under the knife: my c-section story

>> Wednesday, June 16, 2010

my daughter is ten months old, and that evening is still fresh in my mind. a few things come to mind now; first, how much i wished i had never met that obstetrician in the first place, and second, how much i wish i had given my body a chance.

while i admit that delivering a breeched baby vaginally may have hurt like hell - i wonder if i could have done it, despite the fact that Grace was a whopping 8 lbs, 6 oz. every time i think about it, i wonder if my body could've figured it out: if my cervix would've dialated, if she would've dropped.

on august 15th, chris and i were supposed to go to mass but i was feeling too worn out, so we went home. chicken divan was in the oven, kronk's new groove in the DVD player, and chris was starting to cook the rice. i stood up to help him with it when i felt that huge, tremendous gush. i looked at him and said "my water just broke." the fluid just continued to pour out. i couldn't believe how much there was. i waddled to the bathroom (pants and flood were drenched, mind you) and did what i was told: emptied my bladder. then i checked the fluid to make sure there was no blood or meconium. all was well, so i put on clean underwear and a pad to hold the water. the pad was soaked within a minute, so we put in a handtowel. that was soaked within five. chris called his mom and she came over to help take care of the food as we packed for the hospital.

after she arrived, we finished packing the hospital bags, cleaned the apartment, (water was still gushing at this point. it was actually pretty funny), and made our way to the car. i got to sit on a plastic bag and a bathtowel: so. much. fluid. i didn't know it was possible.

once we got to the hospital, i was brought to triage where they did an internal and checked to "make sure" the fluid was actually my water. (i laughed at them for that.) i was zero cm dialated, my cervix was still hard and not at all effaced, and grace was probably more like -3 or -4 station (HA!). they moved me to labor and delivery, where i was prepped for a c-section: no questions asked. i was hooked up to monitors, my blood pressure was checked, central lines put in, gave a health history, talked to the anesthesiologist, and had my pubic hair shaved off my a complete stranger with a buzzer. oh, then my OB finally showed up. i think the most traumatizing part of it was having someone come at me with a buzzer and shave away. talk about being violated.

it was chaotic, busy, and stressful. there were 10 people in my room the whole time, running around and doing x-y-z. when i had done the L&D walk through, i was told that if there were several nurses in your room running around, that something was wrong. nothing was wrong. my baby was not in distress. i was not preeclamptic. we were both fine. i was just being treated like a piece of meat. i had to be cut open.

my body wasn't even given a chance. 

the normal "time" given from the breaking of water to the birth of the baby is supposed to be within 24 hours, per hospital standards. within 3 hours of my water breaking, grace was out and i was with her in recovery. where was my chance?

it wasn't even a consideration.

in the OR, i was cold. i was drugged. i was alone for half that time. really: chris was there right before they started cutting till grace was being wheeled away. i got to see my daughter for a minute before she was gone again. i was alone, strapped down, and vomiting --- unable to move, crying. the anesthesiologist and my OB simply muttered, "you ate too recently" and scolded me, as if it was my fault for throwing up - not theirs for making sure i hadn't eaten within 6 hours or so (and on that note, no, i hadn't eaten for over 6 hours at that point.)

once i was stitched up and wheeled back to the room, i couldn't move my legs. do you know how scary that is, to not be able to move yourself? i was afraid to hold grace. i had no privacy and didn't even WANT to breastfeed her, because i felt so violated. i didn't even nurse her until we were in the postpartum unit (it was about two hours later.) she wasn't interested because of the drugs, and i wasn't prepared to whip out a boob in front of so many people. it was terrible: and to make it worse, "her blood sugar was low" --- they kept telling me. no one said, "let's leave so you can have some privacy and nurse your baby." it was: "her blood sugar is low."

ask me how mad that makes me now.

some time after delivering, the nurses came in to check my uterus. this was so incredibly painful. i refused more pain medications for the next few days, but every time they palpated my uterus, i just wanted to smack them. it was as if i should've said, "i just got cut open and you're shoving down on an open wound? HELLO!?" i had a piece of cake recovery, let's be honest. but it was miserable. no one told me when to take the wound dressing off, or have the staples pulled out, or take the tape off the scar. really. i showed up at my doctors office for my two week postpartum visit with the medical tape STILL on: no one had told me when it needed to come off.

i will never go through that again.

so, this September, or October, or whenever this baby decides to come --- unless there is no other option, i am VBACing this baby out. there are no ifs, ands, or buts. i am getting him out naturally, without medication or any form of induction, and even if he's breeched. if that means i have to sit at home and wait until the last possible minute to show up at the hospital, so be it.

that's my birth story. i hope it never has to happen to another woman, but sadly, i know that not to be the case. it will happen. it happens every day, to thousands of mothers. be educated. trust your body. don't let the doctor be the boss of you. you're the boss of you. you know your body best. trust it.

Read more...

elimination communication

>> Tuesday, June 15, 2010

alright, it's a really unusual and intimidating adventure, but i'm still trying.

for those of you who don't know (and a lot of people don't, so don't feel bad!), elimination communication is a worldwide, ancient practice of understanding your babies *GASP!* in particular, when they need to go potty. now, when i was pregnant with grace, there were a few things i swore i would atleast try: breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and elimination communication.

in the beginning, it was definitely easier to tell when she needed to go. being less active and less talkative, it's easier to pick up on the grunts, weird faces, and blank stares. nowadays, all those things seem to be relatively constant. i usually took grace to the potty after she woke up from a nap, before the diaper change, and just waited to see. for the few times we did this, it seems like she went almost every time.

needless to say, while i enjoyed watching her go potty, i was not at all consistent about it. now she's ten months old, and i am hoping to give her a chance at using the potty. after all, her poops are relatively predictable. pee, on the other hand, remains quite the mystery to me.

needless to say, we've had two pees in the potty today. no poop yet, because it was one of the few "unpredictable" early morning poops. i should've expected it, from what i fed her last night, but didn't (so those wool longies got a bath this morning...) after her morning nap, i figured i would just TRY to see what she did. it took about ten minutes, but i was pleasantly surprised to see her go pee! i tried again after this afternoon nap, and again, it took about ten minutes of us sitting, hanging out, and babbling away when i was pleasantly surprised with another pee!

so, if nothing else, we're starting the process of learning each other. i have no concept of her current "pee" signals --- her personality doesn't seem to change and she doesn't really make weird faces. i guess the only thing i can really go by at this point is timing. we'll see where this goes.

yay for babies!

Read more...

austin: the land of love, friendship, and bank robberies.

>> Sunday, June 13, 2010

there wasn't really a bank robbery. the bride only thought there was --- and in her pre-wedding insanity, made absolutely certain that no one was dying. turns out it was just some men tiling the floor.  listen, i can sympathize: at one point, i too was a bride, and i was certain that someone was going to kill me and ruin the whole thing.

austin was wonderful. it was like a breath of fresh air --- much needed, and much deserved. through all wedding chaos (and trust me: there is always a fair bit of it), it was a great time to spend with some good friends and my little family. despite the nearly thirty hours of driving that took place over the course of four days, it was still well-worth it and much appreciated. being able to go out with women, alone, without little gracie attached to my hip for a night was fantastic. i guess i hadn't realized how much i was aching to just be with friends.

cloth diapering on the road was not even remotely disastrous. i was delighted, to say the least. it was easy, normal, and comfortable for all involved. part of me thinks it might've been for the very best, since we didn't have to deal with any rashes or welts --- just regular diaper changes with the usual routine. every change just went into the wetbag, and the night before we left, i soaked them first in vinegar/borax, rinsed, then in bleach. there were no foul smells, no leaks --- just a happy baby and mommy (and daddy, too, if you're wondering.) poopy diapers always happened somewhere where they could be dealt with (THANK GOD!) i mean, i couldn't tell in the slightest that we had wet diapers in the car. it was great.

so, overall, it was fantastic. it was a great weekend spent with those i love --- both my husband and daughter, as well as a beautiful bride and many good friends. it was a weekend with lessons --- from how to cloth diaper on the go, to how to comfort a bride (and that, i could write a book about)... it was good.

so, on that note, time to watch Mulan...

Read more...

small

>> Tuesday, June 8, 2010

not me, that's for sure. i look in the mirror and all i can think is "man, when did i get so big?"

in other news, the title more meant what this post would be: small.

the car is almost completely packed for austin. we're just down to those "odds-and-ends" that need to get thrown in. basically, we're ready to go. i know mentally, at this point, i'm ready to go. let's get this show on the road, folks.

our bedroom is spotless. i cleaned all our bedding today, washed all the laundry, vacuumed, and dusted. i'm lucky i didn't send myself into preterm labor with all those braxton hicks (i'm bad, i know. 24 weeks is not baked, baby!) needless to say, i love coming home to a clean room. it is one of my favorite things; maybe it's because it makes me think someone prepared a place for me. (god knows that i am going to love heaven. He actually has prepared a place for me.. or so i hope!) i just remembered that i didn't wash grace's bedding. that might be on the "to-do" list in the morning. scrupulous, i know. but i enjoy it, nonetheless.

the sunset tonight was beautiful. there was this beautiful peach glow that cast itself over us at the foot of the catalina mountains. i stepped outside for a few minutes to enjoy it, considered fetching my camera, and then decided that it was just one of those things to "let be". so i enjoyed it, and went back to life.

that's it for the day. that was my day.

assuming the laptop manages to be packed, you'll hear from me soon. otherwise, until sunday, peace.

