Tuesday, April 28, 2009
(ps. sorry about all the complaining lately....I try to keep that all to Facebook, and use the blog for happy things!)
Sunday, April 26, 2009
With Bethany demanding some individual attention lately, we have been cutting out as many non-essential activities as we can. That is a hard thing to do as the school year is beginning to wind down, and concerts, award ceremonies, and end-of-year events abound. To modify this weekend, Michael was sent to hockey with the neighbors, who repeatedly bail us out of car pool situations. And because Daddy had to go into work unexpectedly on Saturday, he organized his timing between dropping Alex off at rehearsal and picking him up several hours later. Instead of traipsing all the way out to St.Boni with all of my remaining children, I sent Jonny and Crispy out in our yard and neighborhood with garbage bag and gloves....it did not take them long at all to fill up that bag! Though I was the one scheduled to take the girls to the museum drop off spot, my neighbor insisted her husband take the girls instead.....I think that she and Bob had some sort of discussion at hockey the night before about keeping me on the couch.
While Bob was at work, I began washing baby clothes...I was astounded by the amount of small summer pink things we have in great shape! This little girl will NOT be lacking in the clothing department! I washed up her new, soft blankies, slings, swing pads, and car seat covers....it smells so good in here with all these freshly washed items hanging all over our house to dry! Her diaper bag is now packed (except for actual diapers...oops!). We are ready for when bedrest (beyond our own self-modified type going on now) and/or baby comes.
Melissa had a great time at the museum. She had been quite nervous about going, as I had been planning on being one of the adults going along before this baby monkey business began. But, she came home well rested on Sunday morning, talking about how much fun it was to be in the museum during special hours, eating pizza and drinking lemonade, having a great breakfast in the morning, and sleeping in the Clifford exhibit. Apparently, their Troop was a little bit disappointed to be in that room....I guess at night, a giant red dog can look a little creepy as it hovers over your sleeping bag.
We spent the rest of that rainy Sunday just hanging out at home, taking it easy, finishing the wash, etc. Michael had his last 2-1/2 hour long scrimmage, which I managed to make it to the last 15 minutes of. Those kids have so much fun on the ice, as the two Waconia teams play each other. Every check is met with a smile, fake fights break out all over the place, and they are simply GOOFY half the time. It is really heart-warming to watch them turn something as competitive as hockey into the fun it is suppose to be for a group of kids. A number of us parents are looking into buying ice time to continue this throughout the summer months....it will keep them skating AND having a great time before the formal serious season starts again in September.
This evening, the girls got involved in actually cleaning their room. Not only cleaning, but committing to giving some toys away! There is a bit of motivational trickery here....as I was looking for a dresser online for all of Bethany's many many clothes, I came across this ADORABLE doll house shaped bunk bed that sleeps three girls. It is super-duper cute! Well, Mr.Daddy said he would buy it for the girls if they could keep their room clean for three months. Laura immediately took off to clean, and is now expecting her new bed on Tuesday (in 3 DAYS). Melissa reluctantly began cleaning, and then spent many moments crying about losing the bed she has in there now....poor girl is so very sensitive and sentimental! I wouldn't get my hopes up too high, Laura....you girls have quite a project ahead of you!
The boys and I went to church, which I fear I may soon have to start missing. It makes me sad, because it is my favorite place to go, but it is so difficult for me to sit upright like that for so long. I am in such a pathetic state! Anyhow, we have been studying the Book of Daniel for several weeks. Jonny has become so interested, that he is now choosing to be up with us instead of being in his youth service downstairs. I have read the Book of Daniel many times, and studied various parts of it. And VeggieTales has made a nice video about resolute faith found amongst the stories. But we are currently in the prophetic 7th and 8th chapters and it is packed with information! History and prophecy, currentness and vision, good heavens, it has been so much to comprehend....and that is after reading up on the chapters several times BEFORE even attending the sermon. I am secretly hoping it is my pregnancy brain making some of this difficult...I plan on asking Alex all about the Book of Daniel again in July when my brain cells may be resuming their functioning.
