7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 125)

May 6, 2011 | 62 comments

— 1 —

I try not to use my blog as a platform for ungrateful whining about the inconveniences of my overall lovely life (that’s what Twitter‘s for). But let me just get this off my chest so that the rest of this post doesn’t have a decidedly passive aggressive, there’s-something-on-my-mind-that-I’m-not-saying feel to it: This is the worst third trimester I’ve had yet. (Well, I guess being debilitated by a life-threatening, excruciating blood clot was a little worse, but at least then I was under doctor’s orders to take a lot of Vicodin.) I feel like I’m 80 weeks pregnant — and, judging by the frequent “DUE ANY MINUTE NOW, HUH?” comments I’m getting, I evidently look like it too. The due date is more than a month and a half away. I’m not sleeping well. I have the mobility of a beached whale on Quaaludes. Constant heartburn. Frequent nausea. Giving myself shots in the stomach every day is getting old. I’m tired, all the time. Did I mention I’m tired?

Okay,  I feel better now that I got that off my chest. I have a lot of support, so it’s really fine. I think a lot of my frustration comes from the fact that it all caught me off guard — it wasn’t like this for the previous four pregnancies. On the plus side, I have renewed sympathy for my friends who experience this every time around!

— 2 —

People are sometimes surprised when one of my takes on my pregnancy woes is, “Thank goodness I have four other kids!” It seems like it would make it harder, but, as I mentioned back when I had morning sickness, in many ways it’s easier. Especially that they’re close in age (ages 6, 4, 3, and 2), they can easily play together. Meal times and bath times are definitely hard since none of the kids are old enough to help much (by “hard” I mean “I don’t know how my husband and I survive, ” “Homer would not have been equipped to chronicle the epic nature of this endeavor”), but other than that I’m able to get long stretches of time where I can prop my feet up and watch the kids play, only exerting myself when I lean forward to say something like, “GET THAT CUP AWAY FROM THE TOILET.”

— 3 —

This would be a good time to have a documentary crew come to my house for a full day to film my life to show the world what people of faith are like, right? Yeah. I don’t know what I was thinking either. A local production company contacted me about participating in a series of short videos about people with different faith perspectives. I was very impressed with the organization and their mission and felt a great urge to support what they’re doing, and somehow that translated to “Sure, you can follow me around from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM next Wednesday and film every single thing I do!” I really doubt that either I or my husband will have the energy to get the house in the shape I would normally like to have it in for such an event (you know, so that I could give a properly utterly unrealistic example of how we really live), so we might be keepin’ it real real for this one.

I’m having nightmares about one day hearing someone say, “I watched this short film about a woman named Jennifer Fulwiler, and learned that people who convert to Catholicism are cantankerous slobs who spend a lot of time on their couches.”

— 4 —

My husband and son followed the instructions here to make this crazy-powerful water bottle rocket launcher. The thing is insane. It shoots plastic bottles a few yards higher than the roof of the tallest house. To understand how the other males in the neighborhood have reacted to this thing, you’d have to picture that scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey where the monolith shows up: Monkeys from all over the land come out of caves and crevices to approach it slowly, trembling with trepidatious awe, terrified yet overjoyed, Also Sprach Zarathustra booming in the background. That’s pretty much how it was in our front yard yesterday afternoon.

Mommy No-Fun finally had to suggest that we wrap it up at 8:15 since, you know, the kids might want to eat dinner at some point. But I have a feeling that the whooshing sound of a launching bottle followed by calls of “WHOOOOOOO-HOO!” will be the soundtrack to my summer.

— 5 —

God allowed us to have the internet so that this video could be created. It’s French Star Wars with subtitles by Sartre. (Thank you to Mrs. Darwin, who emailed it to me with the subject: “Existential despair — with light sabers!”)

— 6 —

I feel like I’m a real reader now, because I’ve finally branched out into fiction! I recently read not one, but two fiction books: The Kite Runner and The Help . Even though fiction still isn’t totally my cup of tea, I did very much enjoy both books. In particular, The Kite Runner was helpful to me as I dabble at revisions for my book since it’s in the style of a memoir. It was interesting to see how the author structured things, how much of the character’s inner thoughts he revealed, how he moved through time, etc. Both books were incredibly well written. Both of those authors have a staggering level of talent.