Read more...

packing

>> Monday, June 7, 2010

so we're going to austin this weekend for a wedding, and while i am really excited for the actual wedding - i am not so enthused about getting there. after all, grace is nine months old, bottle fed, and cloth diapered. that equivilates to: all our bottles, most of the diapers, all the covers, bleach, vinegar, quarters for laundry, and a wetbag.

while i have read that cloth diapering on the road can be a hassle (but is really not that bad, most moms admit), i am hoping that the system i am building in my trunk will be adequate to provide for all our CDing needs. two wetbags on standby. a tote with bleach, vinegar, borax, baby wipes. a completely stocked diaper bag. oh, and i'm planning on bringing all the covers, all our soakers, all our premium prefolds, and half the regular prefolds. that will equate to: three Thirsties, one wool cover, a pair of longies, 8 soakers, 10 premiums, and 15 regulars. god help me.

i think every other day will be laundry day for the diapers. i am prepared to do them anywhere - i can clean them in a sink, in a tub, in a washing machine --- i can clean them anywhere! (i feel like dr. seuss)

oh, and that's just for the diapers. mind you, we also need to bring the bebepod (like a bumbo, except way cooler..), the packnplay, toys galore for neverending entertainment, formula and bottles... AH! packing for a baby is going to be the death of me.

luckily chris and i can pack light. really, all we need is his suit, my bridesmaids dress (and shoes, and strapless bra...), some casual dress clothes for the rehearsal, swimsuits (because you know we're going to be in the water every chance we get) and clothes to drive in. piece of cake. plus the toiletries. plus the snack foods and cooler.

and if you're wondering how in god's name all this will fit in my tiny ford taurus, have no fear. a family member has been so kind to loan us their nice, big, safe lexus.

there is light at the end of this tunnel, self. there's a wedding and friends and reunions and love! have hope; it's only a fourteen hour drive (plus all the stops we have to make for grace..)

i'm excited. it's going to be a new and interesting and (hopefully) fun adventure. pray for us - for safe travels and sanity.

peace and love.

Read more...

my baby is a fish, and mommy is an idiot

>> Sunday, June 6, 2010

well, i just figured something out. please don't laugh: now i know why i would've failed chemistry. while i don't think any harm came from my experiment the other day, to make my diapers smell-free, i did just learn that mixing bleach and vinegar can create chlorine gas... which can not only cause chemical burn to eyes and lungs, but also flat-out kill a person.

so that's my lesson in stupidity this week.

in other news, today we got in the pool. grace has so far enjoyed the adventures of the baby pool; today she got to enjoy the big pool. she had a blast. we lathered her up with sunscreen, put her in a swim diaper and her little swimsuit, threw on a hat --- and spent an hour enjoying the sun. the water was as warm as a bath; it was 105 degrees outside; it was glorious.

and then, to top it all off, grace and i came inside, showered, i popped a bottle in her mouth, and she's been asleep for almost an hour now. thank god.

that's all for today. i am exhausted.. chugging down the water...

peace!

Read more...

the triumph over evil

>> Saturday, June 5, 2010

evil smells, that is. i hadn't mentioned it here, for sake of not horrifying anyone, but the last few times we had washed grace's diapers, this terrible smell was emitted - not from the diapers AFTER the wash, but from simply getting them into the washing machine and getting the pail outside. that minute of exposed diapers and barren pail --- well, to put it gently, we were dying here.

the in-laws said it smelled like fish. i didn't think it's smelled like fish so much as it just smelled gross --- but they were diapers, so i could understand. nevertheless, the complaints about the smell got to me and i searched for a cure. remember, it's not my clean diapers that smell --- it was the smell that happens when you take them out of the pail and chuck them into the wash. their "air exposure" for that minute caused the most rotten smell. okay, well, not rotten: but the ammonia smell from urine is not pleasant in the slightest.

after my hunt for a solution --- which was tricky, mind you, because most people explain how to get the smell out of diapers that are "clean" and washed (which is a whole different matter) --- last night i tried adding bleach and vinegar to the load. it was the magical solution. that, and i moved so fast getting the diapers out of the pail, into the machine, and the pail back outside that it wasn't even funny. i looked like a roadrunner, i moved so fast. i was desperate to not allow the smell to contaminate the happy family space.

it didn't smell at all. you couldn't tell i was even running a load of diapers, that's how little it smelled. i was in cloth-diapering heaven.

so, that's my story of my triumph over evil smells. it's left me quite happy. i can't believe i just bragged to the world about how i didn't make the house stink!

have a good, stink-free day!

Read more...

thrifty, thrifty me

>> Friday, June 4, 2010

we have almost completed our son's clothing stash for the first year of life. between hand-me-downs from Matthew, my leftover gender-neutral clothes from Grace, diaperswappers, and a great children's resale store in Oro Valley, we're about ready to go.

i am the queen bee of resale. i love it. i could do it every day of my life, assuming whatever i'm buying always costs less than five dollars (unless it's wool. i buy that infrequently, and it costs more around $20, but it acts as a diaper cover too, so i don't feel so bad. that, and it's radically adorable. see, adorable.)










those are some gender-neutral longies that i bought for grace. they're knit out of a merino wool and double as a diaper cover. really. underneath them is a prefold with snappi, and she's hangin out free. it's pretty brilliant actually. she gets the warmth and breathability of wool, without the bulk; all while looking so cute. they're nice and roomy, so she'll be in them for a while. I LOVE THESE LONGIES.

anyways, back to the thrifty-ness. yesterday we went to a children's resale boutique and found some great steals. we got GAP and Old Navy pants for our son - pants that normally cost $15-$30, for $4 each. hallelujah much? they're perfect; i can't even tell that they were worn. we bought Grace an adorable purple dress for the wedding next week - a dress that would normally cost $40, i'm guessing - $5.














so, in 4 months, when you see pictures of my son in these really cute outfits - you know where they came from. THRIFT. my target bill is officially going to disappear. and it's nice, since i'm getting way more in great conditions, for atleast half the price.














our baby boy's stash... newborn longies, courdroys, jeans, khakis... long sleeved onesies and sweaters and kimono tops... coveralls... we're all set.

thank God.

Read more...

to circ or not to circ

>> Wednesday, June 2, 2010

sorry if this is a little graphic for some of you: i'm going to talk about penises today.

had you asked me years ago if i thought circumcision was any big deal, i would've said no. i had always thought that i'd circumcise my boys, because everyone else was doing it so why not? that was driven behind an ignorance of what circumcision exactly was -- i had no concept of the foreskin, or why it was even done.

as i explained to chris last night, i had always believed that the foreskin was as people had described it: a "flap". yeah, right. nobody ever told me that the "flap" covered the whole penis; i mean, seriously people, flap is much different from sheath (because, well, that's basically what it is!) i mean, the foreskin goes from the base to the head of the penis - there's nothing "flappy" about it.

before we had found out Grace was a she - i had expressed some discomfort about circumcision, but that was all quickly tossed aside when we found out that she was, in fact, a she. woo! no worrying about cutting off baby bits the first time around!

but now that i've been faced with the fact that #2 is a he, i've come to the reality of circumcisions. all it started with was a simple question of "how does one cloth diaper with a circumcision healing?" (because vaseline damages your diapers, it's kinda a big bad "no-no") i brought this question to the table on diaperswappers.com, where i got some great responses - both about how to diaper, and information from mama's on circumcision.

boy, have i seen the light. actually, i've watched a video on the circumcision of an infant, too.

before, i used to think that i would want to be present for my son's circumcision. after all, i wanted to provide some comfort for my little baby. after watching the video of an infant circ, i've determined that i couldn't be present for it: without killing the doctors.

this is what they do in an infant circumcision (and boy is it mean: i cried watching the video): the doctors and nurses strap the baby to a molded "case"; strap his arms and bowed legs down so he can't move. the baby is already resisting and crying because this isn't comfortable. he's cold and naked and strapped down: no fun. they take this metal object and jam it into the space between the foreskin and the penis. they proceed to shove it around so that the foreskin will become unhinged, per se. then, they clamp the foreskin; baby is screaming hysterically at this point. after a few minutes of letting the clamp just sit, they begin to cut. they cut away a healthy, natural piece of skin. blood is everywhere and baby sometimes just wails himself to kingdom come, or passes out in shock. the doctor will smile, say it's done, and hand the baby back.

sound like something you want done to your son?

the AAP has come out and said that circumcision is actually not medically necessary after all. it doesn't benefit a man to be circumcised. actually, it's pretty detrimental. the foreskin is actually the most sensitive part of a man's body; and, oops, the doctor just hacked it away. it provides protection and lubricant to the penis; it is an immunological defense; and it's a major part of a sexual organ. it's not just a piece of skin, folks. it has a purpose!

it used to be believed that leaving the foreskin on was "unhygenic" or "difficult to care for"; turns out that's not the case. caring for an intact penis is a piece of cake: wipe it off. the anti-circumcision community has this saying "if intact, don't retract." pretty simple; you don't have to clean up in there, you just let it be.

i strongly encourage all parents, present and future, to be educated on this topic. you should know what a circumcision is. you should know "why" it's done (and there aren't any good reasons, in my opinion.) you should understand the ramifications of the procedure. don't be like my husband, who simply says: "he won't remember it!" chris watched the video and you could see the horror on his face. i told him that if he allowed the doctors to circumcise my son, i'd divorce him and press assault charges. yep, i'm that serious.

why in god's name should we do cosmetic surgeries on newborn's private parts? seriously? it's illegal to do it on a female, but legal on a male. something is so wrong here.

here are some links for more information:
information for fathers considering circumcision
important information about the foreskin
graphic: infant circumcision  (this is the video i watched. if you don't believe it's a big deal, i recommend you just watch this. it's a really big deal.)

so, i'll get off my soapbox for the day. be educated!

peace and love.

