Monday, July 30, 2012

Why I don't talk about my views on this blog

The other night we had a friend over for dinner. There are many things on which we see eye to eye and maybe some things that probably we don't necessarily see the same way. Yet, I always enjoy talking to this person. I have been thinking about why that is. I believe it comes down to this: we respect each other. The topic the other night was all about vaccinations. Our last two children are the same age and this friend was curious about how we dealt with vaccinations with all the conflicting ideas out there. I informed him of the ones we get on time, the ones we delay (for seizure risk) and the ones we oppose because they are generated from cells from aborted babies. He later went home and did some research on his own and then came back and we discussed the last category in more depth. Never did he say I was crazy. Never did we raise our voices or did the discussion ever feel tense. Usually I feel very confronted and attacked when talking about these things with my family members who disagree with me. It was just a friendly discussion. I was not trying to change his mind, nor he mine.

I don't understand why these issues have to be so volatile when being discussed. This blog post the other day really made me think. So did this one. And especially this one. I don't typically share my views here on this blog. I feel it is a personal thing for one. But also, I figure that if one sees that I am a Catholic homeschooling mama with several children, people probably have a pretty good idea where I stand on most issues. Lastly, I don't like confrontation. I get anxious and upset. The other night made me realize that these hot topics can be discussed civilly, without name-calling and ugliness.

I am not even sure where I was going with all this except that I am grateful to have had that experience. It gives me hope.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The "Big" Day

No. I am not in labor. I am talking about the day that inevitably comes when you are no longer "cute" pregnant. I am big and round and only one shirt still covers my belly and meets my pants. I was lamenting to a friend last night about my clothing woes and she brought me over a bag of longer t-shirts to get me through these last couple of weeks! Now that is a good friend indeed. By the size of my belly, I am guessing that this guy will be another big baby. Most of my kids have been over 8 1/2 pounds. **in the middle of writing this post, another equally good friend brought me more clothes!!** maybe I shouldn't complain so much.

36 weeks, 4 days

Today, Jack asked me for about the hundredth time when I would take him to the Living Museum to see the Titanic film. I realized that I better do it now. So we ate lunch and went to the show. Afterwards, we walked over to the live animal show and he and Anna got to touch a snake and see a screech owl up close. As many times as we have visited this museum, we had never seen either of these programs.

Overall, it has been a good day and I am realizing how blessed I am. The only shadow on this day was first thing this morning, when I discovered that our cat, who has been progressively getting more persnickety, had decided we messed up her litter box by cleaning it. She did not use it this morning. She used the floor. Does anyone want a very pretty cat with a few personality flaws?

one cat in need of a new home

Finally, to round out this post, I'll share a couple of pictures of the stowaway on the tire of Tony's car the other day. He was in the middle of changing the oil when he called for me to quickly bring the camera. Those are words that have never been spoken by my husband before, so my curiosity was more than piqued.

He is more brown than I have ever seen a praying mantis. They are usually very green.

His eyes were a little creepy and his head kept following the camera.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Way back in 1992, which seems like forever ago when I look at it that way, I became a mother. Living it, twenty years seem but a moment. And yet, sometimes I can't remember not being a mother. Motherhood exposes you to every emotion there is. I remember tears of joy running down my face as they placed this child, my child, in my arms. There were tears of helplessness as my baby cried in my arms, inconsolable in the middle of the night from colic. Tears from laughter, worry, amusement, anxiety.

I think the best way to increase your prayer life is to have children. Mine bring me to my knees daily.

Yesterday we celebrated Sophie's 20th birthday simply. She chose the menu for dinner and dessert and helped make the cookies (which are vegan...and delicious). We went bowling. She wore her new dress.

Happy Birthday to my sweet Sophia!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Taking a Break

Taking the advice of the four people that read my little blog, we took the rest of the week off and just relaxed, culminating yesterday at Busch Gardens. Once a year, they give the military free passes into the park. Chancing the threat of rain, we set out to have us some fun. Some rides were already closing due to the approaching storm, so the older girls ran for the roller-coasters with Tony and I trekked to the kiddie area with the little ones. The rides were temporarily shut down, but there is a climbing area and they happily ran about, keeping up with Therese. Watching Jack help his little sister navigate safely through the play area gave me hope that I have been doing something right in the raising of these kids. Then the heavens opened up and the rains came down in torrents. We made it under a sheltered area and waited. They never once complained about the delay and once the lightening ceased, they played in the rain til they were soaked to the bone. As the rides began to reopen, the crowds were not out yet and I could let them run from ride to ride and wait in line by themselves, pushing the stroller with a sleeping baby at my own pace and not worrying about them getting lost. We had such a fun day. We ate food that had very little nutritional value, the rides spun us and dipped and dived all our troubles away. We even got to see some incredible fireworks from our car just as we were about to pull out. I do believe we had the best seats for viewing the colorful, loud display. All that tension was gone just like a storm that breaks the unbearable heat of summer and leaves behind the smell of water on pavement, and a freshness in the air.

