Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How many priests does it take to make paella? Just (Fr.) Juan!

We are so blessed to still have Fr. Juan at our parish, and he wanted to come over and make paella for us again, and to visit with us before the baby comes.  Father brings his own paella pan, ingredients and seasoning.  The house smelled fantastic, and it was such a lovely evening.  I love that my kids are able to spend time with the priests in our home!
 My kids watched him cook the whole meal!  James kept interrupting and yelling "Hey, Fadder!" (If you have ever seen Going My Way all I could think of was the big choir boys, "Say hello to da fadder.")

 (Post title is Tommy's joke, my dad's words were, "Juan can Cook!")
 I love the concentration. 

 We were joined by my parents, since Tommy's parents came when he made paella for us the first time.  Tommy was a little late because he had some trouble getting home on the train.
 I think Emma had about 5 helpings, Patrick and Emma both ate SALAD with their dinner!
 Emma's words, "This is AMAZING!"  And it's pretty too!
We set the timer for the camera, and unfortunately it is a little crooked, but here we are!  37 weeks and 5 days, final - we hope! - nephrostomy tube change that morning, and baby coming Friday!!  Yep, and I look it.  LOL  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Baby Girl Sprinkle

Feeling so blessed and loved!  My amazing sister-in-law offered to host a "sprinkle" for me, to include my family and some close friends.  I was overwhelmed with love and it was wonderful to just spend time with those important people.
Emma insisted on wearing pink, and her cousin Laura came to join in the girl fun.
Christine is AMAZING at everything she does, and the details for this celebration were impeccable.   Everywhere I looked was something extra special with her personal touches.
My friends Katie, Sarah and Katherine.  My wonderful friends for forever!  Love them, and their sweet families.
Jess, Katie and Melanie (my sister-in-law, married to my brother).
More Reynolds!  Hayley, Lynsey, Chrissy and our superb host, Christine!
We tried for some family shots. Thank you to Amber (next to me) and Katie for taking so many wonderful photos!
My very sweet and very excited Emma: big sister-to-be!

The favor was a sachet with lavender (love love!) and each time I catch the aroma, it brings me back to that lovely afternoon.
We played some games including make a baby with play doh.

My favorite is the pink one in the middle with the binky.  
Identify the chocolate in the diaper.

Sweet Gus and his beautiful mom, Nichole!
I love this picture!   
Grandmas and me.

It was such an amazing day, and my family and friends are still talking about the joys and details of the day.  The food was delicious, desserts were just sweet enough to tempt my sweet tooth, and the decorations were sweet and pink!  Everyone was so impressed!
We were showered in love!  Everyone was so generous!
Can you believe this outfit???  SOO adorable!

The shirt says, "Grandma loves me more than Bingo."  :)  Aunt Chrissy finds the best shirts!

 (On a side note, it has been very tough to shower and wash my hair with this tube, since it can't really get wet.  My hair has been so sad, and it has been frustrating not being able to feel pretty.  My sister Jess shared a gift card for a haircut and blow dry with me at a salon, and I was able to enjoy a little more pampering before the shower.  It was so nice to feel (a little) pretty and ready for my close up.)

I don't know if I can gush enough about this sweet day, and how special it was to spend the time with everyone.  All these people are so special and dear to us, and I could not have gotten through all this without all the love and prayers from each of them!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Mumblings

  • James was talking about his friend named Jack.  "He always says hi to me.  He has polka dots on his face."  Best name for freckles ever!
  • Emma was unloading the dryer with all the baby clothes in it, and it took her about 10 minutes, because each piece had to be examined with, "Aww, look!  It's so little!  It's so cute!"  "Look!  The lint trap is PINK!"  She is so sweet!

  • James has moved to a big boy bed ALL ON HIS OWN!  My nephew babysat one night, and when I came up to check on him, I was stunned to see the crib empty!  There is a toddler bed already in his room which looks like a fire truck, and he was sound asleep!  I never thought he would do it without me, and each time we have tried to let him, he won't stay in the bed.  He has done it every night since.  He has been telling me that the baby will sleep in his crib, but I didn't think he would do it on his own!  What a sweetheart!

  • James came to me with those Velcro catching toys, but no ball.  He says, "let's play catch!"  And I waited to see what he meant.  He threw a "ball" to me and I caught it.  We played catch in the house with a pretend ball.  He even would miss and say "it rolled over there."  So funny.
  • William is very busy in his 1st grade class, and when I ask about things, sometimes it's really tough to get information from him.  He always says "the teacher says" this or that, but never uses her name.  He did that last year too.  It's always interesting to try to tell him how to do something, because he gets all frustrated because I don't do it the way "the teacher told me to!"

  • Patrick is definitely an 11 year old boy, with all the silliness and goofiness and a bit of absent-mindedness that goes with it.  This article makes me wonder when my son read this as his manual.  SPOT on!  We had an episode where we had to send him back to the shower because when we asked him, he forgot to use soap.  Palm, meet face. 
  • And, because I have some, here is a 36 week belly shot with my beautiful Mom.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quick update: my C-section is scheduled for October 3!  No big feast days that day, I don't think, but I am SO grateful for a little earlier date.  Keep up those prayers for me!  Morale is a little low this week, but I am hanging in there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

God has been so good!

