allthemasons

An Unabashedly Catholic Family

So Long WordPress January 9, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — allthemasons @ 5:27 PM

Lets face it, I am not computer savvy enough to make my wordpress a happening place to be. I am going back to basics, the blog that started it all. If you’re not already tired of my constant blog switching then bookmark the new/old blog. The Peace of Christ is baaack.

This will be left up for about a month to give anyone time to figure out that this blog will no longer exist once I import all posts over to POC.

 

Love and Marriage December 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — allthemasons @ 7:46 PM

For years I have been under the impression that romance and love must always come from the inside of a gift box or a bouquet of fresh smelling flowers. My boyfriend/fiance/husband could tell me all day and night that he loved me but it didn’t really mean much to me until there was a cheesy hallmark card attached to those words. What can I say I’m pretty shallow. Or I was until early into our marriage kids were thrown into the mix. As a Catholic couple trying our hardest to follow and obey the Church teachings, we had only been married for a few years when we were blessed with twins and debt at the same time. Suddenly the flowers stopped arriving when my husband came home from work, there was no room in the budget to try out the new French bistro in midtown or slam poetry and Jamaican food. Suddenly we were smack dab int he middle of reality.

Reality certainly wasn’t a scene from The Bachelor (“will you accept this rose?”-worst line ever). Love became my husband allowing me to sleep through my four hour shift one day and bouncing and feeding and rocking the twins so I could catch my breath. Love was six months into this new parenting gig, my husband being truly happy albeit a little nervous, when we discovered I was carrying another little bean. The romance is truly in the details in this house. Like when I come home from the store and the bathroom shower is sparkling clean and the cloth diapers are washed and hung out to dry.

The love we have for each other makes me sigh in contentment and truly appreciate what I have. The statistics may be against a couple like us. Twins and another sibling thirteen months apart? How do we survive? A special needs child and a fourth blessing on the way? One income and barely scraping by?  I’m not bragging, because believe me, this would have been a lot harder on us had it not been for our faith. I attribute all the graces that continue to keep us going, to Christ Himself. I certainly am not strong or humble enough to keep this going alone. I come from an extremely broken home where real marriage never existed. Love definitely did not present itself in my home. I had no examples of a faith driven marriage. If anything all I learned was easy come easy go. I think that has played a part in how I viewed earlier relationships and even early into my relationship with my future husband. Heck I still have a hard time with my pride when it comes to my marriage and the conflicts that often arise.

We were not married in the Church, we had a judge from San Francisco perform our secular outdoor wedding.  Two years later we entered into the Catholic church together and the very next day, our parish priest gave us a personal mass with family and blessed our marriage. He took our rings and blessed both with the sprinkling of holy water. Together we kneeled and for the second time in our married lives, received Holy Communion together. Side by side. Our wedding rings no longer symbols, our marriage no longer just a legal document. We had the sacrament and our rings are reminders of that sacrament.

Our romance is built into the three children we almost never had, the crazy intense discussions we have on race, books, and music. We enjoy the quiet hours after our kids are in bed where we get to pretend for awhile that it’s just us, a bottle of red wine, and a good television show or movie. But the next morning when reality returns in the form of a child crying at 6:00 am to be changed and fed, the romance doesn’t disappear. Oh no. The romance is very much alive when my husband climbs out of bed and whispers in my ear to just relax for a few more minutes as he has everything under control. Swoon.

In Christ.

 

Merry Christmas! December 26, 2012

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Christmas 2012

After the heartbreaking news we received about Annie, celebrating the birth of Christ was much needed. On Christmas eve, Marc had to work a half day but my mom came over in the morning and cooked the kids and I a huge breakfast of whole wheat pancakes, scrambled eggs with cheese, hot links for me, and turkey sausage and bacon for the kids, and fried potatoes. She even made Marc a plate so he could eat on the way to work.

