Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So It's NFP Awareness Week (5 Things)


So...I'm spreading awareness.

I'm sure most of my readers are already quite familiar with NFP.

If you want to read more about NFP, my experience with NFP, or if you are just plain nosey (because let's face it,  people read blogs because they are nosey and want to know all about everyone else.  It's okay...I'm nosey too.  You can check out last year's post.



Well...I'm not into the whole sign-holding selfie thing.  Just seems REALLY awkward to me.  Although taking a picture of what I wore Sunday is not awkward at all.  Go figure.

So..I'll just show the signs without the selfies. 

Plus...now you get to witness my absolutely atrocious handwriting.   Blame it on the public schools. 

1.


Birth control is about the only medicine one takes when they are completely healthy to make your body NOT work the way it should.  Doesn't make sense.  

2,

Even Wikipedia says it is.   And, I'm scared of carcinogens. 

3.

Babies are awesome.  I love babies  Toddlers on the other hand...well...I'm not so fond of them. Thankfully they grow up into awesome kids...because I love kids.   Kids and babies are great.  Thankfully toddlers are just a blip on the child-rearing continuum .

4.

There is something to be said for controlling your actions to get a specific outcome.  Don't want a baby.  Don't have sex when you are fertile (and NFP can help you know when you are fertile). Just like if you don't want to gain too much weight, don't each ice cream every night.  Funny how no one has a problem telling people that they should have perfect self-control when it comes to diet and exercise   But, heaven forbid anyone is expected to have self-control when it comes to sex. 

5.


It really does.  One isn't really in control...they are just using a pill or something to gain a sense of control over their body.  But they aren't really in control...they are relying on SOMETHING else for control..instead of relying on THEMSELVES.   And artificial birth control fails...quite frequently actually.  I know a woman who got pregnant after her husband had a vasectomy AND she had a tubal ligation.  Yep

Anyway, so I'm going to link these up with Heather for 5 Favorites and call it a post. 

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

I know when YOU are pregnant.


Time for your regularly scheduled Sunday link-up.  Just some nice easy reading for you.  Questions from Kendra and What I Wore Sunday from FLAP.

So, here's what I wore.




Pretty basic outfit but I did get all fancy and add the scarf with it.  I got the scarf from my new sister-in-law.  I wore it in their wedding...it's a great scarf.

Now...onto the questions.

1. What’s something you've won and how did you win it?

Well, the most impressive thing I've won...if you can call it "winning", is the Highest GPA Award (it wasn't called that, it had some fancy name I can't remember..like the Some Person Award for Highest GPA) for my high school. Fortunately though, I didn't have to make the valedictorian speech...I guess I didn't have the highest GPA when they were assigning the speech (before the last semester's grades were in), but I did once the final grades were calculated. Apparently I was just as much of a nerd the last semester of my senior year as I was all the previous semesters. 


2. Do you save old greeting cards and letters, or throw them all away? Why?

Mostly, I throw them away.  We've moved way too many times for me to be encumbered with old greeting cards.  I do save personal letters...but I rarely get letters.  No one writes letters anymore. 

3. When you’re at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

Depends on the season.  I'm barefoot if it's warm enough..in the winter when it's cold I usually wear at least socks and frequently socks and shoes. 

4. Who’s the most famous person you have ever met? 

Sadly enough, it was probably Patrick Kennedy. Although, Congressman Chris Smith (from New Jersey) almost had to DELIVER me 36 years ago. Apparently on the day I was born, he (and another big-wig pro-life leader) were at my mom's house working on pro-life work. Unbeknown to them, while my mom was working on pro-life stuff and serving them hot dogs for lunch, she was also laboring.  What a feat of multi-tasking! They finally left at 2 PM and I was born at 4 PM (at the hospital..they barely made it in time). 

5. What has been your best work of art?

Probably..this blog.  Or maybe My Home Remedies Website.

Or my kids.  I do make cute kids.
Even when a certain one is grouchy because he doesn't like wearing suspenders and a bow tie. 

6.  What’s your strongest sense?

I have no sense, seriously.  My eyesight isn't that great. My hearing isn't either.  Nor is my sense of smell (I think years of working around animals obliterated). I certainly don't have a lot of common sense.  And my instinct/gut/primal sense is usually pretty off too...because I'm constantly thinking something bad is going to happen and then it doesn't. 

Actually I go have a good "pregnancy-sense" which means I can oftentimes tell when someone is pregnant before they announce it. Seriously....even when they announce it really early...I usually "knew" or "suspect" something.  It even works for people on the Internet that I never even met..I just sometimes "sense" that someone is pregnant before they announce it. 

It doesn't work on myself though....only other people. 

And, don't worry..even if I think you are...I would NEVER ask!

