Thursday, December 8, 2011


There are so many things to discuss today. I think I'll talk about humility.

You the Catholic Church teaches that Mary was perfect due to her Immaculate Conception, celebrated today, and her complete submission to God. She was completely humble. And today I begged for help keeping my kids quiet today, from the Blessed Mother. I think instead she gave me a lesson in humility.

Now I have been making bad choices this week. I keep leaving the gate open to the kitchen which has aided the toddler in dumping water from the water jug, dog bowl and the toilet brush. I chose to try to focus on Christmas shopping yesterday mornign that provided a very messy house and miserable kids. Today I chose to sit in the front at Mass.

As my son tromped to the front row today, I was debating whether it was a good idea. I really wanted to sit upfront. I think it is the most encouraging way to have my children participate in the Mass. My son is able to see everything, and he is very close to the tabernacle. These things I believe are really important to his understanding of the mass, so I figured everything would be fine. I was wrong.

My toddler was doing ok for the beginning of mass. She was a little squirmy, and she complained a bit but she seemed to be reasonably quiet. Then she decided that she no longer wanted to be by me, she no longer wanted the pew, she no longer wanted to be quiet, and I as I tried to keep her quiet she got louder and louder and threw a tremendous tantrum right during the most solemn part of the mass, keeping me stuck in the pew out of reverence for the Blesses Sacrament.

As soon as I was able I gathered my stuff and took my screaming toddler with my 3 year old to the back, leaving my five year old behind because he would not pay attention to me. the was a woman who came to the back and asked if I needed any help, and I lamented that my son was left behind. She kindly told him to come to the back, and to my horror, I saw him running down the center isle.

So now everyone knows without a doubt that yes my children are loud and everyone had it brought to their attention as I tried desperately to remove myself to the back. I am not a perfect mother, and I'm sure there were so many bad thoughts coming my way. I am very sorry for the huge disruption. I am completely humbled.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Celebrating Advent 2011

Being Catholic this new liturgical year is big for us. We have a new translation for the mass. A better translation of the Latin, which speaks to our faith. This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent in the Roman calender. And we have finally, as a family, got the Advent thing started the way I wanted to.

When I was a child my sister and I always made an Advent calender. And my mother little the advent wreath candles every night. I am not a crafty person, at all. I'm not I don't like making things and doing art projects. I do in theory but not in actuality. However. I am very adamant about having an advent calender, not a December calender. This year advent is a full lunar month, 28 days and so I made a 28 day calender. Yes It does look like a 8 year old made it, but I'm proud of it dang it! And I made my own Advent wreath, because I didn't want to spend money on one, so I made one for 6 bucks.

So for my calender I drew a nativity scene on a poster board. then I cut out pieces of paper that would serve as the shape for doors. I placed them over the images I wanted to reveal and put double sided tape on top of that. Then I took another poster board put it on top. then I cut out the door shapes, and finally I decorated the front of the poster board and glue and taped the two pieces together.

For my advent wreath, I bought a metal circle for making a floral wreath. My husband, using wire, attached plastic candle holders. then I wrapped an ever green garland and hot glued fake holly leaves to decorate. Evergreen, stands for life and eternity (God), and the Holly leaves foreshadow the crown of thorns. I wanted the decorations to have meaning.

Why did I choose this life?

I have been reading so many blogs lately about mothers feeling run-down, depleted, defeated, and exhausted. I'm sure some of this is partly due to the holidays. Mothers, stay at home mothers in particular, are in charge of the holiday gatherings, activities, decorations, prepartions, and food. It is overwhelming. But I think there is more to it than that. Moms in general have just been venting on their blogs about how hard and unpleasant it is to be moms...

So I was think about this and how I identify with them. The strive for perfectionism, except for me I strive for mediocrity. I haven't reached a point were I can strive for perfection. Not just that, dealing with the day to day horror of children fighting, mess making, dinner making, dealing with husbands, and, the big one, being pregnant, or having a new born. These things sound terrible. Why would anyone want to live this life of constant self sacrifice and sleep deprivation and serving people who don't usually appreciate it?

I love it. I do. I love this life of trying to find room in a place that seems to be full. Ok I'll admit that some times life seems tough and awful, but compared to the times it's not, wow. I had a friend who doesn't have kids say to me, "Wow, that seems really hard. You don't get any time off at all." Yes, sometimes I wake up in the morning and I think, "I wish I could just sleep all day." But who doesn't think that sometimes. Sometimes I wish I could just escape. Have you never fantasized about up and leaving work for the day? Some parts of motherhood are a lot like a regular job.

But I doubt any career will belly laugh when you make a funny face. I doubt any job will bring you a drawing of you wearing a pink dress. I doubt any portion of money will hold your face and say, "I lub you."

Those moments are to die for, and I live them every day. Everyday I have a baby, a tot, and a kid, who tell me they love me, things I already know, and things I have never heard before. I love being a mom, and I dread when I won't have a baby, a tot, and a kid, because this life fits me so well right now, it's hard to imagine life without them. Sure I'll have more time to myself, but I won't have time with them, that's something I'm not ready for. I have always dreamed of being a mom, and this is greater than anything I dreamed.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I am on a tight budget. The question is how to get the most healthy food out of a tight budget? I make my own yogurt, which reminds me that I need to make a batch. There are a lot of great probiotic foods that can be made, just I'm not to crazy about the flavor or texture of most of them. If I'm going to drink rice milk, I want something that tastes closer to horchata, rather than "Nourishing Traditions" lactic acid fermented rice milk. Then Kombucha is great, but mine never tastes as good as the stuff you by. I might just stink at lacto-fermentation. That aside I needed a cheap way to increase my supplementation, because I don't eat an ideal diet, and I can't afford one that fits my palette.