Will we try our hand at school work this week? Maybe. Or maybe not. Either way, this mama is not a stressed out mama and today has been a quiet, peaceful Sunday.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

One man's trash...

is another man's treasure, as the saying goes. Last week, we were driving through the neighborhood on the eve of trash day. There, beside someone's trash can, was a wooden entry table. Upon closer inspection, it did have a nasty round burn mark on the top. But it was in perfect condition otherwise. We put in the van and drove on home. I gave it a couple of coats of paint to hide it's scar and I do believe it is a treasure indeed...

One man's misfortune is another boy's good luck. Tony was trying to be a good Samaritan and help a friend replace the brakes on his car last night. However, things did not go smoothly and this morning our friend had AAA come and tow his car to the repair shop. Imagine Jack's delight that before breakfast he got to witness up close a tow truck at work in his very own driveway. Oh, was he a happy boy!

I just know there is a lesson to be learned in all of this.

I was listening to EWTN on my way home from the doctor and the homily was about how Jesus asked the disciples to go out with nothing but their faith to preach. How often can I truly say that I whole-heartedly place ALL my trust in God? Not often, I am afraid to admit. How hard it is to lay down everything at His feet and just trust in His mercy and compassion.

I pray that God may cover up my sins with His mercy and truly make of me a treasure worthy of His love.

May I try and find the good in the seemingly not so good situations. God works many wonders through things that seem to be nothing but bad news.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Second Thoughts

First thought: "Let's get as much school under our belt before this new baby is born so that we can take a guilt-free break."

Second thought: "I have not had one day to enjoy with my kids this summer and I am super stressed because of it."

We literally jumped into the "new" school year the week after finishing up last year's work. I was not prepared, but the kids were so excited and I had that first thought of getting a jump start before the baby arrived.

Then came these twice weekly non-stress tests for the baby which eat up my days. Followed by a rain storm that led us to an ongoing water leak that had rotted the wood on a section of our house. Dealing with the repairmen for the last two weeks took even more time away from my routine. They finished their part yesterday, but left me with the job of having to repaint the wall in the den and all the trim work.  Heaven only knows when I will get to that!

Please tell me it is just pregnancy hormones, but I am about to explode! Boy noises make me want to crawl out of my skin, people touching my skin make me cringe. I want to have a bubble around me with a sign that says "Give me my personal space". All the everyday noises of the house are making me nuts.

Strangely enough, when Tony called me yesterday to tell me that our orders for our next duty station were deleted (that we were excited about) and the Army kindly offered us three new choices that we don't like, I did not panic. I figure that they will probably change their minds yet again before the actual date. It is so out of my control that to worry seems silly.

I guess I am looking for someone to say that it is OK to slow down and change my mind and just enjoy these last days as a family of 7. A new kind of crazy is about to descend once the baby arrives and just maybe some laid back days would be the best way to prepare?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Yarn Along

I am linking up with Ginny for the yarn along again this week. I finally bought buttons for the baby sweater and put them on yesterday. I really like them.

On the needles at the moment is a sort of experiment. I found the yarn in the clearance bin and knew my 7 year old would love it. After searching Ravelry, I found a ruffled summer shirt that looks just right, excepting the yardage. If I run low, I plan to make a fabric skirt to attach to it, making the length of the shirt more cropped.

I just started the book last night, so I have no opinion yet.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Days

The hot, lazy days of summer have descended upon us once again. The kids were going a little stir-crazy last week, so we decided to pull out the old inflatable pool. Can I just say "Ewwww!" It was a moldy, rolled up mess. After a unanimous vote, it was tossed in the trash and Tony set off to the store for a new model.

Attempting to keep as much grass and dirt out of the pool as possible, and also to be able to keep a close eye on Therese, the decision was made to set up the pool on the deck. No one uses the table anyway, since the bugs hone in on you the second you go outside with anything resembling food. So the table was rolled to the shed, the pool inflated, and a tent was set up to keep the direct sun off little people.

We were recently gifted with not one but two boxes of baby clothes! We are so blessed. The kids really didn't get all excited about cute baby outfits like I did. They only wished me to hurry up so that they could turn the boxes into other things. They played restaurant for hours.

While the kids tested out the new pool, I kept the back door open and began slicing cucumbers to make my Nana's refrigerator pickles. They are so yummy and take me back to hot summer days at her house. There was no air conditioning and the kitchen was closed, except for dinner. For lunch, every day, there were crackers, pickles, hard salami, and her famous homemade applesauce. The tablecloth was made of terrycloth and we would crowd around her small table and feast on these delicacies, then run back out to play as soon as our hunger was abated, the screen door slamming behind us.

The ongoing laundry pile, full of towels and swimsuits. I try and catch up each evening, but sometimes the pile gets the best of me, especially now that I have to go twice weekly for non-stress tests. They do eat up my mornings. This morning, after listening to this baby's nice strong heartbeat, I went to the next room so they could check the amniotic fluid levels. That looked fine, but we discovered that sometime in the last week  this little guy went from head down to breech! Hopefully he will make a round-trip and end up the right way soon!