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.