Monday, December 29, 2014

One Month....And squirrel counting....

This may be one of my more confusing blogs possibly, but I do have a very good explanation.  There are about ten billion squirrels running around in my head right now and I can't seem to muster up enough energy to nail down a single one or shoo them out of my head, so for now, we can either accept this as "one of those blogs" or we can walk away.  I choose the first, simply because, walking away would require an exceptional amount of more oxygen on my part.... :)

There are 10 billion squirrels because as I will reveal from the title- I have ONE month left in this pregnancy!!!  ONE MONTH!  Not only that, but it's been one month since my last blog and I'm starting to see some of my squirrels because I have not been able to sit and formulate my thoughts, nor gather my mental state onto "paper" for a month and that, my friends, is like taking every clock, calendar, watch, and any indicator of the time or date away from a normal human being.  Can you imagine what life would be like to a type A personality if you took all of that from them?  Speaking as a former recovered Type A personality, I can assure you, a straight jacket and padded walls would be the only way to live.

Not saying that's what I need right now, but I DO use my blog to really come to grips, complain, make myself laugh, and see the light in a different perspective.  I haven't done that in a month because it's been so busy getting ready for Christmas, writing out addresses for envelopes, ordering Christmas presents, wrapping presents, and most importantly, napping during the toddler's naptime.


I know there is no one who will dispute that necessity for pregnancy and Christmas prep.

So tonight, one is at swim team, the others are watching a video in the basement, and I'm strangely left alone in the family room with the lights out minus the amazing 12 foot Christmas tree and my computer blasting me with instrumental Christmas music.  Because, contrary to secular world beliefs, Christmas did NOT end on Christmas Day, people.  It just began.
My amazing tree...

Ok, squirrrel #1- seriously, even protestants celebrate a bit more "Advent" now, and that goes right up to Christmas Eve- so what, Christmas season is just one day?  No.way.hozay.  And thank God it's not!!!  In my Church, we celebrate Christmas up until the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan river!!!  JANUARY 11th!!!!  And what a beautiful way to end the season and it helps me, because you see, Christmas is my absolute FAVORITE season in the whole wide world.  Knowing I can keep my tree up until January 11th gives me such satisfaction.  I feel giddy when I tell my husband the Grinch that, "Guess what honey????  Just 10 1/2 more months until I can start preparing for this season again!!!!"

The look of annoyance on his face is totally worth it.  As he anticipates pulling out the gigantic ladder to put UP the 12 foot Christmas tree.  (some people really struggle with happiness during this season-but I'm working on helping them one Grinch at a time!!!!!)

So it's still Christmas.  Yay!

Squirrel #2.  I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about our over 40+ bodies.  It was a comical conversation, the fact that we can carry a pregnancy at all with statistics being what they are, the pain, discomfort, embarrassing things that we'd like to just have disappear (God-why hemorrhoids?  Really??? WHY????) And she brought to my attention that a family member told her she needed to be careful because she was having hip pain and pregnancy can actually do permanent damage to our hips.  Now, I'm no hip expert, but I do know a few more things about hips due to the fact that I still suffer with a labral tear that I will eventually have to get fixed or have my hip replaced-whichever comes first- and when I was going through all that hideous pain, the doctor knew I had given birth to five children prior and gave no indication that birthing babies would cause permanent hip issues.  Matter of fact, he said my hip 'damage' was from something more traumatic like a hard fall, or a consistent irritation of the joint-such as what happens when you're say, a long distance runner..............oh wait, I was...... ;)
So it reminded me about a comment that was made about an article I read on why birth control was soooooo important this day and age because women didn't have to die during unplanned child births anymore and suffer the permanent damages of giving birth.

I'm getting ready to birth my seventh child and although having babies is no easy task, to look at it as a disease that we must eradicate in order to "save women" is about as asinine as they come!  The "permanent" damage I have suffered?   Veins that are rather wormy to look at.  A bladder that leaks spontaneously, stretch marks that make the grand canyon look tiny, a size in a half shoe growth, pre-cancerous skin growths that usually speed up due to hormones, a back and a butt that take at LEAST a year to separate and become their own parts again instead of a big ole backbutt right now....
ok, perhaps there are some frightening "permanent" damages, but to put those things before the creation of another tiny soul hopefully bound for Heaven?  Well, there is no other sacrifice I can think of to put my body through.  The creation of another soul.

I, and my husband, are co-participants in the creation of another SOUL!  A soul, from God and destined to returned to God!!!  How can I selfishly and vainly say anything to trump that about my earthly body that will eventually one day whither to the dirt it came from????????  I can't take this sexy 40+ pound heavier tank with me to Heaven (backbutt and all) and for that I am eternally grateful!!!!!!

Now, will I stop complaining about my leaky bladder, swollen roids, and backbutt?  Probably not, but if I didn't try to find the humor in things- I'd be a pretty depressing person to be around and that brings me to squirrel #3....

Why we moms got to be such haters?  I'll give an example, but really, I can think of about a billion ones.  You know, the moms that scream on facebook that praise the Lord they discovered this _______ product that will SAVE THEIR BABIES....

And damn any of you lesser moms for not trying it....

Remember the mom that put herself out there on social media with her three kids, the youngest being under a year and she looked DANG GOOD?  Remember there was a quote that asked, "what's your excuse?"

I laughed when I saw that because I named EVERYTHING that was my excuse- lazy, ice cream, lazy, ice cream, chocolate, lack of self control.

But you know what those haters did?  They practically berated her and called her a racist and terrorist, and a bully.  I just admired the fact that she could put her half naked body on social media...cause, well, that will NEVER happen with me for lots of reasons, but one specifically being no one needs that kind of shock.....ever....not even my poor husband who lovingly tells me all the time that I am so beautiful-all of me.... (he's a keeper ladies- don't be haters....)

Ladies- we gotta calm our sassy backbutts down.  If we can't take the heat- get off the computer.  Cause she had a valid point.
What's stopping us from being the best version we can be?  Physically included???  Gluttony?  Sloth? Vain glory?  Envy???
ANGER?????  Hello????  We have to put our insecurities away and decide once and for all that we are not going to be like that.  It's unbecoming, unattractive, and certainly, NOT what will make us the best versions of ourselves!!

Or the moms who practically put us down with their posts on social media?  You know, the ones who post pictures of them-selfies stating what awesomely fabulous people they are because they've found the cure for never aging ever????    We all have all the answers and sometimes we just have to sit back and laugh, because whether we like it or not- there's a lot of us who are highly opinionated, know it alls and we like to tell others that.  Including me!  I'll be the first to tell anyone I think staying at home with my kids is one of the hardest things to do, but I know how much it will matter in the future.  Yea- we don't have the latest, greatest gadgets, I can't buy just anything for my kiddos without saving up for it, or just deciding it's not something that's going to make or break their lives, but being there for them when they get off that bus, or walk home from school, is something I will never regret doing.  Ever.
But that's my opinion.  I'm sure I could back my claim up with articles and studies done by some country and their medical journals, but so could someone probably find just the opposite.
I have NOT found the cure for aging-but I have found I can make some amazing face-selfies.... hahaha.

What we need to do?  Is bring back that love.  I know people that do dumb stuff on a daily basis (some of them live in my house with me, and I'll be the first to admit, I'm one of them), and I correct them when I can, but mostly I just try to love them where they are and pray for them to reach a new level of understanding in their own lives.

Like- how I wish and pray everyone could find Jesus in their lives.   How in the last over 18 years, He has made the most incredible impact on my life, my marriage, my views of everything.  My world.   Can I force anyone to find that?  Or follow me?  Never.  Just like God can't force His will on us, we have to be open to His will.

I often joke about where I would be had I not married and moved so far away from family over 18 years ago.  Would I have discovered that the love and dependency I was needing so desperately was really the love and desire of my Father?  My Heavenly Father?  Would I have been open to His grace and received it so willingly?  Would I have even considered teaching in a Catholic school and been exposed to some super incredible people who shared their love of God and the faith and helped me to open my own eyes to His boundless mercy?  Would I have stayed with my husband through thick and thin because of my own thinly displaced view of marriage?   Would I have opened my heart to what God wanted from us as opposed to what WE wanted for ourselves?   Would I have been so willing to be used for His glory in all He has done and accomplished through me?

I think I just put my squirrels back in order for the day.  I know my opinions in the grand scheme of life matter very little in this vast incredible world.  But I hope that my opinion of love and acceptance can be manifested in my offspring as they grow up in this same vast, incredible world and maybe, one day, their opinions, might find value with someone who they help lead to Him.....  That's my prayer anyway.....

Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Are we a people of hypocrisy?

