressed up as Harry Potter, Tinkerbell, Sleeping Beauty and a ballerina, built an amazing fire pit in our yard, traveled all the way to Washington D.C. for a family reunion/Thanksgiving, had the first beautiful snowfall of the season, had the first nasty flu of the season, chopped down and decorated our Christmas tree and so so much more. No wonder I have had no time to blog!

I love looking back at all the pictures and all the memories. It almost always makes me cry, in a happy way. Who am I kidding? I am just a crier, happy or sad. I want to do better at recording all of these precious moments so that I will always remember them. It's hard to find the time or to at least make it a priority. Sometimes in life we go through really hard things, things that are devastating and heartbreaking and those things change us. When those things happen, because they do happen to all of us, the last thing I want to do is examine my life for things to write about in my blog. Those are the times when it is hard to see the hand of the Lord in my life and when I need to see it the most. It's often or maybe always so much easier to wallow than to search. I am choosing to stop wallowing and start searching. I have many many blessings in my life and I am choosing to start seeing them, acknowledging them and being grateful for them. It's a much better place to be and I do believe it is a choice we can make.

love this little holiday gem from 2004

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer = together, I like together...

I am feeling the need to blog lately. I am also feeling that my blog needs a face lift. I will need to enlist the help of my husband for that. So much has happened and I am loving having all my little blessing home and around me everyday! Not that there wasn't a transition period! We have successfully made it through that transition and now life is sweet again.

First there is my sweet baby Bella who is 8 months old! She was born and I blinked and now she's big and eating food and drinking juice in a cup! She is teething and so not happy about it, which is a change for Bella. Bella is always happy and a total mama's girl. I love that! She loves to be tickled and she loves when any of her sisters or brother pay attention to her. I swear her hair gets more red everyday and it's gorgeous! I love my little red hair girls. Bella is just happy and sweet and perfect and I am still so in love with my dream baby!

Molly is having a great time with the big kids home. She missed them, a lot. It was Molly who had the hardest transition. She's used to running the house while the kids are at school and having lots of my attention. She has finally found her way with everyone home and now she's loving life again. Molly just finished her first ever dance class and she LOVED it! My little Molly looked so tiny next to the other girls, but she did great. She keeps asking when it's time to go to class and it's over now and she is sad. There is no substitute for dance. Molly will be signed up for dance again in September and she's already asking me how many days until September? Molly is trying swim lessons right now but she'd rather not. Usually, Molly loves the water and she wants to swim on her own. At swim lessons she sits on the side and cries and says she doesn't want to get her bow wet (even when she's not wearing a bow!) Who knows why Molly does anything? She is the reason for all of my gray hairs! She goes to the potty when SHE wants to and she goes to sleep when SHE wants to. She must wear a skirt or a dress everyday and she loves jewelry and sparkly shoes and magic wands, but she also loves dirt and mud and Lucas's bakugan's. She's always saying,"Remember when... That was so funny!" Molly is an individual and she does things in her own way and in her own time. She has been that way since before she was born. I am learning to accept this about Molly. With that acceptance has come less battling and much more laughter and enjoyment. I am still working on it, but oh how I love that girl who looks just like me.

My cute red headed Emma and her cute pink glasses that always slide down her nose making her look like a little grandma. She is so sensitive and so nurturing and so much like me that she drives me crazy! Emma has been doing cheerleading for the past 3 weeks and she loves it. In a few weeks she will start swimming lessons too and she can't wait. I love when Emma is home. She floats so easily between playing with Molly or Bella and playing with Lucas. She loves to help and be domestic. She is always wanting to cook and she can fold a whole basket of towels PERFECTLY (half, half again and then in thirds)! She is so excited for first grade and hoping for the same teacher Lucas had. She loves and looks up to her big brother so much. She is so so smart and loves to read. She is always reading and I do mean always, in her bed walking down the hall, walking down the stairs, in the car, in the bathroom, when she is supposed to be playing with friends or cleaning. ALWAYS! I wish she had more confidence. I pray and worry about that for her all the time. I want her to know that she is good, strong, smart, capable, worthy and loved. How do I make sure my daughter knows that? It took me a LONG time to know that and I still struggle with it.

Lucas is loving summer. All the sports he could want! Finally learning to ride a two wheeler has made bike riding suddenly so much more fun and finally losing a tooth! Lucas has also discovered the wonderful world of Harry Potter and he has caught the fever. I am amazed that he has read the first 4 books in the last 6 weeks!!! I told him I would read the books with him, since I had never read them. It's hard to keep up with him. We are both enjoying talking about the books and sometimes staying up late and cuddling up while we read a chapter together. Lucas has always been my cuddler. Lucas is playing coach pitch baseball this summer and starting swim lessons soon too. He's just having fun being outside and playing with friends. He finished 1st grade in a blaze of glory playing the lead part in his class musical. It was so fun for him and so fun for me to watch him. I think he caught the acting bug! Lucas is growing up so fast and takes good care of his sisters, but still wishing for a brother. We will have to wait and see. The jury is still out on that topic...

Joe is busier than ever before, if that's possible. He's transitioning to a new role at work and feeling good about that. He is the young men's president in our ward and I never knew how much work that was going to be. Holy Cow! It's only been about 9 months so we are in for the long haul on that one. Joe works hard and he works hard for us. I know that. I do. I have to remind myself constantly. Joe never does anything half way or just enough and it's a wonderful quality to have. But, honestly I struggle with it. I struggle with it A LOT. He is gone a lot (work and church responsibilities) and that means the kids and I are on our own a lot. I just miss him when he's not around. I miss him a lot. I am trying harder to just be grateful for when he is here and not thinking how long until he is gone again. It's hard for me and I will never be great at it, but I am trying. I know that when we put the Lord first in our lives, serve first, that everything works out and falls into place. Doors are opened, blessings come. Now if I could just remember those truths when the kids are fighting and the baby's crying and there are mountains of laundry and dishes in the sink spilling over to the counters and cereal smashed all over the floor and earwigs in the basement and the toilet flooding and the toddler has peed on the couch yet again and Joe is out of town on yet another business trip, if I could remember then...that would be something.

I love summer. I love having my family all together. The time we share together is so precious. There is so much I want my children to know and I feel the urgency. I want them to know who they are and where they came from and what they can become. I want them to know that I love them and the Lord loves them. That's what I want and that's what I am trying to do here at home everyday. That's why today instead of starting dinner we played 4 square in the driveway while Bella was napping. And why when I was putting Bella down for her nap, I let her nurse and snuggle as long as she wanted. I didn't look at the clock or think about the next thing on my very long, ever growing to do list. I was just there in the moment with my sweet baby, breathing in that wonderful scent trying to capture that memory.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Then and Now

Today I am thinking about this...

I really love these kids! I think they are so adorable and so amazing. I couldn't be more proud of them! Where does the time go?

Friday, February 12, 2010

The best Valentine EVER!

My Mom, My Valentine...

Mom, I love you more than pumpkin pie. I love you more than my dad. I even love you more than football. I love you like a moon loves night. I love the smell of your potato soup. I love the taste of your baked potatoes. I love the sound of your heart beat. I love the feel of your head against mine. I love when you find time to cuddle with me. I love you, I love you, I love you, I do!

From your kid, Lucas