Sunday, June 30, 2013

Yes instead of no

Sooo I missed the party on Friday.... 

Not a real party I suppose, but I'll get my kicks where I can and if 7 Quick Takes Friday is a party to me, then its my party and I will cry if I want to (over missing it, which really is a darn good enough reason if you ask me). 

I'm sure every single person who reads this blog noticed.  All 3 of you.  Thanks for the concerned emails and texts regarding my whereabouts and sanity that you didn't send.  

Turns out last week not biting off more than I can chew wasn't really a consideration for me.  A logical oversight given that I very recently gave birth, have an eagarly nursing newborn, 3 other very small, very needy children, a big house and husband all to take care of.  Oh wait, nope, that isn't really logical is it?  Shoot, I knew the math wasn't working.  

So this is the story of how I said yes instead of no.

For the first time since working I was gifted with a happily needed few weeks maternity break from my mini j-o-b  mandated by my seasoned mother of 4 boss. The nature of teaching Natural Family Planning in this volume online is we don't really have any time off.  I work a few hours during naps and/or after bedtime 5-6 days a week.  Now for some unexplainable lapse in judgement, I insisted I didn't want to take a break when Sam was born.  Fortunatelly, my boss insisted I was crazy, forced me to let someone else take my clients for a few weeks, and.... shocker warning... turns out she was soooo right and I was soooo wrong.

As per usual when someone does anything nice for me my guilt meter registers equally high as my enjoyment and thankfulness.  Terrible, terrible habit, but I was born this way.  It's how I roll. I'm pretty sure I left my mother's womb asking if there was anything I could do to make up for the labor pain I caused.   Turns out there was, I had colic, which meant by comparison my mom would've given birth 10 times over for a field day! 

Ok, back on track here.... I was so thankful for the break that when my colleague who filled in for me requested a few weeks off for her first time ever I totally forgot all about the fact that I very recently gave birth, have an eagarly nursing newborn, 3 other very small, very needy children, a big house and husband all to take care of. Oh and my own regular client base that I can barely handle too. And immediately emailed first saying I'd love to!

Yes instead of no.

Rookie mistake.

I promise it will happen again and again and again. Just ask me to help you and you'll see what I mean.

So this past week was my first of 2 weeks taking over her clients. Now this came as a huge surprise to me, so sit down while you read this...

double the case load is.... double the work... which requires...triple the time. 

You must think I am just terrible at math, and I'm starting to agree with you.  It must just be the word problems. But let me explain how no amount of logic or math could've solved this riddle. 

You see, I thought somehow getting the Mister on board for all this to give me time in the evenings to work instead of waiting until the kids went to bed would be all I needed to totally sail on through.  Now clearly, I'm not doing so hot with these word problems, but it seemed to me that should've done the trick right?   Here's the loop hole that no amount of logic or math can explain...  by their very nature, children demand you most the second you need to do anything but wait on their every desire.

Boom!  I solved all life's mysteries.

Why can't I get my laundry folded?  
Why can't I keep my floors clean?
Why can't I arrive anywhere on time?
Why can't I answer my phone?
Why can't I find anything I need when I need it?
Why can't I write 7 very quick takes on my blog every Friday?

-Children's Law of Nature numero 1-
Demand the most from your mother when she most desparately needs to focus her attention elsewhere for any amount of time that you are awake and in the same 10 mile radius. 

That's why! 

And now I must forbid you to ever tell my husband a soul (just to be on the safe side) that I have been writing this for half of the time I said I was in my room "working." Thanks friends, I knew you had my back!  This will be our little secret!   Ok, back to actually working so I get to sleep tonight sometime before the second feeding.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bebe and bebe Bashy

In the past year I feel like I've arrived to a new level of parenting.  I'm not talking about 4 kids under the age of 5, which is more than just a level, that's like relocating to a different planet of parenting.

On planet most strangers seem to call "You've Got Your Hands Full" we no longer fold our laundry, we don't clean up messes unless they have the potential to attract insects or leave stains (and even then...), and we certainly don't get dressed unless we're leaving the house (which we only do when absolutely necessary). 

The new level I'm referring to is actually a vacation of sorts from planet Hands Full when your "big" kids are old enough to stay places without you like camp or school.  This is a magical moment in parenting.  It's a moment where things feel almost easy again.

How can two kids 2 and under be easy? 

(This picture was taken almost 3 years ago to the day!) 

