Thank you for all the awesome comments to my anniversary/pregnancy post earlier this week! Here are the details:
- I’m a little over 12 weeks.
- I’m due in mid-April.
- I’m willing to admit that, after one boy and then four girls in a row, I would be just fine if this baby were a boy.
- I don’t think my older kids really believe that it’s possible that we could have a boy. Their impression is that every couple of years we go down to the hospital and they give us a baby girl. I think they suspect that Joe and I are just naive, and haven’t figured out that the hospital has put us on the “all girl” plan.
Huge, huge pregnancy-related news: I tried an experiment to manage morning sickness this time around…and it worked! With my previous five pregnancies I would be so sick during the first trimester that I could barely function (I once wrote about it here for those who missed the fun). Based on my other diet changes that led to big results, on a hunch I came up with a plan for keeping morning sickness under control. The results were stunning. I had a few days of bad nausea, but I could count them on one hand, and they were all the result of veering from the plan. I was still tired and didn’t feel perfect, but it was a huge improvement from any of the other times. During my five previous pregnancies, on an average day I would rate the way I felt as a 3 on a scale of one to 10. This time the average day was more like a 7, sometimes even an 8 or 9. I wrote up what I did here.
I was looking for some kids’ math fact songs to help my kids learn multiplication tables, and in a you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up moment, I found this:
I didn’t listen to any of these gems, but it certainly engages the imagination to contemplate what they mean by “in the style of.” I assure you that it is only out of heroic levels of self control that I am leaving this at one take and not making it into a a series of posts so detailed and long that it redefines the theme of my entire blog. When I first encountered it, I stared at this list of songs in awe for the longest time, occasionally snickering as I imagined what its lessons might contain:
If five haterz step to Ludacris in the club, and he has to stab each of them two times in order to get them to get them to show respect, how many total times will Luda have used his knife at the club?
Our science lesson got kind of out of hand this week. The book, which is evidently targeted at children with different temperaments than mine, suggested a game in which kids imitate molecules’ behavior in the various the states of matter by their interactions: for gas, they would drift around the house, ignoring one another; for liquid, they would hold hands loosely; for solid, they’d come together in a tight bear hug. Solids are where it broke down. My son would inevitably hug his super-sensitive sister too hard, or decide that putting her in a headlock would be the best way to convey the nature of solid-state matter, and the result was a lot of pushing and shrieking. I would tell them to cut it out to no avail, but when I shouted that it was time to be a gas, they instantly separated and began spinning independently throughout the house. (Playing pretend is always more fun than listening to mommy.)
Unfortunately a particularly bad episode erupted just as I was signing something for a UPS man who had come to the door, and I had to interrupt him to yell over my shoulder, “Be a gas! BE A GAS!!!!!!”
(I suppose it could have been worse. This could have all happened with a background of thundering bass beats with Chamillionaire shouting, “Six times eight is forty-eight, $*%&@!”)
So I went to my hematologist the other day. I hadn’t seen him since the last pregnancy, and when he asked what was new I said that I just finished filming a pilot for a reality show. I was expecting some kind of “WHAT did you say?!”, guffawing reaction, but instead he smiled and said that was nice. As it turns out, he knows the Jones family who have the Quints by Surprise show on TLC, and they even filmed an episode or two at his house. He’s plenty familiar with the situation, and seemed to be under the vague impression that a measurable percentage of the population now has their own reality shows. We had a long chat about the reality genre, the pros and cons of doing a show, and he even shared some interesting behind-the-scenes stories about how this family has made it work to have camera crews in and out of their house all the time. And my takeaway was…
YOU CAN HAVE NATURAL QUINTUPLETS?!?!???!?!!
I was so concerned about this fact that I looked it up on my smartphone before I was even out of the building, and confirmed that yes, it is possible to conceive five children without the aid of special medicine or technology. And I know that we’re not supposed to do this — I know that we’re supposed to be humble servants who seek to glorify God by being open to his holy will, even when it is not our will — but as I walked out of the office I turned my eyes heavenward and said, “Don’t even think about it.”
Well, this is a weird juxtaposition, but since I’m too lazy to rearrange all my other takes so that this won’t be back-to-back with #6, here’s a super inspiring comment that Bender left to my post about what makes a good life:
Life is hard when all of your time is filled with doing things for and with other people.
Life is harder still when all of your time is empty and alone, and you struggle to find something to do to fill that abyss in your life. To have what some might think is the ultimate freedom, the radical autonomy to be without any duty or obligation to others, is actually a taste of Hell.
To be with others who have need of you, need of your love, need of your self-giving, is the more authentic freedom, paradoxical as it may seem, because it is more true to our nature as human persons — we are made to love and be loved in truth, and it is in such truth that we are set free. We are free to be who we are made to be, social creatures made for fruitful loving communion with others in one being.
The further paradox, though, is that to fully love the other, to better love our spouse or our children, we must in a sense, put them second, not first. That is, we must love God first, before we love them. But in so doing, we do not love our family members less, but more. In loving God before we love them, God takes our love, multiplies it by His own, and gives it to the other in an even greater and fuller measure than we could on our own. In love, God is not a competitor, He is a multiplier.