It's time for another awesome Snapshots from a Sunday with Cari over at Clan Donaldson! Cari still has a few open slots for anyone who is interested being a part of this very fun (and easy!) "effort"! Click the Snapshots link above and everything you need to know is RIGHT THERE! (The World Wide Web is truly magical, my friends!)
So, come on and join me this Sunday! OK? I promise my feelings will not be hurt if you don't join in. Really.
OK, maybe those pesky hormonal feelings will be hurt a teensy-weensy bit.....
I have always said that each pregnancy is as different as the baby it births, and this pregnancy is certainly no exception.
Since I was 5 weeks along, I have been on "modified" bed rest. "What's 'modified' bed rest?", you ask? Well, I'd like to know that answer to that, too. As best as I can determine, it means that I'm not supposed to push, pull or lift heavy things (toddler children, included), rest "as much as possible" (um, does anyone realize that I have SIX other children?), don't walk/stand around for very long, and drink a lot of water (kinda counteracts the "resting" eventually, doncha think?).
All of the above directions are somewhat relative depending on who is interpreting them. While my doctor might be envisioning me lying on the couch, with a glass of ice water in my hand, whilst I doze on and off, my interpretation (my REALITY) is vastly different. I really do sit as much as possible (feeling like a lazy jerk the entire time) and when my older kids are home it's much easier because they can let the dog in and out the door, play with younger siblings, etc. But, when it's just me (and the younger 1 or 2 kiddos), I really can't ignore the dog's barking, or the toddler table-dancing in a shower of iodized salt, or my hunger.
Truly, it would be easier (in a sense) if my doctor told me, "Don't move your pregnant posterior out of bed unless the house is on fire.". In that case, I'd be able to drop most of the guilt and stay put. In that case, my husband wouldn't look at me and say, "Well, maybe you could walk with us to the park???". In that case, I would be able to clearly explain to others why sometimes I feel like I can get away with a short, small trip to the grocery store or 45 minutes in the Adoration Chapel, while other times, I feel like driving to my kids' school to drop them off is "too risky".
You see, this vagueness leaves me with an odd combination of feeling overly guilty while also feeling overly angry with people who just "don't get it" why I'm "lazing around so much".
As is looks now, my doctor feels pretty sure that as we get further along into the 2nd trimester, I'll be on "full" bed rest, perhaps even in the hospital. I really hope there's a pamphlet with definitive guidelines on the Dos and Don'ts of "full" bed rest.
It's fortunate that the title of my blog is also a disclaimer. That way, anyone can read these posts and say, "Well, she told us UP FRONT that she is crazy.....". So, I guess most of you won't be completely shocked when I write these next words:
"I am pregnant!"
"And, really excited about it!"
Yes, this pregnancy is fraught with many risks (for baby and for me). So is life. Anything AT ALL could happen to any one of us on any given day. Risk is a part of living. Truly living. So is joy.
Right now, our joy at receiving this wonderful gift from God far (FAR!) outweighs any fear of "what could happen".
We are aware of the risks.
We accept them.
Even more, we accept that God is in charge of ALL of it and we ask Him to help us. In that respect, this pregnancy is exactly like all of our other pregnancies.
How could we not rejoice at this incredible blessing that we have been given? We already have been blessed with so much, and here is one more awesome gift!
Kyle and I haven't stopped smiling since we found out.
Would you please join us in sharing our incredible joy, wonderment, and prayers for a healthy baby?
No, seriously, Dweej, I love you to bits! And, I love your blog, "HouseUnseen. Life Unscripted" almost as much! So, that's why I'm doing this MEME (which seriously needs a better acronym, or whatevs) wherein I have to link back to 7 posts from my own blog, THEN (here comes the revenge part! moooo-haaa-haaa!) tag 7 other bloggers to do the same.
Most Beautiful Post
Honestly? This is like asking me to decide which outfit makes me look the hottest (um, none), but I'll try. I choose this one because it was nice to remember my 4 year old son when he was the baby.
Most popular post
For the life of my I cannot figure out why this post about my mother's journal (not my mother, rather my journal about being a mother) is the most popular. Must be in the tags....
Most Controversial Post
Me? Controversy? Whachoo talkin' 'bout, Willis? Probably due to the fact that I don't have a very popular blog, enough people haven't had the chance to be offended by yours truly, but if I had to choose I'd pick this one.
Most Helpful Post
Assuming that people find anything I say helpful, I would have to choose my post about chores as being the most helpful post. Actually, it was probably only helpful to me as it keeps me somewhat honest.
