Monday, June 30, 2008

Doggone Weekend

What do you get when you wake up the Vet at 1AM to see your dog for an emergency visit?

Aside from a bill for $360? A drugged up puppy? A little boy who thinks he killed the dog? Yes, but that's not all: A very tired and cranky Mama for the rest of the day.

Friday night, I managed to get my petite little flower to bed at 8:45! PM! Asleep! It was wonderful. I napped for about 1/2 with her and got up to enjoy some much deserved time for myself. Should I watch a movie, do some needlework, clean? Hmm? The cleaning will still be there later, and I've been sitting on a movie from Netflix for about 3 weeks.....Movie it is.

The rest of the kids were enjoying time in the basement playing with each other and the occasional video game. The movie was delightful. The main character invents new pies all the time with the most interesting names (my favorite name is the "I Don't Want Earl's Baby Pie"). There is even a surprise in the movie in the form of Andy Griffith. When the movie was over, it was getting to be late AND I was actually tired. Tired! Really! Enough to sleep! You'll have to excuse my excitement at that prospect - while I find myself feeling tired a lot while pregnant, the actual attainment of sleep is a rare event for me.

I rounded the kids upstairs and towards bed uttering the usual requests: brush your teeth, put on pajamas, let the dog out to pee, turn off the lights.

As the dog is being let out to pee, I hear a loud yelp. This happens often enough that I didn't think much of it. Occasionally, the door is pulled shut a little too soon and his back leg or tail gets slammed in the door, but generally he is fine. The yelp was a little louder than usual. I yelled down to see if everything was all right and the answer returned was, "There's a lot of blood! Help!" "What?" I thought to myself. "Blood?" Maybe a toenail got caught, that would make blood and there probably really isn't that much.

At this point I will tell you that if you are squeamish about hearing bloody details, skip the next bit.

Down I trotted to the door and boy was I wrong. There was A LOT of blood. It was NOT a toenail. It was one of those cushy, little pads dogs grow on the bottom of their feet to walk on. Ripped mostly off and hanging by a thread, bleeding profusely all over my carpeted stairs and tiled landing, and onto my husband's shoes. Yuck. I am not one to get queasy at the sight of blood. In fact, my family knows exactly who to go to in the event that something hurts, is broken, bleeding, or in need of general repair, medically speaking of course. The blood is not doing anything to freak my out. Although I will admit the sight of meaty flesh exposed on my doggie's foot did make me shudder just a bit. It looked painful, really painful.

My son of course, as I mentioned earlier, thought he killed the dog. At least that is how he was acting. Total hysterics, complete with tears, whining, crying, apologizing, guilt - you name it. I tried to inform him that the dog had not indeed been hit by a car and that all major body systems of his were in order and functioning perfectly. No good. There was blood, he was hurt, and he wasn't going to make it.

I realized pretty quickly that this was not something I was going to be able to fix, nor something that could wait until morning or Monday. I got a towel and put pressure on the wound, which little (I use little here affectionately, for our dog is a full-grown, chocolate Lab, weighing in at about 75 lbs.) Red did not like at all and called the Vet. After giving him the gruesome news, he agreed to meet us at his office and take a look at the damage.

We got poor Red into the back of the van, all the while me telling my 8-year-old to calm down and occasionally to Shut Up. His hysterics were getting to me, as I knew the dog would be fine even though I personally was not sure if he'd ever be able to regenerate the tissue lost.

The vet confirmed that he could not stitch the pad back on and would have to CUT. IT. OFF. Ewwww. Yucky, Yucky, Yucky. So, he "sedated" the dog, shot his foot up with Lidocaine, or something like that, got out a surgical kit, and snipped the pad right OFF. HIS. FOOT. EWWWW. Then he put in a few stitches to stop the bleeding, bandaged it up, and gave us some antibiotics and pain relievers to give Red for the next week. Red got 2 shots before we left, one of each the pain reliever and antibiotic, and we were instructed to call on Monday for a wound check. That was that. My boy still in hysterics.

