Thursday, October 29, 2009

Small Success Thursday

Well, well, well. Here we are again at another Thursday, and looking back at the week, I have some small things to celebrate. So, here we go, folks!


1. I have managed to assist My Darling in the priming and painting of the Family Closet portion of the Addition. Photos shall be forthcoming.

2. Last night at Messiah Rehearsal, I was able to correctly sing a few trouble spots without letting them get the best of me--a good thing, since we only have one more rehearsal before we meet up with the orchestra. It's fish or cut bait!

3. I spoke with my doctor and increased the dose of my medication, which I've been needing to do. She totally understood when I explained that I can talk to my other Mom friends 'til the cows come home about it, but when it came to actually picking up the phone, it seemed to become a poisonous cactus. At any rate, it's done, and I'm feeling much the better for it.

4. I managed to resist the siren call of the Dr. Pepper that's nice and cold and fizzy and delicious and a mere 30 or so steps away. Sleep is more important. And caffeine is bad for the singing voice, too. And Heaven knows I have some singing to do.

There are other folks celebrating their everyday triumphs here as well. What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Two down....

The Pudge has fully recovered, thanks be to God, from her bout with the flu. It's totally up in the air as to whether or not she had the Bonafide H1N1 Swine Flu--after all, with the empirical treatment and complete lack of testing, it seems to me there's a whole lot of assumption going on. Better safe than sorry? Always. I guess we'll just be glad that it wasn't terribly awful, that there were no complications for my dear little Pudge, and that no one else in our family became ill. Praise God for all blessings, great and small!


This is one of the heaviest weeks, musically, that I've had in a long time. It's not Holy Week, and it's not Christmastide, but this week takes the cake for Most Musically Stressful Week of Ordinary Time by a head full length.

Here's why: Last night, I had choir rehearsal with our Diocesan Choir. Tonight I had rehearsal with the Messiah Choir. Tomorrow night, I have rehearsal again with the Diocesan Choir. Sunday, I cantor at Mass. And then Sunday afternoon, the Diocesan Choir is partnering with a Lutheran choir for a Vespers service to commemorate All Saints Day.

Lutherans, for Pete's sake! Nothing against Lutherans, mind you--some of my dearest and oldest friendships are with faithful Lutherans. But the piece we're singing as a joint choir is not at all something which would be chosen, liturgically speaking, for use in a Catholic choir. It's something quite out of our usual repertoire, and has consumed many chunks of rehearsal time. It's gorgeous, really, with a lush and rather romantic sound to it. But we're frankly just coming into feeling at ease with it, I think. Good thing we have another rehearsal tomorrow night to polish it a bit more.

I'm afraid my voice this evening, upon return home from my second rehearsal in a row, is a little worse for wear. I am banking on my cup of Lady Grey and two full days of rest to restore it, that I may worthily and properly sing the Psalm on Sunday. It's so humbling to be part of the liturgy, to lead the faithful in singing the Psalms of King David. David! He who slew the great giant with a pebble, who led the people of God when the Ark of the Covenant was finally returned once again, who penned the Psalms to the Lord and sang to Him amidst the sheep of his family. And how could I ever be worthy, really, to proclaim the Psalms?

Of course, the answer lies in Grace and Grace alone. My voice should never be heard apart from the Holy Spirit raising it. He has called me to this ministry, and I must answer in obedience.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Must Post

Has anyone seen this movie? My thanks to Monstrous Regiment for posting this trailer. Looks fantastic.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Little Something New

I've been seeing this on some other Catholic Blogs, and I like the idea. The whole "Small Success Thursday" thing seems like a worthy way to inject the late-middle of the week with a little pick-me-up.

So, without further ado, my Small Success This Week:
1. I've managed to keep my sanity amid the Swine Flu. (Saying it like that, and adding it to some sort of "official" list makes it sound more like the black plague the media's making it out to be!)

2. I've done, folded and PUT AWAY around 25 loads of laundry. And it's only Thursday!

3. When grocery shopping last night with My Darling, I kept our cart to my list. Really, this should go on another list which includes considerations for national awards, but I'll keep it here in an effort to stay humble. ;)

Want more inspiration? Check the efforts other folks have put forth here.

What successes have you had this week?

Ok, all right.......I can't avoid it any longer.