Well, when I first had this combination I didn't think it was, but perspective is a wonderful thing.  The big kids are off at VBS this week and it's just been me and my two babies hanging out again.  They had a summer camp two weeks ago, which was every bit as fun as this week has been for me and the babes.   

Bash also really loves this little babies only set up we have going.  He gets all the fun of playing with his siblings, but in limited exposure mostly after their overly energetic bodies have mellowed out just a tad from camp exhaustion and they've been away long enough to miss their baby brother and want to share nicely with him.    

I was worried Bash would be bored with just me, but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that having popsicles at 10:00 am just because and having mostly undivided attention from Mommy isn't exactly a rough gig.  

I have noticed he does cleverly try to immediately get my attention back whenever I have to take care of Sam.  Some successful approaches have involved running off to suck on "bebe's paci", climbing on the baby's changing station to remove his own diaper and spread Destin all over himself or even sneaking off with my boppy to drink his sippy cup...

He's starting to catch on that I don't mind this boppy trick... I think handing him books and bribes to stay put might have given me away.

After a few rounds of "Get joo" with Lelo he starts asking to go pick up Ena and Onah.

Most days it's been perfect timing, but don't worry for the few times his request comes a bit premature I just slip him another popsicle and he's as happy as a the faux first born he'd love to be!  (but only from 9-12, and then we all know it's time to "get Ena. get Onah. i need choos on.") 

In case I haven't said it 10 times yet today, I'm so thankful to be able to stay at home and watch these little birds grow. By the time I know it just the babies won't be babies at all.

Friday, June 21, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday vol 15


"Mom, I just catched 3 coughs while I was playing trains!" -Jonah
"You can't catch 3 coughs, Jonah!  You only have one and it makes you cough 3 times." -Sienna 
"No Ena, I'm a boy, we have more!" -Jonah 

You know, Jonah, you're only 3, but I'm pretty sure you just revealed a theory behind gender differences in illness coping....  I might be biased but Jonah could be the wisest version of a male I've ever seen! 


My throat started a teensy tingle on Saturday night, but it wasn't until Father's Day morning that it was clear we're all going to have a fun week ahead.  

Insert synchronized crying children x4. 


Given such aforementioned signs, I'm not sure what it says about me that I still continued on this particular day with my plan to try a cute Pinterest idea for a Father's Day picture pose. 

 I'm pretty sure we nailed it.  Thanks low grade fevers! 


You see all those perfect family pictures out there and I'm going to be the first to call their bluff.  It's photoshop. Say it's photoshop!!   

Except any of one these, I have no doubt those are very real and it's wonderful. 


Maybe it's only when I try too hard to make it happen that we end up this:

Which, might I just say was very easy to nail in the second version:


But every once in a while when no one is paying attention I can sneak in at just the right moment...

To capture what being a father... 

what being the biggest brother....

 and what having siblings to wrestle with is really like. 


That's all for this week my bloggy friends.  I'm off to gaze back into these sweet eyes and try with all my will power not to smooch and smooch his squishiness until I'm done being sick. 

Hopefully Jen has had a much healthier week!  Go see her 7QTs. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday vol 14


Lady babies beware... this stud will steal your heart with his all new, tried and true smilin'

No need to worry if you miss one, he's on all day and allllll night!


I'd warn kinder-boys, but thankfully I'm told all girls still get cooties between the ages of 5-10 regardless of their styling new summer bobs.

She hasn't had her hair this short since she turned 2!  Only this time instead of a cute little 2 year old it makes her look like she's doubled her age... I'll think I'll be ok, but the heart palpitations worried me just a bit after I made the first 6 inch snip.


Jonah kept saying his hair was getting browner... not sure what that meant, but just in case it was I quickly cut that too.  I will not have those golden strands turning any other color on my watch!

And what's good for the geese is good for the gander.  Or something like that.  So Bash got one too.  And yes, bribery by Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is the only way I can get them to sit in one place long enough to safely cut their hair. 


Sienna and Jonah were off at a Vacation Bible School this past week, so it was just me and the babies all morning.  Would it make me sound like a terrible mom to confess how wonderful it was?? 

 Don't get me wrong. I love all four of my kids, but lately some of these four are more enjoyable than others... I'm not naming and names (Doesn't Stop Talking and Grumpy About Life), but I'm pretty sure my stress level was at a life time low from the hours of 9-12 for 4 sweet, sunshiny days.   With Sam in my Ergo and Bash strapped in the stroller eating a little snack I just peacefully lingered around Marshalls just because.  Ironically I STILL got "hands full" and "are they both yours?" comments.  I deviated from my usual dirty looks or "yes, hands full of LOVE" replies to "Ooooh you don't know the half of it."  I get my kicks where I can.


