Monthly Archives: February 2012

A bittersweet day

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A few days after my 31st birthday last June I had an odd feeling. Not sure what it was, but I had the overwhelming feeling I should take a pregnancy test and I’m not sure why I was so shocked by the results! I moved from shocked to pure excitement in a few short minutes and immediately figured out my due date…February 23, 2012. It was a HUGE surprise, but for an only child who has always longed for a large family I couldn’t help but be excited along with the worry of how we would squeeze one more body into our already cozy house. Steve wasn’t nearly as thrilled as I was! Lol

As any expectant parent knows from the moment that little pink plus sign appears you start visualizing that child’s future. You have feelings on gender, and names, and hair color. Who he will look like, which sibling he’ll act like. I had a blissful three days day dreaming of our new baby, but we didn’t run out and tell everyone like before. We told just a handful of people because we worried a lot about the judgement that was sure to follow. We felt it with Maggie so it was only expected to happen with a 5th child!

On June 19th we had a fun evening with neighbors, joking around about another baby, playing games, and letting the kids enjoy a movie night with friends. When our neighbors left I realized I was spotting. That happened with Alaina so while I was a bit worried I wasn’t thinking the worst. I ran to the store and bought another pregnancy test and let a out a sigh of relief when the pink lines showed up immediately. I went to bed, and slept well but when I woke up the next morning I just knew I was miscarrying.

I called my midwife and my family doctor, had blood work done, and learned my hormone levels were close to zero. It was confusing how I had even gotten a positive the night before. Along with my hormone levels we tested some other things and I learned that my thyroid was out of whack, higher than it should be to sustain a pregnancy. While my doctor didn’t seem concerned my midwife explained why she would treat me with a number like mine. I made an appointment and pushed the issue with my doctor to put me on thyroid medication.

Less than a month later we discovered I was pregnant again. We joke around that there obviously was a little soul out there who was very determined to be part of our family because I was pregnant again less than two weeks after my miscarriage. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the little one who was due today, but I feel like I know what the purpose was. If it weren’t for losing that baby I would still be in the dark about a lot of other issues I was having health wise. So while today is a rough day, I can’t help but smile when I think about our next due date rapidly approaching. I’m thankful for a midwife who knows her stuff and a doctor who listens to me and is open minded even though he may not always agree. My thyroid has been great most of my pregnancy and I have a healthy, almost full term baby that we are all so excited to meet!

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What a difference twenty years makes.

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When I was 6 I picked out a back pack and lunch box, put a pretty dress on, climbed on the school bus, and went to my neighborhood school. I got good grades, played with my friends, and relaxed on the weekend. If you were mean to your friends you went to the principal’s office. If you weren’t you probably had no idea who the principal was. I was one of those kids. The only time I was near his office was when it was my turn to read the morning announcements. So of course I assumed that when I had children things would happen in a similar manner.

Fast forward 20 years. This whole school thing sucks now. It’s hard. It’s not as simple (for most of us) as standing on the porch waving with a cup of coffee as your child climbs on to the bus to start their day. From the moment Alaina started preschool we knew she was different. Things were hard for her. Instead of her teachers bringing these hardships to our attention we got smiles at pick up and a child who was withdrawing so slowly that as her parents we didn’t even see it. It wasn’t until she started bringing artwork home and telling us she “didn’t do it right” that we saw a giant red flag. What 4 year old isn’t proud of a giant collage of cut up paper? We immediately pulled her from the toxic environment she was in and began working with her at home but it was too late. Every.single.thing. Has been a struggle for Alaina ever since.

When it comes to choosing a school for the kids I don’t feel I’m unrealistic, but I have some deal breakers. I know there is no perfect school. I have zero tolerance for bullies. Alaina is an easy target. Shes polite, quiet, has anxiety issues, and doesn’t advocate for herself which are things she works on weekly in OT. Alaina was bullied all through kindergarten with out our knowledge bc it was blown off by teachers and she was too afraid to tell us. This continued into first grade, but this time I knew what was happening and made myself a presence with her teacher every time the was an incident. Nothing was EVER done to this bully. Nothing. This is why we left Holy Cross. I couldn’t leave her in a small Catholic school to endure that until 8th grade in addition to all her other physical and emotional issues.

