"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Friday, February 28, 2014

Photo Friday: sick and cuddly but still "helpful"

They were playing footsie
The twins' baptism!
He was sick this past week so that meant extra cuddles
...and extra spoiling
Rain, rain, go away!

Y'all, they are in for a rude awakening when Chase gets here
He loves taking pictures. Chocolate mouth and all
See what had happened was...he put his socks in the washer, closed the door, closed the detergent drawer, turned on the washer, and pressed start. So I figured I should teach him how to actually run a full load, right? ;)
And of course Landon had to "help" Logan and our neighbor FINALLY replace our leaking garbage disposal

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lent. Don't you dare sneak up on me!

Lent is, like, next week. Seriously? I know it's been earlier in the year before but why does it always appear out of nowhere?

But of course it always, always, always comes at the perfect time. [I just looked back to see what I blogged about last Lent and it appears that last year was preparing me for this year! Too funny.]

Teaching CCD to 5th graders has been a blessing in many ways, and I'm so glad I had their "homework" assignment be to think about what they wanted to do during Lent. Because then that made me think about it ahead of time myself instead of going, "Oh crap! It's Mardi Gras. What am I going to do for Lent?!" I'm not usually a procrastinator, but somehow I always end up waiting until the last minute to decide! Not this year, my friends.

This seems like the perfect time to tell you all what I plan on doing for Lent, but I've always found that a little, well, weird. Because we're all at different places, and what I may be doing may be really silly to someone else or perhaps a bit too much. So yeah. Let's just say I'm giving up something as well as doing something extra!

And because I may or may not be taking the easy way out with this blogging challenge by sharing more links, here are a few ideas for what you can do during Lent:
Joining Jen for 7 Posts in 7 Days. Day 4!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Five Favorites (vol.1)

Linking up with Hallie for the first time! And also day 3 of 7 Posts in 7 Days.

1. Assunta diapers
Landon wearing a tuckable diaper cover. Orange with soccer balls…my favorite!
I reallllly wish I knew about Assunta when I first started cloth diapering, because they are my favorite! They're cute and totally affordable. I've tried many diapers and although I do like other brands as well, I have to say Assunta diapers win the prize. Hands down.

Although I've tried all the pocket diapers they offer and love them, I'm currently loving the diaper covers and bamboo fleece inserts (which I use as prefolds). I want some of the tiny covers for Baby Chase!

2. Costco

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't put this as a a favorite because they took almost all of our grocery money for February….but I love this place. Logan usually stops on his way home from work so I've only been a couple times, but it really has been great for us in this current state of life. They have healthier options for snacks, especially for Landon, as well as decent convenience foods (which I normally do not rely on but we are in survival mode here). Service is great, samples are yummy, and stocking up is how we manage to keep food in the house.

3. Little/Big brother shirts

One of my friends gave us the little brother onesie for Chase, and when I found the matching big brother shirt for sale online, I was like OH MY GOODNESS YES. It makes me nervous to think that there's a possibility we might not be able to use them (I know, I need to think positive), but at least they're cute!

4. Nalgene water bottle

In my attempt to drink lots and lots of water, I ordered one of these babies after a recommendation from a friend. I've only had it a day….but it definitely makes it easier to keep track of my water intake. Pregnancy brain, ya know? Gotta keep those Braxton Hicks contractions at bay.

5. Baptisms/my nieces/cute babies in general

My adorable nieces were baptized over the weekend! And seriously, I love them. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

These crazy Catholic families

Day 2 of 7 Posts in 7 Days. Sorry for TWO long posts in a row. Tomorrow will be short[er]. Promise. ;)

Many of my friends have 2+ kids, ages 5 and under, so they have all kinds of funny stories about strangers' comments. "You've got your hands full!" Etc. So many people think it's crazy for couples to want more than 1 or 2 kids....and that just blows my mind.

Yes, being a parent is one of the hardest things I've ever done (honestly, foster parenting is THE hardest...but I digress). But being a parent is also the most fulfilling thing I've ever done.

