4 years ago

{NFP Awareness Week} Deetailz, minor Deetailz.

Well crikey, youse guys. My blog rejoiced -REJOICED I tell you- in receiving a fat daddy influx of visitors yesterday.
SIX TIMES MORE than my average visitors per day.
Crikey.
I suppose I wrote something interesting, no?
Well I’m afraid I’ve done peaked early and the rest of this week will be the floppy, deflated balloon after NYE.
That’s fine …cause it’s time for the AFTER PARTAYYYYYYY!

The responses I received yesterday in reply to my {NFP} NO H8 post humbled and touched me. I am so ignited by your encouragement, especially from the single ladies. How uplifting it is to know that there are smart, single women out there, leaps and bounds ahead of myself at that stage of my life!

{Today I want to give you links: more specific information about Natural Family Planning.}

These links range from help with finicking over cervical fluid (or mucus), temperatures, to menstrual issues, health issues and personal stories from ladies who’ve faced irregularity, miscarriage, infertility, unplanned pregnancy, etc., which illuminate women as the unique, not-to-be-molded beauties that we are.

Here they are, links in Turquoise:

  • NFPandMe: Katie is hosting a women blogger’s link up, connecting the many other ladies who are posting about NFP this week. This is a great way to read other women’s stories. Prepare to go, “OH MY GOSH, THAT’S ME!” and “I had NO IDEA!”
  • Carrots For Michaelmas: a treasure trove. Haley’s started a “Women Speak on NFP” series which is so rich in information and women’s personal stories that it’s overwhelming. Which is EXCELLENT, considering the uneducated individual might think that NFP is baseless and not mainstream enough to take seriously. Which is also cool, cause that means NFPers must be kind of hipster.
  • iusenfp.com: An eye-catching NFP site, again LOADED with info, divided into easy-to-navigate topics.
    We’re so excited to offer you this fresh, comprehensive, and thorough website dedicated to every woman, everywhere.”
    This site is also responsible for these excellent graphics:

  • Taking Charge of Your Fertility: This site is strictly secular (non-religious) and, again full of info as well as the book: TCOYF available for purchase. …yes there are BOOKS about this stuff.
  • The Couple to Couple League: It is through the CCL that my husband and I took our NFP class. I just searched upcoming classes being held for my local area and there are 5 upcoming classes:
    August,
    September,
    November,
    and February 2014
    Call the location before registering to confirm. Also, if you’re not in a financial situation to pay the class fee (the paid instructors are married couples who have to leave their kids with someone, as well as dedicating their free time to take phone calls for years later!), ask for available options. My husband and I couldn’t spare the dollaz at the time and we were sponsored. Through this class, you’ll receive charting materials and books. You don’t have to be Catholic to take these classes.
  • 1FLESH.org. Go. Just go.
  • Another Carrots for Michaelmas post: What’s the Big Deal about Birth Control?

I’m going to cut myself off right there. I might add a few more later today. If I’ve missed a big name NFP site, call me out. My brain doesn’t function well when I have to list info on demand and post DAY OF. It usually takes me a week of writing to crank out a goodie. But I’m working on that because Jen at ConversionDiary sayzso.
The above information can become overwhelming.
I encourage anyone new to learning about NFP to take their sweet time combing through the links, and the links within the links, and the links in the links in the links. LINXXXXX!

Take your time. It’s a busy world. Use a week or two and read through whichever link catches your pretty eyeball when you have the free moments.

  • I’m thinking tomorrow I’ll post about some books which have helped me and my family NFP-wise. Tangible books are a delight.
  • Later this week I’m hoping to delve into the spiritual clicks I mentioned yesterday.
  • I also intend to convince Craig to model for me again so we can do more of these:

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5 years ago

7QT #17 You’re Doing Mommyhood Wrong When… ...

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 217)
You know you’re doing Motherhood wrong when:
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You get a pedicure WHILE holding a nearly 8 month old infant the whole time, attempting to nurse him under a cover that he’s not used to, and experimenting with the squeezy applesauce packs for the first time, thinking “what could go wrong?”

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You skip nap time, thinking surely everyone will just go to bed early so that you can enjoy a tea and a favorite girly movie (because even when you have a free evening to relax in front of the TV dear husband’s viewing preferences trump all, which means action movies for the 500,000th time. whoo hoo!).

 -3-
Your own mom takes 2/3rds of your children to give you some breathing room in the middle if the week (in all seriousness, thank you, Mom). So you head out for a Tarjay Vacay but once in the store, you can’t help but find yourself darting through the aisles, heart pounding/aching, to check the source of the screaming-someone-else’s-child-who-sounds-spot-on-your-own-middle-child, just in case it might be, which of course, it’s not. And then you feel a little weepy, and your Starbucks bevy you’ve reasoned you deserve starts to coagulate in your throat.