Read more...

memorial day - memories

>> Monday, May 31, 2010

i had to go through album after album on facebook to find this. it's not even the picture i wanted, but it will have to do.











that was taken four years ago when my brother was leaving for iraq. let's see here: that would've made him 22 years old (i think?) even four years later, i barely know anything about my brother's tour --- in what i believe had to have been hell. i know he fell in love with this dog...















and i know he ran missions that helped bring resources to little children. i wish i had a picture from those, but i can't find any.

i don't think i ever saw a picture of my brother carrying a gun, but i know that doesn't mean it never happened. i'm sure it did.

i think about all the things that i don't know about what happened while he served in iraq; i think about all the things that i would've been too scared, too young, too incapable of doing. i also remember that there was so much good that did happen while he was there --- between writing to his now-wife, melissa --- to finding god in the battles and the hell that it was --- and i am thankful. i am thankful, not only for his service, but the fact that he had an opportunity to do those things because he came back a better man. it was almost like he left a boy, and came back a man.

any boy can carry a gun; only a man can fight in a war, come back alive, and continue to live.

i want to say thank you; thank you to my brother, to the "hobbits", and to all the men and women who have given their lives to the service of this country; not alway given through the ultimate sacrifice, death... but through the training, the war, and the suffering that endures. it not just death in which lives are given away --- it is in the mental, physical, and spiritual ramifications of the military. men of faith can walk away from a war with none; and men of no faith can walk away born again; men can leave for their tour with both arms, and come home without one; men can leave for war sane, and return suffering from PTSD, insomnia, alcoholism, night terrors...

thank you for the gift of freedom. thank you for the gift of your lives, that i might continue to be free - to be able to have as many babies as i want, to home-school my children,  and to raise them in whatever religious setting that i please.

god bless.

Read more...

figuring it out

>> Saturday, May 29, 2010

had you asked me two months ago if i thought i was a cloth diapering champion, i probably would've scoffed and said, "of course!" ask me now, and i'll tell you: i am just starting to figure things out.

for starters, wool. who knew that wool was such a wonderful cloth diapering friend. i had always been under the impression, as i'm sure most people are, that wool is a giant pain in the ass. when i first heard about using wool for cloth diapers (mind you, this was two weeks ago), i thought that was certainly asinine. but folks, i have been born again into the land of wool and honey... and a wool advocate, at that. wool has so many positive attributes that i don't know why anyone wouldn't atleast try it (see, that's why i did.)

here are a few wonderful wool attributes:
1) breathability - it allows to keep baby cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
2) absorbent - it can adsorb one-third its weight in fluids. that's a lotta pee, folks.
3) dirt resistant, antibacterial, antifungal - aka: you don't have to wash it as often. turns out that the combination of urine and lanolin (that's naturally present in wool) combine to basically make SOAP. if you keep your wool lanolized, and poop-free, it only needs to be washed every two to three weeks.
4) the poop is really easy to clean off. just take a bar of soap, rub a little, let it sit for a little, and rinse. wa-la.
5) cleaning and lanolizing is a piece of cake. add wool wash and a teaspoon of melted lanolin, soak for 15, and you've got a fully prepped diaper.
6) quick to dry. just set it in the sun for a few hours and you'll be all set. (trust me, i know: did that this morning!)

basically, wool is awesome.

my mama has agreed to make some wool longies (they're pants that double as a diaper cover. shocker, i know). i'm curious just to see how it'll work. in the meantime, i've been testing and trying different ways to fold the prefolds so that i'll be able to contain the poopy mess, so as to not be washing the longies after every use. that, and it's helping me reuse our thirsties covers.

speaking of my thirsties covers: i need to press the fact that with a proper fitting cover, you will have less leaks? grace goes through one outfit a day, one PJ a night again! (unless she pukes. then it's a different story.) now that she's in a size medium (she was about 5 pounds over the small limit!), she remains covered, the prefold is tucked in good, and we are leak-free.

needless to say, i am just now "figuring it out". i've been doing this for NINE MONTHS, folks. for as long as i was pregnant with her, i've been CDing, and just now, i'm getting a good hold of the reins.

peace and love.

PS: if you haven't yet, are CDing or plan on CDing, or just want more info on CDing --- check out diaperswappers. it will change your life and save your wallet!

Read more...

two carseats in the back, and four packages for me

>> Thursday, May 27, 2010

today was the day that God allowed the "package-loving me" to be rejoice. i have to say, one of my favorite things about the first two weeks at Franciscan was the books; something about opening those boring brown amazon boxes makes my heart skip a beat. packages make me feel loved - i admit it. the funny thing is, i've taken the love language test multiple times, and receiving gifts has NEVER been in the top two (or three, even). but something about the anticipation of ripping open a package and finding the prize inside makes me oh-so-happy.

so today, you can imagine, with four packages with my name on each - i am on cloud 9.

first package --- arrived at 10 in the morning. contents: grace's new convertible carseat. what happened next: after hauling it up the driveway, i proceeded to dive right in and get that sucker into my car. i felt like a pro. within a half hour, it was completely properly installed and adjusted for grace. put her in and took it for a drive. results: completely quiet 15 minute drive to mcdonalds and home. delightful.

second package --- arrived at 10:30 and was ignored till i left for mcdonalds. contents: 3 snappis for grace's diapers. what happened next: once we got home from the mcdonalds trip, i marched grace to the room and changed her diaper. after finagling it for five minutes, i finally got the diaper attached using the snappi. results: COOL. practice will make perfect when using the snappi. it's kinda like the silver things you use to hold down an ace bandage. it takes a few tries to figure them out.

third and fourth packages --- arrived at 11 in the morning; the mailman dropped them off about 10 minutes after i got home from the mcdonalds run. contents: 10 premium prefold diapers, an extra snappi from that momma, and 2 outfits for grace. what happened next: took the tags of grace's new 12 and 18 month outfits, which are way too cute. unpacked the diapers. results: a happy momma. the prefolds fit wonderfully; i just put one on her for naptime. the outfits are really cute. i might let her try her new 12 month outfit on tomorrow. it's just darling.

so, there you have it.

i have also made three sales on diaperswappers thus far. i'm hoping somebody else will buy my remaining 10 prefolds that are for sale. *please god, please!*

another thing: i have two carseats in my back seat. it's so strange looking, but then i realize, that's life. we really need a bigger car, haha.

that's my story for the day. it's been good, folks!

Read more...

the ability to spend

>> Wednesday, May 26, 2010

in recent days, i've been introduced to Diaperswappers.com, which might end up killing any hopes of making that down payment on our house. just kidding! but really. i am like a criminal who escaped from the prison, running wild down the streets of an internet thrift store, to sum it up. luckily, chris hasn't yelled at me, because he realizes - 1) i am getting good things for more than half the price and 2) really, it's saving money in the end.

see, i can buy baby boy outfits for $3, trade something i never used for some clothes for grace, buy diaper covers for half off and in great condition, buy some prefolds for more than half off... and sell some things along the way. it's actually really nice. i can buy things in excellent condition, or even still with tags on them - for essentially nothing. i am one of those people who scours the clearance racks searching for cute things; lately, i haven't been able to find anything for our little boy --- because he's going to be a fall/winter baby, the only warm things that are on clearance are sleepers... which we're inheriting an abundance of... but no long-sleeved outfits! do you know how frustrating that is? and can you imagine what a relief it is, to be able to buy a little boy sweater that was only worn once (and it's Children's Place, no less!) for $2? okay? do you understand why the heavens are rejoicing here?

so that's my suggestion for the day: Diaperswappers.com. mom's are selling all sorts of things for dirt cheap. and, as you can all imagine, children are not cheap. baby clothes are really not cheap. (that's something i don't understand: how can a little piece of clothing cost as much as a shirt for me?)

what else... well, my diaper covers from Amazon should be getting here today (or tomorrow, if USPS really sucks that bad: the items are IN tucson, after all.) i can't wait to give them a try. i also ordered some snappi's, and those get here tomorrow...

and we also bought grace a big girl carseat *GASP!* which gets here on Friday. listen, folks. this is a big deal. we bought an Evenflo Triumph Advance LX from Amazon - for $105. I guess the color we chose is on closeout. Hey, I don't really care what color it is (but it's just a basic grey and black, not like, lime green and fuschia.) it's one of Consumer's Reports' recommended convertible carseats and it normally costs $135/$140; it's dramatically cheaper than the Britax carseats, has a higher weight range, and actually scored higher than the Britax overall. i say "yes!"

so, now you know about all the money i've been spending. but hey. if i can spend just about $200 on a carseat, two outfits and a sweater for boy, two outfits for girl, four diaper covers, more prefolds, some snappis, and wool wash; I'd say I did pretty damn good.

