Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Week 34. Slowing Down.

3 more weeks until we make it to full-term! I'm doubtful I'll be going much past that with the way the contractions have picked up this week, but we'll see what the doctor thinks. I'm still resting a lot and making it a point to limit my outings. One a day is all I can handle!

The silly things going on around the house are forcing me to slow down too. We're waiting for a part for the dishwasher, so every day I'm washing and laying out the daily dishes. It's actually quite relaxing sometimes, if I'm not having contractions, and the kids aren't climbing on me, whining for a dessert, or hurting each other!

Along with the broken dishwasher, we've got the broken icemaker. Using the ice trays isn't quite the time consuming job that handwashing dishes is, but still that extra step is forcing me to slow down a little. Then there's the Carbon Monoxide Detector which needs replacing and starts to beep every 10 minutes until we silence it for another 36 hours. It's quite annoying to be woken up in the night, but just makes us laugh about all the things that seem to be going wrong!

I've been trying to stay on top of making homemade meals, folding laundry, and some other small chores around the house. We're having to limit the visits of "My Maria" these days...it was so nice to have the cleaning help this summer but just isn't in the fall budget, at least as often as before. Mary Clare has really been a wonderful help though. She has been good at picking up rooms when I ask, getting her schoolwork done on time, feeding the dog, entertaining her siblings, and she even finished her CAT test yesterday! She definitely deserves the Big Sister award. PaPa (my dad) should also receive an award for his help with the lawn while Steven continues to recover from his back problems!

Ellie and Steven Joseph are being a bit of a handful, so I'm wondering how things are going to be when the baby is here! Ellie has been very opinionated, whiny, and dramatic these days. I have to ask her about 10 times to do something before she actually focuses enough to complete the task. She seems to have her head in the clouds a lot! But she's doing well with her schoolwork, enjoying her dance lessons, and for the most part playing well with her siblings.

On most days, Steven Joseph throws several crying fits. Usually it's about a food or drink item he wants, but sometimes it's something like wanting the tag cut out of his pajama shirt. He's still unsure on the whole baby thing. The girls were giggling and feeling my belly tonight while Baby was flipping around. He was not amused. Last night we read a story at bedtime about a new baby. He seemed interested and looked the book over a second time himself. He stated that he would not be holding his baby the same way the big brother in the book was! He's still very opinionated that the baby is a BROTHER.

He has learned to spit, and has used this talent on a little girl at Mass, on his Mommy at the dance studio and while frustrated at bedtime. I'm afraid that we're going to see a lot of these attention-seeking behaviors after Baby arrives, so I need to prepare myself! Last week I had fun walking around the mall with him for a bit while the girls were at a Build A Bear party. I was surprised at how quickly he was bored with the indoor playground. He wanted to spend the whole time at this pictured area with all the ride-on toys. I love that my kids all enjoy sitting on these without needing to pay to ride them!

Tomorrow I have a Little Flowers meeting (it starts next week!), an OB appointment on Thursday and then we'll be approaching the long 3-day weekend with Daddy home, and his birthday on Labor Day! Steven was actually born on Labor Day, which at that time was also the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. That's where his middle name of Joseph comes from. We're hoping to see his family this weekend and maybe we'll hit a pool again before they all close for the season next week.

Thanks for all your encouragement and prayers the past few weeks, on the blog, Facebook, for my article yesterday, and those who I see in real life. My nerves and anxieties about the upcoming delivery are getting more pronounced as it approaches, but as I read tonight on Abigail's Alcove (a new blog I found linked tonight, she just had her own 4th c-section!), I'm slowly learning to give it over to God and do my best to live in the present moment and look to the future with hope and joy. It will be a daily challenge, but I know I can do it!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moms Need Friends

I finally got around to sending in some of my writing from a few months ago! My mind still feels too much like mush to write a coherent article, but I did write a few in the spring, and this one was published today on
Faith & Family Live!

We were slowly making our way through the “super” store, the children were wandering off, and I was tired. But on this one particular day I was still able to notice another young mom in the trenches like me.

She was with her own brood of three children with another obviously on the way. As we were nearing the end of our shopping trip, I had the nerve to greet her.
Go read the rest here!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Belly Shot 33 weeks

Please excuse the girls' unmade beds in the background ;)

Small Successes

I'm needing to note the Small Successes these days! I talked to a friend today who has 3 kids 3 and under and is living away from her husband at the moment. She told me how she gets proud of herself every night for making it through another day. I need to remember that!

