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!

Monday, August 18, 2014

August Birthdays

Two of my boys celebrated birthdays this month.  I missed both of them, as far as celebrating and spending time with my guys, and it was super hard. 

William turned 6!  He was showered with gifts from family and, Grandpa was sweet enough to take a video of the moment I missed.  He is so sweet and clever:

"William celebrated milestone six to great cheer,
With a cookie-cake too big to handle;
But a special assist from a sibling so dear,
Helped him extinguish the very last candle."




I can't seem to get the video to upload, but he was super cute.  I know they went to Red Robin and of course, they sing to you there!  I think he enjoyed it.

My Patrick (the big middle schooler) turned 11 on the feast of the Assumption, a fantastic feast day!  I was not able to make Mass with him that morning (so tough) and then they went to breakfast.  We had family offer to take the kids for us that day, and he left right after and went to his 2 aunt's houses.  Patrick (and all my kids) love spending time with cousins.  I kind of mentioned to Tommy that I wanted to have my chickens at home so I could be with them so we got to sing and open presents and be with him! 



Friday, August 15, 2014

It's the Details that Make a Difference

Wow.  What a week it has been.  We have all been through so much and I am so worried about my family, and my stressed out husband.  The Lord has given me a lot of suffering, but he has some extra stresses right now and could use some prayers as well!

Just a few things that I wanted to remember while it is fresh in my brain.

  • My mother and I made an executive decision to go to the hospital near us.  My OB doctor and the ones who handled everything last time is about 30-40 minutes away.  I thought that for ease of my husband (who is taking care of the kids), and that I might be able to get pain medicine sooner we should go close to home.  From this decision, I am afraid a lot of things went wrong that should not have.  They did not have my records so did not know my history (they had to get it faxed over) so it took longer to get pain medicine.  (ACK.  So awful.)  When I had my kidney issues last time, I had a "cocktail" as soon as the nurses saw me and heard me.
  • Thinking back, I think it would have been better to have MY doctors around me.  Not that my care was bad from any of the doctors, but they didn't know me.  I missed my OB, an amazing office with Catholic, pro-life doctors.  Maybe it would have been better to deal with the same urologist that helped me last time.  (Yeah, I know.  Only God can tell me what WOULD have happened, and he isn't likely to do that.)
  • After my nephrostomy procedure, I woke up with (JOY!) no pain anymore, and was so relieved that I did not ask very many questions about the procedure, follow up, care, etc.  I know I was under anesthesia, but Tommy wasn't.  They could have mentioned a few things to him about it.  But, I was at the hospital and I trusted that the nurses and doctors were taking care of me, and would know and help me.  I was there from Wednesday night until Sunday afternoon, and I did try to ask some questions, but they put me in the OB unit and it was a little more complicated.  I got lots of discharge papers about other things, but nothing for this tube coming out of my kidney and draining into a bag. 
  • On MONDAY night, I was once again in pain.  Same pain, same area.  Bag was not being filled and I knew there was a problem.  We went back to the ER, and the ER doc said, "You need to flush this daily."  Oh.  Okay.  More narcotics, and saline to flush.  Frustration growing.  (On a lighter note, my dad said to me, "Didn't your mother teach you to flush?")
  • On WEDNESDAY morning, at 4AM, we needed to go back to the ER.  Same thing, except this time, my tube is leaking (major ick factor) and I am hurting.  Again.  They did the same thing.  I thought it was fixed, but as I got home, I noticed my pants were wet.  Again.  BIG time annoyed.  I decided to make a stink.  I called the urologist, waited for a call back, and when one didn't happen, I told Tommy we were leaving.  I was trying to be patient and not get angry, as was my calm husband.  We would plant ourselves in the doctor's office until they saw me, or point us towards what we needed to do, or SOMETHING!!  So we did.  The urologist was super sweet, and tried to help us but admitted that they didn't have the parts to fix it, but then CALLED THE HOSPITAL for us, gave us an order, so we could go DIRECTLY to the Interventional Radiologist (who put in the nephrostomy) and we got to go right to where we needed to go for help.  Let me tell you, I was so hesitant that we were going to get help.  Just somebody help!  3 angels in scrubs entered our room: 2 nurses - one British, one very "pumped" male nurse and a DOCTOR!  First thing they said was that we are missing a piece to our tubing.  Oh geez.  As soon as that piece was put on, the bag IMMEDIATELY started filling up.  Then they start asking us how we were flushing it, and you know what? They looked at us and said "You aren't ever supposed to touch that part."  Great. So, with the help of these 3, we got all our questions answered AND, a PHONE NUMBER to call if we have another problem!  As we left, I burst into tears and just kept saying prayers of thanks.
  • I am hesitant to say that everything has been smooth, but at least we are not back at the hospital again.  Baby is doing well, and they won't stop my labor after 37 weeks.  Is it wrong to hope a little?  They gave my the steroid shots for the baby's lungs, so I am not so worried. 
  • I miss my kids.  This week has been a whirlwind of activities for them at someone's house, the pool, or something to keep them occupied.  The doctor that released me said that I needed to have help with the kids.  My in-laws and my mom have been here just about every day, including our 4AM ER visit, and doing the driving to and from basketball camp for Emma and orthodontic appointments for my kids.  My sister-in-law set up a meal train for the family and we have had so many generous offers for anything and everything.  I have been alone the majority of the days this week, and it is kind of lonely.  Poor Tommy has been trying to telework most days, and has helped me with medicines, doctor visits, grumpy moods, shopping and scheduling the kids out and about.  But, to be honest, it's been a little too quiet sometimes.  Maybe I am feeling a little selfish in how I want my days to go, but I am also worried that the kids are worn out from all the shuttling, and we have 10 days until school starts!  (Oh, and did I mention that I goofed on the supply lists?  What else is new.)
Anyways,  I can't believe the week it has been.  Please keep us in your prayers.

