Sunday, September 30, 2007


As you can tell from a quick read of the ticker at the top, I am getting close to the end of the first trimester. I am praying that as the trimester ends, so does the pregnancy sickness, aka progesterone poisoning. The only thing worse than the first trimester is... well, the last month before delivery. And even that may be a toss up. This is also the longest gap we've ever had between babies. Lauryn will be 3.5 when the baby comes. So there is alot I forgot. Here is a short list of:


  • How awfully sick you feel for weeks and weeks on end.
  • How so many people have to pretend they are happy for you if this is baby number 3 or more.
  • How many people ask really, offensively nosy questions like, "Did you plan for this to happen?" or "What were you using for birth control?" I guess the latter is so that they can know what NOT to use.
  • How everyone assumes you are trying for a boy. This is especially amusing if these same people also assume it had to be an accident.
  • How food becomes the enemy. It either makes you nauseous, or you are all the time thinking about food as you try to determine what you can eat that won't make you too sick.
  • How awfully sick you feel for weeks and weeks on end.
  • How you forget that dizziness, faintness, and fatigue are also part of this whole pregnancy sickness stuff.
  • How much you hate the thought of maternity clothes.
  • How much you hate the feeling when the pants/skirts/shorts get too tight in the waist.
  • How you start thinking you might be feeling the baby ridiculously early with every tummy growl.
  • How hard it is to get used to other, umm, bodily changes. Like a bigger cup size when you are used to being, well, less endowed.
  • How hard it is to drink a normal amount of fluid a day.
  • How awfully sick you feel for weeks and weeks on end.
  • How messy the house gets when the kids are in complete charge of housecleaning.
  • How simple cooking becomes - no more elaborate meals!
  • How much money you spend at fast food places because it is inevitably the only thing that sounds edible.
  • How funny it is when the toddler talks about the baby in "mommy's 'tomach."
  • How life is turned upside down. Seems like everything gets put on hold "until I get to feeling better." In some ways, this aspect is worse in trimester one than it is postpartum. I always have more help and am usually feeling good physically after birth.
  • How your emotions can be much more sensitive than normal - you can cry at a commercial and get mad at the kids in a 60 second span.
  • Did I mention how awfully you feel for weeks and weeks on end? I should say, seemingly without end!
As this trimester closes, I am praying that it takes with it the nausea, dizziness, etc. It would be nice to have some energy back!

Friday, September 28, 2007

This is Hard

After three and a half weeks in the hospital, my grandfather was moved to a nursing home yesterday in his hometown of Abilene. Hospice has been called in and everything is set up the way my grandfather wants it. While we all know that his condition now requires 24 hour a day access to medical personnel, it was still a difficult decision for everyone. He continues to weaken, and much as it pains my grandmother, she can no longer provide the kind of specified care he requires. So my mother and father found a home, my grandmother approved it, and the wheels were set in motion.

Even though this was a situation that my grandparents had decided their response to many years ago (they both took out long term care policies), it is still very tough. The first part of the house my grandparents live in was built in 1946 by my grandfather. And I don't mean he had it built; I mean he built it with his own two hands and his own tools. It was built onto over the years as they had children. They added a den when my aunt was married and the reception was at their house. It was added onto again when grandchildren came along. Except for a brief hiatus in New Mexico of less than a year when my mother was young, my grandparents have lived there ever since 1946.

It saddens me that he will probably never see it again. His last memories of it will be the day my mom had to drag his chair out to the garage to get him in the car to take him to the hospital. He was too weak to walk the few feet that required. Even though she is not yet a widow, my grandmother must face the long nights at home alone in the bed they have shared for 64 years. There will be no more 6 am coffee pots for the two of them to share. I doubt he'll ever go through the doors of their church again.

My mom says this summer has been good in that God has used it to prepare all of us to say goodbye and let him go. But it is hard. Really, really hard.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's a High Price To Pay

Actual conversation tonight at Bible study between my five year old daughter Hailey and our pastor's daughter, 4 and a half year old Abby.

Hailey: Abby, do you know what is going to happen to us when we get grown up?

Abby: No, what?

H: Well, we can still be friends, but we can’t play anymore.