We left the Vet at 1:45 with a "drunk" doggie. To explain further the vet had given him a sedative. Generally speaking, there is another drug they can give to reverse the effects so that you can get your pet home easily, all awake and everything. However, with it being the middle of the night and us all wanting some sleep, we decided to let the drug wear off on its own, hoping also that it would help Red "sleep-it-off" so to speak. So my dog was drunk, or so it seemed. He waddled very slowly out to the car, with his eyes kind of shut and I'm sure with the world seeming kind of a blur and a little weird what with the funky plastic cone around his head.

We got home, and my little petite flower, who had been sleeping so well when I left, had apparently been up since just after we left and was waiting for me (with the big kids, of course, who I left home to watch her and NOT watch the bloody dog. They get pretty freaked out at blood or any body fluid.) I put the dog and 8-year-old to bed. My little flower and I had snacks and watched some TV. I found myself kind of wired from all that had happened. We didn't get to bed until about 5. Not so bad, hopefully I can sleep in.


At 8 my son came in to inform me that the dog had gotten the cone off and chewed off his bandage. Great. The Vet called to say he was open and why don't we bring in the puppy in for a check. Nice timing, since he needed to be rebandaged. The Flower got to sleep till 10, I was up early, again. Got to see the exposed, meaty flesh of the paw, again. Got no rest for the entire day, again. Mama turns into Medusa - new episodes to air this week.

That evening, my husband and I had unofficially planned to go out to dinner. By unofficially I mean earlier in the week he had said he would take me out, probably Saturday night, because he knew I needed some time alone with him. As evening fell upon us, my husband expressed his concern with the weather possibly being the cause for some weekend fireworks festivities being cancelled and therefore his work for that evening being much busier than it would be if the festivities ensued. In other words, he wanted to go into work early to deal with the larger crowd he was expecting due to bad weather. "Could we just go out tomorrow night?" he carefully asked me. Um, no. Um, I've had a bad couple of days. Um, I am totally overwhelmed....what do you think, that I don't look forward to time, ALONE, with you all week long? Do you think I don't pay attention to every word you say and therefore know that tonight is our night? Hello!!?

What I actually said was, "OK. If you think that is best." But, of course, my facial expression betrayed me. Yes, I know I looked hurt. And eventually, completely against my will, tears were flowing. Then he said, "Fine. We can go out tonight." Oh but I don't even want to now. Duh. Then he was nice enough to ask why I was so upset.....and out it came, tears and all. "I am overwhelmed. I can't do everything. I need a break. I NEED A BREAK. Look what happened to the dog. How am I going to get the babies' room ready? I have laundry to do. The kitchen needs to be cleaned and organized. What are the kids going to eat anyway? I should just stay home because there is so much to do.....but....**sob, sob, cry, cry**I need a break. You have to take me away and feed me because I need it."

He sat, quite taken aback I'm sure, very quietly and stared at me. Then as calmly as he could said, "You are a great mom. They love you, and I love you. Go get in the shower so we can get going. I will take care of you. You do a wonderful job of keeping the house going and keeping it all together. I can't believe you don't think you can do it all because you always do. And I love you."

Ok. Fine. I'll get ready. If you insist. **cry, cry** I don't know why it is so hard sometimes for me to just come right out and admit that I need help, or need a break, or whatever. I am so used to doing everything for everyone that sometimes, especially at a time like this - being pregnant and physically unable to do it all - I forget that it's OK to need help. The harder part for me still is realizing that it's OK to ask for it, too.

How do I ask for help when I am supposed to be the super strong one? Why is it so damn hard, and why do I wait so long to do it? Life would be much simpler if I would just let others around me have a hand in what goes on, instead of thinking I have to take care of it all myself - usually at the cost of not taking care of myself at all.

So, in case you're wondering, we did go to dinner. It was very nice, and I have lots of nice leftovers to chow on. I got some much needed alone time to talk with him about any and everything. I felt renewed, if even only for the evening. And it was much easier to see him off to work with a smile and a kiss knowing that he had also made time for me in his day.

