Monday, March 31, 2014

School Choice

Pregnancy is a time of preparation. The mother’s body is continuously changing preparing to give birth. The baby’s body is continuously growing and becoming stronger waiting for his debut. While preparation in the lives of the mother and father are taking place as well. There seems to be so much to get ready! You have to get all the essentials—diapers, wipes, car-seat, stroller, highchair, burp cloths, nursery décor, clothes, and then more clothes, nursing pads, a nursing pump, bottles, blankets, and the list could go on and on. You are told to take child birth classes and CPR classes. You have to child-proof the house and get that nursery looking perfect. The funny thing about all that preparation is that it doesn’t really matter that much. It can all be done after the baby arrives, and often there is plenty of down time to get it all done when the baby is still in the hospital. However, it seems to consume the minds of the mothers leading up to the birth. Everything has to be just perfect.

In the midst of pregnancy the logical thing seems to be to prepare for when the baby arrives. I’m sure some of you other moms understand when I say most of those things really don’t matter. However, when it’s all you have to think about—it just makes sense. As my children grow I find myself having to make “more important” decisions. As my perspective has changed (seems like daily) those “important” decisions seem to change right along with it. Decisions about nursery décor seem very unimportant when thinking about the decisions we now debate. Our newest decision is where to send our oldest to school.

On one hand we are so very blessed to have so many options. On the other hand it seems like it would make life so much easier if there was one clear choice. In my eyes we have three choices, homeschooling, catholic school, or public school. Each choice has it’s pros and cons—which I could list here for you, but I’m guessing my list and your list would be different. This only makes sense since our children are different and our perspectives are different. There is not a correct answer—no one size fits all.

So instead I will tell you that for now we have decided to send our oldest to kindergarten at public schools. We are very blessed to live in a great school corporation that consistently ranks at the top in the state academically. There are things that I’m not thrilled about such as class size, all day kindergarten, not enough play, and probably some other things I can’t think of currently. However, for now we are going to see how it goes. In an ideal world we would have an amazing Catholic school that was affordable and right down the street from us and that had smaller class sizes, but we don’t live in an ideal world. We do live in a world where we get to decide though. Luckily, I know going into the school year that if anything goes wrong or if we don’t like the decision we made we can pull her out and try a different approach. And I think that is what I’ve learned through the whole process of school choosing, nothing is ever permanent. That fact alone is why I think this “huge decision” (that will look tiny in the big scheme of parenting) isn’t keeping me awake at night anymore.

What about you? Do you have young children who haven’t started school yet? What have you decided for their schooling? Do you have older children who are already in school? How do you feel about where they are?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Going by Fast

It's the third trimester already! I'm not sure where all the time has gone, but there isn't much of it left until this new little one blesses us with HIS presence. Yes, in case you missed it--we are blessed to be having another boy.

I have been pretty awful about keeping this blog updated. I guess with three little ones and being pregnant I have an excuse, but  maybe this third trimester I'll do better?

I don't want to jinx myself, but so far I'm still feeling pretty great. I've been maintaining a wonderful 5-6 times a week workout routine and the baby seems to love healthy food like pineapple so it's been easy to maintain a good weight. I'll try to have my husband take a belly picture soon and post it. I'm not big on pictures of myself anyway, but the 4th time around has given me even less motivation than normal to post pictures of how huge this belly really can get!

I know Lent is half way done already, but since I've posted so infrequently I figured I'd discuss a little of what I'm doing for Lent in hopes that I can motivate you--not only during Lent but for afterwards too.

I've been sacrificing sleep for Lent. I wake up fairly early in the morning get my workout, daily prayers, and shower all done before the kids are up. This is leaving more time during the day to spend with them. It's been wonderful! I think I may try to keep it up once Lent is over too. I have a stack of about 6 Catholic books on my nightstand too. I'm slowly making my way through each of them a little each night. It seems like a great way to end the day and clear my mind before I rest each night. It might not seem like a lot, but for busy moms getting in that daily prayer and a little spiritual reading each day is HUGE. If you haven't been able to lately, maybe try waking up a bit earlier--trust me it's worth it!

The next big milestone during this pregnancy is that fun Glucose test. I've never really minded the test all that much. The part I dislike is getting a rhogam shot--which happens at the same appointment. Yeah for being A+.

Thanks for reading all the pregnancy updates. I'm going to change it up a bit and write about school choices in the next post. Hopefully that will be posted Friday!

Have a blessed day. Don't forget to count all those small blessings!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Second Trimester Bliss

You know those mothering days where you wake up to complete silence, your children have dressed themselves in matching clothes, and they are polite and quietly play with each other all day long?

Yeah. Me either.

However, compared to what life was like just a couple weeks ago these past 2 weeks have felt like motherhood bliss.