— 7 —

Today at the Register I have suggestions for six unique, free and meaningful Mother’s Day gifts (it’ll be up after 7 AM). Happy Mother’s Day! And a special nod to those women who desire to be mothers but have not had that dream fulfilled yet. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers this weekend.


Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.


  1. Pam

    I can think of several people I’d like to share that Star Wars video with…. thanks!

  2. Rochelle

    Sorry to hear about your pregnancy woes … not far behind you there. I’m due in July, and one thing I have found that relieves my nausea and heartburn is peppermint tea. Truly a lifesaver! I hope this helps you and you have a great weekend!

  3. Elizabeth

    You wouldn’t have been able to do #1 on Twitter, or at least not do it justice. It would be something like: Tired. R u kiddin? No only 7mos, TY. So tired. Ouch.

    Someone just sent me that existential Star Wars recently!! May the 4th be with you.

    I’ll head over to your NC Register post!

  4. Blair

    You are amazing, Jen. I am going to take some time to ponder the idea of a film crew in my house for an entire day. I hope these last few weeks of pregnancy fly by for you!

  5. Dawn Farias

    So sorry about your third trimester discomfort. Maybe your body is just t-i-r-e-d and that’s why you don’t remember feeling so bad with your other pregnancies??

    I understand about being thankful for the other kids and that they can play with each other.

  6. Leila

    I am so sorry for your suffering (truly), but this made me laugh out loud:

    I’m able to get long stretches of time where I can prop my feet up and watch the kids play, only exerting myself when I lean forward to say something like, “GET THAT CUP AWAY FROM THE TOILET.”

    And I promise I am laughing with you, not at you.

    Film crew? I am in awe that you said yes. The only show that would take me is Nanny 911.

  7. MusingOnMotherhood&Ministry

    Thanks for sharing as always, Jen. I think you are dealing with the pregnancy suffering as well as any of us could and it does help others to hear so thank you. I have to say that it was the Star Wars vid that made my day though!

  8. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    Jen, I’m so sorry to hear how hard this pregnancy has been on you. I hope it gets a little easier (or that the film crew does some neatening up for you in the process of finding space for their equipment). With regard to the bottle rocket, though, my sympathies are entirely with your son. I am and have always been a twelve year-old boy when it comes to big machines or things that go BOOM!

    If you’re interested, my Quick Takes this week are a list of my favorite papers I’ve written in college (since I wrote the post while procrastinating finishing my last one for tomorrow). I’ve got everything from philosophy to musical theatre.

  9. Amy F

    You inspired me to write my first quick takes in months — thanks!

    I was starting the third tri this time last year and I remember that frustration. You’ll be on the other side eventually too 🙂

  10. Jessica Snell

    I’m so sorry you’re feeling rotten!

    I know what you mean about having lots of kids close together sometimes (SOMETIMES!) being easier. When the twins were babies, I was often grateful for their 2 & 4 year old siblings, because the older two were the floor show that kept the babies giggling all day long!

  11. Elisa | blissfulE

    A film crew?!! In your 3rd trimester?!! That’s what I call walking by faith!

  12. Ute

    I don’t see the linky list??

    I’m feeling with and for you, for some reason this last pregancy was a lot harder in my third trimester than the previous ones. But now that baby girl is here, it’s all forgotten (almost). And the recovery has been the easiest so far!

    • Ute

      Never mind… must have been my browser, I see it now.

  13. George @ Convert Journal

    Be sure, somehow or another, to include routine and quite “Jen-time” in your day. The stress of everything on your plate could become a problem otherwise.

    My entry this week… An amazing vocation video. Seven young men called to the priesthood, answer questions. The presence is real… in both cases. A simple graphic on the bounds of choice. Pro-abortion and gay “marriage” students demonstrate tolerance. The general perception of severely autistic people may be quite inaccurate. The personal generosity of those quick to redistribute the wealth of others.

  14. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    Heartburn is terrible. I had heartburn so badly with my 4th pregnancy that I would sometimes wonder if I was actually having a heart attack at the age of 31, and should I get myself to the ER immediately? I know your medical situation is complicated–but I finally got some prilosec (and not the zantac that’s recommended as most effective) with my 4th and the heartburn symptoms plummeted. Miracle, seriously.