I've been thinking about this title and topic for almost a week now.  There are so many ideas flurrying about in my head that I can't seem to nail down the exact message I want to get across in the title without offending some, or scaring off others.

Another title could possibly be, "Jesus didn't say let only the quiet children come to Him."

By now I either have captured your curiosity or annoyed you to just move on.  Either are ok, because even though I feel extremely passionate about this, many will read it and not care.  But it's something that I think is a problem especially in our Church.  And I don't just mean the one I attend every weekend here in snowland, but every single Catholic church across the country.

Are we a people of hypocrisy?

I have been keeping a steady 'journal' if you will, of my pregnancy.  Which, by the way, today is day 219, and no I'm not keeping count, but this amazing app sends me a daily message and today is day 219 since the start of this amazing, overwhelming at times, exhausting journey.

This pregnancy was a complete surprise to me.  Unexpected if you will, regardless of the fact that my husband and I are extremely open to life.

I have wanted to write a book since day one on the trials and tribulations of pregnancy over 40.  A slightly comical, slightly serious compendium for those who find themselves struggling with all the gems of being AMA patients in a world that sees pregnancy as a disease and children as something of a trophy prize for when the time is right.  But not only am I not a very organized person (which, yes, with soon to be 7 children, you shouldn't be surprised), but I'm also not one to even know where to begin and would really prefer someone to micromanage me in that department.
After a conversation with my husband this past week, the urge became stronger but almost perhaps, switching gears to something much more serious and concerning to both me and now my husband.

My husband has the opportunity through his work, to meet with and talk to many people who are Catholic.   Now, as with a great deal of Catholics in this country, a lot of them are very luke warm in their faith.  Some are the faithful two timers (Christmas and Easter) but many don't even attend Mass anymore.  They have lost their faith, and I believe of no fault of their own at times, in our Church and have decided the Church is no longer relevant in their lives.  Or worse, they've decided the Church is full of hypocrites.  Several of his co-workers have expressed this to him and in his true faith filled way, he has always said to them that even HE is a hypocrite and Jesus came to save just such people the most because of that.  Remember the Pharasees????    Do as I say, not as I do, right?

But lately, my concerns over hypocrisy and this idea have grown and the nudging of the Holy Spirit can't be ignored by me anymore.  When my own husband discusses these things with me, then God has used every possible means for me to understand what He wants me to write/speak about.

Is there a hypocrisy among some of the most devout members of our faith?

I will explain.

Several people have made comments in the past about how the Church tries to 'impose' her beliefs onto us.  From religious ed, to Mass, to the USCCB (the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) statements in regards to our faith and our doctrine.  I tend to try to ignore those comments, because they're made out of ignorance of the understanding of Church teaching and when I can, I try to explain the why or the why not of our faith.  Unfortunately, not only my generation, but the one before me and quite possibly, the one or two after me are going to be very poorly catechized in regards to church teaching and it's up to those of us who know much to teach our brothers and sisters the truths because it was of no fault of their own that they were either poorly, wrongly, or just not catechized at all in their upbringing.  (remember Luke 12:48- to whom much is given, much will be required).  Those of us who have either been properly catechized, or have rediscovered our faith, God expects us to teach those who are ignorant of the faith.

But are the ignorant (which, please don't be offended by that word, it's so very misused and used improperly-it actually means lacking in knowledge or training;unlearned; lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact.)  just those who don't attend Mass or complain about religious education?  Or are just the two timers ignorant?  Or are every day Mass attendees, devout, faith filled, rosary praying parishioners also ignorant of things?  Of that I have no doubt.  I remember how my grandmother loved attending Mass, but comments she would say to me about the faith as I grew in knowledge of the 'why do we do this' made me realize that just as devout, faith filled people can have ignorance of faith.

And today, I'm not speaking about the rubrics of the Mass, or the dogmas of our church.  I'm speaking even more simply than that.

I'm speaking about the pro-life movement in our Church.  (*gasp*)   What on earth is Catholicmomma gonna say now........

It's no secret that I've confessed that this pregnancy has given me a billion times more compassion to those who have ever experienced an unwanted pregnancy.   Now, before my holy rollers gasp and delete me as a friend for life, let me explain.  While this pregnancy was not something 'wanted' by me at any point during the time after the birth of my 6th child, it does not mean that this child, now growing huge and strong is not wanted.  I had no desire for more children after my sixth birth.  I was content.  My hands were full.  God and I had an "understanding" so to speak (remember, there are more of us who struggle with putting God in our perfect boxes than not) and I just KNEW He would never overburden me.  I had been open to life, I had a 'perfect' number of children in my world and quite frankly the thought of another one, just made my head spin and my heart stop.
But the difference in me and probably thousands (if not more) women, is that I am staunchly pro-life, my husband is extremely supportive, and I have this amazing faith, with some amazing sacraments that have contributed to the healing of my heart over this surprise.
Not everyone has that.  And quite frankly, not everyone in our church feels they have that either.

I'm talking about the people who sit in the pews (and not all of them are of the blue haired variety) and gawk at the families who are struggling to be at Mass every weekend.  And some, don't even come every weekend, because at this point in their lives, sports, kids activities, home improvement, are their gods.  They don't always feel welcome at Church, and this is just one of the reasons why.  They sit at Mass, with children who are less then quiet, and feel those horribly ugly stares and hear those very unkind words or shushes even (yes, I've heard a lady shoosh children in my parish-God bless her very confused soul).

These people who so many are trying to reach out to and bring back to the faith, are the very ones stating that our Church is full of hypocrisy, and quite frankly, I agree.  As a woman who has gone from rediscovering her faith before even having children, to adding six little souls to the pew, I have seen it first hand, and sometimes????  Even a seasoned veteran Mass attender like me has to stop and tell herself, "Lord, they know not what they do."  Because it hurts.  The stares, the long, frowning stares, the comments, the whispers.   They're extremely painful.

Let me give you an example.

A very nice lady came up to the pew where my husband and I only had 3 of our children with us (three are altar servers) and squatted down in front of us and proceeded to thank us profusely for our "quiet and well behaved" children.  I'm sure she meant well.  But her next comment stayed in my head and caused quite a pause in my heart.  "There are some days, when I just have to leave because it's so loud I can't even pray."

WOW.   How do you think that would make a less seasoned Church veteran feel to hear those words?  That actually their children supposedly caused this woman to leave Mass?  Can you imagine the anger and indignation of someone who wasn't "there" in their faith hearing those words?  Personally, I was extremely offended by her words because she's not alone in them.  She just happened to think she was doing a service by patting our backs and saying, 'way to go mom and dad, your kids can stay here because they're quiet.'  How sad for her and the many others who feel children should be quiet in Mass.  Can I share another scripture verse that I think can be interpreted another way?

Matthew 19:14.
Jesus said to let the little children come to Him, and do not hinder them, because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.

Now, yes, this verse can mean that we are to be childlike in our approach of faith because as a teacher of young children, I can tell you first hand they are much more accepting of things like Heaven and Jesus than us grown, hardened adults who have let skepticism, materialism, consumerism, and relativism literally consume us.

But that verse can also mean something else.  Because I don't know about you, but I didn't see the word quiet anywhere in that verse.  Matter of fact, I can think of no verse that instructs us to "keep our children quiet during Mass."  There are verses that say to bring children up right, and to bring them to Jesus, but none that I can think of nor google that teach us our children are to be silent at Mass.

Because children don't understand silence, and in all honestly, unless you're a super blessed family (which at times I have considered myself very blessed because we made it through an entire Mass without much incident)you don't have quiet Masses.  More often than not, you haven't had a quiet Mass in years, or maybe a decade or more.... ;)

Jesus wants the children there.  He wants the children to live.  He wants people to not only be pro-life, but pro-life at Mass.  He wants those who insist on shooshing, staring, and complaining, to see that the pro-life movement doesn't end when the woman decides to keep her baby.  It ends when we see that the child is trained in the ways of the Lord, through the screams, cries, and defiance at Mass.  It ends when we instruct them on the faith in religious class, even though their parents tell you it's not really important.  It ends when we who have been given much, are expected to be that example of love and life by encouraging those parents who are at Mass not to stop coming.    It's so easy to forget, even older parents whose children have grown and haven't started having children of their own, that children are not quiet.  Children are noisy.  Children cry, whine, drop books, yell, burp, poop, and distract.

But maybe through all that distraction, God is trying to tell us something.

Maybe while we sit there, feeling distracted and disturbed at the child up front who for the umpteenth time has taken that blasted book and tried to throw it over the pew, He's wanting you to hear something else.

Maybe He is trying to tell us that if we don't stop looking upon these "distractions" as gifts from Him, our Church will soon get smaller.  And eventually, there will be no one to hear our confession, or give us that life sustaining food of Christ Himself.

