Sunday, December 30, 2007

Another attempt

at a photo shoot. Hopefully he'll do better in baptismal pictures tomorrow!

So cute!


Gotta love the yawns :)


Oooohhh!


A salute


The kids after Mass today

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Please pray...

EDITED...Baby Fernando arrived this morning our time (the afternoon their time) and is adorable. Looks like they're already back home...see their blog linked below. Many congratulations to the G family!!!

...for Veronica and Enrique and little Fernando who should be arriving very soon, if not already! As most of you know, they are living in the Middle East, so I'm sure it's a little nerve-wracking to deliver your baby in another country. It's the Feast of the Holy Family...so please ask humble St. Joseph, our sweet Mother Mary, and Christ the newborn King to give her a safe and smooth delivery! Holy Family of Nazareth, pray for us!

I survived...

...my half-week with Steven back to work! My mom and aunt came over Wednesday afternoon, Thursday I was all alone, and today my mother-in-law and sister-in-law with her 2 kids came over. Steven Joseph had his first doctor appointment and was already up to 7 lbs 7 oz, after losing almost a pound in the hospital! Way to grow, buddy! He's sleeping and pooping a ton and is just so adorable I don't know what to do. Here's how he currently resides in my lap...


Ellie is acting a bit wild, and Mary Clare has been craving lots of attention, but overall they're doing well with the new baby. I'm healing well and feel good most of the day, but if I miss a nap I start to crash in the evenings, feeling horrible. I'm so excited that Steven will be home for a 4-day weekend so hopefully I'll get lots of rest...

Except that now we've scheduled Steven Joseph's baptism for Monday in town, and Mary Clare's 5th birthday is on Wednesday with a party on Saturday. Hope I survive...

Off to change another poopy...How can he poop while sleeping???

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More Christmas Pics

After Mass on Christmas morning


PaPa with Steven Joseph


The girls love the horse from Aunt Kathy!


Keeping busy in the playhouse


Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus with an apple pie and votive candles :)


I'm feeling great! Steven was back to work this morning and my mom and aunt came to play this afternoon. They made a wreath for the playhouse front door and kept the girls busy! Steven got home with a new co-sleeper that my parents bought for the baby! Hopefully this will keep him from getting climbed upon on our bed by late night visitors! I'll let you all know how it works, but I've heard great things! Now I just need to get someone to take me to Wal-Mart to pick up the Christmas photo cards I ordered today...had to wait until our new arrival could be included! If you'd like to receive a snail mail card, just post a response with your email address and I'll erase it once I email you for your home address! Blessings to all!

Oh and today is also the memorial of St. Stephen, the first martyr and early Church deacon who was stoned to death for preaching about Christ (see book of Acts). Please pray for my 2 Stevens today, that they might follow his example of love and service.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas

to you and yours from me and mine :)

My sweet baby boy yesterday


Our street has luminaries out on Christmas Eve...beautiful!


Christmas morning...the first big gift to be opened was the baby Jesus for the manger


THE PLAYHOUSE! The girls love it! The elves were working way overtime yesterday finishing this and cleaning out the playroom to fit it in. Tired elves!


And the train set for "Steven Joseph"


We're off to Mass...more photos to come...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Another cute picture

that my mom just sent! Our little baseball player :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

We're Home!

Just got home after 3 peaceful nights in the hospital :) I love my "vacations" there and had some wonderful nurses, fun visitors, and pretty easy recovery. Turns out all those contractions the night before were actually real labor. They were only 2-3 minutes apart when we arrived at the hospital and just before the c-section discovered that I was fully dilated with a bulging bag of water!!! We considered trying to go ahead for a VBAC but ended up thankful to have chosen the c-section as he was very high (my babies have never dropped even after pushing for hours), he was "sunny side up", and apparently my uterus was extremely thin and could have ruptured. Please pray that my body heals and recovers well as we would really love to welcome a few more children if my body can handle it!

Here are some other pics from the delivery and from today :)

Here's when I went to the hospital on Monday when we thought they'd go ahead and deliver. I wasn't quite this happy when we arrived on Thursday morning in full blown labor!


With my boys!


Big sisters today!



