Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hope your Christmas season is full of love and joy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Avery Christian

Warning, the following post may contain graphic descriptions and/or pictures that may disturb you. Read at your own risk.

Aaron and I named the baby Avery, which is the boy name we had picked out already. We didn't have a middle name yet, so we threw around some ideas until we found one that fit.

Our little boy is buried at my aunt and uncle's house. I took him out there Sunday inside an old eyeglasses case. It was a beautiful day, and my uncle had a nice spot picked out for him. My uncle had built a little cedar box to put the remains in. After lunch I was able to find a little alone time to transfer Avery from the case to the box. Then my uncle put some kind of metallic tape all over the box to keep it from rotting. He told me he was honored that I am letting Avery be buried there. I couldn't stand to watch him be buried, so I will have to visit him soon.

I still break down at least once a day. Sunday night was the worst. I was trying to pick out a picture of Avery's feet to hang on the wall, and I just wasn't sure if any of them were good enough (still haven't decided). And Avery was gone, and I'd never see him again (on Earth). There would be no more opportunities to get a picture of him. What I have is all I'll ever have.

Avery Christian Hartley

Things I am grateful for:
  • that Avery didn't suffer
  • that he is already in heaven
  • that I was able to see him
  • that he was small enough that there was no pushing pain, just contractions
  • family and friends that have supported me through this
  • that I didn't have to have a D&C
  • that I cleaned the bathtub Saturday morning "just because" even though it wasn't on my to-do list
Things I have learned:
  • some people will know what to say and some won't
  • contractions during a miscarriage are as bad as contractions during labor
  • laboring in a tub of water makes the contractions so much easier to bear
  • miscarriages hurt you emotionally far, far worse than you can imagine

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

blogging my miscarriage pt.3

Warning, the following post may contain graphic descriptions and/or pictures that may disturb you. Read at your own risk.

November 22:
Aaron gets home from work around 1:30. My contractions have really ramped up, and I want to get back into the tub. I show him the hat I made for the baby, and he looks at me as if he thinks I've gone crazy. He hugs me and won't let me go.

I run the bath water and pull a stool with some books and magazines over near the tub. As soon as get into the water the blood starts gushing out. I see what I think is the baby's back, but it comes out more and it is a face. I am really freaked out, and it takes me a minute to calm back down.

With each contraction, blood rushes into the bathtub. The water is dark pink. I don't want Aaron to be scared if he should come into the bathroom so I close the shower curtain. Sure enough, he soon comes to check on me. I warn him not to look. I assure him I'm fine and tell him it's very important that he comes back in ten minutes because I really can't tell how much blood I'm losing in the water.

The baby finally comes out with a pop, but it is attached by its cord still. I try to study it but it's not out far enough for me to really see. I'm afraid for it to stay in the tub because I'm afraid it will disintegrate before I can take some pictures. There is some filmy looking stuff attached to it, and I can't decide if it's just remnants of the amniotic sac or if its skin is coming off.

I wait and wait through horrible contractions thinking that the placenta should be coming soon. Finally a lot of bloody tissue comes out. I think it is the placenta, but the baby is still stuck. I wait and wait some more.

I finally get tired of emptying and refilling the tub and just want out! I think the baby's cord must be attached to a small piece of placenta that just won't let go. So I decide to cut the cord so I can get out of the tub and start taking pictures of the baby. I figure the rest of the placenta will come out in a while.

I clean up the baby as best as I can and take some pictures. I pray they turn out ok. The hat fits pretty well, but I end up having to make a large cuff.

The baby is so fragile and feels a little like the surface of jello. I was not expecting this. I am fairly certain it is a boy. His little face is so sweet, and his arms and legs are perfect. The hands and feet are beautiful and remind me of tiny baby doll hands. His head is still large, and his neck seems to be swollen. I'm not sure if this is indicative of something being wrong. My pet theory is that my body has kept pumping blood into his, but since his little body wasn't able to pump it back out it has pooled into his neck. He's somewhere around 3-5 inches long. It's hard to tell for sure because his body wants to stay curled up like it was inside.

These were all taken in water.

