Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Allergic Reaction

For the past 2 cycles, the NaPro doctor has put me on A.moxcillian to help with CM. I'm not sure how much it's helped: in both cycles I've developed a horrible rash. To make things even more pleasant, I woke up this morning with hives on my arms and stomach. My general physician confirmed that it was an allergic reaction to Amox-whatever.

I've noticed a pattern with many of the medications so far: Femara caused nausea for the first 2 cycles, Naltrexone caused severe nausea for the first 10 days and a headache with any missed doses, and now this. Granted, the first 2 side effects happened at the beginning of the medication. The only medication that has not affected me badly is the HCG shot.

Do any of you IF bloggers discontinue medications when it interferes with daily life? Or do you seek alternatives? I'm just wondering.

By the way, thanks for all of your prayers for my First Reconciliation students. They seemed very relaxed on Saturday. One little girl told me, "Oh, I've got a lot of sins to tell him," she said with a smile. I chuckled to myself, wondering just how much constituted "a lot."

Friday, February 19, 2010

First Confession Kids

For the last 6 weeks, I have been preparing 18 children in my First Reconciliation class. Tomorrow they will make their First Confession/Reconciliation, so please (especially my illustrious Lenten prayer buddy) pray for them. All along, I have attempted to emphasize to the children that Confession is a wonderful, freeing sacrament and there's no need to be afraid. My hope is that God has used me to plant seeds in their hearts to want to stay close to Him always, and maybe get their parents to embrace the sacrament too.

I've always enjoyed teaching and really see it as a form of spiritual motherhood. The opportunity to be surrounded by children and help them learn is a special gift. When teaching religious education, I feel even more like a mother, as several of the children receive little to no catechises at home. Some of my students didn't know the Our Father (!) so I'm trying to help them to memorize that essential prayer. In two weeks we will begin preparation for First Holy Communion. yea!

My fridge is not yet filled with finger paintings from my own kids, but every time one of my precious little students draws a picture for me, it ends up on my fridge. This one really touched my heart:

While God has not given me any children of my own yet, He has abundantly blessed me with many spiritual children. Teaching has really helped me bear the cross of infertility and give myself to others. An added bonus: when my children go through sacramental preparation someday, I'll know what to expect. :)

Many thanks for your prayers.

P.S. My range is finally fixed and sitting in the correct spot!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

There's a Range in My Kitchen, Dear Liza, Dear Liza....

And now for a random post to follow up the deep thoughts from last week. After our old range/stove broke last week, my husband and I bought one over the weekend. The sleek black range matches our dishwasher and has a smooth top (yea, no more gross burner catchers!).

The range arrived on Sunday, but it's currently sitting in the middle of our kitchen. I have to walk around it just to sit down at the kitchen table:

When the delivery crew attempted to plug in our new range, they discovered that our old range had been hardwired directly to the plug. Normally, a range comes with a power cord that simply needs an electrical outlet. Just our luck! Not only that, our wire isn't color coated nor crimped. The delivery crew wasn't allowed to fix the problem; they can only plug in the appliance.

So if you are planning on buying a house in the next few years, look behind the range!! I'm determined to tell the world of our misfortune, so as to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. The home inspector never caught this mistake, so now we have to hire an electrician to fix the problem. We're aware that the previous owners hired a handy man to repair several little things around the house, so most likely they were aware of the problem but never told us. My hubby is an electrical engineer, and even he was dumbfounded at the shoddy wiring job. We wonder if this was a providential (although inconvenient) finding.

I still snicker every time I have to maneuver around the range. Besides, the range looks so clean, devoid of food and other messes. Good thing we have to fast for Ash Wednesday tomorrow. And thank God for our Foreman Grill, microwave, and slow cooker. :)

We have gotten socked with more snow which has closed the schools in the area for another day. This is what my backyard looks like right now. If our range doesn't get fixed soon, maybe my husband will have to grill in the snow. That would make a great picture!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A New Perspective on God's Will

"I don't like it, I don't understand it, but Thy will be done."

These 3 phrases have really been on my mind lately.

I had been pondering the suffering of so many friends and family, particularly my friend K, who recently observed the one-year anniversary of her son's death. Even in my own life, I have a very hard time accepting God's will. Sure, I know He has the perfect plan, but they always seem to hurt a lot. I feel guilty for such emotions, but I can never be like St. Faustina who loved every aspect of God's will. Rather, I'm more like a patient walking nervously into a doctor's office, knowing that a painful shot will make me more healthy but dreading it nonetheless.

Faith and Family Live blogger Arwen Mosher shared a quote from C.S. Lewis with me that I have inserted into my email signatures: "We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."

