Thursday, March 30, 2006

She's Here! A Birth Story

I love reading birth stories, and I figure a blog is the perfect place to put one! Mom and I went off to my doctor's appointment Tuesday morning at 9:30. I was uncertain of what all would happen, but at least I wasn't feeling constipated! LOL! The office is actually connected to the hospital. When the doctor examined me, I was already almost 5 cm dilated, so she really wanted me admitted. She nicked my amniotic sac a little, just enough to make it trickle, and Mom and I went next door to the hospital. Bob went into work really early (5:00), so he had already worked his half-day by 10:00 and was on his way over. My labor nurse was prior Air Force, and she had delivered her first baby at the USAFA hospital, just like me! Small world! I got admitted and answered all the OB questions, and my doctor came back over around 11:30. This time she really broke my water with the hook, and then we discovered there was meconium in the fluid. I was pretty concerned, since Luke also passed meconium in utero, and he aspirated some during delivery. He had to stay several extra days in the hospital with a zillion tubes in him, and he had to be on oxygen for 3 weeks after we went home. I really didn't want all that to happen again, so we called people to ask them to be praying. They started an "amnio wash" on me, which I had never heard of before. Basically, it is a tube inserted into the uterus that puts saline solution in there to hopefully flush all the meconium out.

Sometime around the same time, the doctor started me on a little pitocin, since I wasn't having really strong contractions. Of course, that's a little deceptive, since I hadn't had really any strong contractions at home, and yet somehow I was already 5 cm dilated! In between my doctor's appointment and being admitted to the hospital, Mom and I walked out to the car to get my bags. There I drank my strong solution of raspberry tea, like I always do when I am in labor. I drink the tea during pregnancy to promote a healthy pregnancy, but for labor, I use 1 oz. tea in 1 pint of water, steeped for 30 minutes. This is supposed to help your uterus contract efficiently and help with the pain. It works for me, evidently. I never felt like the contractions were all that strong, until after 2:15 or so. The nurse asked me how far I thought I was, and I told her I thought I was at least 7, since I was starting to feel really flushed with each contraction, and I was a little shaky. So I was pretty sure I was in transition. She told me to tell her when I felt the urge to bear down, and then she would call the doctor to come over. Well, of course the feeling of rectal pressure was getting stronger, but I really like being left alone, and I didn't want to call the doctor over too early, so I probably waited a little too long to tell the nurse I was getting close. At about 2:45, I was laying on my left side, and I knew I was almost ready to push. The nurse had just called the doctor, who wanted her to examine me to see how dilated I was. I was over 9 cm, with just a small lip of cervix left on my right side. The nurse wanted me to turn over on my other side to get that lip away, but I knew there wouldn't be time for that. The next contraction I really had to push, so I panted through it. The doctor was on her way, and they wanted me to keep panting until she got there, but you know, what can you do. It's a strong urge! Plus, when I was in labor with Jonathan, I was laying on my side and felt a tremendous urge to push, and then I sat up (my choice actually--they would have let me push on my side but I didn't think I'd be comfortable with that, for some reason), and I never had such a strong urge again. And I felt like it was really hard to get him under my pelvic bone, and in retrospect, being on my side would have been better. So with all that in mind, I gave little pushes on my side while sort of panting while they took the bed apart, etc. I sat up and gave a big push, and she was already almost crowning, so my strategy worked! LOL! The doctor wanted me to scoot down to the end of the bed more, but again, there was no time for that, as the baby's head was pretty much right there. I pushed through another contraction or two, and the head came out. The doctor suctioned for awhile, then I gave a big push (I don't think I even had a contraction), and the rest of the body came out, and she was born at 3:09 PM. I will say that I think not being constipated made it so much easier, since obviously it is easier to push if there is more room and your rectum is not full! So no embarrassment on the delivery table, Pam! : ) I was glad to hear the doctor say that the baby actually was a girl!