While I am taking the pictures, I soak through pad after pad. The midwife warned me that this is a sign of hemorrhaging so I know I should probably head to the hospital. I clean up the bathroom as best as I can, and put the baby into the refrigerator. I wake up Aaron and we're on our way to the hospital. It's about 4:00.

I get into a room quickly once we reach the hospital. I am petrified they will have to perform a D&C. The nurse helps me undress and get into bed, and as soon as we pull down my underwear a huge blob rushes out. It is the placenta. What I had seen before was just a lot of blood clots. I saw my placenta after Amelie's delivery so I thought I knew what to look for. I had just assumed the earlier blood clots looked different from what I had seen before because this was a miscarriage. Once the placenta is out the bleeding is drastically stemmed.

The doctor does a pelvic exam and orders a sonogram just to make sure all the tissue has passed. They also draw blood and run some saline. The sonogram comes back clean. No D&C is necessary! My blood work also comes back good. The doctor says I must not have been anemic before so that's a good thing. I am free to go.

We get home at 7:00 and fall into the bed. It is finally over.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

blogging my miscarriage pt.2

Warning, the following post may contain graphic descriptions and/or pictures that may disturb you. Read at your own risk.

November 21:
I wake up early even though the kids are gone and immediately my head is full of plans for the day. I make a to do list that I know I probably will not finish. Aaron goes and gets me McDonald's, and then I take him to work. I come home and clean the bathtub and shower. It's 11:30 when I finish.

Somehow the time disappears, and it is 1. Meleah is going to run errands with me so we both get dressed. I curl my hair and put on make-up. I worry a little that someone will see me out looking so made up and think I was lying about the whole miscarriage. I actually worry a lot that people will think the whole pregnancy was made up now that there will be no baby. Is this a normal fear?

One of my errands is to find a hat for the baby. I'm pretty stuck on the idea that the baby should have a hat although I have no idea what size its head will be. I worry that if I don't deliver the baby soon that it will disintegrate inside of me leaving me to only wonder what it looked like.

Meleah tells me that people think the idea of me taking pictures of the baby is creepy. We discuss the creepy factor along with the ideas I've run through about what to actually do with the baby once I've delivered it. She thinks most of my ideas are crazy and tells me that she thinks part of me died with the baby and now I'm a little crazy. I've already wondered myself if I'm doing crazy things. Am I now locked in a weird reality where I think I'm living my life but in actuality I'm writing on the wall with feces?

The first place we go is Target. We shop a bit before heading toward the things we came for. In the book aisle I come across Notes Left Behind. I read a Yahoo article about the book several weeks ago and wanted to read it. Just skimming through it makes me break down right there. Meleah isn't sure what to do. She asks me if I need a hug or for her to walk away. I tell her I'll be fine in a second. I push the cart over to the coffee aisle and start babbling randomly about a percolator. I must be crazy.

We pick out a new shower curtain liner and then head to the toys. I scour all the baby dolls and Barbies, but there are no dolls with hats that I think will fit the baby. Toys'R'Us is my only hope.

Meleah and I run a few more errands, and then she takes me to get my car so she can head over to spend the evening with her boyfriend. I head straight to Toys'R'Us. I spend about an hour looking over all the toys again. There is one great hat, but I'm sure it is too big. There is another possibility but it's on the head of a fake Barbie that's only sold in a four pack for $15.00. I think it will fit but don't really like it so I balk at spending that much money.

I suddenly have the brilliant idea of making my own hat. I head over to the Babies'R'Us side to buy a hat to use as a pattern and as material. They don't have any hats that I like so I decide to buy some white onesies to use as fabric. As I'm paying for the onesies I glance over to the sale rack and see some baby pants that are perfect to use as a hat. I buy them instead. They cost me less than $2.00, and this makes me very happy. I also notice they have another pair in case I fail miserably at making a hat and need to return for more fabric.

When I get home I make a prototype hat out of an old sheet. It turns out fair so I use it as a pattern and make a hat out of the baby pants. I don't quite like it so I search the kids' closet for an old baby hat to use as a real pattern. I find one and take it apart. My first try using it as a pattern is pretty good but still not quite right. I make some adjustments to the pattern and try again. The results are very satisfying. I save the rest of the pants just in case the hat is way too big or way too small, but I think I can make it work the way it is.