I’m sure everyone knows one of “those women”. The women who LOVE being pregnant. They never get sick, they have even more energy than before pregnancy, they glow with beauty, and they are just generally wonderful to be around. I am not one of those women. Let me repeat—I. Am. Not. One. Of. Those. Women.

I’m sure you could already tell that from my previous post. But I want to be very clear-- for some of us pregnancy just plain sucks. We get sick before the pregnancy test even has a chance to turn positive, our hair can’t be helped with any product, our nails chip and break, our faces forget that we aren’t going through puberty anymore, we puke with such a velocity that it is bound to splash back up into our hair, we have less than zero energy, and we are moody. Picture one of those walking dead zombies. That’s kind of how I feel during pregnancy. At least during the first trimester.

After the first couple of weeks of the second trimester I feel like I am in pregnancy bliss. The sickness has subsided, my hair starts to look somewhat decent, no more acne, much more energy, and the moodiness is far less. I have been loving it! All that stuff that I put aside while I was feeling awful is now getting done. I have multiple parties planned at my house. I’ve been cooking dinner every single night again. And my favorite part is that I’ve been working out again! Each and every day I look forward to those workouts. Second trimester bliss! I hope all you other pregnant ladies will have the second trimester bliss too. I won’t even talk about what happens next—let’s just enjoy this time together.

February 10th is our big ultrasound. We will be finding out if this little baby is a boy or girl—I’m not the patient type. I’ve been having strong feelings that it’s another boy, but I can’t wait to find out for sure. Any thoughts from you??

As a side note, since this is the 4th time I’ve done this I feel like I should document postpartum so everyone else can see what it’s like. I’ve been thinking about journaling each and every day from what I ate, to what my workout looked like, to my emotions, and of course how my body is bouncing back. I find that it is very challenging to “get back to normal” after baby. I’m hoping maybe I can help lead other postpartum women to their goals. I’d love to hear what you readers think about this! Post here on the site or message me personally with any comments, thoughts, or ideas for the postpartum journey.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Today I woke up and realized it is now the year 2014. I feel like the last 2 ½ months have been a complete daze. Between pregnancy sickness, that seemed to last all day every day with no end in sight, and our family passing around the flu/cold bug that has been going around I feel like I just woke up from a long nap. The good news is that I’m feeling great! All the kids seem to be on the mend and things are slowly getting back to normal. The bad news is that we have now been snowed in for 3 days and everyone seems to be getting a bit antsy.

I thought this would be the perfect time to write an inspired blog on “New Year’s Resolutions”. But who am I kidding? I’m 15 or 16 weeks pregnant, (I can’t seem to remember—I guess that’s what happens the 4th time around) I worked out yesterday for the first time in 3 months and I am so sore I don’t want to lift my arms, no food sounds appealing therefore no cooking sounds remotely fun, my to-do list seems to grow exponentially by the day, and I’m just plain tired. So I’ve concluded that instead of blowing a bunch of smoke up your asses I’ll just be honest—for now, I resolve to get out of bed each morning, do my workouts, play with my kids, do my chores, say my prayers, love my husband, and fall back into bed each night. Hopefully, all my energy and zest will return shortly!

Sometimes I think God just wants us to do the simple things though. I feel like after being so sick from this pregnancy and relying on so many other people that I have a whole new perspective on things. How blessed I am. How blessed we are.

I can’t imagine dealing with a lifelong debilitating illness. I can’t imagine not having a warm place for my children to sleep at night. I can’t imagine my husband not having job that allows us to have nice things, warm clothes, a beautiful house, and general security. I should never have a complaint in the world. God has truly blessed me in this life.

So, with that perspective in mind I’m going to try and do the little things the best I can. I wish you all the best on your own New Year’s resolutions. If you haven’t started on your resolution yet—feel free to join me on my journey to conquer the little things.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Friend Japs

There are those friends we make when we are young that will forever be our friend. Sometimes we meet someone that is a friend for a while and then our lives take separate paths. However our friendships come about, there are some stories of friendship that will forever be a part of our memories.

Eliza has made a friend that brings a smile to my face every time I think about him.

A couple weeks ago as Brian was putting Eliza to bed they were going about their usual routine of storytelling. Usually Brian just tells Eliza some story and then tucks her in, but this was a special night. Brian insisted that Eliza be the one to tell the story. So she told him this elaborate story about being a princess and her prince “Japs”. Brian found the story so funny that he told me about it and about how Eliza was convinced that prince Japs was a real boy in her school. We just laughed it off.

 Multiple times over the next few weeks Eliza would tell us stories about playing with prince Japs at school. I couldn’t believe her imagination!

Then the day came. The day that I will not forget for a long time!

I was going with Eliza on a field trip to the pumpkin patch.

