Monday, September 1, 2014

The beginnings of the gown...

In my extra sewing time, little by little, I've been working on making a baptism gown for the new baby.  These pictures, which are totally washed out by my flash, don't quite do it justice, but I still wanted to share.  It also doesn't quite fit on the kid hanger that I put it on, which make the shoulders look not quite right... but here it is.  

I used Patch's gown as a pattern and laid it out and traced each piece of the top to get an idea of the sizing of the sleeves and front and back and measured out the bottom to get an idea of how fabric to use for the rest of the gown.  I made one pattern out of fabric to keep and then copied it to make this gown.  

Surprisingly, the white cotton that I grabbed off the shelf in my room (I believe it was described as "satin cotton" when I bought it months and months ago) was the exact same cotton used in Patch's gown.  And after measuring out the pattern and the gown I had the perfect amount of fabric.  I still need to sew buttons on the gown, and I'm going to sew a slip and a matching jacket, but here's the main part.  


I found, as I was coming up with ideas for this gown, that I'm actually pretty picky.  I went through pages and pages of photos of boy's baptismal gowns and none of them were quite what I had in mind.  I love the gowns over the suit style, and I like the Peter Pan style necklines over the point suite type necklines, but I really like the plain, simple neckline over both of those.  And I'm okay with a little bit of lace.

I also followed the example of Patch's gown and used a single layer of fabric for the top part of the gown skirt and then doubled over the bottom half and carefully sewed a double layer that gives the lower part a bit more weight.

I hand-stitched the sleeve hems and the lace and the top and bottom of the waistband... hand stitching is so relaxing to me (like knitting!):


Here's a close up of the lace.  Everything I used for this I already had in my sewing room.  The only extra that I'll need is small buttons because all of my white buttons are much too large:


I held it up to Patch's old gown after it was finished and it looks like the sizing is still on and it should fit!  Time will tell!


You might be wondering why I've made another gown for the new baby.  The reason might seem a little bit silly with a perfectly good gown in the closet.

I've always loved the idea of having the kids' baptism gowns framed in a shadow box.  I have had this picture in my head of having one for each of our children that includes a picture of them in the gown from their day in a neat little case lining one of the hallways in our (someday) house.

It's been such a special idea that we've managed to make it work so far, but I knew there was no wiggle room at all in the budget for a new gown this time around... and I thought that after the thousands of hours I've spent sewing over the last few years I could probably pull of making a gown now.  So I started planning and so far I'm happy with the results!  Hopefully the jacket is as easy to make!  It's silk and while I actually have quite a lot of white dupioni silk (and I'll definitely be making a mock up in cotton first) it will make me a little bit nervous using it on such a big project!

Because Ignorance Isn't Bliss...

I always wince when I hear someone start of a phrase or comment with the words "no offense" or in today's case "I hope this doesn't come off as condescending or rude..."  The thing is, when you start out that way, there's a pretty high probability that you already know that what you're saying is probably pretty rude, but you're giving that disclaimer as though you really believe that it will somehow make an entirely rude statement socially acceptable.

Sometimes I feel like I need to let the people who use these disclaimers in on a little secret, although I doubt it will actually change one iota of the advice they feel the need to unleash on the world around them:  Saying those words, doesn't change what you're actually saying.  It doesn't make it any less rude or condescending.  It just lets the person you're talking with know that you know that what you're saying is rude, but that you've decided to drop your filter and say it despite that little voice in your head that's telling you that maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't.

But what do I know?  I'm a stickler for manners and I'm also hugely hormonal as we roll through the third trimester and being in quite a bit of pain pretty much all the time these days, lowers my filter quite a bit and makes me far more likely to turn into a mama bear when someone says something along the lines of "well I may not be talking about your kids specifically when I say they're not smart and un-athletic and unpopular but I think that generally when parents say that they're kids have a diagnosis that's what's really going on."  

And then it takes all of my self control not to use the word ignorant 50 times in the next paragraph because it's really the only word that comes to mind and Third-Trimester-Me has a really, really difficult time not responding to the aforementioned rude comments in kind.

