/> Raising Angels: August 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

Sonic Burp

Mackenzie and I were grabbing lunch at Sonic today, per her request. To my surprise, she wanted a chili cheese coney.

About a third of the way through the foot long she asked, "How much of this do I need to eat in order to get my free ice cream cone?"

I showed her enough to equal about half the dog and said, "If you eat this much you can have ice cream."

Her eyes lit up as she said, "Only this much? Okay." Then she sat up really straight and added, "I just need to get out a really big burp so I can fit it in."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Today It Happened

Nelson and I were meeting the ceiling guy at the new house as the other crew slapped mud on the sheetrock. The temperature was at least 100 in the house and we were all sweating. The veins in my legs were hurting so I sat on some plywood. When I got up I gouged my ankle on a hidden piece of metal. It hurt like crazy and then bled the same way.

I went two doors down to clean up and get a Band-Aid from a friend. She lovingly cared for me and then offered to let the kids stay and watch a movie while I finished the meeting.

I went back to the house into a room full of workers and Nelson. I then tripped over a random board. I felt it coming on and tried to escape as soon as possible. I looked at Nelson and said, "I HAVE to go now!"

He was worried when he saw the tears forming. What was wrong? Did I not like the sheetrock? Am I disappointed by the ceiling? Are the tears because I tripped? Was I hurt?

I couldn't answer because it wasn't any of those things. I assured him it was nothing and then got the heck out of dodge. I've been on the brink of a breakdown for the remainder of the day. In fact, I'm typing through the tears now.

Nobody is more frustrated than me. How come I don't even know why I'm crying? It makes me feel weak. What is wrong with me?

It's weird I know because those who know me, know I'm a crier. I cry when I'm happy, sad, frustrated, etc. I don't love it, but I know it's who I am. But crying for no good reason - that's just strange.

I'm now in the second trimester. I don't know if I can blame it on the hormones any more. Honestly, there is no hidden agenda. It's just tears.

Hopefully, after a good night's sleep, I will be able to pull myself together. I don't handle being a basket case very well at all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Mackenzie!

Last night as I tucked you into bed and reminded you that when you woke up this morning you'd be seven, I almost cried. Didn't you just come bursting into this world?

I remember that day as if it were yesterday. And now, you're seven.

Today was your day - your choices. You wanted to wear your pink plaid (wool) skirt. While the boys were at school, you chose to get your toenails painted (pink and dark pink on alternating toes complete with a rhinestone flower on the big toes), to window shop at Build-A-Bear, and to have lunch at Applebee's.

You were thrilled with your toes. You gushed over the ice cream sundae with strawberry swirls and a cherry on top. You told me, "Thanks for doing all those things with me Mama. I had a really great day."

This is just a tiny glimpse into your joyful existence. You love every moment (especially times like tonight when Uncle Aaron surprised you by coming to your pizza party). You are in a mode of perpetual creation - be it songs, drawings or decorating. You are well-mannered. You always manage to light up the room.

I can’t believe it's been seven years. I can't imagine what the next seven will hold - not to mention the rest of your life. Whatever may come, I hope you always let me come with you to get your toes painted pink. I hope things like free sundaes always excite you. I hope you grow and mature into an even greater version of you.

I love you so very much! Happy Birthday, Mama

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

If I Die Young...

and any of my kids ever doubt my love for them, PLEASE show them the cakes I made for them.
Remind them of the hours I spent doing things like putting a likeness of the cat I hate on top of Mackenzie's birthday cake.
Because...when you love your kids, personal taste, time spent, pain incurred, and sleep lost are nothing compared to the moment their eyes light up and they say things like, "Oh wow Mom! That is the coolest cake ever!"