Monday, August 11, 2014

30 week musings, and an added concern

  • Still here!  Still pregnant, and guess what?  30 WEEKS!!  This baby is big, but measuring, if you can believe it, right on schedule!  This little girl moves a LOT, especially at night.  It takes me forever to get comfortable, and no amount of pillows will make it better.  Actually, I think this one just about sums it up.  Though I am not in the last month of pregnancy, this song still applies.


  • Big news around here is Emma has a new smile!  She is officially a brace face, and sporting some metal as an expander.  She tells everyone about her treatment plan, and is so happy with all the steps.  I am so proud of her!  Mommy actually got a little ego boost while we were there, as her assistant was having trouble fitting the bands on her teeth, and my old boss told her to ask me for help, as "Fuzzy is an expert."  Well, when you put it that way.......and guess what?  She did ask for help!  And, it was like riding a bike.  I fit them on the second try!  Why yes, I will pat myself on the back. It's the little things. 
 
  • Countdown to school has begun!  We are at less than 3 weeks!  We have some homework issues: a math packet that was done back in JUNE that we have misplaced for one child, and the other child has to be refocused every.five.minutes. to work on his math packet, and we have a book report to do!  This mommy is very ready and very nervous about this upcoming year, especially with the baby coming in early October! 
  • Our family took a little evening trip with Tommy's parents to the Library of Congress in Culpeper.  We brought all the kids to see the Disney movie "Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs" on FILM, not on DVD.  I was thoroughly impressed with all the colors, and how much the kids enjoyed the movie, though some of them were determined to NOT like it.


     

    We had a Dopey and a Sleepy in our crew.


This is the Library of Congress.  Not exactly what I was expecting, but a really neat looking place.  If I heard my FIL correctly, it used to be a bunker. 
  •  Can I ask for some quick prayers for me during these last 2 months?  I am experiencing some symptoms similar to what I went through while I was pregnant with James.  And, now that I am re-reading it, the time frame is the same.  Sigh.  Trying to trust in the Lord and His plans for me and this baby, but I am VERY anxious.  I am almost always anxious, but it seems to have been heightened this go around.
*So, I wrote this post last week.  (My sister Jenn was very sweet and gave you an update about me while I was out.)  The same day I went to the emergency room with severe kidney pain.  I was silly and did not pack a bag, but I knew I was in for it. 2 hours of writhing pain in a labor and delivery room (because, at 30 weeks, no emergency room wants to see a baby come out there) with those monitors on the baby, waiting for just some pain medicine.  It took a long time to get some relief, and though the narcotic was a good one, it did not last long enough.
 
