Saturday, December 17, 2011

blog post with a baby

Well it's snowing outside and its cozy inside (though I could totally go for some good snow shoveling since I'm weird like that). But it will have to wait as the husband and toddler are out at the grandparents indulging in toy trains.  We have had a lot of train play, watching and obsessing going with the toddler, so much that I am constantly looking for places that have train displays for Christmas.
We found on in a greenhouse that entertained the little guy for a while. Part of it looked like this:

It was a pretty well done display, almost a mini version of the Toy Train museum that we went to over Thanksgiving.  

Well, the baby ended up having a rough afternoon, so I'm now blogging at night but its all good.  All I can say is that I honestly love lake-effect snow days where they under predict the snow fall amounts because usually its the opposite.

If you don't hear from me before the start of Christmas, have a wonderful 12 days of Christmas! Cheers!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Advent reflections in a coffee shop

Well, here it goes.  I’m away from both of my children for the second time, the first time was about 30 minutes so I could go to confession.  It’s my me time.  But you know what it always takes me a little while to not worry about the baby and what his needs are.  I’m fine with leaving the toddler he’s independent of me, the baby not so much.  Needless to say here I am in a coffee shop in Tremont drinking some frou-frou coffee drink.  But its good, well except for the fact that I spilled a decent amount of it while trying to sit down.  I thought out loud usually it’s the small children that I have to clean up after but today its just clumsy me, no excuses. 

My husband despite having a super long work day yesterday is being a rock star and taking care of the two kiddos right now.  He lost his voice sometime yesterday so we shall see how it goes.  I hope to keep this up at least twice a month for sanity’s sake.

So how is advent going for you?  I myself have been given the task of reflecting on the Christ child coming as one anticipates a new baby coming.  A baby comes on his or her own time without little say from the mama unless hopefully (it seems weird to say hopefully here but it is due to elective caesarian sections) there is some reason that it needs to be born sooner. So the mamas out there that have had more kids than me can probably attest to the waiting on a baby to come thing especially when overdue is a pain in the butt.  Pregnancy is a weird thing, because by the end even though its easier to take care of the child in the womb you really want them out of you, because 1.) you want to meet them, and 2.) you are so uncomfortable that you just want to be comfortable again.  Now, how does that relate to the Jewish folks anticipating their savior coming?  Well, now its time to hash it out.

First of all we are so used to knowing when Jesus’s birthday is, its December 25th every year, but they didn’t know when their savior was to be born.  They didn’t know how he was to be born.  They really wanted to meet him.  They were tired of being oppressed, and hopefully living in anticipation for ‘The One”.  I know for myself as I said before I was tired of being pregnant, but unfortunately I probably wasn’t the most patient person.  I wonder if the Jewish folks acted irrationally in anticipation of their savior. Maybe or maybe not, but I know I was a little crazy by the end.

So when he did come, they didn’t know how he would show up but he did it awesomely.  And if I think about the little one that was 8 days late! His arrival really was pretty awesome too.  He surprised us all, just as Jesus surprised everyone by arriving in a manger to young engaged Jewish girl. Hmm.

Last, well how did Mary feel.  Honestly being a convert, I still don’t have the relationship with Mary that I want to have.  But little by little I can relate more.  Mary must have had to be in total trust of someone else to let go of all the comments being thrown at her and then to travel at the end of the pregnancy on a donkey, can we say ouch?!  I only liked my birthing ball at the end of pregnancy.  But  the one thing I think she did that I probably could have reacted better in doing, is knowing that all of the pain and suffering she was going through was for something greater than her, and so much better and indescribable when it all came together. 

And these are my thoughts for my first time out in the coffee shop.  Until next time, Happy Advent!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ephraim's birth part 2

So at this point we were on the way to the hospital, and for me since you have to sit in the car, it was a pain in the butt to get there, as I totally hate not being able to move in labor and this time was no different.  But we made the 25 minute trek and I think I ate a pack of fruit snacks in the process of it all.

At the hospital we went to the ER as that was where they wanted us to be, we checked in there and waited for what seemed forever for a nurse from the maternity ward to come down.  Probably about 10 minutes later she had arrived and even though they wanted to sit me in a wheel chair to get there, I insisted on walking there, so I did while holding on to my husband, my stronghold thru this whole thing.  Seriously wanted to hold on to him during each contraction, which was different than last time but I guess I really needed him as my rock this time.

So we made it to the maternity ward, and we walked down the hall to the Holistic Birthing Center Suite, and on the way saw St. Gerard's statue and I remember saying if this baby is a boy that Gerard is going to be his middle name. When we got in the room, the nurse turned on the water for the tub, and then wanted to check my dilation status.  I really was having issues being on my back so she checked me when I was on my side.  She kind of freaked me out by saying that she didn't feel a cervix anymore, and I really had no idea what that meant at the time and when I learned that I was fully dilated at this moment, I was in disbelief.  I had only been in labor for a little over 4 hours, and only consistently for a little over 3 hours.  My last labor was 30 hours!

Because I was in transition, the nurse called in the on call doctor, because apparently my midwife wasn't there yet.  I got up in the meantime and decided that I felt like using the bathroom.  My water broke over the toilet and then I knew it was close.  The doctor came in and I was told I had to be on the bed and deliver on my back.  This was the last thing I wanted to do, because for the whole labor and even in pushing I wanted to be on my hands and knees, but in OB land this isn't a possible delivery position.  So I reluctantly obliged. The only thing I had going at this point was that it only took a few pushes to get the  baby out probably because it was a second baby, and not my first which took about 2 hours to push out.

