Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 19

I spent some time on Tuesday night making a list of things that I would want to regularly update everyone on regarding this pregnancy.  Unfortunately, I hadn't saved the document at all, went to help my husband finish the dishes, and then while I was drying the last few things I asked him to log me out of my email and other programs I had up on my computer and shut it down.  Oops!  He saw the document but closed it without saving it.

So I'm winging this tonight because I wanted to get it up ... tonight.  I apologize if it seems a little jumbled, I'll do better next week.

How far along: 19 weeks!!  Still can't believe it!!

Food Aversions: None that I can think of.  I'm still eating most anything that we have around here.  We've even made black beans and rice during this pregnancy and I wasn't repulsed by it at all.

Cravings: Again none.  Most of them were during the first trimester.  I kind of miss the chocolate milk craving I had during my very first pregnancy. 

Maternity clothes: Oh yeah, been wearing them now for a few weeks.  I'm not even looking at my other clothes anymore.  I did buy a "BeBand" at Target two weeks ago and it has helped with holding my maternity pants in place.  I'm so grateful to have it!!  I may go buy another one!

Bellybutton: It might disappear.  It's definitely stretching out.  Yesterday by the time I got home from work it was also itchy and even hurt a little bit.  It can disappear, I just hope it doesn't "pop out."

Ultrasound/appointment: None this week.  I'll be back at Ultrasound on Wednesday next week and to my regular appointment on Thursday.

My movement: I can still pretty much do anything as I normally have been.  I'm seeing, though, that putting my socks on, picking something up off the floor, or anything else that requires bending too much at the waist is going to get harder, probably sooner than I had expected.  Getting up and down from the couch, my office chair, etc. is still very doable.  Again, though, I can see how it's going to get harder.

Baby Movement:  Possibly.  It's nothing big, but there are times when I think I feel some internal squirming around.  It mostly seems to be around 2 in the morning.  They're just prepping me for what's to come, I'm sure.

Leg Cramps: One this week, at 7am on Sunday morning.  What an alarm clock to have!!  My calf muscle hurt up through Tuesday, the worst of it being on Monday.  This is only my second one this pregnancy.  I forgot to talk to my doctor about it last week (possibly vitamin or mineral deficiency?) but I hope to talk about it next week.  In the meantime, I've been making sure I'm not dehydrated and drinking P L E N T Y of water.

Sleeping: Falling asleep hasn't been too hard.  I had been using that time to pray for various intentions of mine and others I know.  Lately I'm finding that I start thinking of the intentions I want to pray for and never get to the praying part.  Although getting to sleep isn't much of a problem at the moment, I have no hope of staying asleep.  I think I'm up every two hours to use the bathroom.  I better be getting enough water!!

Notable this week: My husband tells me I have officially "popped."    Suddenly on Monday, I felt big ... like really BIG.  I know I've been getting bigger, it's been a gradual thing, but Monday it just suddenly felt different.  Even just Sunday I felt fine, didn't feel huge at all.  But then came Monday and wow!  Just wow!

That's it for the 19 week update.  Almost halfway!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A first today ...

So it finally happened to me.  For the very first time.  And it took my totally by surprise!!

I got the belly pat today.  I was pregnant with Zachary for 22 weeks and never got it then.  But here I am at 18 weeks (and some odd days) and it happened.

The thing is, it wasn't actually the baby part of the belly that was patted.  Which just felt totally weird all around.

So okay, I know, I'm pregnant with twins.  No reminder needed, I get plenty of reminders.  Everyone likes to tell me that I'm having twins.  Yes, thank you, I know!  And yes, I am measuring much further along than 18 weeks for a singleton.

Despite all this, the area above the babies is bigger than where the babies themselves actually are.  Things have to shift somewhere in order to make room for the babies.  And that was what someone decided to pat today without invitation.

Honestly, I don't mind.  I know everyone is ecstatic for us and praying for us and wants the best for us.  And I totally appreciate all of that.  What I mind is it being uninvited.  I don't think I have ever done that to a pregnant woman, no matter how far along she is.  But I'm not naive, I know people do it, I guess I just still wasn't expecting it.  Especially right now, when really, the babies are so small that my shifted organs are looking larger than they are.

