Thursday, January 31, 2013

{p,h,f,r} The Still Pregnant Edition

As much as I appreciate all of the excited inquiries as to whether or not I've had the baby yet, I'd like to just ease everyone's minds and tell you all that no, I have not had the baby--and yes, when I do have the baby I will surely let everyone know, and if you ask me again I will most certainly respond by telling you that actually yes I did have the baby last week but didn't bother to tell anyone because that's how I roll :)


I may still be pregnant but at least the weather is beautiful here and I've got grandpa and grandma Reintjes to entertain the children while I wallow in self pity.  I have to admit that this was much more fun before my midwife informed me this week that my wallowing should occur standing up because "gravity is my friend now".....awesome.


Both Davids are getting a lot of extra bonding time in--it's a good thing they like each other because the way things are going it's going to be another couple of weeks before this baby makes his appearance and grandma and grandpa are sooooo not leaving until that happens.....



My midwife also wanted to go ahead and schedule me for an induction but I convinced her to let me wait until I'm actually past my due date to start planning pitocin drips and IVs that pump you so full of liquid ice that you need a constant supply of at least three heated blankets to stop the shivering--not to mention the inevitable epidural.  I've done contractions with pitocin and without and I'll give the pitocin a big no thank you very much.  I've got until Monday to produce a baby on my own so hopefully things will just work out without needing any extra interventions--any extra prayers would be much appreciated!

Make sure you check out even more beauty and contentment at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Three in Car Seats

I've been having a lot of what I'm going to call practice contractions this week--definitely not false labor because that's just a really depressing way of thinking about things isn't it?  With the boys I just had contractions and then a baby, none of this warming up nonsense, and I have to say I'm not loving it.  These practice contractions did send me into a bit of a panic last weekend with the realization that this baby might not be as obliging as his brothers and arrive precisely the day after he is due and perhaps I should get a few things know, like the car seat...... hospitals get finicky about having things like that and I have a feeling they won't let us just walk the baby home even though we can see our house from the hospital.

I told Chris that he should probably go out to the garage and dust off old faithful for one more go round before he expires and has to be replaced.  Chris looked at me with squinshed up eyes and said in a worried voice, "why?"  I calmly told him that it was probably nothing.....which turned out to be true......

He did get the car seat ready and cleaned out our very-much-in-need-of-a-cleaning minivan.  Then the big question arose, how to rearrange the children?

Since our van isn't one of the new whamadine models that fits three car seats in the middle row, we decided to put both the boys in the back so that no one was lonely and things were fair--heaven forbid one of them got to sit next to the baby but not the other.  This way we have a "seat for guests" next to the baby as David puts it  :)

I think this is going to work out pretty well for us.  David likes that he has a secret compartment next to his seat now and Henry likes that he gets to sit next to David and can hide in the back seat where it is physically impossible for me to access him if he chooses not to want to exit the vehicle--which only happens  Soon enough his fun will be over and I too will once again be able to fit into tight spaces without becoming permanently lodged.

In more exciting news, baby gifts have started arriving on our doorstep, including this car seat cover from aunt Elizabeth which makes old faithful look pretty fancy you love the chevron?

Yeah, we're pretty hip round these know, minus the whole, I'm 30 and drive a minivan thing......

Does anyone else have any tips for fitting three littles in car seats all at once?  We'll probably have five in car seats eventually since kids today should apparently stay harnessed into their rear facing seats until they turn thirteen or so.......

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Take it Back.....

....apparently Florida winter is occasionally hot enough to bust out the August maternity wear.  In honor of a lovely Saturday morning spent at an almost deserted beach in almost 80 degree weather I pulled out the maternity shorts.  I'll spare you the full body picture that shows the full splendor of how ridiculous my stick legs look poking out of shorts under this monstrous're welcome.

The boys had a lot of fun.  Nature treasures were found and collected......

.....tunnels were dug.......

.....and daddy jumped into the ice water.  Just because the air was warm didn't make the water warm, but I guess some people just enjoy a nice ice bath--everyone else in the water had the sense to wear a wet suit......

I  prefer my seasons to arrive in chronological order and last more than three weeks (which is apparently how long winter lasts round these parts), but I can admit that it was nice to have such a lovely day to spend together--even if id did feel like we were skipping right over spring......