All that being said, I wanted to supplement my prenatal vitamins. I think that I need more raw stuff in my diet, and I definitely need more greens. While I was pondering this, I was at the store looking at vegetables. It hit me right then. A moment of perhaps divine inspiration, kale 89 cents each. My niece raved about kale a couple summers ago. She put it in juices and loved it. I couldn't comprehend that. I just thought kale sounded gross. But there it was cheap and dark green and staring at me. I grabbed it and decided to put the juicer to use. That was it. I was going to get my greens.

I brought it home and put it to work. I tried to find recipes online, but was having trouble with the simplest of tasks that day and came up almost dry. I found one recipe, incidentally I had everything in my house that I needed. I tossed half an apple, celery, carrot and kale in the juicer and hoped I'd be able to drink it. As the kale grinded, it smelled just like cut grass, and I thought, "Yay! I get to eat lawn clippings!" It was a poor choice of colors, because it looked like mud, but I just drank it. It didn't taste terrible. It was definitely drinkable. It went down much easier than a powdered green drink.

So here I go delving in the world of juicing. I'm excited. I am a faddy person, so I wonder how long this will hold my interest. I hope for at least 21 weeks. That's the time left on the ticker.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Painful Labor- why I do this repeatedly...

Hurray! I'm pregnant again! I am very excited. It's a thrill for me, because I love being pregnant, and I love little newborns. I also love being in labor.

I'm not crazy. Ok, I might be a little bit. No, I am not a masochist, and no, I don't have a special drug given to me that allows me to view the birth from outside my body. I'm there for the whole thing. I feel everything and yeah, although I don't like pain, really I hate pain, I love pushing out babies.

I have done this three times already. I have delivered all babies at home without any drugs- no epidural, no petocin, no demeral. I have felt some pain. By some I mean a lot. Labor hurts that's just the way it is. It has been that way since, the existence of mankind. Pain is a very subjective term. Some people have a low threshold for pain. Some labors are more painful than others. My labors were not all the same in the way they felt. The pain I went though was not easy so don't think that's why I did it.

I remember the first time I was in labor. It was just the beiginning of the pain and I was like, "Women are so wimpy. I could totally do this for hours." I don't know why I thought that was were the pain would end. It just got worse. Then I thought it was the worst it could be and it got worse. That happened like four times. Then it got so painful I knew I couldn't do it any more, then it was time to push. The pain was different now. I was pushing out a baby with a huge head, and I felt like I was going to split in two. Then he was out, and it was over. I held my first baby and it was awesome. I just succeeded. Feeling the parts of labor that weren't painful, were so amazing, they were well worth the pain I did feel. However, I thought, "How will I ever do that again?"

Two years later I'm in intense labor pain again. I'm in the water, and I'm thinking, "If I were in a hospital right now I would so have an epidural." 3 minutes later baby two is out and in my arms beautiful and sweet. It was over. It was such a fast pushing stage that I barely noticed it.

Two years later: baby three is due any day. I'm not in labor but I get a Braxton Hicks contraction. I think "No, I can't do this now. There is no way. I'm not ready for this..." a week later I am in labor and it does not hurt that badly yet, but I know what's coming, "Am I crazy? Why would I do this again? Why do I keep having babies? Don't I realize it hurts?" I have good easy labor and push that baby out in 20 minutes. I did all the pushing myself. I was the only one who knew when to push, and I pushed, and pushed. When she came out I picked her up and there she was. It was over. It was so amazing. I wanted to do it again.

Now I'm doing it again. I so look forward to it. Pain is not a pleasant experience. Laboring in my own home with people that I love around me is a good experience. Labor is like a quest and as a reward I get a baby. Most things that are worth doing require pain. Isn't it painful to suffer though four years of college? Home work, tests papers, getting up early and staying up late studying. Marriage is painful. Raising children is painful. Everything that has meaning in life seems to come with pain. Why not embrace it and get through it?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Unselfish reasons to choose (or have by accident) more than one child

I was taken aback about six months ago, when a woman I know told me, having more than one child is selfish. I know that I shouldn't take that personally, even though she knows that I have three and intend to have more. But instead of getting mad at this professional mother (her words), of one infant, I began to reflect on her statement.

I think I might agree with her that having more than one child is selfish, if my child were a pet. As much as we like to congratulate ourselves on giving a pet a loving home. The real reason we get them is to make ourselves happy. We get a creature that loves us and is there for us to cuddle and love objectively. We love it for how it makes us feel, we do not love it for it's own self worth, its virtue or for what it is. If that was how I felt about my child, then yes, having more than one would be selfish, because I wouldn't be contributing anything to society except one more mouth for the state to feed.

Just  a little digression here. I am not saying that having a pet is bad. I love animals, and I have had two dogs and a cat, so I offer no disrepect to pet owners.

The way the vast majority of people, the ones who don't abuse their children and keep them in cages, regard their children is as people, who they love regardless of what they are, who they are, or how they are. Infact as parents we love and find joy in our children because of these things. It's the hard times that makes you love your kids more. And not for your sake. It is because you do, and because of their sake. We love our kids because we know they need to be loved, and that is our job, and it is not easy.