The neonatalogist was there because of the meconium, and she whisked the baby over to the warmer to work on her. I was glad to hear the baby start crying, and the doctor say that it didn't look like she had aspirated anything. Praise the Lord for that! In the meantime, the doctor looked me over. I didn't tear or even abrade at all, so not much to do there. She and the nurse both told me that they wished everyone delivered like me! : ) My way of dealing with labor pain is absolute calmness, like some zen discipline thing, and I like being left alone, so I guess that makes the nurse's job easier. Bob was great about putting some counterpressure on my back while I was laying on my side, but that's pretty much all I want. I bought a new "Baby Blues" comic book to read during labor--nothing too deep and stressful, you know--and it was a nice distraction. So it was a pretty quick labor, and the Lord protected both me and the baby. Anna Claire was 8 pounds, 11 ounces, over half a pound smaller than Caleb and Jonathan! She was 20.5 inches long, and she has the same really long fingers and toes (and skinny feet!) that Luke has. Most people would consider her pretty bald, but for one of our babies, she has a surprising amount of hair! And she has a little fringe around the back that is somewhat long, making her look like a little old balding man when she's hunched over! She's a cutie, though. We'll try to post a picture sometime soon, although you know how good we are at posting those! LOL! Well, time to nurse again. More later, if I think of anything else!

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Big Experiment

Well, I am still here, and not in labor. I had a great time at my shower on Saturday. Elizabeth is a wonderful hostess, even though she wasn't feeling well AND had been up until after 1:00 the previous night with Amanda in the hospital, ruling out appendicitis for her!

My new problem is constipation. (Stop reading now if that little fact is too much information, LOL!) Even though I have been daily eating prunes, bran muffins, and other high fiber foods, as well as exercising, and drinking lots of water, nothing has helped these past 2 weeks. It was an unpleasant surprise to me when I starting having babies that whatever is stuck in the ol' bowel gets pushed out when you push out the baby, and I had a lot of problems with that when I went in to have Jonathan, so I definitely want to avoid that unpleasantness with this baby. It's quite inhibiting to this modest girl, LOL! My friend Christine had mentioned that she had some castor oil, so I did some research and decided to take it, not really to induce, but to relieve constipation. I took 2 Tbsp. last night, mixed with 2 Tbsp. orange juice and 1/2 tsp. baking soda (a trick I read about--the baking soda emulsifies the oil so it mixes in with the orange juice--it's still incredibly gross-tasting however). I took that little concoction last night at 6:00, fully expecting to be in the bathroom all night. Instead, I got . . . nothing. I would like to take this opportunity to award myself the "Iron Bowel" award, and thank all the people, such as my dad, whose genes made this feat possible! LOL! Seriously, I did not go to the bathroom once, so obviously I am a hard-core case. I did have some contractions last night, starting at about 9:00. They were fairly regular, but they were about 10 minutes apart, and they never really got closer together or much stronger. I went off to bed, and I had contractions through the night because I woke up a few times because of them, but by 5:00 in the morning, they had gone away. Oh well. This morning I decided to get serious with this constipation issue, so I took 4 Tbsp. of castor oil. I am awaiting further developments there. Who knew my bowel could be so stubborn?!

I went ahead and made an appointment with the doctor I've been seeing for the past several months for tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9:30. She had told me that she doesn't like to break amniotic sacs in the office (the other doctor prefers to), so she would try stripping my membranes again before considering anything else. I would rather try that, so I'm glad I could get in tomorrow. Further bulletins as events warrant . . .

Friday, March 24, 2006

Quick update

I had another appointment this morning. I'm still pretty much the same as far as dilation goes--3+ cm, but the baby has dropped some. The doctor thoroughly stripped my membranes, so hopefully that will cause something to happen, although I haven't even had a contraction after my appointment yet! Actually, I have a shower tomorrow afternoon from 1-3, and I really want to go to that, so hopefully things will start after that. Yes, I know--it's highly unlikely that this baby will cooperate and start coming when it's convenient for me! Oh well. There are several people in the general D.C. metro area that we have been stationed with before, and they are invited to the shower. I really want to see them and visit!

The docotr said that if I haven't gone into labor by Monday, then to call and make an appointment Monday morning for either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Then they will see if anything has happened, and consider breaking my water (the office I would go to is right next to the hospital). I would probably pick Thursday for that! But we'll see what happens in the meantime . . .

Monday, March 20, 2006

Why Latin?

