Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mom Bashing.

    I have noticed a terrible trend on the bashing. If you:

  • Breastfeed
  • Formula feed
  • Co sleep
  • Let your baby sleep in a crib
  • Let your child have a pacifier
  • Let your child suck their thumb
  • Let your child have nothing
  • Eat organic
  • Carry your babies in carriers
  • Spank
  • Don't spank
  • Eat fast food
  • Have a clean house
  • Have a dirty house
  • Wear skirts
  • Wear pants
  • Are a single mom
  • Are married
  • cloth diaper
  • Disposable diaper
  • Work
  • Stay at home
  • Had a natural birth
  • Had an epidural
  • Had a c-section
  • Had a VBAC
  • Had a repeat C-section
  • Home school
  • Take your kids to private school
  • Take your kids to public school
You're doing it wrong! There is no way to win anymore! In this day and age, where we as moms are trying so desperately hard to just raise good kids, it's unfair. When did raising kids become a high-school popularity contest? "Oh, Suzie just fed her toddler a FRENCH FRY!!!!" Really? Just...really?
   Why all the hate? Is it because people feel the need to justify their decisions? Sorry, that is just STUPID. Because the rules for one kid don't work for another.  Let me tell you, I have tried to nurse all my babies, because I personally thought it was easier, but that only worked one out of four times. And you know what? They are all still healthy.
   Some have coslept with us, some haven't, and they are all okay and sleep in there own beds now. I have had 2 thumb suckers, 2 paci babies, and the oldest three have all quit the habit with no long term effects. We try to eat some food organic, but McDonald's is a treat for my kids. I have carried some babies on my back/tummy in a carrier, but some HATED it.
   I have a dirty house (BTW it's much cleaner than usual at the moment), but my SIL has a clean one and we both passionately love our kiddos and they are not suffering from our cleaning habits one way or the other.
    I have met people who assume I am one of those women who only wear skirts, but hey I am wearing shorts at the moment. I promise, it doesn't MATTER. My dear friend K. is a single mom, and just every bit as fantastic at it as me! And she works full time and is the best "homemaker" I know. She clothed diapered when hers were under a year, and I did too, starting with #3, but ain't no one want to wash toddler diapers, so they are put up again.
   I did the Bradly method very successfully with #4 up until I had another emergency c-section. Still their Mama no matter how they came out of me. I home school because it is the right choice for my family, but I know several fantastic private and public schools in the town one over from me.
   So, HOW it happens doesn't matter. But the INTENT does. Are you trying to raise Godly, respectful kids? Are you trying to teach them how to be productive members of society? I promise, that is what matters. NO ONE will care if they suck their thumb at 20 (except maybe their spouse).NO ONE will care if they were breastfed (unless they still are at 20).
   It's all in OUR heads. And it's not a contest. Relax, people. Eat a Popsicle. God still loves you. And I do too.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The end of one stage, the beginning of another

   So, I have to get my entire house spotless for this weekend. What do I do instead? Blog of course! Actually I am just taking a break from cleaning. I just finished the very sad task of cleaning my room. While that is a crazy monumental task, the hard part was taking down the co-sleeper beside our bed. While it is physically the most difficult playpen to fold up I've yet met, it was more emotional.
    My baby is no longer an infant. In a few days, she will be one. She is sleeping in her room with her big sister, and has been for a while. She sleeps through the night (and that is just recent). She has even began to take a few faltering steps. She is almost a toddler, and this mama is both very excited for her and really sad.
    People tell you that when you have kids time flies. What they don't mention is that it can literally go in warp speed like that crazy sequence in Ice Pirates. (Let me just say I can't believe Mr. S watched that movie as a kid!) I remember like it was yesterday having two toddlers (1 and 2 are just 18 months apart). Now I have 4 (4!) kiddos, and only one toddler left.
    While both Mr. S and I would love more kids, we don't know that God will give us any more. We can certainly hope, but we aren't as of the moment expecting. Yup, I totally knew what you were thinking when you read my blog post. I'm a Catholic, I already have 4 kids, it's okay, I would kinda expect it too. Hopefully we can get a bigger house before we get a bigger family (we have 1 bathroom, and an ongoing joke that we need an outhouse). But God always knows what he is doing, so I'm sure I could squeeze some more little guys in here if I had to....
   So, here I am reminiscing and missing that infant stage. But I am so happy to have had it, and I know what's in store. Yes, there will be the crazy disobedience (like the fact she LOVES to knock everything off the coffee table) but there will be talking. Sweet little words, other than stop and no, and giggles. Her little personality is just shining forth, and she is truly living up to her nickname, Possum.
   I guess I must go clean some more, but I just wanted to pause and take it all in. The end of one stage, the beginning of another. And no, I'm not talking about the living room clean up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Imprints on my heart