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That's all for this week!  Happy Sunday!  And please keep Ben in your prayers.  He's taking the bar exam in just over a week!  Yes..this is the second year in a row he's taking it.  He passed the first time, but that was in Virginia, and now we are in Indiana..so he's taking it again here Hoosier land. It's a nerve-wracking time. 
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Don't Work...Oh Wait...Yes I Do.


It's an innocent enough question.  

Did Your Mom Work or Stay Home? Do you work or stay home?

We all know what is meant.  

However, as my own mother likes to point out...such a question puts up a false dichotomy. A dichotomy she has fought against her whole life. So, Mom..this blog post is for you.

Working versus Staying Home  

The opposite of work is not-working.

Not working involves things like playing, relaxing, sleeping, eating.

A better question would have been "Was Your Mother Employed?" (which could include self-employment). 

Because the things a stay-at-home mother does are certainly work. 

Even if a mother does NOTHING ELSE but keep her child(ren) alive and fed and safe and clean and clothed all day, she is performing the SAME duties as a childcare worker or a nanny or babysitter.  A job that many people get paid to do and that is considered work and gainful employment.

SOMEONE has to do those things, right?   

Those kids aren't going to feed and clothe and care for themselves. At least not the little ones. 

And most stay at home mothers do considerable more than that...they may do laundry, and cleaning and cooking and teaching and discipline and chauffeuring, and arranging and organizing and scheduling and budgeting and shopping and errand running and lawn care and bill-paying and gardening and pet care.

Of course a mother (or father) who is employed also does all or some of those things too, but they have less time to do them and they still need SOMEONE to care for the child(ren) while they are performing their employment duties. Frequently that SOMEONE is paid.

Doing MYSELF what I could PAY someone to do, qualifies as work. 

I can't pay someone to sleep for me.  I can't pay someone to relax for me.  I can't pay someone to watch TV for me.  I can't pay someone to play golf for me. Those things aren't work.

But, I can pay someone to come to my house and watch my kids and feed them, and clean them and keep them safe and read them stories and play games with them and take them to the park ......because those things are all work. 

I could pay someone to cook meals for me, or clean my house or do my laundry or drive us around or pay our bills or mow our lawn. Heck, I could even pay someone to do my shopping for me.  Well, I could pay someone to do all those things if I had enough money that is....which I don't. So, I'm stuck doing them myself

I KNOW that no one (hopefully no one) means to downplay the duties of a stay at home mother by asking the question. "Do you work or stay home?"  But the fact remains, that staying home involves work that if a mother (or father) didn't do, someone else would have to do it and that someone would likely get paid. 

Why do words matter?  Everyone knows what you mean...right?   Everyone knows that when people talk about "working moms" they aren't trying to insult stay-at-home moms...at least not outright.  But, language does matter...it subconsciously influences how we think and how we view things.  By calling employment, "work", we are implying that those who aren't employed, don't work.   

It matters, when the new mom with the constantly nursing baby, cries at the end of the day that she didn't get anything accomplished today so she feels depressed and worthless. It matters when the mom of the sick toddler who spends all day cleaning up vomit and holding a sick child feels as though the day was a waste because nothing was accomplished.  It matters when the mom of a preschooler who read the same book 50 times feels like it was a wasted day because nothing got done. 

It matter because as a society we have picked up the notion that "staying-home" is not work.  Even moms who stay home often feel a burning desire to do something else, something more meaningful.

That's why network marketing opportunities (like Mary Kay, Usborne, DoTerra, Melalecua, Pampered Chef, Thirty-One, Shaklee, Ava, Lila Rose etc., etc., etc.) are so wildly popular with moms.  It's not just the extra money, although the extra money can be helpful, but it's because so many moms are desperately looking for a way to say "See I DID accomplish something today.  I sold this book or that knife or this essential oil or that bag or this make-up or whatever." Don't  get me wrong, I'm not criticizing those opportunities..they can be great for certain people. (They are not for me, but that's the subject of a whole other blog post).  But part of the reason they are so popular is that a stay at home mom is made to feel like she isn't working, like she isn't accomplishing anything unless it brings in a paycheck.  Yet, she doesn't want to leave her kids or can't afford daycare....so along come these opportunities and boom...it's a way for her to bring in money (IF she's successful at it) AND gain a sense of accomplishment.  And, I think for many moms, the sense of accomplishment, the sense of doing something, the sense of working is more important than the actual money. But, the thing is, even without the check or business, she is still working. Even as "just a stay at home mom" she is accomplishing something...she IS performing meaningful work.

Employed moms work hard.  Unemployed moms work hard.  Being a mom is hard no matter what you do. 



But, it's time to stop using the phrase "working mom". It's redundant.  ALL moms work.  ALL of them. The question is whether you are employed or not...not whether you work or not...because you DO work. 
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Day Santa Saw Jesus

It's Christmas in July!  This story is just too good not to share..  It's an interesting twist to the story of Santa Claus. 

