Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!


"And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold I bring you good nes of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." - Luke 2:10-12

Ah here it is, Christmas Eve, and I have a confession to make - I have been having a very difficult time finding any Christmas spirit. I want to have it, but between the nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headaches, and feelings of starvation and dehydration I have been fighting, well... its been a bit of a struggle for me this year.


But tonight, as I drug myself out of pajamas and bed (yes, tonight, I'd been sick all day with my amazing husband and wonderful children caring for me) I got ready for mass and off we went. And of course, we were late. Which was my fault because it took me forever to get ready, and even then I looked haphazard and rough, but I figured it would have to do, and we entered the church with standing room only and were relegated to the back of the narthex next to the nativity scene and empty manger. And then, an amazing thing happened. The procession began, to bless the nativity. And my family got to stand right next to Father as he blessed the nativity, and reminded me of what Christmas is about. The incense filled my nose and my being, like a wrap of comfort and hope and peace, and I felt better than I have felt in weeks. It did not last long, but in that moment, I felt such joy. We watched as the baby Jesus was placed right in front of us into the manger. I felt my slightly growing stomach and I now pray that God will forgive me for my selfishness during this pregnancy so far. For all of my complaints, and yes, even the feelings of doubt of having this baby because I have been feeling so sick. I ask my mother Mary, to keep me in her prayers and to ask for intercession for me. That even if I do not feel better, I will remember that moment by the manger this evening. Mary must have struggled far more than I, but as a mother she also must feel such empathy for me in what I am going through, and I know she will lift me up in prayer to her Son.

As my children watched the blessing of the nativity, I realized how all these little things - like being late - came together in such a perfect moment for what MY family needed most this year. What an incredible blessing on this Christmas Eve.

And now, as I log off to go and decorate our tree with the kids, tuck them in bed, and finish all the last minute things for tomorrow, I leave you with these words from Pope Benedict XVI on this Christmas Eve.

"Today Christmas has become a commercial celebration, whose bright lights hide the mystery of God's humility, which in turn calls us to humility and simplicity, ...Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem, so as to find true joy and true light."


From our family to yours,
have a very blessed and merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Magical Christmas Moment

I saw this video posted on another blog, and I just cried while watching it. So moving, so magical. Or maybe I'm just so pregnant. ;o)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Faux - Greek Avgolemono

As I sit here eating a little bowl of quick and easy soup, I thought, hmmm maybe someone else would like to try it. We really enjoy it when we have sore throats or coughs that need soothing, or when its chilly out. I am loving it for a nice evening meal before I go to bed, since it stays down and keeps me from waking up with hunger pains during the night (did I mention that me and food have not been very good friends lately?)

So, here you go. A very easy and not at all accurate version of Greek Avgolemono soup. Believe me - this recipe is not even close to the ingredients or amazingness of the real thing. BUT, it does fine in a pinch. And since I don't know how to make the real thing, this as as good as it gets around here. =o)

1 regular size can cream of chicken soup
Milk
1 medium sized lemon (or more, depending on your love for lemony-goodness)
sprinkling of thyme

Dump can of soup into a stove pot
Cut the lemon and squeeze the juice into the soup (watch out for seeds!)
Add milk (instead of water as on can directions) to desired consistency
Warm thoroughly
Sprinkle with thyme until you get the flavor you want
And EAT

So yum.

The Taylor Elves

Elf Yourself has become one of our family traditions around here. The kids find it hilarious.

So from our family to yours - have a very hip Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Prayer Request for another Mom

I don't know this mom and her little one, and I have never even read her blog until today when I clicked a link through a link through a link that led me to her blog. But as a mom myself, I can't imagine what she and her family have gone through, are going through, and will be going through.

You see, she and her little baby were hit by a large trailer. She is bruised but ok, and her son is in the hospital and will live, but it sounds as if they have a long road of physical and emotional healing to go through. Please, pray for this family. Her story had me in tears, and still does. I fully believe that our prayers can be used to just wrap this family and their little boy up in love. Please join me.

http://ourordinarylifeextraordinary.blogspot.com/2011/12/tragedy.html

Thursday, December 15, 2011

And...the decision is made

Well, Adam and I have made our final decision regarding the birth of this baby.

