monday: best of last week

Oh how happy I am to see October on my calendar. I’m hoping for being less busy with school related activities. Soccer is wrapping up. And I’m hoping for more and more energy as I enter my second trimester.

:: a skewed definition of health and beauty – I love this post ::

:: the impact of attitude on motherhood ::

:: doing small things with great love ::

:: I’m really excited about this contentment series on Ashley’s blog ::

seven quick takes on surviving the first trimester

I will be 13 weeks pregnant this weekend so does that mean I’ve survived the first trimester? I was just as nauseous (or more so) as I always am in pregnancy so I’m keeping track of all my tips for surviving it.

linking up with Kelly.

:: 1 ::

I medicate, straight up. I would rather be tired than not be able to eat or drink anything. I spent about a week not eating and drinking a thing, not even water, and I felt worse and worse. I take the unisom and b6 combination that is really well known for pregnancy nausea. This is the first pregnancy that I took it during the day too. I took a whole pill at night and two 25 mg of b6. And I took a half a unisom and a b6 in the morning too. This doesn’t take away all of the poor feelings but it allows me to eat and drink some.

:: 2 ::

Sleep, all of the sleep, all of the time. I went to bed at 8:30 or 9 at night and often took a nap during the day too. When you are sleeping you don’t feel sick, right?

:: 3 ::

This is the first pregnancy I tried acupuncture and I think it really helped. It would have been even better if I could have gone weekly but I did every two weeks because budget but I do think it helped. I think it has helped with my mood too, I’m less crabby/angry.

:: 4 ::

Staying connected with friends and family helped too. My natural tendency is to hole up in my house and get more lonely and crabby and the cycle gets worse and worse. But I continued with play dates as I could. I still met my family for lunch a few weekends. Being in a community is helpful for your mental health but I think that improves your physical health too.

:: 5 ::

On the community note – find a great community of people. One of my good friends and I both found out we were pregnant on the same weekend and we just started telling people. It is fun because everyone is excited for you. And it’s comforting because they ask you how you feel and you don’t have to hide it. We live in a community and parish that is full of kids and families and just a love of life. And that has made a huge difference.

:: 6 ::

Eat whatever sounds good. I know we say this but do we practice it? I still tried to run and I would get home and my stomach would be rumbling for food but I wasn’t able to handle coffee with this pregnancy. So I would crack open a Coca Cola at 7 am and my husband’s eyes would get big and I could sense the judging. It settled my stomach though and helped so I could eat some real food. Whatever sounds good. We ate out a lot for a month when I wasn’t cooking and we did some freezer meals from Trader Joe’s too. Luckily my family is happy with grilled cheese for dinner if need be so some meals looked a little different than normal.

:: 7 ::

Remind yourself that it isn’t forever. And they’re worth it. I kept reminding myself of that, you (hopefully) get a baby at the end of all of this. What is a greater gift than that? What a miracle!

on deciding to have another child

Kelly (the husband) got fairly sick in June. He had a fever one weekend and then he had a severe headache for about two weeks. He was on the maximum dosage of pain medicine and it didn’t really help his headache, even trying a few different prescriptions that didn’t help. The doctor did a few blood draws to rule out some things he thought it might be (some scary things), coming to the conclusion that it was a virus.

I started out this time feeling hopeful. He never gets sick, surely he would be better in a day. Then, as I saw how poorly he felt, I started to get really worried. Did he have a brain tumor? Was this something serious? He was waking up at night soaked in sweat and his head pounding, nothing helping. He couldn’t sleep, he didn’t have much of an appetite. He wasn’t working out. He just wasn’t himself and it was a strange time, worrying about him so much and hoping he would get better.

During this time, on the feast of St. John the Baptist, I had just gone for a run and was praying afterwards at the Pink Sisters. I was on my knees in that chapel begging God to make him better. Telling God that we wanted to try for another baby and that we couldn’t do that if he was this sick. And even telling God that if it were a boy baby we would name him John (what was the likelihood of a boy baby after four girl babies?).

And he did get better, praise God. His headache started to get less bad and he could sleep all night. He started taking less medicine until he was off of all of it.

It really hit us at this time though. Life is short. Like, life is really short. We started to ask each other what are we here for, really? As a Catholic, one of our ultimate goals is to help each other get to heaven. “What are the chief ends of the Sacrament of Matrimony? 1. To enable the husband and wife to aid each other in securing the salvation of their souls” (here). Salvation of our souls? How do we best do that?

A quote from the Catechism (the bold emphasis is my own):

“2227 Children in turn contribute to the growth in holiness of their parents. 36 Each and everyone should be generous and tireless in forgiving one another for offenses, quarrels, injustices, and neglect. Mutual affection suggests this. The charity of Christ demands it.”

My children are the best at helping me work towards holiness. Sometimes I go kicking and screaming, being selfish and self centered is way more fun. But little people with all of their big needs aren’t going away and therefore they are working the selfish right out of me.

I look around at society and it’s hard to not want to go shopping and buy whatever I want whenever I want. Or to take a vacation abroad to some exciting destination. But I look around at my family and I think about the long term. What is going to matter in the end? I’ll be happy to (God willing) be surrounded by my children and their children and to look around at all the love we created, all of the people, all of the eternal souls. That is what matters in the end. Not the fancy car or big house or sexy vacation.

Does that mean I think we all need to have as many children as possible? Not at all. It’s just that, like Jim Gaffigan says, I’m pretty darn selfish and these children are taking the selfish out of me in the best (and hardest) way possible.

and the Jim Gaffigan quote (all in good fun), taken from here:

“Well, why not? I guess the reasons against having more children always seem uninspiring and superficial. What exactly am I missing out on? Money? A few more hours of sleep? A more peaceful meal? More hair? These are nothing compared to what I get from these five monsters who rule my life. I believe each of my five children has made me a better man. So I figure I only need another thirty-four kids to be a pretty decent guy. Each one of them has been a pump of light into my shriveled black heart. I would trade money, sleep, or hair for a smile from one of my children in a heartbeat. Well, it depends on how much hair.”

All this to say – We are expecting baby #5 in April 2016! And we were told this week that it’s a boy, which we are still trying to wrap our heads around.

last week in photos

soaking his achilles (which has been sore) while Ada talks (she talks a lot).

Smitten Kitchen apple cake = delicious.

Sisters taking a break on our walk. They got tired.

Daddy and his girls before church. Cora did not want to take a picture. I love how Luisa looks at him.

face paint from the parish picnic Sunday night.