My take on Life and how we “plan” our family…

 “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:3-5

I am pro-life…there has never been a moment in my mind that the thought to kill someone unwanted was ok…I never knew that there was an idea that some lives are worth less than others…As I have grown older, I have obviously learned that society does not think that all life is created equal…with that I will go onto explain how I feel about life in our family…

When Alex and I were first married we had “planned” to wait a few years to start having children…we wanted to be more settled financially…well the July after our second anniversary we found out that God had an anniversary gift for us…when asked if he was “planned” we said yes, by God…

“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” ~ Psalm 139:16…

Once we had Jacob I really wanted to have more siblings for him sooner…I stopped using any form of birth control when Jacob was about 2 years old…I really believe that the birth control messed up my body and hung around for years…I later learned that birth control does not prevent pregnancy, but creates an abortive environment in the womb…I also dabbled in Natural Family Planning, more to know when I was ovulating…but failed at that too…it was then that I realized I just needed to fully trust God…honestly thinking we would only have one child…

It wasn’t until after our 7th anniversary that God gave us the news that he planned a second child for us…over those 5 years there were bumps in the road…as I posted before, Jacob fell from a second floor window…Alex and I also hit some bumpy roads in our marriage…but we made it out and chose each other and God blessed us…

Near the end of my pregnancy with Patrick, my army mid-wife tried real hard to convince me to get on a form of birth control…I flat out told her no…I said look at the age difference between these two, and well if I were to get pregnant, I would be ecstatic…plus by that point I sincerely felt it is God’s job to decide the size of our family…and how could I, after begging for years for another child, say, “Ok God, thanks for the second one, we are done now, so I am going to make it harder for your gift to live inside me to grow…”

Much to our surprise God had number 3 planned to join us much sooner…Between Jacob’s 7th and Patrick’s 1st birthdays we found out we were expecting baby number 3…we were also actually farther along than we had been with the other two when we found out…After Robert was born my Dr had no problems with me not using birth control, she said she would gladly see us again…turns out she went to our church and was also Catholic…plus well they want “customers”…

Our 4th son took a little longer…a heavy nurser and my husband being deployed added to the amount of months in between…but when Alex told me he was heading back to the states for a tdy and the boys and I were able to meet him, I told him I would be “ripe”…this is pretty normal to happen, a lot of R and R babies and reunion babies happen…it is a psychological thing and well God’s timing…I also like to tell people that Alex brought home these stuffed camels for the boys and well “nothing” for me…well, I got mine 9 months later…and he is the best deployment gift a girl can get…

After Mikey started slowing down on nursing, I was sure I would get pregnant quickly…both he and Robert were conceived when I was only nursing once a day…well it seemed to take forever…it took 15 months…much longer than I had “planned”…but this past week we found out God does have plans for at least one more child for us…

Most people I have told have been happy and excited for us…but some have been apprehensive…which hurts for well Alex and I, but mostly for the baby…just because the baby is going to be number 5, doesn’t mean it will be worth less or any less loved…what if this baby had been born back in 2002 and Jacob wasn’t here yet…what if Alex and I had decided 4 was enough…we would have missed out on Jacob and his love…I cannot imagine, being without the 4 wonderful gifts we have now or this little one growing inside me…the 5th or 10th child is worth no less than the 1st, just because they were born later in the family line…

Another thing we run into is that we have been asked since Patrick, is if we were going to try for a girl…for one we have long learned we don’t try for anything…God chooses when we are having another child…but are my boys worth less because they weren’t a girl…if we have another boy is he a mistake because he wasn’t that girl that we strive for…or so society thinks we should…

To be honest there would be blessings to either…a girl, well, we don’t have one, I do have a girly side, I do want a tea party nursery, and frilly dresses…but with a boy, we got that one down pat, and we won’t really need to buy ANYTHING…but really either reason for either one is not a good enough reason to decide one sex is better than the other…we would be happy with either…in all reality we just want a healthy baby…but even if the baby isn’t “perfect” in society’s eyes…this baby and any others if God plans them will be a perfect gift from Him…

“I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works.” ~Psalm 139:14

So with that said…our “plan” for our family, is to let God plan our family…will it always be easy…no…will we want to take control…yes…do I always trust God…in this area, I can say yes, I may ask why not this month (because I do want more)…but I know He has a reason…He knows why, and knows way better than we ever will…I do question God in a lot of areas of my life…but for some reason, this is one area that I have been able to easily give over complete control and I thank Him for every single gift He has blessed us with and may bless us with in the future…