When the baby was out, I learned he had his cord wrapped around his neck twice, but they got it off, and it he screamed almost instantly.  My husband said he was bluish at first, but I never saw him that way.  And when we knew he was a boy we named him Ephraim Gerard.  A few unfortunate things happened due to being in OB land, such as getting a shot of pitocin because I apparently was bleeding a lot, the cord being cut too early, and my placenta being pulled out.

To not end on a bad note, there were good things about his birth. They didn't wisk him away but allowed me to do kangaroo (skin to skin) care for 2 hours post birth, and there was no monitoring of fetal heart rate due to lack of time.  So even though it wasn't the ideal water-midwife birth, Ephraim was healthy and beautiful with a full head of hair.

The END.

The birth of my second son...part 1 of 2

So here is,  the birth story of Ephraim.  Now where to start,  let's start with the fact that he was overdue.  This in itself threw me for a loop because Ben was almost a week early. So those last few weeks were hard, and when the baby was a week overdue, I had hit a block in my mind that I was never going to have the baby and felt like it was going to go on forever! So I went to visit my neighbor and vented to her, and she listened and suggested a unorthodox way of calming down, which seemed to work.

The next day I woke up and praying and thinking about this baby in the womb and had an attitude change.  That day I decided to think differently from the day before by saying that instead of the baby never coming, the baby would come.

My friend K had invited Ben and I over to hang out with her and her kiddos, so we drove over to her house and had the kids play together and chatted.  We left after lunch and came back home for Ben to take his nap. After not being able to nap for about a week I actually fell asleep during nap time. When I woke up I felt sick and just off.  I did some laundry and then when Ben woke up I fed him some yogurt and as usual finished it off for him.  Oddly though it didn't taste right, something was off.  I wanted to take him to the library that afternoon to get some more books in case the baby came because we had missed story time that morning where I would have normally exchanged and acquired said books.

We didn't get to the library because I started to feel sick a little after 4 o'clock, so we went to town drawing with crayons in the coloring books at his little table.  I called my husband a few minutes later saying something wasn't right and I was being to feel cramps, and I asked him if he thought I should call the midwife. He said that probably was a good idea. In between calling the midwife, I called a friend and asked her if this was labor I was experiencing because it was nothing like I remembered, all the pains were low, and it felt like bad cramps.  Last time it was like full out contracting of the uterus, or at least that was how I remembered it.  She said it probably was, and to again call the midwife, so I did.  The office assistant told me I could come in and be checked, but I said well I don't really want to drive and my husband isn't home yet, so I'll wait it out till I know this is for real.

Well things quickly got intense, and after my husband got home at 5:30, I was pretty sure this was labor, it was getting worse not better.  I attempted to write and email and got no where, and then I decided to attempt some tub laboring, and that totally didn't feel good either.  All I wanted to do was be on my hands and knees by leaning over my exercise labor ball.  So that's what I did.  I managed to eat some chicken nuggets with the kiddo for dinner and then by 7-7:30 I told my husband to call his parents to get them to take Ben.  Well they were at a concert for his youngest brother, so we had to call the neighbor to take him and she thankfully could. We still had some hospital bag packing to do, so my husband quickly threw things in the bags and off we went.

part 1 of 2. part 2 coming soon...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Accent vlog

So I did the accent vlog. I included my husband in it because we grew up in different areas of the country and have definitely had different exposures to areas where accents could be different.  I originally heard of the accent vlog thru those associated with the Blathering, and while I am at the most on the outer fringe of being part of the in crowd associated with the Blathering, I decided to go ahead and shoot it. I am also super huge and pregnant in this at 40 weeks 5days, in case you were wondering.

So here it is.

I probably have an accent, or at least I know I mumble.  But if I do have an accent, I am no longer sure of the origin.

The notes associated with the vlog are:

Say the following words:
Aunt, route, wash, oil, theatre, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup, pajamas, caught

And answer these questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Embracing the challenge

Okay for some reason this took like a month to write, so the date was almost 4 weeks ago, but everything else is pretty current.

Usually this kind of post would be something I would write after a spiritual direction section. Nonetheless this is pre-one of those sessions.  My husband and I went out on a date yesterday and it was really nice to get out because the kid has been super clingy so we weren't able to do much for like a month without him.  But he let us go out on a date without him and he didn't do his escalating crying thing which is awesome because we did have to go back and get him due to a puking incident.

So the conversation we had started with me not being content with how I was living out who God called me to be. In the way that I am good living out my vocation as a mama but I feel that there is something like a niche missing.  I've kinda felt this post grad school for a while, but I just haven't had much time to think about it.  Most of the time there other stuff to do or sleep to be gotten.  I've been selling books on amazon and attempting gardening, but I still feel like something whether it be volunteering or doing something jus 2 hours a week that makes me grow.  And honestly, I still haven't figured this all the way out.  Maybe spiritual direction is good for something this time after all.

But what we did seem to tackle is a bigger vision, one of challenge. Being open to life comes with challenge.  It can be hard if an unexpected life is made or that maybe that a child has a disability which means extra attention and time have to be given or maybe life may seem chaotic with multiple kids that are closer together than what the world says is okay to have siblings.  But this challenge is an awesome one to be faced with because it deals with life. And life is something that should be celebrated.

So as we take on a new baby into our home (whenever he or she decides to come out!) it will be a challenge.  And God willing in the future we will have more babies to love.  But instead of wanting a comfy life where we only do what we want to do, we will be open to what God wants us to do in our lives.  And this is the challenge and it will be embraced...or at least give our best effort to do so.