Maybe He is wanting us to stop our prayer for just a moment and look upon the future of our Church and perhaps, pray about a way we can become involved in the training of these future members of our faith.

Maybe He is pointing out the hypocrisy of all of us who stand on the street, holding signs for life, but don't condone those who stand in the pews, holding the very life we defend and hoping they walk out sooner than later so "we" can pray.  Because clearly, they aren't praying.

Maybe He is wanting us to take a step back and see if we really can walk the walk and talk the talk.

We can't proclaim to be a pro-life faith, if we are constantly irritated with that couple who tries to bring their children to Mass.   That is hypocrisy at it's finest.

So that's where I am today.  Trying to put into words what has been circulating on my heart for 219 days.  Hearing in the last few months how people don't like our church because all the "pro-life" people look so condescending upon them for being there with less than quiet children.

Jesus didn't say, 'let the quiet children come to me."  He said, "Let the children come to me."  And He also makes it abundantly clear that those who hinder them from that, will not be looked upon with favor for hindering them from coming to Him.  Those of us past that young child stage, or perhaps haven't had children yet, could stand and take pause at that command.

Are we letting our concerns for getting our prayers in, hinder God actually working in our life through the distraction of a child?

It's something to ponder in the very least.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Seeing Him in Everything...

Yesterday was November 11th.  Veteran's Day.  A day to remember all those who have died fighting for our freedom and all those who have served throughout the history of our great country.  It was, at least in the Western part of New York, an absolutely glorious day.  In more ways than one.

The day started out with blue skies and warmed considerably through out.  We had several goals for the day, one being my 28 week OB appointment, running a couple of errands after (ok, picking up some Christmas gifts AND torturing my husband by 'forcing' him to go to Hobby Lobby), and getting two cars sprayed with something I equate with polyurethane but since I don't know what it is- I will just keep it at that-it protects the under belly of the cars from all the salt and yuck they put out during the winter season.

My husband also wanted to get both vehicles washed and cleaned inside and out before our afternoon car appointments so the kids were appointed with that job as I wanted to clean out my flower beds (at least the front one since we need to get our Christmas decorations in the ground before it freezes and won't unfreeze until March....  It appeared to be a busy day for certain, but let me tell you what an amazing day it was for all of us.  Most especially me.

My husband was off of work.  It IS a federal holiday, ya know, so we started the morning off together.  I LOVE waking up with him and he being here for the day.  I absolutely cherish his days off and look forward to each one hoping we can spend the maximum amount of time together.  It is always a great day when he's home.

He set out to exercise in the basement and I set out to relax in bed.... :)  I do have my priorities.  When he finished, he made oatmeal for the family and rushed us to get ready before we lost precious time in all our outdoor activities and because he knew we had to leave soon and wanted the van cleaned before we left for my appointment that morning.

The kids had a blast cleaning the cars.  Perhaps too much fun, but the fun the youngest one had was almost too much!

She was the master washer.  That license plate was clean as a whistle when she finished.  And when she finished, she was soaked.  Head to toe.  It was so darn cute.  I couldn't believe how she would take her sponge and dip it ALL THE WAY IN the water.  It was hilarious.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day and it brought to mind something my oldest and I heard this weekend when we were working on her religion assignment.  It was how sometimes, all you have to do is think to know there is a God.  Today proved that over and over again.

She's taking this amazing Confirmation class using these incredible videos and book that I so wish I had when I was kid.  It takes the truth of our faith and really connects it to our hearts.  She really got a lot out of what they were saying on the videos.

Something can't really be made from nothing.  A great painting has a great painter, a great book has a great author, a beautiful sculpture has a sculptor who created all these things.
Just like one day a printing press full of words and letters didn't just explode from nothing and 'voila' a dictionary appeared, a great mass of thousands of objects didn't just explode in space and 'voila' a great Universe appeared.  There has to be a master designer.  Things are too amazing for there not to be.  The seasons, the moon, the rotation of our planets around the sun, the SUN!  I mean, a great designer had to put all this together!  Just like creators of art, something or some ONE had to put our amazing universe together.

Sitting outside as I picked and cleaned out the weeds and dead plants from my garden, the younger two were talking about why we were doing this.  Mostly because I was making them help me instead of cleaning out the van, I suppose the trade off wasn't much better, but the 6 year old said if we cut all this out, there won't be anymore plants for next year.  I simply said, we aren't cutting them out, we're trimming them, and hoping that the winter isn't too harsh and they come back in the spring.  Sometimes they don't because they died deep down in the winter because it was just too cold for them to bare.   And isn't that what happens when we lose our faith?  Something trims our branches so low, we think they've died and will never grow back.  But the amazing thing about being baptized in Christ, is that there is always another chance to grow back.  Literally.  God is always with us.  God is always with us.  We should say that every single morning and perhaps we might start believing it.  Sitting there yesterday, it was almost too easy to believe it!  I was feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, the cool breeze that blew, and watching the kids (and even several neighbors out) be outside just soaking in the last of the nice weather before winter sets in and causes us to mostly lie in a dormant state, much like the plants in the ground that I've cut down.  We wait until spring to really come out and play again, much like the plants/trees and grass in our world.  What an amazing cycle of life we live in.  When you see the beauty of our world, you can't help but think, Who created all this?  Was this just a chance?  A fluke?  How could it be that way?  How could something come from nothing?  It's impossible for me to believe it came from nothing.  I see Him everywhere and in everything.

I hope my oldest was able to take what she had watched this weekend and apply it to our amazing day yesterday.  I hope, and my prayer for her and all of my children, is that they never take those moments for granted.  That they never trim themselves so short, that they lose their faith.  God is always with us.  He's closer to us than we even realize at times.  We just have to look for Him, and we'll see Him in everything.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Confessions and amazing love....

Another crazymomma episode occurred this weekend.  Actually, it happened twice.  As the inevitable continues to progress (giving birth to number 7), I continue to have several amazing emotional moments and I can chalk them up to one very big thing.

And here goes:
As my amazing husband revealed to me Saturday after spending a better portion of the day not speaking to anyone because it would at least keep me from saying anything that might appear to make people think I'm grouchy, cranky, irritable, angry, whatever adjective you want to interject there that stands for 'not handling things' best, I am still not quite over the shock of this pregnancy.

I'll explain.  As I've said before, I am a planner.  I plan to the T in most things.  From menus, budgets, activities, to everyday life.  I plan.  I consider myself to be extremely open to life, I don't contracept at all and in fact have seen just what contraception can do to you physically, so I will never take, attach, or use anything ever again as long as I live.  Period.  Not to mention the side effect of it not be what God wants in a marriage, but I digress.  I have always considered myself pro-life since rediscovering my faith and seeing how amazing the creation of life is scientifically speaking alone.  I have always wanted a large family.

I was not prepared to have another baby.  I was not prepared mentally, physically I was just getting back into my old clothes, emotionally I was just recovering from the hormones that like to reek havoc on my mentality, and quite frankly, financially I knew we were about as tight as tight could be.  One of the many things the church teaches is that a couple must come to the decision of postponing or planning a pregnancy according and there is nothing wrong with postponing because of finances, or mental health.  In fact, the Church encourages couples to communicate these concerns to one another because the last thing they want is a couple in distress because of a pregnancy.  It should be a time of joy and of course trust, but sometimes, there are circumstances in our lives that warrant us to refrain during fertile times because of these moments of distress.  I'm certainly not saying I was in any kind of distress at that moment, but had I realized that my fertility was actually back on track and not a train wreck (because I had abandoned my charting/temperature/exterior observations) I probably would have communicated my fears of another child much sooner.

I don't doubt God will take care of us, and that's certainly not what I'm saying.  I don't doubt that all of what we need will be provided for, that's not what I'm saying either.  But this pregnancy came as an utter shock to me.  I love babies.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE holding babies.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE watching my belly move and feeling tee tiny feet, hands, heels, arms, legs, booties, move across, or jump, or hiccup, or just push out when I gently push in.  I love life.  I love pregnancy, mostly, minus a few things that tend to stop working correctly the older you get, but I was not prepared and there's nothing wrong with how I feel.  I have been terrified of what others would say to me or about me once they found out I actually had thoughts that didn't coincide with my pro-life world.  Thankfully, thoughts are not sins....

To say the least, it's given me more compassion for those women who are faced with unwanted pregnancies.  I feel a ton more compassion, especially for those who have zero support systems because quite frankly, without the support of my husband, I'm not sure where I would be today, other than the nut house.