I've kept up with hand washing the dishes! Our dishwasher is still broken, and it doesn't look like it's going to be fixed very soon. Last night I even swept and wiped down the floor. And guess what I swept up from under the table? The "I cwit" note. I laughed out loud as I swept it up and threw it away, proud that the kitchen is somewhat clean, aside from the cluttered countertops.

I survived 2 driving adventures yesterday! My kind friend gave me a bunch of size 5 and newborn diapers that her kids grew out of, which were just the sizes I needed. I figured it would be easier drive the 20 minutes to her house, rather than go to the grocery store with all 3 kids! The newborn diapers are SO small...I can't believe our baby is going to fit in them!

Then in the afternoon a friend needed a ride to pick up her car, which we "brilliantly" did during rush hour! We made it through both those outings, along with a full day out of the house on Tuesday. On that day we went to a long birthday party including Build a Bear and swimming, dance class, and a dinner outing and were gone from 10am-7pm. Hopefully my outings will slow down from now on...I'm really trying...

I made it to week 33! I get so excited with each new week of pregnancy, knowing just how much more Baby is growing! (I need to take another belly photo soon, everyone claims I've grown a lot recently and I definitely feel it!) My online "ticker" says that Baby is probably 4.75 lbs and 18 inches, wow! I'm always worried about delivering a preemie, but hopefully this little bundle will wait at least another month!

I do spend a lot of time resting and lying down each day, and have watched another season of The Amazing Race on YouTube on my iPhone. I'm also proud to be surviving these days without much help from poor Steven whose back is better but still not 100%, and my parents who are both having some health concerns. It's been a crazy few weeks but we're making it through, hopefully to be rested and well enough for Baby's arrival!

Read more Small Successes at Faith & Family Live!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I cwit

A few weeks back I decided to order the California Achievement Test (CAT) for Mary Clare. I figured it would be a good way to assess what she has learned the past 2 years of homeschooling, to determine where she stands compared to other children her age, and to figure out the areas we need to work on this school year.

I wasn't sure how to present a standardized test to my very opinionated young student, but decided to just start it when things were calm and slow last Friday afternoon. She seemed intrigued at first and enjoyed filling in the bubbles as we followed the directions for the first few sections. She was moving along well, until we came to a portion where she had to complete about 6 vocabulary questions on her own.

I explained that she might not know the answers but to just make a good guess and told her to begin, as I slipped out of the room for a minute to check on Ellie who was calling me. I returned to the kitchen table to find that Mary Clare had disappeared and left this on her test booklet:

"I cwit." Oh my funny girl! She can be quite the perfectionist at times, but I told her she could not quit and that if she was unwilling to complete it now, we'd just finish later that evening when Steven came home. She did eventually complete that section and a few others later that night, but as of today is going to need some more cajoling to actually finish the test, especially with the long reading comprehension portions.

But oh, wouldn't it be nice to just opt out of some of our own motherly duties? Leave an "I quit" notice in the morning and stay in bed all day? This is definitely how I'm feeling recently with the challenges of late pregnancy, the summer heat, an injured husband, and the needed household repairs driving me to exhaustion. Sometimes I do need that break in bed for awhile, but then I come out and make it through the day.

Still in my own life though there are those sections I can't quite finish yet, they are left undone and waiting for me to take care of them. There's that huge pile of winter clothes, that messy patio, those walls that need repainting, and most of all this soul that needs some consistent daily prayer time with the Lord.

So hopefully as I complete the CAT test with Mary Clare, I'll be motivated to complete those things that I've quit. It will probably take some months...but I know I'll get there slowly but surely, taking baby steps each day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How I'm surviving a pregnant August in Texas

First of all, we started homeschooling in June so that we'd be in a nice routine come Baby's arrival. Seems to be working, at least on days like today, after "Maria's Magic" happened yesterday and my house is clean for a few hours :)

Please excuse the non-clothed potty-trainee. Score this morning...potty chair=2 peepees, carpet=1 peepee and 1 poopoo. After the poopoo, Mommy gave up for the day and went back to diapers.