There's just way too much great political-parody stuff out there that MUST be posted. We all need a good laugh! Enjoy this:

Many thanks to The Crescat for being the first place I saw this gem.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pudgy Little Update

So here's the scoop:

The fever remains gone. Adios and good riddance! The cough, however, remains. We've given it the eviction notice, but it takes it about as well as my old nemesis the Nausea Bug did. In other words, it's still here.

But the fever is gone, which is what counts, for Pete's sake.

So now we just pray that the fever stays far, far away from the Little Pudge, and that the cough packs up and leaves soon.

Swine flu, begone!!


This sleeping at odd hours during the day and sleeping for beans at night is for the birds. Really. But it's done a couple of interesting things. First of all, the big kids have been working on their own school projects. They're deeply involved in engineering their own building design, utilizing a spiffy architecture set that My Darling brought home. And the girls are writing stories, in which they are required to use proper sentence structure, punctuation, handwriting and spelling.

I love homeschooling!

The Monkey, who shall shortly be re-named the Squash, has been learning the finer points of mudding drywall. He has a small spatula tool (I'm told it's a knife, but I do not let my children play with knives, for Pete's sake!) with which he slathers the stuff on, creating all manner of interesting sculptures on the wall. Now, he knows that these will all be sanded down to nothing when they dry, but he goes on about his business with the happy heart of a three-year-old boy. Perhaps we could all take a lesson from the joy of a small child.

The Pudge, despite her cough, is back to her delightfully funny little self, thanks be to God. She has been exploring language of late, and we're beginning to be able to relate her words for things to the things she's naming. She has a name for the Frog that is pretty close to her actual name. And to her beloved Daddy, she coos, "Daddoo.....Daddoo...." It melts him like so many chocolate chips in a double boiler!

I realized yesterday that we passed Monday with hardly a glance--but on Monday, my little Pudgy Bug was Eleven Months Old. We are now in the countdown to Birthday Number One. I shudder to acknowledge that she is growing up so fast, but I suppose they all do, then, don't they?

Even she knows how BIG she is!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dreaming with her eyes open

She's on my lap, my little Pudgy Bug. She's snoring, which I ordinarily find quirky and cute, but tonight would rather not hear.

She's more congested than she was the other day, and her cough is awful. But the fever is gone, for the most part, and we pray it stays gone, for Pete's sake. The danger of pneumonia as a complication is at the back of my mind top of my forehead. Saint Rapheal the Healer, pray for my baby. Saint Luke the Physician, pray for my baby.

I've had such encouraging news from many friends recently--marriages being strengthened and healed, families settling into new homes far away, healthy children being born into loving families...

In the beloved style of Fr. Z., tell me some of your good news. And for Pete's sake, please keep praying.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Well, if you're going to be up in the middle of the night..........

The clock in the corner of my screen reads 1:17 AM. There are two sleepers next to me: My Darling on my left and the Pudge on my right. I'm up anyway, listening to my baby breathe, so I figured I might as well update my humble home on the web.

What a day.

What a few days.

On Wednesday, the Pudge was a little run down--just a little fussy, a little stuffy-sounding, but no cough or dripping or anything. Ah, well, I thought, she's a baby. Sometimes babies are fussy.

By around midnight, she was starting to spike a temp. We gave her Motrin (not a product plug--it's just what we happened to have on hand) and she fell into a fitful sleep. I fell into a fitful non-sleep, as mothers are wont to do when their little ones are under the weather. The last time I looked at the clock was 3:45.

Thursday was a tough day. She was even fussier, and I was giving her Motrin throughout the day to keep her temp down. When it works, it works well; she resumed playing happily, babbling at her siblings and being adorable as usual.

But last night, everything changed. Last night, her breathing became labored. Her fever didn't respond as well to the Motrin. She went from being ok to being just plain sick. We ended up giving her a tepid bath at 1:30 in the morning to help her body cool down enough to get her the rest she needs. And even then, it was fitful for her and worse for me. I didn't close my eyes until around 5:00. My Darling took the Pudge downstairs with him and snuggled her on the couch. Being upright seemed to help her breathe better.

I put in a call to our doctor. My Darling, knowing that there was no way I was good for much of anything, took the day off from work, intending to go to his second job this evening.

When the doctor called back at around lunch time, I described to her what was going on with my Pudge. I told her that she has a fever, and how when she breathes hard, like when she's crying, her ribs can be seen because of the skin sucking in around them. She didn't need long to say, "You need to take her in. We don't have x-ray equipment up here, so just head to urgent care. She needs chest x-rays."