That's really, really, really hard for me to admit.  I don't ever want people to think a mother of such a large family can't handle things.  I feared that would give people the ammo they needed to attack people being open to large families. Not to mention, the hateful comments to follow in regards to how to "take care of things," or "prevent that from happening again," on top of what already bombard us on a daily basis.  Mostly from complete strangers once you admit that 'no, I'm not carrying my first, or second....' is revealed.

I don't want people yelling in my face that this is the reason a woman should be given a choice should she "encounter" an unwanted pregnancy.

Well, I disagree.  Because the "choice" came when she chose to have sex, and unfortunately, people have let society separate the act of sex from meaning just what it should mean= union between man and woman that could lead to the creation of a baby.  Unitive and procreative.  You can't separate the two, no matter how old, young, fertile, infertile, Catholic, Baptist, Atheist, or whatever you are.  This is what naturally occurs when zero UNnatural action occurs.  How God intended it.

I haven't spoken to many at all about these thoughts and pretty much kept it between just a few close friends and my confessor.  Who, by the way,  is an amazing human being.  Nailed it pretty much as soon as I went to confession-my guilt over how I feel about life and how I've reacted to THIS life that surprised me-which helped in my healing so tremendously, but clearly I am still dealing with guilt I've brought on myself.

Hence, why this weekend was such an emotional roller coaster.  I am dealing with the constant pain of veins, the new pain of a lower back issue, and of course the ever annoying constipation, tiredness, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, inability to do much for very long without having to stop and be done for the day (which having a large household doesn't really work!!!)  I suppose it just got to me and I let it take over my brain and evil Dr. Crazy woman came out in full force.

I don't know how my amazing husband deals with me on a daily basis.  He's truly a saint in the making.  I once again, let my prayer life go to the toilet and was relying on my unreliable self to solve my problems, which after 41 years you would think I would have learned something by now about that not working.....
I got angry.  I was in such pain.  I was tired of feeling alone.  I was tired of feeling as though there was no one I could talk to.

Once again, I crawled into my closet, shut the door, and cried my eyes out until there weren't any tears left in my head.  Plenty of snot, though.... ;)

So much sadness seems to overwhelm us at every corner of our world.  From horrible diseases, to horrible people doing horrible things to others, to horrible politics, to horrible translations of faith.  I just felt at that moment in my closet, like I was defeated and couldn't wrap my head around why God was allowing us to bring yet ANOTHER child into this toxic world.

At the end of the day, still in my closet, completely drained and feeling as though the world would be better off without one more crazed nut job if I just stayed here forever, my husband crawled over to the me in the closet and we had the most beautiful conversation ever.

Ladies-this is what marriage should be.

Gentlemen?  take note.  This is the man you should strive to be like.

He spoke gently, and he spoke truthfully, and he told me he loved me every other sentence.  He told me he's known since the onset of this pregnancy that I haven't yet gotten over the shock.  It still causes me great consternation and perhaps, fear, worry, and he knows how painful my pregnancy was with #6, so he knows how much it hurts me to be pregnant.  He also knows how I battle with these thoughts being so staunchly pro-life.  It's an internal battle of guilt thinking these thoughts are wrong and misguided.

God loves me, he said.  And he will take care of us.  He has taken care of us this far, he's not going to stop just because I have these thoughts and we are pregnant.  His words kept pouring out and I'll spare you the intimate details of the conversation, not that they were TMI, or inappropriate, but just because it's something so deeply passionate, and so personal, I wouldn't want to give away our relationship and it's deep bond over a blog.  Not to mention, it would be pages and pages long, because we talked for quite a while.

I love that man so very much.  He is such a solid rock.  He has been such a gift from God throughout the years.  Always willing to do whatever it takes to make me happy.  He would do anything.  He loves me that much.  That's exactly how God intended husbands to love their wives and he is the picture of just how much Christ loved our Church.  I know my husband would sacrifice his life for me if need be, but just that he sacrifices so much on a daily basis, shows me time and time again just how much Christ loves me as well.
My gift from God.....

I may be one of the craziest redheads he knows, but I know in my heart, that man loves me more deeply and passionately today, than yesterday and tomorrow, will love me even more.

That's the kind of love I wish our world knew God was waiting to give each and every one of us, if we would only let Him.

Life is precious.  All life.  Find the joy.  Happiness is temporary.  Find joy in life, and you'll get through anything.  My joy is my realization through my husband, that there is something infinitely more powerful and universal that loves me even more than he does.  The God of the Universe.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mom Guilt and why we need to talk about it.....

I was trying to keep my blog idea in my head today because my 20 month old absolutely does not let me on the computer while she's awake anymore.  And by that I mean, I can not handle the horrendous sounds of gnashing of teeth that come from her as she tries to communicate with me that she would either 1) like to be with me on the computer (we have a baby gate protecting the computer from her...).  2) would really like me to get OFF the computer 3) just wants to scream and create chaos because she sees how I react.  My child is non-verbal- meaning that at age 20 months, she still is limited to a vocabulary of 2 words.  Momma and Dadda.  Now, of course, I think I hear certain words, but my husband is not so convinced.
That's a story for another blog- so before I forget about the Mom guilt, let's continue.

I tried this morning to wear my headphones and talk into my voice recorder so I could remember what all I was trying to convey in my head onto this blog.  Unfortunately, what I really need is what those transcriptionists (ok, is that a word?  You know, those people that type what doctors/lawyers/people dictate into a Dictaphone?) Anyway, I tried to listen to what I said and my voice makes my skin hurt, so it was touch and go as I tried to listen to my words to relay my concern about mom guilt today.

I suffer from Mom guilt terribly.  Mom guilt is what a lot of moms suffer from.  If you're a mom, and you have no mom guilt, go away.  No, just kidding, you're blessed and I hope you see that and don't knock the moms who struggle with Mom guilt.  I think it's very real and I think it plagues more moms than realized.  I think moms feel guilty for even HAVING mom guilt which only adds to the emotional roller coaster of the original mom guilt.   I know for a long time, I ignored it.  I pretended it was normal thinking.  I have been dealing with Mom guilt since trying to even conceive a child if you can believe it.  It took almost two years to get pregnant with our first, and the guilt I felt over not being able to get pregnant was horrible!  I blamed myself, food I ate, drugs I had taken, silly, completely NOT related to getting pregnant, issues flooded my brain every month that I started my period.

What did I do wrong this month?

It only continued and took on other forms after the birth of my first child.
Let me give you some examples of Mom guilt.

Should I work? Should I stay home?  Am I doing enough here at home?  Am I doing too much outside of my home?  Should I breastfeed?  should I bottle feed?  Disposable or cloth diapers?  Home made baby food or jar food?  Co-sleep?  Pacifier?  (Heaven help if there's nipple confusion) Do I have more children?  Do I have too many children (don't answer that one)?  Am I a good mom?  Am I the only mom who yells at her kids?  Am I the only mom who struggles with things on a daily basis?  Should we do this, that or whatever?  Do we move?  Do we stay?  Can we afford to.... Can we afford not to.....

This list is actually just a small snippet of what went on in my head this morning as I thought about the myriad of guilt questions that I'm certain I've had in my almost 15 years as a  parent and beyond.  I also know other moms who have felt the same or similar when it comes to feeling guilty.

I've been reading this fascinating book called, "The Catholic Guide to Depression" and in it, I have really come to recognize my depression and how it controls me.  I also have a great feeling of ah-ha that I'm not a total freak, after I read it as well.  (sometimes, depression can make you feel like you're the only freak in the whole world who feels the way you feel-it's a horrible feeling, one that is very difficult to explain and rather embarrassing because very well intended people tend to just say, "get over it!" )

In this book, I also recognize that I have basically stopped taking care of me.  Me, Catholicmomma.  Not me the mommy, wife, sister, daughter, friend, etc, etc.  I have let myself believe that "this is how it has to be" and really just given up on ever really doing things for myself.  Some of it is guilt of what others will think of me.  Remember I suffer terribly from that.  Perception is how most people judge others and if people 'perceive' me to be a "selfish" person who only does things for me, than that's the wrong message I want to send!!!

It's funny, because I wasn't like this until I moved up north and I suppose I felt conflicted because it seemed as though church people were all about only being with family, and never doing things outside family and certainly not just mom doing something, and my secular peeps who every night were doing things for themselves and when they could fit their family in, they did- so perhaps seeing the two different perspectives I didn't want to be like either one completely, and yet, did to some degree....if that makes sense.  And certainly not to put down the people I have known, or still know that live up here at all.  Most of my worries are seriously, just in my own head.

But what I discovered as I read this book, and really sat and meditated on what God wanted from me, I discovered that I haven't done anything I used to do back home.  I started out doing some things, a prayer group that met weekly, but then that fizzled when I decided people were coming out of obligation and then I got pregnant and it became 'easy' to drop it.

