Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Letter Prep

Even though I will be posting after Christmas, my family photo and letter, I would like to mail my special greeting to my wonderful readers.

If you read or comment on my blog...
Please email me your mailing addresses, if you can:
scrapper03@clearwire.net

God Bless you and yours!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Here comes Santa Claus!

Santa Claus Lane... We visited St. Nicholas on Dec 6th,
and Mikayla and Stanley got a ride from a few of his reindeer!


Did you get a personal message from Santa? We did!


Special Video Footage for Mikayla

Special Video Broadcast for Stanley



And even though Sabrina wasn't enthused about meeting St. Nick this year,
she got a video message from Santa too!



Request your own message from Santa here. You'll also find holiday crafts, activities and recipes there.

Ho ho ho - Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 12, 2008

In a Heartbeat!

I found out I was pregnant just before Thanksgiving. I could barely believe it. I even took another test Dec 1st. Silly - I know.

And with the spotting I wrote about before, we rushed to the ER on the feast of St. Nicholas. The doctor told us the progress of the hormones and ultrasound wasn't matching our dates. The Mass for the Immaculate Conception was just the boost of prayer I was looking for. I teared up the whole time.


So every 2 days this past week I've gone back for tests. Today was one of them, which also included an ultrasound.


Our baby is growing - 4mm, with a normal heartbeat -100bpm.... for a 6wk 5day baby (not 7wk 2 days as we thought). Who cares - he has a heartbeat, he's grown!!!!! So our new due date is about August 7, 2009. Though we will deliver c-section sometime in July.
Praise be Jesus, Mary and all the angels and saints. St. Joseph, St. Nicholas, St. Gerard Majella... and THANK YOU all you prayer warriors out there offering prayers and masses for our baby.
The hormones aren't doubling every two days, but I am no longer worried. No more tests for me. It's been a VERY BAD week of emotional ups and downs. I am stopping with this good news! I trust in God alone who takes care of all my needs. Now I can really go out and celebrate - and feel cheery this holiday season.
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!
God Bless you and yours!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Naming our little miracle!

Well, even though they are slow in rising, my hcg numbers are rising, which means the pregnancy is progressing. In this state of hopefulness, we've begun the process of picking our names for our little boy or girl. (Though I really feel this one's a boy.) I think I grabbed about 6 books from the library yesterday.

So, I wanted you to get in on the fun, since you've been such a comfort during this process. Go to my blogsite at the end of my blogs, and you'll find a pregnancy ticker and a poll.

I will be going for another blood test and ultrasound tomorrow afternoon (friday). Thank you for all your continued prayers!

God Bless you and yours!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Need some motivation today?

My aunt is a school nurse who forwarded this to me, and I thought it was something worth sharing. It's a great reminder even for us homeschoolers - that our position as teachers is so important... that we continue to believe in our children's potential. That we have courage to reach out to other teachers and professionals when we need help or motivation.

5th grader - Dalton Sherman, keynote speaker



Found at
http://www.schooltube.com/video/10112/Do-You-Believe-Dalton-Sherman


I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to teach my children, and I am truly blessed to have a community of people I can turn to when I need ideas, motivation, encouragement, activities, or help.

Thank you & God Bless!
Melissa

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Female Icon Quiz

I noticed many of you have done this one, so I was curous who I was like... By the way - my grandma's name is Doris! And I happen to like watching Doris Day. It's amazing how true the results were.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Doris!

mm.doris_.jpg


You are a Doris -- "I must help others."


Dorises are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.


How to Get Along with Me

  • * Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.

  • * Share fun times with me.

  • * Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.

  • * Let me know that I am important and special to you.

  • * Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.


In Intimate Relationships

  • * Reassure me that I am interesting to you.

  • * Reassure me often that you love me.

  • * Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.