    We are so making that stomp rocket. My son loves his plastic one that shoots wimpy foam rockets–this will be a big upgrade!

  15. Mark S.

    Prayers for you, Jen. Just a litle bit longer now.

  16. Bridget

    Jen, try accupuncture for the the fatigue. I’ve done that with past pregnancies and will do it w/ this one when I’m there. I always feel like a new woman for at least a couple of days after each session. At least long enough to get some things done before I hit the couch again :).

  17. Carrie

    You make me LAUGH!!!!!!!!! 🙂 I totally sympathize with your pregnancy. I just had our fourth, and probably our last – the pregnancy was REALLY HARD. I am 33 – I didn’t know if it was my age or that it was my fourth or if it was the baby’s positioning (she was facing forwards for most of my third trimester). Labor was long and hard and I am WORN OUT. It was soooo nice to meet her though. QUITE worth all the effort.

  18. The Boring Blogger

    Just wanted to say that your blog is awesome!

  19. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith

    I LOVE the comment, “GET THAT CUP AWAY FROM THE TOILET!”. That sounds lot like my world.

  20. Sarah

    OH my. That star wars video fills a gaping hole in my heart that was meant…for that star wars video. Awesome.

    I’m sorry your 3rd trimester is kicking your butt; I hope it goes by quickly for you!

    Also, I LOVED The Help. It was such a good book, I stayed up way later than usual to finish it.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  21. That Married Couple

    Wow, good luck with the film crew! I say good for you for keeping it real – but I do hope you feel better that day at least! Are you going to share the video with us when it comes out?

  22. Dianna

    Poor girl! I think there should only be two things anyone should say to a pregnant woman – “You look beautiful!” and “how can I help?”

  23. Darren

    The quote about the cup and the toilet was great!

  24. Judy

    I do believe that this has been one of my favorite 7 Quick Takes you have ever done! Thank you! A few added thoughts:

    1) Hang in there…that’s it…no big wise advice from this momma of 10 but I do know how you feel and what’s worse is there is nothing I can do to help you…except perhaps let you know that when I was having my Benji…number 10…and my legs/ankles/feet were so swollen that I had to wear flip flops to Mass and the children used me on a regular basis as human play-dough…by pressing smiley faces and random items of abstract art into my lower appendages…I sat on the table at my doc’s office (who has delivered all but one of my kids) while the nurses lamented on my behalf that maybe the swelling was getting toooo high…and he proceeded to do JUST what kids had been doing…press random dents into my legs/ankles and then said, “Yep…that’s high alright…sorry about that but you’re just gonna’ have to deal with it”…hmmmmmmmmmmmm

    2) Please, oh please, oh PLEEEEASE invite Ya Ya over next Wednesday and then let us know as SOON as this film is available!!! In fact, the television network which competes with whichever one airs the Ozzie Osbourne reality show could wipe it off the map by starting a new program entitled, “Ya Ya’s Visits to the Fulwiler’s House”. Just sayin’.

    3) Kite Runner left me completely and entirely emotionally drained and exhausted. Truly, this was one of the most riveting, gut-wrenching, powerful stories I’d ever read. BIG caution to readers on the graphic nature of certain chapters. BIG caution…but…wow…what a book.

    4) Thank you for providing a link to what I know will thrill my sons and keep us occupied all weekend long…water bottle rockets! Yay.

  25. Kimberlie

    I second the request to invite Ya Ya over next Wednesday. The post about what happened would keep me laughing for days. I need some laughter.

    I will pray for you for the next 6 weeks as you ready to welcome your next child!

  26. Julie

    I am going to see if my son knows any of these rap songs, always looking for something good to steer him to.

  27. Linda

    Isn’t it fantastic that both Kiterunner & Help were first novels? So impressive. Kiterunner was the only book that’s made me sob.

    Also, the Help is becoming a movie! Emma Stone will be Skeeter. I think Emma Stone is too pretty to be a Skeeter.

  28. Maria

    quick comments for quick takes friday:

    1. water bottle rocket launcher? we are so there.
    2. star wars? we are so there.
    3. the kite runner? BEAUTIFULLY written … almost like reading poetry.