Depending on how this fits the baby, I may make the cuff larger or uncuff it completely and have it be a "slouchy" hat.

I have been bleeding and cramping all day, and I feel like I'm having some contractions. I go to the bathroom and decide to try to push the baby out. I sit on the floor and visualize a baby crowning. I try to breathe the way I breathed when Amelie was born. I change into a squatting position to let gravity help and pretend that I am in labor with this baby. This was to be my first drug-free, natural childbirth - complete with alternative labor and pushing positions. I try to visualize the baby moving from my uterus and down the birth canal. After about five minutes I get scared that I might make the placenta detach prematurely and hemorrhage out in the bathroom.

The pushing makes the contractions stronger. I pray they will get even stronger - and soon. Aaron will be home in a few hours, and I really want to do this alone. Even worse, I will be spending tomorrow at my aunt and uncle's house. I really don't want to have the baby somewhere else.

November 22:
I'm standing in front of the bathroom mirror when I feel a big rush of fluid. I peek down into my underwear and see a very dark, runny fluid gushing onto my pad. I tell the baby to please hold on and quickly run a bath. I check the time - 12:08.

I get into the tub and let the warm water wash over me. I forget to grab a book so I decide to use my fingers and pray the Rosary instead. I try to visualize the baby coming and feel sure it will come before I reach the next decade. I am wrong.

I finish the Rosary and pray a quick prayer to St. Anne. I then ask God to make this go as quick as possible and let me see His will in all of this. I am desperate to have this over before Aaron comes home from work.

I talk to the baby, pick at my toes, and stare down into the water. I warm up the bath several times. Contractions come and go. No baby.

I have the idea to use some pH paper the midwife gave me and check to see if the fluid was amniotic fluid. The pH paper didn't turn navy when I tested the fluid I was leaking on Tuesday. Today it does. I know the delivery is imminent.

I grab a magazine and read. Finally I have to get out of the bath. The water has almost completely seeped out of the tub and surely Aaron will be home soon. I have both house keys so I have to be able to let him in. I check the time again - 1:05. I am disappointed.

There is more to this story but it cannot be blogged yet. I am off to the hospital.

blogging my miscarriage pt.1

Warning, the following post may contain graphic descriptions and/or pictures that may disturb you. Read at your own risk.

November 16:
I sneeze while sitting at the computer and feel a rush of fluid that soaks through my underwear and pajama pants. I'm a little confused by this as I don't think I peed when I sneezed. I think that it could be seminal fluid residue but don't know why it is exiting several hours later. I change into some shorts.

Several hours later I'm lying in bed when I feel another fluid rush. This time my shorts are soaked by what looks to be fluid the color of weak tea. Again I'm confused but go back to bed.

November 17:
I have clinical for four hours. During clinical I keep thinking that my underwear feel wet. Each time I go to the bathroom there is a peachy colored, watery discharge on the toilet paper.

I have a midwife appointment scheduled for the next day but am anxious. I call the midwife as soon as I get home, and she offers to drive to Tyler to meet me. I decide to drive to Gladewater and meet her instead, as I don't want to inconvenience her over my being paranoid.

When I meet her at her offices in Gladewater I explain that I've been feeling smaller over the past week. She checks my urine to see if I possibly have an infection, and the dipstick registers blood. I lie down on the bed while she goes out to her car for the better doppler.

She returns with the doppler and begins listening for a heartbeat. We hear nothing. There was a heartbeat four weeks ago (at 13 1/2 weeks gestation). She tells me there is a slight chance that the baby is in a weird spot, but she is 99% sure I will miscarry. She advises me on what to expect and sends me on my way after a few hugs and tears.

On the way home I start making my phone calls. My sister and my mom both cry. Aaron is clearly upset, but is more stunned that I'm telling him right before he has to go to work. He tells me later that he cried on the way in. My grandmother is afraid I'm mad at her because she wasn't happy about me being pregnant in the first place. I assure her that I'm not mad at her.

My sister stays with the kids while I go to the Rosary service at church. This is something I've been trying to go to for a while, but tonight I'm desperate to attend. I am pleasantly surprised that in addition to saying the Rosary, the group says a perpetual novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help - one of my favorite Marian titles. I pray that this is all a weird mistake, or, that if it's not, Jesus and Mary will comfort me.

