Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Semester of Personal Learning

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is chaplaincy. I completed my semester of CPE a few weeks ago. It went beyond resume filler to become a wonderful learning experience for me. Being with the other interns at the hospital, I had a chance to be something besides a stay-at-home mom. Also, being able to escape to the hospital for periodic 24 hour on-calls was wonderful. I loved my time when I was on-call even with all the challenges that such an on-call can be at a trauma hospital.

The best thing I learned though is that I have been in depression for at least 2 years. Just knowing that has helped me to understand why I have been acting the way I do. I have been living in something like a fog for a while. I have been easily distracted, very irritable, and moody.

I never really thought I was depressed because I assumed that it would come over me fast and be evident. However, this depression has been slowly clouding my mind and affecting my actions. This week after Christmas has been really bad as I am able to see that I am not acting in a good way toward my family; I have been so irritable and yelling at the boys for trivial things. In some ways, I am grieving the end of CPE; I am trying to get back into a stay-at-home mom role that is not so fulfilling for me; and I am trying to live with a husband who is not thankful for anything I do.

However, my doctor did prescribe an anti-depressant on the advice of the psychologist I am seeing. So I am hopeful that my mind will become clear again and the hopelessness I feel now will not always be.

Being able to admit my depression is a good thing for me. Putting words to the way I feel is invaluable. I am hopeful at the end of 2008.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I am doing a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education this semester. I am learning a lot.

I do not like visiting my area of the hospital because it is difficult for me to be assertive. I am rather shy. Why would anyone want to talk to me?

I do like the on-calls though. I don't mind answering pages.

It should be an interesting semester.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Break

I am taking a break from this blog for a while. My life is going through major crisis right now.

I have another blog that I am posting to in a semi-anonymous way. I can't control two blogs at once when I am discussing my personal life in both.

I'll be back though--I can't give up longing for home.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

New teeth

Boy #3 is cutting teeth. He will not be 3 months until August 11.

Do subsequent babies tend to cut teeth earlier?

Everyone tells me that nursing him is about to get painful. Nope. Bottom teeth don't affect nursing because the baby's tongue is between the nipple and the teeth. It is the top teeth (that come in after the bottom ones) that you have to be wary of.

So, if you didn't know that, now you have learned something new about breastfeeding a baby.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


My boys have really enjoyed watching the High School Musical movies. They aren't the audience that Disney intended when they marketed the movies (they are under 6!), but the music keeps them watching. How bad is it? We know every word of both movies and all the songs (even the songs that only show up on the DVD). Part of the blame is that we have a DVD player in our mini-van. Boy #2 has been watching that DVD player since before his carseat was facing forward (yes, he craned his neck around to see it).

When it comes to High School Musical 2, I will say that the favorite song is one that the main character Troy Bolton sings called "Bet on It." Troy sings it while walking/running/jumping around a golf course. And my boys know every walk, run, and jump. Today, I played the song (just the song) from my laptop, and I noticed that they were doing all the motions with their hands like Troy. They would walk or run when he did. They knew when to throw out their arms, hit the ground, or do a little jump.


My 3 year old knows when to do it without looking at his big brother, too.

Maybe we have watched the movie too much--I don't know. However, it is a good reminder that my sons are going to learn by watching and imitating. I know I can't always control what they see and learn, but I can control what I do and say. Sometimes my attitude is less than stellar. I get tired. I get cranky. I speak too quickly. I overreact.

It isn't a bad thing for the boys to know I am human. But I don't want them to imitate my bad qualities all the time. It is a fine line to walk. Seeing them act out HSM2 today is just another reminder of this big responsibility I have that goes beyond feeding and clothing my children.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Pop Ice for Babies

My oldest two sons really get a kick out of eating Pop Ices. They always run and open our freezer and pick out their favorite color. My 2nd son likes to choose the same color as his shirt (provided he isn't wearing a white, gray, or black shirt).

The boys eat the Pop Ices even in winter. The local grocery store has some store brand that are bigger and have more flavors (ummm, pineapple....).

