Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My name is Rose, and I am a bloucher......

That would be ME. A blogging sloucher, or "bloucher". I think I made up the term but I read so many blogs I wouldn't necessarily trust my memory that I've never seen that word before.

This is the time of year that my blog goes right down the tubes. It coincides with the sun coming back out, the plants starting to grow, and my need to get moving and start shedding the winter weight that seemed to pile on so easily.

Spring is springing here and it makes it tough to sit and type all the wonderful blog posts that I have running around in my head. It's true-- I think of such witty and original posts that for some strange reason, never make it to the written form. By the time I sit down, all the words have somehow sat too long in the unrefrigerated part of my brain and have turned into a big soggy mess of brain goo. But I amuse myself while I'm out there pulling weeds. I guess it's not all for nothing.

So, I went to the doctor this week for some good old-fashioned poking and prodding. I'm trying to figure out this perimenopausal body I find myself in these days. Nothing works the way it should and I can't tell the difference between what is 'normal' and what is a red flag for going to the doctor. I'm sure they think I'm a classic hypochondriac.

Ok, so I call the advice nurse and this is how stupid I sounded. "Hello-- I'm calling about a few symptoms I've been having lately. I'm gaining weight right in the abdominal area. A lot. And, I haven't had a period in three months."

silent pause.

"NO, I know what it sounds like, but I am not pregnant! Also, I have been feeling light-headed, having headaches, mood-swings and shaky after eating."

Basically, a train wreck.

Or normal.

I gave about two pints of blood for testing and a urine sample, and will see my doctor again next week to find out which.

I told my husband that going through perimenopause is like having to play a game you used to know but all the rules changed and nobody told you what they were.

I keep telling myself this is a natural process. It does help a little.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wanted: Experienced Juggler

I need some help in the multi-tasking department. Instead, something had to take a back seat and it was the blog. If you notice, the last time I posted it was a week ago.

In the beginning of the week, I had quite a bit of busy work to do. First, I had to plan the menu and shopping for our Easter dinner, which we held on Saturday since my sister couldn't come on Sunday. We opted for a traditional and simple Easter feast, which included a spiral sliced ham, cheesy mashed potatoes, asparagus, a tossed salad and a cute bunny cake decorated by our five year old.

In order for us to have a place to eat the Easter dinner, it was necessary for me to clean off the dining room table. Trust me when I say that this is not an easy job. Because we only use this room for special occasions, the rest of the time the table gets used for junk piling. Whenever I come into the house with extra papers, bags, boxes, you name it-- it goes on the dining room table and is promptly forgotten about. I am always amazed at how quickly the clutter piles up and becomes out of control. I can clutter up the entire 102" long table. A talent of which I should not be so proud.

Then, I went to the salon for a much-needed hair appointment. It has been almost a year since I last had it cut. My new stylist is fabulous! She made my hair do things that is scientifically impossible. The layers made it look much thicker than it really is, and the curls stayed put all day long! I just wish I could style it the way she did.

The doggies also had their spa day. They needed to have their coats trimmed since they have begun shedding and I don't like to vacuum every single day.

Then we had some outdoor sprucing and gardening to do. The weeds have started to grow with a vengeance, and since we had a couple of nice sunny days, we took advantage of the weather and got busy. We mowed, weeded, fertilized, and had the roof sprayed for moss. Then, we went to the store and bought some containers for planting. So far we have planted strawberries and tomatoes.

I sent our Easter Mass cards out to the grandparents. I always get them from the Missionary Oblates. I love their cards! For a small donation, I usually get a rosary as well. I have quite a collection of Oblate rosaries. They are great for giving or keeping.

I shopped around and found a cute little Easter outfit for the princess, a pink gingham dress with a cute little sweater to match. I forgot how much I love gingham. My mom used to dress us in it when we were little. It is just adorable.

While I was shopping, I picked up the Easter basket goodies. My children understand the meaning of Easter but it is fun having a basket to come home to after the Easter morning Mass.

So there was the first half of my week. Busy, busy, until Holy Thursday, when we tried to slow things down a bit.

On Friday, we ended the school week with shadow Stations which the 7th graders did an awesome job on. I ended up staying for both performances. In between I happened to remember that Friday was the first day of the Divine Mercy Novena, so I said the chaplet while I waited. In the spirit of Good Friday, we kept our electronics and tv off, to spend time in quiet reflection.

On Saturday, we had a birthday party to go to and then home to cook and serve our Easter dinner. The day went by really fast. Early Sunday morning we all went to Mass, then out for breakfast and the book store, where I stocked up on gardening magazines and a new cookbook. That was my Easter treat!