Then I stop and take a deep breath and try to remind myself of why I do write about some of the struggles that our family has faced.  In the beginning it was because I was scared out of my mind.  I knew nothing about autism when Mae got her diagnosis and suddenly I was seeing the words "severe" in the papers I was receiving and seeing that she was developmentally not reaching any of her 18 month milestones at 3 years old and I was panicked.  I only knew stereotypes and that our lives were drastically about to change, that suddenly we had a social worker and we were arranging for there to be therapists in our house six days a week and it felt as if the world was turned upside down and shaken a few times and nothing would ever be the same again.

Later I would realize that things were different, but a wonderful kind of different because we were receiving the tools to help our daughter and she was receiving the tools that she needed to communicate with us in far more ways than had previously been available to her and while we've certainly had highs and lows, I find myself amazed each and every week at how much she's accomplished in the last ten months since the doctor first told me "I am a hundred percent certain she is on the autism spectrum."

So in the beginning I wrote because I was afraid and writing is how I deal with hugely unavoidable emotions.  It's how I process things.

But then I began to get notes and emails thanking me for sharing our story and telling me that Mae had always reminded people of their own child and that they'd gone in to see their own doctor after reading about her diagnosis and sure enough their child was on the spectrum and was now receiving services.  And my eyes fill up with happy tears just writing that because I know what a difference outside help can make when you are trying to figure out what on earth is going on.

I also write because I like to think that in a little way it helps dispel the darkness that is associated so often with autism and because I don't want the voices that my daughter hears when she grows up to entirely consist of people talking about stamping out what is at very basic level, the way that her brain processes information.  I write because while we've certainly had our share of challenges those challenges have made the high points shine all the more brightly and have made the triumphs far sweeter than they would have been without those lows.

That's also why I began writing about Sadie's two diagnoses.  A lot is said about ADHD, but I feel like Sensory Processing Order, with it's non-inclusion as a diagnosis at the moment in the DSM-5, gets short shrift, and I've watched as parents who receive that diagnosis for their child struggle to get help (and the part of the comment that said that there are resources for everything shows how little you actually know about this world because people struggle to get help for years and just... don't...).

That's part of why I've shared a tiny bit about Sadie's body's difficulty processing vestibular information. To dispel the ignorance that surrounds these acronyms.  Because this little girl I see growing into a more and more amazing person every day is smart (way above grade level in math with a vocabulary that will knock the socks off most adults and a tendency to sprout off scientific facts at random times as they pop into her head), she's social (she's the one that goes over to the kid no one is talking to and gets them to play), and she's helpful (for the past week she's been cleaning the entire downstairs of our house by herself, without being asked, because she's seen how hard it is for me to do things these days and she's just a super helpful little kid).  And none of those things mean that she doesn't need a little bit of help since the way her brain and body process sensory information isn't quite right.

With Mae I've witnessed first hand how it can be dangerous and how it isn't just a kid being "a little different."  I've seen her hit by a larger child swinging high on a swing and thrown about ten feet to land in the dirt on the playground.  I ran to her, my heart in my throat, as she got up and started to laugh.  It was the first sign that really got me worried.  If I'd known then what I know now I probably would have taken her straight to the ER.

I'm sure that more kids are diagnosed with all sorts of things these days.  I'm also sure that there are more diagnoses of all sorts of diseases across the board because we have better technology to identify them than we did a hundred or fifty or even twenty years ago.  And who knows, maybe someday we'll find out that there are other reasons that these numbers have increased and we'll realize that maybe it isn't a great idea to tinker with our food sources and genetically modify just about everything we put on the shelves in our grocery stores (but that is a subject for it's very own post, and this one is already on the far-too-long side).

However I won't be convinced that the fact that diagnoses are more frequent means that they aren't real or that the children who receive them shouldn't be helped.  In fact I wish that more help were available. I wish that waiting lists weren't a year long and that kids didn't linger on them as years when they could be receiving help ticked by.  I wish that schools and counties had the resources that they needed so that therapists weren't overloaded and left with huge wait lists of kids that needed help.

I don't know.  I've met plenty of parents and most struggle with the idea that there is anything wrong at all with their child.  It's not easy to take that first step, to make that first call, to go to that first appointment.  It's harder still to receive a diagnosis, even when you were expecting it, even when receiving it turns out to be the very best thing that could have happened because now you're in a position to learn and advocate and help your child.

I've yet to see a diagnosis used as an excuse for one of my children.  I see it as a tool.  I see it a starting point to seek knowledge and to learn, so that I can help them to be the person they were created to be.

