Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gestational Diabetes?

Yesterday I went in and did a 3 hour glucose test to screen for Gestational Diabetes. The previous week I had done the 1 hour test...and I failed it! Poop! I have not been feeling good and have complained about how my blood sugar feels this pregnancy. I do not feel the same as I did the other two pregnancies. Also, my iron level hasn't come up AT ALL! Poopy again! I won't have the results until tomorrow. The test was much worse than I thought it would be. You have to fast for 12 hours (which was fine since I was sleeping). Then go in and drink the MOST sugary drink you can imagine. Then they draw your blood every hour for 3 hours. I had read that some women get dizzy, throw up, or faint. I hadn't felt sick at all from the 1 hours test so I really didn't worry. About 20 minutes after drinking the sucrose drink (twice the grams of sugar as used for the 1 hour test) I started really feeling ill. I kept burping the nasty stuff and trying not to gag or throw up. I pushed two of the chairs in the waiting room together to make a little bed. I stretched out and tried to feel better. I started feeling dazed like I had taken a pain pill. Weird? I felt lethargic and doped! I could barely walk to get my first blood draw. As the next 2 hours went by I would feel a little better and then a wave would overcome me. I have no idea what the test will reveal but I'll hopefully find out tomorrow and I'll let you know. And...hopefully never have to take that test again! Anyone out there taken this test or had gestational diabetes?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Christ Is Risen!

Christ Is Risen! Indeed He Is Risen!
We had a wonderful time with the rest of our Holy Week.
Friday morning Tuba and Papa went to the morning service. All of us went for the 4:00 service. The service is the burial of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Every image and object we see, every step we take, is part of our solemn mourning for the death of Christ. We remember the very devoted man who took down the body of Jesus, he anointed it with oil, and then he "wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb." After the service we had a quick dinner and visited with some friends before heading to the 7:00 service. It's a beautiful service. Flowers decorate the tomb of Christ. It's a candlelight service and we sing hymns. We process around the church building with the tomb of Christ and pass under it as we re-enter the church. This symbolizes our passing from death to life.

Saturday morning's service symbolizes the day in between Christ's crucifixion and His resurrection. The mourning of death is being transformed into the joy of everlasting life. The priest scatters bay leaves and sprinkles holy water as we remember the victory over death. After the service we come home and try to rest for the day. We kept Busy Guy up until 3:00 and then we all laid down for a nap. Everyone slept 3 hours....except Mr. P who laid in his bed (with no toys or books) and didn't sleep a wink! After our nap we assemble our Pascha basket. Orthodox fast from all meat, dairy, wine and oil for Lent. We put salami, cheese, deviled eggs, chocolates, etc. in our basket. Of course since I'm pregnant I didn't do the fast this year and little kids do a modified version of the fast.
Our Pascha service starts at 10:00 pm. We get the little boys in pj's and Tuba in his spiffy clothes and head out. The service is the day of all days! Jesus has risen from the dead. The church is dark and as the priest carries a lit candle to us we sing "Come receive the light from the unwaning light, and glorify Christ, who has risen from the dead." The priest exclaims "Christ Is Risen", and we respond "Indeed He Is Risen". The liturgy is over about 12:30-1:00. We head downstairs to our fellowship hall and celebrate as a church family. We eat our Pascha basket food. Mr. P was asleep about 10 minutes into the service and Busy Guy went down about 11:00 pm. We set up beds for the boys in one of the Sunday School rooms and then take turns staying with them as the service goes on. Of course Tuba stood front and center the whole time:) We got home about 3:00 am. This is a first for we usually get home as the sun is coming up!

Sunday morning we slept until about 8:30 when the kids all got up. We ate a yummy breakfast and then lounged around for awhile. Our big Pascha celebration started at 2:00 pm. There was a huge kid's fair with a bouncy house, face painting and all kinds of games. The feast was delicious....roast beef, ham, lamb, chicken and all the yummy side dishes too. The boys had so much fun. We got home just in time for bed at 7:00. Everyone slept very well:)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Holy Unction

Last night was our Holy Unction service.

Mr. P showing his oil on head and hands.

Tuba's favorite spot...right in front of the icons and candles.