So I have compiled a list of reasons it is not selfish to have more than one child:

My children have permanent playmates
They learn social skills with children of different age groups every single moment of every day
They will never be alone, unless a freak accident occurs and kills every person in our family except one.
If said accident occured, I had a lot of siblings so they still wouldn't be a lone they would have cousins, they have grown up with.
When they are adults they will have people to lean on that they know better than anyone else.
Their children will have cousins, that is if two of them have kids and this becomes more likely with the more kids I have.
I use cloth diapers, and dump poop from them in the toilet and then wash said diapers
I change diapers
I listen to people complain about kids
I listen to my kids complain about everything
my house constantly needs to be cleaned
I need to make meals for a family of five
 fold laundry for said family
I take my kids to the store instead of leaving them home alone to fend for themselves (after all they are 5,3,1)
It is not always fun to take them to the store
and the list goes on.

But the reason I choose to be open to more children, and desire it is because of the first reasons on the list. Also because I love them. My love increases with every child. I love my husband. Our love is so great it needs to procreate. It can not be contained, because with every child, we love each other more. The more love is created the more it creates. Procreative love. Love that knows no boundaries.

Friday, July 22, 2011

One of Those Days

Last week I took my kids to the store. We had a wonderful time. We got treats, and when we got home, my five year old put away the groceries. It was a lovely day that fueled the pride I have in my children.

The next day we needed to go back to the store. When I say needed, it means we didn't have a choice. While we were at this other store, my lovely children were not lovely at all. There was running and lolly gagging and back talking and disobeying. It was horrible. I'm sure LZ Granderson would have a had a few words for me.

I did throw a little tantrum on facebook about his article. The tantrum devolved into a pitty feast, and it was just not good...

That aside, my point is my children, and most other people's, don't behave their best all the time. They don't because they have very little self control. It is my job as a parent to teach them self control, I accept that task and embrace it. I don't need some nosy jerk, who spends .01% of his time around children telling me how to properly restrain my children.

Vocations require sacrifice. And what's more if you didn't sacrifice for your vocation, you wouldn't value it. Occasionally, I worry that I scare people away from motherhood by showing them the unpleasant side of it. I don't mean to scare them. I mean to prepare them. The unpleasantness is was makes the little joys so joyful!

There is a story called a The Week of Sundays . A long time ago people didn't do any work on Sundays and it was a day of feasting, rest and family time. This man wished for a week of Sundays. As there was no work being done, there was no food, and resting gets boring after a couple days. At the end of the story the man exclaims, "The only days of rest I want are the ones I've worked six days to earn."

The harder the work the greater the benefits, with your children, with your soul. Suffering is redemptive. So I say, having children is hard. The more you have the harder it gets, but the suffering and the hard work that goes into them, reaps so many wonderful rewards: love, companionship, pride, joy, and laughter to name a few. They are well worth the suffering.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Control FREAK

I am a control freak. I admit it, but I believe chances are you are too. From all the women I have been around my whole life, it seems to me that women are controlling. This is not a negative. It is very positive. In a family, each person is going to have a role to play.

Traditionally women have had the role of mistress of the house. The woman had to run her house like a well oiled machine. Things had to work in a certain way so that people had cloths to wear and food to eat and a clean place to live. These tasks seem menial.

A modern women can do whatever she wants. The world is our oyster, and we just expect ourselves to lead the way and for everyone else to fill in the gaps. That is until we become moms.

The working mother, generally speaking, does it all. She does the majority of the house work, the child rearing and adds to the income of the house hold. I contend that most women do this not because they have horrible spouses. No, it is, because she is a control FREAK.

I speak from experiance. My mother is a control freak. My sisters are control freaks. My sister-in-law is a control freak. I am a control freak. My friends moms in high school, all control freaks. Every time I talk to someone about her mother, I hear the same thing, control freak. The common denominator is that we are all moms.

I contend that all women and specifically mothers are controlling. This is by design. We need this to manage our house hold because if someone isn't making sure that everything flows, and every thing gets done, and that every child gets fed the right food at the right time, chaos ensues!

The controlling nature of a women is not good in the workplace. I say this because every female boss I have had I hated! They are controlling. I hate to be controlled, because I am controlling. This nature is perfect for the home, though I try not to control my husband to much.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's so hard to be five!

I have a five year old boy. We are going through some crazy stuff right now.

I really never thought that I would have a child that was so defiant. When I was a teen, I had this vision of motherhood. I wanted to be just like June Cleaver, well with a little more personality. I thought I would keep house very well, wear the A line-skirt with a little gathered apron, make wonderful food, and look beautiful for my husband. I also thought that my kids would be obedient and almost perfect, with an occasional naughtiness here and there. Oh I had it all figured out.

Flash forward ten years. I have been married 6 years. Our house is messy more of the time than it is clean. My children act out more than they obey. I would also like to say, I have had more bad hair days since I've had kids, than I ever had before them, plus my clothes don't fit the way they should, because I still believe I'm 20 and not 26, 5 accumulative years postpartum. Please don't misunderstand. I love my life and I would make all the same choices again. I just did not expect the chaos and I'm using this to process it.

