Friday, March 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 38)

Well, I'm three days past due now, and the baby is still quite snug and happy on the inside....but I promise all my "takes" won't be about that (despite it being the most prominent thing on my mind these days!).

After my due date (Tuesday) came and went with no baby arriving, I decided to do what I could to help things along.  I was reading lots of articles online about "natural ways to induce labor"  (and I just saw that Ana linked to a great past post about many of these methods, which you can read here). 

Wednesday morning, I did a bunch of them in succession, and to my pleasant surprise, something actually "worked."  I began having contractions!  They continued through the morning, some of them strong enough that I figured I was to the point where I'd better take some action and rally the forces.  I had Tom come home from work (with his laptop, so he could at least keep working until it was time to go to the hospital), my mom came over to pick up the kids, and our doula was put "on notice" and kept in touch with us by phone throughout the day. 

All afternoon, Tom and I sat around waiting, writing down the timing of my contractions and feeling pretty excited that we would meet our baby soon.  But as the day wore on, things started slowing down.  I tried all the labor-inducing tricks again, and they just weren't working anymore.  By early evening, I finally admitted defeat as the contractions totally fizzled out. 

And then I just felt such a sense of guilt.  I had inconvenienced so many people in my rush to get my labor going.  Tom had lost a lot of time he could have used to finish up a pressing project for work, my doula had surely cleared her schedule and arranged childcare for the day, my mom had committed to watching my kids, and my dad was prematurely excited (and texting/calling just a little too often) about the impending birth.  My mom offered to keep the kids overnight anyways, just in case things should start up again.  But they never did.  And I had to drive over and pick them up in the morning.

So yesterday, I decided to just let it go.  I'm not going to try to force it.  When it's time, it will happen.  That's not to say that I'm not still anxious to meet my baby, or that I'm not still fearful about the possibility of an induction.  But I have a lot more peace about things now.  I can't just put life totally on hold waiting, and I can't let myself get disappointed and cranky each day that baby doesn't come.  And if I'm honest with myself, I haven't set myself up to have a very focused Lent this year, so it's good for me to just offer up this time of waiting.

While packing up our books for the impending move, I was happy to discover a couple good Lenten titles that I didn't know/had forgotten we owned.  We have a TON of great old (and by old, I mean, many from the late 1800s/early 1900s) Catholic books - most of which Tom acquired from various generous friends before we were married.  But with the huge pile of books already on my "must read" list, I don't often take the time to dig through our own bookshelves and see what little gems might be there.

I just finished Fr. Weiser's The Easter Book, which explains many historic and ethnic Lenten and Easter practices.  It's a companion to his Christmas Book which I read during Advent.  I would recommend both titles to anyone looking to celebrate the Liturgical Year in their families [I found ours for a few bucks each at the local Catholic used bookstore...the one I linked at $60 is overpriced, so shop around if you are interested in getting it].  Last night, I started on The Passion Of Our Lord by Cardinal De Lai [our version is an old one, so I can't vouch for the quality of this re-publication that I linked to], and hope to finish it before Easter.  I'm not far yet, but it looks like it will be informative and inspiring - it shares reflections on the Gospels of the Passion.

So.....there was a guy murdered in front of his house on the street next to ours a few nights ago (it was a drug-related thing...).  Tom and I got the scoop from some neighbors who actually witnessed it, and (wisely, I believe) decided *not* to mention the incident to our parents.  No need to freak them out.  But my dad must have seen it on the news, because now he keeps e-mailing us updates about the case.  But I have to does make it a little bit easier to have to leave this house in a couple weeks.

We don't let Sly watch much tv.  If Tom had his way, Sly would probably never see a single show or movie for his entire childhood.  But a couple mornings a week, I do let him watch a half hour to an hour of whatever's on PBS.  He enjoys it, and it seems to be a short enough time not to have a negative effect on him. 

