Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - 3 weeks!!!



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our favorite versions of "Let It Go"



With two girls ages 8 and 10, it is clearly no doubt that we are Frozen fans!  And, you may even remember, Ariel had a Frozen themed birthday party for her birthday this past year.  The girls really wanted to be Anna and Elsa for Halloween, but with our special delivery, the momma hasn't been thinking too much about Halloween costumes and preparing to celebrate that holiday.  It's been all about baby instead and all the local stores are sold out of Anna and Elsa costumes as well as Etsy.  I had shared our favorite versions of "What does the fox say" a while back and have been meaning to share our favorite versions of "Let It Go" and I am finally getting around to it.  Enjoy!!


The original "Let It Go" with scenes from the movie...


Can you say TALENT??  This man and all the character voices he can make are just amazing!!  My boys, especially love this version and sing the song with many of these voices regularly!!  


This was one of the first "Let It Go" video's we watched and the kids all still talk about the sweet little girls and how they mixed up many of the words.  Sometimes, I even catch them singing their silly mess ups, just to be funny.  


This guy also had a "What does the fox say" parody.  So funny!!  


I really should memorize some of these lines and use them regularly with the kids.  "I said no, I said no, ....", "I said share your best toys when you play", "That pout never bothered me anyway", "will you slow down before you end up in a cast?".  


Now I can bet what song you'll be singing the rest of the day!!  ;) 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

2 weeks old PLUS a first feast day



Our sweet little guy, our no-named-baby-on-the-blog, turned 2 weeks old today!!  Neil and I are dragging with very little sleep feeding a preemie every 3 hours, but this lack of sleep is such a blessing to be given the opportunity to hold and snuggle and love a baby again!  How blessed we are to have another little young one to raise!!  So, if it seems we are out of it, and especially with my hubby returning to work, just give a good pinch or shake to wake us up again.  ;)   The transition and babymoon have been going marvelously well, and we are so thankful for the outpouring of love and support with "meals of love" from family and friends.  With Neil taking care of baby and I and the rest of the crew, he hasn't had to prepare one meal since baby was born because of the generosity of others feeding our bellies.  It has given us more time with each other and most especially, more time snuggling and bonding with baby!!


Not only was today our little guy's two week birthday, but it was also the first feast day of a new saint - Pope Saint John Paul II!!  Kiddos colored pages of him today, watched a show "John Paul II:  Be Not Afraid" on EWTN, watched two cool videos on YouTube....




...and we celebrated by eating Polish Sausage for dinner. How cool for Neil and I to grow up with him as Pope and then also be around for him to be named a saint and celebrate his first feast day!!  What an amazing man he was!! My favorite quote of his means so much every time we have a new baby, so how fitting it is that we are celebrating his first feast day with a newborn brought into our lives and family and home just two weeks ago today...


++Pope Saint John Paul II, ora pro nobis!!++


Wordless Wednesday - signs of FALL











Thursday, October 16, 2014

A whole lot of sibling LOVE

You know when you go on a vacation with a .......l...o...n...g....... drive and how the kids ask every two minutes that question that drives every parent *W*I*L*D* --- "are we there yet?".  Well, having a new baby with older siblings is somewhat similar.  I bet you can't even guess that question, although completely wonderful and sweet, but asked a zillion times definitely can start to make your head spin --- "can I hold the baby?" -OR- "is it my turn yet?".  Yeah, we've been playing LOTS of baby hot potato around here and what a beautiful blessing it is that our new little guy has ALL these brothers and sisters who love and adore him so much!!  

~~Rose and baby~~




~~Pookey and baby~~


~~Max and baby~~


~~Ariel and baby~~


~~Melody and baby~~


~~Mario and baby~~


~~Fone and baby~~ 


~~All 8 of them~~


Isn't 8 great?!?!


++Thank you, God, for these eight beautiful, wonderful blessings you have sent to us!!++




Sunday, October 12, 2014

Introducing...

...young one #8 born on the 8th!!!