Oh well, what can you do.  I didn't really have a chance to do much.  The person who did this today did so as she walked by me while I was talking to someone else, and about to move out of the church pew I was standing in.  Come to think of it, I was probably using my hands as I spoke, I'm surprised I didn't accidentally hit her.  Not because of the "belly pat" but just the direction I was moving, where she was standing, and where my hands were at the time.  Would have been totally accidental, I promise.  Luckily, it didn't happen.

In other news, my husband and I attended our newest nephew's baptism and we were also the Godparents.  We now have three Godchildren between us (two we have in common and I have a Godson who lives in South Carolina).  In a way this was a first too.  This is the first actual relative we are Godparents to.  It was nice to see everyone and see our nephew for the first time.  He did a good job through most of the baptism: he didn't seem to like the water being pored over his head and he was getting hungry by the end, but otherwise he did well.  He was pretty alert at the beginning.  I'll post one or two pictures once I get them downloaded from the camera.

Welcome to the Catholic family, Joseph Michael.

Friday, January 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 14


Snow hit Kentucky again on Thursday.  I live about 5 miles from my workplace and it usually takes me about 20-30 minutes to get home.  Thursday evening?  About 70 minutes.  I don't think I ever got above 20 mph, and that was when things were going well.  But it really wasn't bad until I tried to pull up our driveway.  That's when I felt the car skid and thought I was going to hit the edge of the garage.  Managed to avoid that and then I thought I was going to hit my husband's car that was already in the garage.  Luckily, I avoided that too and was so thankful to be in the garage and at a standstill.  Next stop for this pregnant woman who had been in the car for so long?  I'm sure that's not a hard guess!


I recently started investigating Catholic podcasts.  I have subscribed to 5 of them although I'm not in a regular habit of listening to them yet.  But I'm enjoying them so far.  I got started because I had heard of the podcast of the daily readings that had been put together by the USCCB.  After I figured out how to do the podcast thing, I went looking for more.  The other four I have now are: Catholic Moments, Faith & Family Live Podcast, Word on Firre Sermon with Fr. Robert Barron, and an EWTN program called The Journey Home.  I think I've listened to at least one episode of each.  I'm really enjoying them and hopefully will get into a habit of listening. 

One note: I don't really like the USCCB's daily readings podcast. They all get downloaded at the beginning of the month and I don't see a way to view the whole title, so it's really hard to see the date and know which one you are getting.  Because of course they aren't in order of date, I guess that would make too much sense.  I can read them myself in my Magnificat, so I will probably unsubscribe to that one.

Do you have a favorite Catholic Podcast you think I should check out?


Preggle Body Pillow

I've started using my body pillow to help me sleep better at night.  We joke around about our extra buddy in our bed.  Last night, my husband got into bed while I was finishing up and I looked out and saw him under the covers on one side and my body pillow on the ohter with the larger, curved end propped up on my regular pillow.  It was positioned so that the curved part was "looking up," so to speak.  It looked like another person was in the bed.  I couldn't stop laughing at how silly it all looked: the body pillow and my husband tucked into the bed together.  Really, it was funny! 

Maybe you had to be there.


One of the things I wanted to do this year to help strengthen my spiritual life was to get back into saying a daily rosary.  I figured if I used to get up early to go to the gym why not do the same thing but say a rosary insead.  So far it has only happened once.  I think part of my problem is getting up every few hours during the night to use the bathroom.  I am then so tired in the morning it's really hard to get up.  I've been reminded recently about the idea of dieing to self.  I need to keep this in mind, maybe it will help get me out of bed that 20 minutes earlier than normal.  It shouldn't be that hard!!

What do you do to get in some private prayer time each day?


I started working on this post on Thursday evening.  While I was working on it my husband was watching TV and a commercial came up a couple times that caught my attention.  And not in a good way.  It was a commercial for a birth control pill called Beyaz.  I was just sickened by this commercial.  It was so materialistic!!  A group of women are "shopping" in some weird store where they can buy vacations or homes or who knows what else.  At one point a stork is shown with a little bundle in its beak and he tries to give it to one of the women.  She refuses and moves on to a vacation to Paris.  Another women looks at a wall of houses and chooses one to buy.  I couldn't believe the materialistic and selfish attitude this commercial was promoting.  What a horrible message!!  Basically: you can't have any of these fun and wonderful things if you have kids and you know you don't want kids, so take our drug.  Selfish!!  Makes me sick!