Monday, August 27, 2007

More Vacation Photos

Here's my big swimmer jumping joyfully into the deep end with no life jacket!
Dawson was perfectly content to "swim" around the pool by himself. Often, we heard him singing about, well, whatever.
Nelson and Mackenzie spent some time stunting in the pool. She's actually very good at it. And, yes, for the record, he was able to get me up in a stunt as well. I must say, I was pretty proud of my pregnant self.
Here I am with Brian, Heather, Father Aaron, and Nelson. We were at the wedding reception in Valdosta having a great time together. I picked the busiest dress I have to camouflage the end of the day bump

Pregnancy Progress

Yesterday morning I forced myself out of bed to get ready for church. On the way to the bathroom I looked down to discover that my normally flat morning stomach now has a visible bump all of the time.

Today I put on a pair of my normal shorts that are low-waisted (thank God for this style during this in between time) along with one of my cute fitted t-shirts and discovered that this combination now equaled a teeny bit of a belly shirt. Not, the look I'm going for.

Too big for a lot of my "normal" clothes and too small for maternity wear just yet. I don't normally like this stage of the game but this go-around all I'm thinking is, "Yes, progress!"

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

You are the greatest! And, though I have not been myself these past eight weeks, you understand where I am. Every day I become more and more grateful for the sacrifices you made and continue to make to make our lives so extraordinary.

You are a true hero and I hope you never, ever forget that.

Thank you for all that you do. I love you!

Sweet Good Nights

After a birthday party for my mom and a shopping trip to pick up a shower gift, I came home last night and hit the fetal position on my bed. I just couldn't do anything else.

The kids came in and looked at me with great concern. Mackenzie was the first to speak. "Mama, are you okay?"

"I just feel sick."

"Are you going to throw up or just baby sick?" she inquired further.

"Just baby sick," I weakly answered.

Her big blue eyes opened wide as she rubbed my stomach and then leaned in to kiss it. "Good night baby," she whispered in her sweetest voice.

Aiden, who was standing next to her, climbed up on the bed next to me and followed suit in the sweetest voice I've ever heard. "Good night belly."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Beach Photos

Here are the kids enjoying a snack on the beach. After several minutes they discovered that even more enjoyable than eating, was tossing them to the seagulls overhead.
We made a rather unsuccessful crabbing trip one morning. It did provide some nice Daddy time though.
It also provided time for Dawson to get up close and personal with this heron.
This was the only thing any of us caught on that trip. Needless to say, we did not keep it. As luck would have it, a fellow fisherman was leaving as we were coming. She was after fish but only caught two nice sized crabs which she gave to us.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Twelve Weeks

Today marks twelve weeks. This, I've been telling myself, will be the magic number. I told this to my doctor yesterday at my check up and asked him to wave his magic wand over me and make this awful part of pregnancy go away.

He did, in a valiant effort, wave his pen but thus far it has not worked. This probably has something to do with the fact that I'm not officially out of the first trimester yet. Or it could be the 110 degree heat today. Or maybe it was the funeral of one of my former students I attended today.

Whatever the case, it is not great. In fact, it’s not even good. But I am hopeful. This will pass soon. I'm going to will it so.

Say it with me, "I will feel better. I will no longer be tired, or nauseated, or have insomnia, or indigestion." A new day is coming when I will remember what it is to just feel normal. And, oh what a happy day that will be!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Vacation Realizations

When you vacation with your family, you tend to bond a little more than you do on a day to day basis. When all 5 of you are sleeping in the same bedroom, you even learn things about each other that maybe you didn't know before.

For instance, I noticed that my soon to be seven year old baby girl brushes her hair first thing upon waking. I mean she does not go to the bathroom or ask for food or see if anyone else is awake. She stands in front of the mirror and thoroughly brushes her hair.

I stayed in bed one morning watching this process without her knowing. I found myself looking on in sheer marvel. This is not what I do when I wake up. Where did she learn this? When did her hair become important to her? How did I manage to miss the fact that she is maturing before my very eyes?

My new four year old seemed to mature over night as well. Watching him at the pool with just his swim trunks made him look so much older. No more life jackets. No more fear of the water at any depth. He went from swimming as far as he could hold his breath to swimming the distance of the pool. It seemed nothing short of miraculous.

My two and a half year old, after watching his siblings for a day or two also decided to lose the life jacket (but only when mom was in the water). He went from not wanting to get his face wet to purposely putting it in the water just to look around. He even told me he needed to go potty while he was swimming (and yes, got out of the pool to do it!).