Steven Joseph


Didn't quite like his carseat!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Son is Born

Welcome Steven Joseph, Jr.
Born 08:26 a.m. 12/20/07
7lbs 4oz
19 3/4"







Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Peace

What a blessing I received tonight! It was a bit of a crazy afternoon, with my last OB appointment, then post-op paperwork and bloodwork at the hospital. I realized that one of the local parishes had evening mass and confession tonight, and we decided that I would go alone while Steven got the girls to bed. I was really hungering for those sacramental graces after missing Sunday mass (Ellie was sick) and knowing I will likely miss this Sunday and possibly even Christmas.

I got to the car ready to leave and it wouldn't start. I'd had it. My emotions were on edge and I couldn't believe that the one thing I really wanted to do before this baby arrived was not going to happen! But I told myself it was a sign that I needed to rest tonight. Then, my sweet husband ran outside and worked on the car for a minute (it's just some issues w/ the battery cable but I didn't want to risk getting stuck somewhere)..."Ready!" he yelled, and I was back on my way to mass.

I arrived at the church and realized it was a mass with music in the sanctuary (usually it's a short mass in the chapel). Then I noticed the oil on a small table near the altar and realized that the readings were not the normal daily readings...but special readings for a Healing Mass! I got to receive the Anointing of the Sick, as well as Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist! Confession was canceled so I missed out on that one, but I know the graces from these two sacraments and the beautiful healing words of the priests, the laying of hands, the anointing with oil, the scripture readings, and the songs will help me get through all the anxieties and worries about the delivery. Thanks be to God for this special gift!

And thank YOU all for your prayers and well wishes. They've really helped get me through these past few weeks and days, especially with the continuous contractions and thinking I was going to deliver early. Hopefully Steven will be able to update tomorrow or Friday with some pictures of our little man! Oh, and we're still undecided about a middle name for Peter and have even considered changing the name altogether. So don't be too shocked if he posts a totally different name for the baby!

Many blessings to you all! Oh, and if you could throw in a prayer for my mom who will now share her birthday with her grandson (and also just threw out her back), for my aunt who is recovering from back surgery this week, two of our triplet nephews who will get tubes in their ears on Friday, and for my cousin Ashley who is in a very difficult situation. Thanks so much!

It's Only a Day Away!

Tomorrow is D-Day! C-section is scheduled for 8:30am central, so hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll be in recovery cuddling and nursing my sweet baby boy! Thank you guys so much for all the prayers. They've been very much needed this week as the girls are very antsy, my contractions are continuous and getting stronger, and I'm overall just getting worn out and ready to deliver! Hopefully I can lay low today (yesterday MC had dance and I went on way too many shopping excursions...I was at the mall until 11pm!), although the girls are wanting to bake a cake or cookies and apparently the eggs got thrown out last night :-/ At least the contractions slowed down enough for me to get my last full night's sleep! Hopefully I'll be home Saturday or Sunday and able to rest up for a wonderful Christmas with our sweet baby boy! I'll surely be able to relate to Our Lady this Christmas! Hope you all have a wonderful day...maybe I'll update later...after the cleaning...and baking...and packing...and resting...

Monday, December 17, 2007

False alarm

Back home. Only 4 contractions the hour I was monitored and no further dilation. We'll see if he hangs on till Thursday! Thanks for the prayers!

Is Today the Day?

Looks like it might be!!! I've been up most of the night with contractions, so we're about to head to the hospital to check things out. Please keep us in prayer! If baby arrives, I'll have Steven update with pictures when he can. Ellie is still a bit under the weather, as is my mom, so please pray that everyone is feeling better soon so we can all enjoy these next few weeks of excitement!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ellie the talker

Ellie has been feeling lousy and feverish and was sleeping all afternoon. Steven is at Mass with MC and all of a sudden Ellie just got a second wind and started gabbing. Here's my cutie-pie! Hopefully she's on the mend...don't want any sicklings with the baby coming in 3.5 days!

video

Baptism and Birthday

Some attempts at a family photo



The newly baptized babies!


Cousinly love


Checking out the relics


The perfect day for a moonwalk! Ellie loved it!


She also loves Cheetos, but can't figure out how to NOT wipe them on her shirt!


Toe-headed cousins playing


MC in the moonwalk


Caleb knows how to jump!



The birthday begins!


Joshua


Major


Cooper


And some illegal activity going on with the "man cousin" and Steven the videographer:
video

video

video

A fun day was had by all!!!

FOUR DAYS!

Ahhh! This baby is coming soon! Yesterday was the baptism and first birthday party for our triplet nephews (pics to come) and today is our last day at home before Peter's arrival. Lots of things to get done!