I understand that everyone feels led differently by God…if you truly feel that is the way God is leading you, good for you…if not, listen to your heart…He can be found there…Please be open to life…it is the greatest gift that God can bless you with…

“Therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live…” ~ Deuteronomy 30:19

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Answer me this…

So a friend introduced me to a new blog today…Catholic All Year…and she does a weekly question thing…so I thought I haven’t written in a while, so this would be a good way to get back at it…

1. When’s the last time you got a new bathing suit?

2011…I got the family coordinating suits…I really want to get a new more modest, but not frumpy one…kind of 1950s esq…and I just found out from Catholic All Year that a former female Power Ranger is Catholic and designing swim suits…I need to check out her page…I kind of missed the Power Ranger craze…I was just a little too old, but my boys love watching the reruns and all of the different spin offs…

2. Who made the last incoming call on your phone?
My college roommate just tried to call me, but my phone is dying…I think it actually died while it was ringing :(  the last person I actually spoke to was my son calling from a friend’s house to let me know where he was :)
3. If you receive communion, do you receive it in the hands or on the tongue?
In the hands…I have always felt weird sticking my tongue out and having someone else put there hands so close to my mouth…kind of creeps me out…
 
4. Do you have a tattoo?
 
proud to say no…
 
5. How many dinner plates are in your house?
um 12 I think…we have one Longaberger one I got in my kit, then 3 from a set I got while Alex was at school in NV and then I think all 8 left from the set my parents got us a few years later…
 
6. Do you have an accent?
 
I have been told I have multiple accents in one sentence…when I am in the south or watch a southern show or talk to someone with a southern accent I have a nice drawl that comes out…will account both to my being a military child and wife and have living half of my life in the south :)
 
repost your answers in the comments or on your blog and comment your link to me please :)

Jacob’s First Communion (accidently skipped this is my story writing)…

I can’t believe I missed this event…and realized another big one I missed too!!  Anyway…in May of 2010…so year before Alex’s deployment and shortly after his promotion and Robert’s Baptism…my Mom and Dad came out for Jacob’s First Communion!!  They had always said that they would make it for this special event…I hope that they will make all of the boys’ and all of their Confirmations…

Anyway, his First Communion was held at our normal Parish just up the street from our house…there were so many kids between the Sunday School and the Church School that they had two Masses…Jacob’s was on Sat…It was a very special day and really nice to have my parents, Alex, and his two younger brothers there…and note…we did not dress to match my parents, or they didn’t dress to match us…the boys and I, that is a different story ;-) 

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Favorite Blogs series…blog 1…Frugal Fun 4 Boys

DSC09632 DSC09631Well, now that I am all caught up on the major events of our life since Alex and I met I figured I would share some of my favorite blogs…These blogs inspire me and well they hit home :)  The first blog I am going to mention is Frugal Fun 4 Boys…I actually just recently found this blog…if I remember correctly it was through a pinterest post…

I am sure you have figured out the main reason I love this blog…it is all about ideas for boys!!  She has 4 boys…now she did just have her 5th child…a GIRL!!  But this blog is so great…and it isn’t just about fun and games, but bringing those boys up right in a Godly manner…

She has a lot of crafts that Jacob would not do, but Patrick might when he gets a little older…but she also has some reading ideas and science projects and just lots of fun ideas mainly using stuff you would already find around your home…

I also love the way she breaks down her site…if you go to the activities tab, she has them split up by age group, so you can find the ones that should (since each child is different) be right for your child…A lot of her ideas also overlap in the age area…which great when you have more than one child :)

Here are a few of my favorite posts (most of these are older posts, because I like to go to the beginning of a blog and read forward…I call myself weird like that…and I also want to note that a lot of these ideas can work for girls too…especially tom boys, or prissy tom boys like myself :)…

Digging: I actually got Mikey a new Green Toys Tractor for Easter so that we could do this one :)  (we don’t have a lot of smaller trucks)

Poster board car play mat: What I really like about this idea is that it brings out the creativity in the child…they can draw a baseball field one day and the zoo the next…where ever they want…now one issue I see with myself is I would want to keep them all ;-)  maybe I could find a way to frame them or something, or use thinner paper and roll them up in a poster mailer :)

