Friday, February 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes- Volume I don't know because I have never kept track

--- 1 ---
I woke up to a surprise planned by my husband this morning.  On our counter was a pot, in that pot was a piece of paper and a box of matches.  On that piece of paper was a number 42 thousand and some odd dollars.  It said, 'American Education Services'.  Some of you might be familiar with American Education Services.  As of today, they are no longer a part of my life.  American Education Services had the majority of my school student loans.  Together, we have paid off over $42,000 of AES loans (we have a couple more other loans to go).  I took that sheet of paper and I burned it in the pot, and lemme tell you, it felt awesome.
--- 2 ---
I am so thankful for the gift of cesarean sections :)   People rarely say that.  A LOT of women try to make other women feel bad if they ended up having one.  A LOT of women feel like failures if they happen. I do not.  I am so thankful that each of my boys have been born healthy and fantastic through this gift of medical science.  Last week, one of my best friend's wife had a baby!  Woot woot!  She ended up having an emergency c-section.  We talked a few days later about how thankful we are for medical science, and how, although natural labor would have been awesome, we are so thankful for how things worked out.  C-sections rock!
--- 3 ---
I'm on a roll, so I shall keep going, I am so thankful for the gift of formula to nourish our babies.  Breast feeding is so awesome and beautiful and bonding and delightful.  AND I am totally okay with the fact that my children are formula fed (for reasons my husband and I decided).  It's funny, yesterday on a fb post, a women was talking about the critique of breast feeding moms on formula feeding moms.  The person who posted this has just adopted a little boy and wasn't able to breast feed.  There were LOTS of comments in support, but one comment said, 'breast feeding advocates, such as myself, would never criticize an adoptive parent for not breast feeding'.  On the thread, most parents encouraging her were NOT adoptive parents and still ended up formula feeding. I couldn't believe the boldness of this 'breast feeding advocate".  It's so unfortunate, what women do to each other.  And, I feel so grateful for all the beautiful women in my life that have encouraged me and my decisions.  
--- 4 ---
So, I'm going to try to make this short. I have been doing a LOT of thinking on NFP lately.  When we found out we were pregnant with this new little guy, I had a bit of a hard time with it.  What was amazing is, a few days later I read Coleen's blog and it made me feel less alone.  Then, this week Bonnie's Blog spoke to my heart.  An openness to God's plan for your fertility is really difficult in today's culture.  REALLY difficult. Particularly if you have been blessed by crazy fertility, as my husband and I have.  Yesterday, we had our first real OB appointment.  The doctor was literally SHOCKED when we told her that any form of artificial birth control would not be an option for us (tubal ligation?  Nope. IUD? Nope. Vasectomy?  Nope.).  She was crazy surprised.  Not rude, just surprised.  She asked what religion we were, we told her Catholic.  Then, she was even more surprised, because she had never met a couple who practiced an openness to life this way. I wasn't angry at her, but I was shocked that we would be the ONLY patients, out of ALL her patients that would be living a reality of no artificial birth control.  Anyway, I'm developing some deeper thoughts on this (don't worry, non judgmental ones) that I shall share at  future date.
--- 5 ---
Little Aaron has started really playing with Joseph and it is such a joy to see.  The other day, Joey was finishing his bottle, and Aaron went up to him and held it for him.  When he finished, he laid on his tummy. I watched it all happened and felt so so so very grateful for the awesome reality that is my two sons.  Geez, did we get lucky.
--- 6 ---
You know who I don't like at all?  Mary.  Downton Abbey.  I think she is MEAN.  And NASTY.  Especially to her sister, and I don't think that is cute. So, while she is stunningly gorgeous, she has to start being nice to people.  That is all.  
--- 7 ---
This morning I realized I double-booked myself for two talks next week. This has never happened and I have that pit in my stomach, like you do when you did something really bad. Please say a prayer it all squares away, I am sure it will...but I am just feeling so bad about it.  Sometimes, my phone does not sync with my 'google' calendar, so THANK GOD, I even realized it this morning.  Here's hoping everything works out AND great lesson learned about  the failures of modern technology!

Have a great week and check out more quick takes!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Special 8th take at my husband's request.
He just found out.  Cheesecake Factory is coming to the Metro Detroit. He is VERY excited. 


  1. Congratufreakinlations on number one! We finally found a midwife who is Catholic and sports our nfp use, but she's rare indeed and unfortunately many catholics get bad advicefrom secular doctors. Hopefully you will inspire her to be more open! And I wrote a whole post about breastfeeding a couple years ago - I totally agree with you.

    1. You know, we tried to switch doctors this time, but the thing is, I REALLY trust and love my doctor though she is total secular and thinks we are crazy. At least with this pregnancy, our hope is going to be that through witnessing to her our openness to life, we can do some good. :)I'll have to look up your breastfeeding post. I LOVE women that can breastfeed (my rockstar sister is working full time and tandem breast feeding her two twins, can you imagine!?!?!) I just HATE the judgment that comes from some!