Steven just tried to take the girls on a bike ride. MC's tire popped. We know what she'll be getting for her birthday! Now to figure out how to appease them without a bike ride this morning.

37 degrees here in Texas...It's FINALLY starting to feel like Christmas!

In other news, Holly my parents' dog has been found to be with-puppies! Two weeks until a new litter of (hopefully) Cocker Spaniels will arrive!

Hope you all have a lovely 3rd Sunday in Advent! The PINK Sunday :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Mom filming for TV :)



My parents have an online business:
http://candyspirit.com/

And have recently been linked up with a website called http://www.getmarried.com/ to market their candy wedding favors and centerpieces. Today a crew from getmarried has come to film my mom and some other vendors to put them on their show, which will air sometime next year on the Lifetime channel in the early morning (6am-ish?).

The ~1 hour filming is at 1pm central today (in 5 mins!) at a nearby hotel. Can you offer a little prayer for my mom and their business? It's a really neat opportunity for them. Thanks!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Waiting...

No further progression so it looks like we may be in for the "long haul" until next Thursday! One week to go!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Life is about to change!

So here I am just 8 days from my scheduled c-section date, realizing that I'm about to not be pregnant anymore! I love being pregnant. I rarely have any huge complaints...maybe a little anxiety and nausea, some swelling, this time the contractions, and the sleepiness. But overall I can't complain and actually seem to miss being pregnant after the baby arrives. Don't get me wrong, I love meeting my new babies, but also realize that I'm about to enter the world of no sleep, breastfeeding around the clock, worrying about newborn health and illness, recovering from a c-section, figuring out how to care for a BOY, and trying to take care of two preschoolers whose behavior challenges have seemed to escalate as we approach Peter's arrival. It will surely be an adventure! But I'm excited! I just can't wait to meet this little man...to see what he looks like, cuddle the newborn cuteness, and try on all the beautiful clothes we've received.

Another big transition that I know will be hard is the fact that Ellie will no longer be my "baby". Sure she's 2 1/2 and won't let me call her a baby anymore, but she's still such an attached mommy's girl, just like Mary Clare was. I remember really dreading that part of her own arrival and kicking MC out of the baby position. Just the concern of being away for 2 or 3 nights at the hospital makes me sad for her (even though I really love my own hospital "vacations"!). She still calls for me most nights wanting her sippy cup of water. This morning I brought her to the doctor for a concern I've had for a few weeks (it was nothing, praise God!). Oh, how she holds and snuggles and just loves being held by mommy, especially when she's scared. I'm sure this will be a big transition for her, but of course one that over the course of time will result in all positive blessings! She is already becomming such a big girl; her vocabulary has exploded and she and Mary Clare can content themselves playing house, church, doctor, or dance class together for hours.

Mary Clare will now be my big helper. She's almost 5 (how did that happen? 5 years old?), and is already the little mommy! She is anxiously awaiting Peter's arrival moreso than the rest of us. She gets so excited when babies come over and still brings her own dolls and their diaper bags on most of our outings. Her behavior outbursts have been a bit shocking to me recently, but along with losing her "blankey" comforts she's had since infancy, I know she's also noticing that Mommy is slowly disappearing into baby world...I can't spend as much time with her, and just don't have the energy to feed all her curiosities and learning desires right now. Thankfully Daddy helps out in the evenings. Last night they had a Hide and Seek marathon and then learned about US states and colored a map! My 2 goals for yesterday were doing some homeschooling with MC and folding the laundry, neither of which I did, but at least Steven helped me check one of those off!

Tomorrow morning will be my 38 week appointment. I'm wondering if all these contractions are causing me to dilate even more and would not be surprised if the doctor wanted to move up the delivery date. I'll keep you guys posted! But if all is well, I'll be heading home to a housefull of guests for my last Regnum Christi meeting and pizza lunch before baby arrives. I'll also have my last afternoon of tutoring tomorrow. I'll be sad to say goodbye to my student and the extra funds it's helped us with this fall, but glad to be able to focus on my own little students for now!

