Thursday, January 31, 2013


We finally finished our Valentine's Day cookies today.  My little bakers are very proud!
We don't usually lounge about the house in our PJ's, but today was pajama day at Camille's school for the fun Catholic schools' week.

Meghan consumed most of her M&M's rather than put them on the cookies.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...we have mild snow flurries.  Today is a little colder than the last two days.  The girls really enjoyed playing outside after school.  Unfortunately, Meghan doesn't tolerate the temperature below 32 degrees so she has not been out much in January.

I am thinking...about baby names.  Our child is still nameless.  This fact is stressing me out more than a little bit.

I am thankful...that Meghan's whining has subsided.  I started sending to her room for a nap every time she started fussing, and she seems to have changed her behavior in response.

In the kitchen...we are on day two of a three-day cookie baking project.  Last night I whipped up the dough. Today we rolled the dough, cut out heart shaped cookies and baked them.  Tomorrow we will decorate them.  Uh-oh...I just noticed Meghan stole a cookie off the counter.  (She is getting taller at last!)

I am wearing...something warm!

I am creating...some "community helper" vests for the preschool.  I started them in October with my mom's help and have not touched them since.  Now that the Christmas projects are done, I should probably finish them!

I am take Camille to Irish dance tonight.  She loves it, and I love that it wears her out!

I am reading...The Temperament God Gave You.  I was actually reading it while I went to the gym, but I have not been in several weeks.

I am looking forward to...March?...April?...not being pregnant anymore :-)

Around the house...we almost have everything put back together from my prolonged illness.  I spent all of last weekend gathering things for the thrift store.  I came up with 3 pretty big boxes of items to give away.

I am pondering...whether or not to have a St. Patrick's Day party.  We have always had one, but I will be 36 weeks pregnant by then.  I don't think I have the energy...

A favorite quote for today...

One of my favorite checking on the girls before I go to sleep.  They share a room now and look so angelic when they're silent and sleeping.  Meghan really is growing (almost 23lbs now!) and takes up more and more of her twin bed.  Camille has been exhausted most evenings due to a lot of outside play, hard work at preschool, and dance.  Seeing her sleeping in bed makes me chuckle because she looks like she fell in completely spent from a hard day!

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Pray and play at the Cathedral later this week and we're going to a feis (Irish dance competition) at the Mall of America on Saturday to watch the dancers from Camille's school.  Camille is disappointed she isn't ready for her first dance in public yet.

...I better type faster...Meghan just stole another cookie!

A peek into my day...
Camille had her hair cut off to donate to Locks of Love

Meghan wanted to get in on the picture, too!  (Pardon the bare legs...potty training is still in progress.)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Is it still January?

I have to write about the rest of our January, not because I want to re-live it, but because I need to get it out of my head.  Yes, it really was that bad!

After spending a week laying on the couch and receiving extensive help with the kids, I ended up going to the hospital again for extreme pain.  Thankfully my sister was staying with us so we put the kids to bed and made another late-night trip.  The doctors were much quicker at delivering pain medication this time, which I was thankful for.  My kidney had swollen even more and the ultrasound still couldn't show whether I had a kidney stone or if the baby was blocking my ureter.  The urologists decided that putting me under general anesthesia and taking a camera through my...oh nevermind...was the best plan, but they didn't have OR time for more 3 days.  So, I waited it out, was grateful for IV pain medication and underwent the procedure.  Fortunately, they were able to do the entire procedure without radioactive imaging.  They did find a kidney stone, removed it, and placed a stent to keep my ureter open.  Apparently kidney stones are common in pregnancy, and I am at risk for having more in the rest of my pregnancy. (Fantastic, I say!)  The stent was uncomfortable, but I felt so much better after the procedure.  They removed the stent in an office visit a week later.  After another week of resting, I am pretty much back to feeling as normal as a 29 weeks-pregnant lady can feel.

The morning of my surgery, my grandmother passed away.  I was very sad that I could not be with her, but I am glad that her death was peaceful, and she was able to die in her home.  My mom planned a beautiful funeral and all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were able to attend.  Camille and my other nieces, who are all age 5 and under, handled the event very well.  I think it was helpful for all of us to have the kids' perspectives.  I was not able to go to the cemetery because I could not walk much, but Ken took Camille, and I think it helped her understand what we were going to do with Granny's body.  She is still struggling with the difference between body and soul.

We chose to not have Meghan attend the funeral, so she stayed with Ken's aunt until the luncheon afterwards.  Meghan does not quite understand yet what happened and is a terror at mass, so this worked out fairly well.