Speaking of kicks.  You know what's a real kick to the pants?   A canceled vacation.

I'm trying to maturely accept that instead of lounging at the beach under blue skies and a breezy 75, I'll be home doing the same ol' under a suffocating 108 with a chance of soggy bottoms.

No really. It's cool. We've been to San Diego before.   I'm sure it'd be nothing new.

Kids napping on umbrella shaded towels.  

Another few eating their body weight in sand. 

Maybe a few joining Sienna's tears over demolished sand castles. 

Yeah, it probably wouldn't have been relaxing and memory making fun at all.  


When things don't go my way I try turning to master copers for a little pick me up.


Speaking of hilarious, dare I confess that I replayed this in my head non-stop while I was in labor with Sam.

Go get s'more quick takes from Jen!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Straight talk with Sienna Vol 2

Just a few Sienna sparklers from the last couple weeks: 

1)  While helping me get Sam ready for bed:

"Does Sam only wear dresses to bed so no one sees him in them?" - Sienna

2)  Running in from playing outside: 

"Mom! Look how red my face is, it's freezing hot today!" -Sienna

3)  As the mechanic at Jiffy Lube checks our VIN number:

"Mom!  That man must be really old!  Look at his hair!!" -Sienna

4)  After setting up her new quite time clock in her room we hear a sad sigh:

"Oh no Mom. My special new clock is already broken. The numbers keep changing every time I look at it.  I promise I didn't do anything.... it just keeps happening.... again and again...."

5)  As soon as I walked through the door from an entire weekend away from home:

"Oh Mommy I missed you so much I cried all day like the princesses in the movies."

  (From the sad princess's 4th princess tea birthday party) 

I know I'll long for these days when she's grown up and too busy to miss me! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mom, it is freezing hot!

Which ironically makes sense when it's scortching hot outside and you jump into a freezing cold pool...

Which we have been doing a lot.

And by a lot I mean their skin doesn't have time to unprune before they want to get back in.

I'm pretty sure at this age I could barely swim with a life vest on. 

This was Sienna when she just turned 2. 

Since we don't have a diving board for Jonah we thought we'd see how he faired being launched by my 6' 5" tall brother instead...

I wish you could hear him calling out "Cow boy!"  because he can't remember "cannon ball."

So all this swimming pretty much leaves me melting under two mini furnaces by the pool....

Which gets a little old, so I opt for a slight variation of swimming....

Splash padding.

Which Sienna loves... Jonah tolerates...

And Bash loves to avoid.  

Unless of course I let him put on his brother's swim trunks and his sister's crocs... then, and only then is it fun to strut around. 

Alternatively, he wears everyone's sunglasses.  At the same time. 
I don't have photographic evidence, but I'm told via missing sunglasses reports that his PR is 3. 
Post word count < 200!!! 
(There's a first time for everything! ((And text in parentheses doesn't count against me)))

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Natural Family Planning

As I say to my hubby dear, I bring home the bacon bits.

I have a little night job I sneak off to when the kids are in bed.  Er, not that kind of night job.  I work from home teaching the SymptoPro method of natural family planning online.  I also teach some in person classes for my Diocese, but most of my teaching is online from the awkward moments safety comfort of my computer screen.  A lot of people scoff at teaching and learning NFP online, but let me tell you most of my clients online share way more information and ask much better questions when they aren't staring me down face to face. 

Ok, let's be honest, a lot of people scoff at NFP in general. Such as my doctor who I formerly would've said the following about:

This pregnancy was the first time I had a doctor who I really like and respect and would actually go back to!  She's one of those people that I probably would've been friends with in real life.  Slightly nerdy (ok, she's more than slightly, but I'd still take her in public, much like myself), really smart and very sweet.  I was immediately impressed with her compassion, empathy and patience when I first met her.  She schedules triple the amount of time most OBs do for her patients and she sees absolutely all of her own OB appointments and has only missed delievering 2 of her patients in 11 years!  Ooook, so she works too much.  That's her personal problem that I will love her for all the more during these baby making years.

Aside for not having a life beyond work, Dr. Superwoman lost a lot of warmth in my heart during our 6 week check up chat.  We've spent a LOOOOT of time chatting during this pregnancy since I'd been going for weekly plus visits for over half of Sam's incumbation and during her hospital rounds she was trying to put off going to her husband's work bbq, so she spent over and hour sitting and talking about life with me.  So we're "toyight" in Dr:Patient terms.  She knows I teach NFP.  Even if she missed reading it on my chart, I'm pretty sure she knows I'm Catholic since approximately zero other moms in Scottsdale, AZ electively plan to have 4 kids in 5 1/2 years who don't tote scapulars and rosaries. 