WARNING- this is not a light hearted post.
    This weekend, my in-laws went to visit my nieces and stopped at Raphael's Refuge in Flatonia on the way. This is a memorial for babies that have dies from miscarriage, still born, or abortion. She took some beautiful pictures, and she was showing them to me last night. One shattered my night. I re posted it from her blog ( It was a picture of Jesus holding a tiny aborted baby and weeping.
    But you know, that picture did not at first remind me of  aborted babies. It reminded me of Will. Two years ago, MR. S and I were excited to be given the all-clear from the doctor to have more children. We were excited at the thought of another soul. That same month, we conceived, but didn't know it. I guessed, as my period was nine days late, but when I tested early, it was negative. My temperature was high, then low, and then I started bleeding. I assumed it was a period, but it went on and on.....on the fifth day I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive!
   I was so excited and so scared. I called my OB and she did nothing. she told me I was probably miscarrying and  to take another pregnancy test in a week. She wouldn't see me, because at that point, I was only 5 weeks along. I went to the ER, and they told me the same thing, I was too early to do anything, and they refused to give me any blood tests to confirm miscarriage.
   SO I waited. For one whole week, I waited as my bleeding got lighter, and hoped against hope. I sat in stasis, not knowing if my baby was alive or dead. After that week, I took a pregnancy test and it came back negative. My life was officially shattered.
   Can words describe a mother's pain? I was celebrating the life of my child the same time as I was losing that child. Not a lot of people understood. I was so barley pregnant, that my baby was the size of a poppy seed. Why was I a wreck? Because that child, so small and seemingly insignificant, was my BABY. It was a soul that I deeply loved and so badly wanted, a child I had prayed for.  I was devastating, not even being able to see my child to mourn it, not knowing if it was a boy or girl.
   I know some people disagree, but we had told our kids right away about the baby. Then, we had to tell them that the baby had died and was in Heaven. No, they didn't understand. How could they?They were little, with #1 being only 6. He blamed me,since the baby was in my tummy. We mourned as a family. Finally, we decided to name our baby Will, since we know it was God's will to even have given us that child, and God's will to call him home before we even got to meet him.
   Two years next month, and I still get teary eyed at the thought of Will. I look at his sister #4, who was conceived three months later, and wonder what he would be like. I understand she might not be here if Will was here, but my Mama's heart wants ALL of my babies here with me.
   I sit here and think of all those babies lost to abortion. I mourn them, and I mourn for their mothers. Maybe they knew what they were doing, maybe they were forced, maybe they didn't realize. Maybe they regret it, maybe they don't, but my heart still aches for them. They are mothers who have lost their children, and we must never forget that. They can't change the past, anymore than I can, but they still need love.  That mom who may now realize what she did is mourning her lost child no less then me.
     If you are a mother who has lost a child for ANY reason, I want this:I want to hug you, and look you in the eyes and tell you, "I am so sorry for your loss. I am so sorry for what you went through. You are not alone, you are loved, and I am here for you."

     How very softly you tiptoed into my world,
Almost silently.
Only a minute you stayed,
But what an imprint your footsteps have made on my heart.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Laugh or Cry Day.