If the baby wanted one, he could have one that I made. I have about 25 bags of breastmilk in the freezer, too. What the baby doesn't get to, I will donate to the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank.

A few weeks ago, our local newspaper ran a story about the milk bank. There aren't that many milk banks in the US. But at the hospital where I delivered my last two boys, there is one. They recently had a shortage and had to put out a call for the volunteer donors to bring in what they had. The milk is used for premature infants. Some of them cannot have formula--the breastmilk is vital for their survival. No wonder it is called "liquid gold" and goes for $4.50/ounce!

After reading that article, I immediately called and started the process to be a donor. I had to answer questions like the ones they ask you when you are going to donate blood. I also had to realize that drinking caffeine and taking OTC medicine for pain would affect the milk I pumped for 12 hours after those activities. My caffeine intake concerned me, so I stopped drinking my diet Pepsi with caffeine and switched to caffeine-free diet Pepsi. I expected severe headaches, but they have not been that bad.

I am pumping at least 4 ounces a day to save. Most days I can get 7 ounces. After I have 100 ounces, I have the paperwork for my blood to be drawn; and it will be tested. After I have 200 ounces, I can take my milk to the milk bank.

I thought when I signed up that I would have to buy more bags to store the milk, but the bank sent me gobs of them. Since I already owned a breastpump (that has held up remarkably well for the past 5 1/2 years), it really is a no-brainer to sign up to donate. I find it providential that the article ran when my newborn was 5 weeks old, and my breasts were drowning him at every feeding. Milk production is something I am apparently very good at.

There are nine milk banks in the US and one private milk bank in California. One-third of the women donating to the WakeMed Milk Bank are local. The great thing is that the milk bank will send a cooler and shipping instructions to women out of the area. Once they have 200 to 300 ounces, the milk can be overnighted to Raleigh.

I already give blood when I can. I am glad that I can also donate breastmilk this year. Even though I am a SAHM with no income of my own, I can contribute to society in this non-monetary way.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

Here is a clip of the Raleigh TV station WRAL in 1989 as it is signing off the air for the night. The "Star Spangled Banner" and some pictures from the history book are in it.

Happy birthday, USA!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Three years ago today....

boy #2 07/03/05
Originally uploaded by wilfhh29
Here is my second-born three years ago. It is a good thing I have my pictures labeled because all three of my boys have looked alike at birth (and even into the first year).

What I love best about this boy today is his independent spirit and his great facial expression.

White cake with chocolate icing and three candles on top for my new 3 year old!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Click at Your Own Risk

Don't click on this link unless you forever want to destroy the way you hear and respond to "Fur Elise."

Because of this commercial that aired when I was about 10 years old, I cannot hear "Fur Elise" by Beethoven without thinking about McDonalds. I sing the lyrics from the commercial in my head. It is also quite the earworm.

I will never hear that song again for what it is worth. I will always crave french fries when I hear it--like this morning off of the Baby Einstein CD that I opened to play for my infant son.

Will it ever be possible that I will separate the song from the commercial? I like to enjoy classical music for it's own value. Isn't it amazing the memories a song can provoke?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Some woman...somewhere....

I read this article from Ethics Daily this morning. It has some serious implications.

Southern Baptist Scholar Links Spouse Abuse to Wives' Refusal to Submit to Their Husbands

I can't help but think that some woman somewhere is going to be killed because of this argument.

If there ever was a time that pastors should be speaking out against domestic violence, that time is now. With the economy as bad as it is, I predict that DV is on the rise. I don't have to look beyond our local headlines to see it. It is especially bad for pregnant women.

In regards to the article, the women who hear this toxic message from a pastor and experience DV may end up giving their lives. The men who hear it and are perpetrators of DV will see it as a biblical right they have to abuse their wives.

NO woman (or man or child for that matter) deserves to be abused (physically, emotionally, sexually, psychologically, etc.). This message from this professor is dangerous through and through.

Monday, June 09, 2008

A little late, but....