These are cases where ignorance isn't bliss and knowledge is power.  When you speak, ignorantly on this subject, you just make it more difficult for parents who are struggling to understand the children God has blessed them with, to get help. You shame them into thinking that they should be able to do more, should be able to beat their child into submission if they just spank them hard enough or lock them in there rooms for long enough.  It's an ugly, ugly lie and it can damage lives if parents buy into it.

Try not to perpetuate that lie by giving your opinion without doing your homework.  Sometimes when we don't know anything about a subject, it's best to just remain silent, rather than sharing our thoughts with the world, and doing damage to those who may be in the first steps of seeking help.

Friday, August 29, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: A Sensory Evaluation, A Pregnancy Update, and Why I'm Thankful




One of the things I've been incredibly grateful for this past year is all the amazing therapists that we've been blessed to have in our lives.  This week I was especially aware of that blessing when I received the results of a report from Mae's OT that she did on her own for me, evaluating Sadie.  We've all suspected that Sadie had sensory processing issues, but I was surprised to see the whole report, probably because Sadie's sensory seeking behavior was so overshadowed by Mae's sensory seeking. But it was definitely there and shown through in about 75% of the areas tested in, showing up the most strongly in the vestibular area.

Vestibular dysfunction basically involves balance and knowing (or really in this case not knowing) the position of her limbs in space.  When I began reading more about vestibular functioning (again) I found quite a bit about it's relation to auditory processing (which is another area with big red flags) and problems with the inner ear.  And it makes me wonder if it relates to the many, many ear infections she had in her first years of life (something like 18 in 18 months).  Sadie's vestibular system under-registers her movements.

Reading about the signs of kids with sensory seeking vestibular problems is like reading about either of the girls .

Sadie with her always moving, spinning, jumping, non-stop movements and her love of the fastest rides at Disney World when she was all of three years of age (she loved Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain and because she was so tall she could actually go on them at that age) seems like the portrait of a kid who's dealing with a under registering vestibular system.

Right now I'm finding roller skating is a huge, huge help.  I had her skate for about fifteen minutes before school yesterday morning and then had her get up and do a few laps around the living room after each subject and it was amazing how much easier reading was!


I'm going a little stir crazy.  Not being able to walk long (or pretty much any) distances is definitely the challenge of this pregnancy.  Yesterday we went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. It was a quick trip... maybe twenty minutes from the time we walked in until we walked out, just picking up things that we needed, and I was only a few minutes in to walking around before the very real contractions started.  Of course they stop as soon as I sit down.

Since walking is such a big part of our lives normally not being able to walk for more than few minutes is definitely a big change.  And I just have to keep reminding myself that sitting down so much is not being lazy (because sitting around this much feels really, really lazy in my head) but definitely seems to be a required part of keeping this little guy safely in place for the next month and a half!

An outtake from the weekly photo taking process.
(because I just can't call snapping a picture with my computer a "photo shoot")

For the last two days Maggie has been making huge strides.  She's talking so fast in therapy that no one can keep up with her word count.  It hasn't quite carried over to outside of therapy... usually our conversations revolve around the word "mermaid" being repeated (it might be one of the only words I hear all day once therapy ends) or "yellow fish," and she's as likely to sign to express what she wants as to say it (and the child acquires signs like nothing else... they aren't part of therapy but her sister watches Signing Time, maybe once a month on Netflix and she won't even be in the room, but she will watch Sadie from the other room where she can't see the TV and will pick up the signs Sadie is copying and use them to make requests for just about anything she wants).

I'm so thankful for all the tools she's mastering and all ways that she's finding to communicate!




I think we're also realizing that if you want to hear Mae talk, get her drawing.  She loves to draw (and look at books) and could probably spend all day at the table drawing balloons and flowers and mermaids and faces.

These days it's almost all about mermaids!

Sadie's getting to the point where she's getting more and more independent doing her school work.  While math has been a breeze, reading has, on and off, been a struggle.  During the last week I've realized, however that giving her the reading book and having her do the lesson on her own and then having her read it to me once she's read it over by herself is way more effective than anything we've done so far.  Today reading was followed by giving her a paper with 30 math problems that she proceeded to do by herself.  When I ask if she needs help she's pretty adamant that she absolutely doesn't.




Maggie is in therapy at the moment and is currently trying to jump in her skates.  Because apparently zooming across the hardwood floors in skates isn't daring enough.