Monday, October 10, 2011

40 weeks

It's just an average right?  Averages barely mean that any child will be born on their due date.  But passing it now, or close to it as there is about 1.5 hours left in the day, really it makes me think to say, "Kid you can come out already."

~The End

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fun at the Apple Farm

Today we went out to the near countryside (as much as suburbia is the countryside) to visit a local apple farm.  It was a really fun experience because they almost made it a slight amusement park but with activities that mostly require physical activity with a fall flavor.  So we climbed and navigated thru corn, and the boys slid and jumped and ran.  I know we kept the kiddo out during nap time but he thoroughly enjoyed it and we did too.  And we came back with lots of apples and cider to enjoy too.  Here is a little evidence of some of the fun we had.

I've decided at 39 weeks that I am now in operation walk this baby out of me.  So thus, walking thru corn mazes and up and down hills were a perfect way to spend today.  I hope you too are enjoying fall.  Part of me is sad summer is over with the daylight dwindling but I am feeling more and more ready to take on a new challenge with baby #2 and am anticipating meeting him or her.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Random music thought on my birthday

As I was listening to the Taylor Swift CD that my husband got me for my birthday, I was thinking about how it seems in my music listening habits Miss Swift has seemed to replace Avril Lavigne.  I think somewhere post divorce, Avril kind of decided to go skanky pop instead of what she was, so unknowingly I subbed in Taylor Swift and she's been stuck in my one random girl pop artist that I like.  I think the Mine video really made me like her, because who doesn't want a happy ending.  So that's my thought of the day. Now to return to indie/punk rock listening. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

probably a bad parent

So the kid had continuously climbed up onto the dining room table this morning, and each time I got him back down. The last time he decided to take things into his own hands, but apparently missed the chair as a step on the way back down and was dangling off the table for a wee bit.  The table isn't that high, and really I thought hmm, you got yourself into this, and really no real damage is going to come of it except the table cloth is gonna come with you when you fall on your bum.  So I let him fall.  Laziness or trying to teach a lesson too early probably, but he didn't get hurt one bit.  So parenting failure or not, it is what it is.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lessons from the garden

So this year as you may have known, I attempted a small garden.  So far the results have been mixed.  I do think that I have learned from it.

First: while herbs grow well in pots, in what I have experienced veggies do not.  And maybe this is due to over crowding, but really the plants seemed to take off once they were put in the ground and out of the pot.

Second: Apparently cherry tomatoes are much easier to grow than bigger ones.  At least this is what is happening over here.

Third: No peppers, I have six live pepper plants and nothing has amounted from them.  Grr. I love peppers.

Fourth: Zucchini totally needs to be in the ground but seems to be kind of fragile as the flowers seem to keep popping off so thus no zucchini either.

Fifth: Apparently I really suck at keeping cilantro alive; the same happened with dill last year.

And those are what I can think of for now.  If you have any gardening advice that I can take away and store for next year's try at gardening without pots (except for herbs), as long as its charitable its more than welcome.  How is your garden treating you this year?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Oh teething baby....

Why do you have to scream so much so early in the morning?

Here's to hoping they pop all the way through by our trip to VA this weekend.

Oh and if anyone wants to come play with the crazy kiddo they are more than welcome.  Just know he screams a lot.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Menu for the week

Honestly I don't do a daily menu but more so make sure I have about 5 dinners planned out for the week.
This is what I picked this week.
1. Southern Cobb Salad
2. Potato Cobb Salad - minus the bacon for meatless Friday
3. Strawberry Spinach Salad
4. Cucumber and Tomato Ranch Pasta Salad
5. Summer Tortellini Salad

Can you tell there is a theme that I am not turning on my oven this week?  90+ with no AC means minimal cooking and thus we get a week of salads. Should be yummy nonetheless.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Ah what a 4 years its been. Praying for lifelong continued happiness.  Its been a wild ride thus far, and I bet it will just get crazier and sweeter.  Here's to continuing to help my husband get to heaven for the rest of our lives, and now our borrowed kiddos from God too.  Cheers.  :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Overnight get away

So as means of having an overnight get away from Ben we decided to utilize Living Social and go to a B&B nearby for half price.  It was fun.  The place was called the Hillbrook Inn and looked like this from the front entrance.

Some rich guy brought over part of a castle from England to make his mansion and later it became an Inn and country club. Me being an architecture closet fan, loved the years behind this place.  The room we had was very nice, and honestly we were probably one of 2 guests the place had that weekend.  A lot of their efforts go into weddings/receptions that they seem to hold every weekend.  So we had some fun exploring the grounds and went into the town of Chagrin Falls to eat that night.  Apparently my appetite came back recently in this pregnancy 'cause food suddenly tastes good again.  I probably still like strange stuff, but the fact that I can eat and enjoy it is awesome.  So thus dinner was good and dessert was good. The next morning we found the room of breakfastland and ate oatmeal, granola, muffins and fruit.  The one thing about this place because they weren't run like a hotel is that if you wanted to know something you had to ask, otherwise you were left to explore on your own.  We probably did split the asking and exploring 50/50.  
We were sad we forgot our tennis stuff because they had 5 nice courts there, but we did remember to bring stuff to swim, and swim we did.  It was fun to just relax the two of us and have fun playing water games with Keith pretending to be Solid Snake and me attacking him with a water gun/kick board.  
Afterwards, we were set to have lunch at the place as part of our Living Social deal.  So we asked about lunch and they set us up our own private table as we said we were like the only non-wedding folks there, so it was kinda like we lived in our own little world.  The food was simple but good and filling.  