I sat there in a lounge chair at the side of the pool with all three of the kids IN the pool. I actually read a magazine and thumbed through a baby name book. And then it hit me - my babies have grown up. Memories of the last two summers with two babies it tow and only one swimmer flooded my mind. Did I really survive that? Summers of strollers by the pool and floats galore, numerous trips to the bathroom to change those disgusting swim diapers, and never getting one moment of relaxation have faded into the past.

Then a wave of nausea hit and I remembered that all too soon, I will be back there again. In fact it will be a summer with a newborn who is not so new that I can't go out and yet not so old that I can use sunscreen. But in the same moment that I began to doubt my decision to start this whole process over again, I reminded myself that in another two short years, I will be back at this place again and we will all be better for it!

Monday, August 20, 2007

We're Back!

We have safely returned from vacation.

It was a truly great week. The pool was literally outside our back door. We spent hours and hours there. The other hours were spent jumping in the waves and digging in the sand. The only slight casualty was a jellyfish sting to Dawson but he was a real trooper and I learned a method of dealing with the sting that worked wonders.

Valdosta (where Nelson and I headed without the kids on Thursday) was also wonderful. Nelson's best friend got married in the church where my brother is assigned so not only did I get to witness and serve the altar for a dear friend's wedding, but I also got to see my brother do his first wedding.

Thanks for all of your prayers. I had a fairly good week. I think I paid the price yesterday and today with two fairly bad days. Maybe my body is just yearning to be at the beach again.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Target leave time was noon. Before he even left for work this morning Nelson told me it would be three. He called at three to say fifteen more minutes. Finally, he is home.

We may leave for the beach after all.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Beach Thoughts

We're heading to the beach tomorrow with Nelson's family. Usually I really look forward to vacations, especially at the beach. However, this go around I'm not looking forward to putting my first trimester, overtired, nauseated, pregnant self out there in front of everyone.

There's also the fact that we've been breaking all kinds of records with the heat wave down here. Temperatures close to 110 with even higher heat indexes. Hmmm...extreme heat reflecting off hot sand, while nauseated - not looking forward to that either.

Ah, but then there's the fact that my husband is actually going with us. This will make the longest time we've been together since we went to Rome in October. This house widow is really looking forward to just having him around for a change.

There's also the fact that I absolutely love to watch my kids enjoy the sand, surf and pool. They are all at such fun ages. We really have fun playing together.

So, as long as it's a good week for me, I will have a wonderful time. Yeah, let's pray for that.

And now back to packing for five. In some ways I'm way ahead of the game. Then there's my pregnant self that is struggling to stay awake and trying to tell me that I can just do it all in the morning. Ah, but I also know that my pregnant morning person will hate me for that decision.

Let’s hope the two can come to a nice compromise. After all, next week is vacation, and like my mom always says, “A rainy (or pregnant) day at the beach is better than a rainy day at home.”

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Baby Dreams

"Mom, do you want to hear what I dreamed about the new baby last night?" Mackenzie asked me this morning.


"Well, I dreamed that you had a girl and you let me name her Belle."

"Oh," I answered thinking this was a little better than some of her other suggestions so far.

"Do you want to hear the really funny part?" she continued.


"Okay. Well, when I told Bama that I named the baby Belle, she said she would call her Ring-a-Ding-Ding."

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

10 Weeks!

I will feel better. I will have more energy. I will have less indigestion. I will say goodbye to the nausea. I will WILL it away if I have to.

Things can only go up from here. Today I rejoiced simply because it marked ten weeks into this pregnancy. That's a whole fourth of the way through. That's got to count for something.

Then I went into a tailspin much like I did my first 5K when someone said you’re a fourth of the way through. Only a fourth? How can I possibly go for three times more than I've already done? I already feel spent.

But I quickly bounced back and told myself that I'm not looking at the long run today, I'm simply celebrating a very simple, but significant, victory.

