7qt on My Post Due Date Strategy for Happiness.

Uh, where'd my feet go, again!???

Uh, where’d my feet go, again!???

So, I’m teeeerrrrrrible at being post Due Date.  I flipping hate it.  There’s all this talk for 9 months about when baby is supposed to come and so far, no baby has been on time much less early.  So, this time around with little baby #3rd I’m going to *try* a different approach:  being POSITIVE.  What’s that?, you say?  Yes, I’m going to try it on for size, a very large 10 months pregnant size, but try I shall.

40 weeks and 1 day.  Possibly very last pic as a pregnant lady and hopefully last of this poor maternity blouse that has seen a few too many wears.

40 weeks and 1 day. Possibly very last pic as a pregnant lady and hopefully last of this poor maternity blouse that has seen a few too many wears.

I am reminded by my dear friend Kathryn, whom I refer to a lot of Team Whitaker, that I need to relish and enjoy these pregnant moments.  So, here I go, enjoying what and when I can.  These are likely the last moments of being pregnant I will ever have.  At 42, it’s proving to be quite a spiritual, mental and physical challenge, tho I am extremely grateful this pregnancy has been totally uneventful. Thanks be to God.

So: the Strategy list.  I’m a list maker.  It’s how I keep my brain in check with the world.

1.

Eat, drink your H2O, shower and brush your teeth.  Simple enough, right?

2.

Stay focused on the good stuff like:  our sweet little babe will be here soon; you get to see people get really excited about a new little life, your cute children who are so excited to meet little one, your husband trying to do everything he can to make things easier on you, having a really great hospital you get to deliver at; Delivering in Colorado!; it’s a gorgeous day.

3.

Remember that God has a plan for me.  And that I am His child and he for realz sent His Only Son to die for me.  Dude.

4.

I live in a beautiful state in the best nation on planet Earth and that the Blessed Virgin has my back.

5.

Remember what cool timing it is that there is a Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots that I am participating in right now to promote the culture of Life in Colorado and the United States of America.

6.

We totally have the name thing down.  Saints- you know who you are- Pray for us! (sorry, not telling until little man makes his entrance.  Tho- if anyone guesses first and middle name, I will personally send you something ridiculous and silly).

7.

I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I. CAN. DO. THIS. ~By the grace of God and a little divine intervention. Oh, and chocolate.

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Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, Pray for us.

Entonces, no tienen que tener miedo. YO sólo necesitan tener confianza en el Señor.

Hope to have a baby by next post amigos.  Thanks for stopping by!

Head over to Jen’s for maybe some non-preggo news and good reading.

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Why I Re-started breastfeeding our toddler.

Big Latch On 2013

Big Latch On 2013

 

Sooooo, this is a post all about the ins and outs of breastfeeding my toddler.

I’m 26 weeks pregnant{Yay! } and never thought I’d still be nursing our 22 mo. old toddler at wake-up, naptime and to sleep at night.  I thought if I could get to 12 months it would be a miracle.  She went thru a very short lived biting stage around 12 months but really seemed to want to continue so we did.

The past few months I’ve been prepping her to stop, weaning like a slow rolling hill.  She now doesn’t ask as much and really just comfort nurses about 30 seconds a side.  I can’t express manually so she must it seems just be comfort nursing.  Which is fine.

Until very recently where any nursing has become incredibly uncomfortable.  I’ve read a bit and figured that she would want to stop by now, but no.  And last week I decided I Had to be done.  It seems like baby gets really mad each time toddler latches on.  I could be having minor contractions, plus the squish little guy gets each time our 35 pounder jumps into my lap ain’t no joke.  I told her that we had 3 more days of “nurse nurse” and she seemed to be fine with it.  I hadn’t taken away her naptime, night time comfort chill with Mommy time yet.  I was slowing substituting and changing things like book in bed instead of on the nursing chair, putting in the music bear with our routine and switching sides almost immediately.