  2. Oh my heck, congrats on paying off the loans!!! Is that the end of it then? We are about to finish ours up and it will be SOOO fun to hit that submit button and hopefully celebrate somehow!

    So with the others, I absolutely HATE that we as women can't talk about mothering issues without either feeling defensive or feeling like you will be perceived as judgmental. It sucks. I'm not sure I have the perfect answer, though. I want to be able to talk about the merits and drawbacks of all the choices without it dissolving into hurt feelings or pride. I think it's obvious that women want and have an inherent NEED to talk about these things (witness any group of mothers get together...) so I think it's harmful to just avoid any mommy topics in the hope of avoiding controversy. And these things are important to talk about. I don't want to have to feel like I have to pretend all choices are as good as the next but I don't want people to think that I think they are evil or bad mothers because they make a different choice than I do. And I don't like the idea that "we're all just making the best choices we can for our family" because I feel like that's a cop-out. We know a lot of mothers AND fathers don't do that. I don't do that all the time. None of us is perfect and our intentions behind our decisions are not always pure. So I appreciate when others can challenge me (kindly or even just by their example) to be a better mother and make of myself a more sincere gift to my family. Does any of that make sense? I apologize if it's not coming across the right way.

    Also...you referred to your babe in utero as "little guy"...but you don't know boy or girl yet, correct??? That wasn't a hidden announcement, right???

    1. See, I don't think it is a cop out to say, 'we're all just making the best choices we can for our family'. Though there are some OBJECTIVELY good choices, in a lot of circumstances with child raising (particularly child bearing/feeding/newborn phase) a crud ton is SUBJECTIVE. I think it is about respecting other's choices and being confident in yours. I think one can say, strongly, that laboring naturally, breastfeeding, etc...are ideal circumstances if your life works out that way. BUT respecting other's choices (assuming they are not harmful to the baby) is essential. I have SO much respect for breastfeeders, those that labor naturally, heck, those that birth their babies at home! But, those are not my choices and I should not be made to feel bad because I assessed the situation in our household and made different choices. You know? I think those that tend to be judgmental, do so because they are not confident with their own decisions. I can honestly say, I don't really judge MOST parenting methods, particularly in the baby years. Unfortunately, because I roll in the 'CAtholic circles' there is a crud ton of judgment shot my way from 'natural mamas'. Challenge is good, but sweeping generalizations are divisive and hurtful! That's my take.

      And, the 'little guy' comment was sub conscience, but I do think it will be another boy! We are trying to catch up with the Haseltines!!!

    2. I agree mostly. But not to kill the point I think there ARE times when we're NOT doing what we know is best for our family (which is why healthy guilt can be helpful). We're all prey to concupiscence. OR (much more often) we're not doing something that would be BETTER because we just don't know that it's an option! Which is why information and advocacy are important. And people definitely get zealous with it like we do with anything, especially things that involve the wellbeing of innocent little people who don't get a say in the matter. I think that's why you might find more judgement in the Catholic circles. Because we as part of living out our faith recognize the dignity of every person, even the tiniest...and that affects how we make choices for our children. That doesn't mean that everyone needs to be doing the same things because it IS subjective to the circumstances but it does mean that the choices and the intentions behind them are important. And we can still say that all things being equal, certain choices are better than others. And we get overzealous in sharing that...sort of like how we get when we're first set on fire for the Faith :)

      I admit I'm not always confident in my parenting. There's a whole lot I don't know about raising children. But I'm learning this as I go and we all are. I think that's why it IS important to talk about this stuff, but of course, checking oneself to make sure everything is done in charity. (And I'll be the first to admit that I'm often bad at that charity thing.)

      I really do appreciate the discussion. I miss being back in college and debating things back and forth and figuring out this life thing. But I hope nothing I've ever said has made you feel judged or hurt because that would make me sad.

      And oh my goodness, you guys are going to catch up and fly by us in no time. If only I weren't breastfeeding, my ovaries could take you on ;)

    3. Right, but I think there is a fine line between not doing what's "best", and doing something harmful. And turning something one deems, 'not best' is something very different than accusing someone of doing something harmful. There was an article, going around facebook last month, claiming if you did not attachment parent and breastfeed, your child is likely to be less intelligent. Now, part of me just laughs hysterically at this, and the other part thinks, 'what the heck is wrong with people?'. On every single one of those posts, I wrote, 'we do not breastfeed and we do not attachment parent, I will let you know in 10-15 years if our children are less intelligent than yours'. I did this because I think it was important to point out to the people posting, that ACTUAL people are reading the things they post. People who make different decisions then them.

      Also, there is fine line between expressing what you see best (which I do as well, shout out to all the opinionated people in the world!!!) and JUDGING what is best for another family (again, on subjective issues). The woman in the facebook post that wrote, 'breastfeeding advocates such as myself would never judge you for not breastfeeding because of adoption'. Who the H does this 'breast feeding advocate' think she is to judge ANYONE??? and, then, to not even hide the fact that she is doing so.

