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Posts Tagged ‘babies’

Having a family of four is a strange thing. My friends with bigger families scoff when I refer to my family as large, and smaller families are shocked that I have so many. The most interesting part of my family (I think) is that I never thought I would ever have or want a big family. I was never particularly maternal. I never had the ‘clock’ ticking. Each child came naturally from a gentle nudge when it was time. I thought at one I was done, then I thought I could never handle more than two. As three and four came, I just realized my cup didn’t empty, it just got bigger. My girls bring me so much joy. My marriage has been strengthened so much by our roles changing and developing together. I think I have had the graces to become a better person throughout this journey.

One of the funny things are some of the things I constantly hear. People just seem to have the same standard responses. Normally they are:
“Are you done now?” – Not sure. For today I am, but I have had my heart changed in the past, so who knows…
“All girls?!?! Are you trying for a boy?” – Nope, I like girls. In fact, I had a priest once tell me he would pray that God blesses me with a boy and that he become a priest. Thank goodness that prayer hasn’t been answered yet. I don’t understand boys at all. Although my nephews are freaking fantastic!
“You must be busy!” – Nope. (I say as I flop down to fold ten loads of laundry while on the phone sorting volunteering hours, changing a diaper, kissing a boo boo, and cooking dinner)
“Your poor husband!” – Don’t even get me started on this one
“Better you than me” – I am never quite sure how to respond to this… ‘yes, I MUST be soooo much better at this than you??’ (which is ironic since I spend half the time trying to figure it out)

I am not thinking about joining the quiverfull movement anytime soon (www.quiverfull.com) I don’t quite fit the 2.5 children box.  I am just me.  Learning each day how to be a better wife and mom.  Learning that I can grow and that I can forgive myself when I screw up.  Learning that I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to love with all I have.

And because I love lists, I will end with this:

Things I would love my children to learn from being in our “big” family:

1. Love multiplies as numbers increase.
2. Extra kids mean extra opportunities to give.
3. Fighting is impossible to avoid, but easy to end.
4. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ are not only for guests.
5. Even mom and dad have to say I am sorry when they are wrong.
6. Easter and Christmas are about Christ, not candy.
7. What we DO is far more important than what we have.
8. We sometimes have to choose to love someone. If we rely only on our emotions, we are not going to make it very far in life.
9. Doing things to help others is not an option, it’s a requirement.
10. Big things can be done when one person starts small.
11. Ikea tables are made too small for real dinners.
12. A messy house is okay sometimes.
13. People are ALWAYS more important than things.
14. Being kind is contagious.
15. Our lives are an example to each other and the people around us.
16. Birthday cakes come in extra extra large.
18. It’s important to tell people what you need. Nobody is able to read your mind.
19. Sometimes people just need a hug. Always be ready to give one, and be grateful in accepting one.
20. Family is the absolute, number one, without a doubt, most precious gift you have ever been given.

Pray for me and my family as we pray for you always.

Catholic Momma

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The Flu.

Recently our family faced the flu.  Sounds pretty normal, but in a bigger family, it was like something took over our world.

It began innocently enough when my oldest daughter had a bit of a throat infection and my next daughter came to me and told me she was sick also.  I assumed that perhaps it was a bit of trying to gain my attention, but I hugged her and told her to lie down for a bit to feel better.  About five minutes later, she came down the stairs and promptly puked all over me and the oldest.  And I mean all over.  Down my hair, dripped down my pants, and somehow she continued to throw up.  As I jumped up calling to the oldest to get a bowl, she says to me “What kind of bowl?”….  Really?  Did she seriously ask me what the appropriate bowl was for puke???    Anyways, she got me the bowl, I rushed kid 2 up to the washroom to finish up there while I had a shower.

She was very sick.  I am pretty sure it was this Norwalk thing.  Not pretty.