 -4-

Your husband goes out of the country for a 5 day business trip (aka personal vacation) and you think it’ll be easy, fun even, not having to keep up with the housework or cook dinner while he’s gone (because hey, he’s the soul reason I even touch raw chicken, or really any sort of meat), but then, the house is disgusting.

 -5-
You angrily mutter to yourself, “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS MOTHER’S DAY!” knowing what you’ve known all along, that motherhood cannot be boiled down to one day because it is a 24/7 job, and loathing yourself for secretly wishing for a surprise day filled with doing whatever Mommy really wants to do (which honestly, is just taking a shower and maybe getting to finish a cup of hot coffee).
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You chase your “breaks” as if they’re the only thing that will get you through the day.
 -7-
You may or may not have eyed a bottle of beer at 2pm. And you may or may not have had it with lunch while the children napped.
This is the recipe for doing motherhood wrong, folks. It’s something I find myself sliding into every few weeks, or whenever I’ve slacked off on my prayer life.  Praying is a JOB, whoever said it comes without a direct, marked choice to acknowledge God’s hand in our life, is someone who’s had their free will taken from them.  And when I find myself spiritually lazy, everything else is affected. It is surrounded by the idea of “NON SERVIAM” the same words Satan spoke to God.
I WILL NOT SERVE. 

The short truth of the matter is that when we serve others, our moments open up to us.
When we refuse to serve our children, our parents, our spouse, we end up repeatedly chasing a self constructed fulfillment that leaves us empty and still hungry- be it clothes, shoes, food, drink, time alone, or even a “perfect day where I get to do whatever I want.”  As a mom, you know in your heart that in fact, EVERY DAY is Mother’s Day. Every day is a blessing and a gift. Every moment our head aches in annoyance at the piercing screech bouncing off the bathroom walls as we try to pee is a true moment in heaven.

…let that sink in for a moment… Heaven.
The moments of solitude at Target are spent in the toy aisles, pining to purchase a Batman shaped Hot Wheels truck for our little boys, or a beautiful yellow sundress for our little girls. And when grandma keeps the babies overnight so that we can relax, we turn on DisneyJR just to fill the silence, and we fall asleep in the rocking chair at 9pm after swearing to take advantage of the freedom and watch Pride and Prejudice.
I will never EVER be “free” of motherhood.  It is a vocation. Vocation, not career. Not something we retire from and get to obsess over our degenerating health for the rest of our days. I will never be oppressed by the superficial, material idea that “freedom” is the ability to obsess over my own comforts in place of my family’s comfort. And if I find myself doing just that, then PLEASE someone Batman slap me, cause I’m doing it wrong.
Lalalaaaa, go check out Jen’s 7QT now, bai!
 

5 years ago

7 Quick Takes Friday #15

Hai.  Welcome Jen back to her 7QT’s with me, will ya?  I don’t know how or when she finds the time, but she’s back, blogging with hilarity.

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That’s something I’d like to know, actually.  I’m sure if I dig, Jen’s got a post about her schedule or writing routine.  To my momma readers/writers, how do you set aside time to fit your “me” stuff into your day?  I am currently trying to be awake with the Keurig at 6am, each day. Even on weekends.  So far, out of the two weeks I’ve attempted it, I’ve succeeded once.  But it was a very excellent once.  I am hoping to make it a habit, though allowing myself to crawl there.

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So, I, the Cradle Catholic, acquiesce that truly, I am a spiritually spoiled child. I take my faith for granted! My husband, the convert, is very different in that area.  For example, my husband and I were discussing some individuals he is constantly in contact with at his job, who need serious and urgent prayer.  These individuals have had a rough life, quite by choice, while rejecting the notion that God could do anything in helping their case.  Sometimes, with some people who it’s boldly obvious that “finding Jesus” is the answer, they are so far gone, that I cannot figure a way to even suggest to that person/s that they should seek another direction, without them catching wind that I might be Bible Thumping or Catechizing, resulting in a sharp high-tail from the conversation all together.

I sat back in my chair, heaved a sigh heavy with defeat and sorrow, and sang out with the most deep, profound, insight that a spiritually spoiled brat like myself could conjure: a line from Paul McCartney’s Eleanor Rigby:

 “All the lonely people, where do they all come from…?”

My husband, on the other hand, sat back, and with a sigh of conviction, said,

” …For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me….”

Of course, my husband the convert, has recourse to the bible verse (Mt 25;31-46), “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” and I, the weathered Cradle Cath, refer to The Beatles… oy vey.

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This beautiful boy of mine.
This beautiful boy of mine.