We spent the rest of Sunday relaxing and watching the rain fall. We had our Easter egg hunt inside the house!

Hoping that your Holy week and Easter were wonderful!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday

Hosanna in the Highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Today we celebrate Palm Sunday, a day in which Christians celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, the week before His death and resurrection. It marks the beginning of Holy week. We begin Mass at the back of the church where we each receive a blessed palm. We process in together and then we will listen to the Gospel account of the Passion of Christ.
Because this Mass is very long and very crowded, we arrived early for a seat and to spend some time in prayer. Since the weather was beautiful, and we had some extra time, I decided to take the younger two out to pray the Stations of the Cross.

We used the resource, Stations of the Cross for Children, which is a wonderful book of devotions on the way of the Cross. My 11 year old led us in the prayers for each station. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to share the devotions of the Stations of the Cross with their children.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia, on the custom of palm branches from a liturgical standpoint, it says this:
"The bishop or priest asks God to bless the branches of palm or olive, that they may be a protection to all places into which they may be brought, that the right hand of God may expell all adversity, bless and protect all who dwell in them, who have been redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Palm branches have been used by all nations as an emblem of joy and victory over enemies; in Christianity as a sign of victory over the flesh and the world according to Psalm 91:13; hence especially associated with the memory of the martyrs. The palms blessed on Palm Sunday were used in the procession of the day, then taken home by the faithful and used as a sacramental. They were preserved in prominent places in the house. On the Lower Rhine the custom exists of decorating the grave with blessed palms. From the blessed palms the ashes are procured for Ash Wednesday. "
Here is a web resource which has links and other information about Palm Sunday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Doctors are our Friends

Today I'm bringing in my little Princess for her 6 year check up. The last time we went, I promised there would be no shots, but I was wrong. So when I tell her that I promise there are no shots today, I hope that I am right. She is very afraid of doctors. Despite the fact that her dad works in the health care field, she has no faith in doctors. She says that doctors only hurt her. Which isn't true but I can see why she would think that. When she was 3, we brought her to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to check her vocal cords. She had a very raspy, hoarse voice which sounded cute but didn't seem normal. They needed to visualize the vocal cords to make sure there weren't any polys or growths causing the hoarseness. The doctor explained that they could do it under sedation but because of her age it would require her to go to a different facility and it would be more involved of an exam, or he could do it right there in the office, which would be slightly uncomfortable for her but it would be quick and without the worries of complications from anesthesia. I decided to go for the quick peek. It took three nurses to hold her down and keep her still while the doctor inserted a scope in her throat. She didn't like it one bit. Thinking back now, I think it might have been better to have her sedated, it would have been less traumatic but slightly riskier. It's a tough call. It turned out she had no growths which was wonderful news, but now she had no trust and a strong dislike for all doctors.

Which included dentists, and any other person wearing a white coat. Then the next time we visited the dentist was a disaster. First of all, she remembered the throat doctor torture chamber and was very reluctant to let anyone with a white coat near her. Incidentally they wanted to take full x-rays. She wouldn't open her mouth for anything. They ended up not taking the x-ray but were irritated that she wouldn't cooperate. There was really nothing anyone could have said to convince her to put those x-ray cards in her mouth. I tried to explain to the hygienist why my daughter was not cooperating but they seemed to feel that it was my apprehension that caused my daughter to be afraid. The hygienist needed to understand that a first time dental visit after a bad experience should be low key for a child who is so sensitive. Prior to this visit, I tried to be as upbeat and positive as I could and prepare my daughter ahead of time for what would happen at the dentist visit. It would have been nice for them to be a little more understanding, and to want to make the experience a positive one. I think that doctors and dentists should know that children have a long memory where pain is concerned.

Then, we had to go in the next year for an ear infection, and the doctor (who didn't really seem like she knew what she was doing) perforated the ear drum when she inserted the otoscope. She said it was only "scratched" but there was blood coming out of my daughter's ear. The doctor said it was because she moved while the scope was in there.

So now each time we go to the doctor where anything needs to be inserted in her ear or mouth, she just stiffens up and you can see that there is no trust. At her last check up, she was sitting on the table just trying not to cry. I could tell she was genuinely afraid, but trying to be brave. It breaks my heart that a few bad experiences have made such a lasting impression on her.

We do have a great pediatrician, she has a great bedside manner and she understands that my daughter is an extremely sensitive child. Hopefully, in time my princess will learn to trust doctors again. Wish me luck!