Friday, May 28, 2010

I Was Sure Ainsley Was a Miracle ...

This fact from CNN just makes it official:

"It's highly unusual for a woman to get pregnant on her own after age 45. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2008 there were 0.7 births per 1,000 women ages 45 to 49, compared with 9.9 births per 1,000 women ages 44 to 40."

You can read the rest of the article here.

And she didn't cost $16,000 either.

Irony So Thick You Could Cut It with a Knife

Nameless, in a tone of utter disbelief: I just cleaned this room, and somebody's already messed it up.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Small Successes - The Potty Edition

A monumental milestone in the works: 30 hours of potty training success. John woke up this morning and asked, "Where's ma underwear?" Add a beer can and a sleeveless t-shirt, and we'll have a true Renaissance man on our hands.

We are pulling out all the stops in the bribery arena - ice cream, all manner of chocolate, a new matchbox car. And it's working!

Hurray for John!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another Dolin Bites the Dust

So the stomach bug continues its inexorable romp through the family. Tim succumbed Saturday morning. I appeared to be the sole survivor ... until Saturday night. Ugh!

Sunday was a phenergan-induced blur. I rallied around dinner time and then collapsed. Sadly I missed the boys' piano recital. They both practiced for me before they left the house. What a treat!

Good work, Tim and Kolbe! Thanks to Aunt Martha for all her efforts!

Not One to Exaggerate...

We passed a beautiful Friday afternoon winding our way through the North Augusta Greenway on scooters. Ainsley and John preferred the stroller. Most of it is shaded, but the weather was hot.

Kolbe, noting the absence water bottles: There lay the body of Kolbe Dolin, dead from dehydration.

A quick trip to Burger King revived him.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

On The Shelf

A Rare Find

Breakfast this morning found us discussing rare items - Ty Cobb's rookie card, a first edition of The Hobbit.

"Just think," Tim imagined, "if you found an original copy of the Gospel of Mark."

I started talking about the shepherd boys who threw stones into a cave outside of Jersualem. When a rock made a clinking sound, they went into explore and found the Dead Sea Scrolls, manuscripts dating back to 150 B.C.. The story has always fascinated me.

We moved on to King Tut's tomb, discovered only a hundred years ago. I was going on and on, but couldn't remember the archeologist's first name.

"You know, Johnson, the English guy who discovered King Tut's tomb."

"Johnson?" Kolbe jumped in with a tone of utter incredulity, a tone that screamed "Has my mother the former history teacher done lost her mind?"

"Johnson! Don't you mean Howard Carter?" my little know-it-all continued. "Howard Carter discovered King Tut's tomb."

Suddenly the cobwebs cleared, and I remembered that Howard Carter was in fact the very fellow. And then I laughed until I cried.

"Mom, you're not even smarter than a second grader," Tim rejoined ever-so-kindly.

The mind, what a terrible thing to lose.

Friday, May 21, 2010

In Focus

I came across a packing list I jotted down a few days before Ainsley's birth. It brought back the awesome anticipation of late pregnancy. I remember lying on the couch watching episode after episode of Monk and timing my contractions. I have a small notebook full of jottings like this: 7:42 7:56 8:01 8:05 8:17. I'd have a four minute interval ... and then a ten minute one.

At the top of the packing list is an item that has become indispensable for this forty-something mother: reading glasses.

I was 43 when our precious John arrived. I looked down as the nurse handed me our 8 pound, 10 ounce bundle of John, and I saw ... a blurry, indistinct mass. Glasses were located and suddenly those gorgeous brown eyes came into sharp focus.

My friend and I were laughing about growing older. Generally speaking I don't lament the passing years. Sleepless nights and stomach bugs aside, I love my life. I wouldn't turn back the clock, and I wouldn't press fast forward either. If John's third birthday brings a gradual change to some of his more challenging behavior, well, great, but having two older sons has taught me to smell the roses of today because they are fleeting.

Turning forty was liberating. I found that I was much more accepting of myself, flaws and all. I have always been very critical of my figure, but when I turned forty, I found myself thinking, "Well, so you're a little flabby, and a little wrinkly, and a little gray. You're forty! You're supposed to be all those things."

Then my eyes started to go. Now, I freely admit that I am spoiled in this area. I have had perfect vision all my life. It seemed that overnight I adopted my Mother's T.V. Guide viewing stance - stretch your arms as far as they'll go and then squint!

Now my arms are too darn short and the squint just isn't cutting it. I have glasses - readers to use the correct term - all over the house.

The humbling part comes when I leave the house thinking I look great only to glance in the rear view mirror under the unforgiving Georgia sun and discover the lipstick I thought was wine is actually pink and that my eyebrows are a veritable hundred acre wood. I told my friend that I want that filter ABC puts on Diane Sawyer. Soft and hazy - that's the ticket!

I confess that I once passed judgment on women who had their eyebrows done. Suffice it to say I have met my Waterloo in this regard. A week or two ago I missed an appointment to have a friend wax the old brows and was forced to attempt the job myself. This procedure required a magnifying mirror, a flashlight, tweezers and, of course, my readers. This is a juggling feat I doubt the Barnum and Bailey Circus could match. Well worth shelling out $10 to have someone else do it right.

Readers - they are now at the top of every packing list.

Wee Hours?