What a sweet little guy to make his birthday easy to remember for all of us!  I had posted the first four days of our novena to Fulton J. Sheen no problem and on the night of novena day 4, I went in and got my steroid shot at 9:30pm. But on the morning of day 5, I woke up around 6am with some incision pain on my left side that came with a pretty strong contraction.  As soon as the contraction went away, the pain went away.  Then I texted my wonderful sister (who is an OB nurse) right away and asked what to be watching for and she told me to pay attention to baby movement and more contractions/pain.  So I moved to the reclining chair and had two more smaller contractions with the same incision pain - one more towards the middle and one on the right side, and again it went away when the contraction went away.  Sweet baby boy was moving like a champ, so that was very reassuring.  My sister suggested that I call the doctor still and let her know and to NOT drink or eat anything, just in case (thank you, Laura, for following your gut feeling and telling me this!!!!!!).  Thankfully, my doctor was the one on call and knows my body and I very well and she asked me to head into Labor and Delivery for an NST.  Neil was so wonderful and was going to take the morning off and I'd run in to be monitored and more than likely, be home in a couple of hours.

When I arrived to L&D and was hooked up, I was contracting every 6 minutes - doh!  Since I was still only 35 weeks 3 days and had only had one steroid shot (the evening before) and more than likely, still hasn't done it's "magic" yet, they gave me a shot of brethine to calm down the contractions.  Things looked good for about a half an hour and were calm, but contractions came back just as long and just as strong as the medicine started wearing off.  I let Neil know a little before 11am what was going on and that the contractions were coming back, so he decided to head in and sit with me, but still had to get kiddos ready and drop them off at my mom's first.  Then at 11:30am, three nurses knock on my door with their scrubs on and ask, "Do you know why we are wearing these?"  Uh, I guess I do!!!  And, then I grabbed my camera and took a picture to send to Neil as they started wheeling me away to prepare for surgery....


Oh boy!!!  Guess this was going to be the birthday for our little guy!!  I asked them how long we had and they said 12:15pm, so pretty much immediately and my husband wasn't even there yet!  Thankfully, Neil showed up with plenty of time to spare, but what a surprise of a day for us all.  My poor mom and my mother-in-law didn't even have enough food to feed our crews plus we had NOTHING packed for the hospital (including a real camera!!) since the section was scheduled for October 14th.  We soon realized that none of this truly mattered - baby was coming early and we just had to say "yes" and trust God with his lungs and development and my uterus.



With all the prep and the anesthesiologist arriving a little late, our sweet little guy was born at 12:55pm and my c-section lasted about 40 minutes - pretty good for an 8th c-section.  The NICU doctor looked at him real quick and after his raving apgars (8 and 9!!!) handed him off to the nurses and then to us.  He roomed with us the entire time at the hospital and was breathing like a champ and had no preemie issues at all!  And, very similar to Rose's section, I was very thin but doctor still had to cut into the uterine muscle, unlike with Pookey how there were windows and openings.  How blessed I am to have a wonderful doctor and her partners for knowing how to handle my high risk pregnancies and deliveries!!  And, how blessed I am to have such wonderful prayer warriors in my family and friends and our heavenly friends (Ven. Fulton J. Sheen for this pregnancy) and a wonderful God who has watched my baby and I this whole time and protected us from anything devastating that could have happened.  I am one blessed and very grateful momma to be a given such a beautiful gift from God...

birthday:  October 8, 2014
weight:  6 pounds 5.2 ounces
length:  18-1/2 inches 
birth time:  12:55pm






Things went very well in the hospital and when our sweet baby was 52 hours old (just 2 days old!), we headed home where I knew I could be more comfortable and recover better, even with the noise and busyness of large family living.  For me, that's all normal and I absolutely LOVE it!



And, now we need some help from our blog reading friends - we don't have a blog name for our little guy.  Please share your ideas in comments.  Right now, we are bouncing around "Mickey", "Yoda", "Bruiser" (did you notice the bruise on his little head??), but we cannot settle and agree on which name.  Please help us out, will you???

++Thank you, God, for a smooth pregnancy and delivery and our beautiful new baby boy!!!++


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Baby novena - day 4

We're getting there!!  Tonight I go in for my second round of steroids to pump up this little guy's lungs so he is ready and good to go to be born a month early.  Thanks again for all your prayers - we know they will be answered in accordance to Our Maker's perfect and beautiful plan!!  Here is the novena prayer for day 4...

Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit.   In every age, You raise up men and women outstanding in holiness, whose faithful service has contributed significantly to the mission of the Church.  In this very way, You used the life and work of Your servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen.  He inspired great numbers of Catholics and other people of good will to grow in virtue and lead lives pleasing to You and of service to their brothers and sisters in need.  He encouraged them to embrace the 'Gospel of Life' by recognizing that in all its circumstances, 'Life is worth living.'