But my mom is one of those people who literally has the television on 24 hours a day.  When Sly goes over there, it's ALL he does.  When the kids were over her house on Tuesday, I know (from talking to him later) that he watched at LEAST three movies (Toy Story, Puss in Boots, and Homeward Bound), plus some "kids' shows".  I don't have a problem with him watching a movie every now and then, but that is just ridiculous.  When I picked the kids up the next morning, I felt like I had to spend the day helping him to "detox" from the zombie-like state he was in...

I have brought it up before, but I don't think my mom gets why it's a concern.  I'm not sure she'd really know what to do with him the whole time, if she couldn't rely on the tv.  It's sort of a sensitive situation....but I do need her free babysitting services sometimes!  Anyone deal with a similar situation before?

I should have posted this a few weeks ago, but...better late than never, right?  A friend shared with me a great guide that her priest put together to explain Lent/Easter and the various Liturgical activities, symbolism, events, etc. connected with them. 

Fr. Smith's Lent and Easter Guide 2014 [this opens up a dropbox where you can download the pdf]

The other guides on here also look very useful! 

As we've been packing up their toys, the kids have started to make fun with other objects around the house.  The past few days, the big amusement has been climbing together into an empty laundry basket, and tipping out of it, laughing.  Sometimes I wonder why we have toys at all...

Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary


  1. Oh! Fr. Smith is the priest who married us. He is such a good priest.

    As for the TV issue, I haven't had to deal with it much really. I know our babysitter's TV is on all day, but they don't watch movies or kids shows. I think most of the time when M is awake there, she ends up having it on a music channel. He's not there every day and he doesn't seem interested in TV when we're at home (partly because it isn't in our main area). BUT I'm a big believer in being firm on parenting decisions. Family is hard, but if its that important, you just have to put your foot down and say that your children only get so much tv/junk food/juice/whatever the issue and that's that. Keeping in mind that grandparents are always going to give more, which I also think is fine. That's what they do. But such a drastic difference of 0-30 minutes a day to what sounds like multiple hours... that should probably be limited. Maybe just ask her to stick to one movie a day during his visits and give some good advice as to what to do during the rest of the time.

    Hope baby comes soon!

  2. I'm glad you're feeling more at peace about baby's arrival. (However, I expect to see you on April 6... so he'd better get moving soon! ;-) )

    #4--that's scary! I'm glad you're moving soon, too! Also, there were a few incidents in college (like a friend of ours getting mugged near St. Paul's) that I never told my parents about either...

  3. I've always talked with my mom and my in-laws about what a HUGE difference TV & other electronics exposure makes in John Paul's attitude, and I think they've *mostly* clued into it (well, my mom definitely has!), at least when they're at our house. Our TV is in the basement so you really have to go out of your way to watch anything. But whenever we go to my father-in-law's house, the TV is on NONSTOP and he freaks out about John Paul touching the remote or changing channels or whatever... So we've pretty much just stopped going over there. Is it at all possible to just have her watch the kids at your place (although with the move that might not be possible...)? Or maybe send him with some books on CD (if she thinks background noise needs to be going at all times) or special activities to do with Grandma so that she has some ideas for occupying his time? Maybe bubbles if it's nice outside, or playdough with cookie cutters because it's such a pain to clean up at your own house :P

    And our laundry baskets are often repurposed as "Transmogrifiers" which means they turn the kids into various different animals if they flip them upside down on top of them? I don't really get it, but it's one of those things that doesn't involve any effort on my part, so I don't mind :P

    Hope that baby comes out soon!!!

  4. We aren't big on TV here either. The kids get maybe a half hour a day, just as I did when I was little. There are so many reasons we keep it off but one of the main ones is that Juliana can't concentrate on anything else but the flashing screen. It's creepy to see the way she JUST HAS to watch! It's like she is hypnotized! Plus, as she gets older, there won't be many shows she's allowed to watch if they are anything like the shows that are on now for 8-12 year olds!
    I too wonder why we buy toys. Miriam and Juls love to play "dog". They crawl around, bark at each other and then Juli is the owner and gets food and water for Mim and tries to put her on a leash! happy you're moving too! Get into a safer area for the kids to play!