So after lunch we went to pick up Ben and well as much as I missed him, I'm not so sure he missed me or rather us.  He was just playing away at his grandparents without a care in the world and apparently was really good for them the whole time.  I guess he's becoming less needy, and maybe its the attachment parenting thing that makes him trusting of a few others besides me.  I dunno, all I know is that God made us be able to have a successful night away and a toddler that was ready to be away from his parents.  Thanks :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thrown together

1. No-Poo Deal - So I have been attempting the no shampoo way of washing your hair, subbing shampoo and conditioner for baking soda and a apple cider vinegar solution.  So far I have little complaints, only thing is that I am bad at remembering to put the baking soda in my hair before getting in the shower.  Other than that my hair feels way less itchy.  I really like the vinegar as conditioner, it just seems to work really well with my curly thick hair.  Though I noticed that a morning shower on a like 99% humidity day still makes my hair look like a frizz ball.  Anyway, because its going well, I am definitely going to continue this.

2. Down-syndrome babies - I read a blog on Catholic Mom today that said that 5,000 babies are born with down-syndrome a year in the USA, and that since 90% of down-syndrome babies are aborted, this means we are missing 45,000 babies.  It's just sad. So many people that I have heard from who have raised a down-syndrome child have said that it has been such a blessing.  I don't have any first hand experience, but I could see why as I remember the one girl that had down-syndrome that played field hockey with me in middle school.  That girl was so sweet and so determined in everything she did.  So the author goes more into it, but I just wanted to mention it and say it was worth the read.

3. My kids are borrowed from God - My good friend sent me a forwarded saying or quote by Roy Lessin what struck me was this:

"Your children are precious to Me. Even more precious than they are to you. I have entrusted them to your care to raise for me. What you invest in them is an offering to me."

I love how its a reminder that my kids are really God's kids and its so much bigger than me, but at the same time what I do actually counts. It affirms my decision to be at home because I can and that is what God wants me to do, because I get to invest in my kiddos more this way and to me this is important. 

4. Chaos and embracing it - Speaking of kiddos, come October, things will be a little chaotic with a newborn and a 19mo old, but I am going to try my best to embrace the chaos.  It's taken a little while to own up to it all, but I think its gonna work out alright.  Embrace the chaos, right?

Friday, June 10, 2011

10 Updates

1. I am now 22 weeks pregnant, which seems kinda crazy as to how in the world did I get to this point already but I am thankful its been a pretty smooth pregnancy.  Definitely much harder finding food I like and want to eat but other than that I think its been okay.

2. On a side note I finally feel like I need to slow down a tad in what I attempt to do each day.  My hip expansion has kicked in this week.

3. Ben I think is going thru a growth spurt this week, or he's just catching up on the missed sleep over the weekend. He sleeps thru the night when he goes down, its just getting him down that is sometimes the hard part.

4. Randomly,  today we got a free fire truck push walker at a garage sale.  I'm amazed at the things a cute kid gets you.  Yesterday it was a free glass of kool-aid.  Craziness.

5. I actually have started sewing some of my projects again.  I still have two major ones, fixing a dress to fit and a shirt to fit.  Both that are way too big in the shoulders.  Even though I'm tall I've got a bony little upper body minus the baby sticking out out front.  Legs on the other hand, well you don't play soccer and run cross country for upteen years without acquiring some good muscle on those.

6. I am attempting a small veggie garden this year.  All in pots because I didn't know where to start a garden in my yard, so I figured I had a bunch of pots so I might as well use them. I am attempting to grow tomatoes, red and green peppers and zucchini.  I still have herbs as well and am hoping they continue to thrive like they did last year.

7. We signed up for the summer reading challenge for Ben.  While we read everyday, I am bad at logging the time.  So I have to estimate it all.  And also they want like one title of the books you read for every half hour which is impossible for a toddler and board books.

8. So we got back the results of Ben's lead test and they were double of what they want them to be so both Keith and I have been going into a cleaning frenzy and I have made Ben now actually consume his iron vitamin and so far if you put anything in his milk he will drink it.  Maybe I should make him smoothies and have him eat his fruits and veggies this way too.  I don't give him juice because most of the time he spits it back out and really juice is not that good for you, to me its like drinking soda with a little bit of vitamin C.  So anyway we hope that our house will be lead paint free or controlled at least and we will get that kid's lead levels back to normal by 18 months.

9. I have I told you how much I love having a produce store on the corner of my neighborhood.   It helps that the people that run it are super sweet too.  They have good prices and try to get local stuff as much as possible too.  A good deal all around.

10. I started selling books on amazon.  So far I've sold 2 out of the 18 I put online.  I still have a good 20 more to add to it, so I should probably get on that so I can sell more and declutter my bookshelf.

Take care all!  Hopefully I will post again at a better rate than I have been.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weaning the first

First a disclosure, for those of you of the male type who don't like reading about mommy things, well then this isn't the post for you.  On the other hand if you like hearing about mommy things then keep reading.

So weaning.  Wow.  First of all I want to say when I approached the topic I was scared of doing it.  I thought it was going to be super hard and I was going to have tantrums and the such.  Maybe my baby was ahead of his game but really I thank God for helping us through it all.  Because I didn't know how it was gonna all go down and it ended up being way easier than I thought it would be.  Jordana over at Curmudgeonry gave me some excellent advice as a mom who had been through it more than once. And if I didn't thank you before, I will now.  Thank-you, you helped a lot.