The dog - well, he's still in bandages. We went in today again for a wound check and he's healing very well. The stitches can come out in a week and hopefully by then we can leave the bandages off.

I am also trying to keep the bandages off. Instead of staying wrapped up in myself and all the duties I think I deserve to have to do, I need to take it all off and humbly admit that I need help. Or a break. Or whatever else will make me feel more like a person and less like I HAVE to be everything for everyone.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Why Can't I Just Pay Attention?

Yesterday was the "end-of-the-year" pool party for one of the homeschool groups we belong to. Oh how my 8-year-old relishes the pool party. I remember being a child and feeling the same way. I could have lived in a pool, had God only given a protective outer coating to thwart the effects of chlorine on my skin. I loved to swim, to float, to feel that wonderful freedom you can only get by being totally weightless and submerged in water. It was amazing. My offspring have all inherited this love for the water. They have also inherited the itchy, dry skin, so we take many a precaution to ensure the outcome of our adventures are happy ones. I have thought often of investing in Gold Bond and Spectrum Fish Oil . Good stuff.

Of course, the excitement of the day to come was a little too overwhelming for him. The day began with him awakening well before my alarm went off to "let me know" that if we don't get up soon we "might be late". For a party that was slated for 10 to 3-ish. "Yes, my alarm is already set. Since you are up why don't you get yourself some breakfast," was my reply. Off he went and I snuggled back in with the rest of my sleeping brood: my sweet petite little flower and her handsome Daddy. It was about 9:30 am.

My alarm went off at 10 and I pushed the snooze button at least 3 times before I saw my Wobbers again. In he came at 10:30, out of breath, "Mom, I can't find my swim suit. I tore my room apart." "Did you have breakfast?" I asked. "No, but Mom!!- I can't find my swim suit." Oh the horror! Whatever will we do? How could I not see the utter woe of this situation. Why, of why, did I not understand the impending doom and why wasn't I hustling up to do something?

I informed him that he'd better go have breakfast since I told him over an hour ago that he needed to eat. He ran out of my room again.

In a flash, he was back, hands ice-cold from handling the glass, half-gallon milk jug required for him to have cereal. He placed said frozen appendage on my arm, startling me into consciousness and said, "Get up." Excuse me mister, are you the son I have raised for the last 8 years? The precious child I carried in my womb for 9 months? Do you really believe that I should follow your directions? Have you been living in the same house your father and I live in? How dare you, you little....!!!! While I would have liked to yell something along those lines in the most angry voice I could muster (come on, wouldn't you feel the same way, all warm and snuggly and sleepy being woken up that way?), what I actually said was, in the most restrained but firm tone I could muster, "Excuse me. You are not in charge. I will get up when I get up. Go and find your swimsuit and wait for me to get up and get myself and the baby ready. Or we can stay home, if you'd rather. You do not get to tell me what to do." At this point my dear husband rolled over and gave him a look - to which he responded to by promptly saying, "Yes, Mom," following my orders.

It continued like this for the rest of the morning. I will spare you the details, but just play those last few paragraphs over and over again for every other thing that needed to get done before we left: unloading the dishwasher, feeding myself and the baby, finding the suit (we never did...subbed a pair of shorts after much crying), finding an "it will do" combination for me to wear swimming, packing the bag with snacks, pool toys, and towels, convincing my little one she wanted to wear a swim diaper and her suit at the same time, and moving all said items and children to the car.

The arguments of what I was asking to be done, and how he thought they should have been done ensued throughout. I thought of threatening the inevitable, "Then we can just stay home." But, I wanted to go. I wanted to see the other moms that I haven't talked to in a month. I wanted to relax by the poolside. I wanted to socialize and snack and watch the kids play. I had to think of some other punishment. So I enacted an earlier bedtime and took away "playtime with dad", which is the PS3, for a few days.

On the way to the party, I explained to him his punishment. He understood, and even tried to put on the guilt by saying he probably wouldn't have any fun today anyway. Again, we can just go home crossed my mind, but I still wanted to go.