Later in the afternoon, we had Marc’s dad and stepmom over after naps and exchanged gifts with them, I’m really excited about my Food Network magazine subscription! The kids made all of their grandparents and their aunt’s family homemade salt dough ornaments. We started two days before Christmas eve and I found the idea on Pinterest. I’ll post pictures and the information in another blog post. After we exchanged gifts, we headed next door to Marc’s mom and stepdad’s house for an hor d’oeuvres (yes I did look up how to spell that word) party with cousins and more extended family. We brought over Brie en Croute which is delicious. There were things like homemade green salsa, clam dip, deviled eggs, Monica’s homemade onion dip, sugar cookies. We stayed late into the night forgetting that we had to be up for Christmas morning mass.

On Christmas morning we went to 8:00 mass with my mother in-law and sister in-law in tow. After mass we headed to the next door in-laws for brunch. French toast casserole, sausage, and fruit were on the menu. Before breakfast we opened a pile of gifts for the children. The hit was the cheap plastic babydoll stroller. Unfortunately the wheel keeps falling off so Marc has an idea to super glue all of the wheels and I’m hoping that works. Mikey is also really enjoying his emergency vehicle magnets.

In the evening we headed back next door (I know, we spent a lot of time next door right?) for a smaller family dinner. We had excellent prime rib, mashed potatoes, swiss peas, baby carrots, and rolls. For dessert there was chocolate bars with almonds for the kids, chocolate mousse cake, and lemon meringue pie made by my mom. Lemon meringue pie has always been a tradition in my family and it was one of two pies that my grandmother always made at every holiday dinner. My mom continues that tradition as she knows how I love lemon pie.

All in all we had a wonderful Christmas. Marc had to go back to work today but he will hopefully be able to take Friday and Monday off from work. Friday is our triple date night to go and see the Hobbit. Can’t wait! Unfortuantely in all my excitement I failed to capture a single moment of our wonderful holiday on camera. I think I got a few iphone pictures but I’m too lazy to upload them right now.

In Christ.

 

 

Quick Takes (Including Anne’s Diagnosis) December 21, 2012

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7_quick_takes_sm1

1. Annie has officially been diagnosed with autism using the the standard MCHAT format. And while it was hard to see her go through all of the testing and see the many delays, I am relieved at the diagnosis. I am relieved because we now have a concrete answer and I now know that I need to begin researching and reading. So if anyone has any books, blogs, or homeschooling forums that are autistic specific, lead me to them. At the same time, this does not give free range to anyone to observe Anne or treat her any differently from how you have been treating her. She is still my daughter, your grandchild, friend, goddaughter, niece, and sweet little girl. I would prefer if there are any questions or concerns to ask me or Marc and if we need help we will ask.

2. After Christmas my goals are to rework my schedule to fit in my therapy sessions with her and some other goals to get her where she needs to be. We are choosing to only work with an outisde speech therapist at this time and I will be be doing her occupational therapy until we transfer over to the school district. The only reason being I don’t think there is enough time between now and February for Anne to work and bond with the OT. And I was not a fan of her methods. This is one of those moments when I have to remember that I am her main advocate and I choose what is right for her because no one knows her better than me.

3. My SIL and family are in town all the way from Switzerland so it’s been a nice distraction and fun! We’ve either been next door for most of the day or they’ve been over here this week.

4. My mom is whisking me away for a night out tonight. We’re going to the Elephant Bar and I’m looking forward to coconut shrimp!!!

5. I have successfully switched OBs and I am relieved, especially since my old doctor contacted both an RD for the gestational diabetes I may not even have and a perinatologist for an imaginary incompetent cervix. How is it that my twins were safely delivered at 36 weeks, and my daughter was safely delivered at 38 weeks if my cervix were incompetent? My appt. with Dr. K is scheduled for January 3rd.

6. As I am typing this, I forgot that my husband had imported his Wynton Marsalis jazz cd onto my itunes and “2nd Line” came blaring out into my earphones and made me think of Mardi Gras and it brought a smile to my face. It’s the little things you know? Mikey loves it when I play that song and we dance our butts off. Man I love Wynton Marsalis.

7. We finally have rain! The kids and I have been suffering from dry winter skin and eczema is flaring up behind poor Annie’s ears like crazy. Time for Rx strength hydrocortisone.