I asked advice on this topic in February but didn't actually start the process till March.  I tried in early February to night wean and man did we have tantrums.  But a few weeks later the same thing was tried again and there was success.  It was just odd.  Part of philosophy was that I wasn't going to force it on him to a point.  I wanted there to be a more natural component to the weaning and oddly there was throughout the whole bit of it.  So the second time we tried night weaning it was a success and so then we were just down to 4 nursing sessions a day.  I decided that at nighttime I would keep a sippy cup of water on the night stand for him, and this has saved a bit of screaming sessions from being endless.  I think the kid just gets thirsty sometimes cause he's a heavy drooler.  Apparently this is a family trait from my side of the family, go figure.  Not something that is very elegant for a girl to have as a family trait.

Around the same time Ben was transitioning from 2 to 1 naps a day, and since for him association of nursing with sleep helped us cut down the 4 feedings to 3 in a pretty easy manner.  There was a week in there that he caught a nasty cold and so I let him go back up to 4 feedings because it seemed like he needed it but then when all was well again he didn't object to the 3 feedings.

After this I started noticing that he would pass out in the car on the way home from things like morning storytime at the library and such.  Normally he would wake up and I would nurse him to get him back to sleep.  Well I started feeding him lunch of big people food prior to the car ride home and it worked to keep him asleep and soon we were down to just 2 nursing sessions a day.

The last two nursing sessions were the killer ones to me, just because to me they were the key to having this kid sleep 12 hours at night.  We would nurse before bed to ensure a full belly for good sleeping, and then again at like 6am to give me an extra hour or two of sleep out of him.  So maybe I was a little bit selfish about not wanting these to go away, but who can blame me I am and was pregnant so sleep is precious to me.

So of the last two nursing times, I first chose the before bedtime feeding thinking I could sub out a bottle of milk for breastmilk.  Unfortunately, Ben wouldn't have it.  He would drink the milk fine, but he wanted to nurse too, probably more for comfort but nonetheless he wasn't ready to give that time up.  So I waited a few days, and decided well maybe, just maybe I can get him back to sleep in the morning without nursing him.  Well it worked and then not really.  I think having the water nearby helped, mainly because sometimes he really was thirsty from too much drool, but overall the kid does rise earlier.  But what helped me to continue to get my sleep was my awesome husband.  Who has to get up for work at an earlier hour than I like to get up, so we decided he could take care of Ben for an hour or 2 before work and I could get my precious pregnant lady sleep.  And man am I so thankful for him and his sacrifice and help here.  I don't think I would make it through the day without this extra sleep sometimes.

So finishing this out, the last nursing session went on for a few more weeks, until I noticed a difference in the way Ben was behaving towards it.  He no longer was nursing to sleep he was nursing in like what some would consider a snacking manner and then kicking his way to sleep.  So I just decided that it seemed like he was ready, so I stopped one night and made my husband put him to sleep to make sure he would know nursing wasn't an option that night.  And the first night it didn't work, but the second night it did.  And then the 3rd night due to circumstance I had to put him to bed again and we just cuddled and rocked it out and there wasn't any fight.  So as weird as it was to me I was done nursing. It was 2 months ahead of the deadline I gave myself, and I didn't have any pain from stopping so I guess the kiddo was weaning himself in the process and probably the pregnancy hormones were helping limit the milk.  Thankfully he is still growing well, he apparently gained 1.5 lbs in 2 months(the weaning months) so I know he's still getting food, just from other sources than me.

So that's my first story with weaning.  It was interesting to live it but I'm glad through it all it worked out.  To me it just evidence that if you are persistent about your prayer, God does listen!

Friday, May 6, 2011

blogging rut

I have started a few posts but didn't know how to finish them without sounding like an idiot, so, thus, I didn't.  So to end the lull, I will do a picture post.  Here's what Ben and I have been up to the last few weeks.

We've been having fun playing in parks.

Hanging out at the zoo.

And playing in the sand box/table.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Outside My Realm of Thinking

I was originally waiting to post on what I learned this lent, because for me its been a hard lent.  But something else came to mind today, of which may just be a little bit of my lesson from lent after all, but almost I think it stems from the new year and resolutions made then.

Post thesis I was determined to figure out who I am outside of studentdom, and what it meant to be me.  For a while I felt like I wasn't making any progress because I wasn't accomplishing what I thought I had to do.  One of the things I was determined that I needed was to find young Catholic moms who could enrich me and I them and we could talk about how to teach the Catholic faith to our kiddos etc. I thought this would help me be spiritually fed in the way I wanted to be and so it had to be a good thing.

Well today, I went to a young Catholic mom play and pray group.  There was nothing wrong with it, but I realized once I was there, that it was not how God wanted me to be spiritually fed.  I think I would even return to it again, because Ben seemed to have fun, though he totally was doing his own thing most of the time. (totally my kid in this because apparently I drove my mom crazy with this behavior.) So, even though it was a good experience, my eyes were opened to what I already had.

I realized in what I already had, that I was being spiritually fed.  I had been going to a Catholic Women's Bible Study once a month, and while most the people there are all at least 15 years older than me its been feeding me spiritually in a way that I originally didn't think it was.  Originally I felt like the odd ball that was too young to have any wisdom and speak up in the group, but I kept going, a God thing for sure, and eventually I did have things to say and share that were well received.  And besides that for a lot of it I enjoy sitting back and taking it all in because these women do have a lot of faith wisdom to share even though I originally didn't think I fit in with them.