We are going with the OB I used with Will, and the hospital in The Woodlands. Although I would love to use the birth center, it really is too far for me personally to go during labor. During labor I can manage my pain when I can move, and I can't imagine sitting in a car for an hour without being able to actively do anything to relieve that pain. Adam is also not very comfortable with the drive, and I can not force him to do do something I know he is concerned about.

However, we have come to a bit of a compromise. We will be hiring a doula this time to have with us while I labor at home and when I go to the hospital for the birth. In the past, I realize most of my birth "issues" have come up because during labor I can not, for whatever reason, stand up for myself. I feel intimidated with the doctors and nurses around me, and because I am in no state during labor to really stand up for myself based on my past history, and Adam just isn't confrontational and is very agreeable, we realize that in order for us to make this birth better than my previous ones, we need an extra support person and advocate there with us.

Even though this isn't exactly what I had hoped for, it is definitely something I can be ok with, and I feel much better knowing I will have a doula there with us offering that extra support and care. Its a compromise we are happy with based on all of the factors we had to consider, and I feel good about this decision.

Now...onto interviewing doulas! Let me know if you know of one serving the north Houston/Spring/ Woodlands areas that you would recommend. A midwife in Conroe knows a couple doulas in training who may even be willing to be our doula for free, in order to add our birth to their training requirements. Its all going to work out, and I feel so much better now. Its like a weight is gone! No more tears. =o)

Is this getting repetitive?

Another bullet post! Yay! Haha.

1. On Sunday we are going to walk through my parents new almost completed house. Its getting very real! The move is happening soon! I am so excited to have the space and the yard for the kids. It is going to be so incredible!
2. I have to finish up Christmas shopping today. Must must must.
3. Speaking of Christmas shopping... I have a package that is delayed. Its freaking me out! As of right now, I have 1 package coming on the 22nd, 2 on the 23rd, and 1 that hasn't even shipped yet! I'm doomed!
4. I really want greek food. I love greek food. Anyone ever had dolmathes? Oh my goodness. Adam and I need to schedule a date night soon to my favorite place.
5. The kids and I are going out of town next week for a few days, leaving Adam all by his lonesome with the pets. I think he is actually viewing it as a mini-vacation, lol.
6. More Christmas cards came today! Yay!
7. All baby names sound just awful to me. This is going to be difficult.
8. It's over 80 degrees here. This is unacceptable! Its DECEMBER!!!!
9. Will has horrible cradle cap on his head. I discovered it after the haircut. One of my brothers had this too as a toddler, and still occasionally struggles with it as an upper elementary aged young hoodlum. Will does not like me picking it off. But I'm not really sure what else to do about it. So I pick.
10. Christmas is going to be weird this year. As family members get older and things change, well...things change. Holidays change. Traditions must sometimes change. I'm having a hard time with it this year. My emotional state isn't very stable lately (thanks baby! haha). All I can say is - we better still be having donuts Christmas morning. That is all.
11. Will likes to play with straws and make them talk to each other. It amuses me.
12. Abby isn't little anymore. At all. I realized this when looking at the types of things she will be getting for Christmas this year. Nope, she is definitely not a little girl anymore. How did this happen?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Margaritas



Are my favorite drink. I live in Texas, and down here they come standard with a tex-mex meal or chips and salsa! I remember now, that when I was pregnant with Will, I CRAVED margaritas. I wanted one SO badly, and of course I didn't because I used self control, but man, was it difficult. This time is worse. I'm starving - ok maybe not REALLY, but sometimes during the day I FEEL like I am starving. I get so hungry, but everything sounds so gross. Except a margarita, haha. So tonight, out of desperation for something to drink, I grabbed a bacardi margarita mix from the freezer (alcohol free mixer of course), threw it in the blender with some lemon juice (I was out of orange juice and oranges, but like I said, desperation), and some ice and then thinned it out with water. And even though it isn't perfect, and its definitely NOT a margarita, its delicious. And it isn't making me feel sick. And I'm SO thrilled. This may become a normal thing around here. And its a nice thing I can make easily when we are hanging out with friends and family and everyone is having some wine or mixed drinks.