      I think, as faithful Catholics, we are so used to being defensive about our decisions (rightly so) and sometimes, we take our personal preferences and make them dogmatic statements on how things should be done. And there is a HUGE danger in that.

      I LOVE your passion for birth, effective/healthy care of family and most importantly raising your children to be saints. I am not going to say I have agreed with everything you have posted (I always say, and truly believe, 'as long as the baby is healthy' when it comes to child birthing!), but I respect where you are coming from. There are other people, who have the same passions as you, that I have completely blocked in the social media world. Those that make sweeping judgments, tie spirituality unfairly into the argument (i.e. not breastfeeding is giving into satan's temptation- TRUE STORY).

      I totally agree that a need for dialogue is necessary, and although social media can help that along, it can also be QUITE harmful. I am part of a facebook group called, 'NO DRAMA Catholic Mama' or something. It is a group dedicated to exploring the best way to be parents, but without casting hurtful judgments. It is my favorite, because you have all kinds that are a part of it. From the most natural of mamas, to the opposite of that (whatever that is).

      The dialogue is good, but we also have to be really careful about the things we say, particularly in the social media world. At least that is my opinion!

    4. Definitely. I am totally guilty of getting so caught up in my head and philosophizing that I forget there are real people on the other end of my opinions and passion. I really really appreciate the reminder to not be a jerk no matter what you believe because I know I need it. And I promise I'll stop taking over your combox now :)

  3. #1: woop woop double woop!

    #2 & 3: This is coming from someone who had a vaginal birth and breastfeeds: I am so thankful for c-sections and formula too. I think that the pro-life part of me has a lot to do with it. Can you imagine all of the children who would not be born, mothers who would die, children who would starve if it weren't for these things? Can you imagine raising kids in our society which isn't all that excited about kids (hello #4, right?) without medical advances like this? They are helpful and not wrong and I am thankful that you get to have these things in your life :)

    #4: Amen. Over and over. It's scary.

    #6: I'm going to punch you in the toes. Spoiler Alert?? You best be glad I averted my eyes super quickly ;)

    1. Swear, I didn't say anything. Except I don't like Mary. which I would have said anyway, without seeing the final episode!

  4. I just wanted to let you know that I love your boldness and opinions. That's all ;)
    Oh, and I think Mary should be nicer too. I'm a bit over her attitude for sure.
    Not sure if I have ever said it, but I'm so happy for you with the announcement of your littlest peanut. Prayers for you from over here! Blessings to you!

    1. Thank you thank you! AND, I just have to assume you know Mary :) Otherwise, well, this would be um, awkward!

    2. WAIT! Okay, I am about to make you smile. When you said, 'mary' I thought you were referring to 'mary' at better than eden, who commented above, not Mary from downton because of my 7qt, so then, I thought you were just teasing mary at better than eden. Now, I understand that you were referring to Mary on Downton, of course, because I referenced her. Pregnancy brain, gets ya everytime!

  5. #1- Woot! Woot!! That is so awesome!

    #2- c-sections? Cannot say I love them. I am thankful for them. But, when I look good and hard at the how and the why of my first, I know it could have been avoided. I guess I should say I do not like Dr's who rush things that make c-sections more necessary. Does that make sense?

    And as far as your DR . . . this is just my opinion, but I would put up with alot of junk from a DR I really trust. After my second was born and my OB left practice, my only criteria from a DR was that they were good in the OR and had a good track record with c-sections. I was willing to put up with many questions our our NFP use if it meant a healthy delivery for me and my baby!

    1. Yeah, that is where I am at with the doctor thing. We switched by 'yellow-paging' a prolife doctor, and after our first appointment, I immediately told Aaron I wanted to switch back. I know they don't 'understand' our reality of nfp, but as of yet, we have not been pushed to go against our beliefs.

      I guess, I am so thankful for my c-section with Joey especially and I am SO thankful for my friend's wife that just delivered a healthy baby after a terrifying turn of events...that I am willing to say I love them :) I love that medical science provides a way for us to have healthy babies (and live!) when circumstances rapidly change and become life threatening. Do I agree that they are done 'too often'. Yup. Do I understand why doctors do them so often? Yup. From a doctor's point of view, the risk of trying a natural labor, in some circumstances, just isn't worth it. I think, like you said, it boils down to trust....
      which to bring it full circle, is why we went back to the ob who is not necessarily digging our reproductive choices, but is crazy skilled at what she does.

  6. Please read my post today. #7 is just for you, even if I wrote it before I read your stuff.
    I'm not on FB for Lent, but one of the flaws I find in FB is that people you were friends with years ago assume there is a relationship where they can call you on, even if you haven't talked in 5 years. For things like bfeeding, c-sections, etc, yeah, sometimes we make choices because we are freaking out and we need a friend to say that we are going to be just fine and it's okay to try and fail and what-not. But most of the time, if you really think someone is making a choice for the wrong reasons, it's best to take to prayer.

  7. Mary, I just like how real you are!
    Congrats on paying off loans, what an accomplishment!