Besides that, I have been having play dates with 5 or so young moms all in different spiritual states, none of them practicing Catholics.  Oddly, I find I have a lot in common with them.  And as my husband alerted me to yesterday, as I was overhearing his conversation (bad me!) to another friend on the phone, I am being spiritually fed by these ladies too.  These ladies stretch me to listen to another faith perspective and to reassure me of my own faith choices.  I get to practice compassion in a whole different way to those who are maybe like me in some ways especially when it comes to parenting but totally approach things differently in other ways such as faith. Each woman is so unique and I love learning about each of them as we grow in our friendships.

And so as my facebook status kind of states: Sometimes, when you are looking for something, you begin to realize you already have it.  It's just in a different form than what you thought it should be, and it takes the searching to make you appreciate what you already have.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Food Cravings and Aversions Take 2

I have been told that each pregnancy is different, and this has totally been proven to be true so far. Thus, I wanted to list my food aversions and cravings, and if you don't care about this, well tough luck.  I am gonna list them anyway. I should then link back to the post from last time if I can find it in the archives. (yes, that would be the smart thing to do!)

BBQ chips, seriously decided these were the best things in the world one day.

Grapefruit - I am totally upset that it only has like 80 in a whole one.

Peanut Butter - I think its a protein thing.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ice Cream - Totally buy this every week at Target.  I should invest in a vat of it.

Greek Yogurt - It has good protein in it!! and for some reason I like that its thick & I feel full after eating it.
Salad - Raw veggies rock my world right now.

Fruit Salad - I went to this international dinner with any dish imaginable there and man the only thing that satisfied me was this.  Oddly it was apparently made by a German, don't associate fruit salad with Germany is all I am saying.

Chicken Nuggets and French Fries - Pretty Standard as it was core of my diet last time.

Hard Boiled Eggs - These were totally my snack of choice for the 1st trimester but since week 13 hit I've been over egged out.

Mint - For the lover of all things mint, this is weird.

Cooked Veggies- Stirfry as much as I want it to taste good just doesn't.

Fish - More recently, I think its because Lent has me all fished out.

So I am sure there are more, and my husband could tell you them.  Overall, its been a challenge these past 5 weeks, because this lent we made it a commitment to not eat out.  And really up till week 16 I know for sure my mind changes all the time on what actually tastes good at the moment.  Needless to say dinner is a challenge and my loving husband just kinda eats whatever I make and I hope that I still like it too when I'm done cooking it.  I've gained some weight so I guess its working so far.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Judgemental Me and the Woes of NFP

Simcha Fisher is a fabulous writer.  With her straight to the point attitude about all things Catholic, its really refreshing to read her blog.  Recently she wrote a post about NFP and how we are always judging others in their spacing of kiddos and why the Catholic Church doesn't have super specific rules for use of NFP. You can find it here.

I know from the short 4 years of being Catholic NFP is a hot topic.  For the Catholics that follow it can be refreshing, but it also with it come challenges.  Things I never really thought about in the first year of marriage.  I mean honestly the science behind NFP is actually quite easy (in most cases, I know some folks have difficulties with cycles), but the practice of it is a little more challenging.  Basically its because it 1.) requires you to be on the same page as your spouse about all things sex related  2.) Requires you trust God instead of throwing something between you and God.

Trusting God is hard in general, and when it comes to baby making well of course since its a life changing/making thing its gonna be super hard.  I know for my own self, that I have definitely had my prayers that consist of yelling at God because I don't like the circumstances he has put me in when it comes to making a new life.  But as Simcha Fisher put it that is one of the great things about NFP, is that it forces to to talk to God about your circumstances.  It opens things up and helps to keep a relationship with him, and as for us Catholics, it doesn't make us fully go by the book on what the Church says.  Because as she says God wants to hear from us on this, not just go by what the church says.  So despite what some folks think about the Catholic church, the members of it do pray to God one on one in words of their own especially about things like this.

For me whether it was a miscarriage, or a semi-stint with infertility, or now not being done with breast feeding but being pregnant among other things (yes, there is a new little one on the way and it was planned), these are things that I have had to go to God one on one and with my spouse too because we want God in our marriage!  It doesn't eliminate the hardness of them, it just lets him know that all 4 (God, Keith, me, and baby) are in this together. And we are gonna trust, and what better way to trust than with this very big and personal part of our lives.

And so to end on maybe a not so positive note, I titled part of this post as Judgemental Me.  And Simcha touches on our judging of others with their practice of NFP.  I know I so find myself doing this, worst of all places in the middle of mass.  Why I dunno?  But I've started to think more and more about it and I know that God will only give you what you can handle.  But at the same time I don't know each individual's heart.  And to say you need to have another baby would be rude and maybe not what they need right now.  I think something that I always forget about what the Catechism says about NFP use is that we are supposed to be responsible parents.  And to sometimes have another baby wouldn't be the responsible thing, or vice versa we could be irresponsible by wanting the latest gadget instead of being open to life.  It goes both ways.

So I don't know where you stand on this all, but from just a few years experience under my belt I sure could do a whole lot more praying and learning in this topic.  I want to become more compassionate in this area, but also let people know about the amazingness of NFP versus contraception in their marriage. So I guess it comes down to pray, pray, pray and trust, trust, trust.
Have a good Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Things I would normally write on twitter but can't

due to social media fasting during the day. Though since they are on here, they are gonna be more than 140 characters. :)

1. Just so it makes sense, I decided on a social media fast during baby waking hours during lent, so that I can be more present and also when I long to check facebook, I can remember to trust Jesus, as that seems to be a pressing need in my life right now.