I think we did well for scaling back our weekend, making it manageable, yet still getting much accomplished.....just don't judge accomplishment by looking at my sticky floors, food encrusted counters, overflowing sinks, and kids who have been wearing the same clothes since Friday!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Lunch was effortless today, as it had already been prepared....and Laura conceded to getting the bags out of the refrigerator, and helping Tubby set up his little "picnic" with her on the library floor. We walked down the hill to the little park next to our house for a short, 20 minute visit in the wind and light drizzle. It at least helped appease her for a few minutes. Tubby threw his own little tantrum when we returned home about some problem with one of his trucks: I opened it, closed it, turned it around, and repeated steps many times, but it was apparently NOT what he was asking me to do. He ended up actually crying on the floor for 10 minutes, before stopping....sound asleep, with his jacket still on. A self-imposed time-out for him, too.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
The test went much like Thursday, but with some small changes like a few breathing movements, and 1cm more of amniotic fluid. Her heart rate even looked reactive when we first began her tracings. All was looking good! About 15 minutes into the monitor tracings, I had a mild contraction...not a big deal, I have several of these each hour. Bethany chose to make this one a big deal, and dropped her heart rate into the 80's (normal is 120-160) for 30 seconds, up above 100 for thirty seconds, then back into 80's-low 90's for at least two minutes. We changed position and she did recover, slowly at first, but bought herself an additional hour of monitoring. She did well through all other contractions (I had at least 4 more), and seemed to recover without any ill effects. But with the amniotic fluid still at the lowest end of OK, closer observation is necessary to determine what exactly is going on. So, back again we will go on Tuesday. *sigh*
The boys had a GREAT time with Grandma and Grandpa.....and they were so sweet to bring me a falaffel pita sandwich and baklava. Thank you, Mom & Dad! It was SO GOOD! It was much too large to eat while driving, but fun to enjoy the fragrant aroma on the hour long ride home. It was a good distraction from the constant "binging" alarm in my truck. Something is wrong with my engine, causing oil leakage, and I have no idea how we will pay for repairs or when I can even give it up for a day. What I really want to do is just lie down on the couch for a few hours and take a break. I will have to put that on hold another week as Bob is out of town for work, and my day starts bright and early in about 6-1/2 hours. *YAWN!* Good Night!
Friday, April 17, 2009
That crazy evening occurred after a rather long and disappointing day for me. I travelled the hour long drive into Abbott hospital for my scheduled biophysical profile test. Oh....back up one week. Lat Thursday, I had a second Level II ultrasound with my OB appointment, and they failed to mention that BPP tests were now ordered for once per week.....not because of any current worries they had now, but due to past history. Well, I had my little buddy, Tubby, with me that day, and he was a marvelous little guy for the entire two hours we were in the clinic! He sat there so nicely on his chair, just holding his little backpack full of cars. He is just the best! Everything went well, and all was fine and good. No worries.
Jonny has been a GREAT helper with these little guys. He has been so good about taking them outside to play in the backyard or at the park, anytime I ask. He even took a sad Laura into the backyard to teach her how to golf one afternoon.....it totally made her day! Jonny and Crispy have also been working hard this week to try to calm the dog down when she is around people. It is our goal to make her pleasant enough to share the backyard with this summer....as of now, she would just bowl over any of my small little people in her loving, caring , 75 pound way.
Melissa got to resume horseback riding this week! She had to miss her first lesson last week due to being sick (ok,ok, are you tired of hearing about this illness yet? I am so tired of living in it!)....so she was super psyched to go this Tuesday. She did really well, even after 5 months off, and riding a horse she has never ridden before. The horse was a bit stubborn, and I think that might be a good pick for her...it will force her to speak up more, and use those leg muscles to make him go, instead of being so light on a more "automatic" and easy ride. It is always great to watch her ride, and see her doing something so successfully and having so much fun.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I am yet not well, but managed to drink almost enough water yesterday to meet my daily quota. I am attempting a bit of food today, but really am not so optimistic that it will work. Tubby got antibiotics last night, and I am happy to report he has ALREADY had no green buggars to smear across his cheek! Hooray! On the other hand, he IS running warm today, and crying quite a bit.....not looking well. Is another new illness attacking us? I want off this sick train....NOW!
In the midst of all this uckiness, something wonderful has happened.....
Tubby has slept with me since day one. He never slept in his pretty crib even once before I finally took it down a few months ago. This illness has made it impossible for him to be in bed with me due to all the getting up, and inability to move once a comfortable position has been attained. Bob has been wonderful about keeping Tubby downstairs, sleeping on his special blankets and pillows.
The first night (Thursday), Tubby woke up every hour, screaming and crying, running to the library doors to try to get out. The second night, the other kids joined him in a sleepover in the library, and he did much better....only crying every hour or so, but not trying to run away. The third night, the kids all had a sleepover in the boys' room, with Tubby in his own bed, the kids on the floor next to him. He only awoke every other hour, sat up, and cried. Jonny rubbed his back each time for about five minutes to put him back to sleep (what a good big brother). The next night, the kids revolted, and said "NO!" to being awoken all night long. But there was no turning back......Tubby had to stay out of my room now for good. So once again, Daddy took him overnight on the floor, where Tubby remained asleep ALL NIGHT LONG. In fact, Daddy woke up every hour to check on him, afraid something was wrong. And last night, dear Crispy took Tubby up to bed with him at 8:30, Daddy tucked him in, and he remained in that cute little bed ALL NIGHT LONG, with only one episode of crying, to which Jonny simply stated from across the room,"Tubby, go nigh-nights.", and that was the extent of that. HOORAY!!!!