I call Aaron's mom on the way home from church. She takes the news in stride but can't talk long because she is out with a friend. I spend the night in anxious expectation. There is no more fluid leakage or any spotting. I pull out my stethoscope and try to hear a heartbeat. I put the kids to bed early and try to study for tomorrow's test. I give up and go to bed. Again I listen with the stethoscope. I hear nothing, but I reassure myself that it's really too early to hear a fetal heartbeat with a stethoscope anyway.

The night offers little sleep. The little sleep I do get is filled with weird dreams.

November 18:
I wake up more confused and anxious than ever. I go to school and sit through the first hour of lecture. I can't sit there any longer and leave. I head to the midwife's office, praying that she will find a heartbeat today.

The midwife fits me in as soon as she can. She tells me that the only way to know for sure if the baby is alive is to have a sonogram done. She calls in a different midwife to listen for a heartbeat again first. Again I lie on a bed, staring at the ceiling, while the doppler makes its way across my belly. Again there is no heartbeat to be heard. This midwife also explains that even if we didn't hear a heartbeat we should hear the baby kicking and moving, and she didn't hear that, either.

I decide I have to have a sonogram to know for sure. They put in a call to the sonographer and promise to call me when he calls back.

I head home for the lunch break and then return to school for my test. I'm the first one finished. When I reach the car I receive a text. The sonogram appointment is scheduled for three. I text Aaron about lunch, but they ate a pizza after I went back to the school. He tells me to get myself something. I decide on Jason's Deli because I'm obsessed with the broccoli and cheese soup. I eat slowly to kill time and then head across town for the sonogram.

I'm a half hour ahead of my appointment, but they have me come in anyway. Lying in the tiny sonogram room, waiting for the sonographer, I break down. I try to compose myself. He comes in and does the sonogram. The baby's profile is clearly visible, but there is no movement. The sonographer shows me the that the placenta is still looking good and is providing good blood flow to the baby. But the baby is clearly dead. The back of the skull is caving in ever so slightly, and the brain does not appear to be the right size. He explains that perhaps this is the reason the baby died, but he also said it could be that the it is just shrinking since it is not growing anymore. Without an autopsy we'll never be sure.

The baby's measurements point to it being about 13 1/2 weeks gestation. We know it was alive at that point, so it probably stopped growing around 14 weeks - which is about where my uterus was measuring. I actually think it could have been even a little later than that since my uterus has measured small in my past pregnancies. Again, we'll never know for sure.

The sonographer burns a CD for me of the sonogram pictures. I stop at Walgreens to print one right away, but the files are low resolution and won't be clear if I print. I start crying and leave.

I become obsessed with the idea of finding the baby when it passes and taking pictures. I stop at Babies'R'Us to find a good baby blanket. I cry through the store, and I'm sure that the lady at the check-out must think I'm crazy.

At home I put the sonogram disc in the computer. On the screen the pictures are large and clear. There is really only one good side view. I'm not even completely convinced it is a profile view, but it is definitely a different angle than the one that is viewing the baby from the top down, so I'm just going to assume it is the side view. I take pictures of the sonogram picture on the screen so that I can have a bigger print.

The picture on the left is what I think is the profile view. The only reason I question it is because of the arm positions. The one on the right I know is looking at the baby from the top down. So the first one is definitely not looking straight from the top down, but I can't be sure if it's a definite profile or not, either.

I cry a lot more tonight. I call my friend Pamela who says she will try to meet me tomorrow. Aaron is very sweet to me. I begin to have some spotting and cramping. It looks like the light brown discharge stuff you have at the end of your period. I pray that this will all be over soon.

November 19:
I skip class. I have a project due but just don't care at this point. Throughout the day I have very light spotting. It still looks the same. I cry a little on and off but mostly just want to be left alone. I scour the internet to find out how long it might be until I begin to pass the baby. I find very little helpful information. I do find some very clear pictures of a baby that was miscarried. I e-mail the blog owner to find out how she took the pictures. I want beautiful pictures of my baby, too.

We meet Pamela and her family for dinner. It's the only time I leave the house all day.