And the rest of these have to do with food, hence my excessive weight gain this pregnancy...

I'm surviving with a big 7yr old helper who now knows how to make pancakes and spaghetti! Tonight they also baked cookies (with a cookie mix and a bit of help).

I'm surviving on fruit. These 2 pounds of strawberries were bought at 10pm last night and gone by 11am this morning!

We've been going through 10-lb boxes of clementines every few days.

Mystic Pizzas have been a favorite this summer. We especially love the mini-ones.

I'm surviving this month-long cough on Luden's cough drops, which I'm convinced have pretty much zero medicinal value, but sure taste good! If you've ever tried them, they taste identical to cherry lifesavers. I'm actually distantly related to the Luden family, way back on my dad's side.

I've got some serious sugar cravings this pregnancy. These are some of my all-time favorite candies, Assorted Sours! They are chewy with a gumdrop inside. Yum.

I'm surviving on my nightly cup of ice cream. Cookies and Cream is the mom and kid favorite this summer. (Daddy is all about Rocky Road!)

And if you must know, when we're low on the above sweets, some pretzel sticks dipped in frosting will just have to do! Oh, what a healthy August...eesh! I guess I'll start a diet after Baby arrives and I can actually exercise again.

I'm also surviving on an afternoon nap with my toddler, almost daily. And a working air-conditioner, thanks be to God!

I will be glad when August is over! Summer is usually my favorite season, but I think I'll be happy for Fall to arrive this year!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I told Steven that I feel like a bear right now. I just long to curl up in my bed for about 5-6 more weeks until my new bundle arrives from the stork! Wouldn't that be divine? Oh, how I'd love to avoid the surgery and have the baby show up in my arms!

My body feels like it's starting to check out. I've had a nagging cough for over 3 weeks, some sinus issues the past few days, am walking like a waddling duck, feel constantly overheated, and honestly spend about 3-5 hours lying in bed each day.

So, with me feeling like that, Steven out-of-commission with his back injury, and the other drama going on around us, we've been quite a mess the past week! I hope we can both find some healing and energy this new week to press on in our daily duties and prepare for the next couple months as we await the delivery and birth of our sweet baby!

I'm almost 32 weeks along and will see the doctor again this week. It looks like we'll wait to choose a delivery date until it gets closer and we see how my body handles these next few weeks of pregnancy. I'm hoping that we can wait until closer to 37 or 38 weeks...we'll see if Baby cooperates! I'm really still in shock that the baby is coming so soon. I haven't done anything to prepare and hope to at least pull together some newborn clothes (need to wash and find some of both genders!), diapers, and set up a bedroom baby-station in the next few weeks. It's fun not knowing the gender but I think it's also keeping me from really connecting with the baby and realizing that he/she will be in my arms very soon! I can't wait to be past the surgery part and enjoying those sweet newborn cuddles once again :)

I'm trying to soak in all the baby-ness of little Steven Joseph. This last part of pregnancy is always a bit emotional as I realize that my "baby" will soon be the toddler who will start to act up, grow up, and become a big brother! It melts my heart when he says, "I Mommy's big boy!" He tells us that he is NOT a baby anymore. And he is also insistent that he's having a baby brother...

The fun summer days are also coming to an end. The pools will probably be closing on the weekdays as most area schools start on Wednesday. Dance classes start tomorrow and hopefully we'll get back into our homeschooling routine as well. We'll be starting our 5th week, and I'm so glad I got a head start! I don't have much energy for anything other than the necessary grocery store visit or other errand. And after we go on an outing in this 100 degree weather, I need an hour or two in bed to recover! I am so pathetic!

But to remind me of the fun we had these past couple weeks...here are a few shots from a swimming playdate and a pirate birthday party...

Hope you are all soaking in these last few weeks of summer!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Prayer Request

Our family is having a difficult week. Steven has a back injury, we had some AC problems, there is construction nearby and water is being turned off for the day tomorrow, and just some other background "noise" that is causing stress. Today was the Feast of St. Clare; I'd like to ask her intercession that we'd be able to see clearly through the fog and focus on the light of Christ. Thanks for any prayers you're able to offer!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

California Vacation-Days 6 and 7

Wednesday was our last full day in California and the day we had planned to visit the San Diego Zoo! I admit that I hesitated after our long day at Disneyland to attempt another full day excursion. But I'm so glad we were able to go. It was a lot of hilly walking, but an amazing zoo!