My moms group back home, met every week during the school year.  Of course, it wasn't nearly as complicated as the moms group I belong to up here, it was in someone's home and when our group got bigger, we split into two groups in two homes.  It was intimate and we learned about our faith and we had fellowship.  The babysitting every week was a blessing and certainly helped recharge my battery like nothing else.  But we didn't stop there.  We had park days, play dates, smoothies at the gym (several of us belonged to the same gym that had babysitting when we worked out-we would finish early and grab a smoothie and a great conversation before picking our kids up.

We had a monthly couple group called 'Just Desserts' and it was limited to 10 couples (which is why it spread into three-four different groups by the time I moved I believe) and it was so intimate.  Again, met in someone's home and either did a video with questions, book study, bible study, you name it.  But it was small and intimate and so cozy comfortable.

My girlfriends and I would have several events throughout the year we really looked forward to.  One year, we went to Hot Springs for the weekend.  Every year, several of us looked forward to the War Eagle craft fair up at War Eagle.  It was a beautiful spot in the Ozarks that rain or shine brought out some amazing crafts and people watching!  (not to mention, funnel cake to die for!!!)

We also went to Branson, MO every year in November or December.  This was particularly fun for me because it was a time in my life where I could spend a little money on myself (which I never hardly do) and my husband would actually stay home, and depending on whether there was a baby under the age of one who breastfed, he would begin several months prior, encouraging me to pump enough milk for him to watch the baby and I still, to this day, think he's the most amazing dad on earth.  He didn't even complain when the kids were crazy, baby didn't eat, or anything.  He gave so much to me in allowing me to go and be kid free, and worry free.  He understood my need to be me for a day or two and sacrificed his time to be dad for 24/48 hours and loved me through it and made me fall in love with him even more.

I have let all that go in the five years I've been here and felt so empty because I haven't had much of that me time that I require to be who I am.  I truly believe that some of it stems from feeling guilty over what people would think or say.  I have discovered that no matter where I live, north or south, there are people who clearly weren't born with filters.  They'll tell you whatever is on their mind whether they should really think first before speaking or not.  And not all of them work at Walmart like they did in the south.... ;)  I'm so worried about people giving me their 'advice' on why getting out without my family is wrong and how I need to learn to channel those needs in the confines of my home or close by or even during the week while my baby sleeps.  I once again, am letting fears that are slightly unfounded, control my needs.

I have to do things for me without this Mom guilt.  I have to see past the fact, that while on the outside I may look like I have it all together, I am literally falling apart on the inside.  I am not handling things well at all and if I don't start making time for me, it's going to get worse and my husband is beginning to see this as well.

We as moms, have got to let go of this stigma that we have to explain everything we do, or justify everything we say, just so we don't worry about who we offend.  Our secular world is already beating us to death with this mindset making us believe that because we don't think, act, look, or accept everything that our culture deems "worthy" that we are horrible people.  This doesn't help mom guilt!! And it's rather ironic when we want people to be individuals, and to think for themselves, when we're constantly having to defend our words, actions, choices, etc.  I can dislike how someone lives their life, but if I were to say something?  Whoa nelly...

Well, those mindsets are settling themselves into moms as well.  Moms who struggle everyday to be good, holy people and try with all their heart to raise their kids with good, holy values.  I want to be the best person I can be, I want to serve God and bring to Him my children, raising them up right, teaching them to respect and be respected and honestly, I feel as though we are letting our culture run our thoughts and actions.  I can't be the best mom or wife I can be, without taking time for me and it's ok that it's not a holy activity.  For so long, I made myself feel as if what I enjoyed doing was wrong because it wasn't holy enough and clearly, I wouldn't "fit in" if I tried to suggest it.  How silly of me!  But when you are depressed, a simple thought can become almost an overwhelming billboard sign in your head screaming horrible things at you that you are not worthy, not worth it, and stupid.

So what am I doing to combat that mom guilt?

I have already invited several moms on a shopping trip in a few weeks.  Will anyone come?  Who cares.   *Gasp*  I said that.  Out loud even.  I am even going to invite moms to a bible study on the day that works for me.  Will anyone come?  Who cares.  (Two in a row!)  I'm letting go slowly of that guilt.  Remember, we are clay in a Potter's Hand.  Let Him mold you into the perfect creation, one day at a time.  And also, remember that sometimes, that clay needs more work and might need repollishing.  We are not perfect humans.  We are striving to be, but only God can make that happen when we finally meet Him face to face.

Go do something for you today or make plans to do something in the near future for you soon.  And I pray you feel no mom guilt over it.  Offer it up for those moms who never do things for themselves.  ~Blessings~

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Give Away!

Y'all seriously have to enter this to try and win!!!  I have read this book and done the online study- amazing stuff.... You won't regret it!

Momnipotent Giveaway!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How do I know it's God calling me to do this?

That is for sure a loaded question to ask anyone.  I once had a priest friend tell me that God can give us several answers if we really open our eyes to what He's saying.  And sometimes, it boils down to which 'answer' is the best out of several good ones...

I have been faced with this dilemma a lot more since I really try to 'listen' to what God is telling me.  And as usual, my disclaimer is that this is my opinion.  Like everyone else in the world, I have an opinion and this is my story.  And hopefully you'll see how green your grass is, too.  So stick with me for a bit and see how crazymomma does things in regards to prayer/discerning God's message.

I never used to pray.  I'm fairly confident, the only 'prayers' I said before my reversion back into the Catholic faith involved me crying my eyes out in a pillow begging God, no, screaming at God, to MAKE THAT BOY LOVE ME!  Or another classic 'prayer' I had was, God, why did you make me so ugly?  I wasn't the most attractive, red headed, glasses, braces, tall, super skinny, waist starting at the boobs child, so as you can imagine, I was the butt, literally, of many hateful jokes about my looks.  So of course, during those times, I turned to God.

But that was about it in my faith.  I am pretty sure that once my parents stopped going to church after my younger sister was confirmed, that I literally drove myself to church for that simple fact- that I could take the car to Church.  period.  Cause I certainly wasn't there to grow in my faith.  At least, not in my mind.  But perhaps, being there, receiving Jesus in the Eucharist (ignorantly of course) God was planting that seed that would one day, once watered ever so gently, bloom, into what I am still blooming into today.

So my prayer life didn't really start going anywhere, or doing much of anything until I started really rediscovering my faith.  My faith journey has been ongoing since 1997.  That's when I first started teaching in a Catholic elementary school.  My prayer life had a match struck to it.  A co-teacher literally lit a fire inside me that slowly began to burn.  Slowly.  My prayer life was still the typical asking God for things, and telling Him how I wanted it to be, but something was changing.  Albeit, it would take probably 12+ years for it to really evolve into what it is today.

Still, I had a hard time determining God's plan for me.  After all, wasn't prayer, telling God what I wanted (which isn't a bad thing, please understand) and then telling Him how I wanted it to play out? (which is kinda a bad thing, if you think you have that kind of cosmic control over a God of the Universe).

I wanted to have children as soon as we tried.  I wanted to live in a big fancy house as soon as I found one.  I wanted to quit teaching as soon as I had my first child.  I wanted...I wanted....I wanted.

Never once, in my newly lit fire brain did it occur to me I should actually sit and listen to what God wanted from me.  Not until I started to seek out spiritual direction did I even begin to have a clue what a prayer life even involved.  I began to meet with a priest once a week and as he attempted to help me declutter my brain and put together my faith, he encouraged me to sit before Jesus in the Tabernacle and really, really, just try to listen.  It was something I was certain I could NOT do, since my brain was always on constant motion (and unfortunately to this day, still is!) but I would give it a valiant effort.

I can not say I heard God's audible voice the first time I sat there before the Tabernacle, nor have I heard His voice since (or at least the voice I believe would be God's, like a Darth Vader type voice, or the 7Up guy's voice from back in the 90's?  Remember his voice? hahahahaha- he said that....) but I have heard His voice and actually have started really seeking His voice each time I sit and pray and really try to just 'listen.'

It's not a deep voice from above.  Sometimes, it's the voice of a child in my home.  Sometimes, it's the cry of a baby I'm holding.  Sometimes, it's the story I've just read on the computer.  Sometimes, it's a great book I've just finished.  But I 'hear' His voice.  And if we all would really sit and listen, we would all hear His voice.  Sometimes, I get in such a rush through the day, I forget to really listen for it.  I forget to really even sit and pray and just listen to Him.  My thoughts race on some days, or I find I've wasted half a nap time (which is my "free time" on the computer) perusing Pinterest or Facebook reading articles and pinning meal ideas I may try in some distant future.  But when I remember, I sit and I really tell Him how much I want to just listen.  Just sit and be quiet and try to hear Him speak.  Sometimes, a song will come on my Pandora Christian station, or my car radio, or my headphones and it will be His voice speaking.  Sometimes, I'm reading a certain scripture passage either from the day's readings, or from my bible study, and I hear His voice.