Go visit Jen for more quick takes!

In Christ.

 

Simple Woman’s Daybook December 18, 2012

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Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY December 18, 2012

Outside my window…it’s dark and the skies are clear suggesting freezing temperatures but no rain. Boo.

I am thinking…about all of the Christmas cards I have to write and send out.

I am
thankful…for a warm bed, good food, and my family.

In the kitchen…my husband is cleaning up and just started the dishwasher.

I am wearing…my pajamas!

I am
creating…special Grandparents gifts and a list of GD friendly snacks.

I am going…to read a chapter each of The Hobbit and By the Shores of Silver Lake before going to bed.

I am wondering…about removing my polyp, my diet, and if we’ll have a new addition to our family in July. God, I hope so.

I am
reading…The Hobbit, By the Shores of Silver Lake (book 5 in the Little House series) and Oliver Twist. I have to have more than one book going.

I am hoping…for good news this Friday (Anne’s spectrum evaluation), a relaxing Christmas, and good news with my appt. Jan 3rd.

I am looking forward to…July 2013, seeing the Hobbit on a triple date for free, and a day off for my husband.

I am
learning…to trust in God, to have more patience with my children, and fine motor activites to do with Annie. Google rocks!

Around the house…the kids are in bed asleep…finally, my husband is reading right next to me and the dishwasher is humming.

I am pondering…what things to pack for Annie’s three hour psychology appt. so she is comfortable and what to eat for breakfast. I can’t help the latter, I’m pregnant and ravenous.

A favorite
quote for today…”Merry Christmas mama!”~Mikey

One of my favorite things…seeing my kids interact with each other and the affection they have for their siblings and for their poor tired parents. Philly runs up to me and leaps into my lap shouting “huggy” and Mikey randomly hands his beloved dump truck to Annie to play with. I also enjoy the moment when my husband gets home from work and the evening magically falls into easy street.

A few plans for
the rest of the week: hanging out next door with my SIL’s family, Annie’s appt.,  and our new stove being delivered so I can actually cook a frozen pizza and sweet potato fries.

A peek into my day…I didn’t take any pictures today but if I had you would have seen all three kids wearing knit hats banging on drums with kitchen spoons keeping time to “Little Drummer Boy.” That’s how we roll.

Don’t forget to check out Simple Woman’s Daybook

In Christ.

 

When Life Gives You Lemons… December 17, 2012

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It’s tough to not focus on the bad news and I don’t want to only post bad news or funky stuff on my blog but I’m telling you, 2012 stinks!

I had my OB exam today where my doctor gave me a pap smear, checked out the polyp and an u/s was done. The baby is fine and growing at 8w5d but the bad news is:

1. my polyp is protruding, like it’s huge and full of blood which explains why I am now always seeing gobs of blood after trips to the bathroom. It is also something that cannot and should not be removed at any time during the pregnancy. Why? Oh um lets see…because it’s attached to the cervix and the OB does not know if it’s in fact growing from the inside of the cervix. She swears it’s not harmful to the baby or the growing uterus but it could put me at risk for preterm labor (sheesh, again?). I am now again a high risk pregnant woman who cannot be on bed rest and this baby will only stay inside me by the grace of God. I can do nothing but pray that this baby is called to be mine on earth.

2. Gestational diabetes. My initial glucose levels were in the range of abnormally high which means now I have to watch what I eat and I might have to prick my finger 3x a day to test my blood sugar levels. What? No more fruit loops? AHHHHHH. Okay so in the grand scheme of things this one isn’t so bad.

July is a long way off.

The good news:

1. I finished all of the Christmas shopping and wrapped all of the children’s presents. Annie is getting a babydoll nursery, a skirt and top to wear to church, and “The Little Red Hen”. Mikey is getting a bubble blowing lawn mower, Maurice Sendak’s “Chicken Soup with Rice” which is a book of months containing a poem for each month and his awesome illustrations, and a new long sleeved shirt, and Philly is getting a doll stroller (so she and Anne will each have their own), a new dress, and the book “The Velveteen Rabbit.” We try to keep gift giving simple and as the years go by, I’m planning on making it a lot simpler than that.