I felt much better when I took a look at the pregnancy ticker I added thanks to 4and counting who just happens to be due the exact same day I am. Then she gave me the following award. It's so nice to have pregnant friends!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sibling Scandal

My brother, Father Aaron, was in town tonight for Father John's wake. After the wake he and I joined my brother Brian and his wife for dinner.

The four of us gathered at the restaurant around 8:00 and I just got home. I think we literally closed the place down. Between us, there was never a moment of silence. There were a lot of shared laughs and even some deep conversation.

As we all walked out to the parking lot continuing to chat away, I thought about how blessed I am. My brothers are my best friends. Tonight I thoroughly enjoyed our adulthood.

It was immediately after this thought that the image of the four of us sitting in the booth came to mind. On one side, a married couple. On the other side, a man in a Roman collar with a woman with the beginnings of a baby bump.

Uh oh!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Those Lazy Days of Summer (and Pregnancy)

I've had somewhat of a better week this week. I haven't felt any different, just lowered my expectations a bit.

For instance, today I rolled out of bed when Dawson came in for the third time to tell me that he was hungry and wanted to eat something.

My intent was to get to the Y to exercise and let the kids swim. It took me until 11:15 a.m. to get us packed, dressed and out the door. We got home around 5 p.m. It was over 100 degrees today and it just felt good to sit in the water.

Thank God we're still in those "lazy days of summer". Let's hope and pray I feel better by the time they're back in school.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I'm Glad the 1st Trimester Apathy is Paying Off for Someone

I was praying before church this morning when Aiden let out a belch that literally shook the pew. We attend an old church and, apparently the acoustics are great for burps. No kidding, I think everyone within ten pews heard it.

Being the mature adult in the situation I turned to him immediately to see the grin on his face and proceeded to...laugh, almost out loud. In fact, I'm laughing now just thinking about it.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Please Join Me in Prayer

For Reverend John O'Brien who, tragically, was killed in a car accident last night. He was our parish priest growing up. He moved to Valdosta, GA to become pastor of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church until the new assignments came out this summer. For the last several months he had been back in Augusta as the pastor of St. Theresa's Catholic Church.

He was a holy priest and loved by all. He will most certainly be missed.

May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

How to Know When the Punishment is too Light

As is my habit these days, I was lying in bed this morning nibbling on some crackers and praying for a better day. I tried to be as still as possible.

Please God help me to feel better. Please help me to not take out my sickness on my children. Help me to be kind. Help me to be patient. PPLLEEAASSEE.

It was at that moment the yelling began. The kids were playing games on the computer and I heard something drop to the floor. Then I heard Mackenzie yelling something at the boys. Inevitably, the next thing I heard were her feet running to my door.

"Mom!" she said in her most dramatic fashion, as if the world had ended. "I was playing on the computer because you said it was my turn and the boys were pushing all these buttons then the screen went black and they threw the mouse on the floor," she finally finished, needing to come up for air.

"Okay Mackenzie," I said calmly, remaining as still as possible, "tell the boys to come here."

Some more yelling by Mackenzie ensued followed by the reluctant footsteps of two guilty boys. Their heads peeked in ever so innocently. "Yes Mama?"

"Did you push buttons on the computer and throw the mouse on the floor?"

One stern look from me and their joint response was a meek, "Yes mam."

"Neither one of you are allowed to play the computer the rest of the day. Now go into your room and stay there until I tell you to come out."

As they turned to leave, Dawson looked at Aiden and smiled with a bit of a skip in his step. Then he began to joyously sing, "We're not gonna get a spankin'. We're not gonna get a spankin'!"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

9 Week Pregnancy Pep Talk

Chin up girl. Things will change for the better.

Until then, stop kicking yourself for moving slow. Stop thinking that things are falling apart because of your nonproductivity. Stop being mad that you feel bad. Stop being frustrated because you're tired.

Instead, pat yourself on the back for moving slow for once in your life. Remind yourself that things don't have to be perfect. Remember that the reason you feel so bad is the little blessing living inside of you and that the years of joy this baby will bring will far outweigh the weeks and weeks of sickness. Put your feet up once in awhile and just relax.