While I'm sitting around, waiting for contractions to start, I've been reading the new catalogue from Memoria Press. I really enjoy their articles, and this month there is a great article by Cheryl Lowe (who is the author of "Latin Christiana", our Latin program) entitled "An Apology For Latin and Math". I've been looking for a concise argument as to why we are putting so much emphasis on Latin, and this article does just that. Here is a sample of the article, but I encourage you to read it in its entirety. It's not really very long.

Latin develops the intellectual powers of the mind as no other subject can. Think of physical fitness, a student who is an athlete versus one who is a couch potato. The mind can be developed like the body. How does Latin do it? The best way to understand the power of Latin is to consider something you are probably familiar with; namely, math.

Math is systematic, organized, orderly, logical, and cumulative. In a cumulative study, each skill builds upon the previous one, nothing can be forgotten, everything must be remembered. All knowledge and skills are interrelated. The student continues to build a tower of learning block by block, until he has reached a very high level of skills and knowledge.

Math begins with memorization, computation, fractions, decimals, percent, word problems, and proceeds to problem solving, algebra, geometry, trig, and calculus. Math is hard because it builds so relentlessly year after year through every year of the child's education. Any skill not mastered one year will make work difficult the next year. It is unforgiving. It has to be over-learned. That is why few students reach a high level in math. They reach a glass ceiling because the cumulative nature of the subject catches up with them. Eventually they are over their heads and quit.

How does math develop the intellectual powers of the mind? Math forms the mind of the student to accuracy, logical thinking, problem solving. It is formation, not information. Math truly educates, transforms, changes the mind of the student to become like math, orderly, logical, accurate, organized. The true purpose of education and all of the subjects we study in school is to develop, shape, and transform the mind and character of the student. The nature of the subject transfers its character to the student's mind.

What is special about math? Math is a language. A language is not really a subject. It is something much more basic and fundamental than a subject. Astronomy is a subject. The Civil War is a subject. Science, history, literature, government, and sociology are subjects. Subjects are by nature topical. Yes, there are basics to any subject, and ideally, they are taught in as cumulative a way as possible. If a student doesn't do well in world history one year, however, he can pick up and do fine the next year in American history. If he zones out during the cell structure, he can wake up and knock off an "A" in the classification system of plants. If he doesn't get Hamlet, he can tune in for Macbeth. Subjects are not as demanding as languages and thus will not produce the same caliber student.

Now what do we have on the language side of the curriculum that is comparable to and that balances the rigorous, challenging, cumulative, formative, study of math? Without Latin, the answer is "Nothing."

Math is important but it is secondary to language skills. In fact, math is dependent upon language skills. The math teacher teaches the concepts in words, and the mathematical symbols are used in place of words so they can be easily manipulated on paper. A truly educated person can be pretty lousy at math, because language skills are still the measure of the educated person, one who can speak and write with clarity and has power over his native language, English.

Latin provides the missing component in modern education, the systematic language training comparable to and balancing the mathematics side of the curriculum. Almost everything I said about math, you could have substituted Latin for, but not English, not science, not history, not French.

Why not English grammar? English is not a classical language; it does not have the structure and form, the logic and the rules. It would be like studying modern architecture or pop music, rather than classical architecture or classical music. English doesn't follow the rules. The Romans were disciplined and their language marched in columns, row after row like soldiers. English is lax and loose, bending and changing wherever it fit our fancy. We are an independent, liberty-loving people, and our language shows it. Languages reflect the culture of the people who speak them. The language influences the character of the people of a nation-and likewise is influenced by it.

Furthermore, students have a very difficult time studying their own language, which they use instinctively. Students have grown up with their own language. They take it for granted. They are bored by it. They are amazingly reluctant to analyze it because they can already put it to practical use. Beyond that, English grammar is abstract whereas Latin is concrete. In Latin, you know the direct object because it is in the accusative case. In English you have to figure it out based on the context. By teaching a language that is very different from English, the student, for the first time, really starts to see how his own language works. His own language comes alive.

I just love the comparison between Latin and math. Obviously I am a math person, and the one part of English that I always really enjoyed was the orderly part--diagramming sentences, seeing how everything fit together. And that is what I love about Latin too--it's just so darn orderly! So anyhow, for what it's worth. Something for you to think about!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Today's the Day!