It was determined  that I had a kidney stone blocking my ureter, which, when you are pregnant, they can't see on a monitor with an ultrasound or anything.  But they could see that my kidney was enlarged and very full.  Oh my.  That pain.  So they did a procedure called a nephrostomy to allow it to drain (oh, the immediate relief!) into a little bag.  Inconvenient, but very necessary, and will be until the baby comes.  I was so grateful for the pain that was no longer, but the doctors were getting worried about my Oxygen levels.  (The alarm sounded like a doorbell, and went off all.night.long.)  Chest x-ray reveals not a blood clot, but pneumonia.  Thankfully, I was able to come home on Sunday with oral (YAY!) meds, and orders to take it easy.  Baby is doing well, and still hiccupping and wiggling at all hours of the night and day.
 
Thank you for all the prayers!  Please keep them coming, because as you can  imagine, pregnancy and pneumonia don't mix well. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Camping is In Tents!

While the big boys were away at camp, Mommy made a tent for my little campers at home.  Our living room was transformed.
 
 Sometimes when I build a fort the kids aren't too thrilled, but this time, we had them sleeping in it for almost 3 nights!  James wouldn't stay in his spot, and was okay with sleeping in his own bed.
 And, we even had glow sticks in the house! 
 
 Pillows, blankets and toys came out instantly, and they spent a good amount of time in the tent.
 Tents went up Wednesday night, and the boys came home on Saturday.  The kids wanted Patrick to see the tent and share in their excitement, but as you can imagine, Patrick was very tired and ready to just sit and settle.  But, what happened was Tommy decided to put up the "real" tent in the basement for them (which they will get to use on the family camping trip in a month - without the mommy who will be 8 months pregnant!).  And he promptly took a nap inside.
 
 James was not far from Tommy's side as soon as he came in the door, and joined him for some fun in the tent.
 And all that fun wore him out.  So sweet! 
There wasn't a minute that James wasn't asking "I go wisth you, Daddy?"  or to be held.  This was so precious.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Answer Me This: Baked Chicken, and Don't Be Offended if I Don't Hug You, Please.

Joining Kendra for the virtual cocktail party, since that is the only kind I can attend without feeling like everyone will judge me for even sipping a cocktail.

1. What’s your favorite thing on YouTube?

YouTube can be fun, addicting, and downright frustrating.  I only feel that I can put YouTube on my computer or cell phone things that my kids can watch.  Now, I don't put those people that play video games and take a video of themselves, which my kids could watch all day, but I do enjoy the Bored Shorts TV.  The kid history was the first one I was introduced to and the kids giggled the whole time.




2. Who taught you to drive?

There are 7 children in my family.  I am number 6.  By the time it was my turn to learn, my mom (a very nervous Nellie) washed her hands of that position and did not try to help me.  To be honest, I don't remember EVER driving with my mom or dad in the car while I was learning.  I drove with the driving instructor just a few times, and was so nervous.  I was the only one at home and I needed to be able to get around so it was kind of a necessity.  My sister took me out a few times, if I recall correctly. 

So, now that I think about it, did anyone really teach me to drive??  Maybe my husband's been right all these years.  Huh.

3. What’s your favorite thing to cook?

This is hard for me to answer.  I am happy to cook, but what I enjoy eating and what I like to cook are a little different.  I think I get more satisfaction when I cook dinner.  Appetizers are a little more frustrating because it seems like lots more cutting and preparation.