We just had this conversation while Sadie was coloring a picture of a baby being baptized in her religion workbook:

Sadie:  "This is a picture of Maggie being baptized.  What was I doing when Maggie was baptized?"
Me:  "You were being pretty wild."
Sadie:  "I was.  What was I wearing?"
Me:  "A pink and yellow dress.  But all you wanted to do was run around.  You didn't want to be in any of the pictures."
Sadie:  "It was because I was so excited that Maggie was being baptized!"

The wildness just couldn't be contained.



For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Happy Feast of Saint Augustine!

Earlier in the week I settled in one evening reading Saint Augustine quotes to put together a little quote graphic for his upcoming feast day.  I quickly realized that there was no way I was going to be able to pick just one because so many jumped off the screen at me.  After doing a little research on each one I was able to narrow it down to four favorites (mostly because I finally made myself stop reading!) that I could hardly wait to share for today's feast day.

Happy Feast of Saint Augustine:





Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My First Attempt at Swimwear Sewing: A Maternity Swimsuit

Long, long ago I got two swim passes for our family that added up to around 12 trips to a local heated indoor pool.  So far we haven't used them.  A few days ago I thought it would be a great plan to go and take the kids... and then I realized that I still can't find my maternity suit and there isn't a single non-maternity suit that I can fit into these days. 

As I was measuring out mermaid tail fabric I had an idea.  I set aside an extra yard that I'd purchased and the next night I started sewing.  I started with the bump section, measuring out an ample amount of fabric and then running elastic that I'd pulled really tightly taut down the sides.  It was something I'd seen on pinterest and it worked perfectly to make a little rounded out area for the rapidly growing bump.  Then I made the bust area and straps, brought it in a little and hemmed it and the top was done.

I also made bottoms, which have really good coverage and a separate skirt to go over it.

Here's the finished result.  I think it's one of my all time favorite bathing suits. I also think I'm going to try my hand at making one postpartum at some point next spring if I can find the time!  I loved being able to figure out the neckline and how much coverage I wanted!  And with coupons it cost around $8 to make, which is great because while there are plenty of bathing suits I see out there that I love, they're pretty much always out of the price range that I can imagine spending for any piece of clothing. 

So here's the finished result.  My newly made maternity swim suit:





Monday, August 25, 2014

I get an F for the day...

After yesterday I was determined to take it easy and rest today.  The weather forecasts I'd kept seeing were promising that it would not only be one of the hottest days of the summer so far, but that it would also be intensely humid (it is... still... right this second...) and if you've been around the blog long you've probably realized from my non-stop whining when it's humid that while I don't mind triple digit heat in California, I wilt when it's eighty degree and humid here in Michigan.  The fact that only one room in the house is air conditioned contributes heavily to my not-a-fan-of-hot-day feelings, especially since that one air conditioned room isn't upstairs, which means it isn't a bedroom. Right now my as I sit in my bedroom it is "85 feels like 91" at 8:30 pm. But I digress (and probably should apologize for writing one of the most boring paragraphs in blogging history, whining about the weather).

If anyone survived that paragraph and is still with me (Hi Mom!) I'll continue and try to stay on track..
So.  Today.  I was going to take it easy.  I saw my doctor and blogged about the appointment.  I did school with Sadie.  Mae had an awesome time in therapy. Paul slept until noon after working his fifth consecutive night in a row at the new job (job prayers are still appreciated!).

And then I had an idea that seemed brilliant at the time.  I woke Paul up and told him that I thought we should take the kids to have pizza at the restaurant he's been working at.  On days he works he gets 50% off, and after looking online I realized that while they're likely out of our price range at dinner time, they have amazing deals earlier in the day (think $2 10-inch pizzas).  And they have gluten free pasta and gluten free pizza which makes them one of about three restaurants that we can really safely eat at.

Now this "let's take the kids out" idea was heavily influenced by the fact that the kitchen isn't air conditioned and turning my oven on immediately raises the temperature in that particular room by at least ten degrees.  And my creativity in crafting cold meals for lunch has pretty much involved alternating between gluten free sandwiches and fruit and cereal and yogurt and fruit.  So taking the kids (and me!) to see Daddy's work for the first time sounded like a great idea.  I could just imagine how relaxing it would be (all of the kids tend to do really well in restaurants for whatever reason).