Read more...

significant differences

>> Tuesday, May 25, 2010

between being pregnant with grace and this little boy, i can already tell that these two will be very different. this baby seems much more mellow - grace gave hard, hard kicks - he does frequent but gentler kicks. i'm carrying him much lower than i ever carried her. even on the sono, you can tell the distinct differences in their looks; he's got the everitt nose, she has my nose. she's a mini-me, and i've got a feeling he'll will be a mini-chris. grace has more of chris's childhood temperament (wild!) and i think this baby, so mellow, will be a bit more like me. it is amazing the differences from one pregnancy to the next.
















grace at 24 weeks.















baby boy at 20 weeks.

we never did get a good profile of grace - she always had her hand up by her face. she also didn't cooperate for getting a good genital picture - well, he cooperated completely... it's funny. she's the fiesty, stubborn one. i think he'll be the easy, mellow one. i'm so interested to see how they turn out.

it has been a wonderful adventure, nevertheless. a joyful, glorious adventure.

i am so blessed.

Read more...

addictions

>> Monday, May 24, 2010

there are a few things in this life that we are all addicted to. here are a few of mine:

1. Target
2. Diaperswappers
3. Grace
4. My husband, especially in bed. Wait, did I just say that? Oops!
5. Cloth diapering
6. Baby kicks --- only if you've been pregnant could you understand this
7. Amazon Prime... mmm, heavenly quick shipped goodness...
8. Sonic
9. Tanning lotion
10. K Love

So there you have it, folks. This is my "I should be sleeping but I'm not" post, filled with useless information. Better things to come in the morning. Maybe then I'll tell you about my AWESOME DAY.

Goodnight!

Read more...

diaper pins, wool, puke, and all that jazz.

let's be honest. i love the vocation of motherhood.

i have a few confessions to make. first, after using chinese prefolds for nine months, i just now realized how they're supposed to be used. second, after battling with leaky diapers for two months, i just now realized that if i fold the pre-fold correctly (well, a newspaper fold, that is), the cover fits, and we have less leaks. boy, do i feel like an idiot. i've also decided to embark on a journey with diaper pins. part of the reason, i think, that grace's covers have been faling off is simply because the prefold moves too much and in all the wrong places. so this morning, i put diaper pins on the prefold, and i am already feeling more confident about the day.

you would think that after all these woes from cloth diapering, i would've given up. nope - i am convinced that this is still the better choice, even if i was doing it all wrong and it can occasionally be as frustrating as hell. cloth diapering is the best choice for my baby. see, there is something about disposables that makes me cringe - the chemicals, the diaper burns, the rashes, the explosion of disposable crystals all over grace (and everything else for that matter) - all those things have led me to the conclusion that disposables are probably not the best thing you can do for your baby. granted, they are easier, because all you have to do is throw the thing in the trash, but really.

using prefolds and covers are not that hard. i mean, had she been wearing the right sized covers, i probably would've never realized that i was doing it wrong. the only reason i noticed is because i needed to find a way to make these diapers work while waiting for our latest order of (the right sized) covers to come in the mail. quite frankly, how i was folding the prefolds was working equally fine when the cover was big enough for them to be folded that way... then grace grew, got chubby, and suddenly my covers weren't fitting over my improperly folded prefold. hah. lesson learned! now CDing will be a breeze!

honestly, between putting my hands in feces infested water to clean the poop off before it goes in the pail (yeah, my hands get SCRUBBED after that), the diaper pail itself (which now resides outside), and folding all those little diapers - i still choose cloth diapers. it's a lifestyle. it means a little more laundry, playing with poop, and involves pins (i want to buy snappis now that i know what good they can do!) --- but still, after nine months of it, i know it's the better choice. it's not just better for grace, but it's better for my wallet, for the environment, and for my work ethic (yep, it's true).

in other news, i got puked on last night. grace's mouth must've opened about an inch in diameter, and out shot this stream of spaghetti/formula vomit. somehow she managed (i was holding on my hip, so she really managed) to get her vomit from my hair to my toes, all over the floor, all over the clothes, and all over her. it was just me and my in-laws when this happened; let me tell you, it was like the world stopped. no one knew what to do. then, the world started up again, and i ran to the table, stripped grace, grabbed a cloth diaper that just came out of the wash and ran back to try to clean the puke off everything. it was epic. then, my MIL realized that i had puke all over my head (okay, folks, i could barely see out my glasses, it was that bad. half my face was covered, and it was in my hair.) FIL took grace while i ran back to the bathroom (where grace and i had just emerged from not a half hour before from taking a lovely bath), while i got the puke off me. i changed into some dry clothes, and the world was better again.

chris got home from mass two minutes later. he missed the whole thing. boo!

okay, that's my story.

peace and love.

ps: anyone else have some good/disgusting baby stories?

Read more...

one of THOSE days.

>> Saturday, May 22, 2010

okay, i am typically a happy momma. today, however, has been one of those days where i want to punch something in the face (like my daughter, for not sleeping; and her aunts, for being noisy; and my stomach, for the heartburn).

i woke up thinking it was Sunday (yknow, the only day of the week i get to spend entirely with my husband) when it turns out - sadly, and much to my disappointment, it's Saturday. so much for snuggling away the morning and letting grace play alone, and not showering till 10 AM... boo... nope, the day started as usual, bright and early. ughhh. that was the first not-so-pleasing part of today.

i've spent all day online trying to find a new diaper cover that i will love till kingdom come. don't get me wrong - i love thirsties... but i guess between the velcro and frequent leaks (that's because they're too small, she's outgrown them and i am too lazy to buy more), mixed with the fact that i'm having a BOY which means, pink and purple diaper covers aren't going to work so well --- so i should probably buy some that are a little more "unisex" for everyone......... and the fact that i don't want to keep buying different sized covers for everyone... means... i have been in diapering hell. okay? first i considered buying the thirsties duo wrap, but then i read reviews about them just not being as good as the originals. balljam.

i've been reading great things about wool diaper covers, so i decided to look into that. finally, after hours of searching, i've stumbled upon a godsend: LITTLE BEETLES LITTLE-TO-BIG! i am hoping and praying that they really are that good, because they are so damn expensive. i have high hopes. i'm going to buy one to try it out. i figure, between this, plus the green x-small thirsties and the yellow small thirsties, my boy will be covered in the way of covers. please, god, please.

i also am going to end up purchasing one duo wrap, with hopes that it will rock as well. grace really needs a cover that fits right now. we're going nuts with the leaks.

has anyone heard of/tried/know of anyone trying the little beetles or thirsties duo snap wrap? i need some encouragement, haha.

on another note, my daughter is refusing to take an afternoon nap. i think she's been awake for 5 hours now: yep, shoot me. it's been a miserable afternoon.

when can i have my own house? oh, in a month. yep. please god, make the time go by faster.

peace, love.

Read more...

she's really a HE!

>> Friday, May 21, 2010















i mean, occasionally, the sonographer can't tell the secret between a baby's legs. today, however, it was VERY obvious that what we thought to be a she is really a HE!

can i just say, i had a feeling? i mean, when we were told that we were having a girl - i was just not convinced. moms know that feeling; like "are you absolutely sure..." "can you check again?"

today we went in for the routine mid-pregnancy G&A ultrasound, and i had a feeling we were in for the good surprise. after all, this pregnancy has been so radically different from my pregnancy with grace: how could it possibly be a girl? sure enough, lo and behold, there was no sign of labia any longer... and there was a little floater between the legs. i asked her a few times, "and you're sure that's not an umbilical cord?" sorry, okay, i didn't want my hopes to be crushed --- but no, he's definitely a boy.

this is my nursery idea. our furniture is more of an expresso color, but nevertheless, i think this is DARLING (and it's exactly what i had imagined, really.)
















i really like animal themed nurseries. and since i wanted to do a green/brown color theme anyways, this looks perfect to me.

so, world, meet the everitt son. we think he's pretty cute... and already looks like his daddy. he's got an everitt nose!















we love you, little boy!

Read more...

finally feeling it.

>> Thursday, May 20, 2010

at nearly 21 weeks (this Saturday), i am starting to look and feel pregnant. and my god, can i feel it.. now i understand what they mean when they say that it is HARD on your body. see, holding grace takes work, staying awake takes work, and keeping good posture takes work. hey, being pregnant in general is quite the burden, but being pregnant and chasing after your 9 month old --- now that, my friends, borders between insanity and what feels like running a marathon.

after all, your heart does work three times harder during pregnancy than it would normally.

needless to say, i am feeling it. my belly has finally started to protrude enough to where holding grace means either resting her on my hip and as far away from my frontside as possible, or carrying her sideways like a log (yep, i admit it, i do that sometimes. bad mommy! whatever. she doesn't seem to care.)

i get to admit, with pride, that my pre-pregnancy pants still fit. atleast, the 12's do. (yeah, 12's. whatever happened to wearing an 8?)

let's talk about something though. i am 21 weeks: four and a half months pregnant; which means in another four months or so, we'll be holding #2. can you say, "WOW"? because, uh, i can. if you want, i'll say it a few more times... wow, wow, wow.

grace will be just over one when her sister shows up. i am delighted... and aware of my inevitable exhaustion that will follow the birth. once i move in, my freezer will be immediately stocked in preparation for the days when i want nothing to do with the kitchen except to get a glass of water and chocolate.

let me say though. as soon as this baby comes out, i plan on getting in shape. you all better hold me to it. and i need to say: if any of my readers are women in the Tucson area who want to lose a few pounds too, let me know. i am the worst person on the planet when it comes to working out. as in, i'm a joke. i lack the motivation on my own, to form a regular work-out schedule. boo on me.

okay, i need to lie down and snooze for 10 minutes. my head is about to hit the keyboard.