What I Like About Being a Doris

  • * being able to relate easily to people and to make friends

  • * knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better

  • * being generous, caring, and warm

  • * being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings

  • * being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor




What's Hard About Being a Doris

  • * not being able to say no

  • * having low self-esteem

  • * feeling drained from overdoing for others

  • * not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish

  • * criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should

  • * being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tume in to them

  • * working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings




Dorises as Children Often

  • * are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism

  • * try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding

  • * are outwardly compliant

  • * are popular or try to be popular with other children

  • * act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention

  • * are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Dorises), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Dorises)




Dorises as Parents

  • * are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)

  • * are often playful with their children

  • * wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?"

  • * can become fiercely protective




Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy



God Bless you and yours!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Praying for a Miracle!

Okay, I have a lot of pictures and nice things I wanted to post. But before I do, I wantd to give you an update on my pregnancy. It's long, but I hope you'll read along.

Since I found out I was pregnant, I spotted daily but not much to talk about. What has occured since I will discuss, but is only for motherly eyes...

Last Friday Tom and I dropped the kids off at my parents while we attended Tom's work Appreciation Dinner. We ate, laughed, and danced a lot. The next morning, on the feast of St. Nicholas, we went to the Stearns Electric Co Christmas Party complete with Santa, reindeer ride, music and snacks. We had a fabulous time. Mikayla decided to ask Santa for ...not toys... but that our baby be healthy. What an angel she is!

When I got home I really had to pee, and found a large clot. I immediately freaked out and didn't go to the bathroom - being haunted by the fact of my first two miscarriages which were flushed down the toilet before i knew what was going on. I called the nurse, who urged me to go to the ER to be checked out. Since we needed a sitter, we had to announce our pregnancy to Tom's mother in this way. Where just an hour before we had invited them over for dinner to make the announcement.

So we rush to the ER, I am of course bawling my eyes out and waiting forever. From Noon to 6pm I was poked and proded more than ever before. Blood test first, then rolled me down to Ultra Sound. Where my bladder was so full some 3 hours after I had to go, and they needed a clean sample, so they come in with a catheder and lets say there was a big mess which was a very humiliating experience. (We all laughed later.) Finally - the transabdominal ultrasound showed no heartbeat for a 6wk 3 day old pregnancy. It appeared as if I was only 5 weeks aprx. I told them I chart NFP, so I know my conception date well, and 1-2 weeks difference doesn't make any sense to me. [I even checked when I got home.] They said it really is too early to tell anything, so there is no difinitive answer at this time. But the good news was the baby was in the uterus where it should be, and looked great for 4-5 wks. For now, we will have to rely solely on the BETA Hcg tests and pelvic exam. And most of all, have hope.

Okay, to prolong the sorrow and confusion longer.... the test came back at 1200-something, which is in the good range for 6 weeks, and my cervix is closed. And what about the clot? This means that the clot probably formed before my cervix closed, just letting loose from my dancing? and the pregnancy is possibly viable. The only way to tell now is to watch my Hcg levels. But I'd have to wait til monday.

I cried the entire weekend. Unable to get over-excited either way.


So here we are at Monday - the feast of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. We have called out the prayer line, begging for a miracle. I wait not 1 but 2 hours to hear anything from today's test. I resolve that I cannot just sit around waiting, so I begin to pray the rosary on my fingers while hugging a pillow and watching my kids tear apart the house and my hubby laying sick on the couch.

When I finish the first decade, the phone rings! My hcg numbers doubled to 2500! This is good news. They will need to retest on Wednesday to make sure they continue upward - and we are leaning more hopeful on this miracle. For a 6 wk, we need that number to jump significantly- from what I understand. Here's a chart I just found...