If it be according to Your Will, Eternal Father, glorify Your servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession
 for a safe and healthy remainder of the pregnancy and delivery in 6 days of baby Young one.  
I make this prayer confidently in Jesus' Name, through the merits of His Passion, Death and Resurrection.   

Amen.



For today's sharing on October's Respect Life month, I wanted to share the story of a good friend of mine, Miss Teresa!!  (scroll down and read "Teresa's life story")  She is the sweet momma who cuts my hair, encourages and prays with me and some other wonderful women weekly during our prayer group, a fellow homeschooler, but most of all just a delight of a friend and sister-in-Christ!  Love her to pieces!!  You can read about her pro-life story here at Christie's blog, 10 kids of one mom (who is an amazing momma too!)







On Choosing to be Open to Life: Worth the Risk?

Nancy's blog, Do Small Things With Love, was having a "Choose to be Open to Life" series and I was blessed enough to take part and share our story on how God has walked with us in our journey in being open to life.  My post is below, but you can also view my story over on her blog along with many other momma's who shared their story!!  Be sure to head on over there to take a peek at all the beautiful ways God blesses and gives life to those who are open to His plan.

***************************************************************************

Making a Cursillo weekend 7 months before we were set to be married was the “kick in the butt” my fiancĂ© and I needed to understand the beauty and responsibility we had in living out our Catholic faith.  Beginning a life of piety, study, and action, the biggest change we needed to make was related to our intimate life.  You see, we had been intimate for many years and were not even married.  Not only that, but I had been on the birth control pill for quite some time as well.  Both of these were big “no-no’s” in our newly appreciated faith.  So, we signed up right away for an NFP class to learn this method to plan our family – either to postpone pregnancy or to achieve a pregnancy, whatever God was calling us to at different periods of our life.  Also, since we were not yet married, we were called to hold off and save ourselves intimately until we were married.

We began and established our family of 3, of course – me, Neil and Christ at the center, on May 20th 2000!  Not seeing any grave reason to postpone pregnancy, we let God take over from the start of our marriage.  We became pregnant after a couple months, but we lost the baby in the first trimester.  Our hearts were broken when we realized this could have been part of the side effects from having been on the pill for such a long time.  

After our first loss and really wanting to have children, LOTS of them, we were getting anxious to start having babies!!  We would be happy with 1 or 4 or 7 or even a dozen or more, whatever God had planned for us!!  And, our prayers came true once again and I become pregnant pretty much right away.  Our first son, Fone, was born via an emergency c-section because he went into fetal distress and my blood pressure shot up.  We were absolutely thrilled to have our son in our arms, despite the need for an unexpected c-section and harder recovery.     (first c-section)


Our second young one, Mario, was born 18 months later, and despite the fact that we were really wanting to try a VBAC, it was called off just weeks before delivery and a c-section was scheduled instead.  I was having a lot of pain near my incision towards the end and doctors never want to mess with incision pain because of the unknown source of it.   Again, we were okay with that and accepted God’s plan in it all.  After his birth, we were given all the risks about continuing to have c-sections (not a choice after 2) but continued with using NFP and being open to life rather than turn to artificial birth control or sterilization, like the doctors were suggesting.  (second c-section)


We continued to be open to life with the next 3 births – Melody, Ariel, and Max - as my uterus seemed to be doing okay after the previous births.  There was a warning with having windows where they could see the baby peeking through, but we still felt God calling us to be open to life using NFP.  For Max’s delivery though, there were many more windows and the doctors strongly encouraged us to “do something”.  We knew we would not turn to anything unnatural and would continue to use NFP to prevent pregnancies and would do our best charting and understanding my cycles from here on out.  It was during all of these pregnancies that many strangers, family, friends, and even some in our church family spoke out against our openness to life and their concerns with the fact that “my children need a mom and we should do something so another pregnancy doesn’t happen”.  Again, Neil and I held tight to our faith and our plan to continue with NFP in our marriage.  NFP is allowed and can be practiced “with grave reasons” and we were given the okay to go ahead with using it to prevent pregnancies from here on out.  The beauty of NFP is that it does not do anything unnatural to your body, so God clearly has the final say of the outcome.  So, we knew another pregnancy could happen, but we would do our best to prevent them.     (third, fourth, and fifth c-sections)