Also I have a 5 yr old boy. He has always been defiant. He was defiant as a newborn. I swear. He refused to open his big giant mouth. We would latch and re-latch a dozen times every time I tried to nurse him, and he insisted on latching his way, not the way I insisted. Believe what you want, but I was there.

He is coming to a whole new level of  defiance that I never expected from a 5 yr old. He talks back, He argues. He mimics me in a mocking tone. He blatantly disobeys. He hits his sister all the time, all the time. Some of the stuff is pretty funny, but I can't let him see me enjoy it, because that will just encourage it.

I am just hoping, this is a phase. We will deal with the issues as they arise and discipline as necessary. I am hoping to solve this before he reaches adolescence.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


This post will be sad.

I am grieving the loss of my fourth baby. He was about 5 weeks past conception. When I found out I was pregnant, I was overjoyed. I was super excited, but I had these strange feelings. I first was wondering if I really read the test right. Then the test came up faint at the midwife's office. Not an unusual faintness, but unusual for me. My lines have always been blazing even though I took them really early. We ordered an HcG test, for my own comfort. So if the levels where normal it would put my mind at ease. I didn't get the test results when I expected them, which made me wonder, what they were. Did the midwife get them and could she not bring herself to tell me the results? I tried to put it out of my mind. Then on Monday June 6, after I got up from dinner I went to the bathroom and there was blood.

I panicked and called the midwife asked her for the test results. She said they were normal. So here is where I have conflict. The test that was supposed to reassure me came too late and later on made me really sad. I had only that initial blood, I stopped bleeding and my midwife said that wasn't enough blood for a full miscarriage. So hearing her, I grasped on and held firm to hope, because hope is only a virtue when things are hopeless. Perhaps the baby would be ok. I asked what the options where from here, and she said that I could go in for a vaginal ultrasound, but she told me that the only thing an ultra sound would do would tell me if my baby was alive or not, something I could figure out on my own in a matter of days. If I had stopped bleeding completely, I might have gone in because I wouldn't know for sure what had happened on Monday, but I did continue to bleed. And it was apparent to me, very soon, that my baby was no longer alive and now my body was bringing him out.

My baby is too small to see. I have been saving some things I have been passing, hoping my child's body is among them, so I can give him a dignified burial. He deserves it. He is human and he deserves the respect of any person, and to me much more, because he is my baby.

In my process of grief, I have accepted it as God's will. My midwife told me that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. The sad thing is we live in a fallen world, and in a fallen world, people die for seemingly no reason. The search for answers, the what ifs, can end up hurting us more and causing us to grieve longer rather than accepting what it is. Babies die. That's how it is. That may sound cold, it's not. My baby died. There is nothing I could have done to prevent it. I want my baby. I still think about my life when I was pregnant, how I wish I could still be there. I see left overs in the fridge from when I was still pregnant. I see the clothes I wore that day blood stained, the sheets on my bed. We just brought a bigger table into the dinning room to accommodate our growing family, that day.

So knowing that my baby was normal for the time of the test, allowed me hope; however, it has brought me more pain because occasionally I will think,
"My baby was normal. What did I do to hurt my baby?" Then I feel like the loss is my fault. That is a dangerous road. I am not going to do that to myself. I have 3 other children that I feel so lucky to have carried to term. I feel lucky that I got to feel them move, lucky I got to hear their heart beat, lucky to have delivered them. Yes, I feel lucky that I got to feel the pain of child birth, because it is a much nicer pain than the pain of miscarriage.

So please keep me in your prayers my friends.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Totally in love with my baby

I love my baby. She is 1. I find her to be so cute and so sweet. The funny thing is that I am perfectly content with my life right now. Meaning that I don't need time to rush forward to see the future. I am very happy with the current stride of life.

The reason I find it so strange to find myself so perfectly content, is usually I am very happy but I can't wait for the future. When I got engaged I couldn't wait for my wedding. My wedding day was great. It was one day. Then it was over and I was looking forward to when I would get pregnant. Then I got pregnant. I wanted desperately to have the baby. Then I had the baby, and I loved him so much, began to wonder what it would be like to have two babies. Then I wondered what it would be like to have three babies. Through out this process, I enjoyed life. I loved my kids. I love the point I was in my life, but I was still eager for it to move forward to see what the future would be like.

Now my life is like this: I'm married, living in a house. I have three awesome kids. And I am expecting my fourth. Some people might find this a little overwhelming. I get overwhelmed with laundry, dishes, toys, messy rooms, bathrooms, yard work add anything to the list of home management. But the children themselves have never overwhelmed me. I don't know why that is. I am not a special person. I don't have some great ability to control myself. Ask anyone. But how many children I have, having a child in the future, does not psyche me out.

This is the only way I can rationalize it. When I consider the children in my future, I can't think of how crazy they will act. What type of work they will cause me. I said I can't think of it. I don't have the ability. I actually try to psyche myself out so that I'm prepared for the future and I try to imagine changing poopy diapers and dealing with a child who intentionally knocks over every pile of laundry I just folded. And even though I try to think negatively about these things, all I can think is: that is one time or 5 times it doesn't last.

Children's lives are full of phases. Nothing with them last forever, except personality. I love my kids personalities. Even if it is stressful at times their personalities describe who they are as people. I think that they are pretty stubborn, obnoxious, outgoing, fun people.