. . . The day that Grandma and Grandpa get here, of course! LOL! Did I fool you? : ) We are all very excited, none more so than Jonathan, who has been asking every morning when he wakes up for the past 2 weeks, "TODAY Grandma and Grandpa come here?". He and Caleb were pretty excited when today I could finally say, "Yes!" We did a big cleaning sweep yesterday afternoon, and while we were vacuuming, Elizabeth called to see if we could have Bible study over at our house last night. Sure, the house is already almost clean! The boys did have to re-pickup the basement this morning, but I'm sure they wouldn't have traded the fun playing with all the kids down there last night!

I am so excited to tell you that I had a really good appointment yesterday, praise the Lord. I was so worried that the doctor would assume the worst about the baby's size from the ultrasound, but instead she breezed in saying, "Well, it looks like this baby will be more normal sized!" Well, I don't know about that--I feel like if I go until close to my due date, the baby will probably be around the same size as Caleb and Jonathan, but hey--as long as she's not worried, right? Because I'm not! When she checked my cervix, she said that I was definitely over 3 cm dilated now, and that it looks like my body knows what it is doing, so we should just let it do its thing. Great idea! One I am totally comfortable with! So it looks like she's not so gung-ho on inducing or anything right now, and I am feeling so much less pressure now. Thanks for your prayers. She didn't even strip my membranes yesterday, although I expect she will next Friday if I haven't gone by then. I'm fine with that though, and that will probably be close enough to my due date (March 28) that it would get things going. To be honest, next week isn't the most convenient time to have a baby! Bob has some pre-retirement thing all next week at Bolling, which is basically light-years away from here, D.C. driving-time, so it would be harder for him to get back here if I did go into labor. So maybe we can all just hang out with Grandma and enjoy ourselves for a week!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Random Thoughts

So I have actually been scrapbooking lately (isn't it amazing what things suddenly take great precedence in an almost-due woman's head?), and I am pleased to say that I am now less than a year behind. In fact, last night I did a page on the camping trip we took with the L's last May near Shenandoah National Park. As I looked at the pictures, I knew I was forgetting crucial details so I went back and found my blog entry on the trip. Well, I liked what I wrote so much that I just used the first 2 paragraphs as my journaling! I know you are all proud at how I am using technology for my own benefit. It was fun to look back on that trip though--what a great time!

Caleb had a doctor's appointment yesterday, and Bob took him in. That was so nice. When Caleb was maybe 1 1/2 years old, he started having problems with his toenails. By that I mean they got really thick and kind of split away from the skin, and the skin on the end of his toes got really hard and cracked, almost like it was a part of the toenail. Weird. So I took him in to the dermatologist at Wright-Pat who told me that it was not some odd fungus or anything, but rather a condition related to his eczema. He gave it a name and showed me a picture and description in a big dermatology book, but I didn't write it down, and I can't figure out what it was, since my google searches of things like "eczema related toenail problems", etc. haven't yielded anything. And of course, the Air Force lost Caleb's records (well, all of ours, actually) when we moved here, so I can't look it up. His toenails have gotten really bad again, so I made the appointment, hoping to get at least a name so I can search myself for remedies. You may remember how frustrated I have been at not being able to communicate with the doctors at the clinic we have to go to, so this time I typed out a page of my concerns, Caleb's history, the meds he takes, etc., and Bob said that really worked well. We didn't get any help for the condition, but we did at least get a consult for a dermatologist at Bethesda, which we'll hopefully see the end of April. I also wanted a consult for an allergist, since he hasn't seen one since Feb. 2004, but the doctor said Caleb didn't need to see one since they wouldn't do anything. Well, I still think he needs to see someone on a more regular basis, just to make sure we're taking the right meds and managing his asthma well, but I will jsut wait until he has an asthma flare-up, take him again to the clinic (hopefully seeing a different doctor), and then see if I can get a consult. This doctor did say Caleb could stop taking his daily dose of Zyrtec, and only use it when needed, so that will probably help him with some of his sleep issues--maybe he won't be as drowsy. I am hesitant to take him off it right now, however, because he usually has a lot of problems in the spring with his asthma. Maybe in June. Anyway, Bob has volunteered to take Caleb to the Bethesda appointment too, which is a big relief. There is something about having the active duty officer present, as opposed to the frazzled pregnant woman with 3 other kids as well as the patient to deal with, that makes doctors respond better and be more helpful!