I had a "talk" with him. I told him not to reply - that I wasn't telling him anything because I wanted a response, or an excuse, that I just wanted him to listen. I told him he needed to trust me when I told him to do things, that he needed to understand that I had a plan, even if I didn't reveal the whole plan to him right away - just because he was getting one direction at a time didn't mean I had forgotten about him or the end result of what was going to happen. I reminded him that I know he thinks he can do it better than me, but I knew what was best for him. I explained that I loved him very much and had only the best intentions for him and our family. I told him how his ability to trust me and be obedient would make life much easier. I told him to always remember how much I loved him and how I would always lead him in the right direction, even if he didn't always agree with the path or plan I set before him.

As I finished my proclamation, I could not help but hear His words to me. I looked up into the heavens and with a resounding revelation I answered, "I know." For all He wants from us is trust and obedience. If we would just trust in His plan for us, if I would just trust that He has a plan for me, that He knows exactly where it will lead to even when I don't - life would be much simpler. If I could only understand that He knows the way, that my way isn't always right, and certainly isn't better. If I could see through the frustration and sorrow that sometimes seems to overwhelm me in life and look past it to the full plan He has set for me, that He knew even before I was born - oh how much pain and disappointment I could avoid. "In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will,"*. Why do I fight it so much?

Me and my boy, not so very different are we. Both of us thinking we have a better answer, a better plan, a better way. Not realizing the plan has already been set, already been played out. Not trusting in the One who is "The way and the truth and the life"**. Didn't He already tell us, "I am the light of the world. Whoever walks with me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."*** Why do I try to reason my way when His way is far superior and more glorious than anything I could ever imagine?

I guess I will always be child in His eyes. And I am glad for it. As a child, I can still grow, still learn, and everyday reinvest in the trust that will bring me to The Truth.

*Ephesians 1:11
**John 14:6
***John 8:12


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Need A Laugh?

Click here. But please, pee first. I will not be responsible for any damage to undergarments or chairs that results from reading that post.

On a still funny, but not quite the same note as above:

~Uncommon answers to a commonly asked question~

When people learn that this pregnancy I am carrying is our 5th child, most see the need to comment as such about getting "fixed", and don't you know what causes that, and yada, yada, yada. Here are some of my favorites and our favorite answers -

Dontcha know what causes that?
Yes, and we're darn good at it. OR
(In the most serious face I can muster) No, please tell us. OR
(Again, serious face here) Yes, and I keep telling him we should store our toothbrushes in separate rooms. OR
Yes. Why? Can't you get it right?

Are you going to get fixed? Or, better yet, When are you going to get fixed?
I didn't realize I was broken. OR
Never, everything seems to work fine to me. OR
Apparently nothing is broken.

Are they all yours?
No, we picked a few up at Walmart and then some at the grocery store. OR
What? What are you talking about? I don't know any of them. OR
Yes, they're all mine. Wait, where did that one come from? OR
Yes, and I have more at home.

Are you Catholic?
(Ironically here, the answer is yes, but I am always surprised to be asked this.)

I am glad it's you and not me.
Me too.

When are you going to stop?
We're going to keep trying until we get an ugly one. OR
When we outnumber the idiots.

Having that many kids is bad for the environment.
Really, and just who are we saving the environment for, pray tell?

Some other humorous answers I give......

We're just doing our part to stimulate the economy.

We're trying to build our own little army. (my favorite)

No, I am not on welfare. Thanks for asking.

Yes, I pay taxes.

Please leave a comment if you have more to add to the arsenal. The questions come often, and it is fun to mess with people's wee little brains with interesting answers.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sleep? No, Never Heard of It.

Last night, after I happily posted my first real bloggie-type post, I crawled into bed thinking, "Ah. It was nice to get those thoughts out. I should be able to sleep well." I said a few nighttime prayers, being especially thankful that I have been chosen yet again to bear new life into this world. I quietyly drifted off to sleep.