A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
Because none of my posts are worthy of attention, I will do a shameless plug for my husband's awesome Vlog! He makes me laugh so hard, and he is my biggest supporter. Go check him out!!!
As I sat in Mass on Sunday, it occurred to me that the younger version of myself would probably marvel at my calm demeanor. The younger version who had "only" 3 or 4 kids and would sweat bullets as soon as one of her kids spoke above a whisper during Mass, or dropped a cracker under the pew in front of us, or yelled out "I DON'T WANT TO BE AT JESUS' HOUSE!" during the homily. *oh, it happened. More than once.
My kids still do all of these things (OK, maybe not the older kids... Maybe), but my feelings -- therefore, my reactions -- are very different. But, how did I get here? And, is it a good thing?
Once upon a time, I had one, perfectly-behaved child. During Sunday Mass he would sit quietly on the pew, eating his snack and looking at picture books with titles such as, "Mary, Our Mother" or "Let's Pray the Rosary!". If he needed to get my attention, he would place his chubby hand on my back and wait for me to bend down to listen to his lisping whispers. He was mortified if he accidentally tripped on the kneeler when he entered/exited the pew. I don't really know if he looked forward to going to Mass, but I can't recall a time when he gave us any trouble about it. Do you know what I thought? I thought it was due to my husband's and my superior parenting skills. Yes, we were such calm and genteel people, who understood the psyches of small children and knew that if you just remained calm and expected model behavior that you would receive it. I would demurely smile and thank the senior citizens who would compliment me on his behavior after Mass. Gosh, I don't know whether to hug or slap the younger version of ourselves.
Enter children #2 and #3, or as I lovingly refer to them: The Too-Touchy-Titus Twins (no, they're not actually twins). These two gave us a run for our money, folks. They loved to touch everything, test things out, see how far they could throw objects, see how loudly they could make their voices echo. The fed off of one another. I used to tell people that #2 was digging my grave and #3 was pushing me into it. Even with these two, I could still use the fear of embarrassment and The Stink-Eye to keep them in check. "Hey, buddy, if you keep banging the hymnal on the pew, the usher is going to escort you to the back of church and keep you there until the end of Mass. Do you want to sit quietly with us, or do you want to sit in the back with the usher?". That ALWAYS worked with 2 and 3. And, so I would sit back in the pew with a smug look on my face and still accept the compliments on my parenting skills after Mass. After all, I deserved them, didn't I?
With the advent of #4's toddlerhood, I began to see that God maybe thought I needed a HUGE smackdown. This was the child who would call all of my bluffs (heck, he walked himself back to the usher one day. Poor, confused usher.), demand "MORE SNACKS! NO! NOT CHEERIOS!" at ear-piercing decibel levels, and generally make his parents' lives a living Hell for 1 hour every week. All before the age of 4. At one point, I asked one of our priests if Baptism "took" every time, and maybe this one need to be re-christened.
With #5 and #6, we've seemed to hit our stride. Yes, we know you little guys are going to be absolute stinkers in Mass for a few years. Yes, we know you are going to test all the limits and make us crazy. But, we also know that we've done this before and we will survive (cue Gloria Gaynor music!). So, I sit with a smile that is not-so-smug these days.
"BUT, WHY?" you moms with 2 and 3 little ones ask, "WHY? HOW?".
No, not this kind of growing pains!
Lois, how I adore your mad parenting skillz!
Every time one of our kids went through his/her particular growing pains. We grew right alongside with him/her. We learned to come up with new ways to cope and deal with each phase for each child. We adapted our schedules and our lives to help that child. We didn't always like it, but we grew from it.
But, here's the real shocker: we went through our own growing pains as parents and as people, INDEPENDENT of our kids' phases.
Yeah. I KNOW! It took me by surprise, too!
There are certain seasons of our lives when we (as parents, spouses, and adult humans!) need to flex our developmental muscles in order to grow and change. Hopefully, we are able to discern things like mid-life crises from the true yearning to become better people * here's a clue: becoming a better person rarely involves sports-cars and a change in spouse!
And, much like our kids' growing pains, the process of going through our "adult-onset" growing pains is often, well... painful.
So, at the very least, I can offer this to all you mothers of 2, 3, and 4 kids: Wipe the sweat from your brows, take a deep breath, and smile a tiny smile. Enjoy all the crazy behavior during Mass, or whenever, and know that you AND your kids are experiencing some growing pains and it will bring all of you to a better place. And that grumpy old biddy who is glowering at you from the next pew? Smile at her, too. She should thank her lucky stars that she's still here and able to experience some growing pains of her own!