And is this drug, Beyaz, somehow related to the BC pill Yaz that had so many lawsuits filed against it??  I wouldn't be surprised.


Speaking of birth control, someone I know posted this article on Facebook this week.  It goes through all the arguments many of us who already understand the dangers of hormonal birth control know and several more.  And the best part was a large list of links to supporting documentation and plenty of footnotes to back up their arguments.  How anyone can put this stuff into their bodies day after day without knowing all the facts is beyond me.  Read the article and then share it with others.  It's just so sad that people don't know what they could be doing to their bodies long term.


Our late snow storm yesterday afternoon and evening has caused the university to call a 2-hour delay for today.  Yay!!  It's just after 9am and I'm still home.  Love it.  Have to leave soon though so I can get there by 10am.  It's just so nice to have a slow morning!  And on a Friday too.  Ah!  The husband made French toast this morning using the bread he had made from scratch last week and stored in the freezer.  I'm such a lucky girl!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!  For more Quick Takes check out Jen's post on her blog Conversion Diary.  Jen hosts Quick Takes every Friday; check out all the links to so many wonderful Quick Takes blog posts.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pregnancy Update: 18 Weeks

Today we are at 18 weeks!!  I still can't believe we are this far along and have not had a single issue.  I'm feeling very blessed so far.  Today was also another ultrasound and a regular appointment.  So it's a perfect time to write an update!

Twin Ultrasound
Ultrasounds with twins are slightly different than an ultrasound for a singleton.  They still look for all the same things anatomically, but they also take some additional detailed measurements.  In the case of the kind of twins I have, which are called mono/di twins (one placenta, two sacs), they have to measure the babies' sizes based on head circumference and mid-section (belly) circumference, the size of the sacs, and they check the blood flow through the umbilical cord.  As much as possible, all these measurements should be close to each other.  A discrepancy of 20% indicates that Twin-to-Twin Transfer Syndrome (TTTS) is happening.  TTTS can be fatal to both babies unless caught early and treated.  Thus the reason I will be having ultrasounds every two weeks until at least week 36 or 37.

Today's Ultrasound
We had another great ultrasound today!!  The babies are measuring on time and close to each other, the sacs are measuring the same, and blood flow through the cord looks good.  Heartbeats were 150 for Twin A and 140 for Twin B.  We identified all four chambers of the heart for both babies and identified two kidneys on both of them.  Today they also finished up all the other anatomy stuff as well.  Overall, the babies' weights were approximated to be about 8 ounces.

Because of my previous history with pre-term labor, each time I have an ultrasound I also have a transvaginal ultrasound done to check on the length of my cervix.  I've now had it checked twice and both times it is long and well within normal range (2-4 cm).  So that is also good news!!

OB Appointment
Following the ultrasound I walked down the hall to my next appointment.  Since I had just had an ultrasound we didn't take another look, though my doctor did listen to their heartbeats.  She also measured me and warned me that I would measure farther along than I actually am.  I measured at 25 weeks!!  And as for the ever-important weight gain, I'm about 18 pounds more than my pre-pregnancy weight.  Not bad for 18 weeks with twins.

Next Steps
I have both an ultrasound and another OB appointment about two weeks from now.  I can expect the glucose test around week 24 and then non-stress tests will be done starting sometime after that (I forget what she told me today).  Otherwise, I am doing fine and just need to continue moving on.

I'm still nervous and won't feel completely good about everything until we get to 24 weeks.  Hopefully we'll go well beyond that, but 24 weeks is at least viability.  By the time we get to 36 or 37 weeks I may be either induced or have a C-section, depending on what is going on at about that time and the babies' positions.

Other Updates
I am feeling good, no more regular sickness.  I have moments when I'm suddenly famished or feel sick, but they normally don't last long.