November 20:
There is more spotting today and some mild cramps. The discharge has become dark brown and maroonish. I e-mail the midwife to see if I'm going to know when the baby's coming. I'm petrified it will fall in the toilet. She e-mails back and assures me that I will know when the baby's coming. She says that the spotting I'm seeing means the placenta is detaching. She says I will most likely have 2 to 6 hours of contractions before the baby comes.

The lady that took pictures of her miscarried baby e-mails me back. She is very kind and shares her description of her miscarriage and also tips on how to take good pictures of the baby. Her story gives me an even better idea of what to expect as this all plays out.

I am very grumpy today. Aaron goes to work, and I just cannot deal with the kids. I call my mom to come get them for the weekend. She and my dad have to drive from Dallas and don't arrive until after nine so I end up dealing with the kids all night anyway. Still I am relieved when I am alone.

Almost as soon as they leave I begin to have mild contractions and the bleeding becomes heavier. I think that the baby will come soon. I lie on the couch to watch a movie and wait. I fall asleep. The baby never comes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

new semester

Wow, has it really been almost two months since my last blog post? Well, I guess I'm not all that surprised. This summer was very eventful for us.

But it's over now. :( The fall semester officially began for me today. Blegh. And of course it was accompanied by one mean headache that lasted all day. I think this semester will be ok. I'll probably be way too busy, but maybe that will make it fly by. One can hope.

Friday, July 3, 2009

couldn't have said it better

People don't seem to understand me anymore. If I was still a teenager, looking at this version of me, I wouldn't understand me, either. This version of me is a surprise. But I like her. And I can't explain it to you in a clever, read-able way. Because, despite my teenage dreams, I'm not a writer - at least not a very good one. Thankfully, Matthew Archbold (and his brother Patrick) over at Creative Minority Report is a writer. And he summed up how I feel about this point in my life very nicely in this post. Here is a particular meaningful passage:
The question sometimes comes up in conversation with old friends. What was the best time of your life? And I'm sometimes embarrassed to admit it but right now is the best time of my life. Truly. And I'm a short chubby bearded dad living in the suburbs. I mow my lawn. I pay bills. I talk to my wife about what she did that day. I change diapers. Lots of them. Sometimes we go get ice cream. I do all those things that angsty pubescents jeer at.

I've lived in the suburbs coming up on ten years. And I've yet to feel my soul sucked. I don't really do angst. I think I used to. But I think I've forgotten where I put my existential angst. I'm happy. And even more importantly, I'm content. I'm focused.

So often his characters are running around and saying they're looking to "feel" something. I think I'm content because I don't consider my feelings all that important. And because of that I feel things more intensely than I did ever before in my life. A child's utterances can have me laughing all day. I feel the pain of a parent who sees his child hurt. I feel tired just about all the time but it's the tired that comes from doing something you love. It's not the weary kind of tired that Mendes' characters seem to feel.

And finally, there's one thing I don't ever remember hearing from Mendes' characters: God.

God, thankfully, is at the center of my life. And that puts me in proper perspective.
Now if, like Mendes' character seem to often do, I found myself at the center of my own universe I'd be pretty depressed too.

Obviously I'm not a dad. And I live in an apartment so there is no mowing of lawns. But most of the rest of it fits. So, while you and my teenage self may not understand me, there are people out there, thankfully, who do.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

mainstream media

Is the mainstream media finally chafing from the chains?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

a few things...

that I'm grateful for:

that I'm hopeful for:

  • some clouds and a nice breeze on Friday
  • that I get my packing and chores done early enough for a good night's rest
  • a response to my e-mail
What's on your list today?

Friday, June 19, 2009

new way of watching the news

These guys have more videos, but I wanted to share the latest. Watch them on YouTube.


Inspired by this post, I decided to look back and see what pictures were taken of us on this day. Well, we didn't have a digital camera until the fall of 2007, so that only left last year to pick from. And, no pictures were taken on June 19th of 2008. The closest were these little beauties, taken on the 17th.

photos removed by blog owner

What in the world are these? They are very poorly shot pictures featuring (then) three year old Amelie covered in cheap purple lip gloss, because at the time it was funny. Sadly, these don't really hold up over time. They seem dumb now. And I don't suppose they'll ever find their way into a scrapbook.