Have any of my fellow mommas ever experienced something called Gender Disappointment?   I am a mother of three boys. I want a little girl desperately. When I was pregnant with my Collin, I cried alone in my room after we found out Collin’s gender.  I thought for sure I’d be given a little girl. I walked through Target and literally could not look at the baby girl’s clothes hung on the racks -pinks, polka dots, tutus and all- without tearing up.  I was embarrassed and utterly ashamed of my feelings.  I knew then, as I know now, regardless of the gender of my child, he is a unique, irreplaceable human being.  But I still felt disappointment.

This is something that I’ve never heard other mothers talk about. So I was terrified of how my husband would feel, and ashamed of what my mother would think when I shared my feelings of depression.  I was received with love and compassion. I sought advice from a long distance mom whom I look to as a mentor.  She helped me to realize what I already knew but needed to hear anyway: That the feeling of disappointment is not uncommon.  She also suggested if we are given the gift of more children, that when the opportunity to find out the baby’s gender arises, we might skip out on that option. She stated the obvious (which I needed to hear), that boy or girl, I will love my child, and come to know him as entirely unique and different than my other sons (and boy is he ever!).  Literally, as I read the email conversation, I felt the weight lift off of my heart.  I remembered that life is a gift, not an entitlement.  Just as a son or a daughter is a gift, I am not entitled to whichever sex I want.   My feelings took a 180 very quickly.  I still want a little girl. But I am at peace knowing that if God gives my husband and I the gift of a fourth child at all, the tiny precious human being may be a fourth boy, and I’ll have the beginnings of a baseball team.  I love baseball, and I’ll be their best cheerleader.  Maybe I’ll dedicate a separate post about this, if I get enough feedback, with further thoughts.  I just wanted to send out my feelers, to see if any of my readers have experienced this.

-4-

faimly zoo

We took our kids to the zoo and I was completely surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The introvert that I am tends to be easily overstimulated and exhausted.  And when the parents are outnumbered by their children, I completely shut down and shout, “CAN’T BE DONE!”  We arrived early afternoon and were among the last to leave as the park closed for the day.  I foresee many more trips and sweet memories made this summer.

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The “can’t” has turned more into a “can” for me as a mom, at long last.  Collin is absolutely becoming a nerve wracking challenge, what with him scaling the furniture and believing that he can walk like the big boys  But Emmett is becoming -ever so slightly- easier to handle and to communicate with.  a few weeks ago, I braved the grocery store with all three of them: Collin, worn on my hip in the sling (hauling him in the car seat which he will end up crying to get out of, in my opinion, is just self torture), Emmett and Lexington, in the shopping cart riding in the nasty, germ infested truck attached to its front, for children to ride.  Seriously, it’s a whole new world of freedom.

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Yes, Emmett is, each day, slowly adding more hints of words to his vocabulary.  If  you’re not in tune with how he speaks, or not paying attention, his cues are easily droned out by my oldest, boisterous child.  Days are still full of tantrums and indecipherable bellowings, but I’ve dedicated myself to really working through the tantrums and trying to figure out what he wants.  This week, I drew each letter of the alphabet out onto a sheet of paper, and pointed to the letter.  Emmett spoke each letter.  I was shocked when we came to “W” (he does best with one syllable words) when he said “doo-yew”.  His voice wrenches my heart to tears.

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I wrote about saying cuss words. This post took me a whole month to write.  I sat down at the end of March, thinking I’d have it cranked out in an hour.  Wrong-o!  It was actually difficult, because I had to look at myself, my speaking and writing history, and understand why I made the transformation not to swear in the first place.  It wasn’t a clean severing from swearing. Heck, my bio still says I’m married to a “daym good-looking man”.  Nah, I’m not exactly cursing there, but I really should remove it, in light of my findings.  Please, go visit my post when you have time, and tell me what you think.

Have a great weekend, mes amis!

5 years ago

It’s Holy Week!

It’s Holy Week; my favorite week of the year. Yes, even more so than Christmas!
Why? Because this week is when we remember (if we’ve done nothing else for the 40 days of Lent previous to this) exactly what Jesus did for mankind, and that He “conquered the world” (Jn 16:33)

I won’t be posting anything else for the rest of this week. Have a beautiful, meditative week. I hope everyone takes time to know the presence of the many blessings in each of our lives this week.

You are loved
You are needed
You are on purpose

If anyone is interested, here’s a YouTube vid about Holy Week (2 minutes in length):

And here are last year’s posts about Holy Week from yours truly:
Bible Readings for Holy Tuesday
Bible readings for Holy Wednesday
And “What is Easter Triduum?”

Until Easter, then! Have a blessed week my peeps!