Granted, there are often happy endings to the pain brought on by God's will. I especially think of the bloggers who just adopted or found out they're pregnant (Tucked Beneath His Wing, belated congratulations!). No doubt God brought them to this moment from a long journey of waiting and pain.

Yet while I trudge along, God's will seems rather difficult at times. So many times I ask "Why?" The control freak in me wants to understand completely, or at least have God consult me for my opinion (guess how far this idea goes!). I know that someday, somehow, this painful journey of IF will be only a memory, and that my loved ones will get through their crosses. Not having a sure light at the end of the tunnel makes it difficult to keep walking.

"I don't like it, I don't understand it, but Thy will be done."

These words really spoke to my heart, and they were from a religious sister, no less!! Someone who is married to Christ understood my feelings. I really like her saying, because it allows me to express my disagreement/displeasure (ha ha ha, I just can't turn that off) but at least try to surrender in the end. She noted that Jesus said nearly the same thing in His Agony in the Garden (albeit more eloquently!). I find these words bring me a lot of peace.

Sorry for the deeper-than-usual blog post, but I'm going stir crazy in my house with the second snow day in a row. Perhaps the frigid weather is making my mind ponder more things. Accepting God's will is something with which I daily struggle; sometimes I read other IF bloggers posts and they are so trusting of God's plan. I hope to become more like that someday.

Those of you who were able to watch the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist on Oprah yesterday...weren't they amazing? :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nuns on Oprah!

We interrupt this blog for an important bulletin: the dynamic, holy, and outstanding order known as the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist will appear on Oprah's show tomorrow! Yes, hell has frozen over! Oprah sent journalist Lisa Ling to the order's motherhouse in Ann Arbor, MI to film footage of the sisters' typical daily routines. Four sisters were flown to Chicago to appear on Oprah's show.

An offshoot of the Nashville Dominicans, the Domincan Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are primarily a teaching order. The effect these women have on Catholic schools is tremendous. Even when 3 or 4 sisters begin teaching at a Catholic school, very often they inspire both students and parents, helping to reinvigorate the faith.

I think if more young women saw orders such as these Dominicans, religious life would better appear as a more viable option. The sisters are normal, down-to-earth women who happen to be married to Christ. I hope and pray that someday my children will be taught by such joyful women! Just watch out, one of these days I'm going to show up at their motherhouse with a large van and take a few back to my parish. heh heh heh! Just kidding.

This group of sisters has a different vocations problem: so many young women are interested in the order, the motherhouse is bursting at the seams! I've met several of the sisters; they are joyful, intelligent women who attract children and adults alike. Three of the Dominican Sisters teach in my parents' city; I had the privilege of meeting them two years ago. Can you guess which one is me? :)

So, set your DVRs for tomorrow! I pray that all those people who think nuns are stern, mean, and ruler-wielding, will have their hearts changed after watching this show.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Adoption Efforts Update

With my recent posts dealing with medical endeavors/decisions, I thought it time to update on the adoption endeavor. Personally, I'm more excited about this one.

First of all, we both feel an inner tug towards South Korea. We had prayed for a concrete sign back in March through a novena. On the last day of the Novena, God sent us the sign we had been looking for. The more I see Asian babies, the more my heart flutters. I currently have a crush on the baby Korean brother of one of my students!! A parent at my school's open house (she adopted from China) said this is called "Asian Stalking." Ha.

Thus far, God has not put any other place (local or international) on our hearts. I have to believe that Korea is where He is leading us...hopefully He will send my thick head a message if He has other ideas. :)

After our SHE meeting, our speaker sat down with me and reviewed the packet from the adoption agency. I had tossed it into a file upon the devastating news about the BMI (Body Mass Index) requirement. However, quite a few things on the list can be done now. I'm determined to get these items done in the next couple weeks.

Secondly, with the New Year here and Thanksgiving/Christmas eating long gone, I've hit the ground running for the weight loss. Numerous options were available, such as Weight Watchers that left me in a quandary. Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, I was able to purchase some personal training sessions at my gym. The trainer has been the "x" factor so far, as my workouts are far more effective than before. I'm also using an iPod Touch app called "Lose It," which helps me track the amount of calories in a given day, as well as exercise and weight.

The result is that i have lost 6lbs in the last couple weeks (16 since the fall) and have only 19 to go! I am so excited and feel much healthier. Not to mention that the sweet face of a Korean baby is ever in my mind during those strenuous squats and sit-ups. :) I really credit the prayerful support of family and friends (real life and virtual!), as my motivation has become a lot stronger.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and kind words. And I really appreciate your comments about SHE...if you ever want to collaborate, please let me know!!