Oh, that is not what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear, "She probably just has a cold. She'll be fine."

We headed to town with our dear one. She was so brave and good. We got to the hospital, and found ourselves donning those ridiculous masks. She would not keep hers on, and she was already miserable enough without me making her wear something over her little face. Then we sat in a room and waited. And waited. And held her through a throat swab and rectal temp, and then waited some more. Finally, we were taken to radiology for x-rays.

Her chest x-rays were torturous. The first one went ok, I thought, but then she was crying and crying...and with her breathing the way it is now, her cry is a raspy grunt barely louder than a whisper. The tech, whom I knew in high school, was kind enough to let me wear the heavy lead apron and hold my baby so that they could get the films they needed.

We waited some more, and received the good news that the x-rays look good--no pneumonia, thanks be to God. The strep culture came back clear, so no strep, either.

But they are no longer running the tests for H1N1. It's too expensive (around $300), and takes so long that by the time the results come in, the patient is either recovered or being treated in the hospital for complications. So they are now doing what they call "empirical treatment," which means that with certain symptoms, they run less expensive, faster tests, and then treat for H1N1.

My baby has the swine flu.

We're keeping a very close watch on her breathing, because if it doesn't improve, we'll have to go back in for more x-rays, and possible admission. So many people are already praying like mad for my little Pudgy Bug, and we're hopeful that it won't come to that. For the first time in recent memory, our family will not be going to Mass. I hate thinking it, I hate writing it...but it is the prudent thing to do. In a parish with lots of pregnant Mamas and elderly people, we don't want to put anyone else at risk. And My Darling did not go to his second job this evening.

The clock now reads 1:35. I'm sure I'll be up for quite a while yet, watching my baby breathe.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quiet? Here??

You must be kidding. It's not quiet here. It can't be quiet here. I have four extra children entrusted to my care, running from one end of the house to the other, chasing the dogs, testing the limits, and otherwise having a rousing good time. But believe it or not, it is actually rather quiet at this very moment.

These four children are the middle four of dear friends of ours who are currently traveling in Europe (they have the baby and the eldest with them). They were blessed to attend the ordination to the transitional deaconate for two of our diocesan seminarians in Rome on Tuesday, and, God willing, shall return home on Saturday. Other families have taken turns caring for the kids, and beginning yesterday, they are here for the last leg.

Here's what I love: I love that there is someone for everyone in my family to play with. I love that this family disciplines much the same way we do, so there is no guessing on their part--or on mine. I love that these parents have taught their children to respect adults, whether in their family or not. I love that even though there are NINE CHILDREN in this house at this very moment, three of them are sleeping, and the other six are in the basement making up plays and messing around with legos. I love that when I led the kids in the Angelus at lunchtime, everyone knew the prayers, and said them. I love that when we sat down for the Rosary last night, everyone settled in and prayed along.

I love thinking that someday down the road, when I say that there are nine children in this house, they might all be my children. :) Just sayin'.


Since my last post, I have had yet another trip to the dentist. If I really tried, I could count them all up since July, but that will have to wait. This last trip was for the permanent crown on the lower right side. Now I have two. Two crowns ought to make me a double queen.....? Does that mean something special in a game of checkers or chess? Does it mean someone else will come in and do my laundry and mop my kitchen floor? No? Rats.

Ok. So the first trip was just a consult. The second was for a root canal. Then another root canal. Then some fillings and a temporary crown. Then more fillings and another temp. Then a permanent. Then a cleaning, and later that day Tooth Number Seven left the building. Then the current permanent. So that makes.....9 visits since July 1st. That's got to be some kind of record. It also means a whole lot of really (no, I mean it) great reflection time. And some really great nitrous oxide.

The next visit will be in December....and it will be the beginning of the end, for Pete's sake. On the next visit, which will be hours long, I will have a partial done which will cover teeth numbers six through nine, with a "dummy tooth" in place for number seven. Then they'll crown over two other front teeth to make them all nice and straight and pretty.

I've only wanted this done since I was ten years old. What's 25 years in the grand scheme?

My girls went to have their teeth cleaned this morning, and Reepicheep came back with a referral for the orthodontist. I love that our insurance will cover her braces.....I also love that when Pickle goes on Monday and brings home his referral, insurance will cover his, too.


Here's hoping everything continues smoothly with our extra kiddos. Please keep their parents and their other traveling companions in your prayers for a safe return home to their family.