Today we ran a few errands after lunch. One of them was taking back a onesie I got at my shower. I felt ungrateful, but it was one of those that had "Girls rule; boys drool" in big letters across the front, and you know, I just don't want to go there in our family. When the boys saw it, they all immediately said, "NO! BOYS rule; girls drool", and I told them that both genders are equally important, and boys are to treat girls respectfully no matter what. No one "rules", that's for sure, and there will be no gender wars in this family! I knew where it came from, so I took it back. Oh well.

We're going to go as far as we can in school before the baby comes, so we haven't really slacked off there. Once the baby comes, we'll take a break form formal schoolwork, and Nathan and Luke will start working through their Spectrum test practice booklets, to help them review for the Stanford Achievement Tests, which they'll take the beginning of May. Also, Nathan wants to learn how to type, and I have the Typing Instructor Deluxe CD from Timberdoodle, so he's going to work on that. Maybe Luke will too, if he is interested. We'll probably keep reviewing Latin too, especially the vocabulary. We actually took a review week this week, and I made up several review worksheets for them to do. We've learned the first 2 noun declensions (which is more like 3, because the second declension has both masculine and neuter nouns, and their case endings are different), and Luke was struggling a little bit to keep up. Each declension has 5 cases, and the endings are different for singular and plural nouns in each case, so it can definitely be confusing--a lot to memorize at the very least! But I love Latin. I so wish I had learned this at a younger age. It's just so logical, and it really cements grammar concepts. Plus, their English vocabulary has expanded, as we learn derivatives of Latin words. Another thing that has been hard the past 2 weeks is that their vocab words were all new (usually there are a few each week that they learned last year in Prima Latina), and there were several of them that had no English derivatives, so they were hard to remember (like "oppidum", which means town, and "tergum", which means back). So I thought another week to review those words would be good too. Next week (if I don't have the baby, of course!) we are on to adjectives, and I think the boys will be glad to get away from Latin nouns for awhile!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Today I had the ultrasound that was supposed to determine whether or not this baby is big. Well, the whole thing took forever, and I really don't think there was any useful information gained whatsoever.

The ultrasound was done at an actual radiology place, not at the doctor's office. I parked in a 2 hour visitor parking spot, thinking that would be way too long, but as it turned out, I was there for only about 10 minutes shy of 2 hours! After my name was called, I had to go back to a little changing room, take off everything except my bra and shoes, put on one of those lovely paper gowns that fasten up the front, and then sit in another waiting room with other people similarly attired. At least we all looked similarily awkward, as we clutched our gowns together, trying not to have them gape. (And let me tell you, it is not easy to keep those gowns closed over a 38 week pregnant tummy!) Humiliating.

Finally I was called back to the room with the ultrasound machine, where I had to wait for the person to do the scan. She finally came and was very nice. I have a renewed respect for ultrasound technicians who can make sense of what they are seeing! I thought it was hard on a 20 week baby, but I could hardly make anything at all out on one as big as mine! The baby was not cooperative at all. She (?) wiggled around the whole time, but she had her knees firmly clutched together and so we never could see her crotch at all. So no confirmation at all on the whole girl thing. Oh well. I'm still debating as to whether I will actually wash all those new girl clothes I got from the shower before I have the baby. Hmmm.

The tech did measure all the things she needed to measure, and the weight estimate came up as 7 pounds 10 ounces . . . give or take 18 ounces. That's over a pound leeway both ways! How helpful can that really be?! So I am sure that the doctor will see that as really big and pressure me into an induction, which I don't want. Must. Practice. Saying. "No, thank you". In a polite, firm voice. *Sigh* Actually, the whole thing was discouraging. Obviously this baby is not tiny, and even if I don't have any problems, it's still not fun pushing out babies over 9 pounds. I guess I am praying that I will go into labor naturally fairly soon, but I don't really have much hope of that happening. It seems that going early is a Colorado thing for me, as is having smaller babies.