As I was sitting on the blanket instead of building sandcastles--giant beached whale that I am--I couldn't help thinking about this new little life that will be joining us shortly.  Can I mother three children well?  Will I be able to keep some semblance of sanity and patience when I already struggle with those things as it is and I'm not even sleep deprived yet?  What's going to happen to my spiritual life when it's already hanging on by a thread and mostly consists of throwing up a hasty morning offering and offering grace before meals?  This is going to be a lot of work.......

Then I read this:
"No Christian can ever think that although his work is apparently of little importance--as some might imply with their contemptuous or supercilious attitude to it--he can do it in any old way.   God sees the work, and it has an importance that we cannot even suspect.  You asked what you could offer the Lord.  I don't have to think twice about the answer, offer the same things as before, but do them better, finishing them off with a loving touch that will lead you to think more about him and less about yourself.  

The nature of some types of work that demand great concentration makes it difficult to turn one's mind in the course of it frequently to God, but if we get used to talking to him, making an effort to find him, he will be like  an appropriate background music for everything we do.  If we work in this way, work and interior life will not interrupt each other, just as the beating of the heart does not interrupt our attention to our activities whatever they may be.  Rather must work and prayer complement each other, in the same way that voices mingle with instruments to form a harmony.  Work not only does not disturb the life of prayer, but becomes a channel for it.  Then what we ask for in that beautiful prayer becomes reality...May the whole of our day, our prayer and our work take their strength from you and always begin with you, O Lord, and may all that we have begun through you reach a happy conclusion."
~In Conversation with God - Volume 3

I could definitely do  a better job at sanctifying my daily work, finishing off my daily tasks with a loving touch--as opposed to the usual finishing off my daily tasks grudgingly with a dramatic collapse onto the couch so that everyone knows've.been.working.  If my work is my prayer then maybe taking care of a newborn won't seem so overwhelming.  It would also help if little John Michael is more of a Henry and less of a David when it comes to sleep habits and overall crankiness levels.......

Monday, January 7, 2013

This Might Actually Be Happening.....

With three weeks left to go it has finally hit me that this little boy may actually, really and truly be coming.

Christmas was difficult this year, I kept looking at our stockings and thinking that we were a man down--well a girl down actually, and pondering the fact that this should have been Katharine's first Christmas but instead I was carrying this new little miracle under my heart. Although I've been trying to prepare for him I couldn't quite believe that he was really on his way.  That in turn of course led to a slight post-Christmas panic over the fact that other than setting up the crib and bassinet, I hadn't actually made anything ready for his upcoming arrival--the baby clothes were unwashed and not a newborn diaper was to be found in the house--just kidding, we never have newborn diapers in the house, have you seen the size of my babies?

Hopefully this little one isn't trying to top his brothers or he'll be pushing eleven pounds.   I'm already down to three shirts that actually cover this ridiculousness.  I think in the past when I got to this point I just alternated my two summer maternity dresses and hoped no one noticed....and although this is only Florida winter as my lovely husband is prone to say, it's still nippy enough not to bust out the August maternity wear.....hopefully these last few shirts will continue to hold or I'll have to start pretending my one winter dress is a tunic that looks really stylish over jeans.

Here's me at almost 37 weeks.....

The boys are really excited about John Michael's impending arrival and David kindly asked me last week if I would just lie down on my bed all day and see if I could get him to "pop out."  He's also getting more and more curious about how my belly button is going to recover once his brother explodes out of it and I have a feeling he's starting to doubt my increasingly evasive answers......

Don't worry, in between bouts of  couch resting to catch my breath I've been busy with my preparations (all the baby clothes are freshly laundered and folded) and Chris, dutiful husband that he is, has been plugging away at my honey-do list including turning the dresser that resides in the baby's closet from red to white.  A task that I know he really did not want to take on, mostly because no one else sees that it doesn't match the room since, you know--it's in the closet.  In the end he understood that it was important because I on the other hand knew it was in there, laughing at me with it's mismatched paint, daring me to do something about it.......or maybe he was worried that if he didn't paint it for me he was liable to come home from work to find that I had gotten out the dolly and moved it into the garage to paint it myself......

He also mounted our giant wall map to a piece of wood and framed it out with some molding--it looks just like it did at our old house but now it's movable as opposed to stapled to the wall :)

Now the baby's/guest room is officially done, and by done I mean hod-podged together mostly from things we already had that all came together as if it had always been meant to be.....

.........with the exception of these pillows I found on sale at Target and this cute little frog I found on Etsy.  He just reminded me of Florida and all the little frogs that cover our home in warmer weather--it seemed nicer than an ode to the cockroaches or swarms of mosquitoes that also cover our home.....

