/> Raising Angels: February 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

One Week Old!

Dearest Little Max,
One week ago you came into this world on the perfect day. The doctor wanted to induce me, so you started coming on your own and I was in labor when I reached the hospital. It was confirmation to me of God's word that you would come on an easy day and time to remember 2/22 at 12:12.

Your birth was amazing and peaceful. And it doesn't matter one bit that you are number four because you are every bit the miracle that your sister and brothers are. It was love at first sight. You are beautiful and I thank God every day that you are mine. Just like these flowers that accompanied your arrival, I could never get enough of you.

These seven days have been wonderful and exhausting. You and I often yawn simultaneously. However, when I hear your sweet voice in the wee morning hours and it's just the two of us together, I watch you eat and am amazed at the gift I've been given. How could anyone be more blessed than me? You are peaceful, healthy and mine. You have given your Daddy and me another opportunity to be co creators with God. What an awesome responsibility that is. Another tiny soul sent from Heaven to draw us closer to God.

Your funny faces already make all of us laugh. The peace on your face is like that of an angel. Your fleeting smile and big dimple warm my heart. I could literally spend all day just watching you.

Every day, every minute is a gift. Every event, every milestone is a first. How is it possible to love someone so much who's never said a word and has only been here for seven days? A better question is how is it possible not to?

I love you, Mama

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Different Goals

After eating this morning, Max was slumped over my shoulder as I tried to burp him. Aiden looked on anxiously asking if he could help.

So far it's been a bit of a challenge to get Max to burp so when he did, I responded by saying, "Oh...good job buddy!"

Aiden looked at me in total surprise and asked, "How come you never say that when I burp?"

Photo Op

If you'd like to see the hospital pictures of Max, you can click here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Baby Max Love

Ah, food has arrived. I stared at Max as he ate with vigor, making the sweet "mmm" sounds only a newborn can. He finished and threw his head back in total contentment with some milk on the corner of his mouth. A smile flashed across his face showing off his deep dimple. I held him wondering what I ever did without him, so very grateful that he came into this world early because it means that many more days for me to love him.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Girl Knows Just What a Girl Needs to Hear

Tonight I was sitting down to the table for dinner when Mackenzie looked at me and said, "Mama, you're looking more like yourself."

I was in my PJs (the only way I have to remind myself to slow down and let myself mend) and wasn't sure what she meant.

She continued when she saw the questioning look on my face, "I mean just days ago your stomach was like out to here," she said holding her hands as far away from her body as possible, "and now it just keeps getting smaller and smaller so you're skinny like you used to be."

If I was physically able to jump up and swing her around the room, I would have.

Baby Max

Sleeping baby. Do they get any sweeter than this?
Open eyes are fun too.
New big brother Dawson and Mackenzie helping Max through his first shots.

I held this baby in the delivery in complete awe. 8 lbs. 4 oz.! How on earth did he fit in there?

Going home for the first time in the outfit Daddy picked out. In case you can't see, it's covered in tools and says, "Daddy's Little Helper".

Sunday, February 24, 2008

We Have a Baby And It's a BOY!!!

Maximilian Aaron Parris
Born on February 22
at 12:12 p.m.
8 lbs. 4 oz.
21 inches

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Things Are Moving Along

Today was a day full of movement, spending time with my kids and getting ready. That lead to a day full of contractions. Now I am in need of lots of prayers.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Let's Get It Started

I saw the doctor today and hit the big 38 week mark. He gave me the go ahead to get moving and have this baby.

I'm thinking full moon...AND lunar eclipse...come on baby!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Birds and the Bees at the Boys' Level

The boys' daily prayer for the baby goes as follows:

Please let the baby break mommy’s tummy and smash it back on!

Although I think it's sweet that they pray for the baby on a daily basis, "break" and "smash" are two verbs I hope are not incorporated into my delivery.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Favorite Valentine

Just in case you thought we missed the whole romantic gesture of Valentine's Day after my previous post, I wanted to share with you the poem my husband sent to me while he was working on our house and I was with the kids at the circus.

Emotions only partly describe your worth to me.
Next, passion and reason leave me fleetingly.
Your beauty, though an ace, and, wow, that smile upon your face…
None give justice to explaining my love for thee.

I’m quite sure only our souls connecting
Give sound reason for my heart’s perfecting
For without you my spirit has not flutter. “I need you,” a constant mutter
And absence’s longings I’m always expecting.

I love you. I love you. I love you.
Repetition makes it no more true.
It’s only I must say that you deserve to hear it day after day.
Amy, my dear Amy, my love’s truth is found in you.

He's pretty amazing isn't he!

Yes, I'm Still Pregnant

It's been a while since I've checked in and I felt compelled to dispel any notions that a baby has arrived.