I've had to learn to really trust what I'm discerning.  Sometimes, the plans God lays before us are all good.  And we have to really decide for ourselves which plan He has laid before us that we will choose.   Sometimes our choices don't always have to be about choosing the "right" one from the "wrong" one!  It can be two really good choices, which could lead to two really good outcomes.  Our free will comes into play as we decide what to do.

My newest prayer endeavor involves where we are to retire.  I've written before how I was worried that in choosing to move away from our current location, wasn't what God wanted from us.  I prayed He would correct my thoughts (yes-I'm still in that 'God fix me' mindset at times!) and begged Him to show me the correct path.

Nothing has shown up that we are wrong in our decision.  Actually, if we, my husband and I, compare our stories to what we've 'heard', we've actually heard Him telling us to follow our hearts to where we want to be.  He will take care of us.  So I know, that regardless of what happens, He has 'spoken' to our hearts and shown us that we will be OK with whatever we choose.

It's so important that we really trust and let go of all those things that hold us back.  Moving so many times has almost made it too easy for me to let go of things.  I sometimes worry it's 'too easy' for me to move from one area to another.  As though I have no roots planted anywhere, but then something comes into my heart that assures me, I need no 'roots' here on Earth to have my deep relationship with Christ.  His Love is what I need and His Word is what I cling to.

I am not perfect.  I am no where near it.  I see my faults so clearly sometimes, I am almost ashamed to lift my head to Him, but I know He knows how beautiful I am and perfect in His eyes.  I am a clay pot.  I am in the Potter's Hands and I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I am constantly being reshaped and remade in His eyes as I grow in my faith and in my Love for Him.   I just need to listen and I'll hear Him say it, too.

Be still my heart.  Allow me to hear you, Lord, and discern Your path for me.  Comfort me always.  Lift my heart even when it feels trapped beneath a beam.  Guide me on Your path and never let me go.  How great You are God.  How great You are.  May my heart always be full of Your complete and utter beautiful love for me.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The conversations no one ever REALLY wants to have about the end of life....

But for some reason, I've had a bunch with my spouse.

It's that ever dreaded one, you think you won't have to worry about until you and your spouse are much older, like 60's, or 70's even....

Where do you want to be buried?
Where should I live with the children if something happens to you?

Now, of course, in my husband's line of work, it's something that we have discussed often at times.  At one point, I remember us deciding on someone who would tell me if something were to happen to him.  We always picked a priest to be the one to deliver the news, and thankfully, after 18 years, no one has had to ever deliver that dreaded message no one wants to get.  "Ma'am, there's been an accident...."

It's not to say I don't think about it, and it's not to say I obsess over it.  We are all going to die.  We started dying the day we were born.  Our days are numbered, and the riskier behaviors (jobs, too) we have, the greater risk of not living "forever."  Even despite my husband telling me he's Superman and will live forever....

But sometimes, circumstances cause me to actually develop a game plan.  Remember, I am a planner.  Type A personality.  But in my defense, I am about to have my seventh child, so some small amount of preparation is actually probably pretty practical of me...  (as I pat myself on the back, and say, 'nice one, catholicmomma...')

The circumstances have arrived where once again, I needed to ask these questions.  I am certainly not convinced of his impeding doom, but reality is, when someone who is in a dangerous position, goes after someone of equal or greater danger, the possibility in lies that there COULD be an accident, and the last thing I need to deal with is piss poor planning.  Not making light of someone dying in any way shape or form.  My husband is my best friend in the ENTIRE WORLD- and I would be completely devastated if something happened to him, which is why, it's imperative I have a semi-thought out plan before he heads out just so when I switch to auto-pilot and stop functioning as a human being for awhile, I can rely on my clear headed brain PRIOR to the event to dish out the necessary information to others.

So last night, the conversation sounded a little something like this:
"Where will I live if something happens to you?"  -me.
"Where do you want to live?"  -husband.
"I don't know, that's why I'm asking you."  -me.
"I don't know where you want to live."  -husband.  Snarky little fella.
"I need you to help me make a rational decision in this.  It's serious time."  -me.
"I think you'll be fine wherever you live."  -husband.  Listen fella- this isn't a debate over which pair of shoes look better-this is the rest of my life without you conversation and I need SERIOUS!
"Where would YOU live if something happened to me?"  -me.
"I have no idea."  -husband.  And he's probably right.  This is something that we've discussed for a long time.  (we've had several opportunities to discuss, 'what if something happens to you' scenarios...)

We fell asleep with nothing really definite planned.  There is a family in Arkansas I would most likely move closer to, simply because they have been like parents to us since we lived in the very first city my husband was assigned so many moons ago.  But other than that, it did cause me to think and really ask those tough questions that we sometimes avoid for fear of death and dying.

Did you know I have no idea how to access my online bank account?  I"m talking about the one that my husband has because of his law enforcement job.  I'm certain I could possibly find something somewhere I've signed that grants me access to the account- but that is our primary savings account and regardless how much money I "get" should something happen to him "on the job" I need access to those funds because there will be lots and lots and LOTS of unexpected bills I imagine that will pile up.

Did you know, I have no idea how to; change the filter in the furnace, switch the vents from winter/summer zone (probably just something in Snowland-cause I NEVER remember helping do this down south), turn the pilot light off, or even light it for the gas fireplace, change a tire, fix the toilet, rewire a light switch when we get a new light, or ceiling fan, and about two billion other little things I take for granted all the time?

Did you also know, that I have a terrible fear of having to sell this house alone?  Seriously- we've lived in four houses.  Do you KNOW how much paperwork that means we have signed, filled out, photocopied, mailed, and had certified?  A ridiculous amount, but my husband has always been the one to handle ALL of it.  Such a blessing because that is a PAIN!

Did you also know I have a terrible fear of buying/selling cars?
Yes, as irrational as it may sound, I have had to think about which car I will sell.  The mini-van?  Or the bus?  Technically, eight fit in the mini-van and if there's not another adult in the front, the oldest can sit there and the next older three can sit in the middle and the youngest in the back.  There really would be no need for the bus- minus more space for travel-but it is four years newer than the those thoughts go through my head when he heads out for missions.

Did you also know I have a terrible fear of not being able to visit his grave should something ever happen to him and we move away?
How obnoxiously goofy, you say.  Well, yes and no.  I know his soul is no longer with his body and his body is not what I was married to, or in love with, so just knowing he's in Heaven, should be enough for me to be satisfied and I can talk to him anywhere, but there is just something very powerful about being at a cemetery.  One of our babies is buried in Arkansas, and we have a stone at the site (just a little homemade, Hobby Lobby stone, someone made for us) and it would give me such peace to go by and just sit there some days.  The little ones would explore the cemetery and I would sit like a big goof ball and cry my eyes out telling little John Matthew how much I loved him and missed him and prayed the sun glasses would hide the big red eyes from little eyes that kept saying hi to him when they ran by.
But for me, a physical place to go and sit and chat is important.  We have another miscarried baby buried up here, Gemma Rose, and I have to ask my husband all the time which cemetery is she buried at because there are so many and I sometimes get very distraught when I can't just jump in my car and visit.
So the idea that I might have to bury my husband in a city/state we will no longer live in, sometimes freaks me out!

Yes, I know.  He is already working on his Sainthood cause dealing with me.... I am very well aware of this....  :)

So twice I've tried calling him to rehash these and a few other questions before he heads out tonight and tomorrow, but so far, he's had to stop talking to deal with a team member calling to inform him of more changes, or expectations of what they're doing.

I did not intend for this to be a morbid post, nor did I intend it to be a 'make light of death' post.  But it is something we generally avoid, or have no real reason to think about.  And sometimes, other people's perspective, help us put things into perspective.  Remember, the grass is always greener right where you water it....
My "Superman"

Monday, September 15, 2014

If you give a mom a broom....and she goes to clean the kitchen....

Today is one of those days that I am CERTAIN the creator of 'If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," was doing a parody of motherhood....

I had quite a bit of catching up to do after an entire weekend of activities, celebrating birthdays (we finally had my hubsters bday celebration dinner) and zero, I'm talking ZERO laundry completed....

So in true CrazyMomma fashion- I set to task one room at a time once I shoved, er, I mean sent, my #5 on her merry way to first grade....The littlest peanut and I were on a mission to tackle each room.