Busy Guy in his pj's holding his battery powered candle that he made is Sunday School.
The kids will use these tonight for the Holy Thursday service. The 12 gospels will be read tonight and Christ will be nailed to the cross. The hymns we hear focus on a great contrast. Christ, who is our God, is treated as a lowly criminal. Each phrase of the hymn compares ideas of Christ's glory with details of His suffering.
Today is hung upon the tree, He who suspended the land in the midst of the waters.
A crown of thorns crowns Him, who is the king of angels.
He is wrapped about with the purple of mockery, who wrapped the heavens with clouds.
He received buffetings, who freed Adam in the Jordan.
He was transfixed with nails, the Bridegroom of the Church.
He was pierced with a spear, the Son of the Virgin.
We worship your passion, O Christ, Show us also your glorious resurrection.
This morning hubby took all the boys to the Holy Thursday Liturgy. I had my OB Dr. appt. I had the glucose test, got my blood drawn, and got a shot! It was nice to go to the appt. alone though. Now I'm home before the gang has arrived and the house is sooooo's too strange. We will try to have a restful day as the service tonight is very long....about 2.5 hours. Since I'm pregnant I do spend most of it sitting down and the little boys will take turns sitting with me. The kids have been doing amazing this week. There are many services but the boys are excited about each one of them. They are looking forward to the culmination of the week and the celebration on Sunday of Christ's resurrection. Of course they are also looking forward to the bouncy house and kid's carnival on Sunday afternoon!
Tomorrow we will have services for Holy Friday at 10:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. I'll write more about those tomorrow or Saturday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Holy Week

We've been having a wonderful Holy Week thus far. Saturday we attended the Saturday of Lazarus Liturgy. A good friend was baptised and received into the church. Another special thing too is that Busy Guy's Ethiopian name (and middle name) is Alazar. Alazar is Lazarus! When I was in Addis people would ask me what my baby's name was and then would tell me, "oh, Alazar from the Bible". I was a bit confused as I didn't remember an Alazar? When I came home I asked an Ethiopian friend about his name and she told me it is the translation of Lazarus! Very special.

Sunday was Palm Sunday. The kids especially enjoyed holding the palms and then processing around the church grounds while signing.
Monday night was the second of three (Sun., Mon., Tues.) Bridegroom Services. It's such a beautiful service. We all attended and had a wonderful time together.
"Behold the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night. Blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching. Unworthy is the one whom He shall find heedless. Beware, then, O my soul, not to be borne down with sleep, lest you be given up to death and be shut out of the Kingdom. Wherefore, rouse yourself crying out: Holy, holy, holy are you, our God."
Tuesday Hubby and Tuba went to the morning Liturgy while Mr. P went to school and Busy Guy and I stayed home.
This morning, Wednesday, Tuba and Hubby have gone to the Liturgy again. It is Tuba's favorite week of the year! He would go to church every day all year long. Tonight is the Holy Unction Service. The sacrament of Holy Unction is the anointing with blessed oil. We believe that when we are anointed, Jesus Christ restores our wholeness both physically and spiritually. This tradition of anointing with blessed oil is recorded in the Epistle of James. It is a beautiful service and one I look forward to each year. I love to see my sweet children with a cross of oil on their foreheads and hands.
More tomorrow about the rest of our week and hopefully pictures of the boys at Holy Unction.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Group G!!!!

We are thrilled...we found out today that we have been assigned to group G by our agency! We will find out our court date in about 2 weeks. It still looks like travel (if we pass court the first time around) will be early to mid July. It's getting closer:)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Aha" moment for me this week

Saints Mary & Martha of Bethany
Icon and text from the website Come and See Icons
June 4th Troparion of Saints Martha & Mary (Tone 3):
"You fervently believed in Christ and His marvelous acts, O Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus. You were adorned with radiant virtues and were found worthy to be numbered with the Saints; together with holy Lazarus pray to God for us."
"After the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, St. Lazarus and his sisters, Saints Mary & Martha traveled preaching the Gospel. We do not know where or how they died. Mary and Martha have long symbolized the tension between the enrapt worship and the practical service of our Lord; between the mystical naivete of Georgia and the solid theology of Greece; between carelessly abandoning oneself in the Liturgy or ducking out to see if the coffee will be ready for coffee hour. The Church has always benefited from both types of ministry, but when Jesus said that Mary had chosen the better part, it was made clear that (as hard as this may be for some of us to imagine) Liturgy can happen without a coffee hour, but coffee hour would be pointless without Liturgy."