When I was working full-time, I can't tell you how many times women said they were done after having 2 kids. Of course, this made me furious at the time because I was just trying to have ONE kid and it wasn't happening. [If you only have one or two kids, I am in NO WAY judging you. We all have our reasons and I certainly am in no place to judge.] But now that I do have my one baby and another one on the way, I can't imagine being at the point where I say, "Okay, I'm done!" Seriously. Maybe I'm crazy. And maybe it's a little different for me because my reproductive system is not exactly normal. And maybe being in the trenches of pregnancy loss and infertility has affected my perspective as well. I don't know. Even though my pregnancies are stressful, I honestly can't imagine not being open to more kids.

One thing I do know is that I've met so many people who regretted being "done having kids."  A few months ago a lady shared how she had her tubes tied and then they decided they wanted another baby. She's having to do IVF (which makes me cringe because 1. I'm Catholic and 2. helloooo why take the fun out of babymaking?! 3. it's so dang expensive and 4. I could go on and on but you know).

I don't think there's anybody who regretted having any of their children...even the unplanned ones. One of my good friends just found out she's pregnant with her 4th baby, and although totally unexpected (she didn't even get her cycle back after her current youngest), she is thrilled. Still in shock, yes. But she knows it's a blessing. And I think it's just a beautiful thing to totally surrender your fertility to God and let Him decide how many kids is best for your family.

Unfortunately, a lot of families have to deal with negative comments because they have a lot of children, and I really do think that's terrible. Big families (at least the ones I know) aren't irresponsible, and yes, they know how babies are made. Why do people care how many kids other people have anyway? They're not the ones paying the bills or raising them. I really think big families should be embraced and celebrated rather than criticized.

One thing I've been hearing over and over and over lately - by people of all ages - is that it's so expensive to raise kids these days. And while obviously it is an added expense because you do have to feed them, having kids does not have to be expensive.

Yes, you can choose to buy a bunch of clothes and toys, put them in several extracurricular activities that cost lots of money, and bring them on fancy vacations. If you have the money to do it, go for it. Doesn't bother me! But for some people (us! ahem), we choose to cloth diaper, breastfeed (God-willing), go on simple beach vacations, take advantage of hand-me downs, and only buy a toy or two for birthdays and Christmas. Landon is still quite a happy kid and doesn't know what he's missing. ;)

I've been reading up on NFP lately because although Logan and I have always been open to children whenever God says so (we did have to abstain right after losing Levi per doctor's orders), my stressful pregnancies are making me wonder if we have a valid reason to avoid pregnancy in the future at any given time. We would totally adopt, so that makes me think yes - it's not like we have the "children are a burden" mindset.

But I know that whenever Chase gets here, I'll probably forget allllll about how hard pregnancy is and will want to grow our family again regardless. And I know that God knows what's best for us anyway so perhaps it's just best to just trust Him in everything…it's kind of the recurring theme of my life. Hence the blog name.

Check out some good posts/books on NFP and being open to life and all that fun stuff….
Aaaand here are some posts on having a large family…

Monday, February 24, 2014

Stressed? Yes. But blessed!

I'm writing 7 posts in 7 days! Thanks to Jen at Conversion Diary for the challenge. I'm slightly nervous at posting ridiculous things for lack of ideas because when have I ever posted every single day in one week? Not ever, I don't think.

I promise I won't be blogging about my pregnancy woes all week. But today? Well, sorry. I will be.

Let me just first say that Logan and I feel so so so blessed by this new little baby boy in utero so please do not misunderstand my "complaining" for ungratefulness. Definitely not the case.

It has just been hard. I know I kind of explained a little last week that Logan and I have both been stressed. Logan has been busy with work and other things, so when you throw housework on top of that…it's a lot to handle. It was definitely easier last pregnancy because it didn't take much for him to keep the house clean and not too piled up with dirty dishes and laundry - we didn't have a toddler running around adding to the chaos.

While Landon certainly keeps me from getting bored, it's been hard keeping him occupied. I'm not a fan of kids watching a lot of TV, but unfortunately that's what gets us through the day sometimes. Landon loves movies, thankfully, and we finally found another one that he will watch from beginning to end (other than Ratatouille)…Rio. Cute, cute movie. We've been reading and doing puzzles and having picnics in the living room too (I should do all of that more often, honestly), but most days I just really feel like I'm being a sucky mom. But I don't know exactly what to do about it because I can't just take him to the zoo or for a walk or anything like that. Sigh.

Oh, and Landon has started to boycott naps most days. Perfect timing, right? No.

So all of that is making me really wonder how we would survive any subsequent pregnancies. It really stinks, because we want more kids and have always had the "whatever happens, happens" mindset…but seriously, the stress level some days is just too much. I know it might be different once Landon (and Chase, God-willing) is older, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I don't think I'll ever be "done" having kids unless God says otherwise, but I'm thinking we may need to consider spacing in the future. Or just adopt. Or both. I don't know. I suppose that's a post for another day…

And I haven't even mentioned the cramping and contractions and "oh crap should I call the doctor?" moments. Every now and then I will have a good day (like last Thursday), and then other days will be sooo not fun. Over the weekend I was cramping for an hour, so I took Procardia - it was the first time I've had to take it since I saw Dr. C on Wednesday, because I'd rather not take more medicine unless it's necessary. And yes, yesterday it was necessary. At first I didn't think about seeing if the cramping was happening in regular intervals (we had company over and I was distracted), but once I took Procardia I decided to pay attention. Every 8 freaking minutes. Eventually the cramping subsided, but it took longer than I would have liked and seriously…I'm 18 weeks pregnant. What. the. heck.

I've been trying to drink water and water and more water, and it does help with the Braxton Hicks contractions. But then that means I have to pee every 30 minutes because a full bladder causes contractions. And then sometimes I just still have contractions and cramping regardless of what I do and it's pretty darn frustrating. There have been days where I tried to do at least something productive - like clean the bathroom or bake - and then later in the day is when I have problems. Not sure if it's coincidence or not.

So yeah. That's been our life lately. And thankfully we have wonderful family and friends that help out when they can. We've gotten some free meals (which is seriously the best thing right now) and my friends even cleaned the house once when they came over for a play date. Yeah, even in the midst of craziness, Logan and I are blessed.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Photo Friday: a goofy boy is so much fun

Landon was excited to get a valentine from a friend!
How old is this kid again??
We went to a birthday party at the lazer tag place, and although no lazer tag was played (birthday boy was too young), Landon had SO MUCH FUN playing the games
He probably would have spent the entire day bowling if I had let him

Play date wore this guy out!
I wish I knew what went through his head sometimes…he was walking around with a piece of felt on his head like it was completely normal

I have found a new activity to occupy him! He's a collector (seriously, Logan calls him a squirrel), so he loves putting the coins in the the bank. Over and over and over.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Week 17 (+6 days): we need a vacation

Yesterday evening I had more cramping than I've had before and I just didn't feel right. It's hard to explain, really. I was definitely having Braxton-Hicks contractions, and I wasn't sure if I was cramping too or what. I just kept thinking, "I don't feel right." I was tempted to call the on-call doctor for the first time this pregnancy, but I figured he/she would just tell me to lie back, drink water, etc. So that's what I did. Things did get a little better but I still felt like something wasn't right.

Logan went to my chapel hour for me so I was in bed when he got home - I thought that was the best thing to do. But then I started cramping (as I was lying in bed! after I stuck the progesterone up there!) and had the hardest time falling asleep because of it. Seriously, I have not been that nervous thus far, and I am not one to freak out (seriously, my friends thought I should have called the doctor last night before I had gone to bed but I didn't).

Things were better when I woke up this morning, although I still felt a dull ache down there. So I called Dr. H, who wasn't in the office today. That's when having 2 doctors comes in handy - I talked to one of Dr. C's nurses, who said they'd call me back once Dr. C arrived in the office. They ended up wanting me to go in for an ultrasound.

My cervix looked good, thankfully. Dr. C did give me Procardia (which I took with Landon, later on in the pregnancy) to take whenever I had a lot of cramping. She tried looking at Chase's heart but couldn't get a good view. Not sure if I should be worried or not…but she said she'll look again in a couple weeks.

It is a relief to know my cervix is still hanging in there - it must be scarred shut by now or something -but I still can't help but be really nervous. Before I was even pregnant, I just had a feeling that my next pregnancy would not be easy (seriously, I told my sister-in-law that wayyy back!) and so far that has been the case. I honestly have this fear of ending up in the hospital - something I did not worry about as much when I was pregnant with Landon.

Logan doesn't want me to do much of anything, but he's too busy to keep up with everything himself, so he's super stressed (I try to do some things around the house but I think that stresses Logan out even more). And because Logan is so stressed, our communication has not been…well…ideal. Logan's stress is stressing me out, basically. As well as me not being able to do much. I mean, seriously, it's so pretty outside! This is when I soooo wish we had a fence so I could take Landon outside and not worry about having to chase him down the driveway.

So! We're trying to go on a marriage retreat next month, and so far it looks like it's working out! I was worried because it's a weekend thing and Logan works every weekend, but he's just going to use his PTO days. Because seriously, we need a break. Go look at this website to see how wonderful this retreat looks. Just Logan and me for the weekend, with mass, confession, adoration, and more. Is there anything better? I think not.

Thanks for the prayers as always, and please keep them coming!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

7 Quick Takes (vol.12)

It's Sunday, yes. But that's not stopping me!
I don't know why, but the movie Ratatouille is the only movie that Landon will watch from beginning to end. He loses interest in all the classics - Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King. What is up with that? Honestly, though, I still am not sick of Ratatouille despite watching it every day for about 2 weeks now. I cannot explain that.
2014 is not treating us very kindly when it comes to the finances. Repairs on both cars, broken garbage disposal, doctor appointments (not just for me, but Logan too). Minor things, but you when you add to that the fact that we will likely owe lots of money for taxes this year (don't get me started on that, ugh!) and we were hoping to buy a (used, of course) minivan before Chase arrives….well, it's pretty frustrating. I've thought about working when I can (I haven't gone to work since November) but Logan doesn't like me leaving the house often - much less to work. So, I have to remind myself that God provides. Somehow, we still have managed to pay the bills. Something else I cannot explain!
I finally picked up my crochet hook the other day and it has sparked a little bit of motivation in me to keep with it. I would post a picture of what I made, but it's a gift that has not been given yet and I'm not entirely sure if that friend reads this. I can include this picture, though…my little copycat.

I've been learning more about essential oils lately and although I only own 2 at the moment, I plan (as soon as I finish saving money) to start incorporating more oils into our lives. I'm pretty darn excited about that.
Last week was the week of motivation all around because I actually planned some fun things for my CCD class. These were the valentines I made them…
I got the idea from Catholic Icing but just picked my own verse based on the candy Logan had picked up for me. 5th graders still love getting valentines, by the way (even the boys!). ;)
It needs to be mentioned that I TOTALLY MISS just being able to go for a walk with Landon and Marley. Thank you, incompetent cervix. People think I'm crazy when I say I'm ready for Baby Chase to get here but they just don't realize I will be able to do a lot more (or maybe I should say Logan will let me do more) with a baby outside of my belly than inside of my belly (here's to hoping Chase is not a difficult baby!).
Prayers are still appreciated regarding the pregnancy because I started feeling queasy again this past week, and I am also becoming more aware of dang contractions. I guess that's what happens when my uterus gets bigger (I'm 17 weeks along). The good news is, though, that I've been feeling Chase move more the last few days and could even feel him yesterday from the outside of my belly for the first time. Love love love this baby boy. :)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Photo Friday: parties and play time

birthday party #1

photo booth at the party…I took a picture of the polaroid (just excuse the piece of bread in Landon's hand). I love his cheesy smile!
And so begins the hour of Landon's craziness before bedtime
He refused to let me put his pajama pants on. And he just can't leave Marley alone.