Well, it's 12:15, she's already down for a nap and I'm fairly certain I'm 10 minutes behind her and let me tell you, there is not one completed room in this house, BUT, there are lots and lots, and can I say one more, LOTS of little tasks completed in each room that no one, not even me, will remember by 5:00 this evening....

So before I forget, let me tell the story of, "If you give a mom a broom...."

She might set out to sweep the kitchen.  (I suppose might may explain that ideally, the mouse would have LIKED to have a glass of milk with the cookie, didn't necessarily mean he was gonna get it!!)

But she realized, there were 10 pairs of shoes, a laundry basket, a baby blanket, and a giant bag of give away clothing in her way!

So she set out to put the shoes all away, which once in the garage, she realized the recycling bins were stacked ONCE AGAIN, and placing recycling in them would be next to impossible, so she set out to fix that, which led her to recall the oatmeal box she tried to toss earlier that morning in the rush of getting kids out the door, actually bounced off the shelf (because of said stacked recycle bins) and proceeded to roll under the mini-van.  So she came back inside to get the broom to try and scoop out the oatmeal box so she wouldn't forget it was under the mini van when she set out later this day to pick up children from various after school activities, but once inside, realized there was still more to put up before sweeping the kitchen floor, and where was that vacuum cause that rug in front of the garage door was a MESS!
So she took the laundry basket upstairs to find which room it came from, and once she went in that room of her two older daughters and caught whiff of that hideous, "dang these girls need showers" smell, she went to open a window and realized that ALL of the windows upstairs were probably closed because it had gotten so chilly in the evenings of this weekend, so she proceeded to go to every bedroom and open the windows and once in the younger three girl's room, she discovered a mess on the floor and some MORE dirty laundry (I think it just mass produces itself- who HAS so much laundry???)
Once that laundry was picked up she walked all the way downstairs to toss the laundry and discovered that GREAT!  A load was complete.  So she took the clothes out of the dryer and folded them and placed them on the table which reminded her that her OWN laundry basket was on the coffee table with for some reason, children's books and a box of crayons in it.  Well, she had to take the crayons downstairs to the art box and place the books on the book shelf and she saw her vacuum that lives in the basement (she has two, since there are three floors in this monster story) and remembered she wanted to vacuum the rug upstairs, so she headed back upstairs to the kitchen where she originally had set to sweep and began a vain search for the vacuum.  She went in the laundry room and remembered she forgot to put the washer clothes in the dryer, so she set out to do that and start a brand new load- she then looked in the piano/office room for the vacuum and to her dismay discovered quite the disaster.  Paper, tiny little pieces of it, and what appeared to be pencil sharpenings from colored pencils ALL.OVER.THE.FLOOR.... But no vacuum.
At this point, her little assistant, we'll call her, Flo, had discovered that the windows were NOT open in this office room and began her attempt at dismantling the wood blinds, so the mom lifted the blinds on the window and proceeded to open the window to allow Flo to enjoy the beautiful breeze blowing in, but for Flo, it wasn't enough.  The other window needed an adjustment as well, so before Flo could dismantle it, Mom was there attempting to lift the blinds, but discovering that one of her little gems had tied the strings of the blinds into a knot that would befit a King trying to tie up his worst enemy in the world.
20 minutes later and blood pressure raised to almost normal, she opened the window and then placed the door stopper in front of the door, which reminded her to open the front door and find the door stopper for it, which she thought was in the closet with the vacuum, but was not, but upon further investigation found the door stopper behind the front door and proceeded to open the front door, just as Flo was picking up the heavy doorstopper to the office and attempting to place it through the wall of the office.  Mom ran to pick up the door stopper and harshly say 'no' to Flo, who took it lightly and proceeded to her next natural disaster, which was attempting to sweep since Mom clearly had abandoned that job.
But mom was on a new mission, because paper and pencil shavings covered the floor of the office and needed immediate attention and WHERE WAS THAT DARN VACUUM?
She took some clean clothes to set on her bed upstairs, and discovered the vacuum was in HER room!  So she brought it downstairs to vacuum up the office/piano room, but discovered as she stepped over the baby gate of the stairway, that there was lots of "yuck" on the floor below the steps, so why not vacuum this up since it would be easier than sweeping it, and she was RIGHT there with the vacuum.  So vacuum plugged in, floor sucker sticks attached, and mom set out to vacuum the floor and discovered the stairs were actually quite in need of vacuuming, but she only did the first 5 steps because the assistant had taken the vacuum parts off the vacuum and was trying to break the wood floor with them, so she came back down, took the parts from Flo and headed into the office/piano room.  She vacuumed it, but stopped when she realized the girls had taken lots of junk out of their desks and left them on top of the desks.  She decided that was her invitation to just take that junk and toss it for them in the garbage.
Once back in the kitchen, she realized she never loaded the dishes in the dishwasher from breakfast, so without further hesitation, she began to rinse them and attempt to load them, only to discover the dishwasher was still loaded and clean from last night.   (is anyone else as tired as I am now?)
She proceeded to unload the dishwasher and her assistant, Flo, came over and with great strength, pulled herself to be nearly on top of the dishwasher in order to better assist the mom.  It was all fun and games until Flo nearly dropped Mom's beloved Goonies coffee mug and almost fell off the dishwasher. Mom decided this was too much fun for BOTH her and Flo and took Flo off the dishwasher and commanded she go and get a toy from the toy box.
Flo reluctantly complied, but set ahead, full steam.  The mom took that to make lightening speed getting the rest of the dishes out, and began to load the dirty breakfast dishes into the dishwasher.  She looked at the current dishes left, unload-able, and thought, she could wash them in zero time.  She filled the sink and washed the three dishes and turned around to wipe down the counter in which someone had spilled oats on that morning and realized she had forgotten to wipe down her fridge at some point the day before when she had discovered multiple dirty hand prints all over the front (clearly, every day is a "give a mom a broom day....")
She began to wipe the refrigerator and realized she never swept in the dining room, and thought she should do that some time today, but instead opted for wiping down the kitchen table which had not been wiped down after dessert the night before.  (we did celebrate dad's birthday several days late, mind you).  As she wiped down the table, she also decided to wipe out the high chair, which she just decided to toss the cover in the laundry room, and as she entered the laundry room, discovered her laundry was completed once again, so set to task to fold the dryer clothing and transfer the wash over and start a new load.
Once that was complete, she remembered she never finished vacuuming the office/piano room, so she completed that task, and remembered the rug by the garage door that was full of grass, dirt, and other undesirable yuck so she headed that way to vacuum.  She actually completed that task and decided to finish sweeping the kitchen, which is the task she originally set out to do, two hours prior.

And that my friends, is a small snip it of my crazy, grass is always greener where you water it, life.
Enjoy your Monday.  I hope this made you smile a little.... :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What they don't tell you.....Quit telling people to not have kids!!!!

If I subject myself to one more 'anti-having children' article I'm likely to help raise my incredibly low blood pressure (so perhaps I should consider it??)  Ha, never.
So today, I'm suffering from some seriously low blood pressure.  I don't even have to take it to know what is going on.  I stand from a sitting position and nearly fall over because the entire world becomes dark and I have this generally yucky feeling that makes me just want to lie down and go to sleep- which could also be other things, but since blood pressure is something I am getting really good at diagnosing, we'll stick with it for now.... :)

So I took a break from my really good books I've been reading through - and answered a couple of texts from my husband, daughter, and good friend.  While waiting for my husband's response to one, I thought I would peruse through the yahoo news for any brainless news to annoy my 'already annoyed at this world' mind....

Imagine my surprise when I came across yet ANOTHER article painting parenthood to be nothing short of the biggest waste of way too much money, mind, and matter I've read yet.  Here's the article if you dare to read it....make sure you eat breakfast, or a snack, because it gave me terrible heartburn the further I read down....

10 Things your kids won't say....

Ok.  Disclaimer.

I don't think people, who don't feel called to have children should reproduce.  I'm not going to condemn you, I'm not going to judge you.  If you don't feel the call-please don't have children.   I don't think you should ever do anything permanent to your body (simply because mutilation of something God created I think is just like desecrating a sacred object-but we can argue that another time) and sometimes, how you feel NOW, may not be how you feel, say, 10 years from now.

But I'm certainly, going to be the first one to say that, yes, it is a challenge to have children in this day and age, and yes, it can be expensive, if you insist on keeping up with the Jones and buying your little prince or princess every single toy/gadget/electronic/Gap/Justice/Hollister item they feel they want and/or deserve.  Yes, it will be physically and mentally draining, but I can assure you, if you have a spouse who is on board with you, it makes it somewhat easier having someone else on your team.  NO, you won't be able to be a selfish old goat and buy that ridiculously overpriced, gigantic waste of energy house you "dreamed" about or that cute little sports car that you and your big toes can ride in together after you pay a year's salary for, unfortunately, or is it?