  29. Trista

    Hope you feel better!

    I would love to make that bottle launcher! My brothers and dad would go gaga for it!

  30. Fabiola

    The other day at work I got the whole you’re catholic right? Are you going to have like 12 kids. But you’re so tiny how will you survive!?

    God knows what I can take. Jennifer you are so brave!

  31. Christine

    I agree with other comments. Best post yet. You made me LOL more then once.

    My hubby and I were sitting on the couch last night looking up at the pic of my 4 kids I had. They were 7yrs, 5yrs, 2yrs, and a newborn. They are now 15, 13, 10 and 7. I know they were hard time back then. But time does FLY. Always remember that. Please enjoy this moment even if it seems like a trial. Don’t go through life looking for the easy. Love these kids when they are little and it is just crazy.

    Rub your baby belly…I love baby bellys big, HUGE or just right.

  32. Sarah

    I do hope you feel much better soon ~ one of the nicest things about pregnancy is that it has a definite end. 🙂

  33. Bethany Hudson

    Kite Runner is very top of my fave books of all time list! And The Help is on my shelf, waiting to be read. Go you!!

    haha…so funny, though. Since we’re both writers, I always think of you as breezing your way through dozens of novels a year, like I do. But, then…I write fiction 😉

  34. Louise

    Jen, you are in my prayers as you go into the final stretch of your pregnancy! My daughter was born at the end of June last year, which I think is around the time of your due date. This time of year it got pretty rough — and I live in chilly Pennsylvania!
    I hope the documentary filming goes well! That sounds like a real adventure. 🙂

  35. Stephanie

    Love the water bottle shooter, but even better was your comparison to Space Odyssey. Classic.

    Glad you liked those books. I wasn’t crazy about The Help but I’m just completely in love with fiction. In fact, I can’t remember the last nonfiction book I read… well that’s not true, I can remember, but it’s just been a long time, ya know? 😉

    Hope you start feeling better soon! I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  36. JoAnna

    I feel your pain. The first trimester is currently kicking my ass. Whoever called it “morning sickness” needs to get kicked in the crotch (because you know it was a man). It’s morning, noon, and night sickness.

    Hope baby comes sooner rather than later (but strong and healthy, of course).

  37. Michelle

    1 – I hear you. My fourth pregnancy’s third trimester was like that. I hope things get better or at least move more quickly for you. Prayers for you…I can’t imagine giving myself shots in the stomach.

  38. Morag

    I remember those blood thinning shots getting old too – finding a bruise free spot got tricky! Not too many more for you now though. Praying lots of grace and mercy on your third trimester.

  39. priest's wife

    I did the whole needle thing with my last 2 kiddos- DRINK WATER!

    about guns and such- there is an advantage to working part-time- this is the time husband & kids play NERF guns. I am off, not ruining their fun. 😉

  40. Lazywife

    First time linking, hope it works!


  41. Kris, in New England

    Like so many others here I offer my heartfelt prayers and good wishes for an end to your misery and the joys of a new baby in the family!

    I confess I laughed out loud at number 5; brings back fond summer memories of bottle rockets when I was a kid (too long ago to admit!).

  42. -dweej

    “cantankerous slobs who spend a lot of time on their couches”- had to laugh out loud at that! 😀

  43. Nicole C

    Oh God bless ya for admitting to being on the couch much of the day! I’m in my first trimester with twins and the “morning” sickness has me down. I feel so lazy but just NEED the rest!!

    Love the shoutout in #7. Those women will especially be in my prayers this weekend.

  44. Jeanne G. @knowledgehungry

    “cantankerous slobs who spend a lot of time on their couches”
    Let’s hope they see that motherhood is motherhood, and pray that you’ll feel okay that day.

  45. Ruth Ann

    Hello, Jennifer. This is the first time I’ve participated in 7 Quick Takes Friday. I am #78, but my post has nothing to do with St. Patrick, so I don’t know why it says that. The link, however, takes the readers to the correct post.

    I don’t think I could ever invite someone to follow me for a day. It would probably be boring. But in your case, not so!

