7 Quick Takes – 53

Thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting!
— 1 —
You know how when you’re all worried about something that you really have no control over and can’t do anything about? Do you all do that?

Well…okay, I do.

You know I’ve mentioned a few times about Dwija and her fighter-baby. Well, Cari at Clan Donalson has set up a great way to DO SOMETHING, when really, you have no way of DOING anything else, but it makes you feel good to just DO SOMETHING!

Looks like the response has been terrific so far and Cari is leaving the donate button up through Sunday. So if you’re interested in helping out with Dwija’s laundry room, check it out!

— 2 —
Today is the first time since I’ve been a manager at my current employer (5+ years) that I have an associate leaving the company. I’m happy for her because she’s worked hard the past couple of years to gain an associate’s degree and has obtained employment in her new field. I’m sad because she’s an invaluable employee and done a fantastic job acclimating me to the position I took on last fall. We’re having a party to celebrate her today. Just because.

— 3 —

33.6 Miles, that is how many I have run in June. I’m planning for maybe 3 tonight (before or after Crossfit and then a long run tomorrow. But don’t be surprised if all I really do is a long run tomorrow. I am so much more tired and sore when doing CF every day, but I love it. I will work through it to go long tomorrow, I have to. I really need to get to 7 or 8 miles. I am trying to build up so 13.1 on August 17 will be doable. To be honest, I think it’s doable no matter what…but the more I build up my mileage, the less sore I will be afterward!

— 4 —
Do you think it’s odd that I actually admire people who are able to be open to conceiving a baby after a loss? The thought of it just makes me shudder right now. Maybe it’s because of my age and the timing in my life of my loss? Perhaps it is because I had already begun to think Gregory would be my last go-round with this child-bearing thing because I turn 40 later this year. But, honestly, I am deathly afraid of having the same thing happen should we be blessed with another baby. I can’t stand the thought of reopening the gravesite for a sibling to share the space with Gregory. Is it okay to talk about such things? Should I just shut up about it?
— 5 —
I participated in the Kansas City Corporate Challenge Swim Meet this weekend. I was feeling kind of good about myself on Tuesday night. It was the 50 breastroke. When I was a competitive swimmer growing up, Breastroke was my thing. I’m not going to lie, I was very good at it and no one ever had to teach me the stroke…I just knew it, I was a natural. I had not been in the pool for a workout in well over a year, probably 18 months or more. So, I showed up, jumped in the warm-up pool, swam a couple hundred yards to make sure I wouldn’t drown and waited for the event. I swam it under the seed time I gave them (44.39). And for my age group, I came in 7th overall and 3rd in our company division. Yay!

I didn’t feel as good Wednesday night because I didn’t swim backstroke as well as I hoped I would. But again…after at least 12-18 months out of the pool, it really wasn’t so bad. I got 4th in division, so still picked up some points for my company.

It was fun and made me realize I should probably try to work in some Master’s Swim team workouts at some point. But for now, I’m sticking to the running/Crossfit. But it’s an option to pick up a 10-swim pass and show up for master’s workouts every so often.

— 6 —
How cool is it that my kids have never met a grandmother they didn’t like? Rest assured, Grandmas of the world, if my kids are sharing any time in your vicinity, they will cuddle and hug you, and hang out with you and try to make you feel like you are their grandmother, too. And not to short-change the biological Grandmas…my kids love them to death, too, but I love watching my kids interact with the non-biological Grandmas.

I have seen this happen a couple of times, but the most awesome relationship I have seen my kids develop with a grandma-that’s-not-their-own is with Grandma Lueckenotte. (And let’s be clear, my dad’s second wife…she’s lumped in with regular Grandmas. My kids love their Gammer!!) She is my sister’s husband’s mom and my kids actually call her “Grandma Lueckenotte”. We see my BIL’s family throughout the summer since my sister has children with birthdays in June, July, and August. so she’s kind of like the “Summer Grandma” too. I just love it when in-laws aren’t really in-laws, you know?

Dominic and “Grandma Lueckenotte”

— 7 —
Had an interesting exchange on one of my Facebook posts yesterday. I read the Anchoress’ blog in which she deplored the lack of Cursive Writing education and I posted it and agreed with it. I have never heard of a development impediment that would cause someone to be unable to write in Cursive. I had always figured my kids were just sloppy when we couldn’t read it and they’ve paid the price (through lower grades on assignments that were illegible). Personally, I don’t think my kids have any development impediment and I just think they are sloppy, but I wonder about this. I mean…do all doctors suffer from this impediment? That’s only partially tongue-in-cheek, by the way.

Anyway, I am very grateful that Cursive is taught in my childrens’ school as I consider it a valuable skill. But apparently, in the world today, the value of this skill is not held to the same esteem. We have computers and word processing, there’s no reason to learn how to write Cursive, say the nay-sayers.

Well, I will just say…that I am glad I am able to write in Cursive when I write thank-you notes, I think it adds a personal touch because no one else in the world would write exactly as I did…

Have a terrific weekend and be sure to go check out Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes Posts!



NFP Guest Post At Carrots For Michaelmas!

I am really excited to tell you that today, I am featured with a guest post at Carrots for Michaelmas. I was so excited when Haley e-mailed to ask me to write a guest post about my experience using the Marquette Method of Natural Family Planning (NFP). Although, she may not realize just how excited I was since it took me about a month to get it to her! But she graciously accepted it when I sent it and today it is featured on her blog. Please go visit Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas and read about using Marquette Method of NFP!

My husband and I have used NFP to space and grow our family for almost 12 years. We have five children here with us, and one in heaven, but as I’ve written before, we don’t have a large family because NFP has ever failed us. The first NFP method my husband and I learned was the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) as taught by Couple to Couple League at the time. Over the years, I have come to appreciate the way we were taught because they had some Theological “oomf” behind them. This appealed to our intellectual desire to understand the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality and not simply do NFP because we were told to do so. Understanding God’s plan for marriage and sexuality has kept us motivated and rooted in faith with regard to NFP over the years. Without the theological understanding, we might have given in to the frustrations and opted for something non-natural (like sterilization or contraception).

It’s easy to get sucked into “method wars” among NFP’ers. I try not to do that anymore. But early on, when I heard about the Marquette Method, it was often accompanied by a comment about how it’s not necessary to spend all that money on an ovulation monitor when you can just monitor your physical signs and get the same result. I found out 8 years after we started using NFP that the Marquette Method was actually a better fit for me, considering my body, my lifestyle and our family set-up. Read more here.

Five Favorites – 1

Just what I need, to start participating in another blog carnival each week, right? I guess it might keep the creative juices flowing over here on ye ol’ blog.

Today, I am participating in Moxie Wife’s 5 Favorites. She did a great job summarizing what’s going on with deal Dwija and her baby. Remember when I asked you to join me in prayer a couple of weeks ago? Well, good job, because things are still going well (as can be expected) for Dwija and her baby. Her update is here. I am an emotional wreck following along, but praying as much as I can that they can make it to 24 weeks so that fighter of a baby can make it. My own intrauterine death was not a result of placental abruption, but my doctor did say that most of the cases of 2nd trimester loss were a result of that. I just love that Dwija’s little baby is such a miracle and a fighter!!

So, on for Five Favorites…

1. Gel Nails. Begrudgingly, I recently gave mine up because I hit a point where I am too busy to get my nails done regularly (even three weeks apart!). But I had gel nails for about 4 months and really loved them. I could go 3 weeks between nail salon visits — if I had the French Manicure style. No chips, no cracks, no broken nails, and they were pretty for all that time. I may go back to them if I end up with time, but with summer full of crossfit workouts in the evening, volleyball practices and games and other activities for the kids, just not going to work right now. But they are definitely a favorite!

2. My purse and wallet:

These came home with me from Walt Disney World. Sarah helped me pick them out. I love carrying them around and I get a lot of compliements. I’m usually the type of gal who picks up whatever looks like it is the most practical from the cheap rack at Target or Walmart for a purse, so this was pretty big for me to actually get a stylish purse/wallet (the combo thing is totally not normal for me!)

3. Sandals — I really like a nice pair of comfortable sandals that will go with my work clothes. It’s gotten hot and humid already this summer, so it’s nice not to have to wear shoes and socks and slip on a pair of sandals instead!

4. In that vein, I also enjoy my flip-flops. What is better than being able to slip on covering for the bottoms of your feet in nothing flat? Flip-flops have come a long way since I was a kid. They make them so that the support on the top comes down to the middle of your foot (I remember when it actually hurt more to wear flip-flops because you literally had to flip the bottoms up to come along with you!)

5. Swim suits that are modest and flatter. I don’t have one. But I want one. 🙂

Linking up with Hallie at Moxie Wife today! Go check her out and also keep praying for Dwija!

Helen Told Me She Wrote A Book

Helen told me from the back of the car last night that she wrote a book. I said, “That’s so good, honey, I can’t wait to read it!”

And then she gave it to me.

I will translate: 
The Book About My Mom
She loves me. She loves the tangs (things) that I mack (make) her. Your mom loves you, too. And all so (also) mee (me) too.
I miss you wean (when) you are goan (gone). She’s tha (the) Best Mommy ever maid (made) and I am so glad that she is my mommy.
Love Helen

The Book About Mommy
Your Mommy ❤ you too
so mush (much)

This one doesn’t really need a translation.

I thought it was cute she made it into a book and made sure to tell others that their mommy loves them, too.

This is standard fare for the kind of stuff Helen draws up for me almost every day. I am so blessed.


Monday Mumbles – 49

Happy Last week of June! I can’t believe this year is half over. Although, I must say, I’m looking forward to an improved span of time to get through this year. I don’t think I want another 6 months to match the first.

1. Typing this up after I came in from a 5K run this morning. Glad it’s done!

2. It is humid. It is SO humid that my body is beading up sweat 15 minutes after I have completed my run:


I like to sweat and all…but it’s hard when the body won’t cool down when I’m done doing that which I did that made me sweat! 🙂

3. Busy week (for summer!) ahead. Work, volleyball, crossfit and the Corporate Challenge swim meet. I’m swimming the 50 Breastroke and the 50 Backstroke. Should be interesting. I haven’t raced since maybe 2007? I can’t even remember if I signed up for Corp Challenge that year… I guess I can only remember the last time when Dani was 1, almost 2? Yikes. A long time ago.

4. I took all the kids to the water park by myself yesterday. I had thought before hand it would be harder to do that than to do the adjacent amusement park. But surprisingly, I found it much less stressful to do the water park. I think it was because there was something to do with the little ones all the time…no waiting in strollers while the older kids rode the rides. We could play in the pool area and I could send Sarah off to ride a slide and report back, or send the girls off to something within my sight with orders to stay together and come back when finished. All the kids had a blast.

5. Of course, there are no pictures since I was there on my own and didn’t trust myself not to drop the phone in the water or something.

6. A full weekend of Vincent hitting the sack the same time as all the rest of the kids. He fussed a bit Friday night and Saturday night, but last night went right down again with no fussing or crying. I figure if we can just stick to it, he is gonna be bedtime trained completely. 

7. #6 is very good because we hope to transition Vincent to a big boy bed soon. We’re going to get our bunk beds for their room all put together sometime in July. I wonder if Dominic will be a big boy and claim the top bunk? I hope so.

8. I guess ^^ that means we’ll disassemble the crib and put it away. That’s weird. And sad. And weird.

9. NFP Girl moment: So, I’m having major ovulation pain this cycle. I hate that.

10. I can’t seem to finish any posts other than these Monday – Friday list-type posts. I guess I’m kind of in a rut. Blah.

Have a great Monday!


7 Quick Takes – 52

It is Friday! I am linking up with Jennifer Fulwiler today!
— 1 —
If you remember from Monday’s Mumbles, Sunday night we began putting Vincent in his crib at the same time all the other kids went to bed. Up until then, we had been pretty lenient…allowing him to dictate his fall-asleep time by holding him on the couch or letting him sit with us until he finally dropped off to sleep. After four nights of him screaming bloody murder and then falling asleep — he was also staying in his crib ALL. NIGHT. LONG. It’s been great to go to bed and not be awakened a couple hours later by Vincent demanding me to come and hold him or bring him to my bed! So, then last night? Craig laid him in his crib and he laid down, allowed Craig to put the blanket on him and we shut the door and he was quiet! He went to sleep without fussing! And he still slept all night long! Hallelujah!!!
— 2 —
I screwed up on my eating plan this week. I had some bread for the first time last night, I drank some Margaritas last Sunday (and last Thursday). I haven’t been strictly keeping out the artificial sugars and I’ve had a diet coke or two.

The good news is that I haven’t returned to a huge diet coke every day or anything. And overall, my eating is still light-years better than before, and I’m still working out to burn some extra calories making it in the past week or two. But I really do need to get back on the wagon. I’m thinking maybe July 1…hit it hard again with no sugars, no artificial sweeteners, no salad dressings, only lean protein and veggies.

— 3 —

I have made so much progress (down 29.4 pounds as of last Saturday) that I really didn’t want to lose momentum. But I wonder if a body just needs a little love in the form of flour and sugar once in awhile? I think the key will be getting back on the wagon and cutting down these last 29 pounds I want to lose. I’m happy to be back where I was about a month before I became pregnant with Gregory, but then I remember that when I became pregnant the last time, I WAS trying to lose about 25 pounds….

— 4 —
The premature return to the monthly discernment process of being open to a baby or not really kind of sucks. Usually being pregnant for 9.5 months, plus the first year of said baby’s life provides for 2 years of pretty much discernment-free time because 1) I’m pregnant already and 2) the first year is hard enough that even thinking about being open to another baby is not allowed between Craig and me.

Anyway — the idea that I might have had my last baby isn’t new. I felt that way after Vincent. Actually, I felt that way after Helen, too. And there are 3 years between Helen and Dominic — my largest gap. Regardless of whether it’s a new thought or feeling, I still feel sad about it. Is that just a normal woman feeling? Sometimes I feel relieved at the thought that I’ve had my last baby — you know, no more gaining pregnancy weight (my doc thinks my issue is hormonal as to why I gain so much so quickly), no more putting job options on hold, an ultimate end to daycare costs, no more diapers, no more bottles, everyone in the house able to walk, talk and get into their own bit of trouble.

So, right now I am in that place where the pros of having had the last baby are outweighing the cons. But guess what? I’m thinking I have quite a few years before menopause hits full swing. Ugh.

— 5 —
Helen’s ballet production was awesome!! And we have decided she will continue on another year. I think it’s a good activity for her to be in. I like the discipline, grace, and poise they teach the girls to possess. While watching the older girls dance in the production, I thought about how wonderful it would be to see Helen in a few years doing toe dancing and maybe having solo or duet parts in a production. Maybe she and her friend Chi-Chi would have some dances together.

One of Helen’s BFFs — and this is one of the best pictures I have seen capturing little girl joy

— 6 —

Craig is taking the younger four to see Monsters University today. About two months ago, Dominic said to me, as we drove somewhere, “Mommy, on June 21st, Monsters University will be in theaters, and I want to go!” Hard to argue with that. The best part is that Vincent will likely enjoy the movie, too. He and Dominic both really love watching Monsters, Inc. at our house. When Vincent requests it, it sounds like he says he wants to watch “Don-TORS, EEE!” So. cute. So, we’ll see if Craig survives a theater experience with an almost-2-year-old, a 4-year-old and Helen and Dani.

— 7—

My NFP post is coming along. I actually have about 3 different ones started to see which perspective works the best. Talking to Sarah and teaching her about the changes in her body from a completely natural standpoint and discussing our faith and God’s plan for her and her sexuality is one of the most challenging things I’ve done so far as a mother. And it only just started! 

One enlightening experience was discussing the Gardasil vaccine with her. We were at the doctor’s office and I brought it up. My doctor claimed that there are some kids in some situations in which he would recommend the child be vaccinated at age 11 (the age Sarah was at the time). But as we discussed Sarah’s environment (Parochial school, parent supervision after school and in the evenings, no boyfriend, no dating/alone time with boys, not sexually active, two-parent home…) he said he wouldn’t recommend it at this time. It was interesting to see the expression on Sarah’s face when we discussed 11-year-olds being sexually active or not. In her mind, there wasn’t any other way to be than NOT sexually active, so we had a little talk in the car on the way home about the fact that — indeed — there are 11-year-old girls who are sexually active. It was a good time to discuss choices, environments, etc and drove home in my mind how innocent and protected my daughter is. I’m grateful for that, but then need to be sure and prepare her for the time she will no longer be protected by me and her father. Huge responsibility. Huge.

As a bonus — watch for a guest post from me next week at Carrots for Michaelmas! (how is that for a teaser?) I’m so grateful to Haley for having me!

Have a great weekend!!

Be sure to go visit Jen for more Quick Takes!

Monday Mumbles – 48

Good Monday Morning. I’m writing these on Sunday night and if all went well, I went running this morning. 🙂

1. Finally bit the bullet and put Vincent in his crib, awake, screaming, kicking, crying — but to bed at the same time as all the rest of the kids. We have been far too lenient with this one…letting him come to bed with Momma, letting him stay up until 10 because he just wasn’t ready to go to bed. I wonder how long I can hold out and do this every night.

2. I hope you all had a wonderful Father’s day.

Craig and the kids

3. 5 minutes after I typed #1 above, I went to the boys’ room to pick Vincent up and soothe him down a bit. It didn’t work. I held him and told him, “It’s time to go to sleep. Big boys sleep in their own beds and go to bed without Mommy or Daddy holding them.” It only made him mad. Sigh.

4. 5 straight days of Crossfit last week will be topped, I hope, this week by 6 straight days. It’s weird. I don’t want to miss because I’m afraid I will lose something in the process. I actually did 20 box jumps up onto 20″ boxes on Friday. Then on Saturday did 15 more! Box jumps are a total mind-job, I think.

5. Sarah has her first summer league volleyball game tonight! I hope they do well!

6. Helen had her ballet performance Saturday night. I loved it! I even asked her if she wanted to reconsider giving up ballet and she said she did and she would like to still go. So I’ll be calling them this week to re-enroll her.  Here I am sitting with Dominic during one of the intermissions:

7. It is now about 8 minutes after I wrote #3 above and it’s quiet. Maybe Vincent is falling asleep?

8. Sarah has been watching the reality show, “Dance Moms.” I’m not sure what the draw is…but she watches it on the kids’ computer which is set up right next to my computer and I find myself watching it for minutes at a time. It’s like a train wreck!

9. We have entered this period of time where we can rely on Sarah to keep watch over the kids for an hour or two if we want. Sunday, this meant that Craig and I took a nap while Vincent napped. I haven’t taken a real nap (like, laid down in my bed and slept) in the afternoon in so long, let alone get a nap in with my husband! That was crazy. But in a good way.

10. My kids are really great. I took Sarah and Helen shopping for Father’s Day gifts. Sarah says, “Mom, Dad *really* needs a new pair of shorts!” so she bought him a nice pair of shorts. Helen says, “Mom, I want to give Dad a new coffee mug that he will use every day.” And, she bought him one. Seriously, Sarah and Helen handed me the money to pay for the gifts they bought their dad, and that was way cool. Dani learned two new songs (that were NOT Taylor Swift!) to play for her Dad for Father’s Day. I helped the boys out and got a couple things I knew Craig would appreciate for Father’s day to be from them.

Have a terrific Monday!!