Friday, May 22, 2009

social commentary

This morning at breakfast Amelie said something really profound. I don't remember exactly what conversation led to this little gem, but she looked at me and said, "Sometimes I'm bad. Sometimes I'm good". Exactly.

In other news, here's a baby that's bad (well, the parent is, anyway).

Monday, May 11, 2009

happy kids, happy Mother's Day

I had a good Mother's Day yesterday. Amelie was really into it, and even wanted to give me more presents after I opened the two she (and Aaron and Aiden) got for me. I had planned to post more, but I was wiped out yesterday. So here are some more pictures. Enjoy!

Um...not sure what happened here. This was supposed to be bigger. I don't have time to fix it right now. Maybe another post perhaps.

Oh! If you click it it makes it larger. Good to know.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Some of you may know that I have a penchant for old buildings. What these people are doing is so wonderful. I will be making a donation in the near future, and I hope you will consider doing so, too. Oh, and I think a detour to visit this summer is in order. Hopefully it's not too far out of our way when we drive to Iowa.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Be afraid.

Read this blog post. Watch the video. Cry. Pray.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Do you watch CNN?

If you do, I hope you don't think you're getting unbiased news.

Friday, April 3, 2009


While he's nursing, Aiden loves to push on things with his feet or grab things with his hands. This morning, as I often do, I was reading blog posts while I was nursing him. Amelie was sitting next to us. Aiden reached up and turned my face away from the computer to make me look at him. (He does this often.) I gave him a kiss and smiled then turned my head back toward the computer. He reached up again and made me look at him. So I smiled again and made a kissy face at him and went back to reading. Then Amelie gently turned my head to look at her. So I gave her a smile and a kiss, too. (Note to self: Amelie needs as much affection as Aiden.)

A few minutes later Amelie cuddled up to Aiden and said, "Look at those sweet little eyes," and gave him a kiss. He reached over and touched her face. I told her he was saying, "Look at that sweet little face," to her. I said that they really love each other, and she said, "Yeah, we're going to marry." I told her that she couldn't marry her brother, but she insisted. Oh, if only they could always get along this well.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

a great summary

I found the following in the comment section of this blog post, and I had to share it here because it very neatly sums up one of the main pulls of the Catholic Church for me.
"As our country becomes more hostile to Christianity I think we will see two things happen. First, many will come into the Church from the American protestant churches, mostly from the evangelicals. These are good people who really believe, but I don’t think American style protestantism, especially non-denominationalism can survive in a environment that is not basically Christian in nature. American churches not only effect their environment but are also very much effected by it. Thus the slow drift on things like contraception, IVF and even divorce. It is not like these churches want to do this, the problem is more one of culture. Individuals congregations are too small to create an effective culture without insulating themselves from the world. Some churches will try doing just this. Some small fundamentalist churches already do this, but they give up the ability to impact the wider society. We must live in the world without being of the world. This is the reason I am in the church. After my divorce pondered long and hard on the topic of our divorce culture and the way it was impacting our churches. I decided I wanted to find a church that still had a positive culture but wasn’t isolating itself. What a surprise it was to this Church of Christ boy to find the Catholic Church."
As our society becomes more and more secular, it is nice to have found a place where conservative, traditional values are still appreciated and fought for. The more I learn about the Church, the more blessed I feel to have found her at this time in my life. Now we just have to keep secular society from further infiltrating her and pray for Catholic hearts everywhere to return to our conservative roots.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

blog links and a prayer request

Here's a few blog posts that caught my eye in the past few days:
There were more, but these really stood out I guess.

Pray for me today. Amelie is being extra challenging. She is pushing every button. I've already half-spanked her, and I've screamed several times. I don't like this version of me. I want to find something else that works. She's currently in a chair in the dining room facing the corner. She's not happy. She's been in time-out for almost an hour, and I think she's maybe finally ready to obey, although she now insists that she doesn't love me anymore.

Ah, the joys of motherhood.

Edited to add one more blog post of note. That's it - I'm done for the day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

vaccine warning

Maybe you already knew this, but I certainly didn't. Several vaccines that are given to our children are made using "aborted fetal tissue". I've never thought to ask for an ingredient list before letting my children be vaccinated. I'm pretty sick to my stomach right now. Thankfully, there are some alternative vaccines you can have given instead (although I don't know how easy it is to request a different vaccine brand if your doctor's office carries one of the deplorable ones).