So, while my toddler is screaming on the floor today, and just collapsed in a sick, feverish nap on my lap, Laura's cheeks rosier than any shade of red I have ever seen, and a still rather upset tummy for me just daring me to eat today......at least we can ALL be rest assured of a good night's sleep tonight! So perhaps it is not all bad!!!!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
As Sunday rolled around, and sunshine streamed through our living room windows, it certainly did seem like a new day. The girls were all happy, seemed healthy, and pleasantly bopped around the rooms searching for eggs and Easter baskets. The boys were getting along, with no complaints of sour stomach. I felt brave enough to eat a bit of the Easter bread we had baked up for breakfast....I was anxious for food again since going without for the last 3 days. Everyone had baths and showers, donned their Easter apparel, and we left for church on time, and squeaky clean.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Alex is one to be proud of. Such a kind, gentle, super-smart, spirit-filled young man, who is a joy to be around. With no help from his parents, he has made it through those nasty tween years, and came through with flying colors.....a delightful young man, with a strong Christian heart, and incredible values. It is funny to think that long , long ago, when he was just a preschooler, his pediatrician (who we no longer see), actually suggested he go to Washburn for a while, to get some remedial help for his impulsitivity. Ha! If he could only see this wonder boy now!
Though our trip to Chicago was cut WAY short over the weekend (we were only there for 18 hours), it was still better than imagined (see previous post). Sharing the driving three ways made the trip a piece of cake, even with cranky and puking kiddos in the back seats. Alex now has completed all his daytime driving hours, and did a fabulous job driving the last 2-1/2 hours home yesterday, including managing all the freeways through and around downtown St.Paul, and southern Minneapolis. Yay, Alex! After 4 more night driving hours, he will be eligible to take his test.
With now 5 sick kiddos at home today, we did pretty much nothing for Alex's special day. (By the way, it is also spring break for us...we are NOT off to a good start). We DID manage to go to Target with the few not sick kids, per Alex's request...apparently he had promised Tubby he would take him yesterday, but it was too late when we got back home. Alex and I got special birthday coffees to drink, while Jonny took Tubby "shopping". We spent way too much money as usual (though more than half were groceries, so I guess it was not so bad), and then went back home. Yippee.
As birthday boy requested, we had a yummy meal of take-out Chinese, which we have not had in a very long time. In an effort to decrease budget costs which seem to be getting way out of control (mostly in part due to our horrible new health insurance we have had since Jan 1....it is really ridiculous, and we are seriously going broke FAST), we have only been allowing one take-out, pizza, or fast food order per month. He blew out his candles on the Monkey Bread "Cake" Jonny and I had made for him earlier, and opened a few presents.....candy from Jonny and money and a Sonshine Ticket from us(his short trip to Harvest Bible Chapel and a very nice class ring were also presents).
Though his actual birthday DAY seemed to be lacking somewhat in the specialness department due to current circumstances, I hope he indeed knows how very very special he is to us.
Happy Birthday, Alex!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
We have talked about making a weekend trip to visit his church many times, but have never found the time or chance to do it. This was it....Alex's birthday weekend and the beginning of spring break! It would be perfect--a nice little getaway with Alex, Tubby, the girls, and Grandma ?. I found a hotel online that offered poolside rooms in a solar dome. It was going to be great!
Before we left early Saturday morning (8am!), it became clear that things were not going to be so great. Tubby and Laura were feverish, and looked rather pathetic. Most likely due to the sick children (the MckKiddos) we were watching at our house yesterday. Not having the luxury of time to "wait and see", we packed them into the truck anyhow. We had to get to the church on time!
Soon into the 7 hour drive, Tubby began puking. Lovely. Poor Alex had to help him out from his spot next to him in the middle seat. Laura complained of a stomach ache, but managed to make it to the hotel OK. Alex felt ill after lunch at Kwik Trip, leading us to a 30 minute layover at some sleezy McDonald's in Illinois...just 20 minutes from our hotel. We were so close! But church started in 45 minutes. How would we make it the rest of the way, check into the hotel, and find church in a city we have never been in by 5pm?
We were determined. We checked in, left Grandma with all the sick kiddos(into our room that was NOT poolside, but instead with a basketball court 3 feet from our door...the balls slamming into our door about every 10 minutes), changed QUICKLY into non-sweats, leaving the parking lot at 4:53pm, and miraculously arriving in the church parking lot at precisely 5pm! We made it!
(this was taken AFTER the service...the parking lot was FULL prior!)