We feel so lucky to live close to family.  My mom and sister both stayed with us and took care of the girls while I was too sick to move.  Ken's sister brought us some really delicious food on several occasions.  Ken's aunt watched the kids after my sister left, and Ken's cousin's wife took care of bringing Camille to school.  We also had some friends from church make us a couple meals.

Finally, let me say that my husband is amazing!  He somehow managed to be at the hospital for me, keep up with his work duties, arrange care for the kids, and be home twice a day to give Meghan her shots.  In addition, he was dealing with a very difficult situation with his own family.  I do not know how he did all of this!  He also had the pressure of his upcoming annual review at work.  I am hopeful his employer recognizes what a hard worker he is.  I definitely married a guy who is one-of-a-kind!

Now...can we please get on with February?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The New Year!

The Lamb family has already had an exciting 2013.  We rang in the new year with some friends of ours from church.  Of course, given the age of our children, the party stopped at 7PM, and we were in bed by 10:30!

My Grandma Ward was quite ill around the holidays and sort of just stopped eating.  We took her to the hospital, and she was able to get some fluids.  We are accepting that at age 94, she has had enough.  She was able to return to her assisted living apartment under the care of Hospice.  The Hospice team thinks she probably has a few weeks left.  I am so glad that I have been able to visit her regularly since moving back to Minnesota and the girls were able to develop a relationship with her.

I started feeling some pain in my back and abdomen on New Year's Eve and figured it was just from a growing baby and being tired from the Christmas season.  The pain kept coming back all week, but would go away when I rested.  Last Saturday I had a pretty full day by 3PM, and the pain had returned.  I felt bad enough that I canceled a fun pedicure date with a friend and had Ken go sledding with the kids by himself..  By 5:30PM, the pain was much worse and I actually called Ken to come home.  Thankfully, my mom was still in town helping with my Grandmother, so she came over to watch the kids.

Ken took me to labor and delivery at the hospital.  They took a while trying to figure out what was wrong.  I was seeing a team of midwives, and they are not credentialed to give pain medication.  Thankfully, they transferred me across the hall to the obstetrics ward after a couple of hours and they were able to start an IV and give me something for pain and nausea.  An ultrasound showed that my right kidney was dilated and full of fluid.  This usually occurs with kidney stones, but no stones were found on the ultrasound.

I can't describe anything else about my first night in the hospital exept that I was in constant pain that was barely managed with drugs and I was very sick.  Fortunately, the pain went away mostly by Sunday afternoon as long as I laid on my left side.  A urologist saw me and said they would do another ultrasound to check for kidney stones and think about putting a stent in my ureter to help my kidney drain.  Two more ultrasounds later, they still could not find any evidence of kidney stones.  Their best guess is that the baby is sitting on my kidney and ureter, preventing my kidney from draining. The urologist was not interested in putting in a stent at this point because they would need to use radiation to the pelvis to place the stent and it would have to be replaced every 30 days.  That means 2-3 more stent placements before the baby is born.

I was finally discharged from the hospital on Monday afternoon.  I was not sent home with any medication for pain or nausea.  Because I was having contractions when the pain was really bad, the doctors want me to come back to the hospital if the pain gets worse and not try to manage it at home.  I switched my care from the midwives to the chief ob/gyn who took care of me while in the hospital so that my kidney condition can be more closely monitored.

My mom stayed in town a few more days and has been taking care of the kids, cooking, and doing laundry.  She has to go home tomorrow.  Thankfully my sister Catie is coming for a few days with her daughter to help me.  I am so grateful for their help and for a playmate to keep Meghan busy.  Meghan has been a handful and is not taking my absence and inactivity very well.

I have just been resting a lot and trying to figure out how much I can do.  Today we took the girls for haircuts (that's another blog post...Camille had over 9 inches cut off to donate to Locks of Love) and even with my mom driving and carrying Meghan to the car, I still ended up with quite a bit of pain.  Right now the baby is 26 weeks and could live outside the womb with a lot of medical help.  I am hopeful we can make it to 37 weeks and have a healthy baby.

Please say some prayers that my kidney gets better, or at least does not get worse and that the baby stays in for another 11 weeks.  We would also love some prayers for Camille and Meghan.  Camille is doing okay with the upset routine, but I am really demanding that she help a lot.  Hopefully she doesn't get tired of being mommy's helper!  Meghan is going through a vicious phase of the terrible two's in addition to still struggling with the fact that she has to receive her "grow medicine" shots twice a day.  Please also pray that my Grandmother's last days are peaceful and that especially her children are able to cope with the dying process.