More information here and here. Also, this site better explains what is meant by "aborted fetal tissue" although I don't agree with this person's stance.

And some related news.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The New Depression

I saw this video yesterday and had to share it with you. There is one bad word right at the beginning, so clear any kids out of the room - they probably won't get the references anyway.

Friday, March 6, 2009


typical morning

Aiden is really developing his own personality. It's been building over the past few months, but this week has been amazing.

He thinks he can use the computer.

This morning he came in here and enticed Aaron to chase him by using his gibberish talk at Aaron and then running. When Aaron didn't respond, he ran over to him again, gibbered, and ran. It was hilarious.

Later, Aaron was getting dressed to run to the store for some milk. He put on a hat, then decided he didn't want to wear it. What does my little man do? Grabs it and puts it on of course!
I remember thinking with Amelie that 18 months to 2 years was so much fun, and I'm so thankful that I get to experience that again.

NOW, as you can see in some of these pictures, my house is a mess. So it's time to get off of the computer for a while and actually get something done around here. Seeing the disarray in these pictures is a great motivator.

List for the day:
  • clean kitchen (including washing dishes, wiping down counters and the table, and sweeping the floor)
  • replace litter in litterbox
  • work on the boxes of unpacked junk by the couch (yes, we've lived here over a year)
  • wash Amelie's clothes (poor child has NO clean shirts)
  • hang up clean clothes that are stacked in our room, the living room, and still in the dryer
  • vacuum
  • take kids outside
  • Stations of the Cross tonight at 5
Is that too ambitious?

Monday, March 2, 2009

and knitting, and knitting, and knitting...

Kudos to you if you got the Pee Wee reference.

I am dying to learn how to knit. Not that I need another hobby that will get very little of my time, but I've been promising myself since Amelie's first Christmas that I would learn how to knit - if for the sole purpose of knitting her her very own, overly-long stocking. Since then, I've really gotten interested in knitting for my own pleasure. I'd love to knit myself a sweater, my kiddos a cute hat, or a new scarf for whomever.

Can someone teach me, please?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

things on my mind

First off, I had a wonderful day! My friend Pamela and her mother (and baby Gianna!) came and spent the day with me. Pamela is my sponsor as I go through the RCIA process, and today's Rite was the first she was able to attend with me. After Mass we ate lunch and then came back to my house and discussed Catholic traditions and issues. Then we headed back to the Cathedral for an awesome service. Bishop Corrada was powerful today, both at Mass and at the afternoon service.

Amelie's also very much on my mind today. She is really testing me and feeling for her limits. I need to be very mindful this week to strike quickly at disobedience, or she is going to be completely out of control. Let me tell you, spanking would be so much easier right now. I have to really make a conscious decision to not do that. She also seems over-sensitive for some reason, so I think some extra attention needs to be dished out.

I'd like to post more, but duty calls so I need to wrap up my computer time for the night. I do want to leave you with this link about Red Envelope Day. I've come across this movement three times now, and I don't want to forget about it! As you're preparing your envelope (or envelopes) to be mailed, please say an extra prayer for the unborn and that hearts across America will change on this issue.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I know this isn't a personal posting, but I think this follow-up to the blog I linked in my last post (and its comments) are worth reading.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Liberals always twisting

Please read this.

The war wages on...

New Element Discovered

Reposted from What Does the Prayer Really Say?

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium , an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

May God help us survive this growing mass before it becomes a black hole that sucks us all in.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I've been feeling down the past few days. Not sure what it is exactly - maybe I'm just missing my kids. How do you beat the blues?

Here's a page I did to use as my signature on It didn't take me too long, but of course there is no journaling or anything.

background paper, crown, and bow - Erica Zane; staples and quote - Britt-ish Designs; photo frames - Sir Scrapalot Designs; flower - Weeds and Wildflowers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

on being present

Today I'm going to share with you a little more about juggling, but mainly in how it relates to the concept of being present. At first this concept may seem as if it's in opposition to juggling, but I really think it's key.