That cheerful mood lasted right up until the moment when our car broke down as we pulled into the parking space across the street from the restaurant.  We decided to have lunch and hope that the car turned on when we returned.

Inside the following conversation occurred:

Me: "So, do you think we should walk home after lunch?"
Paul: "No.  I'll figure something out."
Me:  "It's hot out there.  So we'll have to figure it out fast."
Paul:  "I know."
Me:  "It's really not that bad."
Paul: ...
Me:  "Look, a breeze. Doesn't it look nice out there."
Paul: (making some sort of incredulous sound to express his disbelief.. perhaps realizing that I'd made the argument that it was too hot to wait for help, followed by the argument that it wasn't really all that hot...)
Me:  "We've walked this far plenty of times.  To the zoo. To the botanical gardens.  To the law library.  To Impression Five.  All of those are further than this."
Paul:  "All of those were bad ideas."
Me: "No they weren't.  We were fine."
Paul:  "I was just thinking of all the times I had to rescue you on walks in Florida."
Me:  "But not here."
Paul:  "It wasn't as hot as it is today on those walks."
Me:  "Yes it was." (Okay. It probably wasn't.)  "It was on the law library day."  (well maybe in temperature but not in humidity).
Paul:  "You shouldn't be walking that far in your condition."
Me:  "My condition.  Pshh.  I'll be fine.  Perfectly fine.  It'll be good exercise."
Paul:  ...

And in my mind I totally thought I could do it.  It just didn't seem that far.  Sure I'd probably have a contraction or two, but I have that just standing up.  Usually they ease up once the sitting to standing transition is complete.

Paul did put in a good effort in his attempts to find someone to give us a jump in the restaurant, but almost everyone had walked to work and we had no takers.  And we were still hoping that maybe, just maybe the car would start.

It didn't.  Paul pushed the van back out of the parking place and an elderly gentleman stopped and gave us a jump.  The car started... and stayed on until we were in line to get out of the parking lot.  A worker from the city (who owned the lot) jumped the car again... twice.  And we made it half way home before we got stuck behind a lady who appeared to be paying more attention to her cell phone than the road, which caused us to have to slow way, way down to a crawl, causing the car to die a fourth time.

We managed to coast into a parking place.  The kids were wilting in the heat since the car no longer had the juice to run a fan and so we unloaded them.  Paul wore Patch in the carrier and I started out pushing Mae.  We were okay for a solid two minutes until the first contraction hit.

And then two minutes later:  "So... um... guess how long it's been between this contraction and the last one?"
Paul:  "Two minutes."
Me:  "Yeah."
Paul:  "I knew this would happen."

Unfortunately I'm
a little bit
past using
the carrier...
The next hour unfolded like this.  Contraction. 2 minutes.  Contraction.  1 minute.  Bad contraction... the kind you can't talk or stand up during.  1 minute.  Another bad, bad contraction.  Sitting down on the grass by the side of the road thinking "well I guess one good thing about not having particularly effective contractions after so many c-sections is that these aren't actually doing anything." Walking again.  2 minutes.  Contraction.  2 minutes.  3 minutes (mini celebration).  2 minutes. 1 minute. 1 minute.  Contraction, contraction, contraction.

All. the. way. home.

For an hour.

I knew that I just had to get home and get out of the heat and sit down and they would stop.    And finally we were home and after a few minutes of drinking water and laying down on the couch in the cool living room while Patch attacked me for my water (he had his own, but obviously the water in my cup tasted better) I was as good as new (or at least not having contractions anymore).

So there you have it.  Epic fail on the relaxing front... hopefully tomorrow I'll be slightly more successful with that particular goal.  My new goal for the moment is to not even leave the house...

32 Week Appointment... Giganto-Baby Continues to Grow...

I was out of the house early this morning for my 32 week appointment.  Everything went well.  Baby looks good.  The doctor referred me over to manipulative medicine because I've been having excruciating pelvic pain again this pregnancy (I'm blaming the giant babies we seem to grow) and nothing I've tried (like making sure to keep my knees together when standing up) is helping anymore.  It would be great if it did help because it makes things like walking and sitting up a challenge, but either way I'm focusing on being in the home stretch now and if it's anything like last time the pain will hopefully go away once the baby arrives.

