Tag Archives: Motherhood

Am I going to

“Am I Going to Die Mama?”

That was the question that my almost three year old son asked me over breakfast this morning.  I paused for a moment, taken aback.

“What makes you ask that, honey?” I said.

“Am I going to die?” He responded, more insistently.

“Yes, you are Sammy.  So am I. Every one dies at some point in their life.”


“Well, honey, everyone is born with sin on their souls.  Do you remember Adam and Eve? Well, they disobeyed God, they told Him that they didn’t want to serve Him.  They sinned and that sin has been spread to everyone in their family.  We are in their family.  Everyone you know is in there family, that is why people get sick and die.”

“Oh.” he said, pondering what I had just told him.

“What made you think about dying, Sammy?”

“Because Mary told me, mama.  She asked me to be on the cross for a few minutes.”

At this point, I am completely taken aback. . . stuttering for words I ask him, “What was Mary like?”

“Beautiful . . .she is like . . .  she is Jesus mommy.”

“Yes, she is.”

“Will, I die soon, moma?”

“I don’t know Sammy.” I said fighting back tears.  “I am going to do everything I can to keep you healthy and happy.  I want us to have a long life together.  Sometimes accidents happen and people get really bad boo boos, or get really sick.  But do you know what?”


“You have God in your soul right now.  When you were baptized, God came to live in you.”

“Fr. W——– baptized me? And I have God in my soul?”

“Yes, Sammy.”

“When I die Mary and Jesus will be there, she told me.”

“That would be very beautiful.” I say, unable to stop the tears welling up in my eyes. “You don’t have to be afraid.”

“Can I go play?”

“Yes, baby, you can go play now.”

A moment later, I am standing in the kitchen.  Holding his sister close to my heart, feeling her head against my chest, tears roll down my face into the sink full of dirty dishes.

I don’t know if I have a toddler who is a little mystic, or just has a very active imagination.  But I do know that his words have reminded me that our time together is passing by.

Some days, this whole motherhood thing seems like more of a cross than a blessing, though I suppose it is both.

So often, I wish away my time with them, counting down the hours till bed time, or the years till they will be older and I will have more time for myself, to read, to write, and just sit and think in blissful silence.

Then I realize it all could be gone in a flash.  I could have all the time in the world to spend on whatever pursuits I want, but instead will spend it longing for the blessings I currently enjoy.

Our time together is precious.  And exhausting.  But it is so worth it all.

And so, for the rest of the day I choose to live in the moment, and savor the giggles and smiles, and drink in the excitement and energy that these little ones exude.  And I am grateful and happy, just to have another day to be their mama.

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Have you ever had an experience of realizing you could loose someone you love and it makes you realize how grateful you are to have them in your life?  Have you kids brought up any existential conversations lately?  Please tell me about it in the comments!

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I wrote this article last week, on the day it happened.  Also, heads up with November being the month we Catholics remember the faithful departed, I will probably be writing a few more posts on Death (and life) in the upcoming days.  I am not obsessed with death or anything, it is just on my mind a lot at this time of year.  


“Stayin Alive” A Soundtrack for the Late Work Nights

. . . or in my case, the husband’s late work nights.  Nathan expects to have put in sixteen hours at work today.

Sammy decided to celebrate this by making it his mission to dump out anything he could get his hands on in the kitchen while he was “helping” me make dinner.  Among other things, throughout the course of our meal prep he dumped out the container of popcorn kernels, the box of tea bags, the large shaker of garlic powder and for his grand finale, half a gallon of kefir water . . . all over his sister’s head.  Each time I was within a few feet of him.  This kid is talented.  In addition while cleaning up one of his messes, he decided to, in his words “practice potty training” in the kitchen . . . yeah.

In an effort to distract him and maintain my sanity I created the following playlist.  There was much dancing and singing, and less dumping out of foodstuffs.  We’re calling it a win.

For your listening pleasure I present my late work night desperation playlist:

1.  Eye of the Tiger- Survivor

Because its awesome.

2.  Livin on a Prayer- Bon Jovi

We were totally “livin on a prayer” tonight, begging God for the grace to keep my cool.  Also Ana looked at me in awe as I belted out this song.  Sammy looked at me like I was insane.

3.  I will Survive- Gloria Gaynor

So hypothetically, my young little college freshman self ran around in circles belting out this song during my first finals week hyped up on waaaaay too much sugar and caffeine.  That is only hypothetically mind you.

4.  Stayin’ Alive- Bee Gees

The title says it all.