Slingshot!: I think this is a great idea, and I love picturing boys being boys like they would have years ago before everyone, including myself, got so “wrap-our-kids-in-bubble-wrap”…this is actually something I need to work on…just letting them be boys…everyone thing will always turn out worse in my mind…have you seen the dad throwing the baby picture…where to the mom the baby is like 20 feet in the air…yeah, I am that mom…but I think with some guidance on what the sling shot can be aimed at…like a inanimate object, but not a window…this could be fun :)  and it is great for some fine motor skills :)

Coin Magic Trick:  What little boy doesn’t like putting on a show…at least for his own family…I think this looks like a fun activity and again if the child can do all the steps is some great OT :)

Duct Tape Bean Bags:  She has a lot of projects using Duct Tape…and with all of the fun Duct Tape out there now…why not…and what a wonderful way to recycle the clothes that any little boys is bound to ruin :)  then they can ply hot potato or other fun games :)

Lego Timed Building: My boys absolutely love games, the love competition, and they love Legos…so this idea is great…you have to check it out :)

Fall Tree Painting: I just love the idea of seasonal projects…and ones that use my child’s finger or hand print even better…yes this is a simple project, but it isn’t something I may have thought of on my own…I may have, but who knows…

Math Games: Again, I have boys that love games and love to compete…and one of these includes play dough ;-)

Nature Scavenger Hunt: Honestly the only science I really remember from school was the hands on stuff…now if I read a book like Anne of Green Gables I can remember the detail…but science not so much…my oldest seems to be this way too (with any reading though)…so in my opinion…science can be fully taught through doing :)

Rain stick: Other than children’s choir and the music we listen in the car (when I let the radio be on…boys are noisy, I don’t need more noise) we are lacking in the music department…this rain stick looks like a lot of fun…

Chapter Books For Boys: I absolutely love to read (I “blame” my mom the Librarian)…I think it was because there was always books around me…I wish my oldest was a reader like I am, I can hold out hope right…either way I love to have lots of books in our home (ask Alex)…I also love seeing lists to give me ideas (because one can never have too many books…in my opinion :) )

Cowboys and Indians: I absolutely love living history…doing history…reenacting it…visiting sites and seeing the reenactments…history is another area that I remember more from doing than reading (unless it is Fiction, like American Girls, etc…or about baseball…)

Childishness vs Foolishness: this is the first of many of her great articles of bringing up boys in a Christian manner…she has some really good ones, that I am striving to replicate :)

Laundry Fun: who also doesn’t enjoy some tips on organization and ways to make chores fun…this is a fun idea for a little one, and also is great ot  too :)

Go check out this great blog, even if you only have one boy or girls it really has a lot of fun ideas :)

 

Michael’s Baptism at St. Michael’s the Arch Angel Cathoic Church

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Before Mikey was born I went through the Baptismal class with our Parish in LA…the plan was to have him Baptized there…but with them only have them on certain Sat’s a month and our pending move I decided to wait until we got to DC…that way he also would be closer to his brother’s ages and fit in the Baptismal outfit I made better…

When we got to the DC while the movers were at our house, Robert and I walked down to the chapel (it is just up the street) to get registered and find out about getting him Baptized…I really wanted my Dad to be there…he had been there for the other three, so it was really important to me for him to be here for this one too…so he gave me his dates and I compared them with what was available at the church and we went from there…His God-Mother tried to make it, but it ended up when he husband was traveling, so she was unable to make it…

Alex’s best friend’s parents live local and are Catholic so we invited them and asked them to be the proctors…My in-laws are also very close, so they came up, and one of my good friends from high school in England, who also lives in the area came too…so Mikey had the biggest group of guests to watch him be welcomed into the church…

Just like every other time one of our parents come to visit, Alex ended up having an exercise (it seriously has happened every time for the last 5 years!!) and was scheduled to work that Sunday morning…thankfully his work let him leave for a couple of hours so he was able to make the Baptism…Was nice that it was on base, so he didn’t look “odd” in uniform :) 

He did have to go back to work right after, but the rest of us went to the Club to have brunch together…it was the most special Baptism of the 4…wish all of them could have been as nice…ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