A: Grown-ups don’t play?

H: No, they just sit around and talk and drink things.

A: They do?

H (indicating the adults in the group, who were sitting around drinking coffee): Yeah, look at them.

A: But I still want to play!

H (shaking her head sadly): I know, but it’s just something we are going to have to deal with.

A: At least we’ll be able to write our names pretty like our Mamas.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A New Fashion Statement

This morning, as Aubrey was still needing to take breathing treatments from the nebulizer and her medicine was nearly gone, I called and asked the nurse what I should do. She told me, "Why don't you bring her in at 9:30 and let the doctor check her over again?" I looked at the clock. It was 8:45. It takes 30-40 minutes to get to our doctor's office. I gulped, "Sure." I came out and ordered all the kids to grab their shoes and get in the suburban, praying all the while that we made it on time.

Of course construction has traffic backed up at a time when the traffic is normally pretty clear. And then the suburban beeps at me to let me know I am low of fuel. Of course. I looked and was pretty sure I had enough to get to the doctor's office. There's a gas station not too far I could hit after. So I thought we were OK.

I finally turn into the parking lot with 10 minutes to spare. But then I hear a funny noise coming from behind me. I turned to look and saw Lauryn getting sick all over herself and the car seat. And of course, now that she's potty trained, I rarely take the diaper bag anywhere any more. So I had no towels, no blankets, no change of clothes, no nothing. I find a parking spot and pull in, grabbing some dried out wipes from the center console and start trying to clean her up. Her dress is hopeless, so I take it off of her. I went into the office to ask the receptionist for one of those gowns they sometimes make you change into. So that is why Lauryn walked around the doctor's office looking like this.

Remember, this is the same office that Aubrey threw up all over last week when I brought her. No telling what those ladies think of me. One poor nurse felt so bad for her that she took tape and tried to tailor this huge thing to her. She taped the back closed, taped pleats into the shoulder, and gave her a plastic belt to try to reduce the bulk. Think this will become the new style in toddler fashion?

We finally get into the waiting room, and as we are sitting there, I notice that Hailey has hives again all over her legs. So when we get back into the exam room, the doctor came in and asked what the problem was, I calmly told him that we were all falling apart. I just love our doctor because he completely understood.

(Oh, and everyone's OK. Because of Aubrey's "twitchy airways" it is just going to take her a few extra days of steroids to get over this. Lauryn evidently got car sick, and Hailey is fine with some Benedryl. Now if only chocolate didn't make me want to get sick!)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More Twitchy Lungs - Updated

I know I haven't posted in a few days, and I promise, we haven't (quite) fallen off the earth. Thursday morning, Kora woke Kelly and I up at 5:45 am. telling us that Aubrey was coughing and was having a hard time breathing. Kelly went to get her while I had a bit to eat - I keep food by my bed to eat before I even get vertical in the morning as this helps with the nausea.

Then I pulled out the nebulizer the doctor prescribed for us back in March when we all had had bronchiolitis. A breathing treatment helped get her breathing under control so we were spared an ER visit a 6 am. However, I did take her in to the doctor. She wasn't running a fever, but had a sore throat, heavy chest, and of course, difficulty breathing. When I called our doctor a minor miracle happened - I got her in that morning. Our doctor is closed on Thursday afternoons, so it's not always possible to get an appointment that day.

She was fine when we left the house, but by the time we got into the waiting room, she was gasping for air again. Fortunately they took us back pretty quickly. After getting her height and weight, Aubrey sat down to get her temp and blood pressure, when a very funny look crossed her face and then all of a sudden, she was getting sick all over the floor. I felt so bad for the nurses who had to clean it up, but they were very sweet and were much more concerned about Aubrey, who was paler than I have ever seen her, except for deep purple marks under each eye.

The doctor told us she had a very contagious respiratory infection that was going around pretty badly here in town, and that her vomiting was because she gulped so much air attempting to breathe. So we went home with prescriptions for steroids and antibiotics - and a basin just in case she got sick again.

Well, I have to say that our doctor always gives it to us straight - it IS very contagious. Yesterday morning Kora woke up having difficulty breathing and with a sore throat. Kelly and I have it as well, although not as badly. Neither one of us have had difficulty breathing (something I have been concerned about with my asthma) but have had sore throats, headaches, etc. So far the younger ones don't have it, but I am not taking any bets that it will stay that way.