Finally the last day came on Friday night.  I was a bit sad to see the end of our nursing but knew the freedom for us both would finally be a good thing.  Then Saturday came.  She didn’t ask at all to nurse in the morning.  Nap time was sad and she cried for a bit.  I softly explained that I loved her and we weren’t nursing any more and that she is my big girl and can go to sleep on her own now.  She didn’t buy it  and it wasn’t long before Daddy had to swoop in to the rescue when she woke up to try and get her back asleep.  Success. That time.  Then night time came and she cried and cried but finally made it to sleep.  Honestly, I realized that I hadn’t prepared myself at all for stopping.  I felt a mild sense of heartbrokenness.  Where did this come from???  I thought I was totally ready.  Totally wanted to stop nursing her.  What?  My husband assured me that we would get thru it.  Remembering how pregnant I am, which is like 100%, I just thought it could be hormones.

I successfully distracted her with breakfast the next morning, but ooooh boy.  Naptime.  Naptime came and I was all prepared, albeit exhausted from a cruddy night’s sleep.  Tick tock tick tock.  Husband was at work this time, pre-schooler was asleep and little Miss just wasn’t buying it any longer.  She was tired, so I let her cry for a bit, soothing her with backrub and assuring her that Mommy was there and loved her.  Not buying it still.  Sigh.  I had to leave the room where the real wailing and gnashing began.  Boogies and alligator tears.  After about 15 minutes I realized she just needed Mommy time.  That’s what she wanted and can tell me in plain English.  So I figured even tho{I felt like or worried that} my husband may be disappointed in my giving in and all those people who can wean their kids would be disappointed, maybe I still needed to nurse her too.  Bigger sigh.- My husband was and is supportive.  He wants me to be happy and for our family to be happy.

Yesterday nursing her was a relief.  She fell asleep almost immediately and I let her know that it’s okay, that if she needs to continue to have “nurse nurse” time we can do that.  She breathed a huge sigh of relief, nursed for about 15 seconds if that long and was out like a light.

I’ll breastfeed her until she’s done, which may or may not be by the time baby #3rd comes along.  For now it’s fine and I have been blessed to give this time to our children.  Exhausting and trying as it may be, still God has blessed our family with full time Mommy.

guadelupe1

Nuestra Senora de Leche

Nuestra Senora de Leche

And I would be remiss to mention that a whole lot of prayer went into this entire process.  Our Lady of Guadalupe and Nuestra Senora de Leche have been my guide, especially when the rough got tough and I just wanted to scream my head off.  She has been a true inspiration for how this process has gone and will go.  These images have helped and inspired me in all the moments.  She has been there for me and I am eternally grateful.

These two images I think are just awesome.  I’m not doing any art history here, they just mean a lot to me in that Jesus isn’t tiny 7 pound 6 ounce babe.  He is a toddler and beyond! And thx to St. Peter’s List for the images!

Baby Jesus is straight up Standing, so this makes me feel pretty good.

Baby Jesus is straight up Standing in this sculpture, so this makes me feel pretty good.

Virgin nursing preschooler

And, seriously, Jesus could be like 5 or older in this depiction. So, go nursing moms of older kids!

It’s very hard for me to listen and heed, but trying to be the best mom to our kids is part of the goal of my vocation as wife and mother.  I am{striving to be} the heart of our family.  So, I look to the best example of motherly heart I know.

Nuestra Senora, pray for us!

My letter to Pope Benedict XVI;

Dearest Papa Bene-
It’s with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to you as our Pontiff.  I was so blessed to watch your final papal mass on Ash Wednesday.  How lovely a gesture that people stood and cheered for you.  As something we don’t do, it spoke volumes to my heart and I hope to you, for they were clapping and cheering for us all.

I want you to know that my fondness for you has grown immensly.  And when I say that it’s with no small amount of love or pride for my faith that this is true. You see, I used to be an anti-Catholic leftist who bought the media’s garbage that you were a Nazi and power hungry prying your way to St. Peter’s seat in Rome.  I used to think that the Catholic Church was only a place for the depraved and of the oppressed.  Especially women.  I thought that God would never deign to love me enough to want me as a part of His church on Earth.  My spirit, as you can tell, had been crushed and dismantled through years of not knowing God, of denying Jesus Christ and so denying any pontiff and his message.