A deployment and a baby…

182007_1809863177211_3920767_n223243_1949975226675_2051864_n 226330_1992243363352_4004944_n 263500_2147737210601_5220559_n 264244_2147739010646_5976468_n 270219_2147737810616_5794812_n 268997_2147740210676_6280185_n 268150_2147876734089_7746809_n 270662_2066761399506_2903573_n 267543_2147975376555_2068668_n 262292_2147976256577_1233761_n 263039_2147981536709_5714998_n 262330_2147996017071_2342372_n 261450_2147994737039_6908274_n 269597_2147997697113_4620366_n 264865_2147999177150_6818274_n 270515_2149232567984_1105894_n 268240_2149289409405_2772229_n 264855_2149186286827_2846701_n 267680_2149222687737_3232528_n 264230_2149421652711_1907760_n 267960_2149223807765_7389503_n 297160_2269764981219_5795618_n 298503_2269769821340_7277746_n 304030_2269833142923_7570456_n 317447_2526890049185_182628108_n 310972_2419393481838_678724757_n 377039_694083204849_496345661_n 392663_2731534418416_1545980457_n 426216_3318592014489_1614264051_n 398484_3322099542175_1489066762_n 427009_3322100222192_211409463_n 395251_3322100622202_2128645892_n 424338_3322101022212_2041994274_n 420323_3322101342220_1823215632_n 424751_3322101782231_1405996432_nIn March of 2011 Alex left to go on a one year deployment…the boys and I kept pretty busy, which helped a lot…Jacob had a few gymnastics meets left to the season and the Dallas zoo had a homeschool day so we took a trip out there…I also had trips planned throughout to go see family to help break it up too…Our first big trip was for Easter to see my younger brother and his family…that May after a long hard week Alex found out that he was going to be going to a class in TX, and then would get 4 days to head home since it wasn’t far…So the boys and I made plans to head to TX just for a trip…I did not tell them why ;-)  They were definitely surprised and happy to see their Daddy…at the end of his class we spent a day at Sea World since they had the free offer for military members and their family…the next day we headed home…

The timing worked out perfectly that he flew back the day before the boys and I headed to CO to see my parents…we got to spend Father’s Day with them…about a week after we came back we also found out that I was expecting number 4 :)  two months later and just out of the 1st trimester, we flew to WA to see my older siblings and their kids…I also got to go see my Grandmother’s grave site for the first time…up to that point I kept thinking I would get to visit her too…since I was unable to go to her funeral this helped to give me some closure…

That September, while waiting in the waiting area to have my big ultra sound Alex’s boss called and told me that he had decided to have Alex come home early…he didn’t let Alex call me or even surprise me…not sure if Alex had thought of either, he was just as frustrated as I was over the situation…though I was happy to have him back, I felt like a failure…but I also know it was all in God’s plan…had He wanted him to stay he would have…I still had them put the sex of the baby in an envelope so that we could open it as a family together…and you guessed it…boy number 4 :)

That Oct we all went up to VA for his youngest brother’s wedding and found out that he and his new wife were expecting their first child…she wanted a boy mainly because she was concerned our other sister-in-law (4 boys also, 1 is an angel) and I would be upset if she had a girl…we told her we wouldn’t be, because then it would be Ham guys can have girls…ends up, they had a boy too ;-)

Just like my other pregnancies my pregnancy was uneventful…my mom came out about a month before my due date to help out with the boys and just every day stuff…My Dr. started asking about scheduling an induction, but I really wanted to finally have a child fully on my own…so kept putting it off…every night in the last month he would go head down, and then by morning would be sideways again…at my last ultrasound he was breach, but Robert had been too and turned himself (he also had the smallest head of 3 large heads) so we just assumed (bad thing to do) that all would be ok…

As we got up to 39 weeks I reluctantly scheduled my induction since my DR was going out of town and I really did not want a leap day baby…I also prayed that if God wanted him to come on his own that he would make it work out some how some way…but the trend of head down at night, to side ways in the morning continued up to the morning of my scheduled induction…I never even had strong enough contractions to hope I was in labor…

When we got to the hospital at 6 in the morning I told that nurse my history and that once induced I would progress quickly and then once I got my epidural I would progress really quickly…so she decided to put it off a bit since the anesthesiologist would not be there yet…I don’t remember when I was actually induced…but within minutes my water broke and I was progressing up to a 6…I had only been a 2 before that…which I was at for over a month (typical for me)…when she went to check me I though maybe her fingers were short because it really hurt and hadn’t with my doc before…well when my doc went to check me it was the same way…the doc decided to do an ultra sound…neither the nurse or doc felt his head…turns out it was his hand because he was still breach!!