5.  I Need a Hero- Bonnie Tyler

Fortunately I found my hero in my husband.  I don’t know how he finds the strength to work these insane hours for our family.

6. The Final Countdown- Europe

With any luck we are in the home stretch now . . .

7.  We Are the Champions- Queen

Because “Weeee’ll keep on fighting till the end . . .”

Quick disclaimer: I did not watch every second of the footage in the videos.  From what I skimmed I didn’t see anything terribly inappropriate, other than lots of men impersonating women with long hair and very skinny jeans.

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary for her Seven Quick Takes linkup.

Do you have a playlist that helps you get through the crazy long days?  Are any of your favorites on this list?


Inside the Pregnancy Center: Not Manipulation, but Unconditional Love

Today, I am so excited to share with you a guest post that I wrote for CatholicHousehold.com detailing my experiences volunteering as a peer counselor at a Crisis Pregnancy Center.  One aspect of my work there involved meeting with women considering having an abortion.  If you are curious to learn what that looks like, please head over to http://www.catholichousehold.com/inside-pregnancy-center-manipulation-unconditional-love/ .  Here is an excerpt:

After volunteering at a Pregnancy Resource Center, abortion is no longer primarily a political position, or a catchy slogan. Nor is it a nameless, faceless evil that is far removed from everyday life. It becomes something real and personal. It has a face and a name. It is “Rachel,” the woman who cries herself to sleep every night holding the ultrasound picture of the unborn baby she was pressured into aborting. It is “Sarah,” who continues to grieve the abortion she had decades ago. It is “Anna,” the teenager who describes her previous abortion as “the worst experience” of her life. It is “Jake,” the man who came to tell his story of manipulating his former girlfriend to have an abortion; with tears in his eyes, he asked that his story be told so that his unborn child’s death will not have been in vain.  . .”

This is the project I referred to last week.  It has been a difficult and emotional post to write, but I hope that it will prove useful in raising awareness about the important work done by Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

Please consider donating to our local Pregnancy Center if you are able https://secure.ministrysync.com/ministrysync/event/website/home/?e=5628 .  As you can see in the article, our center provides essential services to the women and children of our community.


Please share the article to raise awareness of the important work of Crisis Pregnancy Centers!  

Have you ever worked at a Pregnancy Center, or in another part of the pro-life movement?  I would love to hear about your experiences positive or negative in the comments.  Please remember to keep it civil; disagreement is fine, insults are not.  Thanks!

Letter to Ana 3.0

Dear Anastasia: A Letter to My Daughter on 50 Shades of Grey

Letter to Ana 3.0
I have a custom of writing letters to my children when they are young.  This letter is one such example.  In general, these letters are very personal and a gift that is only shared with the recipient.  Due to the alarming popularity of the “50 Shades of Grey” book and upcoming movie, I decided to make an exception in the case of this letter.  Please note that I have not read the book, nor do I ever intend to.  My understanding of it is derived from a fairly brief summary, and that degree of detail has proved more than sufficient for me.  I would rather remain ignorant of all the sordid details.  

My Dearest Anastasia,

Hello, my daughter.  Right now you are just a baby sleeping on your father’s lap, totally at peace in his arms.  Someday, though, you might be in another man’s arms and I wanted to pass on a few suggestions for how to find someone worthy of that honor.

You see, there is a book that is quite popular right now.  I won’t bother to name it since I am sure that by the time you read this it will have long been forgotten.  This book tells the story of a young woman’s sexual relationship with a sadistic man.  Normally, I don’t give such filth a second thought, but while reading a critique of the book, I learned the young woman’s name: Anastasia.

Then the book changed.  Instead of seeing it as just another smutty story, it became personal.  It began to represent a future that I hope you will never have to experience.  It led me to think of some things to suggest for you to avoid in future relationships, as well as qualities to look for in a potential husband.

First, if a man tries to control you or coerce you into being the perfect partner for him, run away from that relationship and don’t look back.  Love isn’t about controlling another person in order to maximize your own satisfaction.  It is about giving generously of yourself, and in so doing becoming who you were meant to be.  Love doesn’t force another person to conform to his or her own standards of perfection, but rather provides gentle guidance in trying to become more like Christ.

Another thing to beware of is a man who refers to virginity (either his or yours) as something to be taken or lost.  Virginity is a gift of oneself to another.  If any man talks of taking it or asks you to “lose” it to him, he does not understand the value of the gift you have to offer and is not properly disposed to receive it.