I began Valentine's Day by waking before the kids as Nelson was off to Adoration. I set out Valentine's surprises for them on their Valentine's plates and made cinnamon rolls with strawberries on the side for their breakfast. They were thrilled.

We cleaned up and I actually got Mackenzie to school, the boys dressed, the sitter picked up and made it to my doctor's appointment with 10 minutes to spare - quite a feat for these slow moving days.

The best part of the appointment was that instead of my regular two hour wait, I was in and out in under an hour. My doctor was pleased as pie that I'm still pregnant. He put me back on bed rest for one more week. I didn't hide my disappointment well because he gently reminded me that this baby is not due for another three weeks and that one more week is really what's best for the baby.

After a special Valentine’s Dinner, I took the kids (with my parents' help) to the circus. Yeah, I know, not exactly bed rest activity but it was the circus, I wasn't in labor and I wanted to be with my kids as they watched it. Besides the fact that we didn't get home until 10:30 and Dawson insisted on watching the ENTIRE circus on my virtually nonexistent lap, we had a great time.

We only got to catch a glimpse of Nelson that day, which was a little disappointing, but his parents took the kids yesterday evening and kept them over night so we actually went out together, just the two of us. It was so nice to be reminded what it's like to have a husband again. We're so close to being finished with the house (at least that's what he tells me), I can't wait to steal lots more one on one moments with him.

All in all we're still in the holding pattern. We did not move into the house as originally planned. Now Nelson is saying next weekend, which means he is pleased as punch that the baby is not here yet. And true to my Lenten promise, I have given it all to God. He has the perfect plan. His timing will be just right. And until then I will do what I can to be obedient to my doctor's orders.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

37 Weeks!

Thanks to all of the service, prayers and reminders to stay put this week, I made it to 37 weeks. I go to see the doctor tomorrow and hopefully he'll tell me that everything looks great and let me get back to my life.

Although...I have a little confession to make. When I dropped the boys off at school today I made a trip to Wal-Mart. I know I wasn't supposed to but I just couldn't let someone else pick out Valentine's for my kids...and some special things for a Valentine's breakfast and dinner...and some other bare essentials. By the time I was done, I was literally dragging myself down the aisle. It was then that the thought occurred to me that even if the doctor gives me the go ahead in the morning, I don't think I could be very active even if I wanted to.

Here's hoping for a speedy delivery and a healthy baby who just falls out without any pain, all in God's timing. Well, a girl can dream can't she?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

For the Pregnant Woman in Need of a Good Laugh

I haven't lived at my parents' house for almost 10 years but this week, this came for me there.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Checking In

For those of you checking in, so far I have been able to hold onto this baby. I am doing my very best to be obedient to my doctor's orders to take it easy.

With each passing day, the more I move around, the more severe my contractions become. I spoke with a friend who told me a NICU nurse told her that at this stage of the game a week in the tummy is worth 3 in the NICU so that scared me out of the thoughts of running around the block that were dancing in my head.

And, those of you who really know me, know how hard it is for me to sit still...especially with a pending move. It has been incredibly humbling to accept the kind of service that's been offered me lately. For instance, on Saturday I sat on the couch watching Toy Story with my boys while my neighbor vacuumed my carpets because she knew it was driving me crazy to sit and look at all that dirt.

There are moments like those these days that are so hard to accept, yet at the same time make me feel so very loved and blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. Ones who don't ask what they can do to help, but simply drive over with their vacuum cleaners in hand and do it.

It’s such a crazy time of sitting and waiting. Murphy’s law says that after all this, I’ll probably wait another three weeks and give birth on my due date of March 5th. Whatever the case, it’s all in God’s hands now, which is exactly where it should be.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

When Your "To Do" List is Combined with Your 3 Year Old's List

Mackenzie walked out the door to go to school and Dawson asked, "Where are we going today?"

"We're not going anywhere today buddy. I'm supposed to stay home and try to keep this baby in my tummy a little longer."

"But I want to go SOMEWHERE," he said with hope in his voice.

"Dawson, we don't have anywhere to go."

The light went off. "Yes we do Mama! There's Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Chick-fil-A, McDonalds and Sonic."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ashes, Ashes, The Baby is Falling Down

Today was my 36 week check up. I went in with mixed emotions. Physically, I want nothing more than to be finished with this pregnancy. Mentally, I know it's not quite time and although I've gone early with all three, four weeks might be a bit too early.

When the doctor measured my stomach he gave me a worried look. "The baby is measuring a little small. Are all your babies small?"

"No, they've all been over 7 pounds even at 2 weeks early," I said feeling concerned.

After checking me and letting me know that I was dilated to 2 and showing some other signs that labor is around the corner, he sent me to the sonographer. "I want to get some real measurements of this baby and then we'll talk," he said in a serious tone.