Read more...

home design

>> Wednesday, May 19, 2010

now that we're getting closer to buying the house, i've begun looking into the "details" for the house --- window coverings, wall paint, furniture for the extra bedrooms.. things of that nature. i've gotta say, this might be my favorite part of buying a house - besides the fact that i get a house, and it's mine, and i can do whatever i want with it. that's pretty sweet too.

anyways, this is a huge endeavor --- mostly because i want my house to look great, considering our couches came from Salvation Army and we have a lot of hand-me-downs. listen, i don't care so much: i like our furniture. but i want the house to look kick-ass despite the fact that the furniture is not NEW. i'm thinking the color scheme is going to be something green, brown/tan, and white. i want it to look rich and classic.

i am one of those people who wants something all done at once. you can, imagine, then, why i am stir crazy and going nuts. i want to paint! i want to put up blinds! i want to decorate and put bedrooms back together! i want to organize! i want color and vibrance and candles and pictures. argh!

i want to see the finished product. i can't wait to see the house, FINISHED, PAINTED, DECORATED, TILED! lovely! and i am going nuts, just having to wait for it to be built. you couldn't fathom how frustrated it makes me to know that i can't paint until we officially get the keys. i mean, c'mon folks, just let me paint it now... please.... but no, can't, sorry.

argh. i need to grow in the virtue of patience.

also, i want to buy this dresser. it's the one that matches my bed, and let's be frank. i'm a big girl; i deserve matching bedroom furniture, right?














and this is something like the color scheme i'd like in the house:











on another note, i need to complain about my heartburn. seriously. i never had it with grace, and this time around, my throat is constantly flaming up... i have begun popping tums, only for a few hours of relief. UGH!

so anyways. green, white, brown. sound good? i think yes.

okay, i need to go eat more chalky tums. my throat is aflame again.

anyone have good decorating tips?

Read more...

time flies by, whether you like it or not

>> Tuesday, May 18, 2010

this might be my new all-time favorite picture of grace and i. granted, it's completely blurred and you don't see anyone's faces, but STILL. it makes my heart weak. --- or maybe that's just her? nevertheless, my little baby was snuggling and i had the camera a foot away. SCORE!

one of my favorite parts of motherhood, thus far, is snuggling. something about holding such a small person close to you is breathtaking. it's mind-shattering, heart-crushing, and time-stopping.

as you can imagine, as she gets bigger, the snuggle time seems to be less and less. there are days, though, when she wakes up from a nap and the first thing she does once in my arms is lays her head back down. it's as if she is saying "mom, i'm still tired, but i wanted you to hold me. you're the best."

i try to lie down in bed with her, but that will not do. see, then she discovers the land of sheets and pillows. those are way more exciting then lying with momma. but if i stand there and hold her, she'll let me hold her just a while longer. when i hold her, i am the only thing she wants; atleast for the first minute or two.. then she starts noticing the other exciting things in life, like toys, or the cats, or that mysterious something lying on the floor. next thing i know, she's down and crawling.

they really do grow that fast. i get it now, folks. she was a newborn just 9 months ago --- it seems like yesterday, but now she's crawling (and flirting with her uncles! babies can't understand what's wrong with that..okay? NO LIE!) and babbling away. what happened to my baby whose smile was always fart-affiliated and black poop was infamous in diaper-changing?

so even if this picture sucks, i love it. i don't have more than ten pictures of grace and i snuggling, and she's almost a year old. this is a memory i want to keep fresh in my mind and heart. soon enough, it will be over. she'll be 5, riding a bike, learning math and phonics, then suddenly graduating high school. argh. slow down, life.

please, slow down for me.

Read more...

unaltered

>> Monday, May 17, 2010

i am having one of those days where i want to sit in the bathtub for an extended amount of time, eat steak and drink wine, snuggle with a sleeping grace, watch a great movie, and have mind-blowing sex to top it all off. i want my husband to come home from work. i want grace to take her afternoon nap (she is overtired, overcranky, and "mm-ing" in the crib).

can the day go by a little bit faster?

i was reading my friend Bethany's blog post for the day, which is about how relationships change once babies come along. sometimes i feel like i was omitted from the wrath of God, in regards to "babies changing everything". see, for the most part, (from my point of view) chris and i didn't really change. rather than doing whatever we want, whenever we want; we juggle grace and the diaper changes and feedings, who plays with her when, who does what shopping and so on and so forth... but still get to do what we want, when we want, for the most part. sure, there are times when sex is put on-hold in order to get grace back to sleep, or we don't get to watch the movie until after 9 P.M; but otherwise, i feel like it's still us. i still have my husband and i am happy with where we're at.

am i just one of the lucky few that wasn't plagued with an altered relationship (for the worst)? i mean, i love motherhood. i love marriage. i love the things that i do for fun -- which, to be honest, isn't much besides blogging, reading, taking pictures, and cleaning (boy, am i lame?) ... oh, and stalking people on facebook. hah.

that's how it often felt when i read articles about babies changing everything. i'm happy. we're happy. our marriage is strong. sure, we have our spats (rarely!) but by the time the next day rolls around, all is well.

so while i am glad i've been left untouched and unaltered, i wonder if it's just me. after all, everything else says that your relationship is going to change - and they never make it sound like it's for the better. but mine was... i feel like it's been a lesson in sacrifice, love, generosity, patience, and learning to balance it all.

peace and love.

Read more...

ALS, a link, and a chance for a cure

ALS, or "Lou Gehrig's Disease", is a degenerative disease that causes the motor neurons in a person's brain to die --- leading to the failure of the spinal cord, causing eventual paralysis and loss of muscle control. With ALS, death is inevitable. Upon diagnosis, it usually takes somewhere between two and five years for a person to die from ALS.

Currently, there is no cure for the people suffering from ALS.

I first learned about ALS when I read the book "Tuesdays with Morrie", written by Mitch Albom. The topic has been revisited in ABC primetime show "Private Practice". Now, most recently, I watched ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" that aired an episode about a Georgia man with ALS ("Williams Family") We see the father, diagnosed with ALS, struggling to walk and talk; overridden by ALS, with no hope to see his grandchildren, but an adamant desire to still live while he can.

So why am I posting this?

Here's what I found on the ASL Association website:

"Country music singer-songwriter Mark McGuinn has written a song about the family and the TV program called “Move That Bus,” and the home builder produced a music video.  Several companies are donating funds to The ALS Association every time someone views the video (no cost) at http://www.palmharbor.com/extremephn/video/.  Please encourage everyone you know to view the video."

So, I am encouraging you to click the link, watch the video, and support the ALS Association. No one to deserves to die this way; and with help, we can always find a cure.

WATCH THE VIDEO!

Read more...

"where's the beer?"

>> Sunday, May 16, 2010

chris is giving me this look. like, why are you writing about beer? he knows i am too hyper to function on my own, so he's watching my every move to make sure i don't say something terrible like "i have sand in my vaginnnnnnna" or "i've got a manginaaaa", or, best yet "i will never adopt a russian, an asian, or any kid with pale skin and dark black hair."

but that is the truth, trust me. after watching "Orphan" and "Horsemen", i'm horrified of adopting a child that matches that description. sure, if she's got blonde hair and blue eyes, she most certainly won't kill my family; but if she's got black hair and pale white skin, oh shit folks. we're doomed.

let's be honest. i should not be writing this post. alas, i haven't posted yet today, and i am feeling completely boring at present. my day went like this: woke up, showered, made myself lovely (ha. ha. this great new haircut is doing wonders for my self esteem...), drove to the house only to discover what exciting changes have occurred (and there are many!), came back, did yardwork (20 weeks pregnant and pulling weeds, folks), played pool, napped, made homemade pizza, mass, watched "horsemen" and ate some awesome aphrodisiac we call chocolate cake... and now, i'm writing this. it's been uneventful and lame typical.

so now i am going to do something un-lame. let's just say it will be the best thing i've done all day.

goodnight, folks. sweet dreams.

Read more...

reality check: 2 under 2 in a matter of months

>> Saturday, May 15, 2010

i have enjoyed every single minute with my daughter, thus far. though there are times when i've simply wanted to cry my eyes out and run away, her presence is like a candle in a very dark room. she is my joy when i should be pulling my hair out, and my happiness when i should be crying.

nonetheless, the thought of welcoming another baby into our family is both exciting, but also somewhat disheartening. while i know that grace will greatly benefit from having a sibling --- and i am sure she is going to enjoy it very much; it is hard to accept that soon, i will have not one, but two beautiful children to love and cuddle and kiss. trust me, i am delighted.

but i also wonder --- will i love this baby as much as i love grace? will grace still know she is my girl, even as her father takes over the role as primary caretaker in those first few months, when this next baby is completely dependent on me? it makes me sad to know that when grace and i are snuggling in bed, there will often be another little one joining us. part of me, even now, feels like i have an intruder coming; this is interesting to me, as i never felt that way before grace was born. i never felt like she was intruding on chris and i's time --- so i am stumped as to why i feel this way now.

nevertheless, i must remember that babies sleep a lot and that there will still be plenty of time for grace and i to be alone; as will there be, i'm sure, time when this new baby and i will be alone... and somehow, i will sneak in time for chris and i to be alone. there's no intrusion; just an expansion of family, and thus an expansion of love. maybe the reason i am so concerned is because i wonder if this heart of mine can expand any more? i know it can. even now, i've bonded with this baby. i worry for this baby. i hope and pray for this baby. i can't wait to meet this baby and introduce this baby to her family. i think i am just afraid that i will not have enough love for everyone.

but that is silly. you don't divide your love between family members; your love grows to accommodate them all.

god, help my heart grow and give me the peace that i will have all the love i need.