He's also starting to think that I might have a hernia so... pregnancy fun abounds!  I guess we'll see during the c-section (since the suspected spot is pretty close to my scar).

In totally unsurprising news, the baby is measuring two weeks ahead of schedule, shocking absolutely no one.  I think this baby is determined to have me outgrowing all my maternity clothing by the end of this pregnancy.

Right now my bottom half still fits into small maternity clothes and my top half is outgrowing some of my L-XL maternity clothing.  Which is probably why I'm starting to find myself thinking of this kid as Giganto-Baby.

Sensory Playground Time



The first picture in this post really should be the last picture... but it's one of my all time favorite pictures of Mae and I almost felt like it deserved it's very own post.  It's a picture of Mae calmly swinging after getting basically all the sensory input that she needed (for the moment!) from running around and swinging at the playground:


I think we've finally discovered that there is one thing that she loves to do at the playground more than climbing.  And that thing is running:


But it can't just be running anywhere.  She loves to run on concrete (and has the scrapped knees to prove it).  I have a feeling it has to do with her sensory seeking tendencies and the tendency of her joints not to register impact like other people's joints do.  After watching her for quite a while I think that her love of running on cement has to do with the impact that she actually seems to feel when she goes sprinting across it.  Grass and wood chips just don't work as well.



And then, after getting enough running, it's time to swing.  The closer to upside down the better (on particularly sensory seeking days she makes being upside down her goal pretty much all day long).  


And then, finally, after all that prioprioceptive and vestibular input from playing on the playground, she's finally ready to relax and swing on the swings and grab my hand and walk to the car when it's time to go home.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The reason I didn't make it to Mass...

When I went to bed last night I had a feeling that I wasn't going to make it to Mass in the morning.  I wasn't feeling great and figured that I was coming down with something.  And I sneezed and felt that horrible pain from earlier in the pregnancy... but it went away quickly and everything seemed fine.

Until I woke up and found that it was back and in my head went over my doctor's advice to go straight to Labor and Delivery if it happened again...

It was pretty much the last thing I wanted to do because the pain would go from extreme to non-existent (my doctor thinks they're uterine adhesions) and during those moments when everything felt fine going to the hospital felt really, really silly.

But he said I absolutely should go if it happened again... and there was no denying that it was happening... and that I was feeling pretty sick from the pain... and so I went.


Thankfully the baby looked good.  Somehow I was dehydrated and my blood pressure was dipping when I stood up, which felts ridiculous because I drink water pretty much all day (yesterday I kept track and apart from juice I drank 144 ounces of water over the course of the day), so they hooked me up to an IV...



In other pregnancy news apparently my uterus was being "irritable" and they were concerned that I was in early labor.  But I explained that contractions are pretty much a fact of life all day, all the time from the second trimester onward (at least for the last three pregnancies).  

After about four hours of monitoring and a total of something like five hours on and off of watching HGTV it was time to head back home where I was greeted by a rather moody Patch who needed immediate Mommy cuddles to reassure him that everything was as it should be.

Starting to feel better... and ready to go home.

Now here's hoping for an uneventful seven weeks without any additional trips to Labor and Delivery before the big day!

Answer Me This: On Sunglasses, Cheese and Boycotts

This may be the last installment of Answer Me This and so I just couldn't miss it.

1. What is your favorite picture book?

I have so many favorite kids books that it's just about impossible to pick an actual "favorite" but I thought I'd share this particular book that is definitely worth reading if you have a wiggly kid who loves to move.  I think Gina first suggested it to me and I went right over to Amazon and ordered it.  And while it doesn't have enough mermaids to hold Maggie's attention just yet, Sadie loves it. Press Here doesn't have spectacular pictures.  It starts with a simple picture of a yellow button.  But as you press, shake and slide that "button," following the author's instructions, giggles are almost certain to follow.


Be warned though.  It is definitely a book that you may find yourself reading again and again and again... even with a child who doesn't usually make repeat requests to hear the same story repeatedly!

2. Are you a boycotter?

Only about one particular topic.  Abortion.  If a company gives to Planned Parenthood we don't shop there or buy their product. And yes, that means that there are lots and lots of things that we don't buy.  I'm not big into talking about it or convincing others to do it.... but I just haven't been able to get past the lump in my stomach of buying something from a company who I know donates to support the major abortion provider in our country.  I don't do it for any other topic, but giving to PP is too big for me to ignore.

