Monday, May 31, 2010

Signs of a Successful Memorial Day


Maybe you've visited a graveyard. But maybe not because you have a tiny fear that it will make your kids grow up a little extra macabre.

You should have a tinch of sunburn.

At some point during the three-day weekend, "God Bless America" or "My Country Tis of Thee" or "The Star Spangled Banner" or "God Bless the U.S.A." has been sung.

You've eaten hot dogs. Hamburgers. Potato salad. Chips. Pie. Brownies. Watermelon. Or all of the above. Something should have been fresh off the grill.

Frisbee. Or horseshoes, lawn darts (where legal), bocce, or croquet.

Family. And friends.

A moment or more of patriotism. And you can go back to life on Tuesday with a nice memory, thankfulness for our country's freedoms, and that tinch of sunburn.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

How I Want to Go Out


I'm thinking about this today. My mother, who is six weeks away from the ripe old age of 70, has just taken a full-time job, and informed me this morning. And my aunt, who has written me letters my whole life, but whom I've only met a handful of times, is dying in a hospital in Pennsylvania. So my thoughts are all over the place, reflective and quirky.

For the record, I don't want to work forty hours a week my last few decades of life. I want to mosey around the globe, read books, play with grandchildren, re-wallpaper my foyer, work a crossword puzzle, visit the doctor, try new wrinkle creams, argue with people, and attend funerals. I want to spend time selecting a suitable burying ground. I already know I want grass, a marble headstone, and a pithy quote beneath my name.

My philosophies on birth are similar to those I have on death. No drugs. Some pain. A day or so to reflect on the momentous change ahead. Then relief.

I don't want my children to have to read scripture to me on my deathbed in hopes that I "get it". Lord, spare me a child who late in life converts to born-again fundamentalism and questions my salvation as a late-in-life convert to Catholicism. I won't have time to discuss theology as I lay dying, just as I don't have time to discuss philosophy as I lay in labor. By these crucial moments, it's much better to have our minds made up. Not that I scorn anyone their deathbed conversion - not at all - but mine took place before the deathbed and I don't anticipate any major changes. Still and all, anyone is free to read scripture to me during my last breaths to remind me of God's power and love. (Which makes me wonder what type of scripture I'd want read to me in labor --- passages of Jesus' suffering? Or poetry from the Psalms or Song of Solomon? Now there's a comical image - verses from Song of Solomon being read to a woman in the throes of child labor. Eesh.)

My friends, it's time to go crank out four cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, so I'll pause in my writing about this topic. I'm sure I'll still be thinking about it, though, so I'll get back to you when I decide for sure about what to include on my headstone.

Imagined and Real

Joe told me yesterday morning that he had a dream that I had the baby. It was a boy, and he was John's size. (Ack!) He was born at home, but the doctor came to the house. When he came out, he was covered in slime and he was so slippery we all kept dropping him.

Huh. I never thought about other members of the family having dreams about the baby.

Yesterday I interviewed one other midwife I had heard of and then officially hired my favorite. To answer Vicki's question in the comments, here's the history: Joe and John were both born in Vegas using the same midwife seven years apart. I like her alright, I definitely trust her capability, and I appreciate how she works with me in labor. However, she lives on the complete opposite side of Vegas. I hated the long round-trip drive even just the last two months of my pregnancy with John (we moved here when I was seven months pregnant with him). Plus, a few new midwives have cropped up since the days when I interviewed with my first pregnancy. And the one I've chosen has some slightly different certifications than many of the rest - along with the fact that she was an L&D nurse for five years; a hospital midwife practicing with an O.B. for three; and has now set up her homebirth practice for three years as well. She even studied with the Amish community I read about! Plus I like her, plus she carries pitocin in case I get bleedy, which is my largest birthing fear (we all have at least one, right?) So happy day. I made my first appointment for after the 10-week mark, hoping I'll hear the heartbeat.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Midwives and Maternity Clothes

We interviewed a new midwife last week and we really like her. No "hire" yet, but soon. I'd like to make my first visit around the ten week mark so I can hope to hear the heartbeat.

And even though I don't need them yet, I got my maternity clothes out to see what kind of inventory I have. Let's say it's because my pregnancies have now spanned a ten-year period - it was time to donate some of those gems.

I was hoping to write a longer, more interesting post, but I admit I'm not feeling super swell. When I'm less nauseous and grouchy, I'll be back! (See you in about 19 months.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Longest Saturday Ever

Since my all-nighter nurse friend, Magan dubbed her recent race the "Sleep Deprivation 5K", I'm calling today's race the "Morning Sickness 5K". In reality, it was to benefit Ronald McDonald House. And yes, we warmed up with Ronald himself before the start, and high-fived him at the start and finish of the race.

I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've run two 5Ks in one month. Thank you to Kayli and Dawn for getting me out there today. Other than having to wake up at 5:00 a.m. and force-feed myself proteins and complex carbs on a yucky stomach, it was fun!

Other news from the day:

Baby Love likes Chipotle. We've been avoiding any eating out (Thirty dollars NOT spent at restaurants is thirty dollars saved for carpet in a new house!) until tonight. We went to 5:30 Mass and by the end I felt like barf. Even Chipotle sounded gross, but anything is better than cooking. Everyone else had McDonalds, and now we're the proud owners of four talking Pinocchio toys ("I'll NEVER be a real boy!!!") I dislike Pinocchio. It's a depressing and bizarre story. Can't McDonald's give out those dandy plastic "watches" I had a hundred of in the seventies?