2. Yesterday we celebrated and rejoiced with all of our fellow Catholics for Gaudete Sunday. We lit our pink or rose colored candle, recited our Advent prayers and decorated the tree. The compromise I made with my husband was that I would hold off on major decorating until this joyful Sunday during Advent. Marc put together the tree (a real one next year, I swear!) and I hung the ornaments and we let the littles watch a half hour of Cinderella. I forgot how much I enjoy the classic Disney animated movies. I really like the simple animation with the hand drawn figures. Cinderella, 101 Dalmations, and Snow White are among my favorites.

3. Spending four hours waiting to be seen by my doctor finally gave me the push to switch practices. I hate change and I was willing to out up with the hell that is my soon to be former practice, but today cut the cake. Paying for parking two separate times, having to reschedule my appt., and a doctor who always finds something wrong with my perfectly normal cervix and then sends me to a high risk OB really funks me out. Goodbye c-section crazy practice, hello calm and gentle Dr. K.

In Christ.

 

It’s Been A Long Day December 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — allthemasons @ 5:57 PM
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This morning Anne had her first occupational therapy appt. from 11-12:15. I was a bit irritated because I had specifically told the woman I was concerned with making it for that time since Anne takes a nap at noon. Well she was late and the appt. was an assessment and it took forever.

She started out with sitting across from Annie at the table and having her stack mini cubes (Anne did not comply and I know she knows how to stack blocks but of course these were smallish to guage her fine motor skills?), next was drawing a straight line mimicking the one the OT drew (Annie instead held her crayon awkwardly and scribbled), the rest of the session went pretty much the same, the OT first demonstrated something to Annie and asked her to do the same, but asking a 2 year old to put cheerios in a bottle and not expecting that the 2 year old will eat them is just plain silly. 9 times out of 10, Annie could not do what was asked of her. I felt like the worst mother in the world because she should know this stuff. she should know how to place large wooden shapes onto a dowel or place small beads into a container. It’s me, I’m the one who just places toys in front of them so I can get a few household chores done. I’m not saying any of this to get sympathy, I’m just angry. Angry at having let my daughter down! Anne’s fine motor skills and bilateral coordination (meaning manipulating things with two hands) are lacking and she is at best in the 9-12 month range. End of story.

This afternoon I had to wake her up early from an already shortened nap for her speech therapy. I really like her speech therapist, she is firm but encouraging and actually engages the parent. Today we worked on signing “please”, “all done”, “drink”, “eat”, “no” and “yes.” During a session with play dough, Anne was encouraged to roll the dough into balls while we said “ball” very slowly. I read that forming shapes with play dough is excellent for bilateral coordination and working out the muscles for better fine motor and grasping skills as well. Before the other two kids woke up, Ms. R worked on several puzzles with Annie to which Annie responded to very well. Annie was also able to partially sign “no” when she became frustrated with a toy switch. Our homework this week is to work on signing “please” andgiving her two choices. Giving Annie a choice helps her feel in control and encourages positive communication.

My goals for OT are to work with placing shapes onto dowels with her to stimulate bilateral coordination (the stick in one hand and the shape in the other hand) and eye hand coordination. She has trouble staying focused so eye contact is key with all of these exercises. I am planning on ordering a few things from Amazon such as the pop beads which are huge plastic beads that pop and snap into each other and once she’s mastered this, we’ll move onto stringing beads. I am also planning on ordering the peg stackers. First I’m going to scour thrift stores this weekend to see if I can get lucky and find these things secondhand, because all of the things I need for her are $$$.

Annie has begun babbling a little more but no real improvement with a clear use of vocabulary. It’s still a long road to go and if I weren’t so tired and stressed out, I’d try to be a tad more positive but it’s also not really in my nature to do so. Working on it but lack of sleep, heavy bleeding with clots during my pregnancy (could be the polyp, could be something else), and two other children to care for is taking a huge toll on my confidence. I just need 2013 to be good to me because 2012 has been awful.

 

 

 

 
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