At the same time I respect other people's right to boycott stores they disagree with, and am more likely to drive a couple extra miles to pick up the craft supplies that I need at Hobby Lobby, instead of the other two major craft stores that are closer to our house, because they've taken a stand that I agree with and I want to support them.

And of course over the years I've had plenty of people point out that such a small number of people boycott the things that we do that it doesn't make a difference to the company, so why do it?  The answer is that it makes a difference to me because I know that I'm doing whatever I can to spend less on companies that are using their funds in that way and so I personally can't in good conscience make any other decision.  And believe me... I've tried... and just felt sick about it.

3. How do you feel about cheese?

So ever since Patch came along with his dairy allergy and I had 16 months without any sort of dairy my already probably-not-entirely-healthy love of all things cheese has been intensified.  I think I can probably blame it, at least in part, for my current gigantic pregnant size, because I keep thinking that I should eat all of the cheese (or ice cream) that I possibly can because with two out of three kids unable to eat dairy what are the chances that this next kid won't follow his older siblings example and have some sort of allergy by two months old?  By the allergist's laughter when I asked that question I would say "not very good."
Already allergic at this point...

And so at the moment I'm kind of obsessed with cheese... and I'm really hoping that this next kid loves it too (and can eat it!)!

4. How many pairs of sunglasses do you own?

One pair that has not been broken by a) being dropped on the ground by my own clumsiness or b) been pulled apart by twp cute little sun glass destroyers in my life.


Especially this one.  He's developing a special love of stealing sunglasses and putting them to the test:


And I hate it when my sunglasses finally do end up breaking.

When Paul and I were dating I once mentioned how almost completely impossible it is for me to find sun glasses that don't look totally ridiculous with the shape of my face.  He didn't really believe me. Then he was with me when I tried on sunglasses and was rather surprised how pair after pair looked so very wrong.  So when I find a pair that works I hope that it lasts for a very long time.  Although Patch and/or Mae almost always ensure that that doesn't happen.

5. How long has it been since you went to the dentist?

Back when Sadie was this little.
Is it bad that I can only figure this out because the last time I went to the dentist they didn't do x-rays because I was pregnant and I happen to remember which pregnancy that occurred during.

And it wasn't this pregnancy.  Or the last one.

And Maggie is four years old... so... yeah.

One of these days we'll either have dental insurance or extra money lying around to go to the dentist, but until then four years and a half years (and counting) it is.

6. If you could visit any religious site in the world, where would you go?

Lourdes. Sadie has made me watch The Song of Bernadette many, many times, and read her little book about Bernadette nearly as many times and so it's the first place that comes to mind.

If I was returning somewhere we've already visited I would have to struggle to narrow it down between Mount Tabor, Gethsemane and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

At Mount Tabor shortly after finding out we were expecting Sadie.
For more Answer Me This head over to Catholic All Year!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

32 Weeks and Where Have the Last 8 Months Gone?!?!

Today I hit the 32 week mark, after staying up last night to edit and put together a series with the latest pictures included in it (minus this week):


I'm still a little shocked every single time I realize that in (what is at this moment) 7 to 7 1/2 weeks (at the latest) we'll be meeting this little (or not so little) guy.

And I'm curious to see if my prediction, which is that this baby feels like he's bigger than the last two, will be right.

And to see if he tops our longest/heaviest baby who at 22 inches and 9 lbs 4 ounces still holds the record in our house:

Dainty she was not.
When the doctor delivered her she said "I knew it!  I knew she was going to be huge!"
I'm still amazed at how fast it feels like each subsequent pregnancy has gone by.  When I was pregnant with Sadie, I felt like we were waiting for her forever.  The third trimester dragged on by.

Now the first trimester seems to drag a bit (mostly because I get so nervous waiting for things like hearing a heartbeat and seeing the first ultrasound) and then we hit twelve weeks and go into some sort of time warp where the baby is suddenly about to arrive.  I have an appointment on Monday morning bright and early and I can hardly believe we're already to the two week appointment mark and that it's already been two weeks since the last one since I kind of feel like it was a couple of days ago.

And actually now that I think about it, when I asked my doctor he said we'd set the day of the operation at about six weeks out... and that's coming up pretty fast!  Maybe we'll have an estimated date of arrival on Monday!