Yay! That'll do pig. That'll do.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I don't like thinking of titles to posts. Its torture.

Apparently the bullet post is becoming my new thing. It works.

1. I am still missing Will's hair.
2. All the presents in the house are wrapped. I ended up having to do the shopping for Adam's grandparents, so now I am waiting for more packages to arrive, so I can wrap more things. It is never ending.
3. I miss being able to eat food, and enjoy it. I can eat, but I'm miserable the whole time. It feels very sad.
4. I have been reading studies that say a glass of wine here and there during pregnancy is ok. Going to double check with my midwife/ob to get their opinion, but yes, I am very happy that I can have the occasional sip (especially on New Year's!) without feeling insanely guilty or getting myself in a tizzy.
5. I read the word piddleswap on a blog today, and I found it quite humorous.
6. The three little pigs told in Shakespearean language its absolutely amusing.
7. The Choctaw tribe makes it as insanely difficult as possible for someone out of state to get their Certified Degree of Indian Blood cards. I just want to get my kids cards, and its like pulling teeth.
8. We move in just over 4 weeks! Floors are getting redone before we move in, and I am so excited! The painting will take me forever, but that's ok. One room at a time.
9. Its not cold here. Bah humbug!
10. We are going to go to Santa's Wonderland this year! So exciting! I bet the kids are gonna LOVE it! I will have to get pictures to put up.
11. I am getting less Christmas cards this year than ever before. I hope more start coming in. This is making me sad! Every year fewer people send them out. Sniff sniff.
12. Abby is getting some really cool crackle nail polish for Christmas (ssshhh) and I think I might use it, haha.
13. I buy my own Christmas presents from Santa. It just ended up that way somehow. Its kinda sad buying your own gifts. And I inevitably end up buying things I need vs. things I just want to have. Life of a mom. =o)
14. Will is so excited about Christmas this year. He actually "gets" what is going on. He knows he bought Abby a present and what it is, and he knows not to tell her. So he keeps telling her he got her a SECRET! Haha. I love it.
15. Abby is a present counter. She wants it all to be even. I talked to her about just because someone has less stuff, doesn't mean anything. Although I DO try to get them an equal number of gifts, totaling about the same dollar amount. I guess I must have given her that "even"-ness trait.

Regret

I gave Adam a hair cut today. This meant that my sweet little curly haired Will wanted a hair cut too. He begged and said please please please. So I did it. And now I wish I hadn't. I miss his hair already. He still looks cute, but that hair! Sniff.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bad Gifts

So, this time of year I always come across 50 million lists (yes, exactly that many) of things to buy or not to buy for someone this year for Christmas. Most of the time, the list is just junk. Either it lists items to buy that I would not have on my Christmas list, or it lists terrible items to purchase that 1) I actually do have on my list, or 2) I have purchased for someone. Hmph.

But today I ran across this list: 7 Gifts to Avoid this Holiday
And I have to say, when I got to the last item listed, I had to laugh and nearly cry. Please, please please please! Do not get your wife any kind of lingerie or undergarment for Christmas - at least not if she will be opening it in front of family. It was not that many years ago that we got to spend a large chunk of Christmas morning watching my MIL open sexy underwear after sexy underwear from my FIL. I mean, I'm glad the romance is still alive and everything, but I really didn't want to see that.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Confession

So I am going to admit something.

I'm a little scared of being in pain during labor. Because I felt pain with both my previous labors (duh). And even though I know most of the bad pain I felt was when I was forced to lay down and not when I was doing what my body said...well. I'm still a little scared. Because I've never actually made it through either of my births without giving in to pain meds, so I am a little fearful I'm not going to be able to handle it. But, really, I know I can. And I know I will. And now that I've admitted this fear, I can face it.

Right?

And it is way too early for me to be worried about labor pain. Geez I know it is. But all this talk of birth centers and doctors and midwives has my mind just all kinds of worked up. Plus being awake and overtired doesn't help any, I'm sure!