Originally uploaded by wilfhh29
This is #3 when he was only 1 week old. He is now 4 weeks old (where does that first month go?).

He is a good sleeper. See how he is concentrating in this picture?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Breyers Ice Cream

Originally uploaded by wilfhh29
I'm on to you, Breyers. I used to be able to buy 2 quarts of ice cream on sale for $2.50. I thought it was pretty good to find it for $2.99 on sale these days. But then I see that you are using 1.5 quart containers now.

Breyers Ice Cream...consider yourself "on notice"!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Birth Story of Baby #3

It has been a busy week as we have gotten baby #3 started in this world. It's a boy! He was born on Mother's Day at 8:47 AM--coming into this world fast and furious. I piddled around the house on Sunday and didn't leave for the hospital until 7. I had decided a few months ago that I would stay at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. Contractions were 4 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute. Even we my husband and I arrived at the hospital, I made him park; and I walked in! The person admitting me fussed at my husband for that.

By the time I started paying attention to the clock, it was a little after 8. I had been strapped to the external fetal monitor and the labor pains were coming quick. The nurse promised that the doctor would be right in, but my husband went to see how long it would be when he noticed how much pain I was in. Finally, I guess I had made enough noise because a resident came in to check me. I as at 9 cm already!! That was the first I had been checked. It immediately ruled out an epidural--this baby was coming naturally. I didn't even have time to get an IV.

I was rolled to the delivery room; and in just a few minutes, I told the nurse there that I needed to push. Sure enough, I was fully dilated. At that point, my water broke (I guess my earlier suspicions about my water breaking had really been part of my mucus plug).

Then the nurse told me not to push. They had to get the doctor in the room. I don't think you should tell a pregnant woman that. It seemed like forever before the doctor came (though it probably wasn't that long), and even he told me not to push (because he was putting his gloves on). Finally, they let me push (I had been screaming to let me push for several minutes). Baby #3 was born after just a couple of pushes. No epidural, no stitches.

He weighed in at 8 pounds, 12 ounces; and he was 21 1/4 inches long. His Apgars were 9 and 9.

I wanted to come home after one night in the hospital, but the baby had lost 10 ounces and the pediatrician wouldn't let him go. I had to stay until Tuesday morning.

We are transitioning into being a family of 5 now. This is quite an adventure. Hopefully, it will go okay, especially for boy #2.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

I am in labor. Contractions started around 2 AM or so. My water broke sometime in the 3 hours after that (I was dozing and I don't know exactly when). Right now, I am still at home and timing. Everyone else is sleeping. I'll be waking them in about 15 minutes.

Just had to update my blog first. It may be a few days before the next update.

Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Ok, child in my womb, you are supposed to be here by now. Are you going to make me wait even longer to meet you? I would like to get "Motherhood, part 3" started this week.

Maybe I am not very patient after all.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


What do you mean that I'll have an infant either this week or next week?!? Didn't I just take the test? How can 9 months go by that fast?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yes! I still find time to read!

Saving Women from the Church: How Jesus Mends a Divide by Susan McLeod-Harrison is the book that I just finished reading last night. At just over 200 pages, it is not a long book; but I found it very good in the arguments it makes for gender equality in the evangelical church. Each chapter has a story about how women are hurt by their congregations. The stories are fictionalized but are based on true accounts. Then McLeod-Harrison has a fictionalized version of a story from the bible that helps to address the contemporary story. After both stories, there is a section entitled "What was Jesus Doing?" where the author addresses what was going on in the culture of the bible story and how Jesus uplifted the woman in the story. This book set up to be a great book for a bible study class or a devotional guide because each chapter also contains questions and a section for personal reflection.

I truly wish that every woman in all churches can have the opportunity to read a book like this one. Several of the stories touched near and dear to my heart, and I could feel years of the pain in my own soul pour forth. I went to divinity school and studied theology before I could deal with how women are treated within my own congregation. For those who cannot attend graduate school to study theology, this book is an easy to understand guide for them. And I recommend it to both women and men who want to see how Jesus empowers us all.