After the technician did the scan, I had to wait a (long) while longer for a doctor to come and check everything out. She basically did another scan (baby still very modest), and she said everything was "well within the realms of normal, size-wise." She did say that I have a lot of amniotic fluid. That level was still "normal", but just on the higher side of normal. I had a lot with Jonathan too. The baby's head is down, and everything looks good. The measurements were just a little bigger than my estimated due date. I am technically 38 weeks today, but the baby measured 38 weeks, 4 days. That's not too far off though--it doesn't change anything.

So there you have it--no new information, just more possibilites to worry about. And the looming thought of having to be induced, where you spend the whole day lolling around uncomfortably in bed while nurses try to keep the stupid heart rate monitor on the baby, who gleefully moves around all the time, making it beep. And where going to the bathroom is something to look forward to, since you can be disconnected from all that junk, even though it is a total hassle to drag the stupid IV thing around. Grrrr. I would so much rather spend the first while at home, free and comfortable, only showing up when I'm almost in transition, where I don't care if I have to be in bed.

Attitude Issues

We've been dealing with a lot of bad attitudes lately. My friend Beverly posted an entry on her blog a few days ago about her struggles with her kids in this area, so I know it's not just me, but still . . . it's been quite overwhelming. All the boys are dealing with some big issue right now. I suppose I could just blame it all on the upcoming changes, etc., but that wouldn't really be accurate. More likely is the fact that I am big and bulky, and I haven't been responding as I should to them. Here's a rundown of some of the big issues:

Jonathan: has started giving us problems going to sleep at night. He actually started this several nights before we moved him into his big bed, so it's not that. He will lie down for awhile, then burst into loud, noisy tears, the kind you might cry if you suddenly fell out of bed or discovered your teddy bear was missing (and you are 2!). But there is never any problem, and he will do this 3 or 4 times before finally settling down. We've started a "zero tolerance" policy on this one, and last night there was only one incidence, so maybe we are on the right track here. But that leads us into Caleb's problem . . .

Caleb: has become very crabby and whiney. It's so different from how he normally is. He doesn't want to go to AWANA, and last week he didn't want to go to Sunday School. He cries at the drop of a hat, and makes a big production out of everything. His reason for the bad attitude? Always "I'm tired". Now I think there is actually some validity to this. Caleb doesn't take a nap anymore, but he needs a good solid 12 hours of sleep at night, which he is not getting because of Jonathan. Not only is Jonathan not going right off to sleep, but he also wakes up a lot earlier than Caleb normally would, which has only become a problem since they started sharing a room. I've instituted an hour long in-bed (in my bed) rest time (no books or anything like he would normally get). He doesn't like it, but I've explained that little boys who are constantly tired must get more rest, or else not use that as an excuse. I am contemplating putting him to bed earlier than Jonathan and the other boys, but I just haven't seen how that would practically work right now.

Nathan and Luke: I would just call their problems "general bad attitude issues", but there has been a lot of bickering lately. Luke certainly knows exactly how to quietly push Nathan's buttons, and Nathan responds so predictably. He starts talking higher and faster, in a voice that sounds as if he is going to burst into tears at any second. He gets very loud--totally unhinged, it seems to me. In a nutshell, no one is honoring the other before himself.

So there you have it. Whew! And I'm sure you can imagine that my responses are not always "full of grace, seasoned with salt" (Col. 4:6), as they should be! In my Bible -reading time, I'm in First Samuel, and I've been struck again by how many times godly men of the Old Testament did not leave sons who carried on a godly legacy. Eli is a good example, as his sons were "very wicked men" who stole choice offering parts, slept with the temple women, etc. Eli got a harsh indictment from God in I Sam. 2:29b "Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves in the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?" The Lord told Samuel in 3:13 "For I told [Eli] that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restain them." So Samuel had that to look back on, but what about his sons? He appointed them to be judges to replace himself, but as 8:3 says, "His sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice." And the people of Israel used this as thier reason to ask for a king instead of God in 8:5 "They said to him, 'You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.'" How crushing that must have been to Samuel to hear that, and to know that he was partly to blame, since he was not leaving a godly legacy in his own sons! For sure, Samuel did not receive the same rebuke or judgement from God that Eli did, and adult children certainly have the abililty to choose agaisnt God, but I'm sure that Samuel constantly thought back to his sons' childhood and wondered if there was more he could have done to train them to have a godly character. Maybe not spend so much time away from home each year or something? Who knows. What I do know is that I do not want to be accused of honoring my sons or myself more than God by not correcting disobedience when I see it, even if it is not comfortable or convenient to do so.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bad Baby Names