We loaded the bus and waited. What I didn’t realize was that another class would be coming on this field trip with us. As that class filed out of the school to load the bus Eliza immediately started screaming “It’s Japs! It’s Japs! Look mom there’s Japs.”

At this time I started thinking that she had a really good imagination and this make-believe friend must be going on the field trip with us. So I attempted to shush her as she continued to yell about her friend Japs.

Soon a little boy walked up and asked me to move so he could sit next to Eliza. He was very polite and I thought for just a second that maybe Japs was real.

As he buckled in I leaned forward and said, “Hi, I’m Eliza’s mom. What’s your name?”

“Hi, I’m Japs.”

I had about a million thoughts in that single second. Then I thought I must have heard him wrong. “What did you say your name was?”

“Dax, D-A-X.”

I know exactly where Eliza was getting the name “Japs” now. I found it absolutely hysterical.

Before I had a chance to chuckle Dax turned around and very politely said “Excuse me, Eliza’s mom?”

“Yes Dax?”

“I’m going to marry your daughter one day.”

He continued by saying that he had discussed it with his parents and that the girl he was previously going to marry wasn’t as good as Eliza. I just laughed and said we’d have to talk to Eliza’s daddy. I think I was still surprised that Japs was a real person and that he wasn’t Asian.

Since then we’ve found out that Dax lives just down the street from us. I haven’t decided if I should tell him the little boy a few doors down, that pees in my front yard, might put up a fight for his future wife.
Instead I just laugh every time Eliza mentions her friend "Japs". (She calls him Dax now.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rear View

Yesterday I had a very strange moment. I was driving my kids home from preschool and I glanced in the rear-view mirror. For a split second I felt as if I was living someone else’s life. When did I become an adult? When did I become mature enough to be a mother to these three tiny people? When will I be giving them back? It was as if I blinked and my life changed from being a carefree teenager to being a mother. Ever had one of those moments?

I read a fascinating quote in an article about motherhood this morning. The following quote was written by Joszef Cardinal Mindszenty in his book “The Mother”.

“The most important person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral—a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body. The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share in God’s creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven. Only a human mother can. Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation. . . What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this; to be a mother?”

I just kept reading the “a dwelling for an immortal soul” part over and over. It’s easy to read something as powerful as that quote and know that what I do all day REALLY is worth it. That those random moments where my subconscious tries to poke through in the rear-view mirror to convince me that it was better “back in the day” isn’t the truth.

I’m sure all you mothers out there understand what I mean by the never-ending cycle. Motherhood is this cycle of sometimes (ok most of the time) mind numbing duties that, like zombies in the night, we do over and over, day after day, year after year. Put them together and you have one heck of a job description, but separately they can seem like the most pointless tasks. I guess that’s why our job is not only the most important job in the world, but the job that requires the most prayers and aid from God. We simply could not do it without Him. I sure wouldn’t want to.

When I look in the rear-view mirror tomorrow, and I see those tiny little faces smiling back at me I’ll try to remember that I am in charge of forming them to become saints. That God is depending on me to be the very best mother I can be so that the souls that He created in my womb will one day be reunited with Him in heaven.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Mom in the Mirror

Would all the perfect mothers please stand up. Are you standing?

 Yea. Me neither.

Don’t we all strive to be the best moms we can be? We try to do it all. Society has convinced us that we are not good enough unless we have the perfect children, are in perfect shape, dress like a magazine model, decorate like Martha Stewart, cook like Betty Crocker, participate in all these extra-curricular activities, and the list could keep going. Does it make us imperfect if we “fail” in one of these areas?

Our brains have been conditioned to constantly criticize that person looking back at us in the mirror. Let’s cut ourselves a break and be realistic for a minute.

I read an article recently that discussed how women need to stop judging each other and just tell a fellow mom “good job” once in a while. It encouraged us moms to reach out to the mother you see struggling in the grocery store or in church with a wild toddler instead of judging them.  Isn’t it time we do the same thing to ourselves? It’s easy to look at all our failures and all the things we don’t get done in the day, but let’s cut ourselves a break. It’s impossible to get it all done. That’s one of the joys about being a mother—we are always needed. Even when our kids are grown and gone we will be needed.

I’ve said it many times before, being a mother is the hardest job in the world. You can feel so completely worthless and wonderful all in one day. There are no pay days or raises. We just do what we do. Then we go to bed (sometimes with one or two children squeezing in bed with us) wake up and do it all over again. It is an endless job. An endless passion. An endless vocation.

So instead of knocking ourselves down because we aren’t perfect, let’s stand up, look ourselves straight in the mirror, and remind that person of how good of a job they really are doing. Then ignore some of that housework and go play with your kids, or read them a book, or color a picture with them, make a mud pie—because at the end of the day isn’t that what you want your kid to remember??