Well turns out, God did step in and we found ourselves pregnant once again.  Not only was I pregnant, but my doctor who delivered the last bunch of kids had moved farther away and we would need to find a new doctor – a doctor who was confident in taking on a high risk pregnancy and would be willing to do a 6th c-section.  I was turned down by the first seven doctors that I called, who said I was “too high risk” for them, including our local pro-life doctor.  One doctor even called me back and wanted to personally share with me that me getting pregnant this time was the same as lying on a train track with a train on its way to hit and kill me.  Oh boy - can you imagine the emotional mess I was in??  Thankfully, God did provide- and I found a doctor!!!!  Our sweet Pookey was born and safely in my arms, but the c-section was definitely a scary one….  I had so many windows and open spots in my uterus that it was the bag of waters holding him in and my doctor barely had any uterine muscle tissue to cut.  Talk about a miracle that my water didn’t break!!!!    (sixth c-section)

We were okayed by our spiritual director once again that we had grave reasons to continue using NFP, so again, we would give it our all and do our best to postpone another pregnancy.  We learned to use Billings/Creighton (which is very similar to NFP and just another natural method used to plan your family) because the signs it uses are clearer and stronger for me.  Just as we had experienced earlier, many people judged us for living out our faith in being open to life and not “doing anything” to prevent another pregnancy.  We were even told by a local priest that we had the “okay” to use contraception or be sterilized – ouch!  We knew he was misinforming us but were grateful for being grounded in our faith to see through his advice.  Again, God’s hand can easily take over since it is natural and surprisingly we found ourselves pregnant again after clearly following my signs and abstaining when I thought I was fertile.  C-section number 7 was going to be happening – God had planned and okayed once again for this to happen.  My doctor, having seen my uterus from the 6th c-section, turned to a larger, more experienced hospital with high risk pregnancies and got permission to take my baby one month early.  Sweet baby Rose was born a month early, breathing all on her own (thanks to the planned steroid shots for her lungs) and perfectly beautiful and healthy!!!  And, amazingly, there were less uterine windows and she actually had to cut the muscle to get baby out!!   (seventh c-section)




So, here I am today and guess what??  I am pregnant again - surprise, surprise!!!  ;-)    We again were trying to postpone pregnancy and used Creighton, but were caught off guard when I had only had 2 days of infertile days when we thought my signs showed 5 days that were infertile.    I went to confession midway through this pregnancy and shared my anxieties and fears and the priest, whom I had not been to confession with before, actually told me that “God will forgive me for becoming pregnant and we should have used common sense so this didn’t happen in the first place”.  WHAT!!!???!!!  I went to confession the next month with a true and devout priest, and shared my experience with the last priest and things went much better – he suggested I pray for the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the priest who misguided me as he is probably misguiding others as well.  So, here we are waiting and praying for Venerable Fulton J. Sheen’s intercession for a safe and healthy remainder of the pregnancy and 8th c-section delivery, which will be early next week!!!  Can you join us in prayer for our little guy?? 

As a side note on using NFP/Creighton, as I said before, my husband and I were really hoping for a large family – we would love a dozen or more young ones to love and chase and take care of.  We clearly have reasons to use it, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to do – many months we find ourselves saying to each other “we HATE NFP”.  This is a heavy cross to carry, not to mention that the times you need to abstain to avoid a pregnancy is when you most want to be intimate with your husband.  I have many years of fertility left and know that this will continue to be a struggle for us - not wanting to use Creighton but definitely having a need to try our best at it.  We will continue to pray and listen to God and take this month by month, as He is the best planner for our families.   

What do you think?  Is being open to life and using NFP worth the risk??




If we would have listened to the advice of my doctors and many others, this picture would be missing half the children in it.  Instead, we took the risk, put our faith and trust in Our Lord and would absolutely say without a doubt….


“YES, being open to life is worth the risk!!!”

Monday, October 6, 2014

Baby novena - day 3

Thank you for stopping by our blog and praying for our little guy's delivery and the remainder of the pregnancy (only 7 more days to go!).  I go in tonight for my first round of steroid shots to help pump up our sweet little guy's lungs since he will be born a month early.  My awesome doctor consulted with a larger hospital nearby for Rose's delivery and they suggested taking her a month early with my risks. Since things went very well and looked much better with her c-section versus the one before it (which happened as at 38-1/2 weeks), we are going to continue with the same plan and take this guy a month early too. So although I will have ouchie sore arms, they will be doing amazing things for my baby.
Today is day 3 of the novena, asking for Venerable Fulton J. Sheen's intercession....


Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit.   In every age, You raise up men and women outstanding in holiness, whose faithful service has contributed significantly to the mission of the Church.  In this very way, You used the life and work of Your servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen.  He inspired great numbers of Catholics and other people of good will to grow in virtue and lead lives pleasing to You and of service to their brothers and sisters in need.  He encouraged them to embrace the 'Gospel of Life' by recognizing that in all its circumstances, 'Life is worth living.'

If it be according to Your Will, Eternal Father, glorify Your servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession
 for a safe and healthy remainder of the pregnancy and delivery in 7 days of baby Young one.  
I make this prayer confidently in Jesus' Name, through the merits of His Passion, Death and Resurrection.   

Amen.


And, to continue the sharing on this month's theme of pro-life, I want to share a very special video with you today.  My youngest sister actually participated and performed in this group, Mime For Life, when she was in high school and college.  This video is the complete and same performance she once did many years ago, and it's done by our local Mime For Life group.  What a beautiful message they share!! Enjoy!!





Baby novena - day 2

Please continue with us in the novena that we are praying for the rest of this pregnancy and delivery of our little guy in 8 more days!!  Today is day 2 of the novena, asking for intercession of Fulton J. Sheen....

Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit.   In every age, You raise up men and women outstanding in holiness, whose faithful service has contributed significantly to the mission of the Church.  In this very way, You used the life and work of Your servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen.  He inspired great numbers of Catholics and other people of good will to grow in virtue and lead lives pleasing to You and of service to their brothers and sisters in need.  He encouraged them to embrace the 'Gospel of Life' by recognizing that in all its circumstances, 'Life is worth living.'

If it be according to Your Will, Eternal Father, glorify Your servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession
 for a safe and healthy remainder of the pregnancy and delivery in 8 days of baby Young one.  
I make this prayer confidently in Jesus' Name, through the merits of His Passion, Death and Resurrection.   

Amen.


Thank you all for joining us in prayer!!!

And, since October is known as the pro-life month and we treasure the gift of life that God has given us in each other, I wanted to share the sweetest video that we found the other day.  It is made by CatChat, which we were blessed enough to go see one of their kid concerts last summer.  Enjoy....



We sure can't wait to meet our little guy and celebrate his birthday in 8 more days!!!!  


Sunday, October 5, 2014

A novena for a special little guy (and his momma)....



As soon as this sweet little guy woke up, he came to me and said....
"9 more days until *baby* is born!!!! And then after this day, 8 more days. And then 7 days. And then 6 days. And then 5 days. And then 4 days....."
If you know me or have read my blog before where I have shared about my multiple c-sections and pregnancies, then you know we are in need of prayers.  There are many, many risks involved both right now, up until delivery day, and also during the delivery, as this will be my 8th c-section.  Because we live in the Peoria Diocese and are huge fans of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, we have chosen him as our little guy's heavenly patron.  Throughout the pregnancy, we have asked him to intercede for us and for you to jump in and pray for his intercession as well.  And, as amazing as it is to share - this pregnancy HAS been easier than my last 2!!!  A lot fewer trips to L&D and other than normal pregnancy pains/complaints, no crazy scares related to my high risks.  We are trusting Our Lord that these next 9 days and delivery will remain the same, and can thank Ven. Fulton J. Sheen for working hard up There praying for us!!

When I posted that cutsie picture and quote from above, a good friend reminded me of the significance of 9 and needing to start a novena to our little guy's patron, Ven. Fulton J. Sheen.  Will you join us??  Today is day 1....


Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit.   In every age, You raise up men and women outstanding in holiness, whose faithful service has contributed significantly to the mission of the Church.  In this very way, You used the life and work of Your servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen.  He inspired great numbers of Catholics and other people of good will to grow in virtue and lead lives pleasing to You and of service to their brothers and sisters in need.  He encouraged them to embrace the 'Gospel of Life' by recognizing that in all its circumstances, 'Life is worth living.'

If it be according to Your Will, Eternal Father, glorify Your servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession
 for a safe and healthy remainder of the pregnancy and delivery in 9 days of baby Young one.  
I make this prayer confidently in Jesus' Name, through the merits of His Passion, Death and Resurrection.   

Amen.


++Thank you, God, for the strength and ease you have brought to this pregnancy so far and our beautiful little blessing you have given us and all of our young ones.  Thank you for all the people praying and interceding for us for a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery, especially Venerable Fulton J. Sheen!!++


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