I am now fully into wearing maternity clothes.  I went out the other day and bought a few more tops, but I mostly have plenty of stuff between what I have from my sister, the items I bought two years ago, and what I recently bought.  I may have to buy a few summer or lighter tops as we get closer to spring.  But since it's been so cold this winter and it usually is still cool around here through most of April, I won't really need much.  Plus my office is a freezer, so wearing warmer clothes to work doesn't bother me.

I haven't had any recent food aversions, which pleases my husband!  I'm also not eating as much as I had been during the first trimester.  At that time I had to eat to keep from feeling sick.  I'm past that.  I am making sure to eat a properly balanced diet.

We've been watching my belly-button lately, too.  It looks like it might disappear eventually.  It's much more stretched out than usual and, according to my husband, very shallow.  Haha!  I just hope it doesn't pop out!

I'm so grateful that we have made it this far and that everything looks so good.  It is truly a blessing.  I'm also grateful for all those who are praying for us.  Thank you for your prayers and for keeping us in your thoughts.  I am overwhelmed and still amazed at how well things have gone.  I'm afraid to get my hopes up too high, but at the moment I'm feeling positive about things.  Thanks!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The First Trimester

When I made the Big Announcement I also promised that I would share some select journal entries I made during the first third of this pregnancy.  I was consistant at the beginning (though some of those entries aren't worth sharing here), then as we moved forward I started writing less and my last entry was in early December.  I won't share everything, but wanted to share enough so you know how those first few months were while we were keeping silent about our big news.

Oct. 18, 2010
18 days since thermal shift and temps have been continuing to go up.  Took test in AM and BFP [Big Fat Positive]!!  As luck would have it, had an appointment already scheduled for today.  Had a Beta HCG test done.

Oct. 20, 2010
2nd Beta test done.  Saw nurse when I went in to register and she asked me to come back that afternoon for an ultrasound.  They had no appointments just clinicals.
Went back at 4pm, saw sac, looks good.  Also saw a possible second sac, but doesn't look like it is developing.  Probably at 5 weeks.

Oct. 21, 2010
Driving to Normal, IL for a conference; nurse called with Beta test results which showed a 60% rise.  Nauseousness starting to set in.  Stopped at a Cracker Barrel in no-where Indiana and bought some peppermint sticks.  Ah!!  Much better!

Nov. 3, 2010
Ultrasound this afternoon!  I think I'm about 7 weeks.
Estimate is 6 weeks 4-5 days, due date currently set for June 24.  AND ... Twins!!  Possibly mono/mono twins, which are exremely rare: 1 sac and 1 placenta.  HBs are 125 and 130 bpm.

Nov. 4, 2010
Mentioned to Hubby last night that now we have to come up with 4 names -- he groaned.  He doesn't like that process!

Nov. 9, 2010
Over the last week I've noticed:
1. I seem to have an aversion to chocolate -- eating some anyway
2. My lips are constantly dry!  (And I'm drinking lots of water!)
3. The first 15 minutes of my day are the best -- it's downhill from there
4. I don't like the thought of any foods but I have to eat and eating makes me feel better.  However, cheese and hard-boiled eggs are good!!
At 3:00pm today I went to the student center and bought an 8-piece box of Chick-fil-A nuggets.  What an awesome afternoon snack!  I might do this every day!

Nov. 17, 2010
Going to the high risk office this afternoon for an ultrasound.  Kind of nervous.  Things I want to ask about: 1. TTTS and %-age of occurance; 2. Is it mono/mono?; 3. Plans for future care?; 4. Progesterone in 2nd trimester?; 5. cervical cerclage?
Brigit died at about 9 weeks, I'm currently 8 weeks and 5 days.