Friday I went to confession. I love confession. I truly do. It's cleansing and restorative and I also believe its a good deterrent. Who wants to keep confessing the same things over and over? I spoke at length with my priest about things I have been struggling with. One of them is my desire and drive to get things done and do them right. That in itself doesn't sound like a "bad" thing. But, the trouble for me comes when the details become so much the focus that I can't see the bigger picture. I have a hard time knowing when to let go of the details and just enjoy the experience.
Many times after I put the kids to bed at night I think of the times during our day when I have fallen short. I think I should have laughed with them more, played more, or just sat with them more. I should have let some of the details go.
As I finished my confession and my talk with my priest he made a comment to me about Martha. I drove home thinking about the story of Mary and Martha. I can relate to Martha. It really struck a nerve with me and I've been thinking about it all weekend. I love the icon of the sisters and the description of the tension between "the enrapt worship and practical service of our Lord". I pray that I can be more like Mary because as Jesus said, Mary had chosen the better part.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Big Belly

I love my big belly!'s why....
It's the only time in my life when I don't mind wearing a swimsuit.
I don't feel the need (or have the ability) to suck my stomach in.
My belly is so big it makes my rear-end look small....well smaller ;o
I can get the kids/hubby/perfect stranger to pick things up off the floor for me.
I can rest my cup of tea right on top of it.
I take time to lie down on my side and rest.
The boys and hubby all kiss and hug my belly and talk to the baby.
Hubby telling me..."I can't sleep with the baby kicking so much, can you scoot over".
Busy Guy named it the "Boom-A-Da".
I don't feel lazy sitting and watching others do yard work...well at least I don't look lazy.
I love the stretch marks...different ones both of the last times and I'm sure new ones to come.
No belts, no tucking in shirts.
I look the same whether I ate a salad or a whole Thanksgiving dinner.
Mr. P telling me, "Whoa! Mom, it's really getting BIG!".
Above all I love feeling this baby move and kick and turn all around. He's so active...just like his brothers were.
After I give birth I always miss my Big Belly and I know this time I will too.

Bits & Pieces

Last night the boys were flossing....with celery!

This morning I was barely awake and it was barely 7:00 a.m. Mr. P was firing questions at me.
Did God make dinosaurs?
Was it when I was a baby?
I thought Adam and Eve were first?
Who was second?
Can you see our home from heaven?
How big is God?
Oh....I knew it was going to be one of those days:)

Busy Guy slept in...nice...except he woke up with a fever (Mr. P had it on Sun.). So my plans of going out to lunch with Nana and the boys were scrapped. Instead I sat and rocked Busy Guy...very nice time. I was all dressed up in a pretty skirt and blouse....but now I'm happy to be in my pj's again.

I'm anxiously awaiting any news from our agency. We should hear in the next week or so about our group assignment. We are also due to get a height/weight update and finally our welcome package should be arriving in Addis this week. They will take a picture of our sweet girl with her photo album and wearing the outfit we sent....can't wait to see that.

We are gearing up for next week...our Holy Week. We will have services every day...actually two or more services a day. Hubby has the week off and we will be focusing on our faith and family....trying to quiet our souls and focus on the Resurrection. It's such a special week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What is it like at Layla House?

I just read the most moving post written by a woman who just volunteered in Ethiopia at Layla House. Check it out here.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Great Book

I just finished reading No Place Left To Bury The Dead by Nicole Itano. It was very good. I learned so much about the AIDS crisis in Africa and in particular the struggles to get ARV's to the people. It focuses on stories of families in the countries of Lesotho, South Africa and Botswana. I highly recommend this book!