So our household is even more topsy turvy than normal. The whole family is home from church, a rarity. On a funny note, our friends with all the boys have a couple of their kids down with the same thing. We also see the same doctor, who told my friend yesterday that my girls must have been "getting smoochy" with her son. :-) We got a good laugh out of that, but the girls didn't think it was so funny. LOL

UPDATE:Now Brynna has it as well as Kora and Aubrey. And I forgot to mention that Hailey has had hives the last couple of days. And we have no idea why. We are thinking we need to take her to an allergist, as this is not the first time this has happened. If the old adage is true, then it is definitely pouring around here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fabulous Five!

Happy Birthday to Hailey Christine!

Two years ago I sent out an email on Hailey's 3rd birthday that started off something like this, "We made it to Hailey's 3rd birthday and we aren't in jail!" Well it's hard to remember the little troublemaker she used to be. (Oh, wait, actually all I have to do is watch her younger sister and it all comes back to me.)

While she is still a drama queen in many ways - she cried buckets of tears this morning because Lauryn was lying the wrong way in the cave they had built - she is now quite the sweetie. She giggles and plays all through her days. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if she's not secretly dyeing her hair - she is so giggly and in her own little world that I would swear she is a blond at heart. :-)
Really, though, she is growing up so fast! I can hardly believe she is big enough to be counted among the more or less official scholars in the academy. She is working very hard at counting to 100 and is getting much better at sounding out 3 letter words. She loves barbies and horses (surprise, surprise), deer, dress-up, movies, and giggling with friends.

Happy birthday, Hailey!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Is it a quarter full, or three-fourths empty?

Happy Birthday to my hubby! I felt bad today, because, well, since I was feeling bad he got no special dinner, no cake. We had Sonic for supper and ice cream. Well, everyone but me had ice cream - I'm still having this really weird aversion to chocolate and most sweet things. But, his team gave him a pretty good present - the Texans beat Carolina pretty soundly, starting off 2-0. Who would've thought?

Hailey's birthday is coming up this week, and she wants a princess-y cake. I think I'm going to call HEB, even though I don't really like store bought cakes. Oh yeah, I won't eat any of it anyway, so what does it matter?

School has been trucking right along. There have been days when I have given spelling tests from a prone position on the sofa, but we have been keeping on keeping on. We are studying the Middle Ages this year. The last two weeks we were reading about the Vikings. This week we are going into castles and the feudal system. Fun stuff.

Kora's piano lessons are going well. She really likes her teacher, and is playing the piano even more. She is trying to play some hymns, even though they are really a little beyond her. But she can play the right hand on "Amazing Grace" and the soprano line of "Be Thou My Vision."

As I am now 10 weeks along - officially a quarter of the way through - I am hoping that this means I will get to feeling better soon. I haven't been feeling as bad in the last week or so as I had been. My midwife changed some of my supplements like my pre-natal vitamins, and that seems to have helped some. But when I say better, that is a relative term. I still don't feel great. Usually I come out of it at 13-14 weeks, but Lauryn's pregnancy sickness lasted until 16-17 weeks. I am praying that does not happen this time.

On a family note, my grandfather is still in the hospital. The pneumonia is gone, but he was still too weak and his breathing still too out of control for him to go anywhere last week. The doctor is hoping this week to send him upstairs to what is basically a rehab part of the hospital so they can help him regain his strength. However, the doctor said it would probably take a while for him to get strong enough to go home. In better news, my mother-in-law finished her radiation treatment this last week! She still has some gene therapy medicine that is injected through her port once every three weeks. She will finish that up by the end of the year. But she has enough hair to go without her wig now! Once the gene therapy is done, she'll still be looking at reconstructive surgery on the mastectomy site, and of course her 5 year drug. But for the first time in a year, she can start to look at life after cancer. I guess if she can survive that, I can get through morning sickness.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The House of Girls would actually be a great boys' house this week!

