Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New additions

Here are some new things in the house that I LOVE:
Covers on the lightswitches,

a water filter at our kitchen sink

and subflooring to even out the boards and cover up holes in the floor. Travis is also jacking up one of the beams underneath to level out a hump and we picked out carpet Saturday morning.

Throughout this all I have come to appreciate the little things more and more. Who knew that lightswitch covers would be considered a luxury?

The pain

Last night I woke up screaming bloody murder. Travis awoke and instantly worried that something was horribly wrong with the baby.

The baby is fine.

The reason for my crying out in agony: a charlie horse.

But not just any charlie horse, mind you, this one was the mother of all charlie horses. Travis kept telling me to point my toes towards my body. I kept yelling in pain, saying I couldn't (which was mostly true - the muscles were super tight). Finally he got up, walked around the bed, held my foot with one hand - pushing the toes towards my body - and massaged my calf with the other. I finally shut up and we both went back to sleep but still, almost 24 hours later, my leg still hurts.

Since I think it's pregnancy related I'm chalking it up to taking one for the team. :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

EC kicks booty with St. Jude fundraiser

Eureka College has a total enrollment of 675 students, about 500 of which are residential, traditional students.

Yet, our tiny campus' Up 'til Dawn group raised more money for St. Jude Research Hospital than the ones on the campuses of WIU, Monmouth, Bradley, EIU, U of I, ISU or any other college / university in the state of Illinois.

The total amount raised: $24,641.22

Way to go, guys!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Breast Cancer Site

One of the professors on campus, a breast cancer survivor, sent an email saying that the Breast Cancer Site hasn't been getting enough clicks lately.

Every time someone clicks on the pink box money is donated by their advertisers to provide a free mammogram to a woman in need.

Do us a favor and give them a click:


Many thanks!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Staff Meeting

Today we had an all staff meeting at work. I had an announcement to make about the upcoming Staff Retreat that I'm helping to plan. After explaining all the plans I ended it by saying, "We spent a lot of time reviewing the surveys you filled out and trying to find a topic that would satisfy what you wanted. I think we've done it and picked a great topic. And if you don't like it, I'll be gone next year and you can plan it yourselves."

Luckily they laughed. But way to be professional, Bonnie.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

29 weeks

Since my due date has changed some I'm still at 29 weeks. (With the ob/gyn's guess we'd be at 31.5, with Trav's and my guess we'd be at 30. It was our midwife who fused the sonogram and our charting information to come to 29 weeks.)

But here's some self portrait belly pictures. Enjoy! :)

This is a good shot to show sexually active teenagers. ;)

More house updates

If you were to come and pay us a visit, this is what you'd see.

Our bathroom has a cardboard, saloon style door. Drywall has not been hung in here and my old dorm room lamp is what we use for light. It is the next project now that the drywall in the rest of the house is all hung. The wall the towels hang off of are for the master bedroom's closet.

Our lovely, wonderful bedroom. (This is my side of the room - Travis' side is not internet worthy. :) )

Our temporay living room - when it's complete it will be the dining room. You will notice my husband does not like getting his picture taken. Before and after all the drywall was hung.

Our laundry room and temporary closet.

To see how far we've come, feel free to look here and here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Baby Registry

Well, we did it. We registered. We didn't know what we were doing and had to call friends and family for advice: Do we want a swing? Do we need a pack and play? Many thanks to LB for her advice on everything from play stations to gel baby oil.

We just registered for the essentials. We figure (and hope) that in the end people will buy us cute clothes and toys and books, and that the moms who know will see what we missed and buy those things for us, too. We also hope people buy the cloth diapers. Seriously, folks, over the course of a few kids we'll save possibly a couple thousands dollars, not to mention all that landfill space. Help us save the world!

If you'd like to check out the registry you can go to www.Target.com and www.ComfyBummy.com.

Generation JPII

Mr. Watkins over at Roman Catholic Vocations posted a new video from PBS to his site. It discusses in general the growing numbers of young women entering traditional religious communities and the Nashville Dominicans specifically.

A sample of text from the video:

Young adults really saw in Pope John Paul II someone who was calling them to something the world never dared called them to, and that is sacrifice, self-denial, laying down their lives at the feet of Christ and asking him, "What do you want me to do with my life?"