I can't think for anyone else but me, but I can assure anyone who even still reads half the stuff I write, that these articles are written with one clear agenda.  The person even said, if you're going to have children, have one-because you can barely afford that one.  (even after pointing out that parents of three or more children spend 22% less than parents of two or LESS).    One child.  Ok, those of you who have purposely chosen to have one, or two children, great.  My only argument is when I hear these people tell me (and believe me, after admitting multiple times to multiple strangers that I'm pregnant with #5, 6, and now 7, I've heard it enough for it to be considered a valid stat)they can't handle the one, two, even three they have now.

I know I've argued this before- and sometimes I wish there was a godless way to answer, but it does seem to me that if you fully relied on a higher power that 1) yes, there will be days of complete overwhelmness, and 2) you would place all of your trust in that Higher Power and know that the only way your "making it" is because you have let go and are relying on His strength.  AND MOSTLY BECAUSE WHY WOULD GOD GIVE YOU WHAT YOU DON'T NEED FOR WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE???   If you have two kids, why do you automatically think you don't have what you need for three?   Just because there are days that are sometimes our own fault of running around to the 46 activities per child because they have to do EVERYTHING so they'll play career baseball and basketball (only 1% of HS students go on to play college and I think the stat is even lower for college to pro-but I digress)  So you see, sometimes, our "I can't handle the two I have" are self inflicted!!!

Now, does having that "Higher Power" make my life "easier?"  Holy heck no.  But does it bring me great comfort?   Absolutely.  I find that the more I rely on myself to take care of my family, the worse I do.  My husband also senses it as well.
Anyway- back to this ridiculous article.

The guy argues your "better off economically" if you stick to one child.

Ok, Explain this.  Better off economically?  Do you mean, and bare (bear?  why can't I remember which bare goes here????)
Better off economically means that because I have only one child I can still afford all those things I NEED like a brand new car, brand new phone every year, brand new house, brand new clothes, brand new.......... are you following me?

Better off economically because there is this idea that we spend somewhere between 200,000-300,000 dollars on our children up to their 18th bday?  Yes, that figure blows my mind because that doesn't include college and if you only have one child, than why do both parents have to "realistically" work unless they both make barely enough to cover necessary bills?  (and by necessary I mean "realistic" bills like a house payment, car payment, electricity, water, etc etc-not 20 GB of data for a brand new iphone- not hardly a "need" is it? )

So, barring the parents that dually have to work to actually meet necessary expenses, why is one child "economically better?"

Ok, let's skip to another one of the "insightful" problems with having children.

6. “I know you love my sibling more than you love me.”

This one really annoyed me more than anything because once again, they're making parenthood out to be this job that should be super easy and require no thought, or work or effort.  

Who goes to their job and only does the stuff they like?  Who teaches in a classroom and only calls on the ones they like and ignores the ones they don't?  Regardless of the anwers, parenting is not an easy job- let me make this extremely clear and I have no letters/numbers/dots/smileys after my name.  I'm going on strictly over 14 years of parenting and that's not very much- minus the fact it is soon to include 7 children- and quite frankly, in this day and age- well, that's a LOT, so maybe there's some, a pinch maybe, of truth in my words.  

Don't get me wrong.  If you sign up for parenting, you're signing up for one of the most difficult, thankless, painful, at times heartbreaking jobs you'll ever have, but it doesn't feel that way all the time and in fact, the opposite of all of those holds true for a better portion of the time.  Now grant it, I only have a high school freshman, and she's a wonderful child, but I've got friends with college age, and married with their own children, children, so I've seen a lot and for as many really, bad, horrible no good days (yes, Alexander, there are those days) there are even more blessed, triumphant, glorious, beautiful days.
And to say you'll love one sibling over another is to well, take parenting as a silly temporary job that requires no thought or effort.

Do I have children who make my life easier than others?  Oh for the love of Pete, YES, but do I love the difficult ones less?  Dear Heavenly Father, NO.  In fact, I feel those need even more love and I find the more I try, the easier my relationship with those children becomes.

It takes effort to be a parent.  I don't think you need a million dollars to do it either.  I don't think I've had to buy all six of my children clothing for every season since, well, I've never had to!  I have 12 bins of clothes downstairs full of every size/season/shape and color you can imagine and I NEVER turn down hand me downs because one can always find a treasure in hand me downs.  I don't think our lives will be any more complete whether we live in a 10,000 square foot home that cost 10x's that or a simple 1800 square foot home, with 4 bedroom and four walls and some really cool Home Depot paint to make a house a home.

And quite honestly, as much as I complain about that dag gone bus I drive on occasion and soon will have to drive all the time when #7 makes his/her debut, I feel really safe in that huge monster. I'm like two heads taller than everyone and feel like it might hurt someone else more than me if I get hit!

Parenting can't be boxed up in this neat little "package" of horribleness that seems to be the latest craz these days.  The amounts of anti-children, we hate children, don't have children if you want the perfect life websites/facebook pages that are popping up are just the opposite of what I'm trying to teach my own children.

I don't know about you, but my heart hurts and I get very emotional when I read the anti-children comments on some sites.  My heart hurts because some of these "well meaning" people are the same ones that expect us to tolerate everything they stand for.  Even if it goes against the very grain of my own beliefs, yet they can spew things like there should be laws against children, people should be sterilized as soon as their born, children are an anchor that drown the very purpose of life-

Those are just a few of the many messages I just found when looking for examples and had to hurry and get off the site before my head exploded or I got myself in trouble with my law enforcement husband.....  thankfully, the filter in my head still works on occasion....

Here's the next one that super annoyed me....

7. “I broke your iPad, iPhone and computer too.”

Ok, first of all, if you're going to give a $100, $500, $900 dollar "toy" to your child, well, than my friend, you have bigger issues than deciding on whether to parent or not.  I'm pretty sure, if we took a poll of all the "broken" iPads, iphones, and computers, statistics would show that 1) parents give these things to little hands to "distract" them from talking too much 2) parents want to make their children "happy" with these things they deem as "toys"  3) you clearly have no idea of the incapacity a child has to understand or differentiate the cost of an expensive electronic device as opposed to Barbie doll or match box car.....  Sorry, but that's the plain truth.  My children are only allowed to use the computer if I'm home, and the computer is in a family room where all can see the activity going on (again, my law enforcement husband can teach anyone who asks why it's absolutely the stupidest thing to allow computers in bedrooms and guess what?  An iphone with data is a computer.....)

Than there's this one-

9.“I’m probably not giving you any grandchildren.”

Why?  Why is this even on here?  Does this define why I am a parent?  Again, we're reverting back to that selfishness of needing a fancy house/car.  Grandchildren do not define who you are as a parent.  Quite frankly, I'll be thrilled if all my kids choose to be nuns/and a priest.  I can think of no greater reward.... ;)  So don't even think about this when deciding on children, for heaven's sake....

10.“You’ll cry when I leave…you with one last bill.”

You know, I think it's extremely noble of parents to want to help their children pay their college tuition, but realistically, the way costs are soaring, soon, only the elite and super de duper de poor will be able to go to college anyway so why are we fretting about this before we even HAVE CHILDREN!!!!!!!  If you think for one second I was going to pay for any of my children's college you're sadly mistaken.  My parents put themselves in debt paying for two years of my college (which they paid off eventually) but then I paid for the next 2 1/2 years after that and to be honest, I took my courses more seriously when I realized just how much it cost!!  I did better academically those last 2 1/2 years and owned my own education.  I'm not saying all kids are like that, and God bless those who can pay for their kids college, but I'm hoping mine can get financial aid, scholarships, and work studies.  Where in the "rule book of kids" does it say we're supposed to make their lives easy and debt free?  Some times, a "good" debt like college, is just what a kid needs to motivate them to get jobs, work hard, and pay it off one month at time.  That's exactly what I did.  I worked my tail off to pay mine off....So yes, I am speaking from experience.   I haven't been in debt since, and prayerfully, I won't ever be.  

There were definitely a few more to peruse, but I think I voiced the jist of my concerns...

If you're one of those people who never wants to have children, that's fantastic.  It takes many different people to make the world go round.  Yes, I empathize with you in regards to the comments you get- believe me-it's just the opposite of comments on my end- perhaps we can join forces together and put together something more wholesome and encompassing instead of immediately just degrading children to unborn soon to be blobs of money draining, life draining thorns...

Not everyone feels that way.  And not everyone will ask you when you're finally going to have a child, or more children, or whatever......just like not everyone is going to ask me if I know what causes my fertility and pregnancies and if I'm "done" as if I'm an oven baking some really cool cookies....  :)