The easiest meal of all is one that brings me back to childhood days when my mom would cook is a chicken meal.  Whole chicken.  The chicken gets a super generous sprinkling of Lawry's seasoned salt and wrapped in aluminum foil.  Put it the oven for about 1 1/2-2 hours and it comes out moist and yummy, with lots of gravy (or au jus, I think they call it).  Serve with some rice and it's so yummy. 

 
4. Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? Why?

I dreaded this question most of all.  I am not exactly sure when I stopped being a hugger, but perhaps it had to do with all the strangers and people who are not family wanting to hug, and the face that I get very self-conscious and nervous when it's time to hug.  All events seem to have hugs involved, and I start to get nervous when it's time to leave.  I am a bit embarrassed to admit this, but some days I find myself creeping away so I don't have even think about the possibility of the hugs. 

As a mom of young kids, I feel like this is the most awful thing I can admit.  I like to think that it's different with my kids, but maybe you should be a fly on the wall to help me decide.

5. Where do you pray best?

In the chapel, without my kids.  In moments of gratitude, as I am moving and doing.  I am not sure where it is I pray best, as I don't think I do it very well at all.

6. When is the last time you saw/spoke to your grandparents?

All of my grandparents are deceased, and some of them I never knew at all.  I am not a good one with dates, though I can place their deaths with some events in my life, so I am not sure of the last time I was able to be with them.

My Mom's mom was married 3 times.  I never met the first 2, and was present for the 3rd wedding.  She was a Louisiana lady and kept her little accents in certain words that she said. She was local for most of my life, and in my homeschool days we would visit her almost every day - meet at daily Mass, go to breakfast or just visit at her home.  She met my 2 oldest children and one of my favorite memories was to bring them to see her.  I have been missing her lately, so this question comes at a poignant time.

My Dad's parents lived in Texas, and, like my other grandma, I didn't really know my Grandfather.  They were both New Yorkers (I think) in their growing up, so the things I remember about them were the loud voices.  She called my Dad "Bobby" with a big New York accent, which was so cute to me.  I was a newlywed when she died and remember going to the funeral with Tommy.


*Sorry, dear patient readers.  I had no idea that this week was going to get so serious.  On a much lighter note, Tommy and Patrick made it back from camping all in one piece, and no crazy things happened at home!  James has been attached to Tommy at every  opportunity.  He cannot get enough hugs, snuggles or rides with Daddy in his car to fill him up.  It is absolutely adorable.  I don't know what he will do when he realizes that Tommy has to go to work in the morning!*

Friday, July 18, 2014

7 Quick Takes: July-scapades

 Joining Jen and her link up for Friday. 
 
1.
 
27 weeks.  I have 3 months left, exactly.  Yes, it means I deliver at 39 weeks, but it still seems sooo far away!  (And people are VERY quick to remind me of that, eye roll)  I am hanging in there, and wishing some days that I wasn't so conspicuous or so big all the time.  I don't feel that I can go anywhere without attracting a ton of attention.   "She's so big."  "One, two, three, four and FIVE?!?"  "Boy, her kids are so naughty."  "Oh, you are BRAVE to take them all to the store!"  I may only get SOME of those comments out loud, but I just feel so THERE everywhere I go.  I wish I could get someone to look at me, not at my belly all the time.  I know I am insecure, but it just feels like all eyes are on me, and, because it's summertime, they are on US.
 
2.
 
We are about halfway through the summer (I think) and while I would like to say that it's going well, I feel I am not doing my best with the kids.  I tried a really neat looking chore chart, and it has helped A LITTLE bit around here, but it is still me getting upset about chores, and school work, and the same things all the time.  (Have I told you lately how much I loath and despise Legos?!  They.are.every.where in my house, and some very sweet child especially loves to throw them all.over.the.floors.in.the.playroom.  I am going to kill myself just trying to get in there.  It's great that it's only there, but it is MADDENING!)  And, as far as activities go, I get panicked when I think that I have to bring my big belly (can't ever leave it behind) and my 4 kids, and I hear the cha-ching! cha-ching! each time we try to plan something.  Anxiety plays a big role in it, and then along comes guilt.
 

Yep, that about sums it up.
 
3.
 