What is important to me is that this journey that I live, means something. That what I do impacts my kids and impacts those people around me. If something were to happen to me, God forbid, my kids not only have dad, they have each other. They have their own little community. Thank God they have each other. Thank God I have them. They make my life meaningful.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Tale of the Laundry Giant

The story begins deep beneath my house where the laundry piles start. Bedding and sheets for every bed being thrown down because of a tick epidemic. My daughter wearing 3 different outfits a day. My son getting soaked from playing in the rain. The laundry falls down the laundry shoot (thank God I have one of those) and fills up a basket that overflows. After the Memorial day party I decided it is time to tackle the Laundry Giant and begin the massive task of sorting washing and folding laundry.

Ok. That title is a little misleading. This is really about a giant load of laundry, and my struggle fighting it.
You can see the pictures of the pile of laundry in my basement, you cannot see how enormous it is, because I took a picture with stitch assist, and then I couldn't find the software and long story short, the laundry pile is even more enormous than you see.

I am very aware that there are families out there with even more laundry, much more laundry. What I can't figure out is how a family of a tot, two kids and two adults makes that much laundry in one week.

Actually this happens to me about once a month. See for three weeks out of the month I think things are good. I've got a great rhythm. Clothes are getting washed and put away. Everything flowing then suddenly it seems like I just did a load the other day, and there actually is this huge amount in my basement and no one has any clothes.

And I was just thinking one week out of the month things are good and flowing the other two weeks I have clean laundry in laundry baskets all over my house because I can't commit myself to folding it. Then people come over and I have to hide them in my bed room. Laundry Chaos.

So one load at a time I am going to wash that laundry. I am going to fold or hang and put away every piece of laundry. And I'm not sure how long it will take, but it will happen, and I will make it through this. The important thing is not to become over whelmed.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Obsessed with Dropping the Pounds not Obsessed with Dieting

I hate dieting, and I stink at it. I love to eat junk food, sweet food, and fatty food. Big problems for me trying to loose weight.

I have finally forced myself to start Weight Watchers. I hate it. My pride is injured because my mom says it is the only way to loose weight. I contend a person can eat healthy fats and loose weight, like a lot of healthy fats. I mean eating real sour cream, real whipped cream sweetened with raw sugar, using lots of real butter in cooking. I love whole wheat Belgian waffles with real maple syrup, and butter.

but in reality my problem is balance and Weight Watchers will fix that. So I have decided to do it modified with less bread, more protein and more good fats. I really hope this works.

I really told you all that just so I could tell you this. I believe that eggs are a super food. I hate eggs. But I have found a way to do Weight Watchers, eat an egg (with out it being a part of some type of pancake), and drink coffee. In a sauce pan I poor a cup of milk, and then I beat in an egg and I slowly heat this beating constantly. I used this concoction in my coffee in the morning. that with an all fruit smoothie and a piece of whole wheat toast makes for a very healthy, weight watcher friendly breakfast.

And I am just proud of myself, so I wanted to share.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Screaming Toddler Part 2

So I didn't know what to do. Milk was the first thing on my list to stop eating. I tried giving it up for a week. There was no change. I know, and even knew then, That you really need to give something up for at least six weeks to see a change, but I was in denial. I really like milk. I did not want to give it up. And with John he had a constant runny nose from 5 weeks to 4 months that disappeared after a week off milk. I beat myself up about every time I think back. How could I really let my little baby suffer like that?

The eventually she kinda stopped doing it. The occurrences be came less and I was living with it, hope, praying she would grow out of it. I moved her to her own bed at about 16 months. When she would wake in the middle of the night, I don't train or force my kids to sleep through the night, she would come into my bed. Sometimes she would wake up while I was still awake. I'd go up stairs stay with her until she went back to sleep. Sometimes it would take so long to get her back to sleep I would dread going up there and I'd wait. I'd give her up to ten minutes be fore I went up there and I would occasionally find her sleeping on the floor by the baby gate. So now I was tempted to sleep train my baby. Oh her waking up in the middle of the night screaming crying it was just bad habits. It CIO works for other people. I wouldn't let her go all night but ten minutes? So that was my new strategy. (bad idea. I still feel guilty about letting her cry to this day)

Ten minutes would go by sometimes and the crying wouldn't stop. I'd go up there and she didn't care that was there. It was like she was stuck in a frenzy. Her tummy was hard like she was pushing. I gave her all sorts of stuff to ease stomach cramps: tummy soother tea, homeopathy, belly massage, position change. She was screeching bloody murder. She was in supreme agony. Then I did it. I took her off milk.

It took about six weeks. It she stopped having stomach cramps. I gave her rice milk and goat milk and kept even cultured cows milk away from her for what seemed a long time. Then one day I allowed her to have some yogurt. I watched her for weeks every thing was fine. Then the night terrors started.

She'd come and sleep in our bed in the middle of the night. She'd wake up early morning screaming. Stuck in a frenzy. I had no idea what it was. I tried waking her it didn't work. She would scream and cry and yell at her brother in her sleep. She would answer my questions with no. Always no. No matter what the question. I would finally get her out of it after an eternity. Sometimes these attacks would happen once a night at 10 sometimes 3 times at 10, 12, and 3. Some times once a night at the other times.