This statement I think is incredibly acurate for all of us in the JPII generation. The world offers us "freedom" to do whatever we want, telling us that physical relationships, partying, money and successful careers will fulfill us. As a college student and now someone who has worked on a college campus for the past 4 years I see this as true. There is almost a carelessness in the attitude and belief that such base things will fulfill us. So to have a man challenge us to something greater instead of leaving us to find pleasure wherever and however we may - this is radical. Counter-cultural. And, yes, even daring.

As I grow in my faith and vocation I see that the success of a raise or promotion is not as wonderful or lasting a feeling as my husband telling me he's glad I'm his wife and the mother of his children. And while money is nice to have, we are sacrificing many comforts so I can be the one raising our children. Yet, with this lack of income also comes a simplicity of life that we desire - gardening, composting, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, recycling - along with the time to do more Corporal Works of Mercy.

What I really want to say through all this is that young seminarians and men and women religious are not the only ones answering this call by John Paul the Great. I know many young Catholic couples who embrace the Sacraments and their call to sanctification through their spouse. We embrace the Church's teachings on NFP, fatherhood, motherhood, the blessings of children, the domestic church and Her call to holiness.

So watch the video but be aware - convents and seminaries are not the only places where God is working on the young.

Home sick

Today, though feeling light headed, I made my way to work just in time to make my way to the bathroom and get sick. On the "after puke high" I drove home and now I am hoping it's not the flu. Cheap, stupid Bonnie never got a flu shot and this is one of the busiest weeks of work.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Reasons why I'm doing a home birth

1 - I don't want my baby taken away from me after I deliver. I want to hold, love and adore the little guy. At home, my child will be warmed by the warmth of my chest and cleaned and assessed in my arms.

2 - When I was born the doctor showed Mom me and then took me away. Later, when they brought her baby back it wasn't actually her baby. They had messed up and switched me and another newborn girl. Luckily, Mom knew what I looked like and said, "That's not my baby." Eventually they figured things out and brought me to my mom. This will not be a fear at my house, as I am the only pregnant lady living there.

3 - Travis will be the one to catch our child and then pass her or him to me.

4 - In fact, Travis' role throughout the entire labor will be very involved - much more than a bit of encouragment and cutting the cord. This is something I want as does he. Instead of relying on drugs, I will rely on my husband.

5 - I will be in the comfort of my own home. Maybe I'll watch movies while I labor, maybe I'll listen to music, maybe I'll eat Edy's fruit pops, maybe I'll shower but I will feel more relaxed not being around machines and strange people.

6 - A home is where life happens and, I think, where it should begin.

7 - A hospital is where people go when they are sick, dying, injured - in need of medical attention. Birth does not need medical attention as long as the mother is healthy (and I am), the baby is healthy (and he is) and the birth is normal (which it should be). If any of these factors change I will birth in a hospital.

8 - At five months I had not yet met the woman who was supposed to deliver my child. I prefer having a trusting relationship with people who root around that part of my body.

9 - At five months the doctor I had seen the most was the same one who told me to "chin up" and "think positive" when my first baby died in utero. This man and I do not have similar attitudes about life, babies and motherhood. Furthermore, I felt he disreguarded completely my feelings and my child. I do not want him to ever deliver any of my children.

10 - My midwife and her assistant will help me begin breastfeeding almost immediately. They will not leave until they are completely confident that I am fine, the baby is fine and breastfeeding is successful. The minimum time they stay after delivery is 3 hours.

11 - I will be monitored the entire time by the same two women. No shift changes for nurses.

12 - I will never be offered drugs. I will never have to fight that battle. (Many women who have made it clear they don't want drugs before the birth begins are then repeatedly offered and even pressured into having epidurals.)

13 - My midwife has a clear love of babies and a joyful attitude about birth. She is compassionate, intelligent, a good listener, gentle and kind. I trust her.

14 - I belive that birth is natural and that my body will know what to do. I believe that while labor might be very painful I can cope with this pain, offer it up and work through it.