Walking into the building we had heard so much about over the years was incredible. It was amazing to actually be there. It was not fancy or glamorous. Just filled with love and welcome. You could honestly feel it walking in. We were ushered down an aisle that had just been opened up, and found ourselves in the second row from the front, able to see everything without obstruction. As we worshipped in song with the visiting band of Steven Fee (nationally known Christian band), we realized that Pastor James was in the first row across the aisle from us...only 4 people away! Wow...we never imagined we would get that close.
Worship was wonderful, the message was great, as usual. "Go Get the Wanderer!" An inspiring message with lots of weight and urgency for now and all of our days. James is a strong, faith-filled man, who has a wonderful gift given to him by God to preach the truth in understandable and compelling ways. Yet humble. Never is the attention focused upon himself, or what he thinks is right. Attention ALWAYS focused on Him, and Him alone. Amazing.
At the end of the service, James was walking back to his seat....probably to retrieve something he had left there while preaching. Oh my....could we really take this chance and try to talk to him? He was so close! But, he is so famous! He certainly does not have time to talk to everyone who would like to simply meet him. Heavens! Our own senior pastor has not even personally met us yet! And we only belong to a church of 6,000 or so.....not the tens of thousands that belong to Harvest Bible Chapel!
We decided to be brave....whenever would we get such a chance as this again? As we walked toward him, three women got to him first. They chit-chatted for about five minutes, on a very personal level, obviously personal friends with the pastor. What in the world were we doing here??? The women finally dismissed themselves, and James looked at us, with a great big smile on his face. Oh my goodness, we were up! It went something like this:
Shaking his hand~
Me: "Hi, James (no 'Pastor', 'Mr', or 'Sir'....just "James"...yeesh!). My name is Julie Zajac, and this is my son, Alex. It is his 16th birthday on Monday.
James:"It is? Well, that's great!"(Shaking Alex's hand)
Me: "Yes. We drove all the way from Minneapolis just to come to your church as his sixteenth birthday wish.
James:"You did? Well, I have to give you a hug!"(giving Alex a gigantic James-Bear hug)
Me: "We have been listening to you online for over four years, and have talked about coming to visit Harvest for so long. We are so glad to finally be here."
James: "Oh! (looking at Alex) When do you listen online?"
Alex:"Whenever I walk home from school, which is a 27 minute walk."
James:"That's great! Hey, very cool glasses!"
They really had a few more words to say to each other in chit chat, but it is so hard to remember what!
James:"Do you have a good church?"
James:"What's the name of it?"
Me:"Uhhhh...(completely star-struck dead-brain)...Westwood! In Chanhassen...it is a good, Bible believing Community Church."
James: He nods..."You know, we just planted a church in the Minneapolis area."
Me: "We just heard that! (from my friend Mary, just last weekend)We can't wait to check it out. Too bad it is about an hour away from us."
Again, more words spoken, good golly, I wish I had a better memory!
James:"I am really glad to have had the chance to meet you. You know, I usually do not come down to talk to people after services, but I am so glad I did today!"
Us:"Thank you so much. It was really wonderful, and so good to be here!"
James: To Alex~"Happy Birthday, man!"
We walked out of the sanctuary, I telling Alex how proud I was of him. Who else is so blessed to have a sixteen year old boy who would like to go church hopping for his birthday more than anything else?!? We entered the bookstore, and it was there that I realized how much my legs were shaking. We had just had a conversation with Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel and Walk in the Word Ministeries!!! NEVER in our dreams had we imagined to have such an encounter!!! I can't think of anyone else in the whole wide world I would have wanted to meet more than James. We had just planned on visiting his church, and were simply stoked about walking into the building and hearing his sermon in person. The fact that my son got to actually converse with this godly man was absolutely incredible.....such a treat from God(as Mary put it). So MUCH BETTER than we could have planned it ourselves. Amazing! We were stunned.
We poked around the rest of the building in a giddy fog, buying books, bags, shirts, CD's, and pens. We explored the little chapel located on one side, and took pictures with our little cell phones. (We had misplaced the camera in the rush to get to church) We were invited back into the santuary by an usher who noticed us through the glass, as we tried not successfully to look like tourists. "Come on in and take pictures! We love tourists!" he said as he opened the door.
Icing on the already HUGE birthday cake:
The next morning, Alex and Grandma ? went to the Sunday morning service. They arrived early enough to find a seat in one of the middle aisles that James walked up and down during his preaching. During minute 19 of his message that morning, not only did he see Alex, recognize him, but threw in "Happy Birthday!"....right in the middle of his message! Is that not a wonderful man, or what?!?!
(It is this service that is posted online currently for internet listening ears, listen closely during minute 19....I would imagine that this will also be the copy used once this CD series is composed for sale! The DVD of the service appears to be from the Saturday evening one we were at...Alex and I can often be seen in the background in our second row seats!))