The Day Santa Saw Jesus 

by Greta (age 9)

Long ago, Santa Clause gave toys to bad boys and girls. 

Santa would urge them to burp at the table, be mean, sneak, scare, steal, disobey, and not say prayers.  That's why kids were so naughty back then.

One day, Santa was giving toys to a boy who burped at the table, stole, was mean, didn't share or pray.

Then an angel appeared to Santa and said, "Santa, you are an evil man, rewarding kids for being bad. They don't know better but will do bad, bad, bad things when they grow up."
"That's my goal!" said Santa.

Then the angel shot an arrow at Santa.  It couldn't kill him as it was made of air, but it was painful.

Black blood streamed out of Santa.

Then the angel gave Santa a message from God.  It said, "Santa, you are an evil man.  Stop it.  I love you.:

There was a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus glowing red.  A bunch of saints appeared and Jesus and the angels all explained to Santa about God. 

Santa began to cry.

He wrote a letter to every child.

Dear Children,

       So sorry.  I will no longer give you toys for being naughty.  If you are good, I will give you toys.  You'll get toys from me and your heavenly reward.

Lots of Love,

Santa Claus. 

Then the children became very good and they all became saints. 

The end. 

Since this is a story and involves reading..I'm STRETCHING and linking up with Jessica for WWRW

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Future Blogger of America Learns to Pose

Time for the easy-peasy blogging Sunday link-ups.  Answer a few questions.  Show What I Wore Sunday.

First here's what I wore.    Elsa is learning how to pose for What I Wore Sunday pictures as well. FBA (Future Bloggers of America). 


Don't know why I'm leaning weird.

Shirt: Super old...maybe even from my aunt's closet which means it's from the 70's!
Skirt; Old Navy
Belt: Old
Shoes: Given to me
Elsa's Dress: Given to us
Elsa's shoes: ThredUp

1. How did you get your name?

I was named after my maternal grandmother. And, I have TWO first cousins who have little girls (one is still in utero) that have the middle name "Amelia" named after that same grandmother.  When I was growing up, I knew NO ONE named Amelia.  No One.  However, in the past 15 years or so, the named has really gained popularity.  I'll never forget the first time I ran into a little kid named Amelia.  It was over 10 years ago, at the playground, and I kept hearing a dad calling his little girl "Amelia."  It was pretty surreal, because I've NEVER heard anyone say the name "Amelia" and not be calling ME.  NEVER. Since then, I've ran into a few other Amelias and it's still weird.  I can't get used to not being the only "Amelia" around. 

My middle name is Marie, and I was named after the Blessed Mother. 

2. Do you have a set time for prayer in your day?
      
We say prayers at night with the kids.  Otherwise, not so much.   I've been trying more to pray throughout the day.  Usually if I need something  Dear Lord, please don't let me kill anyone today or St. Anthony, help me find the wallet (St. Anthony failed us, we never did find it and are in the process of replacing everything).    And, I tend to read a lot of prayer requests...on blogs or facebook, so I try to say a quick prayer for the person right then and there (otherwise I will forget). 

3. Did your mom work or stay home (or both)?

She stayed home.  Although she worked at home as a writer.  She published this book when I was in middle school and this book when I was in high school.  And, she has since published several more books

4. Do you vote?

Most of the time, yes.  I'm not crazy about the voting push that everyone does though.  I hate it when people are all, vote, vote, vote, it doesn't matter who you vote for, just vote.   First of all, it DOES matter who you vote for.   

I tend to think that people should only vote if they are generally informed.  I've skipped voting for questions on polls because I didn't feel like I could make informed decision. Oh...and if you're voting for the wrong man or woman, STAY HOME.  <wink>

5. What's your favorite drink?

Water is what I drink 99% of the time...but I really enjoy a good glass of wine, a frozen latte or a good cup of coffee.  I drink those  rarely.  I'm not a huge fan of things like soda, lemonade, iced tea, juice, etc. 

6. How are your photography skills?

I think they are fairly decent for someone who only owns a simple, point and shoot, digital camera.  I do know some good photography tricks (using light, angles and distance that help take decent photos).   But, I don't have a fancy-schmancy camera so I haven't put too much time into learning.   Someday I would like to. 

So..that's all for now.  Happy Sunday!

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Why I Deserve a Good Housekeeping Award


Did you know that my mom has a blog?  She does.  And, she recently posted an excellent post...about monsters and penance.     In that post, she makes the claim that no one in her family has ever received a Good Housekeeping Award.

Well........we'll just have to do something about that. 

To prove that I deserve the Good Housekeeping Award, I took seven pictures of my lovely house...a house that no doubt rivals House Beautiful.

1.