Instead of being excited about going into labor, the tears welled up in my eyes. I don't care how uncomfortable I am, I want this baby to be born in God's perfect time. I want everything to be okay. I waited for the sonographer unable to focus any of my thoughts. You see, the last time I was at 2, I had the baby the next day. This house is not packed. The new house is not ready. There is still so much to do. I don't care where I bring the baby home, but how will it all get done in the midst of labor, recovery and a newborn? What if the baby is not ready? Then what will we do?

The sonographer was very kind. As she proceeded with the sonogram she assured me that every thing with the baby looks fine. It already weighs 6 pounds 15 ounces, the heart beat is strong and the lungs look good. If anything, she said, the baby is ahead of schedule.

I breathed a sigh of relief and finally giggled a little when I saw the baby's face as it stuck out its tongue. My doctor met with me, gave me his personal pager number and told me to call him the minute anything happens (my labors are not only early but FAST), he also said he'd like to give this baby at least another week and told me to rest.

I've always said that having babies is God's way of showing us that He really is the one in charge. The timing of everything is in His hands. Try as we might and plan as we do, we learn very quickly that we cannot control anything. This baby is no different.

This Lent is going to be full of sacrifices of a different nature. The sacrifice of doing nothing for a while. The sacrifice of labor. The sacrifice of sleepless nights and long days. The sacrifice of the Cross. In the end, all of it is nothing compared to the glory of the Resurrection. The joy of a new life.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Running Out of Room...

not only in my belly, but in my house too! Here's hoping we make our move-in goal of February 16th. And...here's hoping the baby, due one month from today, waits until then.

Little Boy Logic

This morning as we were eating breakfast I experienced a bout of the sciatica that has been plaguing me lately. "Oww!" I exclaimed mid bite.

Dawson, who was sitting with me at the table looked at me with great concern and asked, "What's a matter Mama?"

"I'm okay,” I assured him, just a bit embarrassed that I let out that yelp in front of him in the first place. "The baby is just making my leg hurt."

He looked at me quizzically and said, "But..the baby is not in your leg." He waited a second and then examined my belly and rubbed my leg. "Did the baby just swim down there or something?"


Aiden ran into my room this morning to show me that he was dressed. I noticed a slimy green smudge on his clean white shirt.

I pulled his face close to mine and made him look me in the eye. "Aiden," I said with great frustration, "do NOT wipe your nose on your shirt! When you need to wipe your nose, get a tissue. How many times do I have to tell you this?"

He looked up at me with complete innocence and answered, "A LOT!"

Monday, February 04, 2008

Dawson Time

Today I took Dawson to his very first birthday party by himself. He's been to lots of other parties but never without his siblings by his side. As we walked out the door to the car this afternoon, instead of being excited he was sad.

"I don't want to go Mama. I want to stay home with Aiden. Why isn't he coming? Can I stay here?" he rambled on as he buckled in.

"Dawson, this is your friend. It's okay to go to a party by yourself. Mackenzie does it and so does Aiden. This party is going to be fun. It's at Monkey Joe's," I said trying to change his mood.

Once I explained to him what Monkey Joe's was, he completely changed his tune. He was squealing with excitement. On the way across town he even said, "Mama, can you please hurry and get me to the party?"

At the party he had a blast. He was having so much fun in fact that when another of the boys crashed into him and busted his lip, he said, "I'm okay Mama. I'm going to keep playing!"

After the party we wandered into the new grocery store next door. It was an Earth Fare, the kind of store you can wander around in and actually have fun (not to mention spend LOTS of money) while you are shopping.

We sampled everything and picked out a few things to bring home for dinner. Dawson wandered around me looking at everything. He wanted to help choose the items, and carry them. We really had a good time together.

I have to admit that when I arrived at the party I was a little disappointed that Aiden didn't get invited. He would have loved it and Dawson would have enjoyed it more with his brother and best buddy by his side. However, by the end of our time together I realized that God had given Dawson and me a special gift today.

It's not often that Dawson gets to do something special all by himself. As the resident baby for the past three years, he's more often the one left behind. The arrival of the new baby will probably rock his boat the most and God knows this.

That's why today, for several hours, Dawson got some time all to himself to be with me. He got all the attention. He received all of the big helper jobs. He got to tell his stories at the dinner table.

I am thankful for the gift of spending time with Dawson today. I pray that I will always remember how special it made him feel. I hope that we have lots more opportunities over the years to do it again.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Jesus Crucified

While Aiden is at mass he keeps quiet by drawing. I try to keep him focused on the reason we're there by giving him challenging scenes to depict. Last Sunday, I pointed to the giant Crucifix. This is what he came up with.

I think it's pretty good for a 4 year old!