Nov. 19, 2010
Ultrasound on Wed. went great!  Babies look good.  HBs: Twin A=176; Twin B=182; measurements: Twin A=9w, 2d; Twin B=9w, 0d.  Modified my due date to June 22.
Big news!!  Saw a thin line of membrance between them!!  Yay!  Two sacs!!  They do share a placena, but all looks good and all 3 of us will be watched closely.  There are interventions for TTTS.
Got a little worried when they were studying the yolk sacs.  There seemed to be another one near Twin B and they decided to do an interior ultrasound.  Triplets?!?!  Luckily no.  Phew!!  Turns out Twin B's bowels are still outside, but that is normal at this stage.
Progesterone in 2nd trimester not an option.  Doesn't work in twins like it does for a singleton. :(
Cervical cerclage may be used, but it depends.
Advised not to travel in February, so no MLA meeting.
Scheduled another ultrasound for 12 weeks following which will have one at 15 weeks and then every two weeks after that.
Went to church tonight for a presentation and film on Archbishop Fulton Sheen.  Was really good!  Had a wicked headache by the time we got home.  So I just finished off an entire can of pear halves.

Dec. 8, 2010
Feast of the Immaculate Conception!
Had another ultrasound yesterday:
Twin A: HB= 158; mm=12w & 1d
Twin B: HB= 150; mm=12w & 2d
So cute to see them moving around so much and their little hands and feet were flying everywhere!
Also had the screening appointment before the ultrasound.  All fine there, just a ton of questions.  Had one mishap while attempting to give a urine sample (dropped the cup).  Did the blood work, downed a whole bottle of water, and did the urine sample successfully the second time.  Felt kind of stupid!

That was where my journal entries ended.  Since then I have had one more ultrasound (at the end of December) and I have another scheduled for Wednesday of this week.  At the one at the end of December they took very careful measurements of the babies to check for possible TTTS (Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome) and they came up with a 0% discrepancy between the babies!  This is fantastic!  The technician told me she doesn't remember ever giving anyone a 0% discrepancy before! 

Another ultrasound and another regular appointment are coming up this week.  Hopefully all will continue to look good.  I am going to try to give weekly updates each Wednesday from here on out.  Other than that, I will try to keep my other posts non-pregnancy related.

Thanks again for all the prayers!!  Please continue to pray for us.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What are your gifts?

Over the last several months I have been attending a class (for lack of a better word) on stewardship at my parish.  We spent four classes in the fall watching a video presentation while following along on a worksheet that contained key points and words and then participated in some sort of activity or group discussion that incorporated some lesson from the video.  Following that we now have a book called Stewardship: A Disciple's Response from the USCCB that we are reading through and discussing.  It's been an interesting thing to follow along with and really has me thinking more about where I contribute to the church.

In some ways I feel like I do very little.  We do contribute financially to the church and we are lucky enough to be in a position to do that.  Beyond that, I often feel that I don't do much.  I used to be involved in music ministry, the young adult group, the church archives, the women's guild, and a Bible study.  I used to be really busy!  So sometimes when I compare all those things to now, I feel like I do nothing.

It takes some thought, but I do realize that I contribute beyond the financial.  In many ways what I do is not something that is easily seen.  I often forget about those things myself!! 

Even so, is there something more I can be doing?  I ponder this a lot and sometimes ask for guidance in my prayers, but so far I haven't felt a clear tug in any particular direction.  Plus, is now really a good time to get involved in a particular ministry?  My life is going to look quite a bit different in a few months than it does now.  And right now, I'm often too tired to think of much beyond just going to work and getting home.

Does anyone else every wonder if they can contribute more to their parish in some way?  Maybe you want to contribute but are unsure of where your gifts lie?  Well, I may have something that can help you!

In an online community I am a member of someone shared the following link with us.  It is a little test or survey from a Catholic parish in Austin, TX.  It's a little long, but well worth taking: 115 questions, but shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes.  In the end it ranks a bunch of different gifts according to your answers and provides links to explain what those gifts mean as well as gives a list of ministries that might suit you.  The ministries are specific to this parish, but many of our home parishes have the same or similar ministries.  It really gives you a good idea of where your gifts might best serve your parish.

You can go here to take the test/survey.

My husband and I both took it.  We both got the same gift as our top one: Knowledge.  But his second one was Craftsmanship, whereas my Craftsmanship was at the very bottom of my list (I knew I as right when I kept telling him he should have volunteered to help build the live nativity this past Christmas!).  Musicianship was also in my top 5, he got a 0 in that particular gift.  No wonder he never sings!!

