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My Blog in Review 2008

My Blog in Review 2008

via The Bookworm

Post the first sentence of your first blog post of each month. You can also add a favorite picture from each month.

January

Dom posted this question on his blog and it’s been bugging me too, so I’m reposting it here.

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February

Well, I didn’t have a leap baby.

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March

Bella now says “Amen” at the end of prayers and regularly (though not always) folds her hands during the blessing before meals.

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April

Congratulations to Hallie who announces the arrival of Lucy Jean on Monday.

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May

The Religious Potential of the Child by Sofia Cavaletti just arrived this week and I’m only about fifty pages in; but it’s really getting my wheels turning.

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June

Last week our hot water suddenly ran rusty for a day or so.

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July

Coming up in August are my birthday and our wedding anniversary.

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August

Ah music to my ears!

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September

Bella has recently begun opening the refrigerator to graze through the shelves.

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October

I know I said I wouldn’t be around.

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November

We celebrated the first day of the new liturgical year by welcoming a wonderful group of friends and family into our new home.

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December

Our house has become besieged by moths.

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Oops! I just realized that for every month except December I actually posted the first sentence of the last blog entry of the month. I’m too tired to change them and I think they are apt and catch the flavor of the year quite well, so I’ll let it stand. It’s rather emblematic of my life right now, topsy-turvy, upside down and backwards chaotic.

If you want to play along, visit Kelli and add your post to her Mr Linky.

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18 comments
  • Melanie,

    I’m, too slowly, moving into my second trimester and have just recently begun to get my energy and drive back. I was also surprised during this particular first trimester how much more emotional I was than I have ever been at any time during any other pregnancy. I’d cry even over the stupidest commercials. Eventually the lack of energy, tiredness, short temper and hormones led to a very tearful breakdown about just how big a failure I was as a wife and mother and hence in my vocation.
    Thank God, getting all those tears out and moving out of that first trimester and a very kind email from a bishop friend and his kind prayers for me have made a huge difference.
    I know it isn’t fun. To my husband, I’ve compared being pregnant in that first trimester like being forced to do everything you did beforehand but with crutches. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on crutches – I have twice – and while you can do just about everything you used to do, it is much harder, takes longer and is much more tiring. I can’t say as I like to think of pregnancy as a handicap, but there are ways in which it very much is when you are so exhausted you don’t want to move and so nauseous you just wish the kids didn’t need to eat another meal.
    I am rambling. My preggo brain seems to get worse exponentially each pregnancy. But what I was trying to say is that being pregnant, especially in that first trimester, is no small feat and you aren’t alone in it either – many of your readers have been there (or are) and just try to remember that God will carry you through it.
    Here is a bit of what my friend told me:
    “You are in the midst of vocation as wife and mother and pregnant to boot, so don’t be upset that you forget your spiritual duties. The mere fact that you want to do better and have a desire to achieve those spiritual goals is pleasing to God. …Our Lady will understand – hey, she knows what it is like to be pregnant! …Don’t get discouraged, Katherine. Walk with Mary during these days of Advent. Both of you are with child and are waiting, with hopeful expectation for what the future might bring.”

    So, don’t be discouraged but know that God understands.

  • Thank you for that quote, MommyToCecilia – I loved that “Walk with Mary”… Melanie, your life is difficult, but it is a beautiful thing in the eyes of the Lord. We offer what we can – the shepherds didn’t have much to give Baby Jesus, certainly not the gold, incense and mhyrr of the Wise Kings. But we all instinctively know the Lord loves what we can give according to our vocation. Sometimes we offer our plans, our organizing, our thinking, or whatever, and I guess we’re tempted to feel so good about ourselves – we think we’re really doing what we’re supposed to. Sometimes we feel like we don’t have anything to offer, and we feel awful and maybe guilty. We want so much to please God by doing something for Him, and we feel we can’t do a thing. And maybe we forget that God loves everything we have to offer, even the things we don’t suspect are gifts – our suffering, our struggles, our feeling small and helpless…
    You are armed with love and faith – what can be or go wrong?
    And now I’ve got to stop acting old and wise, because I hear two toddlers coming downstairs demanding breakfast!
    Love, G.