*I have had this post to write for at least a month, and I know I will not write it as well as I should but I feel the need to put this into some clumsy words.*

I am overwhelmed.  Absolutely overwhelmed with all the things that have happened to me in the last month.  But I have also been overwhelmed in another way.  As soon as I made it known that I was in the hospital, the offers of help came immediately, but not just offers, DOING.  My friends, school community, parish, just everyone.  Help in the form of prayers and actions.

After I was admitted to the hospital, I had visitors (who arrived without announcement, saying that I would have said no if they asked first.  I think they just may have been right).  Two friends bearing gifts (which still make me cry) and encouragement and joy from their company.  A visit from our parish priest who brought Jesus to me in absolution, anointing and the Eucharist.  Another couple from the Knights of Columbus, coming to the hospital for their own issues, made an effort to come and see me because they heard I was there.  My sister came at least twice with plenty of hospital needs: dry shampoo, ear plugs. :) My sister-in-law and sweet nephew came with smiles, singing (oh yes, he sings!) and comfort gifts. She then proceeded to set up a meal train for our family (the second offer of the day!).  It is put up on the facebook website for the School parents, and is filled by some ladies I have never even met!  (trying really hard to hold it together, but if this has lots of typos it's due to the tears) With one of the meals, my friend hands me a card.  Inside the card is a gift of a housecleaning.  Not just one, but maybe even 2!!!  Again, all contributions from our community and some ladies I have met maybe one time!!!

We had babysitting offers, carpooling offers, visits to the pool, you name it.  I am not one to take up babysitting offers, because, let's face it, I have 4 kids!  It's a lot to take on.  But one lady insisted, and came and took all 4 of my kids to the pool.  She is the mom of one of my dearest high school friends and my kids just love her to pieces.  My in-laws and my mom were here every day: driving, sitting, cooking, cleaning, coming when we called at 4AM, and still helping each day, especially with all my doctor's appointments.

I don't think I cried as often as I did in those first weeks of hospitalization and coming home, just from the incredible generosity and love shown by so many (as well as the stress), and it has just been unbelievable.  There is no way to thank all these people properly, or enough prayers to shower them in the same love they have shown our family.  My kids must been feeling that Mommy hasn't cooked in a long time, because the first few meals got them so excited.  One even said, "Mommy should get sick a lot more.  This is so yummy!"  LOL  The honesty of kids.

My gratitude is beyond expression, especially when I look back at the OTHER factors of our life and how  things could have been while I was off my feet.  God had a big hand in so much, and we need to trust!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

34 Week Thoughts

  • Sneezing.  It hurts.  A lot.  And I am always afraid my water is going to break when I sneeze hard! 
  • Weekly sonograms are wonderful to keep my spirits up, because I get to see my sweet girl's face.  Though, when the sonographer has trouble actually SEEING anything because the baby is so large, it kind of makes me feel like my hopes of a small(er) baby are not realistic.
  • Strangers are looking at me with that look.  You know the one I mean.  Yes, thank you, I realize I have not had this baby yet.  I am quite large, and look like I am going to pop any minute. 
  • Walking is very slow.  VERY slow.  It's tough to walk when the baby is so darn low, and heavy.  Sitting  is very uncomfortable, unless it's on a bed, or a good couch with a foot rest.  I can't sit at our dining table anymore, because the seats are a little too tall for my feet, and no cushioning.  I am sitting below all the kids in our little folding, padded chairs.  Makes me giggle, because I know they are all going to be taller than me one day so I am getting the feel of it sooner.  Of course, all these things go out the window and are magnified when I go back to the doctor and my nephrostomy tube gets changed.
  • Speaking of the tube, I was back last Monday, knowing I was having trouble with it not draining and ended up being put under for the procedure (THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!).  Larger tube means TONS of pain, and a tough recovery again, but I am so glad to be able to sleep.  The anesthetist says, "I'm going to give you something to relax you." "THANK YOU!" I think I said that about 20 times when I woke up.  I did the hormotional pregnant momma bit: crying before the procedure because of nerves and crying after from relief.  The doctor said it was just as clogged as last time, so I am going back weekly now, just like at my OB.
  • My WONDERFUL OBGYN  listened to all my concerns and said I am able to deliver at 38.5 weeks. (I did a little happy dance when I heard that!)  Though October 6 sounds like a wonderful day to have a baby, I will not object to any of the early October feast days either.  Tommy and I are praying that the Lord will choose a wonderful feast for this sweet girl and some relief for her mother.
  • I have been putting off washing the baby items because we don't really have a dresser or anything to put her things in.  I was browsing Craig's List, and wondering where the money is coming from to afford something.  I start talking to family, and we get an offer of not one but TWO dressers for us for free!  God has been so good, and it came exactly the same day as a day I snuck out to Mass by myself, and the Gospel verse was "do not worry about tomorrow."  Yeah.
  • And, I guess I should pack my bag for the hospital.  Especially if I think I may go early.  LOL

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Big Pot (Which when it is stirred, doesn't always work out) and a long story

That's the expression I used when I went to the doctor yesterday, and the way my head feels.  I feel like I have a Big Pot full of Doctors that are taking care (or say they are) taking care of me right now.  I have the staples - the onions and garlic, that I know, and when I scoop them out things go well.  But, some unfamiliar spices or flavors come out other times, and I am not happy with the result.  I mean, really?  Am I 85 years old that I need someone to specialize in every part of my body?  Endocrinologist, OBGYN, Urologist (x2), Interventional radiologist (IR), primary care, and I know I am forgetting a few others. 