Some background on my sleeping arrangements. My Best Friend, a gorgeous hunk who happily takes care of us all, and I sleep together with our almost 2-year-old cherub. With my husband working nights and my being pregnant, I have lazily slipped into a bad habit of letting said 2-year-old sleep from 12AM to 12PM every day. Realizing after about a week of that nonsense that I didn't want to continue it, I have been working on getting her (and myself) up at a more reasonable hour. This has led to a more reasonable bedtime, which I am grateful for.

Except that it backfired on me. Last night.

As I easily wrote my post with everyone in bed, in my quiet little kitchen, at my cute little laptop, I happily mused at the idea of going in to join my two blond babes in a blissful night of uninterrupted contentment.

I will pause here whilst you stifle your laughter.

I know, I know. What was I thinking? I was thinking I had got my daughter into a good habit of sleeping from a normal hour to a normal hour. As in, she'd been asleep since around 9PM - I figured I had until at least 7 but more likely 8 or 9AM to sleep.


3:30AM. I thought maybe she just needs a few minutes of cuddle, given the previous evening's clinginess. Nope. She wanted, "Up. Eat. Up. Eat." So, we got up and ate. Breakfast. Then we hung out in the living room. Then she found her brother's DS and insisted upon playing it. So I waddled (Yes, I waddle. I am very pregnant.) into her brother's room to retrieve the wall charger and plugged it in so she could play. And I watched TV. (Hear really good fake, male, British accent here - )Did you know in less time than it takes to chop an onion you can scramble an egg, chop onion, tomato, and pepper, shred cheese and make the most tasty omelet ever!!!

Now you do.

There was a rather good actual program on National Geographic about the last days of Christ's life. It was rather interesting and educational. Just in case you find yourself up at 4am, CST, unable to quell your offspring to sleep, you will know that you may perhaps find something of interest besides a Ped Egg, or the Magic Bullet.

Finally, at 5:30AM she was asking for sleep. She wasn't really asking as much as carrying all the obvious signs that sleep was imminent lest I wanted to stay up while she became so cranky I started to pull my hair out. By 6, we were again a blissful unit of uninterrupted contentment.

Of course, she slept until 11. I was up at 9 - unable to ward off the urge to pee any longer, and unable to return to sleep due to the young one trying to stand up in my womb. Ah, the joys of motherhood.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Will It Be Enough?

Tonight, my family and I all went to watch my middle daughter's softball game. During the game, a friend of my eldest daughter brought over a wee little cherub she was babysitting. Being the almost 8 months along pregnant mama I am, I immediately gobbled up the little one due it its innate cuteness I politely asked if I could hold her.

Oh what sweetness! A six week old baby. New baby toes. New baby fingers. Toothless little mouth. Soft little fuzzy head. New baby smell. So narcotic to a pregnant mama who can't wait to see the blessing that awaits her in the months to come.

Apparently, however, I missed the look of disbelief sent my way by my almost 2 year old daughter. As curious as she was about the baby, as much as she wanted to hold the baby, as much as she wanted to kiss the baby and see the baby......I was NOT supposed to be interested in the baby. How dare I want to hold that baby when she was my baby.

At first her protests were simply to ask me, "Baby? Baby?" As in, "I want to see the baby. Put the baby down lower so I can see it." Then she progressed to, "Baby. Baby!" As in, "Put that baby DOWN and pick me up because it is in my spot!" Her little eyes quickly filled with real tears as I cuddled the littler one, and soon she was breathing in that short, fast pattern of "I am going to lose it in just a few minutes, do something quick so I don't start bawling".

I gave the new baby back to its keeper and picked up my own baby. How sweet she is too. Broke my heart to see her look that way. Of course she is my baby. Of course I love her as much as I could love anything in the world.

Which left me thinking - will my love be enough?

Will I have enough for them all? How will she feel when there is another baby here and she is one of two little ones? I have to admit, I have never encountered this before. The next one up from her is 8. He was 6 when she was born and very content with directions to find something to do when I was busy nursing his newborn sister. I have never had a baby and a toddler at the same time. You'd think with this being Number 5 I would have gone through this before, but no.

