It has been almost two years since I last posted anything, and life certainly is different for us.

As I’m writing this on my phone, I’m sitting on the floor next to my youngest waiting on her to come to after her most recent seizure.  It’s her sixth one since last April.  The neurologist doesn’t have any answers as to why she has them. She’s had an EEG, EKG, MRI, as well lots of blood work. All of those test have come back perfect. The only answers we have are: her brain looks normal and she doesn’t have epilepsy. They believe the seizures are from her brain misfiring during development and hopefully she’ll outgrow them in two to three years by the time she’s fifteen.  Every time I meet with the neurologist the timeline keeps getting pushed back. For now she’s on seizure meds, I have the pleasure of recording every seizure on my phone so the doctor’s can watch them later, and all we can do is stay attentive and pray she “outgrows” them soon.

My middle kid started out in Kindergarten this past September; a month later and he was back in Pre-K. 
We’ve always known he had an aversion to loud sounds, and had some emotional control issues.  In December he was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  Learning about SPD has been eye opening and helped us understand how and why he behaves the way he does.  We are in the early days of figuring out how to help him manage the world around him without having multiple meltdowns a day. There’s so much more to learn, and I’ll have to get back to you on how it goes.

A part of me wishes I had a magic wand and could make my children “normal.” While it may make life a lot easier, it would take away those things that make my children who they are.  Instead I will offer up my frustration, anxieties, and fears.  And hopefully, I’ll become a better person in the end.

Now that all of the children are tucked into bed, I think I’m going to have a stiff drink and call it a night.

Advertisements

And Baby Makes Five

image

After an emotionally and physically rough pregnancy, my husband and I welcomed our third child on May 21st. It has been a very joyous, sleep deprived four weeks.

I’m very thankful for my loving husband who continuously takes great care of his family, my two older children who adore their little sister and have been great helpers, for my dad for coming out here to help with my other two while I was in the hospital and they still had school, and for my mother for allowing my father to come out here to help and for her help when she was able to come out as well. I’m also thankful for all of my family and friends who have prayed for and with me during all of the difficulties I faced. I am forever grateful to you all.

Spiritual Dryness and Pregnancy

I’ve been in the middle of a spiritual dry spell since at least early January, but it probably goes back a bit further.  The only moments I’ve felt close to God have been during the RCIA classes I help teach and Sunday Mass.  My prayer life has become all but not existent.   It’s been a very blah time for me, but I hope that this period is just temporary.

I’ve wondered why I’ve been experiencing this dryness and I have had a few thoughts on it. One of the reasons that I have thought about is how this pregnancy is going. I haven’t been sleeping – I went four solid nights a few weeks ago sans sleep.  That was no fun.  My hip girdle is where I’ve experienced all of my key problems.  I have been having a lot of pain that has made walking on certain days all but impossible, and on my “good” days I can’t walk or stand for very long before I can no longer tolerate the debilitating pain.  About the only position I’ve found any comfort in is sitting, but not for too long or my back begins to hurt.  I know all of this will pass, and all of my joint pain will disappear within a few days of the little one being born.  All of the pain and lack of sleep is what I think may be one of the key contributors to this dryness.

I can’t focus on reading scripture, prayer, writing much of anything these days, and let’s not even discuss my keeping up with my house.  I’m drained.

And yet, I know that God will get me through this and I will be stronger and wiser on the other side.  I will still try to focus on all the above, I may fail miserably at all of them, but I am doing my best.

About a week ago I found a beautiful prayer that I keep coming back to over and over again.

OURLADYPERPETHELP

Dearest Mary, I look to you now for the help of your maternal love.
You understand my trials as an expectant mother.
You bore Jesus in your womb.
You know the doubts and anxieties that beset me; you know the bodily suffering I endure.
Like you, may I turn all these sorrows into joy.
You overcame anxiety by a loving trust in God; you overcame doubt by gentle resignation to His will.
Your motherhood lifted your mind above earth and kept it close to God.
So speak to Jesus now with me, beloved Mother, as I seek prayerfully to learn to bear the trials of motherhood with joy.
Mother of Perpetual Help, Pray for me!

Father Robert Barron posted this very timely video today.

One of the key scripture verses I keep coming back to is Philippians 4:6 – “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.”  It is very difficult to thank God for pain and discomfort, and yet I am.  I have been “offering up” my pain for others.  Here is a great explanation of what I mean by “offering it up.”  And while I may feel miserable, I know that this pain can and will be used by God and for that I am thankful.

Children at Mass – Revisited

I thought that perhaps I should revisit this issue from a few weeks ago and give an update about what has transpired since then.