And just as I thought maybe the light was at the end of the tunnel, kid number 3 started puking at about 2am.  Lovely.  Now the irony about her episode was that she was worried about making a mess with it…  This is the child that single handedly destroys my whole home, but was gagging on her own puke because she didn’t want to make a mess?  Apparently this flu brought with it a shift in the universe for a few days.  So I ended up holding a towel for her to puke into while my half awake zombie of a husband ran to get a bucket.

At this stage, he also went down.  Victim numero 3.  Yuck.  At this point I was aggressively cleaning all toilets (nobody likes to puke in a dirty toilet).

Then, the baby.  Oy.  The baby.  She didn’t puke, but there is something truly vile about what comes into a diaper when an infant has the flu.  This could seriously be used as a weapon.  I wonder if the government has researched this?  I have never met a man who could face a diaper with a straight face, let alone a flu diaper…

At some point in there (my memory seems to have wiped out the horror of that week), I went down for 12 hours also.

As I was sitting trying to rest I told my oldest “you wait, you’re next…”  (because I am a mean, mean mom).  😉  She vehemently asserted that she was not going down.  It became our little game.

Shockingly, she did avoid it.  I don’t know how.  She is my most stubborn child, so maybe she just decided not to.  Who knows.

It’s funny how in moments like these it truly, honestly feels like you can’t get through.  I know that other families go through it.  I know people face FAR worse battles.  But somehow, on day 3 of no sleep and all puke, it seems like the worse possible situation to everyone involved.  It seems like it will never end.  But it will, and it does.  It always does.  Even day 3 can’t last forever.

We are all more or less healthy now.  I have caught up on some sleep.  This weekend I am going on a married couples retreat with my husband.  The kids are divided and conquered.  And thank God, the puking has stopped.

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So, my baby daughter is part of the CHILD study taking place at the UofA.   You can read bout it here: http://www.canadianchildstudy.ca/overview.html.  I highly recommend anyone who is expecting to get involved with this.  It is a great opportunity to help with research in this much needed area.

Anyways, as part of the study, at one year, we got to go in and have allergy testing done (skin prick tests) for both me and my babe, and do some developmental testing for her, as well as spirometry test for me.

Well, the first thing I was told was that even if it is itchy, I was not to scratch for 20 min.

Has anyone had any of these done?

Itchy does not describe the level of what I went through.  More like along the lines of  ‘if you feel like you need to tear your skin off’.  Wowzers!  Of the 19 pricks, I reacted to 11.  4 quite intensely.  It was crazy.

For those of you that know me, I sometimes am… reluctant about spending lots of time outdoors.  I have a weird, irrational fear of bees and wasps (although I have been working very hard to face it).  So, I tend towards indoor activities a lot.  What does that have to do with the test?  Well, the most severe reactions I had were for trees, grass, and weeds.  Seems like the outdoors are aggressively and actively attacking me.  Hmm.  Interesting.

Which leads me to my thought of the day about irrational fears.

My mother-in-law once told me to pray for God to take away my fear and he would.  I have, He hasn’t.  I am not sure it is going to work that way for me.  I have an awful uneasiness that I will pass this onto my kids too.  I try very hard to hide it from them, but (I’m not going to lie) there are times when a bee buzzing has brought me to tears.  I had a hard time even working on my daughter’s school report on wasps because the pictures were freaking me out.  I have managed, for the most part, to conquer my fears of spiders, but the flying bug thing I have a long way to go.  I once (to my own embarrassment) freaked out when a bee came near my baby carriage and ran and cried.  Who does that???  I am trying very hard to defeat this irrationality.  I *know* it is not a reasonable fear.  I just have not gotten to that place yet.  I think I have gotten to the point I probably wouldn’t abandon my baby to fend for themselves ever again, but not much further than that.  It affects my life, it is embarrassing, and I just plain don’t like it.

If anyone has tips on this, please let me know!  I wonder if there is a patron saint of bees… or fears of bees?

In the meantime, I think that science has now given me legitimate reason to spend extra time indoors.  (Oh, and I have a really funny fear of spiders story too that I should share someday… involves me, 8 months pregnant, standing in the ditch on a highway.)

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