Since it seems to be shaping up to be a Laugh or Cry day, I figure I'd just keep a running commentary. What is a laugh or cry day? It is a day when so many things go wonky, if you don't laugh about it, you cry. The first Laugh or cry day I ever remember was a disaster resulting in my mom quiting her job and falling off a horse and breaking my pelvis in three places. I cried. Another memorable one was #4's birth, where for about 5 minutes I thought my baby was dead, and I was in the worst pain of my life. Then a miracle happened, and I laughed and cried. Today is not that extreme, but it is crazy.
    Set scene: Children still had no rooms clean by noon, and the house is so utterly destroyed I'm pretty sure FEMA will be by momentarily with aid.
    First Laugh or Cry (LOC): Whilst picking out church clothes, I discovered that #3's boot were COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY MISSING UNDER A PILE OF DRIED CHICKEN MUD. (Chicken mud:the mud chickens make, very stinky and sticks better than gorilla glue). Proceeded to scrub mud by hand off of boots, having them drying outside in hopes of no wet socks this evening.
  LOC #2 forgot my sanity and let baby feed herself spaghetti. She is not clean but not spaghetti contagious. Add another 30 minutes to the get ready timer to bathe baby. Definitely a laughing moment, silly Mama.
 LOC #3 Just discovered a cousin's little one was admitted to the hospital. Definitely a cry moment, lifting her and her parents up to God.  St. Nicholas, pray for them!
     LOC #4 Might have been too hasty to chastise #3 as my right church shoe is out on the porch drying too. I had a big blotch of mud from helping catch a loose horse on the way home from church last week. Yes, in a skirt. Yes, we caught him. No, this has never happened before, but I did chase in some cattle a few months back (I took off the shoes that time.) I am definitely laughing, because apparently mud attraction is genetic. Also amused that my cheap butt bought shoes that are glued together so I can't wash them. But hey, my whole church outfit cost $20.10 excluding the veil, so..... (15 bucks for the shoes NEW, 5 dollars for the shirt on eBay, and 10 cents for the fabulous red polka dotted skirt I got a church rummage sale which had previously been altered and fit me like a dream). Decided not too hasty to get on to #3, since I didn't knowingly clump around in mud UP TO MY KNEES (I'm still trying to work that out.)
     AND THEN>>> LOC#5...hmmm, to say this daintily, I was suddenly attacked by a severe bout of trouble only an hour  before church. While I was, ahem, sitting there complaining, my husband told me it must be the devil's work, to which I complained louder that HE wasn't so struck. But I would not go quietly into the night! I shook my bottle of Keopectate at the evil one, and prevailed.
     LOC#6...broken zipper on aforementioned skirt. By this point, I don't care either way, we have GOT to leave.
    And then....
   And then I got to listen to a wonderful homily given by the Bishop. And watch my #1 receive communion. Will it ever not affect my heart so, to see him receive Jesus? Probably not. I got to commune with my dear friends at church, to refresh my soul, and have, for a wonderful hour, all five of my children together with me. I got to smile at #4 playing with a  tiny month old baby, and how #3 waited until we all said,  "Thanks be to God" to shout it out with utter relief in the silence that followed.
    Though we did not get to taste the wonderful blueberry cobbler I made (first off because it was store-bought banana cream pie), we got to spend another fabulous few hours with my  BIL,  SIL, MIL, FIL and two of my wonderful nieces at a local restaurant. We all got to enjoy steak, and fried ice cream, and laugh at how my little niece was convinced by Pa that Nana has cooties and refused to kiss her goodnight for a while.
    Now I am sitting on my couch, happy, and content, next to Mr. S. who is staring at me type in the silence, and I know what type of day it is...It is definitely a laugh and thank God for my crazy beautiful life day. I don't even care that I will have to rewash that load of laundry in the washer.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Quick post.