I'm not proud of this but I used to use the TV as a baby sitter. I stopped that when I research night terrors. (do not try to wake up a kid in a night terror it just creates more problems.) Then they stopped after 2 weeks. Everything was fine for a while. Then the stomach cramps were back. I took her off milk. It didn't do anything. I didn't know what to do nothing was working. I had a new baby and Abby would occasionally need to be walked around in the middle of the night and I was tried and my sweet little girl was a crab during the day. It was like a snow ball she was sweet once and she became more irritable and angry and sad as she got older. The cramps were starting to hit her during the day. After awhile things settled down a bit and she just had about one stomach cramp a night. but she was cranky during the day. And she stopped having bowel movements for about 3 days. She was refusing to drink water. She seemed sick and dehydrated.

Something occurred to me that I didn't' consider she might be constipated. Could it be that she had something stuck in the wall of her intestines that caused bowel inflammation? Cow milk irritates bowels. maybe taking her off cow milk eased it up a bit but perhaps something little she swallowed when she was very little just kinda lodged itself in the intestine and was now making this a chronic issue.

I decided it was time for an enema. Psychologically and enema sounds traumatic and horrible, gross, icky, etc. My sister has a handicapped baby the same age as my daughter and she was telling me of the virtue of the enema, because she needed to do it for her baby. She said, "It is a tool for a mother to use when necessary, and it is not traumatic for kids. That is just something we are told by society." I determined this was the answer.

She pooped, a lot. That night she slept. All night. She slept every night all night for a long time. Months. Her personality changed and she was more like the little baby I had before: sweet and fun and kind. Then after a long time she got the cramps again. And she started to develop a low fever. I did it again. It wasn't effective because I just did a small one. So we tried it again a week later, doing a thorough cleaning. She pooped a poop that was big and shaped weird. It looked like a poop with a white thing as a right angle at the top. I've been told I should have dissected it. I was just happy it was out so I flushed it and my little girl came back. And we are living the good life. She doesn't wake up with stomach cramps any more. I hope they never return.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The screaming toddler

Most people know the agony of a screaming infant. The colicky baby. But have you experience a toddler screaming because of pain? Or a toddler screaming because they are stuck in a nightmare and can't wake up? My little three year old was the perfect 2 day old. She was mellow and happy and she continued this way until she was a bona fide infant.

At about 6 months my baby was a professional crawler. She got into every think and always found something to swallow that would end up in her diaper. Every thing was fine and good and the at night she started waking up with symptoms of colic. But 6 months don't have colic, that is what I was led to believe. My older kid would scream, but it wasn't scheduled, and it was relieved by nursing, even if I was empty. Anyway, My little baby would wake up in the middle of the night screaming, with a stomach as hard as a rock, and completely inconsolable. nursing her in a chair sitting up was how we ended almost every night, with me sleeping sitting up, sometimes with baby attached.

to be continued....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Can I just vent a little?

So now I need to just let it all out.

The Baby is teething. She is whinny and needy and oh my gosh! She is also independent and stubborn and opinionated. So combine all those things with Easter preparations, house cleaning, meal planning and these two other ingredients:

Abby: who is composed of screaming vigor and mischief. Who delights in making her afore mentioned little sister scream.
John: Who is five and knows everything. And can do everything himself.

And you've got a recipe for a crazy mama.

I thought egg decorating would be so fun. So first I told the kids to wait while I prepared the eggs. Then I realized that I shouldn't die the eggs in our dinning room because it is carpeted. Then while I was lining the table, which does not belong, in the kitchen, My son decides to drop an egg in the dye, which was stupidly in the dining room. Thankfully no mess ensued.

Then in the kitchen Abby almost slipped and fell off her chair. Then things started to calm down as the baby began to crawl around my ankles for me to pick her up. No she does not want me to carry her on my back. I pick the baby up. I move everyone into the dinning room now that the eggs are dry. My son says, "I know how to do it." drops an egg breaks it. I don't like to wast food so I tell him to eat it. But I don't want him to eat all the eggs since they are for Easter. Then Abby sees John eating an egg she wants one too. I promise her a new one. She breaks a pink one. John and Abby pester me over who gets to eat it. I give it to Abby. John finds another egg (I had just made more) begs to eat it. He does so spinning around the living room.

"Stop! sit down while to you eat!" He continues.... John coughs, and coughs. I He is fine when he calms down I say,
"That's why you sit down while you eat. Go sit down!" He sits for two seconds. The Egg is gone he starts running around and asks me for another egg. Then runs up to me and, That's right he looses his lunch! all over the carpet all the way to the bathroom. Abby is making the baby scream (I buckled the baby in the high chair). Now they are upstairs in the bathroom fighting, disobeying. The baby is crying and the house is a mess. I still have to get a big enough Easter Basket for the family and plan on the Paska and Babka. *sigh*

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mothering a baby is different.

I remember when it was me and John. He was a baby and he was cute. When he cried I comforted him. When he was naughty I was quick to correct him I was always with in 3 feet of him. And it was great. I had a romanticized view of motherhood from when I was a teenager. I imagined life would be like this. Everything would work and be perfect. I would clean, nurse the baby, make dinner and everything would just flow.
  For me having John was a breeze pretty much. I wasn't used to being a house wife so I was still learning how to keep house and that was difficult but generally speaking it wasn't hard at all.

Then my little infant turned one.