2. Random happening at Target yesterday.  When I went in to buy party supplies for Ben's big 1st birthday bash we were oddly greated by two police peoples or may security folks (I say this because it was a guy and gal combo) accosting a shoplifter that apparently was totally being non-compliant.  A little scary to say the least, though Ben wasn't phased at all.

3. Insanely, my entire big old family is coming to Ben's 1st birthday bash this weekend.  Insanity of 20 people in my little house.  Praying we get thru it without drama.  As the inlaws will also be there, and for some reason jealousy always ensues.  And with my current state I suck at keeping things inside.

4. I used to be the person that would try to get more than one wear out of a piece of clothing, but now thi seems to never happen, because now, they are food encrusted by my baby/toddler.  Which is he by the way?

5. So totally not changing Ben's Ben time didn't backfire, but oddly he adjusted to the new time.  What's up with that?  I, on the other hand, am still so sleepy!

6. I am making a meal for Maggie's Place today, here's to hoping its well received.

7. I'm excited about Honey Hut opening tomorrow and in celebration our little family is taking a walk there in the evening for ice cream deliciousness!  w00t!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

snow, non-studentdom, and other tid-bits.

I realized that I haven't blogged in a while. I wanted to write a post on compassion vs. moral obligation, but I totally don't have the brain capacity to delve into it tonight.  There are a few things happening around here, some good, and some I'm not read to discuss.

Anyway, yesterday we had a huge blizzard that actually closed CWRU, which is such a rareity since Case stays open for almost everything that I feel like it should be marked down in history so that's what i am doing.  I also decided that I would much rather have a blizzard than a tornado which happens in the warmer climates during this time year.  Having experienced more tornadoes than I would like to in my college experience, I can vouch for this want of a blizzard.  I honestly think this would also be one of my major deterrents for living in the southern midwest. Well, that and the insane humid summers.

Thursday, I officially turned everything in for graduation, and this means I have no more obligations to the school that impend my graduating.  Instead now I must clean out my office and turn in my keys.  A sad day it might be that I do that, but at least its no longer impending doom.

Ben has developed this hair pulling habit that I think he does out of frustration, but I don't really understand why he wants to self-inflict pain on himself.  If this something I should worry about let me know.  I think its simply a sign of more teeth further back in the mouth coming in.

We went to a birthday party today and it was fun.  However, this means that Ben's birthday is approaching upon us.  It's crazy to think that he is soon one.  Or as my husband says he will upgrade from 3G to 4G.  Apparently 4G is meaningless but I guess to him this is his way of saying that Ben is having a birthday.

So yeah, I am super tired and so am going to turn in. Have an excellent second part of the weekend.

Friday, February 11, 2011

7 quick takes

1. Ben took some first steps a day shy of 11 months, and I was super excited for him. But I am sure I will miss my baby soon.

2. I screwed up a deadline for graduation and luckily was approved an extension.  But I have totally been working my butt off to get it done by February 25th.

3. Last Friday Ben and I checked out the Children's museum of Cleveland and he loved it.  Unfortunately we had a little fall when there, but the crying was short lasted, and he didn't want the fun to end.

4. Tents have been made constantly with lots of laughter ensued.  And apparently throwing magnets at a refrigerator is hilarious as well.

5. I've been enjoying the Live Out Loud podcast.  I just keep thinking about how I wish I knew more teenagers like the host.  Maybe she will go on to be the next Lila Rose.

6. We recorded another podcast. All about the planned parenthood investigations and other current news.  If you want to listen to it here is a link: The Contranauts Episode 33

7. I am anticipating a warm up this weekend, and even though I like winter, I could do without the block of ice that is my driveway that has been here since 2 Wednesdays ago.

Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Granted this is Cleveland, but it seems that lately there has been quite a good amount of snow here.  This makes me feel like curling up with a good book and hot chocolate or tea.  For proof of the constant snow here are some views from my window:

Granted I choose to live here, and actually love the snow, so really I'm not complaining.  I just wanted to give you a taste of our little winter wonderland. 

The complaint I do have, is simply I went to the library to pick out a book to read, and was all excited to read a book about living in the city.  But no, that's not what the book is really about.  So after about 10 pages in, I am done with it, and must take it back tomorrow or tonight for a different book.  I realized that I have read most of what are on my bookshelves at home, so the library becomes necessary for new material.  Of the books that I have read though, I think I actually only enjoyed one of them, title The Quickening, all the other ones have just been so so.  I guess part of my issue is that I don't want to search for a book forever, so I just pick one up from the displayed books.  This means, I am kinda judging a book by its cover and I am definitely doing a poor job of it. I am thinking that I should return to the classics or get books that were recommended to me.  I obviously am doing a terrible job of picking things up on a whim. If you have a must read for me than just leave it in the comment section and I will be sure to look for it at the library.  I read pretty much anything in the fiction category as long as its not a romance novel that is just gross.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

March 4 Life

I am always sad now when I cannot go to the National March For Life in DC.  I know that right now for good reason why I can't go, but my heart is always there.  I know once you have gone, you always want to return and fight for life.  Anyway, I don't have that many words to say, though if you follow me on Facebook you would have noticed that I have put up a pro-life quote for each day since last Wednesday.

