Well, my talk last night seemed to go very well despite some minor technical difficulties with my Power Point slides. But I had a great group of well-focused listeners who managed to overcome heat stroke in the room (it got a bit warm, at least to this pregnant woman yapping at the front) to stick it out to the end. My favorite part of the night was seeing the friendly faces of my dear sister-in-law, Tori, and one of my best buds on the planet, Jen, in the audience — which put me at ease.
The biggest accomplishment of the evening was my staying exactly within the time limit I was given – one hour talk with 15 minutes for Q&A. This is something that could only technically happen in one of two cases: the stars have properly aligned, or I’m fortunate enough to speak in an arena with a large orchestra that can rudely break in and cut me off.
Last I checked, I hadn’t been invited to the Oscars to talk about contraception and abortion (huh, that’s odd), so it must have been the former. In any case, rumor has it the talk will be available online sometime soon. I’ll link to that once I have the information.
While we’re on the subject of talks by women who love to celebrate our gender’s “feminine genius,” I’m excited to announce that a reader who only recently re-located to Arizona with her family is going to be teaching at the St. Thomas the Apostle Institute of Catholic Theology in Phoenix (which just happens to be at the parish where Steve and I were married 10 years ago next Friday). The pastor and Institute’s founder, Fr. John Ehrich, presided over our wedding. You can check out his blog here if you like straight-forward, to-the-point, tell-it-like-it-is preachin’… you know, something different than my casual, beat-around-the-bush style.
Irene Alexander, wife and mother of two, is a doctoral candidate through Ave Maria University and a magna cum laude graduate with double majors in philosophy and theology — which means she’s both highly educated in the Truth and has super-mom powers. Cool beans.
I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her yet, but she sounds like my kind of gal — smart, true to feminine dignity, and has most likely been thrown up on by a small child in the last year.
Anyway, the class, John Paul II on the Genius and Dignity of Women, begins this coming Wednesday, Jan. 16, and will run every Wednesday thereafter through Feb. 27 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. And, I’m told that if you don’t live in the Phoenix area or can’t find your car keys by mid-week, you can register to take it online! What a gift to the Valley and to our Church to have this Institute available and to have instructors like Irene to help spread the “good news” about our Catholic faith and the truth about the dignity of the human person.
I’m just going to take this opportunity to complain for a few moments because, hey, it’s my blog and I can whine if I want to. My back is killing me. I was in for my normal two-week chiropractic adjustment this morning, and he couldn’t get it to fully unlock. My old war wounds from my days as a gymnast, specifically a condition called spondylolisthesis (yeah, go ahead, throw that word around at parties), tend to get a little chirpy when I’m exiting second trimester. The pain makes me moody and walk like my daughter when she’s got a load in her pants.
But aside from this premature pregnancy waddle, I’ve been suffering from serious insomnia this past week! I spent the other night listening to the cats scamper and vomit in our house well into the wee hours, and then my 5-year-old arrived to tell me his ear hurt.
My ongoing inability to sleep means while I try to fidget into a comfortable position, my mind starts to go into overdrive. I worry about my kids and hubby, my upcoming project deadlines, my talks, the large pile of clutter spread across the office desk, family members with problems I can’t solve, and of course weird scenarios like, “Huh, what would I do if someone tried to break in right now?” Pregnant woman takes down would-be robber by cartwheeling into him and then ties him up with her hair scrunchie – coming up on the News at 10.
I need therapy… and some melatonin.
Speaking of my son’s earache. I gave him some ibuprofen to get through the pain for the night so he could sleep. The next day I decided to watch him to see what the ear was going to do. He didn’t have a fever, so I wasn’t convinced it was an infection, but you never know for sure. He’s coming off a cold, and the thought of dragging all my kids into the doctor when there are God knows what kind of flu bugs there waiting to accompany us home, just wasn’t appealing. But his ear started hurting again. So I gave him one more dose of ibuprofen and called the doctor’s office.
Now of course, back in the day, you could actually call your doctor and talk to him or her, and even get some advice over the phone. Now, I have to go through a four-step recording process just to get someone to take a message so a nurse can call me back. I know some great nurses very close to me, but I’ve found that when I call our pediatrician’s office, a nurse never gives me advice, except to come in to see the doctor.
But I called anyway and finally got a call back about an hour later from a nurse who briefly listened to me explain my situation. I told her I’d rather avoid antibiotics or coming in if I can help it, and that I thought I’d wait it out a day… but before I could finish, she jumped in and said, “I wouldn’t wait — the eardrum could burst.” Now it’s this kind of alarmist behavior that I can’t stand because I for one have done enough research on ear infections and the like to know that even doctors are starting to give some time to see what the body is going to do first. She immediately made me an appointment for that morning. I got off the phone, called my husband to rant, and then calmly called back and told the front-desk person that I was going to respectfully cancel our appointment and follow my maternal instinct. I made some garlic and olive oil concoction to drip into my son’s ear, and made him rest for the day.
He’s fine this morning. I saved $25, I didn’t have to enter flu-land with three kids and another in utero, and I get the satisfaction of knowing my mommy insights were better in this case than a medical professional’s jargon.
Just a reminder to all men out there, tickets for the upcoming Catholic Men’s Fellowship Conference are on sale now. Don’t miss out on this awesome event at Grand Canyon University, Saturday, Feb. 9. My husband attended last year and was very impressed. Great speakers are lined up, including Scott Hahn and our own Bishop Thomas Olmsted, who was kind enough to pose with me and Steve at a recent event. Have I mentioned how blessed we are in this diocese to have the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted?
Here’s a little piece of advice. If you’re pregnant and have to go to the bathroom, don’t stop to participate in the make-believe game your sons are playing. Recently, my boys were pretending to be soldiers, one on the field, the other the medic. My 5-year-old had his doctor kit and was working on “saving” my 7-year-old, who was draped over the couch in his military costume, apparently knocked out from some kind of battle.
As it happened, my son began to “radio” me for help on how to aid the wounded warrior. So, while I did have to use the little girl’s room, I couldn’t resist being invited into the theatrics. So I immediately moved into Medical Advisor role, giving him quick pointers on what he needed to resuscitate the fallen lad… “stat!” At one point, it became necessary for our medic to obtain something to put over the soldier to keep him warm, but this was an urgent situation, so the medic — wearing his socks of course — had to sprint down the hall to his bedroom to get the Lightning McQueen blanket. My husband, knowing the clumsy tendencies of our young son, and, along with my mom, happily sitting back and enjoying the entertainment, said, “There’s a good chance he’s going to biff it on his way back.”
Right on cue, the determined medic came dashing back down the hallway and as he turned round the corner, his feet completely slipped out from under him, sliding him into the drum set near the wall. He jumped up immediately and continued his course to his patient without a second thought.
I just completely lost it. We were all laughing hysterically. I was in absolute stitches, unable to even take a breath, and that’s when it happened.
My bladder betrayed me.
Right there. Oh, I tried to get to the bathroom, but as my husband pointed out, “Once that train’s started, there’s not much you can do to pull it back.”
So let’s hear it for temporary urinary incontinence, kids. They say laughter is the best medicine, and in this case, turns out that’s the case. Our wounded soldier sat up laughing, miraculously cured when he saw his brother skid across the floor and his mother pee her pants.
Seriously, you expect me to have anything else to add after that story?
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!