  • Thanks you all for the words of encouragement and the prayers.

    I think what has me most discouraged is that looking back over the past year it seems I’ve just gone from one crisis to the next and hardly had time to recover a semblance of “normal” life in between.

    In the beginning of the year I was getting ready for Sophie’s birth. The last few weeks were a trial as my sciatica raged and my blood pressure shot up so that I could only accomplish a bare minimum rather than the nesting I really wanted to do.

    Then Sophia was born by c-section after a long labor. Hemorrhaging right after the surgery and an infection that didn’t get caught for almost two months led to a very long slow recovery. I was just beginning to get to sleep regularly and feel up to getting out of the house when Dom’s job moved and we were discombobulated and started to house hunt in earnest. We’d never really settled into our last apartment because we knew the move was looming.

    House hunting with all its emotional ups and downs took up much of the summer and fall. And then there was packing and moving, of course. And we finally were moved in November only to find that I’m pregnant again.

    I was not at all adverse to another baby but I was sort of looking forward to establishing a sense of order and calm domesticity. Looking forward, I have a hard time feeling like I’ll be out of crisis mode any time soon.

    I hope that the exhaustion and nausea will clear soon and I will have a brief respite. But it will only be the eye of the storm in a sense. I am absolutely dreading this birth. Not the baby; but the birth. After two emergency c-sections, I have no hope for a vbac. And I am very afraid of both the surgery and the long recovery. I’m facing not only a surgery I know and dread but a new doctor, a new hospital. All the things that might be comforting are unfamiliar, the only familiar is that which I fear.

    And in this season of advent and joyful hope I have been deprived of the consolation of prayer. I plan to write a separate post about this, but the short form is that my dedicated prayer time has been my nursing time and it became quite clear to me that my body was demanding I use that time for closing my eyes and resting. There is no other time it seems. Just brief snatches of desperate pleading here and there.

    I know God understands, but my fearful little heart is having a hard time resigning itself to living in crisis.

    Thanks again, my dear friends, for your consolations and for helping me indeed find a little bit of perspective on this wintry morning. At least this blog and the gift of writing, when I snatch the time to jot a few words, and the gift of sympathetic readers at least they have continued to be here for me.

  • I’ve never had a C-section, but from what family members have shared with me, a scheduled one is much better than one that happens after a long labor that isn’t successful; I suppose because your body’s energy and resources are already drained by the time the surgery happens.
    And your “small stretches of desperate pleading” are just as precious to God as long hours of meditation and prayer, because they come from your heart. As St. Paul says, the Holy Spirit prays within us when we can’t find the words.
    I wish you peace and joy in the New Year, and I’ll keep praying for you.

  • You’ve had a most extraodinary year, Melanie… Most days, I guess we just live our lives and deal with what we have in our hands without thinking too much about it. But then if we happen to think of all that has happened to us, all that we’ve been doing, it’s just so overwhelming that we wonder how we’ve made it so far and how we’ll keep it up.
    An Easter baby and an Advent pregnancy, with a move in between and Bella growing up – wow! Sort of takes your breath away. I was once told that God gives us the grace to do what we have to do, if we only ask for it; maybe this should be our prayer when we can’t pray any other way.
    I’ve heard many older mothers say that the “baby season” doesn’t last long, when you think of it – and they know, so they’re probably right. Most days,  though, I don’t find this advice very useful – sometimes time spent with little ones feels interminable, and I find myself longing for just a little silence and quiet, and for things done “normally” wink
    As far as the birth, try not to think about it now – after all, you have a few months to become familiar with the doctors and the hospital. And of course you’ll just do whatever is best for yourself and the baby, even if it has to be another c-section (I’ve had two myself, and since I tend to have pretty big babies, I’m not going to try a vbac any time soon!) Just make sure you choose doctors you’re comfortable with, and all will be well, and you’ll be taken good care of. Take your burdens in small doses, a bit today, a bit tomorrow, not everything at once grin
    And keep writing when you can, we enjoy your thoughts and we’re honored to make a piece of journey in your company grin
    Now, is that my daughter I hear screaming upstairs?…. Uh oh… wink