While on the subject of summertime things, we all had dental cleanings this week.  Patrick and I went together one day, and the other 3 kids had their appointments together.  It was quite an afternoon.
We arrive at 1:45 (for a 2PM appointment) because I am always an early bird.  I figured that with 3 of them in a row, we could start sooner and be done sooner.  As soon as we got there, the front desk lady says that someone is booked in the middle of my appointments for my kids.  Ooookaaaaay.  No biggie, they have a movie TV for the kids, and some Legos, etc.  Starts off okay. 
James is first, and though he is 3, I thought he would let them at least brush his teeth, but he only let them do half.  Okay.  Next kid.
 
Emma's turn.  She is done fast, and we all have to wait now.  The movie that was on was "Frozen" which re-started about halfway through.  (Ah yes, let's please hear "Let It Go!" again.)  For the adults in a small waiting room (smaller than my kids' bedrooms!) there is a large TV with breaking news. 
Then it changes.
A talk show.  Guests start coming on to play a game.  (should have been my first cue)  Game is called Stripnado.  The guests coming on are, you guessed it, Chippendales.  The lady behind the desk is on the phone, but this pregnant momma was up so fast to turn that TV O.F.F.  Sigh.  We were there for 2 hours.  I was so proud of how well-behaved my kids were!  They had books to read and never asked to play on my phone, and were very good and stayed in the "kid corner."  Mommy, well, let's just say I was done.
 
4.
 
I have been on a craft kick the last few days.  Some of them I have prepped a long time, but I am excited for the energy and "nesting" urge that has given me a little extra push. 
I hung my photos that I won from our family photo session.  Don't look too closely, but they are hung!
 
I have been collecting corks for a while, and I saw an idea on Pinterest that I wanted to try.  It isn't EXACTLY how I wanted to do it, but I think it looks neat.

 
Now, where to hang it?
 
5.
 
I need to apologize to anyone that my son has called.  My Patrick LOVES to talk, and every time I am looking for a phone I will find at least 2 in his room.  He calls mostly cousins, but has found the school directory and recently invited himself over for a playdate this week.  He also decided he wanted to have a World Cup Party.  Thankfully, he only invited family, but he was super excited.
 He drew the world cup symbol on his t-shirt, just as the guests were arriving.
 Since I am still learning about computer stuff, he helped make the flags the same size to make banners.
My parents, my sister and her kids came over, and one extra cousin.  I loved that the boys played soccer at halftime.  He also helped to plan the menu:
Bratwurst and empanadas!  Isn't that adorable?  We also had corn on the cob for USA.
 
6.
 
 
James is all about costumes, Legos and fun.  This one came with the mission: "I'm going to go cut down that bed."  I came home from and errand the other day, and found "toys" in my house: Buzz, Woody and Jessie.  So stinking cute!
 
7.
 
During the summer, I have hired my nephews to watch the kids while I exercise, or have doctor's appointments, run errands, etc.  They have come twice a week, taking turns, each time to excited kids!  James can't decide which one he likes better, so he is super happy when they come.  Today, there were 2 board games going on, and my nephew (the oldest grandkid on my side) was playing both: Stratego and Monopoly.  Loved it!
 
8.
 
And for a bonus, my Tommy and Patrick are going to BOY scout camp next week.  We all remember what happens when he is gone?  Yeah, let's see what happens when he is gone for a week.
 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Answer Me This: Don't look at my hair now, singing, and my favorite cup.

It's Sunday!!!  Time for some random questions to get to know me (oh yes, of course you want to know all this about ME!).  




 1. How did you get your name?

I am so glad this question is up first!  This is the MOST asked question about me.  Everywhere.

My name is Frances, named after Saint Francis for my sweet mother who is a 3rd Order Franciscan.
 
That is the easy story.