The temptation when juggling many things is to try to multitask, but I feel that multitasking really leads to feelings of failure. In fact, as I write this post I am multitasking. I'm typing this post and nursing Aiden. But because I'm doing two things at once, I'm not truly present to either one. Therefore, I don't feel as successful at either task as I would if I were to do each task separately.

If I was completely present writing this post, it would probably be more articulate and get my point across better, not to mention the fact that I could probably write it faster. If I were truly present in nursing Aiden, it would add to the amount of quality time spent with him, and it also wouldn't hurt the way it does right now (since I'm twisting to reach the keyboard as he nurses - ouch!).

I came across the concept of being present on another blog (I would link to it, but I can't remember whose blog it was), and it really struck a chord with me. She said that she is trying to truly be present to whatever task she is working on. That really hit me; I'm almost never present at any task. At any given time, I'm doing at least two things at once - nursing Aiden and looking at the computer, reading and watching a movie with the kids, sitting at school and making lists of chores to do later, etc.

Obviously I'm still not good at being present (as evidenced by my prior confession), but it is a concept I'm working on. I really think it will lead me to not only feel more successful at my juggling act but to be more successful at it.

Is this concept new to you? What do you think?

on juggling

I've been thinking about this post since Monday when I started back to school. As many of you know, this is my first semester of the nursing program at UT Tyler.

I want to share some of my thoughts on juggling. I know this is a concern that most women share, and probably most men, although I think men probably spend less time thinking/worrying about it. Now that I'm actually in the intensive part of my nursing education, I find myself worrying even more about how I will "get it all done".

How am I going to balance being a student with being a mom, wife, etc? Here are the areas of my life which I really focus on:
  1. being a wife
  2. being a mom
  3. being a student
  4. going to church
  5. time spent on myself
I would also like to add volunteer work and daily exercise to the list.

Right now, I feel like I'm not reaching my potential in any of these areas.

I don't spend much quality time (or time at all) with Aaron (mostly due to our schedules, but also due to other factors). I don't feel like I spend enough quality time with my children - time that is focused on them and what they want to do. My apartment is a wreck. I don't consider it dirty (except maybe the kitchen), but it is definitely messy. My house is not giving me warm hugs as FlyLady would put it.

Last semester I was not a good student; I was an adequate one. Now that I'm really learning things that could later mean the difference between life and death I have to buckle down and do more than "just pass".

I haven't truly made God a priority in my life yet. I go to RCIA every week, but it's hit or miss if I go to Mass. I'm not spending enough dedicated time in prayer.

I probably spend too much time on myself, but it's not spent doing things that really matter to me. Instead, I waste most of it fiddling around on the internet looking for something to look at.

I really feel a call to volunteer in the pro-life movement, but I have yet to make this a true priority in my life. I never exercise.

So, how am I going to improve my juggling act? I think the keys are prioritizing and organization. I have to keep writing lists (I'm a huge list writer), but I also need to follow those lists. I need to waste less time doing fruitless things. And finally, I need to work on the concept of being present (which I'm going to blog about in my next post).

What areas are you juggling in your life? Do you feel successful?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

who I am

Happy 2009!

The last time I blogged (which, I am embarrassed to say, was over a month ago) I said that I would possibly share some excerpts from a letter I wrote to Aaron. Here you go:

First of all I am a strong, independent woman...

I am also rediscovering my faith in God and am working toward building a better relationship with Him. Right now my journey back to Christ is leading me to the Catholic Church...

Even if I decide not to pursue Catholicism, I firmly believe in Natural Family Planning. I no longer want to use artificial birth control methods...

I want more children. I believe it is our call to have as many children as we can feed, clothe, and educate...

I love my kids and place them as my number two priority. I lean toward an attachment parenting style and think it is best to nurse my children exclusively (when possible) and until they self-wean...[I should also add here that I meant exclusively the first year, and then let them self-wean once the first year has passed] I strive everyday to be a better parent...

I believe that I should be married. I believe that a marriage is the basis of a good family and must be continuously worked on for it to thrive. I believe a good marriage is attainable...

Obviously I have removed a great deal of the letter. I only felt comfortable sharing the parts of the letter that were about me. So that's that - a little insight into who I feel I am and am becoming.

Let me leave you with this: