Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dear Boys...

Dear Boys:
Tonight is another sleepless night it appears.
Lil’ Aaron- you have been WORKIN’ your mother’s nerves as you teeth away and refuse to sleep (although, God bless it, it is appears you have given up fighting the good fight and are now, finally, peacefully sleeping). 

Lil’ Joseph- You have been working your way towards meeting us the past week, which is awesome and scary and all those good things. I can’t tell if I am worried about your birth, or my body is just going bizerk (is that a word) but it is keeping me from sleeping at night.  The weird thing is that you allow me to sleep during the day, you know… when I can’t…because of your brother…who is workin’ my nerves.

Anyway- I wanted you both to know a few things.  I think it is important that I write them down now, before Joseph gets here- so that the three of us never forget them. 

First, I love you both so much.  It is CRAZY to me that I am going to have two sons.  Sometimes, if I am being truthful, I still feel like a little girl playing pretend.  Like, I walk around our house, and I can’t believe it is our house.  I hold you, lil’ Aaron and I can’t believe you are my son.  I get to hold your daddy’s hand, or snuggle him at night and it seems like I am just ‘playing house’.  So, it is crazy that in a couple of weeks at the latest, our house is going to expand and we are going to have another newborn up in here!  And what a blessing that will be!

Second, I am SO glad you two are going to have each other.  I know a bunch of brothers, though, I am not sure I know any brothers that will be SO close in age.  Can you believe you two are only fourteen months apart?  Sometimes strangers, when they are being so kind, tell me I am the luckiest mommy around, because having two boys, so close in age, will be like giving each one a best friend.  Sometimes meanies tell me that you guys will fight and not get along.  But guess what?  I think you guys are gonna be the best of friends.  I can’t WAIT to watch you play together. 

Third, Lil’ Aaron, you have a HUGE responsibility- you are going to have to be the big brother that your little brother looks up to. I want you to take care of him. I want you to stick up for him, I want you to love him with the love of a best friend!  Lil’ Joseph, you are gonna be your own little dude, and although sometimes I am sure people will compare you to your big brother- you always need to remember that you are awesome because you are your own person. I can’t wait to see what your little personality will be like!

Boys- your daddy rocks.  I am sure, by the time you read this, you are going to be very aware that I hated being pregnant with both of you.  I always say, the only good thing about pregnancy is the baby part.  Both of you gave me a run for my money whilst in the womb (Lil’ Aaron- you were MUCH worse than lil’ Joey…just for the record)!  While you guys were giving me a run for my money, I, in turn gave your daddy a run for his money.  But, he always handles it with such grace.  Do you know your daddy rubs my back EVERY night?  Every single night, because he knows it is hard to be pregnant with you guys.  And when I get really sassy and angry (which I am sure you will see a lot of growing up), he handles me with patience.  The other thing that is really neat, is now that I can’t sleep, he is getting up with you, lil’ Aaron, every single morning, while I continue to sleep and cook lil’ Joseph.  This morning was AD-OR-ABLE.  I got up, only because I was feeling guilty for sleeping in, around 8:00 am.  Daddy had been up with you Lil’ Aaron for about 2 hours.  And you were both on the couch, watching, ‘Thor’, you had fallen asleep on his chest. It was pretty much awesome.  What kind of a lucky mama and I to be married to such a rockstar of a guy?  I hope you each end up so much like your daddy.

Lastly guys, I wanted to tell you, as excited as I am to have both of you, I am kind of nervous about what next year is going to bring.  I think it is gonna be pretty tough caring for you both, while working, and trying to be a good wife to your daddy, a good daughter to your grandparents, a good sibling to your aunts/uncles and a good friend to the those that are in our circle.  I foresee that I am going to make a lot of mistakes and lose my patience a lot. I think it is going to be a bit of a tough year- and I am trying to gear up for that by making sure my prayer life is intact and that I am busy focusing on my blessings.  BUT, I wanted to tell you, as I am sure to lose my patience a lot, that I am aware that I am the luckiest girl in the world because I have you both, I have your daddy and we have our faith in God.

So…now that I wrote those things, Joey, you can feel free to come at any time.  Let’s, as they say, ‘do this thing’!  Can’t wait to hold you in my arms sweet baby boy and I can’t wait to introduce you to your big brother.
I love you both!

Friday, June 29, 2012

--- 1 ---
There are two lessons my father taught me from an early age that I wish America would learn. #1- Nothing on earth is free, if it sounds to good to be true- it is! And #2 Life is not Fair! I think we would be happier, as a country, and certainly more 'free' if we acknowledged those two truths in the National Conversation. That is all I have to say about that.
--- 2 ---
The kid is sick. Teething I am sure due to the low grade fever, and crazy amount of drooling. It has made for a really rough couple of days, coupled with the fact that I can't sleep, tripled with me not doing well at the end of pregnancy- well friends, I could use a prayer or two!
--- 3 ---
That being said, mr. man is adorable when he is sick :) When he is not crying, he is cuddling or laughing randomly. He has these sleepy eyes, coupled with bursts of energy. I figured, in my good moments during this sickness, that God has given this gift to me right before lil' Joseph was born. It has been nice rocking him in my arms again, having him cuddle and remembering what he was like in those first few weeks...I can't believe we get to have another one of these things! Life rocks.
--- 4 ---
Speaking of life rocking, the husband has had some major scores this week. Including, but not limited to, letting me use 'July' money to get take out from my favorite *expensive Italian Restaurant. Food and I are at odds the last couple weeks of pregnancy and there is a lot of throwing up once again, so eating food that actually tastes good is a lovely thing. In addition to that, last night, sweet husband tried his hardest to stay up with me through my insomnia. It was actually really cute, because the later I stay up, the more often he has to get up with the baby in the morning. SO, last night, at about ten, I made the greatest effort to actually fall asleep. He was rubbing my back, but kept falling asleep as he was doing it! He tried to rally and stay up till I fell asleep, but that wasn't coming anytime soon. At about 11:00 pm I let him off the hook. At about midnight thirty is when we realized neither of us would get any sleep because of the lil' man! He is a good dude. We tag teamed the next six hours- it rocked and was absurd and all things not pleasant- but it had it's moments of humor.
--- 5 ---
Um, best news ever! I can't believe I didn't start with this! I am dilated at two (I am saying two because three days ago, I was almost 2) and the baby is engaged and ready to go. Please Please Please keep those prayers up! There are other lovely things happening including occasional contractions, crazy body changes and of course, puking, that indicate that the time could be near. I know there is still a really good chance a c-section will happen and I refuse to be one of those women who is depressed by a child that comes into this world with more medical intervention than one would hope...BUT, if thing could work out wonderfully, well gee golly- wouldn't that be awesome for the future birth department?!?!? Fingers and toes crossed- but really just trustin' Jesus.
--- 6 ---
Speaking of trustin' Jesus. I did ask him nicely if we could wait until tomorrow because I would like to get my Sacrament of Reconciliation on before the birth of the newest little one! I still like to get my Sacrament on any time there is a chance of death (is that weird to write). But, I also do it other times too, so I am not totally a heathen.
--- 7 ---
And finally- to end where I started... "Members of this court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation's elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from their political choices."- Chief Justice Roberts.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Seven Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
As stated previously, the entire family was in town last week for my youngest sister's graduation. It is insanity that my youngest sister is now a high school graduate. Even more insane, that for the first time since 9 months into my parent's marriage, they will have an empty house. I am sure many of us bloggers, who have young families, can't imagine when our youngest will leave the house and we will be alone with just visits from the grandkids. My parents now have 19 of those! 19 can you imagine? During family pictures my dad said, 'I wish everyone could know what this feels like'. He was proud, it was awesome.
--- 2 ---
We have a pretty tiny house. I am not complaining. Actually, to be honest, 40 years ago it would have been considered a super large house. Actually, to be honest, in most countries, it would still be considered a pretty huge house. BUT, to US standards, our house appears small. My sisters and their seven kids collectively stayed with us for the weekend. It was loud! And awesome! And, I was very tired at the end of the weekend :)
--- 3 ---
My husband is a prince. If you follow this blog, you already know that, but this weekend he went above and beyond. On Father's Day, he didn't get a second of celebration (we did, however, celebrate throughout the week). In fact, his day started at 6:00 am with watching our child while I went to Mass. He then came with me to work, so we could help facilitate a graduation Mass, followed by a reception for our graduating seniors. From there, we went straight to my parent's for my youngest sister's graduation day. It was a looonng day! We finally got home around 7:30 pm. My husband, the hero, offered to drop me off and come back to help my parents break down tables and chairs! And he was the only one who had to work the next morning!  He rocks.
--- 4 ---
I was really sad yesterday, like, really sad. Turns out, we do, indeed, once again, have a super large child :( Yesterday, I spent a good deal of the day feeling sorry for myself, as I am watching my hopes for a VBAC slowing fade away. Fear not friends, I know we COULD attempt a vbac with a large child, and everyone has a story of a friend or a family member who has and has done it successfully. We are just not going to. So, now my hope lies in going into labor in the next two weeks. Prayers welcome. I am resigning myself to a life of csections and I know it is not the end of the world at.all. It just makes things more complicated, and I like simplicity ;)
--- 5 ---
In the middle of my 'feeling sorry for myself' episode, I thought of the many women, some who I know, that would love to have a child by any means possible. That wouldn't care about a c-section, the risks, etc...if they just got to hold their very own child. And so, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself. My husband reminded me that we should feel so THANKFUL for modern medicine that allows for the screening/safety of the children that grow within me. That made me feel so MUCH better. My husband is wise, this time.
--- 6 ---
Knock on wood for real...but it appears we have a weekend with ZERO plans. I am so.excited. On the docket? Getting rooms ready for switches and baby arrival. I cannot believe in less than a month we are going to have another newborn up in this house, insanity.
--- 7 ---
Go to this link. It is my friend Barbara's blog. She is an exceptional writer, and this particular blog has been playing in my mind the last two days. Talk about an inspirational women.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This one will probably tick everyone off...

...but it has to be said.
To my prolife friends
YOU SUCK.  WE, PROLIFERS, COLLECTIVELY SUCK at getting our point across.  Watch this video when you have time (it is long, but awesome).  Do you see how his arguments are not refutable?  Do you see how he changes minds? 
Here is the bottom line.  Abortion is still legal in this country because of prolifers.  It is still legal in this country because we get so passionate about the horror that we forget to teach effectively.  Lemme tell you something, if a teacher was teaching to a class of fourth graders, and 45-50% of them did not understand what the teacher was saying…it would NOT be the student's fault.  The beauty of the message of life is that it is good, it is easy to understand and it is logical.  But often, for the sake of ‘shocking’ or ‘spreading the truth’, we don’t spread our message effectively.  A bloody torn apart baby, seen on a sign, as one of my pro-choice friends drives by, DOES NOT make them want to be pro-life. It has changed exactly no hearts, ever (of those I know) because it is polarizing, it dehumanizes the child that was murdered, and it closes hearts to the message.
When a teenager is murdered through violence, you DO NOT see a picture of their bloody corpse.  Generally, you see a picture of them looking their best, their most youthful, and THAT pulls at heartstrings.  That opens people’s hearts to the senselessness of violent death, and convicts people to want to create change.  How about we take that as a sign? 

How about we start showing mothers with their children instead?  How about we ask for witnesses? People who have made the tough choice to allow their child to live, despite their fears?  How about we celebrate the teenager who is pregnant and made the ‘choice’ to allow their child to live? How about we do that in our social circles, rather than gossip about the fact that they are ‘knocked up’?  How about we acknowledge that poverty is linked to abortion and we MUST address poverty and work towards a society where mothers feel cared for and loved? 
These things we MUST start doing. There is no reason, in this country, in this world, abortion should be legal. There is NO reason we should be losing this fight.  Let’s learn how to LISTEN and then how to TALK to others.  Let’s learn how to stop certain things from being said (‘I am personally prolife, but can’t tell another not to kill their child’).  Let’s stop pursuing ways of hearing a truth we are already convicted of,  ways that are effective only for ‘us’. Instead let’s learn how to pursue ways of teaching a truth that others can be open to (that was a big sentence, not sure if it makes sense).

To my prochoice friends…

1 thing you must stop saying
You must stop saying, ‘I would never have an abortion, but it is not my place to tell someone what to do with their body’.  Here is why. 
It is NOT a logical argument. And it drives me bat crud crazy.  If YOU would not have an abortion, I am guessing it is because you find it morally unacceptable.  I am also going to guess that you find it morally unacceptable because it is taking life.  And, my prochoice friends, we ARE allowed to tell people that they cannot take life, if we, indeed believe it is the taking life.  We do it every day.  YOU do it every day.  You support laws that tell people that they cannot steal, they cannot kill other citizens, and they cannot harm others.  We say that people cannot abuse children, cannot burn buildings down, cannot speed, etc…
It would be RIDICULOUS for me to say, ‘I, personally, would never go 100 miles an hour down the highway during rush hour, but it is not my place to tell another individual that they can’t’.  We wouldn’t say that, because it DOES.NOT.MAKE.SENSE.  So, if you must insist on being prochoice, just please, please, please stop saying that.  Please.  It drives me bat crud crazy because it DOES NOT make any sense. Good? Okay. Next point.

You HAVE to be consistent.
This is going to be hard for my prochoice and my prolife friends to read, but it must be said.  Recently, in the news, there have been plenty of stories about ‘after-birth abortions’ or ‘infantacide’.  Both my prochoice and my prolife friends have acted horrified by this notion.  My prochoice friends get nervous…they could be compared to someone who would kill an ‘actual child’.  My prolife friends act like we ‘could be headed there any day’, and thus, they are horrified. 
Here is the deal. We are there. 

And this, my friends is where it gets tough…
there is NO DIFFERENCE between abortion in the womb and after birth abortion.  To be quite honest, both lives are unsustainable without the help of the mother or others.  A baby is not able to live on his/her own life until they are probably around 5 or 6 years of age, and even then it would be extremely difficult.  As biology tells us, the moment the egg and the sperm meet, life begins to grow.  Cell begin to duplicate and the ‘fetus’ begins to thrive.  This is a FACT.  Check out this cool video (not factual) that is fun to watch to see how ‘life’ happens.  SO…my prochoice friends, after fertilization, if one kills the ‘fetus’, one is killing growing life.  One might use the argument that at different points in the growth process it is no longer okay to kill, but who gets to decide?  The most consistent pro-choice folks I have ever met argue for ‘after birth abortions’ or ‘infanticide’. And, although I am horrified at their thought process (especially considering they would deem it morally acceptable to kill my son), I do give them kudos for being CONSISTENT.  And for making sense.  If you are going to allow for the killing of life at any point, based on the non-viability of the ‘fetus’- you necessarily have to carry that through.  Just because my newborn might be cuter than the child growing in my four month pregnant neighbor, does not make my newborn any more able to sustain his/herself outside the womb.  And so, friends, all I ask is that if you are going to have those beliefs, you TRULY understand what you are stating. Then, own it, even if it is hard to own.  It brings a truth to the discussion.

Those are my thoughts, I am sure you have some too, but dang, that felt good to get off my chest (it has been stewing for at least four months).

(photos by Russ Wasylyshyn)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A mini-breakdown

…happened at the most unexpected time.  You see, many people warn about First Time Mothers being concerned that they won’t be able to love the second child enough.  That is not a thought I have had at all.  I think maybe being part of a big family where each of us kids felt much love helped me to avoid that common feeling.  But last night, something weird happened, that caused a mini breakdown.

This weekend was INSANE (I shall reflect on that in a later blog) because my entire immediate family was in town, which has not happened in a couple of years.  We had my sister’s families staying with us, so our house was pretty crazy busy.  It was a super full weekend and LOTS of stimulation.  If you know me, although I always say I am very extroverted, I REALLY enjoy alone time and quiet.  I thrive on moments of constant stimulation, followed by silence, relaxation, etc…Because of the nature of this weekend, there was little time that we weren’t constantly on the go, surrounded by people, and full of conversation/laughter/stimulation.  That is awesome. However, by last night, when our house was quiet, I was feeling a bit like I was missin’ my son who I had just spent all weekend with.  I just felt like we hadn’t cuddled enough, I hadn’t talk to him enough, and that in between his playing with his cousins (which he LOVED) and being tossed from relative to relative…I didn’t get much time to bond with him.  SO…I decided last night to go into his room while he was sleeping and cuddle him for a few minutes. I decided to pull him out of his crib and rock him for a few moments, just him and I.

And while I was rocking him, I realized something.  He only has a few more weeks of being my baby.  In a couple weeks, he is going to become a big brother. I will have a new little baby, who we will love just as much.  Our family will grow in such a beautiful way.  But, for that moment, last night, I was relishing the fact that my first son was still my baby son.  I realized that it would never by just the ‘three of us’ again (daddy, mommy and lil’ A).  I started crying, slowly and quietly at first, and then I called to Aaron (the husband) to come see us.  When he walked in the room I shared with him that Aaron will never be our baby son again, he will be the big brother and these are the last few weeks of our family of three. As I was explaining that, I started to cry even harder. I mean REALLY crying.  Aaron asked if I was sad about that and, truth be told, was a bit confused by my emotional reaction.  I am NOT sad about having a second son, but I realized that our family really is moving forward quickly.  I am forgetting to cherish all the moments we have. I am realizing that before we know it our children will be grown. 

Aaron at the Splash Pad today
We took family pictures this weekend, and it was amazing to see my parents surrounded by 17 of their 19 grandchildren (two are still cookin’).  It is crazy to think that my mom once held her first born son in a rocker, as she prepared to meet her next child.  My parents have both shared how they can’t believe how fast time has flown by and how proud they are of the legacy that they and God have built together though their children.  I realized as I held our baby boy, who is now not so much a baby, that time will fly by and I need to hold on to each moment we have. 

The tears have dried today, the mini breakdown has passed, but I have tried to be more present to my oldest son.  These last few weeks of pregnancy are special for so many reasons, but one of them is they are the last weeks it will just be him and I.  And I intend to savor every moment of it J

Monday, June 11, 2012

Prayer Request...

Gratuitous picture of my massive 1st son :)
...if you please... I am putting this in blog form because I want to be really clear about the prayers we are requesting and ask that not too many opinions be given:) As many of you know, lil' Aaron was born via C-section. It was a choice we made based on the facts we had, and we are very comfortable with the outcome and our birth story. I know where many people stand in terms of c-section and trust me, c-section mammas have heard it all before. So, what would NOT be helpful following this blog post is a bunch of opinions on birthing options. What I would love is the following. If our child can stay normal sized and labor occurs before the 40 week point, the chances of us being able to have a natural birth are strongly increased. We obviously want what is best for the health of our child and thankfully, we really trust our doctor...but having another Cesarean section will put future pregnancies at great risk. Being that I come from a VERY fertile family and Aaron/and I are open to God's plan for our children...future pregnancies are more than likely in the cards. SO...a natural labor this time is desperately wanted by both of us. It will take away a lot of stress in the next 5-10 years if we can put ourselves on track for natural births in the future.

My request is this. Those of you that are the praying type, if you can add us to your family and personal prayer lists. The prayer would be that we go into labor naturally before the 40 week mark and that our child continues to measure at regular size and stays under the 9 pound range. I am sure many of you have stories about women who have had vbacs post 40 weeks and over 9 pounds, but that is the criteria our doctor and we are comfortable with in an attempt for a natural labor. SO...if you don't mind, as we head towards the homestretch, please add us to your prayer lists. For real for real. Like, right now, add us :) Okay thanks.

Monday, June 4, 2012


...help a sister out. Why can I no longer find the 'follow' button on blogger? It used to be in the top left corner, but I don't see it there anymore. How can I follow other's blogs?

Friday, June 1, 2012

--- 1 ---

So, I am trying out the 7 Quick Takes...will it work?

--- 2 ---

I have had a car payment since I was 16 years old. In the past two years, the husband and I have made an honest effort to get financially responsible. Today, we will pay off Aaron's car and, for the first time in 15 years, I will not have a car payment. The plan is to run these cars into the ground, while saving to buy the dreaded 'van' (I REALLY don't want a mini-van, but I think it is unavoidable, as SUV's are entirely too much cash!). We figure we have about 2 years to save, heaven help us!

--- 3 ---

ab Yesterday, Lil' Aaron and I were playing outside. He found a stick on the ground, picked it up and started knocking over plants with it! It is crazy to think that at 1.1 years old, my son is already all boy!

--- 4 ---

Tomorrow marks 3 years since Big Aaron took me on my first date in 6 years and our first date. We went to the perfect Italian Restaurant. Three years, 1 house, and two kids later- it is amazing to think how much that day changed my life.

--- 5 ---

In 3 weeks, I will be 3 weeks away from due date! I will also be having at least 11 people (7 children) staying at my house for the weekend. The 'people' are my sisters and some of my favorites (nieces and nephews) I.cannot.wait!

--- 6 ---

This week, someone posted on their facebook, 'if someone doesn't like you, figure out a way to love them better' - Mrs. Coulter. This has pretty much rocked my world and I have been thinking about it all week. Usually, I think, 'if someone doesn't like me, there is nothing I can do about it, move on'. BUT, I think the philosophy of figuring out how to love them better might be the way to go. I am going to continue to pray about that one.

--- 7 ---

Did I do this right? I suppose I will on be able to tell when I hit, 'save as'! Good luck to me! :)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!