The author is a firm supporter of Christians for Biblical Equality. And their blog featured a review of this book last month.

Early Voting

I am glad that several early voting places in my county opened up this week. I voted in the early voting this morning, taking my 2 1/2 year old with me to the community center. I was pleased to see that the line wasn't so long. And I have voted in the NC primary a week early.

Because with 9 days until my due date, there is no telling what I'll be doing this time next week.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I am a registered Democrat. My husband is registered as a Republican. You would think that we would get some telephone calls from candidates about who we should be voting for in the NC primary next week.

But we have VoIP.

And we love our VoIP.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

God's Family

I don't know why my 5 1/2 year old said this, but today at lunch (at a popular fast food place) he looked at me and said that we are part of God's family.

It is a wonderful thing to remember and treasure. Today, I am happy to be a part of God's family. And I am glad my innocent son reminded me of that in between sips of his chocolate milkshake.


I was feeling rather sad today. I don't know why except maybe it is my hormone level changing, and I will be in labor soon (*crosses fingers*). At 38 weeks and 3 days, that is a possibility.

I almost didn't go to my small group meeting tonight. Until one of the members called and told me there were gifts. While I do not need anything specifically for baby #3, I was curious about presents. So I went and stayed for the meeting.

After the meeting, the group prayed for me. They did the laying on of hands thing, too. It was the first time a group had ever done that for me. And it is making me reflect one word--Wow!

The weight of the hands on me as the group prayed for me and my #3 offered me a lot of comfort. It reminded me of how God is putting protection all around me for this impending delivery. And no matter what the future may hold, I will trust that my path is known by my God.

It was a good "wow!" experience for today. And it almost didn't happen.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Thirty-six weeks

I have entered the ninth month of pregnancy. And my life feels like it is coming apart. So I'll take it one day at a time.

I am beautiful. I am not lazy. I am not a loser.

I have a woman's strength for this life. I will make the most of myself. I refuse to be blamed for other people's failures and shortcomings.

Wherever God leads me, that is where I will go. I will have the courage to make God my priority and go to do the task that God has given me.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

So Helpful

My 2 1/2 year old son is so helpful when I am using my computer printer. He always rushes to get the paper and hand it to me.

When the paper is 12 pages long, the pages sometimes get out of order...and a little wrinkled.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Yes, I support immigration to the United States. It is a personal thing. Along the lines of what is said in this video:

Friday, March 28, 2008

First-Born vs. All Others

There was an interesting article in the newspaper this past week about how parents spend more time with first-born children than their later-born siblings. I concede that is true. I do my best to spend time with my second-born, but sometimes I have to listen to his older brother read to me or help him with his homework (preschool homework--so nothing too tedious yet).

Now, with number three child kicking my internal organs all day long, I wonder how much of my time this child will get. This baby will be carted around as his/her brothers have activities and school to attend. But there will be individual time for him/her, too. I think articles like this can make a parent feel guilty, but I have refused to feel that way. I do the best I can, and that is all I am asked to do.

But it is curious to think about.

When I was pregnant with my first son, I had the baby crib and changing table purchased by the time I was 4 months pregnant. I had everything ready long before he was born--which was good since he was a couple of weeks early.

With his brother, I had the crib and baby clothes sorted out by the time I was six months pregnant.

Yesterday, I finally got the crib mattress raised and the baby clothes sorted out (but not washed yet) for this new addition. I am 34 weeks pregnant--8 1/2 months. And I need to at least buy one pack of newborn diapers, right? Maybe he/she will need a baby book, too--one that probably will not be written in very much.

Woe to you, second and third borns! You get gypped, I know. But at least you will always have that older sibling to imitate and get in trouble.

But you also have a mother and father who have been through this before. They know not to pick you up out of the crib if you aren't crying. They know feeding cues better. They are less apt to make mistakes in the early days of no sleep.

Whatever happens, I guarantee that this life will be interesting.