One thing is that I love that my husband goes to it with the teens, even though he's gone from home for a while, its still super awesome that he's on the same page as me in defending life.  And that is something for which I thank God.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thoughts about attachment parenting

Attachment parenting has been on my mind lately.  More than a few moms I know have had to stop co-sleeping with their babies, due to lack of sleep issues.  As a result, I began to ponder another mom blogger's motto about every baby is different and we need to always keep that in check.  I think this also goes along with the fact that every parent is different too. I am trying to understand rather than judge parenting decisions these days when it comes to each individual child and parent.  While I think some folks like myself are totally attachment parents to the whole nine yards, others are APs in other aspects and others APs in aspects unbeknownst to them, and others not at all.  I think now, after pondering this in my mind a bit, that I am coming to respect each parents decision with their child.  Some children need some detachment to function better, and other need the attachment to function better.

When it comes to co-sleeping some children thrive off of it, and others do not.  At the same time some parents like myself, seem to get their best sleep with a co-sleeping baby, while other parents maybe because of the babies habits may not.  I guess it comes down to being adaptable and finding what works best for everyone that would be affected.

What I have noticed in my own child's behavior is that when it comes to sleep he is very dependent on me, but then when it comes to playing he is very independent and sometimes I have to force myself to get inside his little world of destructo baby land to remember to keep talking with him.  I sometimes have associated this with APing but I am starting to realize its probably more of a temperament thing.  Maybe being an AP does sometimes make him less of a scaredy cat in some situations, but since I only have one subject to observe at the moment its really hard to say.

I guess as a come away from this, I would have to say that for myself I am trying to judge less with parenting styles and realize that folks do what is best for their family situation.  I also think sometimes for the first it is easier to do one thing than it is for maybe the 4th or 6th kiddo.  So, as I try to judge less, I still think we know in our gut what is best for us when it comes to these situations, but I am also trying to remember that I am molding a little child of God here and keeping that in check is always good to remember.

Anyway that's what is on my mind lately.  Hope you are having a wonderful week so far.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Random Bits and Questions from my mind

1. I decided that my favorite place to print pics is CVS.  I have tried most of the drug stores and some grocery stores, and now even Target. And ultimately CVS has the quickest turn around with the best quality prints.  And maybe its just my local CVS that is good with photos, but I think I will stick with them.

2. I am going to attempt making my own laundry detergent, via the Duggar recipe.  Anyone try this out and have success?  I am hoping to be successful and save lots of money by doing so.

3. I am trying to figure out a local volunteer gig, and thinking about pregnancy centers as something to do.  But not sure what I would do there.  Trying to muster the courage to call an inquire.  I have a phone phobia with strangers that has existed since forever.

4. Ben is again throwing my sleep for a loop, but not really at night, he's usually up just once at night these days but has decided that destroying the house is more important than nap taking.

5. I have been enjoying play-dates, though have decided against the library playgroup at least for now.  Too much unsolicited advice and too many different parenting styles that seem to make me cringe.  I think that even though I have little experience with daycare, this somehow reminded me of it and a little of why I am so anti it.

6. Still looking into PT jobs, but I think I want a PT-PT job, one that is like only 4 hours a week.  Know of any of these?

7. I was given a compliment the other day that made me think wow I must just be this person on my blog and then totally different in public.  Makes me wonder if that is a good or bad thing.  Because blogging about it still means I am acting out about it right?  Maybe I need to think twice about stating my opinions.

8. Did I tell you I have a newly born nephew.  He was born at the end of December on the 30th, which made him 2.5 weeks early.  Probably having a baby that early and healthy makes the women who go 2 weeks past their due date crazy.

9. Does anyone else crave milk products when they are having a meatless day?

10. Lastly, I am super appreciative of my husband. He is awesome and has been a great help at getting me through the days by letting me get an extra hour's rest every weekday morning while he takes Ben around as he gets ready in the morning for work.  Thanks love if you read this :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Some recent pics

Some pics from some recent events.

First Keith and Ben climbed to the top of the pyramid in the Adventure Science Center 
in Nashville.  This is a priceless expression from that adventure.

and then the little dude turned another month older.  He's now 10 months old. 

Last, after the snow all melted from a warm snap.  It came back today.  So we had a little adventure 
sidewalk sledding.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

And so a new year begins...

I was half awake to bring in the new year last night.  Another batch of teeth are surfacing in Ben's mouth so sleep has been in limited increments around here.  Though my super awesome husband let me sleep in till 9am today and for that I was incredibly thankful. In what moments I was awake last night, my husband and I discussed the questions posted by Danielle Bean on F&F Live.  They are really good evaluation questions if you don't feel its too late to do a year end evaluation.

From these questions, it seemed to be a theme for me to figure out what it means to be a Kiera outside of school.  I know a big part of that is being a wife and a mama, but what defines me as me is another story.  I have been a student since I was 4 and now at 27, its hard to imagine a school-less life.  Oddly, up to this point is been I want to get this part of my life done, I need this to be over.  And now that its here its surreal.  Its almost like you try a while to have a baby, and then you get pregnant and then the baby is born and you are like woah how did I get here. It's surreal that I actually made it through, but at the same time I have to figure out what this new stage of life entails for me.  I know that I don't want a full time job, but what kind of work do I want, or would I rather volunteer instead of work for pay?  Do I want to do something in my field or something completely unrelated?

So, I hope to figure out what it means to me in this post-school stage of life.  If you want to send a prayer this way as this chapter of my life unfolds, it would be appreciated.

I hope everyone has a great and blessed 2011!