Our meeting with Father went very well.  He was completely supportive of us and let us know that the children in Mass do not bother him one bit. He also said this isn’t the first time that someone has used his name in a comment when he said nothing on the matter. I have no idea why someone would think that saying something like that wouldn’t get back to the supposed source. Us moms decided that we would just move over to the next section of pews at our parish so that we wouldn’t be a distraction to the choir. Being a distraction was the only reason we could think of that might have caused them to say what they did. I’m thankful for having great friends who aren’t as stubborn and bull-headed as I am because if it weren’t for them I would still be sitting right next to the choir.

Since we’ve moved we have received complements from the surrounded parishioners that our children are well-behaved and that we’ve done a good job as parents. This was exactly what we needed to hear.

That very same day, I received a call from the Parish office that they had approved my proposal to start a mom’s group. I’m over the moon!!  This is something our parish has had need of for a very long time and with the increased growth of our younger families it is even more important now.  We just need to pick a start date and finalize a few other loose ends.

Happy New Year!!

georgia_cyclone3

I hope that everyone had a blessed Advent and Christmas. I did, but I’m so glad that it is over!!  The entire month of December was an emotional roller coaster for me. It included quick descents into sad, melancholy moods and very slow climbs into better moods which were quickly followed by near vertical descents all over again, with a few corkscrews thrown in.

Here’s a quick recap of December 2012…

1) Finished a MOPS craft that was nearly 4 years old.  Yay!!

20130103_105327Christmas Countdown Blocks

2) Printed, framed, and hung up our house rules.  Double Yay!!

20130103_105444

3) Hurt feelings between me and another friend….

4) The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that hit very close to home. No, I didn’t know anyone involved, but being a mum of two small children – one that is the same age as the victims, it was so easy to imagine that it could have just as easily have been my child or one of my friends’ children that day.

5) I found out that a guy I dated back in university who had a major influence on my life died several years ago. The strangest part of finding out about this was that he died on my husband’s birthday the year we married.

6) My maternal Grandmother died the next day. I love you Grandma and my hope is that you are in Heaven with our Heavenly Father praying for all of us who are still on this earthly plane.

471426_10151344158036071_1538361157_o

7) My Mum-in-law came to visit for a week.  This had its very good moments, but as when all family gets together it had it’s not so great moments as well.

8) Mike finally finished the shelf (stained, built, and hung) that he’s been talking about doing for the past 5 years.  Yay!!

9) I dedicated myself into holy slavery to Jesus.

And that’s a quick rehash of my wonderful December.  Amazingly, I kept my cool through it all and was able to find joy in everything that occurred.  Was I sad? Sure. But emotions (happiness, sadness, anger, fear, etc) are fleeting feelings. Joy is eternal and comes from our faith in God. As Christians we are called to be people of joy and to be always hopeful, trusting God during every event in our life. Is it difficult to find joy in all things?  Absolutely! Whenever you are down, something tragic happens, and what not my advice is simple. Take it to prayer, and offer it up to God.

“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  –James 1:2-4

“Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” –Romans 12:12

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:4-7

Fun on Vacation

So here we are in sticky, sunny, mosquito infested Florida. We’ve had lots of fun and excitement so far, and it all started while on the plane.

The one thing that I did not want to happen while on stuck on a plane did happen, of course. Owen decided to unload a very hot and stinky surprise in his diaper, and the cleanup in the tiny little airplane latrine was, simply put, unpleasant.  I had to clean him off while he was standing up, which was a challenge by itself. Now imagine the plane hitting a bit of turbulence and us bouncing around in there while trying to get him all cleaned up. Good times!

While at Grandma’s house Owen and his big sister were running up and down the hallway and Owen just couldn’t stop his short little legs in time and ran headlong into a doorknob. A beautiful knot ensued. Later that afternoon, Owen and his big sister were once again playing, this time on Grandma’s bed. Owen hit his forehead on Grandma’s headboard and a huge knot sprung up next to the smaller one left by the doorknob. Grandma freaked out and started crying. Owen screamed and was only consoled with nursing. And after a trip the hospital’s urgent care, everyone’s worries (mostly Grandma’s) were put to rest.

Owen at the urgent care.
The mosquitoes are eating me alive. Within the first 36 hours of getting to Grandma’s house I had seven bites. The only relief I had was when we drove down to Panama City for one night, but within three hours of getting back to her place I had three more bites.  GRRRRRRRRRR!!   How many bites does my husband have? ZERO.  How many does Grandma have? Zero How many do my children have? ZERO. I’m the best mosquito repellent out there; if only I could keep them away from myself.