I can only scribble a few lines today because today is pretty busy.
    First, I apologize for my terrible grammar and typos. Three kids ago, I would have been appalled. But that was before trying to write on the fly, with a lack of sleep, usually with a babe in my lap with the tablet I thought would be Superior (and cheaper)than a computer-Ha! So I am keeping them in, to remember my days like this.
    Also, I love last minute news, like #3 has his first tball game in an hour!We rallied the forces (this was yesterday), changed the baby, re fixed the fence where the pups were getting out, made it at the last minute, and had a blast! (Though I melted in the heat). He is a natural, even without a glove.
    Today is the feast day of St. Boniface. We are going to have the bishop come to our church today, way out in the middle of nowhere at St. Boniface Church!We will have a potluck dessert afterwards, I think I will make a blueberry cobbler, since they are so fresh and delicious this year.
   And last, remember that clean kitchen? It's gone again, but man was it nice! I think I can still remember what it looks like. Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A day in the life....

   Since I currently have no dishes to do (I know, shocking!) I have no real divine inspiration for today's post. So I thought I might enlighten you to an average day in my life.
    I starts with the cruel mocking call of the alarm clock. That mean ol' thing has super warp snooze mode, so I try not to use it. By the time I hear it bidding me to wake, 3 of the 4 kiddos are moving. #2 has always popped up like a daisy, while #3 has to be pulled from bed, much like his mother. The kids are supposed to clean their rooms while Mama gets dressed, changes the baby, dresses the baby, makes manna (also known as coffee), makes her bed, then starts a load of laundry. At this point, I once again remind the kids that they are supposed to clean their rooms, then brush hair and teeth, and get dressed (clean underwear!)
    After breakfast and the second sip of coffee, they have to finish getting their rooms clean, go feed and water the chickens and the dogs, and generally play outside without getting soaking wet and/or muddy (which is usually a lost cause).
   Third sip of coffee, then we start school. Since it's summer(ish), we have a light calender, with only the basics of English, math, reading, science, and of course music (of which I am exactly one lesson ahead of the kids on that recorder!)
    I have a timer set to go off at 3 pm, which signals time to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the end of any unfinished school, and after which EWTN has their children's programs. It is an hour and a half of cavtholic cathecism to animation and Mama's break time to do another load of laundry/dishes/ brush my teeth, etc. If you haven't discovered EWTN's Faith Factory, give it a try. Cat Chat is the best!
   We all muddle around, playing, changing the baby, actually finishing off my coffee until about 6, until Dad calls to say he is on his way home. Ideally, this means I immediately set to work making dinner so that it is ready for his arrival, where he is greeted by loving kisses and "how was work?" From a herd of littles. But sometimes it is the "witching hour" where every child in my house slightly malfunctions and goes nutty and Mr. S. is greeted by a slightly white-eyed woman throwing small children at him and saying something incoherent but along the lines of "HiHonI'mgladyourhome,I'mlockingmyselfinthebedroomfor15minuteskaylovetyou"
    Now the very least scheduled time of day:bedtime. In my mind, it goes like this: at 8, it is time to get in PJ's, showering the smelliest of kids (which is usually all of them)while the cleaner ones (the baby) wait until the fmorning. Brush teeth, clean their rooms so they don't have to in the morning, and then prayers together as a family.
    Now, sometimes it happens that way, like last night, and I got to fully clean the dining room and kitchen, do all the dishes, and switch another load of laundry before I got a nice long bath. But there are some days when (in all honesty here, don't judge) the kids are still awake at 10, to which I say prayers out loud (which is VERY loud according to my niece) while I throw kids in PJ's (yes, you can sleep in your underwear tonight), followed by a kiss on my hon's cheek, and parents likely unconscious before #3 is done singing "Let It Go"to himself.
    Now, we are very flexible and some days the schedule is completely forgotten and we have a day of crazy and then there are Funky Fridays, when we watch silly movies and eat "junk" food, like all the grapes in the fridge. I reserve the right to have a Funky Friday on any day of the week. So there you have it, for better or worse.