What are normal hCG levels?
hCG levels during pregnancy
(in weeks since last menstrual period)
3 weeks LMP 5 - 50 mIU/ml
4 weeks LMP 5 - 426 mIU/ml
5 weeks LMP 18 - 7,340 mIU/ml
6 weeks LMP 1,080 - 56,500 mIU/ml
7 - 8 weeks LMP 7, 650 - 229,000 mIU/ml
9 - 12 weeks LMP 25,700 - 288,000 mIU/ml

Hormones
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels can have quite a bit of variance at this point. Anything from 18 - 7,340 mIU/ml is considered normal at 5 weeks. Once the levels have reached at least 2000, some type of development is expected to be seen in the uterus using high resolution vaginal ultrasound. If using a transabdominal ultrasound, some type of development should be seen when the hCG level has reached 3600 mIU/ml. Although development may be seen earlier, these levels provide a guide of when something is expected to be seen.




So perhaps they couldn't see anything because the hcg wasn't high enough, but still good enough to maintain a viable pregnancy.


I am completely confused and in awe of God's mysteries of life. What does all this mean? If this pregnancy, this baby, survives... it must be a miracle, as all babies are. A God willed pregnancy. And if for some reason, this baby needs to join my other two in Heaven, I will still be grateful for the gift he gave us. Also, I believe I've cried and prayed so much, I am ready to accept this possiblity.

The interesting thing about all of this... if it hadn't been for that clot, I would not have had all these worries. So really, what is all that about? A test of my faith? My head hurts so much from trying to rationally analyze all of this, it just seems easier to accept it as God's way and nothing more. Maybe that is what God wanted in the first place... is for me to just TRUST HIM.


PLEASE PRAY FOR US > PRAY FOR A LITTLE MIRACLE!

God Bless you and yours!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Feast of St. Nicholas - Dec 6th

The St. Nicholas Center

Click on this link above to find out more about St. Nick, kids activities , ways to celebrate and more! It's simply incredible what they have on this website for info and activities.

Who is St. Nicholas? and why do we hang stockings on our fireplaces?


Chocolate St. Nick is a great edible craft!




When I was 19 I went caroling in German with some of my friends and other kids, the first homeschoolers I'd ever met. One of my favorite songs was: Lasst Uns Froh und Munter Sein [Let's Be Glad and Full of Cheer] Click on the song for lyrics in german and english and the tune.


Let's be glad and full of cheer,
Soon St. Nicholas' Day is here.

Refrain:
Happy, happy, happy as can be,
Soon St. Nicholas comes to me
Soon St. Nicholas comes to me.

When at last the school day ends,
Home I'll go with all my friends. R

I will shine my shoes so bright,
So St. Nick will come tonight.R

When I sleep, I'll dream of him
And the lovely things he'll bring.R

When I wake, I'll run and see
What St. Nick has left for me.R

Thankful I will always be,
That he's been so good to me.R

Nicholas of Myra - the movie coming in 2009!



Of course we will be visiting St. Nicholas at our church (St. Francis Xavier) on Dec 7th. We had so much fun last year, we can't wait to visit him again and thank him for the gifts that were found in our stockings.


Have a blessed advent!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Trying to see the pluses!

As you have all begun to notice from little hints I left on my blog page...

I am pregnant!



I am pregnant and in my 6th week. I knew from the moment of conception as I have with all 6 of my pregnancies. I took the test Nov 26th, then again last night just to reassure myself that this is all real! And there was that plus sign, staring me back in the face. Of course I cried... again! This time a happier cry paired with a smile. Less hyperventilating and freaking out.

I am still trying to believe it and be happy - but every cramp, blood spot, every worry in my head is keeping me from that happiness of this pregnancy. Before my youngest was concieved, I had miscarried twice. It was very traumatic because I was going through an emotional breakdown already. After we announced to everyone we were pregnant I lost the baby the next day, and the second miscarriage I didn't tell anyone out of embarrasment. So I was very hesitant telling everyone this time, even though Sabrina (born just 14 months ago) turned out just perfectly. There are still all those "what if's." In Shower of Roses' blog who recently miscarried, she mentioned:

St. John Vianney once said, "our greatest cross is our fear of crosses."