Overall I found the rankings pretty accurate.  In my top 5 were all things that I either have been involved with in the past, currently am doing, or have contemplated doing.  It's kind of nice to get that affirmation that maybe my thinking is on the right track.

Take the test.  How'd you do?  Do you agree with your results?  I'd love to hear your reactions.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Zachary!

Today is Zachary's second birthday.  Happy Birthday, little guy!  I can't believe it's been two years already.  It was such a sad day two years ago, but I cherish those few hours I got to hold him and stare at his precious face. 

Today it is snowing and I'm not confident about the roads in the cemetery since they are narrow and it's kind of hilly there.  So I won't be going over there today.  Hopefully we can stop by this weekend.  It has actually been a while since we were there.

I'm not sure I've ever shared this picture here, but today seems an appropriate day to do so.  Here is Zachary on January 11, 2009.

Zachary Thomas, 1/11/09, 1 pound, 12 inches

Over the years I have shared with several people one way we remember all our babies.  I have Christmas tree ornaments that have their names and birth dates on them.  This year I finally took a picture of them.  So if you are looking for a way to remember your children who went home too early, especially as a way to remind your living children of their siblings who are praying for them, here is one idea for you.
Ornaments bought from and personalized by Santa's Pen

Happy Birthday, Zachary!  Please pray for us!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Construction Begins!!

After many, many years, my church is beginning a large construction project.  It is all very exciting!!  We will be building a permanent Perpetual Adoration Chapel, a new baptismal font, a redo of the sanctuary to allow the tabernacle to be moved to its rightful place, and a new rectory.  Some of this construction will also necessitate a few other minor changes.  Oh, and my church is the Cathedral parish.  How wonderful will it be to have the Cathedral parish with it's own Perpetual Adoration Chapel and the Tabernacle in the correct place behind the altar!  Can't wait!!

It's going to be an interesting year as all this takes place, but it will all be worth it.  I wanted to share a few pictures form the ground breaking ceremony we went to yesterday.

First, a picture of the front of the Cathedral as it currently looks.
Just to the left of the front entrance where you can see some thicker-looking trees is where the Adoration Chapel will be.  This is the first phase of the construction and so the ground breaking was held over in that corner.

It was cold on Sunday!  After mass we headed outside wondering if they were going to be using ice picks for the ground breaking.  Did I mention it was cold?  Snow was on the ground from Saturday and it was cloudy.  As we gathered around we noticed four mounds of fresh dirt.  So no ice picks needed, they just brought dirt in!

Those shovels were gold!!

The ceremony started with a procession of the Knights of Columbus with the Bishop and our Rector following behind.  And just as this all started happening the sun came out!  How amazing is that?!

The Bishop isn't really visible behind the Knights, but that's our Rector just behind them.

Everyone lined up behind the shovels or the podium and then remarks and the official blessing was done.

The blessing itself was neat.  Not only was the area blessed for what we all look forward to seeing, but the ground breaking blessing also includes prayers for the safety of all workers that will be on the site during construction.  Isn't it great how we think of everything!

Finally, they did the actual "ground breaking" with the imported dirt.
This was the only picture I got.  I should have waited a few seconds until they actually picked the shovels up with the dirt in it.  But you get the idea.  It's all really for show anyway, right.

So this will be the site of our new St. Kevin Perpetual Adoration Chapel.  It will be so nice to have a real chapel for Adoration, rather than an old office in the school that only sits about 8 people comfortably, but you can squeeze in about a dozen if you really wanted to.  The new Chapel will sit about 30 people, enough that a class from the school can go in there as well as a few other visitors. 

I have a feeling by the time it is finished will be about the time that I will have to give up my regular adoration hour.  My husband and I have different hours that we do and we've decided that once the babies come I'll have to give up mine, but we can either all go to his (maybe, it is 6am!) or I could go in his place if I need a break and some silence.  So I'll still visit, I just probably won't be there weekly like I am now.

At the same time, the new Baptistry should also be finished!! I'm excited to think that our babies could potentially be baptized in the new baptistry shortly after it is finished.  I have no idea what the actual timetables are, but the later phases of the  overall project are supposed to start in the summer.  That seems to imply that the first phases should be done or close to done by summer. 