  • God bless you!  I’ve been on the husband side of this story a few times, and though hospitals, major infections and worse.  Just keep praying grin

  • Melody,

    Thanks for the reminder that a planned c-section won’t be quite so exhausting as the two emergency surgeries I have had. That is a comfort to cling to.

    I have so much more perspective now thanks to all your words of wisdom. I feel such peace just now. I appreciate all the prayers so much.

  • Melanie,
    Lessons learned are retrospective. You don’t write about them in the middle of a crisis. And I promise you being in the midst of Christmas, just after a move, during your first trimester, with two children under three is a crisis. All you’re supposed to do right now is survive. And pray. Because it’s God who will do it all and then you’ll look back and see what lessons He taught you. You are out of control, because God wants you to depend on Him entirely. And He’s lovingly stripping away any illusion of control you ever had. Ouch! Try to get some extra sleep today. Many, many prayers coming your way from here.

  • “I think what has me most discouraged is that looking back over the past year it seems I’ve just gone from one crisis to the next and hardly had time to recover a semblance of “normal” life in between.”

    I have felt that exact same way this advent & Christmas with much less reason than you have! Then it occurred to me (again):  Each discouraging thought is a building block…just pile them up & use them to step up to Me.

    It doesn’t take but just a second to get that mental image in my head & then I have to smile at the Lord and go “Oh, that’s what’s going on here…ok, I get it”. I have the feeling this little exercise repeated during the day drives the devil crazy because it beats him at his own game smile

  • I know what it is to fear yet another c-section. I’ve had 7 (my mother 9) and they can be daunting. I would encourage you to find a doctor and a hospital who will make it as easy and peaceful as possible. I have a wonderful ob/gyn and owe him my life and my last few children. His competence and his caring and expertise relieve most of the stress and worry. I hope you can find someone like that.

  • Well that’s the trick now isn’t it. We’ve just moved to the area and don’t know anyone, so getting recommendations for a good doctor is a bit hard. It takes a few visits to really get a feel of a doctor and by that time you’re almost committed because switching is a huge pain and who knows if you’re blindly jumping from bad to worse? Unless there is something very wrong with the doctor patient relationship, it seems very difficult for me to make that leap. And being a bit doctor-phobic doesn’t help. I hate meeting new people and I hate making phone calls and the whole question of even finding a doctor in the first place left me so tied up in knots I didn’t get to making my first appointment until I was almost ten weeks along. So I’ve prayed about it, but I don’t know how to do any better finding a doctor without a kind of word of mouth network. When you’re a painfully shy introvert these things get complicated. But extroverts never seem to get that. An extrovert would probably just walk up to some strange mom in church and ask her about her OB and pediatrician and such. Or even do a poll of the various mothers in church. Not me.

  • Melanie,

    Just a suggestion, but I got PG shortly after we got married which was shortly after we moved about 1000 miles. So I knew absolutely no one too. What I did was look for those women at Church who had larger families and brought them to Mass at such and asked them who they used or recommended. I understand what you are saying about being uncomfortable asking women you have never met. But didn’t you say you were familiar with your parish priest? No, I don’t recommend asking him who his OB/GYN is. But maybe you could ask him if there is a particular mother in the parish you could ask and then when you go to ask her you can say that your parish priest thought they might be a good source for you?
    Just a thought.
    Funnily enough, all 3 women I asked at our parish had the same OB/GYN, the same I now have and wouldn’t trade.