That is where I am - in fear of the cross I just might bear in the next week or so if complications should arise. How can I move on and be happy now, and how will I move on if it is God's Will to bring this child into heaven? Can I let go and let God? Until I know for certain, I am reading her words on her blog and many of you as commenter's words of encouragement, to help me move forward and just feel blessed for whatever time I have with this child - be it short or long.

I read here that it is normal after having a previous miscarriage to have these feelings of fear. This is the only medical hope that I have:


"Usually, by the time bleeding begins your baby has already died, unless it is around the 6 weeks period when only a small
amount of blood is lost and
then there is an 80% your baby will be
fine. Sometimes a small amount of blood is lost when the placenta matures at
about 7 weeks and takes over the progesterone production. This can be
frightening but is quite common and in most cases your pregnancy will continue
as normal without harming the baby at all. These situations only lead to a
miscarriage in 20% of cases."

The majority of my hope comes from God, that he will take care of me and this child. My faith is the main factor in me still being here and my ability to come through even the roughest of times. Many of you have read about our hard times earlier this year dealing with unemployment and facing many financial and emotional lows. But only by the Grace of God we made it through.


I am frightened for more reasons that this. While we were being open to the possibility of life, we were NOT trying to get pregnant. We left it in God's hands to decide. And now that He has made His decision for us to be pregnant, I am doing all I can to accept it and be joyful for His special Gift of Life to us. My physical and mental health are in desperate need of care. It is very soon for me to be getting pregnant after having 3 c-sections, the last just 14 months ago. I was trying to wait 3 years and 100lbs of fat less. There is a risk of rupture in the third trimester, and I am scared as heck to go into surgery. The last surgery was very traumatic. Luckily I have a great faith, supportive family, and caring therapist. My therapist had just suggested I go back on my antidepressents, and now I realize my breakdown I spoke to her about was caused by the fluctuating hormones from this pregnancy. Luckily something in me said to wait to go on the meds until I was certain if I was pregnant or not.



I have been in a constant state of prayer since last night. I had numerous nightmares while I slept restlessly. Then I awoke back into prayer, begging God to help me through this time. Begging God to let me keep this baby, so that he or she may know me in this life as we are already planning for. But at the same time, allowing God to take him or her into heaven if He really needs this baby there for a greater purpose that I could ever imagine.

So here we are - in this moment of realizing God's unexplainable mysteries. Praying and begging God to help us accept whatever his will is for us. Today I pray. I keep my mind busy with my three beautiful children. And I try to stay confident that God knows exactly what He is doing.

Thank you for your time...

Please keep us in your prayers!

& family



Some beautiful link's I've found lately:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Advent Adventure

Happy Holidays Everyone!

It was really hectic getting through Thanksgiving, but the homilies the past few Sundays kept us focused on this season of preparation for the New Church Year. We also went on vacation Thurs-Sat, which was wonderful and relaxing. Now that we're back, were in full swing with shoping, sewing, decorating, baking, etc.


We are starting our Advent with the right decorations and tools to help us reflect on the "Reason for the Season" - that's the gift of Jesus, incase you didn't know! I am hoping to get to making my Jesse Tree ornaments for our upstairs tree. I found a cute pattern at Crafts Direct in their sewing project section. And of course we set up our advent wreath, which is a beautifully scuplted candle holder from Hallmark. (picture is just somehting I found online)

While decorating, Tom put up our nativity set, and I originally said to put it up in stages as it happened - but it looks so bare I think I'm just going to have the whole set up at once for us to enjoy and reflect on the whole image of the Christmas Story.


My dear friend Jamie emailed me about this free Advent Adventure from Holy Heroes, which gives us activities to do each day. It's wonderful and I suggest you take a peek! Or click here to join right away so you don't miss a day!


Jamie and I on my birthday (Nov 13).


Happy Advent Season!

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