Or at least a boy's backyard. We have a lot directly behind our backyard that has been vacant for 4 years. After much debate about what to do with it, the latest word is that it is going to be turned into a nature preserve. So all this week, we have had front-end loaders, bulldozers, and various other "big twucks" as Lauryn calls them rumbling non-stop behind our house.

And I do mean non-stop. Starting at 7 am. Even two year old girls are evidently fascinated by "big twucks" as you can find her constantly looking out the windows. But man, oh man, wouldn't little boys be glued to the site. At present there are five machines of various utility pushing thousands of cubit feet of dirt around our lot. And yes, all the equipment in these pictures was actually moving when I took them.

So if your little boys disappear on you in the next few days, check for them in our back yard, gazing over the fence.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tortillas can be your (kids') best friend

I love tortillas. I usually have 3-4 kinds in my house at all times, sometimes more. Here are a couple of ideas for quick lunches that use these wonderful staples of a Texan's diet:

Pizza Burritos

Take a burrito size tortilla and spread a little spaghetti or pizza sauce around the center (keep a couple of inches away from the edge). For the simple version of this, add cheese (I use cheddar) down the center, sprinkle with a little Italian seasoning, fold and microwave one minute. If you are feeling creative or adventurous, use mozzarella cheese, onion, pepperoni, etc. Really, you can make it any flavor you want! My kids like these for lunch, and during college days, this would be supper many nights for Kelly and me.

Pigs in a Comforter

Take a hot dog wiener, make a couple of shallow slits on each side, and place it in the middle of a fajita sized tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese, and roll up, securing with a toothpick if needed. Microwave for 45 sec. - 1 minute. Dip into mustard and enjoy. Since the tortilla is so much bigger than the typical "blanket" of a pig-in-a-blanket, it reminded me of when my kids would roll themselves in our king size comforter. Thus the funny name.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Parenting Rule #249

When a woman is pregnant, she will never, EVER crave any food that is in her house at that moment.

I am living proof of that as I type. I started craving frosted flakes cereal tonight after I had changed into my pajamas and removed my contacts, and of course, after my husband had been snoring for 20 minutes. And do we have any frosted flakes cereal in the house? Of course not.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I feel like a broken record

these days, but it seems my life revolves around how I am feeling. I have had three pretty good days in a row, which is such a blessing. But I keep thinking there is no way this can last. And while this weekend allowed me to catch up on many things that have needed my attention, I am nervous about another school week starting. Plus, scouts starts tomorrow night and I am a leader this year in Hailey's group. Which means I have to gut it out no matter how I feel.

I just wish I could go to sleep and wake up at 15 weeks and feel all back to normal.

Yeah, right.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Knock, knock!

For some reason, knock-knock jokes are all the rage here at the Smith Academy. Some of the favorites are:

Knock, knock.

Who's there?


Who who?

Are you an owl?

And this one:

Knock, knock.

Who's there?


Ach who?

Bless you. I didn't mean to make you sneeze.

What makes Kelly and I laugh is when Lauryn decides she needs to get in on the fun. Only her jokes usually go something like this:

Knock, knock.

Who's there?


Pink who?

Pink pink! (This is then followed by Lauryn laughing hysterically, convinced she is terribly funny and clever. I guess she really is, because her laughing makes the rest of us laugh, thus perpetuating the cycle.)

Friday, September 7, 2007

I had been dreading today, but....

it turned out better than I had feared. We had a busy morning, and I had been very sick the last couple of days, so I had no idea how I was going to handle the morning.

Fridays are normally our library day. Today was also our day to pick up our basket full of produce from our co-op. Then I had to get Hailey and Lauryn to a friend's house (thank you, Carrie!) so that I could take Kora and Brynna to get their teeth cleaned at the dentist while Aubrey had a consult with the orthodontist (all in the same building). Whew. I'm getting tired just thinking about it. But, I am so thankful that the Lord gave me a good day. I did get nauseous at one point this morning, but I just pulled through the drive-through for second breakfast, and all was well. And the girls got to laugh at their mother for being a hobbit.

