Tag Archives: babies

Confession time: I am a Halloween Grinch

Yes, I admit it. I am a veritable Ebeneezer Scrooge of Halloween time. 

You know when you are growing up and you swear you will never inflict the horrible persecutions your parents inflicted on you growing up? Well, not properly getting into the spirit of Halloween was what I swore never to do.   HA!

For Ruth’s first Halloween, she was one month old. I dressed her in a little Halloween themed outfit that my sister bought for her and went to my aunt and uncle’s house to join in their neighborhood Halloween block party. Ruth pooped all over her cute outfit the minute we arrived and got so fussy we had to leave soon thereafter.
Not to be deterred, I took Ruth and two week old Rose out treat or treating the next year. Ruth donned her adorable pumpkin costume (the cheapest one I could find at Pottery Barn), I put Rose in Ruth’s old Halloween outfit from last year (underneath some bundles because it was cold) and we doggedly tried to go trick or treating. Ruth was one, so she was finished by the time we got to the end of the driveway. 

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In which we take a preschooler, two toddlers, and an infant to Disney World

“Brave” was the adjective most utilized when we shared our pictures from the trip. “Crazy” was the adjective used by my husband when I asked him if he thought it would be feasible to take Ruth to Disney World for her fourth birthday. So, I let it lie. But right before our annual trip to Florida to visit Scott’s family near Orlando, I got in touch with our dear friend (who lived next door to us when we were in law school) who works at Disney and asked him whether he thought I was out of my mind to hope to take Ruth to Disney. “Not at all!”, he responded. “Head on over, and we’ll take care of you.”

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A letter to my childless self

Hey you! Yes, you over there with your tiny full term belly, wondering how your life is going to change once this baby comes. Let me tell you, this baby and the ones that come after her are going to rock your world, but in the most amazing way possible. However, there are a few things you should know and appreciate before they arrive.

1) Stop obsessing over getting the best parking spot possible. There will come a time when you will have actual physical obstacles to overcome when you park somewhere. Try searching for a parking spot when you have two babies and an enormous pregnant belly, or three babies in tow. Toddlers are as slow as molasses, and you are constantly terrified that their little hands will slip out of yours and they will immediately be hit by a car. (Side note, stop speeding through the parking lot! Toddlers escape easily and are hard to see!) Also, car seats with babies in them weigh about two tons and are about as easy to lift into a shopping cart as a baby grand piano. So, relish your physical freedom, park in the back, and enjoy a leisurely stroll to the store. We moms will be forever grateful.

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Traveling with littles

A mommy friend gave me the inspiration for this post. Keep the suggestions coming!

We just returned from a week long vacation with two toddlers and a babe, and I am happy to say it was a success! Good times were had by all, and Ruth only asked to go home a handful of times (she is such a homebody). Here are some things that proved helpful to us:

1) Sleep. Pack n plays are your friend! Bring as many as you have babies. Bring the blankets, loveys, and pacis that they are used to to make it feel more like home. Scott brought all their favorite bed time books too, and the girls were glad to have them.

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Birth Control: why I ditched the hormones and embraced NFP

Before I got married, I went to the gynecologist to get my first prescription for some birth control pills. Even though I was Catholic, it just seemed like it was the thing everyone automatically does. However, a few months before my wedding, I got curious about natural family planning and decided to take a few courses in it. Just so I at least knew what I was turning down.
I must admit, it did seem pretty overwhelming and a hassle for my first few classes. It involved a lot of charting and knowing how your body works. But then I paused and thought a moment. Despite all that extensive sex ed throughout my school days, I had no idea how my own fertility worked! I didn’t know what days I could conceive, I had no idea when I ovulated, and I barely noticed what my body did on a monthly basis. It was blowing my mind how much I was learning about basic female function that had been completely ignored in my primary education.
Then, I started learning more about the pill and the other forms of hormonal contraception, and it just didn’t appeal to me at all. I mean, if I don’t like synthetic hormones in my food, why would I want to be ingesting them daily through birth control? And it elevates your risk for breast cancer? And it just sounded like a pain to have to go to the OBGYN every so many months to get injected or have something shoved up my ….. well, you get the idea.
So I decided to make the commitment to use NFP. Luckily, my husband was very supportive, because he is awesome like that. That is why I married him. And we have never turned back after four years of marriage.
There are several different methods of NFP. They all involve knowing exactly when the woman is fertile and abstaining from sex on those days, which usually lasts about 5-10 days, depending on what kind of cycle the woman is having that month. Or, you can have sex those days if you are planning on having a baby, and you tend to get pregnant WAY sooner than if you are just winging it.
We started with the Marquette method when we first got married, which worked perfectly (with the exception of one slip up that I can only blame on us being newlyweds and throwing caution to the wind). But, Marquette was too difficult for me to use once I started breastfeeding, so we switched to the Creighton Method, which I like a whole lot better.
Common myths about NFP:
1) It is ineffective. False! Its effectiveness depends entirely on you. Instead of you medicating yourself and just hoping you’re not part of that 1-15% that gets pregnant on birth control anyway, you know if you had sex during one of your fertile days that a baby is a definite possibility. And if you do get pregnant, you don’t have to worry about that increased risk of ectopic pregnancy that comes with certain methods of contraception.
2) It is just for crazy Catholics. There has been a huge amount of NFP users in the more crunchy crowd in an effort to reduce their hormone intake and lead more natural lives. And it is great for breastfeeding mamas who are trying to keep their diet as wholesome for baby as possible. Also, a lot of women are finding that hormonal birth control makes them feel ill and want an alternative. It is also helpful for couples that have had some difficulties trying to conceive, and want to find out for sure if they are doing everything right before they spend all that money on fertility treatments.
I always think it is hilarious that people think that couples who use NFP and have lots of children is proof that it doesn’t work. Because who would have lots of children on purpose?! Well, we would. But if you aren’t super into kids right now, that is ok too. NFP will still work for you, with a little bit of self control, and a whole lot more communication and appreciation for the amazing things your body can do.

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