Look, look...the dishes are WASHED and NOT IN THE SINK.  And there is ONLY ONE out of place cup on the side.  And, the soap dispenser is only a FEW INCHES away from where it should be.  Those napkins on top of the microwave...totally contribute to the House Beautiful Look...no?

2.

Now...let's open up the cabinets...shall we?


Sure, sure..anyone can stack their dishes with the largest on the bottom and the smallest on the top.  It takes someone with some real pizazz to stack their dishes with the smallest on the bottom and the largest on the top.  It shows a certain level of daring...no?  And those sseemingly haphazardly placed bowls and cups...that's not haphazard..that's artistic dish stacking license. 

3.

Now...check out this kitchen table. 


This may look like a mess..but it's actually all part of my disaster preparation efforts.  One never knows when they will need peanut butter, Vitamin C, scissors or a garlic press.  One must ALWAYS have those things available at a moment's notice.  After all, what if we are attacked by aliens and they telepathically give us starvation induced scurvy?  Now, we can crush up our Vitamin C, mix it with peanut butter, use the scissors to attack the aliens and our lives will be SAVED. 

4.


Insect repellent artistically framing the kitchen window.  Good housekeeping if I ever saw it.   And if you look super closely, you can see the baby swing hanging from the clothesline.  Genius!

5.

Everyone is always talking about how overweight and sedentary Americans are.
Well..do something about it!


Put an exercise step in front of your laptop!  Keep it there at all times....so you can step and exercise while staring at a screen.  This should give me double points in the Good Housekeeping contest.  Not only does the step provide exercise, but those Latin books (just trust me..those are Latin books you see), make me look smart.  Looking smart for guests is an important part of good housekeeping.  Keeping a few Latin schoolbooks out in plain sight is an easy way to give the appearance of intelligence to all your visitors. 

6. 


The closest actually has clothes hanging up in it! On hangers even!  Is that not award worthy?  And, those hanging down straps from those bags up there....that makes for super easy grabbing of the desired bag.  I mean, having the straps hang down like that is actually a safety feature.  If I can't easily grab the bag I want, I might have to dig through them all....and they could all fall on top of me, and I could suffocate under a pile of assorted backpacks and reusable grocery bags. It's a real danger I tell you.

Of course, I'd be remiss without mentioning the school books on those shelves.  They are perfectly arranged to provide easiest access to the best books.

7.



Naked doll (the heart overlays are because this is a family-friendly blog) hanging upside down off an unmade bunk bed?  Pure decorating genius, don't you agree?  And that change purse there...well one never knows when they might need change in the middle of the night, better keep it handy! Along with the open backpack at the end of bed.  Better to keep it handy rather than put it away.

As you notice...there is a theme to good housekeeping. Keep everything out in plain sight so you can easily reach it at a moment's notice.

I'm sure you agree that these photos definitely prove that I deserve a Good Housekeeping Award. Who is going to give it to me???

(Linking up with the other 7 quick takers).
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Hate Naps!!!

Naptime, you are not my friend.

I know I know...this puts me at odds with just about every other mother out there.  

Every other mother seems to love naps. 

 I hate them.

Even after 4 kids, I still can't figure them out. 

The problem is I'm too loosey-goosey and unstructured to consider naptime sacrosanct and never leave the house during naptime.

And, I'm too uptight to be all, whatever, take a nap at 4:00 PM and then stay up until 10:30 PM, no problem. 

Which means that naptime is always a constant struggle, once my babies get past the age of just napping everywhere and all the time.  

Oh sure...on days we don't leave the house until at least 3:00 PM it's fine. 

 But, if we go anywhere before 3:00 PM, it's a pain in the you-know-what because it means that depending on how much sleep the toddler got the night before, she could fall asleep anywhere from 10 AM to 2 PM (only napping for 45-60 minutes).  And, 45-60 minutes isn't long enough to get a decent break, so all the hassle of getting her down for a nap (usually involves 15 minutes of nursing and slinging) and scheduling it around other activities doesn't seem worth it.  

But, she still needs it. 

Belly hanging out and all


Taking her in the car to go anyplace could easily end up in a 10-minute car nap that as my mom would say "doesn't cut the mustard" but totally precludes any longer nap for several more hours..which leads to the aforementioned 4:00 PM nap and up to 10:30 PM  scenario.    And lots of times, we want and need to go places before 3:00 PM. I refuse to have my older kids miss out on coops or park days or field trips or classes because it interferes with naptime. 

 Which means we have to cram naps around other activities, since she is now mostly too old to nap when out and about.   

Going someplace in the morning, means she is likely to have that 10-minute car nap on the way home.  

Going someplace in the early afternoon means we have to somehow cram nap and lunch in before 1:00 PM.

Staying home all the time is boring. 

And so, I eagerly await the day when she gives up naps all together.  

Anyone else with me?  Or am I the only weird, nap-hating mother out there?
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