Read more...

me? i might strangle my daughter. just kidding.

>> Friday, May 14, 2010

please don't call CPS on me. that would make my week even worse.

but seriously, grace is the cranky-queen today. i don't know if there is a stick up her butt or a poopie in the diaper (actually, i know that not to be the case because i just changed the poopie diaper! ARGH!) or what --- but she is making me miserable and i have only been up for an hour. this is grace: "arrrrrrrrrgh-maaaaaaaaa-grrrrrrrrr-raaaaaaaaaaawr" --- she sounds so angry today, to say the least. occasionally, she sounds like a death metal singer with that raspiness in her voice. it is miserable.

needless to say, everything is upsetting grace today. mind you, again, we've only been awake one hour. i was going to go to morning mass (which would've started five minutes ago) but my baby is a cranky-queen. in the bathroom, she made her atrocious sounds the whole time i got ready --- and i didn't even manage to put my makeup on. when i took her out of the bouncer to play on the floor, she crawled to the toilet, the toilet brush, and the sock on the floor (gross). she fell and cried and fussed and finally she got put back into the bouncer for her own safety. meanwhile, all i could say was "NO GRACIE!" but alas, truth be told, she still does not understand what no means. that is going to be a long and miserable lesson.

it didn't get any better when we got back to the room, to say the least.

so she is in the crib, at present. gave her a bottle with hopes she'd just go back to sleep, but no... she's still awake and making cranky-queen noises at me.

who ever knew a baby could have such a good personality almost all the time, and then be like this? and for once, i can't cheer her up, unfuss her, and make her pleasant again. she is just out to be cranky today.

god help me!

Read more...

i'm an NFP cheerleader and proud of it

>> Thursday, May 13, 2010

but that is not to say that i think NFP is a piece of cake, easy to practice, or easy to even want to practice. however, i'm a die-hard catholic, i love my body, and i understand that god never intended any part of life - including sexuality - to be all fun and games.

i have a really hard time with people who say NFP does not work for them. why? because i have TWO uterus's, was postpartum, and still managed to understand NFP to know exactly when we conceived this baby. had my husband and i abstained for those three nights or so, we wouldn't've gotten pregnant. simple as that. at that point, i hadn't even been taking my temperature, but just following the physical signs --- i had lost my thermometer --- and i still knew when i was fertile. wham-bam; things happen when you ovulate, folks, and they're not hard to figure out; your cervix will get squishy and your mucus will look like the snot that runs out of your child's nose during a cold. nope, it's not easy and can even be a little awkward --- i am not going to say that checking your cervix is an enjoyable thing, because quite frankly, i don't see the fun in it! BUT... it is not hard. i don't care how irregular you are: your cervix tells the truth, really.

a lot of couples piss, bitch, and moan about how NFP requires abstinence, and especially if you are irregular, weeks of abstinence... and how destroys the ability to be "unitive" in your marriages. alright, after reading Popcak's book, i am probably going to be the greatest jerk on the planet in this regard. listen to yourselves, folks. seriously? sexuality is the pinnacle of marital unity. i am not going to deny that, either. that, and i know how difficult it is to abstain during fertile periods, or even those questionable periods. chris and i went two weeks once, because i was having insanely fluctuating temperatures (the joys of being postpartum. be prepared for a lack of sex for some time.) i understand that frustration. however, there are other wonderful ways to be in union without being in the sack. prayer, snuggling, movies, long walks, date nights --- there is a plethora of other options out there.

what about how NFP is supposed to bring the couple together, and how usually it seems like it's simply a woman's sport with a husband who just wants to know if they can "do it" or not. alright, i can understand this. but that is a couple's problem, not an NFP problem. as a wife, if you want your husband more involved in your NFP, you have to call him out. i can testify to this. chris would wake me up and tell me to take my temperature. at the end of the day before we went to bed, i'd show him my chart and explain it to him. and yes, he'd say "so can we?" --- but after my response, he would always say "i figured that". he understood enough about it to know what was red light/green light.

but the only reason he was this involved is because i asked him, countless times, to pay attention.

Popcak brilliantly explains that NFP really is an excellent way to grow in holiness. why? because it forces the couple take part in both aspects of the virtues; both giving, compassion, and vulnerability --- as well as temperance, patience, and prayerfulness. it forces you to wait for that fertile time to pass; it forces the couple to discern whether or not this is the time to possibly conceive a child; and when it is all said and done, it allows for two or three weeks of rejoicing in bed. okay? basically one week out of the month, you should be consistently abstinent. and even a man --- who, gosh, they're the ones who always want it anyways (it's not like a woman ever wants it, really?) --- says that NFP is good for the relationship, and that abstaining for X amount of time is good for the marriage. seriously? a man said it. i feel like that speaks tenfold about the importance of occasional abstinence.

i am SO SICK of stupid people, with stupid excuses, who say that the Catholic Church cannot've considered every option; that the Catholic Church is a bunch of old men who are celibate, so how can they have a clue about sex. i am so sick and tired of it: that is the devil's lie. we all know it's a pain in the ass. however, the Church endorses NFP because it is the only way for a couple to celebrate their sexuality as God intended: without withholding a part of the self , without harming the body, without harming the environment, and without physiologically denying the communion that is shared from ejaculation. (this is interesting; upon ejaculation, hormones are released in both partners that cause an even closer bond. it's physical as much as emotional, folks!) it doesn't kill babies, it doesn't fear children, it doesn't philosophically lessen the goodness of sexuality. (this is from the philosophy junkie in me: sex with any contraception is LESS GOOD because it makes impossible a good that should naturally come from the action; sex with contraception disables the ability to conceive a child; however, NFP is perfectly fine, because it does not disable anything --- no "deed" is done to begin with.) NFP allows for the fullness of sexuality as God intended it to be.

so, that's my rant on NFP. i think i've stressed myself out a wee bit too much, as this is the second Braxton Hick contraction i've had since starting to write.

but seriously? do you understand? this is the way to holiness. we have to suffer. we have to endure. we have to believe and trust the Church, because it was instituted by Christ and i strongly believe He is continuing to lead us today.

the truth is the hardest thing to accept, but it's the hardest thing to argue with, when it all comes down to it.

Read more...

spared

>> Wednesday, May 12, 2010

i have to say, with the recent changes Facebook is making, i have gone psycho in regards to securing my profile --- and chris's too, actually. in fact, if you searched for me, i am certain that you would not be able to find me. or friend me. sorry! 

i've gone into serious lockdown. every single thing that could be removed was - except for my pictures and videos. those are on "only friends" mode, and i am joyful about it. i no longer have interests, likes, pages, groups, a political affiliation or religious beliefs; i am not related to anyone except my husband, my DOB is hidden, and there is no hint as to where we are living. if you know me, you know that, but third parties will never know the truth! i don't have a network, a school, or a workplace. i don't have any applications that don't come with facebook, except for my pregnancy ticker (okay, i couldn't take it away. i love it.) that, and i have two hundred less friends now than i did at the start of the day. it makes me sound pretty heinous, huh?

i don't care. as i told my mother, if this is what it takes to keep pedophiles away from my family and spam from hitting my inbox, i am all for it.

but let me tell you: i didn't know how happy it would make those who were spared to know that they didn't get the boot today.

in other news, i love NFP, the Catholic Church, and sexuality. where this is coming from is for another post. i am still too immensely upset to write about it.

until we meet again, folks.

Read more...

into sexland, part deux.

>> Tuesday, May 11, 2010

i haven't posted about the book recently, so i figured i would crack it open again and give you another taste of Dr. Popcak's brilliant writing.

first, i have to admit: this book has already radically changed chris and i --- in many more ways than simply in bed. ultimately, i've been plenty happier with him the last few days; as well as with doing the chores, and playing with the dog. it's pretty impressive what happens when you realize there is so much more to your marriage than what you first thought.

so, Holy Sex. well, i know i said that the next time i wrote, i'd talk about infallible lovers and all those old lies that we've believed about what sex is intended to be.


Popcak has made us a recipe for making an Infallible Lover. here it is.