  • Yeah, Dom suggested asking our priest. Of course the other complicating factor, that I didn’t really want to get into, is that I think I want to deliver at a hospital that is not the closest to us but is Catholic, has a good maternity section, and we get a big discount via our diocesean employee insurance for using them. Which means I’m driving almost half an hour to OB appts for a doctor who has privileges at that hospital. Not extremely likely that many women at our parish choose to deliver there rather than the hospital less than 10 minutes away or the one that is about 20 minutes away.

    If I really start to feel uncomfortable with my OB, I might consider trying other methods of finding a doctor, but until then I think I’ll probably stick with him. My first impression at his office was positive. The staff were friendly, helpful, efficient. I got to meet the doctor and shake his hand even though my appt was with the nurse practitioner.

    The thing is I just dislike doctors in general and feel that the whole thing is rather hit or miss. My last primary was one three of my roommates loved and highly recommended. I found her cold and off-putting and unhelpful. So I don’t really put that much trust in recommendations; though I did love our pediatrician recommended by my sister in law.

  • Well, you never know.
    I live in Maryland and the women I asked recommended a Catholic OB/GYN in Virginia, which is wear I go. I delivered both our daughters in Virginia – a 35-45 minutes drive, although it can be worse depending on D.C. traffic. The distance does make me nervous whenever it comes to labor and giving birth and when to leave, etc., but I think it is worth it to be at a nice hospital and to have really Pro-Life OB/GYNs.
    If you really like the one you’ve been with, then by all means I’d recommend staying there. Plus, it isn’t like you have a history of 2 hour labor and delivery that would make the distance really nerve-wracking.

  • Yeah, at this point what I’m looking at is a scheduled c-section so distance is really only a factor in terms of how far dom will have to drive back and forth to visit. I’d love to find women in the area who’ve had repeat c-sections. I know my mom (who had 4) said that the surgeon can make a difference. She was lucky to have a doc who was known for being very fast, then she had one with a different doc and she said it made a huge difference, the other was competent but felt agonizingly slow.

  • I am way behind on my usual blog reading, so I’m just now seeing this. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been having a tough time.

    One thing to keep in mind about my lessons learned list is that I was a clueless atheist just four years ago, so it’s REALLY easy for me to learn all sorts of lessons in the spiritual department because it’s all completely new to me. I’m still where most of you guys were in the fifth grade. smile

    Anyway, I’m going to email you with more thoughts later today. I have a lot of similar feelings about this pregnancy that I haven’t felt comfortable blogging about, and could relate to a lot of what you said.

    You’ll be in my prayers!

  • Thanks so much, Abby.

    I did have a very grace filled experience with my first c-section. I was lucky to have our parish priest show up unexpectedly while I was waiting to go into the OR (I had to wait 8 hours because I ate just before they realized Bella was breech.) and with his blessing and a lot of time for prayer before hand I really felt God with me during the whole surgery.

    The second time, though I tried very hard to pray I was very panicked and full of dread. I was exhausted from having been in labor and in the hospital for more than 24 hours. And I think very disappointed that after all that I still had to have a c-section that I still wasn’t 100% convinced was necessary. And both times I had a panic attack during the surgery, I think from the anesthesia. The second time I felt a great deal of discomfort while the surgeon was closing me up, it felt almost as if she were grabbing my heart and squeezing, though I know she was really much lower, and in short I was very very shaken. I had uncontrollable shakes in the recovery room and felt very cold, I think I was in shock, and could hardly hold Sophie when they brought her to me.

    I like the idea of receiving the sacrament of the sick before the operation. I’m hoping that having time to prepare for a scheduled surgery will help make it more positive. But I am still scared of the physical effects of the anesthesia and of the long weeks of recovery after surgery.

    I really appreciate the prayers. Thank you very much.

  • I did almost exactly this same thing. I know it seems hopeless right now, I felt most of these same feelings. All the same, my 3rd c-section was such a beautiful, serene, holy experience. My husband and I went to Mass just before my c-section and I received the sacrament of the sick. I could actually feel the waves of peace physically hit my body as I entered into the operating room.

    I’ll keep you, your little one and your family in my prayers.

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