When I met my to-be husband, he was going to enter the Catholic Church and I just thought he was crazy.  I was a professed Buddhist, having completely scrubbed Chrisianity(a four letter word to me then) from my life.  I had coworkers who were Christians and decidedly didn’t like them, I even told them how offensive their “God Bless you” was to me.  But, my boyfriend was a kind person and was going through RCIA.  He kept inviting me to go and I would drop him off for a few weeks thinking there’s no way I am going into a room with a bunch of Catholics who will hate me and whom I will surely hate and disagree with.  I finally decided that if I was going to really invest in this guy I had to find out what on earth he was doing entering the Church.  So I went to an RCIA thinking I was the cool buddhist in the room.  One of the cathecists was telling her story after we saw Dr. Hahn’s conversion disscussion video.  It was that night that I really decided that I could try to open my heart.  When I finally capitulated to the terrifying Candlelight Mass invitation from my husband, we walked into St. Thomas and it was just so beautiful, so mystifying.

Christ’s beauty encompassed me, us.  And “Where have I been that I wasn’t Here all this time?”, was all I could think and feel.  I wept on my knees what seemed for a lifetime.  It all fell out, all the sorrow, all the sin, all the fear, just left in His presence.

The things I did not know about you were inumerable.  I did not know your love and capacity to love.  Your incredible love of our Mother Mary has taught me so much.  How to humble oneself before God.

Papa Bene- thank you for teaching me, for leading the way for me and for Christ’s Church on Earth how to love God and our Mother Church.

Victoria.

 

God gave us solutions.

image

This moment is truly in thanks to God. Today I was looking at my little gorgeous pie when I was filling out dates and putting stickers onto my new Creighton
Model chart, and realized that before we started our CM charting and classes, we really didn’t know if another baby was possible.

I’ll let you do the fine research, but it’s female cycle tracking. Every day.

I was 39(!) and so afraid that our beautiful son was the only baby I would be able to have.

My husband and I had already lost two babies to miscarriage. This was hard, I didn’t know if I could face the possibility of another loss. I also had so much self blame for losing both babies, one before and one right after our oldest. 15 years ago I had an abortion. I thought that maybe God was punishing me for my first precious child. I knew that wasn’t true, but you think things when you’re mourning.

I first heard of CM when I became Catholic almost 4 years ago. I still cannot believe this knowledge isn’t more mainstream. I would think the granola folks and organic lovers of all things would be hip to Creighton by now. Ntm so many babies can be born! Yay!

So I did the research about the Pope Paul VI Institute and Napro  Technology. Super cool stuff. Then  endeavored to find a CM teacher in our area. Done. She made the lessons affordable on our dad-in-school budget and so our charting and learning began.

I was blessed and discovered/guessed that my progesterone was the probable culprit of our spontaneous miscarriages. My doc was not familiar with Creighton, but had heard of it and was *gasp* anxious to learn about it. Dr. Lila. She’s the shizdizzle of family docs. Tests ordered, blood drawn, yup, sure enough, low progesterone. That means the placenta won’t be able to do it’s proper job in 1st tri, it needs help getting there. 

The very day we put me on the P pills I found out we were pregnant. Perfect timing. One of the happiest days of my life.

Creighton Model is designed from a specifically Catholic world view and may not be for everyone. It worked for us and continues to work for us. My cycle has everything to do with my husband. Family planning is a joint effort in our marriage not to be glossed over and forgotten with abort efficient contraceptives.

I am so thankful for our daughter and for finding Creighton.

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These little socks don’t even fit anymore.

If the links don’t show up, mea culpa, I’ll get’s em soon.

Love y’all! Victoria.

Holy Guacamole! I think we found Our Parish!

We walked into St. James in Denver this morning after a pretty rough toddler morning and Immediately felt at home.  Has that ever happened to you???  I really liked this place and my husband did too.  We’re now, as in right now, looking for places to live nearby.  The priest is Awesome, and I guess we got the mild version of awesome today.

I feel like I can breathe.  It’s gonna be okay.  God has a plan for our time apart.  Jeff is leaving for 3 months in January, so I gotta really prepare emotionally and spiritually.  Uh, well, I have to let God prepare for me; a great reminder from Fr. Felix today.

That’s it for now.  Go Broncos!  I’ll leave you with this stunning shot of this cool B-52 in our town. http://www.wingsmuseum.org/ Peace.