My problem right now is that when I chose to go to the hospital closer, I had a different grouping of doctors helping me.  When I met with my OB yesterday, we were trying to figure out how we can switch over easily when I have the baby, so I can have the proper care while I am at the hospital delivering.  We weren't sure we could go to a different doctor after one had ordered us to put in the nephrostomy tube, but I will be having a C-section and while I am at the hospital I can do some things to speed the process of figuring where the stone is that was causing problems, and getting it and the tube OUT (I usually stay there 3 days since it's "MAJOR" surgery, as my mom says.).  So, I don't have a date for this baby.  I tried to plead my case for a little earlier than 39 weeks (October 8) but I am not sure they want to do that.  I have diabetes (baby is big, measuring 2 weeks ahead, but may not be completely developed lung-wise, even with the steroid shots I received, etc.) and we want to keep the baby safe.  I get it, and we saw the baby in a sonogram, saw her face, little mouth moving and some practice breathing, and I know I need to keep my eye on that sweet prize.  It's all for her.  God is in charge, I know!  But, the doctor listened, and said they would "discuss me" at the next meeting.  I will be back weekly, so I will be hopefully get a date soon.  I am going to be spending a lot of time in the car!

*Here comes the Long Story: Last Friday I took the kids to school for orientation, all by myself, I would add.  I knew something was wrong with the tube, and knew I was going to have to go in to see the IR that afternoon.  My mom came to help, and I drove off to the hospital.  Nurses are super sweet, and we go back into a room and they say it's a quick procedure, shoot some contrast in the tube to see what's going on.  I had the same doctor and buff nurse who remembered me from the week before, so I was at least very grateful for that.

I am put on a small table, on my side, wrapped in a lead apron, and then covered in a sterile drape: otherwise known as a big plastic tarp to cook me.  I had some layers of clothing on, and I was VERY sorry I did that.  It.was.sooo.hot.  I was trying to peel off layers without interrupting, but I was sure it would be quick and I thought I would just offer it up.  No biggie.  Doc starts working, tells me there is a kink in the line and they can do a 3 minute change.  Okay.  Numbing shot on the area and we can do this.  More to offer up.

An hour later, the doctor says something is wrong.  The quick change isn't possible because there is sediment build up IN the tube, as well as around the tube.  He says the change has to be a complete tube change, and he's very sorry.  Meanwhile, I am cooking, roasting, baking (one nurse even called me  "pig in a blanket" which I did NOT let slide, and he knew it, I gave him such a hard time), and my legs are cramping, and the nurse is fanning me between his running back and forth to the drawers for different size things.  It starts to hurt as my kidney is swollen, and that tube is STUCK.  He is pushing, pulling, and I am trying really hard to be a good patient.  He keeps apologizing, nurse keeps fanning me, and I am praying.  2 hours later, the doctor gets the tube out - and I KNOW he didn't, but it felt like he just yanked the darn thing out.  OH. MY. OHMYGOSHTHATHURTSOMUCH and I screamed.  I am so embarrassed but I did.  It continued to hurt, and I was a mess.  The nurses come running in, the doctor asks if I can be sedated and I didn't even have an IV.  Nurses shove one in my hand, and start shooting some meds into it, not much help with pain, but it helped to calm me a bit.  Just a bit, mind you.  My prayers got much louder, and I was a mess.  Then, he has to put a new one in, using the same lane into the kidney.  yikes.  I am totally upset, and he gets it in and then shows me the line he was fighting.  Covered in stuff on the outside.  No wonder.  My sweet Tommy is waiting for me in the room, and I cannot move for the pain.  Nurses give us instructions (thankfully!) and want us to come back every 2 weeks to change the tube, either the quick one or the long one.  My anxiety went through the roof, and all I could think was please please please put me under!  Which, they may just do to keep me okay.  Technically, that means 3 more changes.  3.more.times.  Hopefully, no more.  First one is Friday, a FIRST FRIDAY in the month, so I am pretty sure the Lord will be asking for some sacrifices on His day.

Monday, August 25, 2014

School! It has begun!

 Early risers were very ready for school.  Tommy said they ate breakfast with their backpacks on!
 Middle School Patrick: 6th grade

 Batman will stay at home with me to keep me safe.
 Ever-ready, ever happy for school Emma: 4th grade.  (she wanted to wear her uniform to Mass on Sunday!)
 William is thrilled by his teacher, the same one Emma had.  1st grade!
God bless al the teachers, staff and all the families this year.  Thank you, Lord, for this amazing community that has been incredibly generous to our little family!  I need to write a blog post about it, but I am so emotional, and I can't do it properly!