I was innocently reading the Well Trained Mind board, and I came across this link for Bad Baby Names. It is absolutely hilarious. It's making me reconsider "Anna Claire" (not). Here's a sample of a post and a comment from Part VI: When You're in Love, the Whole World is Welsh:

if i had a little girl i would name her Catatonia Calliope. catatonia meaning
catatonic or in a coma and calliope meaning beautiful voice. i know its a tad
odd but i like it!

(Comment) See, it means she has a beautiful voice. With no brain activity. And drools and
needs a catheter. And is played at circuses!

Here's another sample, again helpful since we haven't decided on a back-up boys' name:

I am 7 months pregnant, and I am having a boy. I think i'm going to name my son
Kakinston ,, What do you think... ??

(Comment) Besides sounding like a former Central Asian Soviet republic bordering
Uzbekistan, it aids small bullies immensely, starting the kid's name with KACK.

LOL! This is a site you can go crazy with! For all of you who might be having a child in a few years, there are LOTS of "creative" options here!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Last night we finally moved Caleb's bed into Jonathan's room, and the first night went quite well. I heard them talking and giggling around 8:00 this morning. I went in, and Caleb beamed, "Now we're just like you and Daddy and Nathan and Luke!" LOL! I guess they were feeling left out, not having anyone to talk to in the mornings! I think the whole situation will work out well--it's quite convenient to have all the boys in just 2 rooms. I'm still on the lookout for nice bunkbeds, preferably with a full on the bottom and twin on top, but for right now, Jonathan is doing well on the futon. And Caleb is not really ready to be on the top bunk, no matter what he might tell you!

This week, you may recall, was also supposed to be the week that I started Jonathan wearing underwear, but I just can't do it right now. I guess I'll blame the pregnancy, but I'm not multitasking real well, and it just seems overwhelming to think about having to remind him to go potty and also change clothes in case of accident. I'm just feeling so ungainly and large that I don't want the bother. On the plus side, we had a great day of school today, and I want to get in as many of those before the baby comes and we take a break! Stopping all the time for potty breaks would definitely put a damper on that, not to mention me having a hard time popping up and down off the couch!

Overall, I really am feeling pretty well--just large, as I said before. I carry so low and so right out in front, that all the pressure is right on my pubic bone, which always aches in the end. That's really my big complaint right now. Everything else is fine. I'm sleeping well too, and all my exercise has helped me not have much back pain unless I really stand a lot during the day. But I'm still tired, with not much energy. If I exercise in the morning, do school, and then do something else after lunch (run an errand or something), then I am just pooped. Dinners have not been too inspired lately. I'm also getting crabbier, unfortunately! Oh well, about 3 more weeks . . . Hard to believe.

Monday, March 06, 2006

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like . . .

. . . a baby is coming sometime in the near future! We had a very productive weekend. Our friends Ed and Brian came over Saturday to help us do a complicated furniture-swap. Now the futon is in Jonathan's room, the crib is in the old futon room (which is going to be where the baby sleeps), Caleb's dresser is in Jonathan's room, Jonathan's dresser is in the baby's room (since we use it for a changing table), and the computer desk is in Caleb's room. Tomorrow night we're planning on moving Caleb's bed into Jonathan's room, and they'll be roommates like Nathan and Luke, something that makes everyone very excited. Hopefully that will still translate to lots of good sleep! So Jonathan had been sleeping his big boy bed since Saturday, and he's been doing just fine. In fact, he likes to tell me that he's tired and then go up to his bed and just lie there. I think the real thrill in that is that he can suck on his binky. I still haven't taken away his pacifier, although he only has it while sleeping. If it seems like he's wanting it during the day after this first bit of novelty has worn off, then I'll just put it up on a shelf--out of sight, out of mind! He looks so cute and tiny in that double bed though.