I love all these changes!!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 13

Welcome to another edition of 7 Quick Takes, another "random thoughts" version.


After a full two week break that didn't involve any traveling, this past week I had to go back to work.  Amazingly, it wasn't too hard to get back into the swing of things.  On the other hand, after a full week back, I'm kind of ready for another break.


Maternity tops have now officially been introduced into my wardrobe.  I'm hoping to put off maternity pants for a while.  During my pregnancy with Zachary I could not get them to stay up.  I'm sure if that pregnancy had gone full-term they would have eventually fit, but I just never got big enough.  This time, I'm hoping to put it off as long as possible.  The 16 pounds I lost this summer are helping, I'm wearing my older pants from before the weight loss.  Hoping they'll last at least a couple more weeks.


I hate that I have a list of ideas in my head to add to this list but when I sit down at the computer I go blank.  I really need to learn to write things down.  It's now Saturday ...


Woke up this Saturday morning to snow!  I'm not a big fan of snow, mostly because I usually still have to go to work or run errands or whatever.  I would add shoveling the driveway to that list, but I'm not allowed to do that this winter.  Snow was different when I lived further south, more enjoyable because you couldn't drive anywhere.  Not so true here, you're still expected to go about your day.  At least it is Saturday and I don't have to work today!!  Looks like we have approximately three inches or more, and it's still coming down.  I thought it was only supposed to be a dusting.


In my post about the new year, I mentioned wanting to do a daily rosary again.  I did manage to get up early on Sunday and have some quiet time to say a rosary and Monday I did one while at my morning adoration hour.  The rest of the week, not so much.  I'm not a morning person, but if I don't do it then it won't get done.  But twice this week is better than nothing.  Hopefully I can do better next week.


I'm suddenly feeling bigger and less mobile.  Getting up and down from the couch is awkward and trying to turn over in bed is extremely uncomfortable.  I'm only 16 weeks!!  This shouldn't already be happening, should it?  Okay, yes, I know, I am pregnant with twins, but still. 


I learned something interesting at a meeting at church one night this week.  But not something theological or anything!  During the discussion one of the priests happened to mention that he learned this year from the floral person at Kroger how to properly water poinsettias.  As a result, the poinsettias in our church are still looking pretty good as we get to the end of the Christmas season.  The secret?  You put a cup of ice in each one every three days.  (The amount of ice may depend on the size of the plant, the ones at church are pretty good size.)  There's a random piece of info for you! 

For more Quick Takes, check out Jen Fulwiler's blog post at Conversion Diary.  And please say a prayer for Jen who was unable to put up her own Quick Takes because she had to go to the hospital for an emergency ultrasound on her leg.

Friday, January 07, 2011

"What are you reading?" Interview Questions

In November I posted about an assignment I had taken on as a new member of the Employee News Blog at my work.  I had asked for suggestions for questions and a few readers offered some very helpful ideas.  Thank you everyone who helped out!!  I thought I would post the list of questions I finally came up with.  I think I'll use this in my first interview and then tweak them from there.  One of goals in 2011, is to finally get on the ball and get some of these done.  (I had wanted to get at least one done before the Christmas break.  Yeah, that didn't happen.)

So, here are the questions I'll be starting out with.  What do you think?

What Are You Reading??

What book are you currently reading and who is it by? Is it for fun or for something else (work or class)?

If Fiction:

Why did you choose to read this particular book? (recommended, like the author, subject matter)

What genre would you classify this book as and have you read a lot of books in that genre? If so, how does this one compare?

Is this a favorite author or a new one for you? Would you read more by this author after this book?

How do you like the book so far? Is it better than expected, what you expected, or worse? Is anything turning you off?

Has the author drawn you in and how?

Who would you recommend this book to or what kinds of people do you think would like this book?

If non-Fiction:

Why did you choose to read this particular title? (assigned it, developing a skill/knowledge in an area, recommended, etc.)

How do you like the book so far? Is it better than expected, what you expected, or worse? Is anything turning you off?

Are you learning what you wanted to learn from this book?

Has the author drawn you in or not? How have they or what could they have done better?

Who would you recommend this book to or what kinds of people do you think would like this book?