My friend Patti wondered about the 3:00 a.m. time stamps on my posts. Am I up writing this blog in the middle of the night? Don't be silly! I'm way too busy cleaning up vomit and soothing my teething baby.

While John has a lingering symptom or two, the worst of the stomach bug has passed (literally and figuratively). Everyone is back at school and work.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Small Successes


Danielle Bean encourages mothers to encourage each other. I would love to hear about your small successes. Here's a report from our home:

1. The hubster eradicated a tenacious computer virus. Hours and hours and hours of work.

2. Meanwhile John is the latest to battle a virus of the stomach variety. It began with Kolbe and an eventful ride in the van. My small success has been shampooing and febreezing ad nauseum (I couldn't resist!). Hours and hours and hours of work.

3. On the couponing front, I have had one great success getting about $80 worth of products for $30. The glitch, however, is that I feel I can't buy anything that isn't an amazing deal. Reality tells me that if we need bread, I had best not delay.

Ami asked for pointers. I would suggest staring out by learning the rewards program at one pharmacy. For the whole concept, check out Warning: It's a bit overwhelming!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

We So Totally Rock

John is sitting at the table and happy to have his big brothers back.

"Tim rock!" John begins. "Kolbe rock! Ainsey rock! The pizza rock! Mama rock!"

Our subjects may not agree with our verbs, but we rock!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Small Successes


Danielle Bean encourages mothers to encourage each other. What great or small successes have you had this week? Here are mine:

1. I am flying solo with the two babies to see my mother for Mother's Day. Exercising great hope and faith, I'm calling this a success in advance.

2. I had a 45 minute window during which both babies were sleeping. I planted two flower borders in record time. In another life this would have taken me two weeks. Seriously.

3. I attended an ultra-couponing class. The bad news is that I now have irrefutable evidence that I am grossly overspending. The good news is that I came away with several easy money saving techniques that I can implement right away.

Monday, May 03, 2010

I Look Like a Movie Star

I know it's true because a little old lady at church told me.

Mrs. M is a sweet women. She's the devout sort who attends the early Mass and arrives all decked out - the suit, the hat, the purse, the gloves.

The last time I saw her, she raved about the baby and, really, about all the kids.

"You have the most beautiful family," she gushed to Dave. "That baby, those boys!"

"And your wife, " Mrs. M continued. "Well, she looks just like a movie star. That's why you married her, isn't it?"

This was a first for me. No one - I mean no one - has ever said that I look like a movie star. Mostly because I don't. But this didn't stop Mrs. M. She kept right on talking.

"What's the name of that actress? Oh, oh, yes, Sally Field. She looks just like Sally Field!"

Sally Field.

Yes, I look just like Sally Field. Gidget. The Flying Nun.

"Don't forget Sybil!" Dave added helpfully.

I think I'll call my Mary Kay lady. Or Google botox?

Where Did You Get Your Eyes So Blue?

God gave them to me when I was coming through.

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here.

Excerpted from "Baby" by George MacDonald

First Communikid

Six years ago I spent weeks and weeks preparing for Tim’s First Communion. I had him pick out the tablecloths. I labored over the menu. I gathered a dozen of my favorite photos of Tim to decorate the tables.

Then came the actual week of First Communion. Things began to go south quickly. I was eight weeks pregnant and scheduled for an ultrasound.

“Well, your dates may be a little off,” the sonographer began. And I knew it was all over. This was my fourth or fifth miscarriage, and I had heard the line about the dates too many times before. Despite the inauspicious report, I continued on progesterone which left me bloated, moody, and unable to sleep.

So this was the backdrop to a momentous sacrament of initiation. Despite the bleak circumstances, Tim still received the Eucharist.

Loads of family travelled to celebrate with us. Some arrived late, some arrived early, and I hardly slept in between. Despite my fatigue and irritability, Tim received the Eucharist.

I planned a dinner at a homey restaurant known for its excellent food. I had not eaten there for five years or so. In the interim homey had devolved into run-down with a similar decline in the quality of food. I was mortified. But Tim still received the Eucharist.

At the reception guests began to arrive an hour early. I was frantic. Rain stymied our plans to celebrate outside. I sent Dave to pick up some flowers, and he returned with the gaudiest bunch I have ever seen. The ribs were burned. I left the macaroni and cheese in the refrigerator. I neglected to buy enough drinks.

And Tim still received the Eucharist.

In an education course eons ago, I studied a technique known as “concept attainment.” Teachers present multiple lessons using different modes of learning all aimed at mastering a single concept.

God was clearly employing this tactic with me.

At the end of the day, it's not about tablecloths, flowers or even the beautiful white dress (as fun as that's going to be!).

It's about about receiving the Bread of Life.

We celebrated Kolbe's First Communion yesterday. It was a beautiful, solemn event followed by a simple party at the lake.

Compared to Tim's, the glitches were minor. Kolbe forgot his belt. One family hogged three double pews! Everyone dashed before I could snap a picture of four kids with decent haircuts and ironed clothing. John got into the cake.

Still the graces of today - and six years ago and a thousand years ago - were abundant and unchanging.

When we arrived at the lake, Kolbe announced, "I'm the First Communikid!"

Yes, you are, my sweet sunshine.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

She Stands!

The bad news? She's becoming well acquainted with the concept of gravity.

Hold on to that aircraft carrier!