This is a photo of my mother and I. It was taken the day of Vincent's birthday party which was September 20th.
This is a photo taken by my buddy, Deanna, when we took our kids to the Children's Garden. Note my still sorta flat belly (gotta look
above the belt line under the tank top). This was a just before Halloween in October.
Now here we are at 11 weeks. What the flippin' heck, baby?!
I mean, I wasn't even this big with Vincent at 17 weeks:
So wow. If this is where I'm at before I'm even out of the first trimester, I'm assuming I'll look something like this by the time labor rolls around:
Bonus points if you get this horrible reference.
On second thought, if you get this horrible reference, you should have points revoked, but I digress.
I'm not complaining, mind you. I'm still beyond thrilled that I have a little miracle growing within me. I am keenly aware that not everyone is as lucky as I am in this regard, and my heart aches for them. However, I would be lying if I wasn't a twinge worried about giving birth to an even larger baby than Vince (who at 9 lbs was pretty dang big!). Regardless, I thought it was amazing how quickly my body jumped on board this time around. I know with subsequent pregnancies you show sooner, but I wasn't expecting this. LoL!
I'm incredibly disheartened and overwhelmed right now.
My husband wants to move our family to a new district this spring which means I've had to research all new options for Vincent's education (I do NOT want to move, but it's his call, not mine). Vince has done so well in Kindergarten this year that we are planning to try him in 1st grade; however, I fully understand that 1st grade is going to be significantly more structured than Kindergarten. It's also going to be a big jump because instead of being one of eight, he'll be one of 20.
Owning to his Sensory Processing Disorder, larger class-sizes are overwhelming to him due to the increase in visual / auditory stimulation. It was why he had such major melt-downs last year when we attempted to place him in several mainstream Pre-K classes. Intellectually, he can handle the material; behaviorally, he has difficulty keeping himself in check when so many things are vying for his attention.
As such, I checked out the school district we'd be moving to. Given the giant increase in taxes we'll be paying, I expected the school system to be top-ranked. Imagine my surprise when these schools couldn't even muster more than a C average.
I was sickened. My husband, who grew up in that area, seemed unconcerned. I was flabbergasted. If we're expected to pay 5 figures for taxes each year (FIVE FIGURES!), I expect to see that reflected in top-notch schooling. The fact that not one - NOT ONE - could muster more than a "C" average makes me believe that property taxes in that area are not being spent properly. It also makes me not to want move there.
But since it is my husband's decision, we will be moving there anyway, and I'm left to figure out how to make up for an objectively horrible (and obviously corrupt) district. Even the private schools are terrible.
So I've been doing my best trying to research as much as possible. I've found an average Catholic school that seems to fair much better than any of its counterparts, but since it is a private school, there isn't much in the way of supplemental aid (which again just makes me annoyed that my property taxes can't go to fund the school that my son will benefit from).
I contacted the special education program coordinator that oversees supplemental aid for private schools and she informed me that they would likely not have financial assistance available to pay for the Occupational Therapist my son would need because he'd be in the Catholic school system. If I were to pull him from the Catholic school, however, she would be able to "squeeze him in somewhere."
Believe it or not, America, there is still such a thing as school choice. Their fear-mongering just made me superbly angry. How dare they tell me that just because I wanted my son to attend a Catholic school they couldn't afford to send an OT to him? That I should seriously consider enrolling him in one of their terribly ranked schools?! Ew. No thank you.
I'm just so upset / angry / disgruntled.
I know there are those of you who are still pulling for me to homeschool, but I'm still not certain that's the best option.
However, it's also NOT an option for us to place him into a sub-par school just so we can get him a bit of OT when a good Catholic school can provide that for him as well.
Argh. Sorry... this entire post was one huge vent. It's precisely why I haven't blogged consistently the last few weeks. I've been wading through all this research and back and forth with schools that I just feel depleted.
Ya know what, though? I need to keep reminding myself that God has provided thus far and will continue to do so. He made sure we had safety nets when things didn't work out each and every time a bump in the road knocked us off-track, so I'm sure He's got something in mind for Vince.