On the home front everything is going well. We've been blessed to receive many new pictures of our sweet baby girl. She looks healthy and is smiling in many of the photos. I am now 26 weeks and getting pretty big and round;) My MIL bought me a really cute dress to wear for Pascha. Yes, she is the BEST MIL...even fun to shop with. My feet are starting to swell so I'm hoping our weather gets warmer and I can move to flip flops for the rest of the pregnancy. Today I'm taking Tuba to the dental clinic at our Children's Hospital. He needs to be put under, have x-rays and a cleaning. Today I think they will just be looking and then setting up the rest for another appt. It will be nice to spend some one-on-one time with him. After the appt. I'll take him to gymnastics. Hubby will stay home and PLAY with the little boys....they have the schedule stacked for him!!! This morning Mr. P wanted to know why Papa was still sleeping since he was going to play with him ALL DAY:) Hubby is off of work tonight...a rarity for a Friday. It always makes me feel like we are on vacation and should do something fun. I think it will be fun to come home and have dinner ready (not cooked by me)...I'll have to add that to hubby's busy schedule today.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Lesson for Mom

Mr. P found a package of balloons in the closet today. He wanted me to blow some up for the boys to play with. I've been feeling dizzy and blowing up balloons always makes me light headed so I told him "no". I suggested he and his brothers try to learn how to blow them up. As I watched them huff and puff and slobber all over the balloons I was feeling guilty that I wouldn't blow them up. About 2 minutes later Mr. P was successfully blowing up the balloons. I tied them and the fun began! Lesson learned for me....don't be so willing to do for the kids what they might be able to learn how to do on their own!

Feeling Better

I'm feeling better now. I'm not stressing out anymore. For one thing...there is nothing I can do until we know for sure our court date and then travel date. Secondly, if it comes down to it and hubby will be gone really close to or on my due date...then I'll just deal with it. I will have a plan. There is still hope that he will travel toward the end of June/beginning of July.
On a very happy note. The first of the 4 families in our parish arrived home on Sunday with their 2 new children from Ethiopia. They are now a family of 7! They got to meet, hold and snuggle our baby girl. They also got many wonderful photos of her. I can't wait to share her photos on the blog (after we pass court). She is amazingly Beautiful!!!! I met our friend's newest kids (ages almost 3-boy and 7-girl) this morning. They are gorgeous and everyone is doing so well! It was fun the see all 5 of their kids interacting together. They are a wonderful family.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Yesterday our agency announced group F. Groups go to court and then have an embassy date. We hoped (and I really thought) we'd be in this group. We aren't! I spent last night crying and feeling so worried and frustrated. I know it's in God's hands and in His timing but I'm letting the stress get the best of me. I called the agency today to see if we will be able to make it into group F and was told we will make it into the next group...G. By looking at the calendar and the past dates of groups, court dates and travel dates...I estimate that hubby will travel to Ethiopia just before my due date! We won't know for a few weeks what our court date is and then a few more until we know the travel dates. Yes, that's mostly why I'm so stressed...but also because our baby girl is getting older without us. I want her to come home. I'm making my back-up plan for delivering a baby without my hubby. I can't imagine this scenario as he is the only one I want with me. We have the option of having our baby escorted home but we don't want to do that. I want hubby to see Ethiopia. I went to bring home our son and I want hubby to experience it. Even if it means missing a birth here. I will spend more time praying today. I have had brief moments of peace last night and this morning...knowing that it is God's will. But...then I've had lots of crying moments too. Send up some prayers for me and our family.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Life Changing Day

April 1st was a life changing day for me. Not actually yesterday's April 1st but 14 years ago's April 1st. On that day my life was changed forever. It was changed for the better in more ways than I can count. I met my hubby on that day. It was the first day of Spring quarter and we were both enrolled in Algebra. My hubby claims it was love at first sight. There was definitely an instant connection when we laid eyes on one another. There was heavy static electricity in the air....I tell hubby it was more like lust at first sight;0 I can't imagine my life without the wonderful things this man has brought to me. I am a better person because of meeting him. He has encouraged me and supported me through countless ups and downs. I owe him my eternal gratitude. It was hubby that insisted we start going to church and live a Christian life. Without him I don't know where my spiritual life would be? We have worked hard these 14 years to continue to grow in love through Christ. I'm blessed that this man is always willing to do the work that marriage requires. I can't imagine my life without our precious children. Not only do I have a wonderful hubby but an outstanding father for our children. They adore him as much as I do. I gained a best friend 14 years ago and I treasure him. Happy Anniversary of the day we met! XOXOXO
The photo is one from a date 14 years of those funny little photo booths! Oh, how young we look:)


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