1 cup Love
1 cup Responsibility; with equal parts self-discipline and stewardship
1 cup Faith
1 cup Respect; with equal parts self-respect and respect for others
1 cup Intimacy; with equal parts verbal and emotional communication
1 cup Cooperation
1 cup Joy
1 cup Person hood; combined with a sense of being made in the image and likeness of God plus a heaping tablespoon of masculinity or femininity.

you might notice chastity isn't listed. well, that's because it is the mix. all those things - those are what makes a person chaste. see, chastity is less about "keeping it in your pants" and more about respecting the time, moment, place, and person when giving the gift of self. so, when you're married - the only person you should be giving the gift of self to is your spouse; at least in the degree that Popcak is speaking of. and there are places you clearly shouldn't give this gift; like on the subway, or on a park bench (although i'm sure we've thought about it at one time or another..)

so, that's what an infallible lover is. Popcak then includes a nice quiz to see where you are in the way of becoming an infallible lover --- i did relatively well. it's sorted into each of the "ingredients" to his recipe, so it flows easily, makes plenty of sense, and gives you a number scale to respond to; easy and straightforward. Total your score up, and Popcak has levels for the types of lover; starting with an infallible lover --- next, thoughtful lover (this is where i scored!), followed by a casual lover, and at the bottom of the list --- student of eroticism (ew!)

after that, he thoroughly explains each of the aspects to his recipe and gives ways to improve those places where you're lacking.

he closes the chapter with something that made me chuckle: "sexuality is more than something we 'do with our genitals'." ha. i giggled.

in the next chapter, he discusses what he calls the "sexuality continuum" --- which represents the five stages through which sexual attitudes evolve. this is where our distortions come in.

stage one: the negative materialists
these are the people who are scrupulous in the worst way. they view the body as this thing; a bad, bad thing that can only lead us into sin. the people who commonly fall into this group are the people who have suffered severe emotional traumas or grew up in an environment that punished more often than praised. Popcak adds that many "sex-addicts" actually fall into this group, because in an attempt to rid themselves of sex altogether, those repressions come out in the worst ways. this stage is filled with false beliefs and misconceptions; but, at its root, i believe it denies pleasure altogether; it fears pleasure, the body, and relationships with people on grounds that it will hurt, and it will do more damage than good. some people in this belief group strictly believe that sex is for making babies; so, the couple ends up abstaining for months and years, because they believe that having sexual pleasure is bad and that the only thing sex should be used for is procreation. however, just because they believe sex is for procreation does not mean that they do not suffer from eroticism. this stage of sexuality is still overcome with shame, is constantly withholding the self (LITERALLY), and is ultimately hurting rather than freeing a couple. Popcak suggests that the people who do fall into this category seek counseling, because it is not ignorance that causes this mindset, but woundedness.

stage two: the positive materialists
the people in this group believe that the body is still bad, but that sensuality is good. this skewed view believes that the mind should only settle on mystical things; ignoring that authentic happiness comes from meaningfulness, intimacy, and virtue --- and not just sensuality. people at this level have a hard time understanding that communication, service, and cooperation are just as important to a good marriage as a healthy sex life and intimacy. they come to rely on toys, S/M sex, open marriages and swinging in order to make their sex more interesting... but it actually ends up leading to eroticism, because sex is simply for pleasure and there is no intimacy involved!

stage three: the interpersonal stage
this stage is when we begin to step out of eroticism. the interpersonal stage is when a couple is capable of welcoming children and begins to set boundaries in an attempt to respect each other, prevent one from treating the other as objects, and still allows for an enjoyable sex life within those boundaries. couples within this stage may struggle with the unwillingness to perform sexual positions or other sexual acts, because one member might believe they are "unequal" or "submissive" (for example, "doggy style" or oral sex). the problem is only aggravated when the couple seeks to deal with these things as sexual issues, rather than an issues with deeper intimacy and finding equality in the relationship. for example, it makes sense that when a woman does all the chores and her husband sits on his butt all evening watching TV, that she might not want to be "subjected" any more --- so she would probably refused a position like "doggy style", which seems degrading at first thought. the second problem with this stage is that lovemaking is viewed as something to do rather than a priority, or something of serious importance to the relationship. so, when a couple is too tired or too stressed or too busy, sex is put at the bottom of the list of things to do... in turn, they also have problems making time for all other aspects of their marriage, like praying together, spending time together, talking, and enjoying one another.

stage four: the humanistic stage
the couple at this stage understands that sex is not just something they do, but part of who they are. this means that the couples at the humanistic stage would not think to neglect their sexual relationship; they give as much respect to their lovemaking as they did to their wedding day --- they would not think to delay simply because of exhaustion or stress. they understand sex to be a re-creation of their wedding day and a celebration of their marriage, and all they are to each other. there is always a passion to their sexuality; not so much in the way of "i am going to bend this way, and you can get in this way" legs-behind-your-neck acrobatics, as much as,  "i am so madly in love with you and i want to serve you in this way." couples at the humanistic stage don't view sex as "being dirty" or "naughty" or "nasty" (ha!) , despite the fact that it may involve interesting elements, it always allows the spouses to honor their godly natures.

stage five: HOLY SEX!
if you're like me, you know what i am thinking. FINALLY. it seems to take forever to get to this stage, but it is welcomed. couples enjoying holy sex understand that God is present in that bedroom (or living room, or bathroom, or kitchen..) and He is truly revealing Himself in an active and powerful way.  for these couples, lovemaking lends itself not only to self-revelation, but to divine revelation. it can make a couple become to connected and in understanding with God; it allows God to reveal his love for us in our marriages. couples who have holy sex experience a joyous vulnerability, which ultimately allows God to heal us through our spouses, in the weird ways... like your stretch marks! willing to turn on the lights and take off all your clothes so your husband can see them? let him love you; love your stretch marks; especially if they are post-partum --- those are the marks of you bearing his children! what's not to love about that, to a husband, who understands that those are the signs of the trial you endured to bring his children into the world. i promise, a man who is having holy sex with his wife will love you anyways. holy sex is when a couple is truly able to imitate the trinity; to have God actively involved; for the love that is shared between the husband, wife, and God can bring forth another person, who, nine months later, will be needing a name.

so. there you have it. that's part one of the book. next time we'll open up part two, which discusses the five powers of holy sex. this is the exciting stuff. it will make you want to have holy, hot sex till you drop.

(just said that.)

later, folks!

Read more...

the laundry room

>> Monday, May 10, 2010

my least favorite chore in the whole wide universe is folding laundry. i absolutely loath it. i have no problem starting it - i don't mind throwing the loads into the wash, adding a little detergent, and letting the machine work its' wonders. i don't even mind finagling all those wet clothes into the dryer... and i especially don't mind sticking my face into the warm, fresh clothes once they're finished drying: but i have a serious love/hate relationship with folding clothes.

in a sense, i love folding them, because i am especially particular about the way and neatness by which they are folded. in every other regard, i hate folding the laundry. i despise it. i especially despise it when i am pregnant because it makes my back hurt. for some reason, when i fold laundry, i get really rigid. i could stand for hours, but it would not hurt my back the way that folding laundry does. don't ask; i don't know why; that's just the way it is.

today i did something i never do. i organized the loads. with two of the three in the process of being washed and dried, i am dreading the signal that will be calling my name in about twenty minutes; the signal that beckons the clothes be taken out of the dryer and folded. to hell with it! my newest solution for the laundry has been leaving it in a pile for an additional three days waiting to be folded.

not today, my friends. today, i am going to kick the laundry's ass. i am going to fold it while it is still hot. hopefully.

on another laundry note, i am starting to despise grace's cloth diapers. they are adding an additional load of two of laundry to my week. you should see the dining room table. there's a mound of cloth diapers on it, waiting to be folded. see what i mean? i ought to get those done before the next load is dry..

stop writing, start folding.

here goes nothing!

Read more...

"i am not skilled to understand"

>> Sunday, May 9, 2010

"what god has made, what god has planned." - dora greenwell

i hope you have all been blessed with wonderful mother's day celebrations. i've got to admit, i've had a great day. it began by chris bringing me a feast for breakfast, in bed; followed by an organizational exhibition that shocked and awed the family; along with a nice afternoon nap; visited some family; ate a fabulous dinner; went to mass. overall, it was a great mother's day.

it was nice to have a day to reminisce and celebrate my motherhood. in part, i rejoiced with the blessings of mothers that i myself have had the pleasure of knowing --- and there are very many that have impacted my own life; equally, i was able to thank god for the blessings of my own vocation to motherhood.

i feel like as a catholic culture, we've been blessed with saints and holy role models to chase after --- st. gianna beretta molla, our Lady, mother teresa --- to name a few. then there are the ordinary women, like my mother, and my mother-in-law, who take raising their children as serious business, and wind up raising some of the best. i feel like i have been particularly blessed with many excellent role models.

there are also mothers who i have not had the priviledge of meeting, but i know with the fullness of my heart were (or are) excellent women and wives --- martha, my sister-in-law's mother, for one; kathy karlman, who was told by a priest to abort her daughter and one of my close friends, karoline.

these are all women that i know fulfilled and continue, in one way or another, heavenly or earthly, to fulfill their vocations as mothers, spiritual guides, mentors, lovers, and teachers for their families.

i hope that i am able to be blessed with the love, audacity, strength, bravery, faith, and hope of these women. i hope that in my journey through motherhood, i can have what it takes to leave a legacy on my family and those around me.

so where ever this journey of motherhood may take me, because as dora greenwell has so fairly put it - i have no idea what god has willed and planned for my life; i only know that at his right hand is my savior, Christ; my lover, my heavenly spouse, and my creator - i hope that i may fulfill all that it means to be a mother.

mother.

Read more...

letters to Mr. Poopie, a healthy baby, and the quest for a bra.

>> Friday, May 7, 2010

okay, i am sharing this because it made me laugh and cry and smile. it was the perfect end to a long day. it was originally written by Laura @ Melodramommy.


Dear Mr. Poopie,

I appreciate the fact that you are a signal of health for my little boy. I would probably hate you more right now if you were Mr. Constipation. But what I don't appreciate is the stunt you pulled on me today.

Baby Boy was playing gleefully with his Tonka trunks & the dog's chew bone (yuck!) And then I smelled your foul presence & was immediately distracted from my most important blogging house cleaning. Since I hate the thought of my precious child sitting in poopie squalor I immediately started to get rid of you as fast as I could.