After church on Sunday, the ladies there had a little shower for me. We went out to lunch at a nice Italian restaurant close to the church. Frankly, I was more excited just about the chance for good grownup female conversation than about the possibility of presents! It was really a lot of fun, and I did receive many nice girls' things. I'm not going to wash any of them until after the ultrasound on March 14, though! I haven't had a shower since Luke was born, so it was just so nice if them to think of it for me! The restaurant was great too--one of the ladies brought a cake from Costco (the kind with strawberry filling--yummy!), and our waiter made the way-extra effort of drizzling strawberry syrup on each dessert plate, then putting the slice of cake on that, putting a dollop of whipped cream next to it with a real strawberry on top, and then drizzling that with chocolate syrup. Wow! And there was no extra charge for it! Pretty fancy!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Doctor's Appointment

I had a doctor's appointment this morning. I was 36 weeks on Tuesday, so it's getting closer, and now I have to go back every week. Bleh. It's hard to get excited about something that messes up our routine so much (as well as the routine of whoever is watching the boys for me!), and is so anticlimactic. I mean, what are they really going to be able to tell me each week?! "Hey--your baby is moving, and you are measuring just fine!" That's pretty much what she said today, although she did confirm that the head is down. She checked my cervix for some reason, and I am proud to be 2-3 cm dilated, 20% effaced, and soft. Of course, since this is #5, I've probably been that way for the past 2 months! The doctor is concerned because my last 2 babies were 9# 5 oz and 9# 6 oz respectively, so she definitely doesn't want me to go past my due date (sorry, Mel--I think an April Fool's birthday buddy for you would be great, but oh well!). In fact, she wants to schedule an induction right around my due date (March 28) in case I haven't gone into labor by then. Of course, I am less than enthused about that, so hopefully it won't happen. I'm going to "push" (ha, ha, what a punny) for no earlier than my due date, if an induction has to be scheduled. I mean, I haven't had any trouble at all pushing out my big babies, and it didn't take very long--maybe 30 minutes or so for them. Nothing got stuck, and I didn't tear or anything, so I am not concerned. The doctor wants me to have another ultrasound, this time at an actual radiology place instead of at her office. This is scheduled for March 14 at 2:00. I have never heard any stories about ultrasounds at the end being accurate for weight estimates, but I have heard plenty about how they are totally off! So I am not holding much to whatever estimate comes out of the ultrasound, and hopefully it will not err on the side of estimating too big, pushing the doctor towards inducing me earlier. We'll see what happens. . . This is where I start to really wish I had a midwife!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Commissary Report

Time Spent (Round trip)-- 3 and 1/2 hours

Cost-- (a new record) $664.78

Carts--2 filled completely to the top

Total Number of Boxes of Cereal-- 32

Potty Breaks in the Store-- 2

Total Number of Brown Paper Sacks That Barely Fit in the Minivan-- 40

Things Broken During Unloading at Home-- 1 jar of beef bouillion cubes, due to bag being to full and the bottom bropping out. Amazingly, I was able to catch the jar of pickles!

Number of Splinters Incured While Cleaning Up Said Jar of Bouillion-- 1

Amount of Chocolate Eaten to Fully Recover From the Whole Thing-- Enough to make me not want to weigh in tomorrow at my doctor's appointment!

Dinner Tonight-- Bob brought home Boston Market. What a guy!!

Is everything put away in its proper location? Ha! Make me laugh--am I Superwoman? All that is put away is the cold stuff. Tomorrow is another day! In the meantime, any burglar that tries to get in through our laundry room will find himself knee-deep in cereal boxes and canned goods. LOL!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


We have our new refrigerator! It came about 6:00 tonight, to much rejoicing and excitement. It's big, it's silver, but most importantly . . . it's cold inside! It's one of those new stainless ones that have a special coating sprayed on to "repel fingerprints" and also to be magnetic, so we do not have to give up our magnet-dependent lifestyle just to look "cool". I have to move everything into it tonight after the boys go down, and tomorrow we are off to the commissary to restock. This will hopefully be the last time I go before the baby comes (well, maybe I'll go one more time, as I think that through), but anyways, this is going to be a big trip. My list is a mile long!

Also, since this is such a happy post, I want to let everyone know that the surgery for Amy's dad went really, really well! The doctor said there was actually less damage than they had thought, praise the Lord. He'll be in the hospital for 4 or 5 days, Amy said. Thanks for praying!