My world started to slowly change. Taking care of a walking talking child is sooooooo different from caring for a baby that crawls and coos or just lays there. I cloth diaper, so the poop got gross as he began to eat more solid foods, but I expected that. Then  he started to run away. We would be somewhere, say the grocery store, he would ask to be put down so he could walk. Well I'm easy to get along with. I put him down. He ran away. He just ran as fast as he could. I'd catch him and bring him back. Tell him not to run away. He's gone before I can bat an eye. I'd bring him back. After the 6th time, I put him back in the cart. He screams and cries and everyone is looking at me. I feel like a terrible mother...

Then this little sweet heart begins to dump all his toys at home. He was such a dumper, cleaning up toys took a cumulative hour out of my day. Then he wouldn't eat the food that I made for dinner. He was going to eat the food I made for dinner. I wasn't going to be one of those moms. I'm not going to be a slave to my child's appetite, right? Wrong. After trying to convince him to eat, what I have given him, he staunchly refuses. I give in. Seems silly thinking about it now.

Chaos. Utter Chaos.

You know what, I loved every second of it. Ok not every second, but just being with my little man and playing with him, being a mother was awesome. It was so different from mothering an infant. Mothering a five year old is way different too. It occurred to me last night while I was picking up toys before my husband came home from work ( my kid does clean up his own toys now but finishing touches are needed.). That taking care of a little boy, mothering a little boy is the most different thing I have ever done in my life.

Yesterday he caught a spider and was searching and searching for bugs to feed it. He painted a bed sheet out side and scrubbed the paint off the patio. He dumped water on himself. He cleaned up the chalk that he was playing with outside. He helped his baby sister play with the scrub brush. He begged me for a snack, and to eat watermelon, and if he could have a cookie. And even with the arguing, because he knows everything, the back talking, the defiance, I love it. Every minute of it is great. This is the greatest my life has ever been, but it is way harder than I ever imagined would be, and way different from anything I expected it to be. Even though is so different from the romanticized version I created for myself previous to having a little kid.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

Ok so we are not perfect. I know that I don't have all the answers to the woes of the parent. I don't mean to brag, because the next baby will be different I'm sure. I am constantly being served humble pie.

But we have achieved Sleep through the night with our kids. But my definition of sleep through the night might be different than yours.

1st I would just like to say that natural mothering instincts, not those created by science, are the best thing for your baby. If your baby cries sooth him. Seriously anybody who tells you that soothing your baby is wrong is just plain stupid. Sometimes babies are inconsolable, then you might have to let them cry, because what can you do?

But if you are like me, a co-sleeper with the talent of sleep nursing, and nursing solves 90% of your babies problems do it. Nurse that baby as much as he wants. My kids have all been nursed like crazy and through the night. I have made mistakes, being influenced by modern society with my first, and my second, but my third is probably more naturally mothered than the other ones. I cannot say our experience is the complete result of our parenting, because her personality is different, there are different things going on in our lives, we have different schedules than we had with the first two. But I'm sure that following mother's intuition is a factor in the current sleep peace we have.

For us sleeping through the night means a good five hours of sleep for us, the grown-ups, uninterrupted by crying, and we have been getting a good 6-7 hours of non crying sleep with an additional  5 hours all to ourselves to just watch tv or do other grown-up things. I honestly don't expect ever to sleep completely through the night uninterrupted again as long as I have little children. I just think it is unreasonable to expect anything more. And when you expect more you feel entitled to it, lets face it when you are a mother you are entitled to nothing, but your child's unconditional love.

My first kid was harder to wean to his own bed because there was no role model. We had to use rewards when he reached a certain age, but we never punished him for comming into our room or into our bed. I did not want him to think that being scared and needing company is a bad thing. Now if he has a nightmare he'll come and sleep on the floor in my room, but he sleeps in his own bed through the night 12/14 days.

Our second still comes into our bed occasionally, because she is more needy. That is her personality. I'm starting to try to encourage her to sleep on the floor if she comes in, but it is an idea to her right now and not practical. At night I read her a story, say prayers with her (she shares a room with her older brother), and then pray my evening prayers with the light off. She falls asleep and stays asleep in her own bed 12/14 nights. I did have a problem with her because for a long time she woke up screaming in the middle of the night. I discovered after a long time that it was a bowel inflammation issue (not a scientific diagnosis, my own so it is only still a hypothesis) which was cured by an enema. After that enema her personality change and she hasn't woken up with stomach cramps since. I can get into the full story in another post. And it was after that she began to sleep really well.

Now my third. She likes to sleep. She seems to not have any bowel or teething issues. Her body works well and she is healthy. I nurse her. She sleeps for 5 hours some times 8. When she wakes up (she is 1yr) I bring her into my bed. I nurse her back to sleep. and I don't know how many times since she nurses because I'm asleep, or mostly asleep. I have always allowed her to sleep nurse, because how would I sleep otherwise?

She wants to nurse and I think she knows what she needs, she is still a baby. My instincts say crying baby nurse her. That is what people did before science got involved in parenting. People I think where much happier being parents before they had to force the schedules of a grown-up world on developing baby.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Marathon

As my 3rd baby reaches her 1st birthday it is time for me to prepare for the next possible pregnancy. God willing, I will most likely get pregnant again soon. As this time approaches, I think about what the next birth will be like and what my previous births were like.

I have had three awesome, amazing, astounding home births. I look back on them with relish. Not that I like pain, mind you, but the power and accomplishment of those births live in my memory. I'm proud of them. I like to talk about them, and think about them, and I look forward to the next, and I'll tell you why: It is like running a marathon.