For all books, final questions:

Do you have a favorite book, author, or genre and what/who is it?

Can you name a few books that you found boring or too difficult and eventually put down, never finishing?

If you were stranded on a desert island and could take only one book with you, what would it be?

I like these questions so far, we'll see what I think after they've been tested once or twice.  If there is interest here, I can post links to the write-ups of these interviews once they get posted on our employee blog.  I think it's interesting to see what the people who all work with and around books all day long are actually reading themselves!

Thanks again to all those who chipped in with suggestions for things I could ask!!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Thoughts on the Old and New Year

Happy 2011.  Are you making resolutions?  Goals for the year?  Looking forward to anything?  Or are you just going to let the year unfold?

Last year I made resolutions.  In all honesty, they were more like personal goals than real resolutions.  But, I will say that I made progress on most of them.  I did write more on this blog this past year.  In addition to more writing, I also wanted to have quality posts.  I have no desire to write just to write.  So I hope the quality of my posts are improving.

Second, my husband and I did do a good job saying a daily rosary for about 4 to 5 months.  I think it started falling off around the time of my miscarriage in May.  Understandable to some extent, but really the Rosary should have been a comfort during that time.  Unfortunately it wasn't.  This is more than worth trying again.

Reading more.  Well, I did do some reading, but I'm not sure it was any more than usual.  And the TV and computer time certainly got in the way.  Something to continue working on for sure.

I think I did well in the physical health arena.  I started the year pretty well, but didn't really lose a lot in those first few months before I got pregnant.  After the miscarriage I jumped back on the bandwagon and ended up losing about 16 pounds.  My physical endurance was also obviously much improved, evident by the fact that my husband actually had a hard time keeping up with me on our walks.  I gained a little back in September, but then got pregnant shortly after.  Did the weight loss help in getting pregnant?  Possibly, I may never know.  But that's okay.

So what am I doing this year?  To start, I want to keep my life fairly stress-free.  Carrying twins will probably not be easy.  So far things are good, but I know I get easily stressed and that just isn't good for any pregnancy.  Since some of the things that can be done to help prevent pre-term labor have not been shown to have any effect on multiples pregnancies (I can explain more in a future post), I have decided that stress-free living is one way I can help myself.  These past two weeks have been great (see number 2 on this post)!!  I also won't be traveling in February for my annual conference (I stress about being at the airport on time, connecting flights, keeping up with multiple boarding passes, not knowing airport layouts, ground transportation, my hotel reservation, and then the whole thing in reverse plus trying to get to a Mass on that Sunday, because the conference always ends on Saturday nights, either in the city I'm in or at some church back home).  Work can be stressful, but I have gotten better at delegating things, I'm not going to worry about my potential promotion, and I'm way ahead on the article I have due in June (yeah, same time as my due date).  If I have to be on bed rest, so be it.  I'll make it through and I know I have tons of friends who will jump in and help me out if I need something.

So, yeah.  Less stress!  That's my main goal for the next few months.

In addition, I need to get back into my spiritual life, specifically the Rosary.  Let's start there for now.  I have a habit of adding too much and then failing.  So I'm going to stick to one thing.  And what can be better than the Rosary?  Maybe since I'm not going to the gym anymore I should get up like I used to for the gym and say a Rosary then. 

Hmm, that's an idea!!  I should try that tomorrow.  I'll let you know how that works out!

Other than trying to reduce stress in my life and work on a daily Rosary, I think I just want to see the year unfold.  As I have said many times, it is more and more obvious to me that there is more that I can't control than I can.  Plus there are so many unknowns with this pregnancy that I am really working on putting all my trust and faith in God and the intercessions of the community of saints.

And should we get all the way through this pregnancy (please, God), who knows how much my life will change!!  So why try to plan anything!

2011 for me?  Less stress, praying the Rosary, and letting go.  I truly have no idea what this year is going to bring and I think I'd rather not try to guess (if you know me at all, you can stop laughing now!).

What are you looking forward to this year?  Have you made resolutions?  Anything you want to do to improve your life?  Share your thoughts in the comments.  Hope 2011 brings many blessings to all of you!