Birthday party #2
All the partying wore this little guy out
So silly and so cute all at the same time
I didn't dare turn on the flash so it's hard to see, but he fell asleep while watching a movie
This kid loves yogurt and granola

Best buds, yeah
My aunt was in town and treated us to dinner. There was a band and Landon was just loving it, clapping away!
Indoor playgrounds are the best :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Juuuust some randomness

I've been feeling like writing about everything and nothing all at the same time. And I know that doesn't make sense but that's the way my brain has been working lately. Get ready for some randomness.

After realizing that I cannot keep throwing up (I haven't even gained 5 lbs so far), I started taking the progesterone the "other way" instead of orally. And it has definitely helped with the nausea. The progesterone must be working too, because I haven't felt any cramping since I started taking it. My uterus is still irritable and tenses up a lot, and every now and then I feel pressure, but overall - things are better. Praise God.

I know I wrote about how I'm going to lose my mind during this pregnancy, and that is still true…but I'm thinking Logan will lose his mind too. And he's going to make me lose my mind even more. Because he kind of freaks out when I walk up the stairs too fast (in his opinion) or when I try to do too much (in his opinion). We went to Costco today to stock up big time and he wanted me to ride in an electric wheelchair. Um, no. No, I will not.

Of course I'm taking it easy for the most part, and I feel like I am the most unproductive person on the face of the planet right now because of it. Logan does almost all of the shopping these days but Costco is not your average store and it was just easier for me to go too. But of course they had samples galore and I was totally sucked in by most of them. Well played, Costco. Well played. The good news is this pregnant gal will not starve. The bad news is we have no more grocery money left this month. Yep.

I feel like I'm being ridiculously random right now (and maybe not making much sense?) but oh well….potty-training. We're still putting Landon on the potty daily but haven't had any more success. And that's okay, because he's still young. If I wasn't pregnant I'd probably push it even more because he knows when he poops - he just doesn't want to sit on the potty to do it. But whatever.

I really, really need to find some motivation to do some productive things while I sit on my butt most of the day. There are many things I could do - read, crochet, write, etc - but somehow I get sucked into the TV and my laptop. WHYYYY? I've started to turn off the TV more (and it's hard to resist, sad to say), but I'm still having trouble actually wanting to do anything else…which is weird, because they are activities I actually enjoy. But somehow when you're physically lazy (i.e. put on modified bed rest by your husband), it's hard not to be lazy in every other area of your life. I struggled with it when I was pregnant with Landon, and this time it's that much worse because I'm even more tired with Landon running around. Ahhh. St. Michael, defend us in battle!

Landon and I may or may not have watched the movie Ratatouille about a dozen times in the last week and half. Don't judge. (It's actually a super cute movie! But I need to borrow some other movies from some people. For reals.)

So, I actually could keep going on and on with the randomness but I'm sure most of you have clicked away by now so I suppose I will stop. You're welcome.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Photo Friday: oh, just living life

I can't sit in the recliner by myself anymore. (Yes, that is the dog in between Landon and me.)
 This was a week ago…but yeah. 15-week belly.
 I don't know why he thinks this is comfy
 They did this all themselves. They really do love each other!
 Landon and his future wife ;) He was clearly having a good time while we were at a dr appt
 Landon likes to take my phone, hold it in front of his face and say "cheeeese"….so I told him he could press the reverse button thingy (does it have a name?) so he'd actually be taking a picture of himself. The next day I found a bunch of pictures on my phone that Landon took. Kids catch on quickly!

 I teach religion at my church and one of my students got me this for Chase! So cute.
 Landon thinks a woman's headband is fashionable. He put it on and left it on.
Landon and I were eating chicken nuggets in the recliner (we live on the wild side these days), and Marley was on the love-seat looking all jealous.


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