Laugh if you like, but I think people who run real marathons are CRAZY. What the heck are they running from? Why do they run? And it is my understanding that running a marathon is incredibly painful and debilitating. What do you get at the end of a marathon, if you win and your chances are slim, a trophy. Oooh a trophy. When I finish my marathon I get a baby. That's right my marathon is better than yours.

At least my pain means something. Your pain means, "stop running your killing yourself". My pain means that my body is working. My body is telling me what the baby is doing and telling me what to do. I don't want a medicated birth, because I would miss what my body is doing, and frankly God gave me this body; I like it, and I want to use it to it's fullest. I get to feel not just the pain (which is excruciating) but also the baby. When that baby's head moves into the birth canal it is amazing, and with an epidural I wouldn't feel it. I wouldn't feel that baby's  head pop out. And then When I get that baby out all the way, since I am unmedicated, I can catch my own baby, pull him up, and hold him. I am the first person to touch my baby and that is satisfying.

I know modern medicine advocates who laugh at me, "Why not get an epidural? They are perfectly safe." Even though they make you sign something accepting the risks. I know of too many epidurals gone bad to use one for a casual purpose, like pain management. I say, "Marathon Woman take an opiate so you don't feel the pain of your precious marathon."

I don't think  God's primary intention of designing the female body was for running marathons, but he did design it to bear children, so it should work, and it does, when given a chance, a majority of the time, because if it didn't the human race would have died out long before modern medicine.

Before you laugh at my epidural free childbirth laugh at the marathon runner first.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


As I sit here eating a delicious breakfast and sipping awesome coffee, I saw snow falling out the window. Big puffy snow flakes, really pretty snow. It reminded me of the presence of God, and that reminded me, of my mother...

My mother is a very good mother. She loved us, and she taught us to love God more than anything else.

My mother was always aware of the prescence of God. I remember, when I was little, my Mom's watch broke, and she needed a new one. She was very insistant to find one with an alarm that rang every hour. She was having trouble finding one, which frustrated her. I ask why she needed an one hour alarm. She said that she like to be reminded of the prescence of God every hour. That's why the falling snow led me to this conclusion. I live next to a church and whenever those bells ring (every hour), I am reminded of the prescence of God.

My mother told me always to keep God at the beginging of my day. My mother was a list person. Every moring she would make a plan for herself. And she would always write at the top AMDG and JMJ+. She told me they stand for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (All for the Greater Glory of God) and Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

I feel very blessed to have a mother who taught me these things. And I hope I can be a mother like her.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm Gonna Teach You a Lesson

Today John got into a fight with a grown up. I'm going to refer to this person as Janet.

I'm telling you this because it inspired an interesting conversation.

John says to to me, "Well I'm going to teach Janet how to be nice, because she is being mean!"
I smirked and said, "You know, the best way to teach her is to pray for her that she is nice." And I walked away to change a diaper. John followed me and continued,
"I'm going to teach her a lesson, on how to be nice!"
"You can't it's not your job to teach a grown up how to behave."
"Well, who's job is it?"
"Her parents did the best job they could teaching her how to be nice. It was their job when she was little."
"But who's job is it to teach Janet now?"
"No one's... It's her job... She is supposed to work at becoming a better person all the time. I am too. Grown ups are always supposed to be working at becoming better people..." John was not satisfied and walked away grumbling.

 I often think it's my job to teach certain people lessons, without realizing that it's not my place. I really have to remember to let people be and just be meek. I should offer up the hard stuff and pray for them, rather than correcting them. Not to say there isn't a place for fraternal correction, I think I just do it too much.

 Constantly I'm trying to figure out how to behave like the Blessed Mother. She was perfect, is Perfect. She is a mother, and she raised a son. Given her son was perfect, but how does a perfect person deal with imperfection? What did she do when she was devalued? Or when someone was rude to her? When children in the neighborhood misbehaved how did she react?
It seems like a leap but this is were John's question brought me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Anyone else wish for Spring?

I know that's a stupid question. Just about everyone wants it to be spring already. I have never been like this. I love the winter. As a kid I loved playing in the snow, as an adult I love looking out into the white world reminded of the presence of God. But now being a mother of three, I've had enough.

I am done wrapping them up and toting them around all bundled, only to have them either unbundle in the car or unbundle where we are and bundle them up again. I'm also done with the cabin fever. My kids are bored. They have so much energy and when I try to get it out of them by sending them out side they don't do anything out there. They just walk around and get cold. Then they come in all charge from the cold. My son spent 5 minutes spinning in the kitchen. just spinning. My poor kid.

So come on spring come back!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pen name

 Perpetua Amatia. It was my assumed name for Latin class in high school. It means loved by The Perpetual, meaning God. Why would that make a good title for a blog? But I felt drawn to it. Something about that particular phrase drives to my heart.

God is the Perpetual. He is Infinity. He is eternal.

What was engraved on my wedding ring which I lost last year was "In Aeternum". Some Latin website had it as "phrases to engrave on wedding bands". They translated it to mean "for eternity". But the actual translation is actually far more profound.

Literally, because the Aeternum is in the accusative it is the object of the preposition, translated more accurately as "Into Eternity". That means more because it shows movement, force. We have made a commitment to each other that won't exactly last "for eternity" but will hold us until we move into eternity. Until we join full communion with Eternity, GOD.