Because my water had broker they didn’t want to wait around let him hopefully turn so my easy labor we all (including the doc) figured I would have turned into an unplanned C-section 5 weeks before we were moving and with two little boys at home expecting their mommy to be able to hold them and pick them up…when they told me I would still be able to wear a bikini, that was the last things from my mind…all I could think of was the disappointment of the boys and moving…and I normally bounce back quickly…

I was in tears when I went into the operating room and Alex couldn’t be in there with me until I was all ready…thankfully the nurse and anesthesiologist were very understanding…though he did tell me to try to stay calm or the nauseous would be worse…I tried, but it was impossible…I dry heaved at some point in there…I think before he was born…

Alex and the doc came in and my baby was born in a very unnatural way…Alex said the doc practically climbed on my to get him out…I had no clue and didn’t feel a thing…I was so upset I didn’t even ask to have him near me…he went straight to the warmer…Alex did get some photos of him…I just wanted to lay on my side and had to wait for the doc to stitch me up…and according to the nurse my doc is the quickest one in town to do that…I just think I was in so much shock and just so upset that I just well was just that…

I was so numb that even lying on my side didn’t make me feel better I was miserable and lost so much blood that I couldn’t even sit up enough to try to nurse my baby…I was really upset…eventually we sent him up to the nursery so I could rest…I had to take meds to keep from throwing up…I also thought I was hungry so they brought me food, but my mouth was so dry I couldn’t eat…I was worried that they would eventually give him a bottle because I hadn’t been able to nurse him…Alex reminded me it wouldn’t hurt him…

Eventually I was feeling well enough to be transferred to the recovery floor and had my baby back with me…I found out they didn’t feed him anything and I was able to start nursing him…they had also changed the rules since Robert had been born and he was able to stay with us in the room even when we were both sleeping…I had to have my cup of water in the bed with me that whole first night…Alex said I had lost a lot of blood…

When I woke up the next morning and tried to go to the bathroom I got really light headed…everyone felt bad for me because this was my 4th child and first C-section…I guess that isn’t very normal…

Alex brought the boys to see their new baby brother…the first time they really wanted to see me, but once they met him and came back the next day they went straight for their brother…especially Robert…he was so happy to have a baby brother of his own…Jacob even got to sleep in the room with us since Alex was there…which was nice…he is a mama’s boy still :)  Alex also made steak and brought it with the boys so that we could all eat together…I actually like hospital food and still do…but it was nice to have a family meal…

Since I was able to I did stay at the hospital an extra night since I knew it would be rough once I got home…my mom had already gotten her tickets to head back to CO, and she was ready…it was hard for me to not over do it while my meds were working and multiple times Alex had to make me chill out, because one they started to ware off I was in extreme pain and once almost passed out…

It actually took me 12 weeks to fully recover, when normally it is supposed to only be 6 weeks…the move and the carpet fuzz in our new house that I was constantly vacuuming did not help…eventually my doc in DC told me I had to stop unpacking so I could recover…I still have not finished, it just threw me for a loop…and really messed thing sup because we just dug in boxes to find what we needed…

Had Alex not come home early he probably would not have come home until the beginning of March…since my due date was the 4th…who knows little man may have tried to come and turned into and emergency C-section…at birth his head was 14.5 inches…we knew it was measuring larger than Jacob’s had by two weeks, and his was two ahead of an average baby’s head…but because the others had been such easy deliveries we just assumed his would be too…

Alex was an awesome support through it all…Mikey was actually our biggest Daddy’s boy, I think because Alex was home on leave to prepare for the move (already planned so didn’t need to take extra leave to help me from recovery)…so he got lots of Daddy time, more than the other boys…he was also our biggest cuddle bug…though he didn’t come into the world the ideal way, he is still one loved little boy…

On February 24th, 2012 we had our 4th son, Michael (after my older brother) Alexander (after Alex) was born…Alex was 35, I was 31, Jacob was 9 just short of 10, Patrick was days from turning 4, and Robert was just over 2…