  46. Dana

    Hi Jennifer! This is my first time participating in the 7 Quick Takes Friday as well. Although I’m Eastern Orthodox, we share many common perspectives. Thanks so much for the opportunity to participate and also for your great blog. I’ve recommended your site to many people!

  47. -dweej

    Well, I left a comment *before* linking, so now I’m leaving a comment *after* linking as well. Finally. It’s still technically Friday, right?

  48. LeAnn

    “I have the mobility of a beached whale on Quaaludes.” Finally, someone has put into words what I’ve been feeling the last month (due in 1 1/2 weeks). Praying your heartburn and nausea subsides soon!

  49. Lynette

    I’m just starting my 3rd trimester. I had planned a home birth but was told 2 months ago I had complete placenta previa and would have to have a C-section… nevermind that the doc hadn’t even done his own research and didn’t know that 90% of diagnosed previas resolve (sigh). I’ll find out in 10 days whether or not I’m in the 90% or the 10%….

    Anyway, for you and all the other preggie women here… you absolutely must see the Evil Genius Woman T-shirts… mine is on order…


    Jen, with your first quick take, my first thought was… she needs that one that says “No, I haven’t had this baby yet….. DUH!”

  50. Cassie

    I so feel you on the 3rd trimester. I’m so tired, but I only have one child right now, I can’t imagine with 3. Hope you get some little rest periods in there. and lol about having people come to your house to video… good timing 🙂

  51. Shauna

    I am so sorry you are feeling so badly. I don’t have to give myself shots but I do have varicose vein problems and have to wear compression tights, while pregnant. Combine that with a 50 lb. weight gain, 4 small children, 100 degree weather and a complete remodel of our home last summer and I was pretty miserable my last pregnancy…It was so bad that I still can’t think back to those days without cringing and my son is almost 7 months old!!! I will definitely keep you in my prayers because it is so hard to stay positive and happy for your family when you feel like crud.
    Before you know it you will have a precious baby to hold and believe me I know that it could not come sooner! 🙂
    God bless you Jennifer!

  52. Anne Young

    “A beached whale on Quaaludes”…boy is that ever how I felt with my last pregnancy! My husband and I had a good laugh over that description. Hang in there Jen and think of how light and free you’ll feel once this babe is born. We’re keeping you in our prayers.

  53. Barbara

    That was me about this time last year. Endless heartburn, leg-cramps driving me out of a sound sleep at 4 AM several nights a week. Add planning a wedding on top of it and I´m surprised my baby wasn´t born chewing on her fingernails.

  54. magda

    Hope there are some bottle rockets in your video! Really, your posts are so much fun.
    The great thing about the fourth child is that you care a whole lot less about whose looking.

  55. Liesl

    OK, I just have to say that the fact that you have serious medical issues with pregnancy and yet you and your husband are still open to life when many people would just give in to the contracepting craze… well, I think you are allowed to vent on your blog. But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

  56. Anonymous

    Comments from link lister #99

    Better late than never!

    1/2. Yeah, I shudder to think what you go through during pregnancies etc and am so grateful you feel you have lots of support. That’s so important. I’m in my first trimester (with baby #3) and we just moved out of my in-laws (not fully unpacked even the stuff I have a place for), so I’m adjusting to staying home alone with 2 kids (hubby’s work hours also changed, he used to have 4 days off). I can’t seem to get onto a routine yet, the exhaustion is making it almost impossible to keep up with the house (The ants have made themselves completely at home.) and truly, I don’t feel I have enough support and help.

    3. Haha… yeah I wouldn’t want people to see my house either. Good on you for going through with it, I’d be interested in seeing it sometime!

    4. I love your sense of humor, you describe the scene so well! I’m sure my hubby and kids could get into that too…

  57. Anonymous

    5. I wish I had time for reading but the sheer amount of time it takes to make notes and really learn from the books has sorta made me stop..

  58. Anastasia Wade

    Emma Stone will be Skeeter. 3) Kite Runner left me completely and entirely emotionally drained and exhausted. That’s so important.

  59. Florine Saunders

    I can’t seem to get onto a routine yet, the exhaustion is making it almost impossible to keep up with the house (The ants have made themselves completely at home.) and truly, I don’t feel I have enough support and help. Endless heartburn, leg-cramps driving me out of a sound sleep at 4 AM several nights a week.

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