The main focus of my baby prep energies over the last week however has been this.......

Oh yes I did :)  I've actually made my dreams come true and finished my very first quilt completely from instructions I found on the internet and it isn't a disaster.  I even hand quilted the whole thing--granted the hand quilting mostly looks like a child did it, but towards the edges I started to get pretty good at it if I do say so myself!  The whole back is made from the old duvet we inherited from uncle Nick and aunt Elizabeth long ago, some pieces are from daddy's shirts, and some pieces are from daddy's underpants--I won't tell little John his quilt is made from old underthings if you don't :)

Now, I really should look into buying some diapers.......

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Reading Log for 2012

You'll have to forgive me if you have no interest whatsoever in what I've read this year and/or were hoping to see adorable pictures of my precious children because you are going to leave here sadly disappointed.....but hey, it is my blog and I want to keep a record of things that are important to me and since I've spent such an exorbitant amount of time reading all of this I thought I should make a list--and you know I love a good list :) 

I was going to tell you which books were my favorites but I realized that I could never do that because I pretty much loved them all--who has time to read a book that isn't wonderful when there are so many great ones out there?  The exception to that of course being the parenting/discipline books which were all quickly finished out of desperation regardless of how good they were--I'm beginning to think that I have read too many of these since I've finished the year more confused than when I began with all of the different ideas of the correct way to handle my oldest little angel's ummm....shall we say tempestuous nature......Maybe I should make a new year's resolution to just lay off of them entirely for 2013......

Well, for your browsing pleasure, here are most of the books I've read this year from January to December. I'm sure I've forgotten some, but how good could they have been if I don't even remember reading them?  

  1. Parenting the Strong-Willed Child: The Clinically Proven Five-Week Program for Parents of Two- to Six-Year-Olds, Third Edition, by Rex Forehand 
  2. Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, by Anthony Esolen
  3. Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living, by Tsh Oxenreider
  4. Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton
  5. Lady Susan, by Jane Austen
  6. How to Raise Good Catholic Children, by Mary-Reed Newland
  7. The Year & Our Children: Catholic Family Celebrations for Every Seasonby Mary-Reed Newland
  8. Back to Virtue: Traditional Moral Wisdom for Modern Moral Confusion, by Peter Kreeft
  9. The Ball and the Cross, by G.K. Chesterton
  10. After Miscarriage:  A Catholic Woman's Companion to Healing and Hope, by Karen Edmisten
  11. On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, by Pope John Paul II
  12. Prayer for Beginners, by Peter Kreeft
  13. The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald
  14. The Princess and Curdieby George MacDonald
  15. Making Sense Out of Suffering, by Peter Kreeft
  16. Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
  17. Letters to Gabriel:  The True Story of Gabriel Michael Santorum, by Karen Santorum
  18. Anne of Avonleaby L.M. Montgomery
  19. Anne of the Island,  by L.M. Montgomery
  20. Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery
  21. Anne's House of Dreams,  by L.M. Montgomery
  22. Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline:  The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation, by Becky A. Bailey
  23. Anne of Inglesideby L.M. Montgomery
  24. How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will, Too!, by Sal Severe, Ph.D.
  25. Playful Parenting, by Lawrence J. Cohen
  26. Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child : Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries, by Robert J. Mackenzie
  27. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
  28. The Hurried Child-25th Anniversary Edition, by David Elkind, Ph.D.
  29. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv
  30. Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, by Ross Douthat
  31. Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry), by Lenore Skenzazy
  32. Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning, by Karen Andreola
  33. The Abolition of Man, by C.S. Lewis
  34. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, by Sherry Turkle
  35. The Minimalist Mom's Guide to Baby's First Year, by Rachel Jonat
  36. The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  37. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  38. Kristin Lavransdatter: The Bridal Wreath; The Mistress of Husaby; The Cross,by Sigrid Undset
  39. When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for Today, by Elaine Cooper
  40. In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton, by GK Chesterton
  41. Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason, by Alfie Kohn
  42. What I Saw in America, GK Chesterton
  43. The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth , by William and Martha Sears
  44. HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing (3rd Edition), by Marie Mongan
  45. The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, by Susan Wise Bauer
  46. Lancelot: A Novel*, by Walker Percy
  47. Anna Karenina, by LeoTolstoy
  48. .
And here are Chris and I's grown up read alouds--not nearly as prolific.......

  1. A Map of Life, by F.J. Sheed
  2. Made for Moreby Curtis Martin
  3. Screwtape Letters*, by C.S. Lewis 
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