Many of us take part in the Catholic tradition of picking a patron saint for the year. Some of us even use the lovely Jen Fulwiler's' Saint Generator to do it!
I typically choose a saint along with my Religious Education students on the first day back from Christmas break. For 2014, however, I did not do that. This year, God had a specific patron in mind for me, and it took me until this week to finally appreciate the wisdom of His choice.
As I wrote back in January, a friend sent me a St. Philomena prayer card out of the blue. Just that weekend, I'd laughed at the idea of St. Philomena being my patron because I couldn't fathom why God would stick the poor girl with the likes of me. However, getting that card made me realize that was precisely who God sent for me.
So here I am in December - almost a full year later. I've kept her card and medal next to my computer this whole time, still not completely sure why God would choose to have this sweet, chaste young girl for my intercessor.
Some of you are aware that I have my Religious Education students give oral reports on their patron saints. I have them choose patrons for each semester, and their projects were due this past Tuesday.
One of them had chosen St. Philomena.
Now I know the story of St. Philomena pretty well, but for some odd reason, I never knew what she was considered the patroness of. As part of her report, my student explained to the class who she was partial to.
Does anyone here want to take a guess what my dear Saint Philomena is patroness of?
Patroness of the Youth with predilection for babies and children.
Protectress of young married couples, many times giving the joys of motherhood.
Assists and protects expectant mothers.
Comfront of the afflicted and imprisoned.
The solace of the suffering and sick.
Consoler of afflicted mothers who invoke her for material or spiritual help for their children.
Great helper of students and those who sit for examinations.
When invoked she encourages many conversions.
Conversion of sinners and return to the sacraments.
Assists priests in their work.
For all Spiritual and temporal problems.
There is no case too trivial or unimportant to concern her.
She exhibits her greatest patronage towards her devotees by leading them to the love of Our Lord and Our Lady.
Patroness of the Living Rosary.
Protectoress of the Children of Mary.
My dear readers, I have a miracle to share with you.
That's right, I said I've got a MIRACLE, and I've been dying to tell you all since my husband sat me down in September to share it with me.
John, my agnostic, no-more-babies-ever-again husband sat me down and said (completely of his own volition), "I want to have another baby. We can start trying in January."
*Cue waterfall of tears, screaming, psalms of thanksgiving and more tears.*
In all honesty, when he said that to me, I immediately started sobbing. Thank God I was already sitting on the floor, because had I not been, I'd've quickly fallen there.
I covered my face and my whole body shook with emotion. John knelt down next to me and said, "I thought you'd be happy!"
My God... happy?! HAPPY???
Happy was the absolute least of what I was feeling at that moment, but there was no way for me to communicate that to him. So I just shook my head, bowed it further, and unleashed my heart in soundless psalms of awe, jubilation and thanksgiving. Before I could physically speak to my husband, I spoke to God who had so mercifully melted his heart. I said a prayer to Myla, because I know she prayed on her Daddy's behalf.
After several minutes of this, I finally lifted my head and kissed that of my husband's, who was now sitting patiently next to me waiting for my emotions to settle. I said, "You have no idea what this means to me. Thank you. I love you so much. Even if we don't get pregnant, you just being open to another child means SO MUCH."
Then, in true John fashion, he asked, "Can we raise this one atheist?"
For a split second, I saw the gift I'd just been granted get crushed.
Still crying I said, "No, John. I'll raise any and all children Catholic."
I then braced for him to retract his decision for another child. However, he signed in resignation, laid his head against me and simply said, "You know I had to try."
Folks, when I tell you I spent the next few days in a complete euphoria, that is an understatement to end all understatements. It was as if God, Himself, had come down to tell me I was already pregnant and would be giving birth to a perfect little cherub tomorrow. I'm not even kidding. I absolutely couldn't wait for January to roll around, so I started peppering John with images of us telling his father at Christmas.
So we went ahead and started trying.
I'm now 7 weeks pregnant!!!
So by all means, please scream with me!
And offer a million prayers of thanks to God on our behalf for such an incredible grace!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the prayers, love and support. You're the best!!!
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