This afternoon, Joe and I attended the First Communion Mass of his friend Zoe. Therefore, I went to Mass twice today. I should be glowing with holiness. A little extra contact with both Jesus and Ronald McDonald on a given day should set me up for some odd assortment of benefits, no?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Between Windexing and Pledging...

...I'm resting. The sheets are in the wash, the windows have been shined. Now I need to dust. Then vacuum. Then clean the bathrooms. Then mop.

Kevin forgot his wallet so I'd like to deliver it to him at work. And I need to go to the post office to send off the homeschool materials we sold on e-bay.

Then we have an appointment to interview a midwife.

And two of the women from Kevin's office just called to invite me to run a 5K with them BRIGHT AND FREAKIN' EARLY tomorrow morning. How can I say no? How can I say yes?

I started a good book by Pearl S. Buck. And I have two hours of good shows waiting on the DVR.

My brand-new goddaughter is having surgery today. Please say a prayer for Anna and her family.

How's that for catching up? And all between the windows and the dusting...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

Today's Monday is cloudy and a bit full of housework. I've just returned from my second annual silent retreat at the Sacred Heart Retreat House with the Carmelite Sisters.

Imagine a weekend where everything from dinner to spiritual reflection is served to you. That's the experience.

Last year, one friend joined me - this year, five plus my mom. Really fun to have a whole group of us.

Father Bruce Nieli was the Retreat Master, and he was amazing as a speaker and a confessor. He's from Nashville and proclaimed we have a connection between our cities thanks to Elvis. Funny.

I really need to write more to capture all that the weekend was. Perhaps later, when the laundry is tamed and after I get the kids out of the house for a spell.

I had a marvelous weekend with Jesus. Yet it's still good to be home.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Even my husband commented that I hadn't blogged in a while.

I think I officially have morning sickness. I'm halfway between six and seven weeks, so that sounds about right. Yay! And ick.

It's nice to be done with school. Yet Cayna keeps on learning. She mastered hair braiding and shoe tying on Monday. And has been asking to do phonics every day. This is good. She needs some more work to be stronger with her reading by second grade.

No word on the house. This is the end of week three. My hope is to hear by the end of May, but that's optimistic. I'm dying to paint and floor and pack boxes. Just today I went through our glasses and got rid of a bunch we don't use. I'm an incurable declutterer. There are many other drawers/cupboards/areas in the house that are calling my name. Moving is a GREAT excuse to get rid of stuff.

Two months til my 40th birthday!!! How to celebrate? I need to decide what I want to do for the big four-oh.

We're spending our early summer days trying to do some fun thing every day and take it easy as well. For this morning, I need to go get us ready to attend an "Ascension Day" picnic. How's that for a reason to celebrate?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's Mother's Day

So I wake up thinking about my job. Everything that I love about it and everything that makes it grueling at times. I don't plan on quitting, so that's good! I wish I was a LOT better at some things (NOT yelling; cooking; playing with Play-Doh) but I think I'm doing okay.

Today I'll focus on the good stuff, and try to let that focus trickle into all the days to come.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

This Old House


Every time I'm anticipating a move, I become hyper-aware of the things I will miss about the house I'm leaving, as well as the things I will be glad to leave behind.

Even though we don't know yet if we will be able to purchase the "new house" around the corner, some lists are brewing in my brain:

Things I will miss about the house I'm leaving:

our neighbors
our chalky-purple master bedroom
the beautiful trees in the backyard
the separate laundry room
the colorful school room



Things I will be glad to leave behind:

the rocky front yard
the rocky backyard
the horrible view from the kitchen window
the giant shed in the back yard
the cold, echo-y tile floor
the awful shower in the master bath
the awful paint in the master bath
the long staircase with tile at the bottom (ouch!)
the woefully inadequate linen cupboard upstairs
the exterior badly in need of paint



I will avoid making a list yet of the things I like about the potential new house in case we aren't able to buy it. But it's brewing...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Whattamonday!

Sometimes Mondays are extra challenging if you've had a particularly wonderful weekend. But sometimes Mondays are like riding the wave after a particularly wonderful weekend - the wonderful just continues. Today is that second type. This weekend was dinner out; 5K with friends; car washing; baseball game in beautiful weather; Mass; shooting rockets; swimming; and dinner at friends'. Whew! I don't want that much activity EVERY weekend, but it sure was fun these past few days.

And now it is the last week of homeschool for the 2009-2010 year. I can't believe it! I am proud of my kids and myself. All in all, we had a great year. There are a few things I hope to change for next year, but I don't have any real regrets. It even feels like a last week of school. All of Joe's math is review, and Cayna's final lesson on Thursday concludes with a poem about Summer. Cayna's handwriting is copying the sentences: "Cayna finished first grade!" and "Cayna is a second grader!" Joe just got paid a quarter for every catechism answer he could recite from the past year. He earned $8.75 and has a good foundation for more scripture and Church teaching. I learned right along with him. (But I can't recite as much as he can.)

Three more days of lessons after today and then we will officially begin our summer vacation! Interestingly, all of the elementary schools in our district are returning to a nine-month schedule after this year, so we will have more in common break-wise with our friends and neighbors. This break is coming at a nice time. If all goes well, my extra-tiredness and first-trimester nausea will kick in within the next week or two (and I do mean "if all goes well" - I'm still nervous about miscarriage) and I won't have any school responsibilities with the kids to worry about.

So here's to Monday. To summer. To another day!