My second deal breaker? My children being treated with disrespect. When we heard about Xavier it sounded like the perfect fit for the girls. Great curriculum, staff, after school clubs and FREE. I heard through the grapevine that Alaina would have an amazing teacher, something she desperately needed. At the beginning of the year small things bothered me, but nothing I couldn’t look past bc of how much Alaina was thriving. Her teacher really is a god send and I believe that this woman was put in Alaina’s life at the exact right time. She pushes her to do her best, but also quietly raises her confidence. She is 100% supportive of all the modifications in Alaina’s IEP and really advocates for her.

Communication between home and school administration is non existent. There have been major staffing changes within the building that were never communicated to parents. If there is a change to the calendar the administration informs the children at morning assembly and it is then their responsibility to pass that on to parents. The principal’s monthly newsletter is a few paragraphs mostly consisting of reminders of all the wrong things we as parents do like walking our kids into the building or stopping by for an impromptu lunch with our child.

The icing on the lack of communication cake was finding out that the most disrespectful woman I have ever met was appointed the new Dean of Students. I have witnessed on numerous occasions this woman demanding respect and compliance from students yet telling them to “shut their mouths.” Woah. Time out. My children are supposed to respect a woman who has no issue telling a child to shut up? They may fear her but they will never respect her.

I feel like this is my breaking point with Xavier. Today she made all of the teachers (even down through the little ones) take time out of their day to read the children the dress code and point out that children were breaking the rules. Are you fucking kidding me? We are in a school where my daughter hasn’t been outside for recess in WEEKS bc kids don’t have proper winter coats, yet this woman is going to take time out of the teachers day to harp on leggings and proper dress length. Good Lord.

I’m done. I’ve been toying with the idea of homeschool for years, but curriculum overwhelms me. Last year we were introduced to Connections Academy (an online public school) by a friend and I didn’t feel ready yet to take the plunge. I still had lots of questions. After yet another crappy school experience I’m jumping in feet first and the kids couldn’t be more excited. Every morning on the way to school they say, “can’t we start homeschooling this week?” lol I can’t wait. Registration begins in April and I’ll be up bright and early filling out their applications.

Noah and Dragon

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It’s been awhile! As you can tell from the name of the blog we’ve moved well past three! We are looking forward to welcoming baby #5 this Spring. My official due date is March 31st, but aside from banning her from being born on Match 30th we know she’s on her schedule not ours. Secretly I’m hoping for a St. Patrick’s Day baby. That was my grandpa’s birthday and I can’t think of a more special day for her to be born. Not to mention, how fun of a 21st birthday would THAT be? Besides, it’s no secret that this pregnancy has been much more difficult on me than any of the previous ones so her coming a couple weeks early would be very welcome. My body is done. How Michelle Duggar has had 19 children and can still walk is beyond me.

While all of the kids are excited to meet this little lady, Noah seems to have a very strong bond with her already. If he’s near me he has to be touching her. He stands in front of my belly talking to her and making faces at her as if she can actually see what he’s doing. He will tell me, “this is the face I make when I want her to laugh” It’s like he has this insight into her that the rest of us don’t have.
Anyone who knows Noah knows that we jokingly refer to him as Rain Man. He has this crazy ability to remember things, and sometimes the things he says sort of freak us out. So, about two months ago he says to me, “Mom, the baby’s name is Dragon.” I just laughed while he stared at me, considering the first name he gave her was Donut. He hasn’t let it drop. He calls her Dragon anytime he talks to her. Then started tacking on Water and calling her Water Dragon. Again, we just laughed it off as Noah being silly. One day I was looking at the Pregnancy app on my phone and it mentioned the Chinese New Year and that this was the Year of the Dragon. In particular, the year of the Water Dragon. It piqued my curiosity and I started researching all my kids “animals” It is CRAZY how accurate it is for my kids’ personalities! I must say I’m a little nervous to add a Dragon to our already busy family! Lol I’m convinced this was Noah’s way of preparing me for this new little one. To give me some of his insight into her. In the Chinese Zodiac Noah is a Rat and one of the animals they are most compatible with is the Dragon. I’m sure most people think I’m seems a little nuts, but it seems a little too coincidental to me!

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I can’t wait to see how he interacts with her after she is born and while I would never name my child Dragon I’m pretty sure it’s a nick name that will stick around for awhile! Speaking of names, I’m up for suggestions because she may never have one!