Catholic Nomadding- (yes, it’s a word)

So, our family is about 51/2 months into this accidentally on purpose nomad thing. Probably a more appropriate handle would be the Catholic Nomad… but have not changed it for fear that That would be the thing that sticks.  We have; Thank the Lord; landed back home in Colorado, and staying at my wonderful Mom’s casa until husband gets hired. somewhere.  THEN, my wonderful and just-had-a-birthday hubs is off, in an away kind of off, in January for, count them, 3 months for his Air Force Reserves school date.  Yes, we have an actual, in writing, confirmed school date.  For which he must depart for San Antonio.  Ugh.  It will be so good though, he will have his proper rank and be all official in his job with the AFR, which will be super really good, and it will bring some much needed dinero to our family.  Major sacrifice for majorly needed finance situation.  Plus, I’ll be glad to see him get paid well for all his hard work and effort he makes for us every day.  So- major prayer request inserted:  for a job that will allow him to come back to when he returns from school.

Nomadding; is it a word?  If it isn’t I just made it up.  Sadly, I have wanted to take many pictures of all the churches we have attended in the last 6ish months and have not.  That woulda been cool.  Alas- life with toddler and new baby proves to be too much for my brain to even think “take a picture of the alter right now, Vic, while you have a free hand.”  I should set a post-mass reminder or something.  In place of said missing pics of tabernacles, I will just remember them here for you:

1.  St. Ignatius of Loyola in Spring, Texas.http://www.ignatiusloyola.org/  A GIANT, about 5500 or something member parish.  Lavish in it’s space, heighth, and bredth.  They have a great, if mosquito-ey playground we would go to sometimes to let the toddler stretch his legs in the Houston heat. Also a wonderfully diverse parish with lots of Vietnamese, for some reason the Vietnamese community has settled up in north Houston; i.e. tons of yum yummy Pho restaurants! The tabernacle is off to the side in a small chapel that can be seen from the main church.  For some reason, and I think there is one, I prefer Jesus to be front and center of the main parish for easy access.

2. Prince of Peace http://www.pophouston.org/  in north Houston.  Cto 5000 members.  A just beautiful campus; palms and flowers and gardens and they have a preschool and everything.  We really liked the priest here.  I would stop there if I was driving around waiting for to pick up hubs from work to nurse and stoll around for a bit.  This place had an amazing food pantry and financial donations and Gabrial House Projects.  Wow, they really really helped us out in our moment of need and they serve and amazing population in the N. Houston area.  I even had my own Angel praying for the birth of our daughter and they gave us some wonderful baby clothes, even a prayer blanket for her.  So sweet, holy and generous this parish.

3. St. Patrick on Galveston Island, Tx.   http://holyfamilygb.org/ I usually went to the Saturday vigil mass because I was down there visiting Jeff’s Mom, and she would take care of the toddler so baby and I could make it to la misa.  Always a packed house.  The Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston has sorted the island’s post-Ike hurricane parish issues it is coming clear after I just went to the link. Amazing.

4. St. Thomas Aquinas in Boulder:  http://www.thomascenter.org  still feels like our home parish.  St. Thom’s and it’s priests serves the Univ. of Colorado, and our favorite priest Fr. Peter Mussett is the Pastor here and porochial vicar Fr. John is totally awesome;  he does Catholic Stuff you should Know podcast- totally recommend http://catholicstuffpodcast.com/  Dude, they have their work cut out for them, please pray for our beloved priests! My husband and I came into the Catholic Church here 3 years ago And it’s where I had my conversion.  It’s a really holy place.

5. The Denver Cathedral http://www.denvercathedral.org/ Our beautiful Cathedral, tho in need of lots of repair, always feels like home to me.  I grew up in Denver and remember the first time I went into the Cathedral before I was a Catholic.  Just beautiful and spiritually inspiring place for me and many.

6. St. Pious X Aurora, Colorado   before we went to Texas we went to this little parish on the East side of Denver a couple of weeks.

7.  Asension Aurora, Colorado.  A very poor parish in the heart of Montbello.  We went to the Spanish Sun. evening mass, big toddler mistake. Packed house and I actually understood some of the homily.  We just say the prayers in English.  I always feel like the white Mexican in a church full of Mexicans and other Spanish speakers.

8.  I forget what 8 was for.

Phew! Is that IT???  What a list.  I feel really sad now that I didn’t get images from them all. But, hopefully, you get the idea.

Peace and Happy Thanksgiving.