As I got the diaper tabs undone I immediately knew that there was going to be trouble--call it motherly instincts. Okay, maybe any non-mommy could have known that there was going to be an issue the minute Baby started twisting, turning, & kicking furiously trying to get free. I thought that I had it under control….Until….

You started calling out like a beacon to Baby's heel, which answered your call with a swift kick into the diaper! Flinging you, Mr. Poopie, 50 feet in every direction with a huge lump of nastiness landing right on Baby's face! At which point, Mr. Poopie, you had me, Mommy, shrieking from disgust. Which scared the crap out of Baby (no pun intended) who in turn started screaming & then he slapped his hands to his face in sheer terror! Yes, Mr. Poopie I know you enjoyed this part--he raked you all over his face, up his nostrils, in his ears, on his chest, his legs, & then on me!

Each & every time I thought I had a handle on you, the more I found you in different crevices, between fingers & toes, & even in hair on his head! Oh my Mr. Poopie, you are a clever one you are. I know you were having a hysterical fit of laughter the more I screamed & fought to get you wiped. I know you were having a blast the more I grabbed at wipes desperately trying to get you off of my hands & off of Baby. You may have won that time, Mr. Poopie, but I will win in the end! It’s called “Potty Trained.” You might win some small (and big) battles during the training process, as Laura, your other nemesis as informed me, but eventually I will win the biggest battle of all! And I will teach Baby to flush you with gusto!

Mr. Poopie: 1 Mommy: 0

Until tomorrow Mr. Poopie,

Mommy—you best beware



I died laughing. I can relate to the letters to Mr. Poopie, although my stories are horrifying in a completely different way --- like when Grace's cloth diaper just falls off and is floating around inside her jammies. This has happened on 3 or 4 occasions now. It's mostly result of the fact that she's an active baby and her tummy got too round...That, and I think we need to get a bigger sized diaper cover.

Basically, there are days and nights when she's not sleeping, and I come to discover --- she is soaked, diaperless, and covered in poop. It's a great mystery to the ear, but when you enter the room, you can smell it... And when you get up close and personal, you can certainly see the poopy mess under her clothes. TO THE BATHTUB! Chris and I's personal favorite method for fixing this is using the movable showerhead to hose her down with a jet of water (then she gets to enjoy a nice warm bath...)

In other news, we went to the OBGYN today and the doctor who checked me out was actually a family friend. That's always fun. We listened to the baby's heartbeat, scheduled our sono with the clinic, and called it good. All is well. My favorite part of these appointments is people telling me the risks of my uterus exploding *NOT*. Actually, it might be peeing in a cup. Nevertheless, while I love my doctors, I am over correcting them and letting them know that this baby is in the other uterus --- so have no fear. After I let them know that, they're fine. Basically, I enjoy three minutes of their idiocy only to correct them and put them at peace --- but aren't they supposed to be putting me at peace? Hm.. C'est ma vie.

My friend is getting married in a month, and I'm a bridesmaid in her wedding. The dress came in and I picked it up a few days ago. It looks great. I have lots of room to grow huge and fat. The only downside is I need to find a strapless bra. Tomorrow, I am on a quest to find the right bra --- all the way at the other side of Tucson, in the big bad mall that intimidates the crap out of me. It's huge. HUGE. Luckily, assuming all goes well, I only have to venture into Macy's. Otherwise, I am in deep shit. I've been in the big bad mall once, and was seriously overwhelmed. I got lost. It is huge and poorly arranged. Argh! Pray for me.

That's all for today.

peace and love!

Read more...

into sexland. wow.

>> Thursday, May 6, 2010

alrighty folks, the book came. i know everyone on the planet has judged me in the last 48 hours, but i do not care. this book is just - that - good. as i told my mother on the phone, amist my ramblings about the wonderfulness of this book: chris and i have a great sex life. it hasn't disappeared since we've had grace. it hasn't disappeared through my pregnancy. that spark hasn't gone away.

we have been really blessed with an understanding of sex for what it is --- that unifying act that combines both sensuality and spirituality; basically, us joining together in a way that can actually bring us closer to God, closer to grace (heavenly grace, that is), and closer to sainthood. isn't it awesome that sex is redemptive? that sex is the fulfillment of our marriage, and that because marriage is a sacrament, we are receiving grace upon grace by simply saying "yes" all over again, getting in the sack, and making love? woo! god is good!

sex is a huge deal in marriage. that's why i am not getting off this topic until i feel like i have beaten it into the ground, made sure it's as dead as can be, and then whacked it a few more times.

so, Holy Sex! (part ONE - there are FOUR!)

well, it is extremely well written, to start. i think all my readers have an appreciation for the witty, smart-assed, and intelligent literature - so if you need any convincing to read the book in that regard, i am telling you: it is all of the above, and it is greatly enjoyable. it's easy to read. it's fantastic. so as for readability, it gets an A+.

as for content, A+. i was sending chris these text messages saying "this book is awesome; it's making me so happy; i can't wait for you to read it." the book made me HAPPY, folks. as in, rejoicing. why? because the truth is just that good. Dr. Popcak explains the difference between holy sex and eroticism; that both are very pleasureable, but that eroticism lacks the ability to welcome children, is driven solely be arousal "gotta cure the itch", witholds the whole self; gets boring over time; uses the other; causes shame; and ultimately brings death to the mind and soul, as well as the body.

eroticism doesn't sound so fun. but the thing is, it is so present in our culture. from birth control (which does not accept children AND withholds the whole self by denying the reproductive capabilites), to the need for porn to bring arousal, to thousands of women and men walking with broken hearts because of being used, to STD's, depression, and the inability to connect with another person out of fear - eroticism is to blame for all of these. it is not true love; it is not holy sex. it is the destroyer of one of God's greatest gifts to the married couple.

PS: today is only eroticism; we've got to cover the screwed up schools of thought that have led to sexual dysfunction (and i'm not talking about the physical kind either) in marriages. i'm talking "we only do it once a month because going too often will get you struck down by lightning" or "sex is strictly for making babies and is otherwise dirty" or "god can have nothing to do with that" (because it's not like God invented sex or anything: he didn't put that clitoris on you intentionally, i promise. riiiight. seriously, i'm joking.) Besides that, we have to open up the can of worms as to what an infallible lover really is. And can i just say, i am not quite there yet, but i feel like chris and i are both very close --- and i look forward to spiritually, mentally, and physically learning how to achieve that type of love. (I CAN'T WAIT!)

so, God is good. sex is good. buy the book so you can follow along and see all that Popcak has to offer your marriage. he really will open your eyes and hopefully transform what you believed sex was all about. my heart is already changing, and it's just day 2 in my sexland adventure.

peace and love.

Read more...

holy sex!

>> Wednesday, May 5, 2010

whoa! did i just say that on my mommy blog? oh, well, yes. after all, as katie and philip have constantly let me know - hanging out leads to sex, and sex leads to babies. and, naturally, it appears, that statement is always true for me. after all, two under two... need i say more?

but seriously. it's a book: Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving combines the Church's beautiful teachings on the glory of the body, marital intimacy, and the sack --- with the reality of sexuality, and some things that seem far too taboo to talk about. We're talking about positioning, orgasms, foreplay --- you name it, Dr. Greg Popcak, Ph.D, probably mentions it. I will let you know once I start reading. (The book gets here today; thank you, Amazon Prime)

But quite honestly (and I think my readers are mature enough to accept this - if you're not, you ought just leave), this book is probably one of the best things that has happened to (religious) married couples. A lot of the reviews I have read say that this book isn't limited to Catholics; that if you want to have a better love life, this really is the book to read. We need to stop being scared of our bodies and what they do and what feels good. Catholics are not Puritans, people! God made sex for us to enjoy and it's such a sign of His love and approval for married couples --- that He gave us such a wonderful, toe-curling, mind-blowing way to express our love for the other spouse. (Yep, said that too.)

Spiritual ecstasy for the celibate, orgasms for the married. (Just went there...) Basically, God wants us all to have a wonderful, glorious, joyful climax, irregardless of our state in life -- and He gives us the means to have it!

I've decided as I read the book, I will be sure to include some things that Popcak writes. Let's be honest, I think this is really important. I strongly believe that a married couples' sex lives are critical to their closeness, their growth in holiness, and the longevity of their marriage. There is a reason that the Church requires a couple get special permission from the Bishop if they wish to remain celibate in their marriage (a Josephite marriage). Sex is one of the great ways for a married couple to mirror the Trinity! We're blessed with this expression of marital love and it is not something to be ashamed of!

Anyhow, that's my story. Be prepared for more in the posts to come!

With love.

Read more...

About This Blog

this blog wasn't intended to always be happy or true. it was, however, made to be honest -- an honest expression of my beliefs, my feelings, and what I know to be the Truth. it'll be snarky, sarcastic, and put just as i see the world: might not always be pleasant, but neither is life. i hope that from reading this, i can help you walk through an unopened door and help you see things from my walk of life.

dedicated to

my beautiful daughter, grace anne; this next baby who i hope to love just as much; my husband, who is my strength and inspiration to carry on; my mother and father, who taught me to embrace what i know is right, to love, and to always be the woman God intended me to be; all my siblings, who show me what good the occasional sacrifice, often annoyance, and frequent laughter is.

  © Blog Design by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates

Back to TOP