Well, I hope you all have a beautiful feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe today! May our sweet Mother in Heaven pray for us and our little blessings. May the roses of God's grace be ever apparent to you all today!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Still here

In case you were wondering :)

I'll take this post to give some big "props" to my hubby, who went out after work today to pick up a very, very large Christmas present for the girls, which will require a tremendous amount of work to put together. Thanks, honey! Is it worth it, or will it be resold and another similar but less labor-intensive gift chosen? That is the question. Any guesses as to what this gift is?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I'm usually not a home-body but it sure is nice to sleep in until after 9:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, spend the day cleaning house, with hubby grilling a steak lunch for you, watching a cool Imax cave movie on DVD, and anticipating a nice evening Mass tonight. Now for the napping...

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! Friday was his birthday and we celebrated last night with family and friends. My mom's birthday is the scheduled c-section date...we'll see if Peter ends up sharing with NeNe or not!

A blessed Sunday to you all!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Oh when will Peter come?

Any guesses? How about weight/length? (The girls were 7 days late and 7lbs, 2 days late and 7Ibs 5oz. I don't remember lengths...about 20in?) I'm still having irregular contractions and am dilated to a 2.5. Both the doctor and I doubt that I'll make it to the scheduled c-section date of the 20th but who knows! I've never had Braxton-Hicks contractions like this or dilated this early. My guess is late next week when I'll be 38 weeks and hopefully he will be big and ready! There are several great Catholic feast days next week...Our Lady of Guadalupe on Wednesday, St. Lucy on Thursday, and St. John of the Cross on Friday. I think Friday would be my day of choice...in case God was wondering ;-/

Tonight will be a great mom's night out, an Advent Tea hosted by my lay movement at a local clubhouse. It's always a most beautiful evening where ladies host tables and bring their own china. We pray the Rosary and listen to some talks on Advent, while munching on appetizers and desserts. I can't wait!

The First Friday class went well this morning...we had THREE crafts to do in 1.5hrs! They made a little colored Nativity, an ornament with their picture on it, and a neat Advent chain with special acts of charity to do each day. Unfortunately I forgot my camera :( It's nice to have that behind me and not much on the agenda for next week. Still a bit of Christmas shopping to do online. Better go do some browsing and maybe get a cat-nap before the fun evening!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!!!

We woke the girls up before 6:00 a.m. so Steven could watch them open their stockings! As you can see, we look a little "rough around the edges" when up that early! And the girls never got their hair brushed after baths last night. I forgot that there would be a "photo shoot" this morning ;-)

Anyway, here are the stockings and wrapped books (thanks to their lovely Godmother) before opening...


And the sweet morning glories digging in!




These are all the wonderful books they got today!


And a little snapshot of the still-growing belly!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

On the eve of St. Nicholas Day

I went shopping tonight for some last-minute goodies for the stockings. I have been going back and forth about doing stockings tomorrow vs. leaving shoes out for St. Nick. But I think it will make it easier on me long-term to do stockings on St. Nicholas Day and just their 3 special gifts on Christmas. Hopefully we can watch our CCC video on St. Nicholas and enjoy our day at home tomorrow!

Peter could definitely arrive any day now. The doctor said I'm dilated more and we both doubt I'll be making it until my scheduled c-section date on the 20th. I finally packed my bag today and bought a few travel-sized things to take to the hospital. It looks like our lovely friends Veronica and Enrique have agreed to be the godparents of yet another of our children, and we have a few different options of when and where we'll have Peter baptized, since we prefer to do it within the first week or two. God-willing that will fall into place!

I'm just about over the nesting attempts...but have yet to do the painting in the nursery, put pictures up, or finish the other painting projects I had planned on. I guess those will all wait until the new year! Any type of strenuous housework tends to bring on contractions for me, so I have a lot of good excuses for not getting things done ;)

Hopefully I'll be back on tomorrow with some pictures of the girls and their stockings! Hope you all have a Happy St. Nicholas Day! May his life be an example and inspiration to us all of love for Christ and love for others...

Snowing in Texas, again!

But this time there was a "real" snow pile! Tonight was our city's Christmas festival. It's really amazing what they do...bring in snow, a train ride, tents with food, raffles, and the jolly man himself!

Mary Clare had a blast in the snow!


Ellie, not so much. She didn't like it at all...the cold on her hands, slipping, getting wet...she much preferred the indoor activities!


Now, they both liked the frozen custard!


You can kind of see my giant belly


A clown making some big balloon candy canes for them


Mary Clare, now the brave-almost-5-year-old, actually wanted to meet Santa! She told him she wanted a Barbie doll (oops, don't think that's on the agenda). Ellie was scared but also intrigued, and will pretty much do anything for a candy cane!


Their first Santa picture!
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