After the game she promptly feel asleep in the back of the truck (for all of you wondering why, why, why would this woman put her 2 year old in the bed of her truck!, I mean the back seat, where her car seat is). She slept through our after game dinner at a local restaurant. When she woke up on our way home - She. Clung. To. Me. Not just a little. Not as most two-year-olds do. Like the way a dryer full of synthetic fabrics tend to cling to each other. Like a dog clings to an open jar of peanut butter. Like plastic wrap clings to glass. Clung. To. Me.

I managed to pull her off long enough to remove her clothes and dump place her gently in the bath. After what amounted to all of 2 minutes, she was pleading, "Up. Up Pesss." Which of course, is "up, please." I picked her up in my favorite fluffy towel (read My Hair Towel) and toted her to living room to add a diaper before bedtime.

She did not want that whatsoever. No Mom, don't set me down. How could you even think about setting me down? You cannot really think that I am going to be happy with you setting me down? No I don't want a diaper. No I don't want to be let out of this towel. Yes, we can go to bed and wake up all musty and wet. It's OK.

Sure. Of course, I wiggled her into a diaper. She immediately mimicked the aforementioned synthetic fabric and clung to me, again. I will freely admit that she has been the most high maintenance need child we have. However, this was even a bit much for her. She did not let go. She never even loosened her grip a bit. Not as my large pregnant body pressed and pulled us both up from the floor. Not as I waddled us to the rocking chair. Not as I rhythmically tried to coerce her to sleep.

But sleep she did. Eventually. Still clinging. Still not letting up with the grip. Even. A. Little. Which really got me thinking, pondering, wondering, worrying. Will she be OK? Will she remember how important she is to me? Will it ever be enough?

It reminded me of this post which I was blessed enough to have read a little over a month ago. I wonder will my little petite flower react with sorrow, or amazement and wonder at our new arrival? Will she be hungry for me? Will she be contented by simply being able to be in my presence - not always being on me or getting the exact same attention she has always gotten? I pray for her.

I pray for me also. That I will be strong enough to know she is OK. To know that she will adapt. And she will still be happy. She will not feel abandoned, as I have felt in the past (more on that another time). She will know that she is loved. And she will thrive in the love we have surrounded her in, with our family, and with Him at the head of it all.



How in tarnation? For any of you who have a blog of your own and are not computer savvy so to speak, hopefully you will understand my frustration at not being able to change the appearance of my blog to just how I like it.

You can easily change things like font. You can move around the placement of things like "links", or the "About Me" section.

You'd think under the subtitle "Fonts and Colors" that you could also change the color of the background, layout, etc.? You'd think, right? Am I alone here? Alas, no. It's only for "Fonts". Period. As in Fonts and Colors of Fonts. That would be a much more helpful title.

Argh. I will have to try again later. Any one with directions will be rewarded with my deepest thanks.


So We Begin

After perusing many other wonderful thoughts and comments on everyday life, and some not so everyday life, for the last month or so, I feel it is time to add my own interpretation of the world for others to view, ponder, and comment on.

Quickly, as setting up this blog was a little more time-consuming than I expected:

I am a former WAHM, who is now a SAHM, pregnant with number 3, which makes number 5 for our family. Crazy as it may sound, on top of that I have begun college again (time number 3 or 4) in pursuit of a Certified Professional Midwife credential, recently legalized in my home state. Ironically enough, every time I go back to school, I become pregnant - so I wasn't too surprised when this little magical being came into my life.

I homeschool, not because I "always knew I would", but because the district in which we reside has proven itself to be unfit. And anyways, now that it has become part of our lives, I cannot imagine going back to the way it was with building school.

I have opinions on stuff, and enjoy hearing the opinions of others. The days seem to meld together sometimes and I hope this will prove to be a place of relief for my overwhelmed mental capacity.

Thanks for reading. Come back soon.