The longer story comes with my nickname, Fuzzy.  When I was a baby, I had fuzzy hair (short answer).  Being #6 of 7 kids, my older siblings called me "Fuzzy" and it kind of stuck.  I would hear the song "Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair...."  As I got older and went into school, some of my teachers wouldn't use the nickname so I thought maybe it would go away after a while.  Then I got to middle school and high school (Seton School, where my siblings went and my Mom was the choir director) and the teachers knew me by Fuzzy already.  So it continued.  I used to debate (read: panic!) how to introduce myself when I would meet new people, and now it just comes naturally.  LOL  I have an odd voice, am short and somehow I think the name works.  (I tried to find a photo of the infamous hair, but I can't seem to right now.  I will keep looking.)

The funny thing about this?  NONE of my kids have nicknames.  My husband has a whole family with them, and I have a very unique one, and yet not one of my kids get their names shortened or any kind of nicknames.


2. Do you have a set time for prayer in your day?
 
To be very truthful, I do not.  I try to do it, and many times it comes to me as I am in the shower.  As a mom, I need to set the example and I need to do it.  It's just one more thing that I feel that I fail.  We do try to pray the rosary as a family as often as we can!  We know the power of prayer, especially when Our Lady is involved!  (Beautiful Rosary image from my friend Ruth's Loreto Rosary Shop.)

 

3. Did your mom work or stay home (or both)?
 
My mother was a stay-at-home mom for the majority of my life.  As I mentioned before, she was a choir director at the school where we all went to help with tuition, so she worked but not for money to bring home.  My mother has a beautiful voice and has always given her gift back to God by singing at Mass.


By studying the Church documents and Sacred Music as well as the Liturgy, my mother was very qualified to lead the choir and teach us in Sacred Music in our home as well as school.  Latin (at least 2 years) was required for school so we often sang hymns in Latin (I think I could sing most of them for you still!  I can't tell you what Ave Verum Corpus does to me during Lent.  Chills, I tell you.) and parts of the Mass.

4. Do you vote?
 
YES!  Though, when I was in school and found out that my vote "doesn't really count" it annoyed me.  I always take my kids with me when I vote and we have a little lesson on the candidates since they read all the names. (um, in the car to and from voting is my hope, but we have had some very loud "We AREN'T voting for OBAMA!" and the like at voting places.  Ah, the joys of motherhood.)

 

5. What's your favorite drink?
 
Hands down, an iced Coke in a plastic cup.  I love these cups I found at TJMaxx!  It has an old-fashioned feel to it, and the fleur de lis just makes it perfect.  And, I love that it is plastic! I do realize that this has water in it, but pregnant momma has to keep it real.

 

6. How are your photography skills?

I like to think that my skills are okay.  I enjoy taking photos, and I have an awesome DSLR camera, but I am not well-versed in it yet.  I am still learning.  I have a pretty good eye for pictures, I think, and unfortunately, am very critical.  Especially when I am in the pictures!  I have to say that I am happiest when my kids are smiling and they are looking at the camera, but I am getting better at the life photos, you know, with people moving.  I have a much faster shutter speed on my new camera so I am happier to take "action" shots!

See?  This just makes me happy!  

Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 4, 2014

We spent our Independence Day at the new Chez Paul and Nichole.  They have only been in the house for 2 weeks, but were more than happy to open up their home and all their 5 acres for the Reynolds-tribe.

 William (as he does at home) is SO into baby Gus, and is always in his face.  He is thrilled to be anywhere near him, and to talk to him and kiss him.
 He even started to read him a story while Gus got his jumps out.
 Grandma has the best outfits for the holidays! 


 It was a day of fun with family,
 and relaxation.
 There is so much land that the kids were sufficiently worn out by the time it got dark enough for fireworks.
 We tried for some of our own "personal" fireworks, but it is always hard to get a good show with fireflies.
 We had our own show by Paul and Peter, and about halfway Patrick decided, as a scout, he needed to be near the action as well.  Well, I missed the photo, but he was close, and the ONLY one covering his ears.

 Glow sticks are the best for nights like this!  Look at those sweet little hands!  We even had balloons with a light in them, and James held his all the way home.  There was quite a bright glow in the backseat from all the lights.
It was a wonderful day, and we saw some shows on the way home with all the illegal fireworks, and our neighbors kept the show up until almost midnight!