But really, as a side note. Even though I have some normal fears, and I have some stressful decision making, and I am so exhausted and feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired, I am so happy to be having another baby. So very happy! And who wouldn't be? It's a baby! So many people I know have new little ones in their arms that were born in the last month or so. I love seeing the pictures of the tiny babies. They're still "squishy". Abby and Will have long ceased being squishy. We could always use more squishy around here.

Decisions Decisions. Sigh.

So...I'm kind of at a crossroads right now in figuring out this whole "where am I gonna have this baby" issue.

I don't want a hospital birth. I DON'T. I know I don't. I wholeheartedly don't want to do it. Even though the doctor I had with Will, who I would be using again, is wonderful, I don't want to deal with the hospital. Even though my doctor is great about letting me call the shots and do what I need to do, the hospital isn't. And I know I'm going to be hooked up to bags by needles and wires and forced to lay in a bed instead of being able to move around and be comfortable, which will inevitably end in another epidural, and another birth not going how I really want it to.

But. Insurance. And money. Our insurance(s) (goodness) will cover the obgyn and the hospital birth. A Homebirth using a midwife is out of the question with my insurance. Completely uncovered. I would have to pay it all. And honestly, I just don't think that will be feasible unless we rely on our income tax return, and I feel terrible asking Adam and my family to sacrifice that money just so I can stay home.

So, on to option 3. Birth Center, which our insurance will cover only 2 places in all of Houston. 1 in North Houston near where we will be (but I have met this particular midwife and am NOT excited at ALL about using her...horror stories). OR...I can use a midwife and birth center WAY out in Pearland, which is an hour from where I will be living. And I just don't know if that is even realistic considering the number of appointments at the end of pregnancy, and I just can't imagine myself being in labor in the car for over an hour driving there. And Adam is worried about potentially having a baby in the car and being a news story, haha.

So. I have some decisions to make. And I just don't know. Sigh. So what would YOU do? Cause I am at a loss at this point. I feel like none of my options are anywhere near ideal, and I in all my pregnancy hormone glory am FREAKING out. So tell me its all gonna be ok and work out one way or another, and let me know what you would do in my situation.

Oh, I could also beg the inlaws to pay for it, but I don't think that's a good idea at all. ;o)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Carols

One of the things I find so beautiful about this time of year, are the Christmas Carols. I LOVE music (well, certain music, haha, I'm picky). But this year we are being very careful about what songs we are listening to and when. As far as the silly Christmas songs, and just the fun typical songs like Jingle Bells, etc. I don't really care when those are listened to or sung. However, when it comes to the songs about Christ, we are being careful. I don't want to spend all of the advent season singing songs about Christ's birth and how he has already come, when during advent we are supposed to be waiting anxiously for His birth. So we are trying to hold off on the typical Christmas Carols for a bit later in the season, and listen to things more appropriate to the season of Advent. I want my kids to really feel that anxiousness about sitting and waiting for Christ. I want Christmas Eve to be the magical moment when they realize, YES! He is coming! And for Christmas Day to just be a light for them, a day of joy and excitement! I feel like we have missed that in past years, because of our eagerness with beginning Christmas...well, right after Thanksgiving! I really want to make the distinction this year. I have been sharing our experiences with a few others, and people who have never celebrated Advent before, are becoming very interested and have said they would like to next year, in order to bring the focus on what Christmas is truly about, and to make it more meaningful. I'm so glad they feel that way! And I hope they do celebrate next year!

For now, here is one of my favorite songs that I have been listening to during this Advent season. Warning: you might cry. Or, maybe that's just the pregnancy hormones, haha.


P.S. Did anyone else's parish (or church) sing O Come Emmanuel this past weekend? I was like, nooooooooooo!!!!! I so wanted to wait with that one. Oh well. It is a beautiful song. We are very excited to sing it one verse at a time this year at the time we do the O Antiphons. This year is just full of so many new and beautiful things for our family! I love it!

P.P.S. I am feeling quite sick. I know this is a good thing. But, I'm starving, and I can't eat anything. Today is "go out to eat night" for our family, and I REALLY want to be able to enjoy it. And not be hungry, haha.