15 - When I picture myself birthing it is not lying on a bed with my legs spread open but squatting, holding on to my husband who is physically and emotionally supporting me. My body will be open 30% more in this position than lying down, thus making birth easier. (This position is not preferred and sometimes not allowed in hospitals.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thus begins the forty days

Tomorrow is the first day of Lent, the forty days of fasting and prayer as we turn back to God.
"Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping and mourning," Joel 2:12.

Over the years the sacrifices I've made for Lent have grown a little: chocolate or ice cream when I was younger, alcohol when I was in college (I didn't drink a lot but enough that I dreamt of Bailey's Irish Cream I missed it so much), and then I came to the point where it was not just fasting from food but also the television or radio. Then I began adding things to my day, such as a rosary or the Liturgy of the Hours.

Fortunately, a local parish is hosting Stations of the Cross every Friday followed by several hours of Adoration. Travis and I are committing to doing this together. Additionally I have a couple of things that I would like to permanantly give up and let go of so I will be working on that this Lent. Though they're pretty big for me so keep me in your prayers, please.

I came across two interesting posts on Lent and fasting today and wanted to share them both.

The first is from a Maronite Catholic. He has some great, great, great things to share about fasting, including the much more "dedicated" way of the Maronites. Check him out here.

The other is a list of ideas of what to give up for Lent. Some of which will be tucked away for future use, I think. Go here for those.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Transformation of a Kitchen

Here is a visual history of our kitchen. We're not done yet, but as you can see, we have come a loooooong way, baby.
What it was when we bought it.

The view from the dining room. The wall between these two rooms has been opened up. The doorway has more than doubled.

Down to the studs.

Hanging drywall.

Ripping up all 5 layers of flooring. The very bottom layer, besides the floorboards, was burlap with small tiles glued down. Under that, to level out the floors, were newspapers. The papers were dated Wednesday, October 3, 1918. And this is our new edition!

What the kitchen looks like now. There's a hole waiting for the washing machine. Our fridge is an $800 model that we got for $500. Our stove is worth $500 but we got it for $250. It's the beauty of buying floor models. We highly recommend it. :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

3 confessions about the Superbowl

1 - I was looking forward to it only because of the food. Today was my Fat Tuesday.

2 - I wanted the Giants to win because I think Eli Manning is the cuter quarterback.

3 - I could actually follow the game because of the education I've recieved through my husband's love of NCAA Football on the Game Cube.

For background, go here.

Friday, February 1, 2008

anti-catholicism ticks me off and makes me laugh all at the same time

A little bit ago I was introduced to Jack Chick's tracts and philosophy. As Wikipedia puts it, Mr. Chick opposes abortion, Harry Potter, Roman Catholicism and Judiasm. Clearly, we are all equally evil.

Chick Publications has a fantastic little tract that follows the life of poor Helen, our Catholic friend. It details how she is led astray by all the lies of the Church, especially through its teachings on the Sacraments. A couple of my favorite pages follow:

Of course we don't believe the priest uses magic nor that he is powerful enough to call down God, nor that we are sacrificing Christ again. And then when you get to the whole sunburst issue, well Christ is the great light that has shone on the people in darkness. And I don't know about the whole "...or else!" thing either. I've seen a lot of people not give reverence to the Eucharist but they are all still alive and members of the Church (no lighting striking them or excommunication). I however, do genuflect and bow down to my God, present in the Blessed Sacrament because I believe He's God. I genuinely want to honor Him in such a way.

Now the Venus thing is so laughable I'm not even going to comment beyond that. But I will point out that Christ received His flesh from Mary. They must have looked an awful lot alike because the Holy Spirit doesn't have DNA to add to the mix. And though I have never read the text referenced above, I feel confident in saying that's what the author is referring to. And of course, the Catholic Church does not teach that Mary's blood is what saves us. But good job, Chick, taking that quote out of context!

Now this brings me great assurance. While the Holy Sacraments established by God to give us His Grace cannot help us on our road to sanctification, if we check the Yes box we will be saved!

Oh, my dear people at Chick Publications, while it is very kind of you to want to save us Catholics from Hell, I believe I will keep my Catholic faith and you can keep your Yes box.


We finally have the internet at home!

I feel like my younger brother, K, the day he bought his Wii. He left a message on my cell:

Bonnie, This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad! For today, K got a Wii!