We headed out early and walked around a bit before my brother and his family met us. We saw lots of flamingos!

a "pea-hen" and her babies!

And then when Brice, Allison, and Addison arrived, we went on the bus tour, sitting on the upper level of the double-decker bus! Unfortunately we couldn't see the animals very well from our side, but I did get a couple decent shots...of a tiger,

and the polar bears! That one on the left was playing with the blue ball and throwing it up in the air. It was fun to watch!

After the bus tour, we went straight to see the sea lion show. It was great!

and then after walking around the reptile exhibit, Steven, Mary Clare, SJ, and Allison took a tour on the "Skyfari" gondola skyride, which was the one time during the trip that the camera wasn't working. Oh well, I'm just glad my feet were on the ground...I'm not one for heights, especially with small children! Brice and I wandered around the children's zoo and then we all decided to head back to the house for a lunch break. After a couple hours, we drove back to the zoo for the rest of the afternoon (they only lived 10 minutes away!).

We checked out the koala bears

and the giraffes


and a cheetah!

We saw an amazing bird show. This parrot sang several verses of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm!"

They trained the hawk to grab dollar bills out of peoples' hands to donate towards a bird organization. Steven Joseph wasn't so sure he wanted to get close!

Here's a peacock walking around the grounds

There were lots of elephants

and a big sleeping lion

I love this shot of my matching Stevens :)

And my 3 cute kiddos in the Arctic area where they had some fun tunnels to play in,

along with a helicopter!

It was starting to get later in the evening and the polar bears were sleeping,

and so were most of the Pandas. This one was eating but facing the other direction, bummer!

The sun was setting as we checked out some zebras

and made our way to the hippo exhibit

After a long adventure trying to find our way back to the entrance (the zoo is 100 acres!), we finally left after 8pm! What a long, exhausting, but fun day!

The next morning it was time to head back to Texas. I got some cute shots of the toddler cousins in their Mickey/Minnie ears before we left for the airport.

The girls enjoyed playing with their princesses from Disneyland on the flight home.

Finally we were back on Texas soil, and after a shuttle ride to the parking lot,

We loaded up our truck to drive back home!

What a wonderful vacation! Thanks to all the family members who made it possible...our flyer-mile angel, our kind hosts, and our traveling buddies for the first leg...and of course my fantastic little family who fills all our days with fun and laughter whether on the road or in our own living room. We are so blessed!

Friday, August 06, 2010

iPhone Photo Phun!

After a few months of not being able to load my iPhone photos and videos to the computer, it finally worked tonight! I've posted lots of these on Facebook but since I hope to print this blog into albums at some point, I wanted to load them all here. So here's our summer starting in June!

Kids are always wanting to ride the carousel at the mall, and this day, I obliged!

This was Memorial Day at the "old" G family home, some serious grillin' going on here!

The library festival where we waited 45 minutes for balloon animals. SJ took off his pants and wouldn't put them back on! It was SO hot (but not as hot as it is now in August!)

Steven Joseph and our goddaughter Cecilia after Sunday Mass

Putting up with his sisters' dancing productions. Here he's in a sweater set made by my talented knitting aunt!

And here he is very upset about whatever was going on, probably the romper the girls put him in!

Ellie dancing away!

Kids and cousins in their July 4th performance

Okay and these are 3 funny signs from our trip...

Put toilet paper in the toilet, novel idea!

Self-explanatory. Watch out!

How do you pronounce this? EzXit?

This family is so happy that our local little children's museum has relocated and re-opened after nearly a year! Perfect way to get out of the house on a weekday afternoon!

When the girls were at dance camp, I took SJ there and we watched a magic show! It is crazy crowded there on weekday mornings, so I think we'll stick with the late-afternoon time frame!

Our other fun outing each week, my OB appts! Can you find Steven?

"Patiently" waiting for the doctor

and a couple more from the museum this week! The girls are such good "little mommies" for Steven this summer :)

And I've got a lot of funny videos I'd love to share, but those will have to wait until another time. Maybe after I finally blog about our last 2 days of the trip! For now, the bed is calling my name, gotta rest up for another hot summer day at the pool tomorrow!
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