At Aubrey's last dentist appointment the dentist noted that she has an under-bite - instead of her top teeth resting in front of the bottom teeth, hers meet end to end. So she recommended that I get her in to the orthodontist in case there was anything he felt could be done to help correct this even before she gets braces. As she has only lost 8 out of 20 teeth, we are still a couple of years or so away from braces. But the orthodontist felt that we could just keep an eye on things at this point, and he'd see her again in six months. Good news.

While I was having all this fun, Kelly was at his ENT for a follow up appointment. He is going to have another "nose job" on the 25th of October. I don't understand all the details, but basically there are some filters in the nose and sinus cavities that are too big in Kelly, so the doctor is going to go in, break the little bones inside these filters and turn them down so they heal that way. This will make the bones smaller and will thus shrink these filters, hopefully opening up his breathing passages while still having the immune system defense. Doesn't sound like too much fun to me, but then again, not being able to sleep well is also no fun, and if this will help...

I also spoke to my midwife today, and got the ball rolling on that end. Looks like we will be able to have a homebirth after all! Because our insurance will not cover the birth fees at all if we homebirth, we had thought it might be better financially to deliver at the birthcenter, since we would only have to pay 40% of that. But I found out that the delivery fee is much higher at the birthcenter than it is for that same midwife to come to the house to deliver it, that it almost make up the difference. I was so excited to hear this, as I really wanted to have the baby at home. Sometime I need to post Lauryn's birth story, but suffice it to say, I am glad I didn't have to get in a car and go anywhere during her labor. And Kelly is very much with me on this - he was even more set on a homebirth than I was, so we are thrilled.

Well, since I am having a good day today I guess I need to get up and attend to at least one of the million and one things that are sliding around here. :-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Family Updates

My grandfather is improving. He actually has a little bit of an appetite and is feeling a little better. The antibiotics and steroids seem to be kicking in, but he's still pretty sick. They expect he'll be in the hospital through the weekend.

As most of you know, my mother-in-law is recovering from a very aggressive form of breast cancer. She has set up a blog on which she has recorded her journey through this. It is a very frank and honest look at what she's been through and how it has affected her, so pop on over and have a look.

You Just Gotta Live, Love & Laugh

Monday, September 3, 2007

My grandfather

had to be taken to the hospital again today. He has pneumonia and is so weak he couldn't even walk to the car to go to the hospital. It's just so sad to think of this strong man too ill to even stand. Of course, with his COPD, any lung problems are double as dangerous. Please pray for him and my mom and grandmother as they deal with him and this latest setback.

OK, I admit that

I was very caught up in the whole Princess Di thing as a child. I mean, come on, what little girl wasn't? This was a girl who married the guy she'd had posters of in her room as a teen. And he's a prince. What could be more like a fairy tale than that? I remember being so disappointed when my mom wouldn't wake me up at 3 am so I could watch the wedding live. Thankfully we did have a VCR by then, and she taped it for me. :-)

Of course we all know the ending to the fairy tale. The whole sad story is such a glaring example of what sin does to us all.

The reason why I thought this blog-worthy was the memorial service last week. I didn't even know about it ahead of time, but flipped through the channels and stumbled across it. I did get to see the address given by the clergyman. And I have to say that it saddened me that a man of the church proclaimed her sainthood, citing her charity work, her mothering skills, and her ability to inspire people to reach their own potential, or something to that effect. I have no knowledge of whether she was a believer or not, and am not trying to make that judgment here. I do say that the fruit of her life makes me doubtful, but this is beside the point. My concern was that the man of the church substituted his own politically correct reasons someone is a saint, rather than the words of the Bible. It doesn't surprise me, as this happens all the time. However this was a rather public example.

Very sad.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Husband points

My husband has been hard at work racking up husband points this week:

* He got out of the Hawaii trip for next month, because he didn't want to leave me here sick for two full weeks. He said it would have been no fun to go without me anyway.

*He has gone grocery shopping for me, went with me and the kids to the library yesterday, and has helped out with dinner a night or two (the other nights I either felt like cooking or we had dinner brought to us by friends).

*He has not said a word about the amount of time I have spent on the sofa (and believe me, that has been ALOT).

*Today at Sam's he bought me a box of DARK chocolate/peanut M&M's. He said I needed the protein.

He either really loves me, or feels really guilty about the state I'm in right now. :-) I am choosing to believe it's the former.