So when we last met, the inevitable "What are your plans for birth control?" Q and A came up.  To which I responded with what I thought was a short, sweet and definitive:

Me: "We use Naturally Family Planning"

Dr.:  "Um... weeeelll, ok, but based on the complications we've had during and after this pregnancy I strongly recommend not getting pregnant for, well, at the very minimum 6 months, but my preference would be a few years.  I don't want to see you have a preterm baby and I know you'd be so devastated if another pregnancy left you needing sterili-"

Me: "Oh no! Don't worry!  I agree, I need a lot longer than 6 months!  We don't have any plans for another baby in the next 6 months."

Dr: "Right, but you know what I always say to my patients who want to use natural family planning. NFP basically stands for Now-. [looks up at my stare down and stops]  Er.  Well, I mean, you realize it's not as effective as birth control, there are lots of other benefits to it and I really wan-"

Me: "Thank you, but I teach Natural Family Planning to dozens of successfully practicing couples a month and will be practicing that to plan our family as well. I have never had an unplanned pregnancy in 5 years of doing so.  I would not take birth control for numerous reasons."


-not-pregnant-for-at-least-6-months pause-

Me: "So I'm clear to resume normal activities right??"

Dr: "Yes, yeah, yup, all clear.  Make sure you bring in your littles ones to visit soon!"

Nice save, lady.  Good thing flattery gets you every where when it's about complementing my adorable kids.

That and it's probably not entirely your fault that you're like every other OB in America who does not understand the dangerous risks involved with hormonal contraceptives!   I won't even hold it against her.

Click away now to save yourself from my rant. 

I have a foot on the soap box...

Here's your last chance....

Ok you stayed..... thanks! 

Our doctors are selectively informed in medical school and then again by pharmaceutical companies about the risks and "benefits" of birth control.  I'm not just saying so!  If you don't believe me this documentary film will knock your hospital gowns off.

I wanted to scream please, please Dr. Superwoman spend 5 of my appointment minutes reading

I wanted to cry when she started talking about birth control and preventing cancer.  It doesn't prevent cancer!  It causes cancer!  The FDA confirms that hormonal contraceptions are class I carcinogens.  Like cigarettes.  Would our doctors tell us to smoke?  Under any circumstances?

I wanted to beg her not to push birth control.  If she pushed me that hard I can only imagine how less informed women crumble in the disadvantaged battleground.

No one should be convinced to use birth control.  Family planning is personal. It's a 3 way decision. Husband. Wife. God.  Not Doctor.  Doctors are there to empower us to choose the best method for our unique relationship by adequately educating us of ALL options.  And then not judging, insisting or persuading us when we stand firm in what we've chosen.    I'm far from intending to suggest that everyone should practice NFP.    But everyone should know there are more options available beyond hormonal intervention and NFP is only one of them.

Since Monday alone I've had two clients (not even Catholic like many of my clients) come to me after disastrous complications from the pill. One woman had never had an actual period, because she was late developing and the doctors wanted her to start cycling before 16, so they put her on the pill.  She had been taking birth control for... get ready...  21 years straight!!!   She's tried almost every option under the sun.  She had blood clots, migraines and mood swings, but doctors told her it wasn't related to the pill.  She had recently stopped taking it hoping to get pregnant and had been having trouble conceiving, so she found us.  Sadly for her the rates of infertility are significantly higher when women take the pill for more than 7 years.  Triple that.  It's going to take a miracle for this couple.

It's cases like this that illustrate why infertility is so common in our culture and why our method actually serves more couples wanting help to achieve a pregnancy rather than avoid one.  Since stopping the pill her ocular migraines completely went away.  Migraines she had suffered through for 21 years!   But one doctor said it was just as likely coincidence.

Another client had to have surgery to remove the IUD that got embedded in her uterus and now keeps having miscarriages...

These stories are heart breaking to me and my blood just boils when I read about them.  She was told there were no risks to an IUD.  Not just minimal risks, but NO RISKS.

What happened to our right to understand our bodies?  To our right to make an informed decision about our health and fertility?

And that's my soap box.  

Never thought this blog would be about this, but it is about raising my family, which starts here.  So if you're still reading you should leave me a comment so I can love you foreva!