From what I understand in the aforementioned book, the main male character requires Anastasia to sign a non-disclosure agreement so that his various sexual exploits will be kept confidential.  I presume he thinks that this will provide him with the means to engage in a more “liberating” sexual encounter.

It should come as no surprise to you that your father and I have entered into a formal agreement of a sexual nature.  Ours goes something like this: “I take you to be my lawfully wedded spouse, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”  It is only in this type of an agreement that one can experience the true freedom that comes from giving oneself to another completely and unreservedly for life.

The reason that the male character desires Anastasia to sign the non-disclosure agreement is because he is a sadist.  He derives pleasure from causing her pain.  My daughter, I hope and pray that you will never find yourself in a relationship with such a man.  No matter how convincingly he may profess to love you, it is a lie.

Love never finds pleasure from inflicting harm on the beloved.  There can be no true union of persons when one is using the other as an object to satisfy their lust.

Some proponents of such a lifestyle argue that the pleasure doesn’t come from the inflicting of pain, but from the trust that the victim places in the aggressor not to permanently injure or kill them.  At this point words fail me.  Hoping that the man who is abusing you for his own pleasure won’t kill you hardly seems like trust to me.  Rather, true trust is pledging your life and your heart to another, come what may.

Finally, my daughter, please know that no matter what choices or mistakes you may make, I will always love you.

Nothing you can do or say could ever change my love for you.  If you ever want to talk about anything or need a safe place to run to, I will always be here for you.  Your father and I love you more than life itself, we would gladly die to save you.

As much as we love you, there is one who loves you even more.  He has already died to save you.

Should you ever fall, run back into His arms in the Sacrament of Confession.  It is there that He will hold you close to His pierced heart in the most loving of embraces.  If you ever need a model of true, selfless love, look to Him my daughter.

In Him I Remain,

Your Devoted Mother


Do you ever write letters to your children?  What are some pieces of advice that you want to impart to them on the expression of love in a relationship?  What are your thoughts on the “50 Shades of Grey” saga?  

Due to the nature of the post, I ask that all comments be kept discrete and charitable.  Comments are moderated, and I reserve the right to delete comments I deem inappropriate (haven’t had to use that right yet, thankfully).

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Sammy two months after we started supplementing.

My Breastfeeding Journey Part I: Lactation Failure

The other day I thought it might be fun to do posts on breastfeeding as part of breastfeeding awareness week, so I turned to Google to find out just when it was.  In a serendipitous turn of events, I discovered it is this week.  This post is the first of two posts on my experiences with breastfeeding my two children.  Part two will run sometime later in the month.  To my small number of male readers, you are welcome to read it, but if you prefer please feel free to skip (except for my husband, he doesn’t get off the hook so easily, ha ha).

Before the birth of my son Samuel, I anticipated a smooth breastfeeding experience.   I had read several books on the topic, and even practiced various feeding positions with stuffed animals.  There was no doubt in my mind that everything would work out fine.  After all as I had read, every woman can breastfeed if they just try hard enough . . .or so I thought.

Then my son was born, and all my preconceived notions began to crumble.  The birth process was surprisingly easy, and I fully expected breastfeeding to follow suit.  After all, this is what my body was designed to do.

My son lost 12 oz. of his birth weight in less than a week.  I tried to remain calm, telling myself that he would regain it all and then some.  Even after my milk came in, however, his wight gain was very slow, and even non-existent for several days at a time.

In frustration, I turned to my local La Leche League to find answers.  At the first meeting (and every subsequent one) I was told the problem was two fold; first, I must not have a good latch (though the leader admitted that everything looked good on the outside) and, second, I just wasn’t nursing enough.  Finally, I was told not to supplement any feedings with formula, lest my supply be further jeopardized and to pump whenever my son napped.

Over the next few weeks, I watched videos about latching on, nursed as much as possible (we were actively nursing for 16 hours a day), and pumped about twice a day.  Still my son did not gain weight.

All the while the doctors were running tests to see if my son had a genetic disorder to explain his poor weight gain.  Sammy was producing the proper number of soiled diapers, so we assumed he was getting enough milk.  I felt physically ill with worry, both that my son might have a serious underlying health problem, or that his inability to gain weight was my fault, and that failure to nurse exclusively would result in a serious health problem for him later in life.

Finally I got a referral to a different lactation consultant whose practice was an hour and a half away from my house.  Desperate for answers, I made the drive down.

Sammy at his lowest weight.  It pains me to see this picture.

Sammy at his lowest weight. It pains me to see this picture.

There I found out the news I was both dreading and hoping to hear: I had lactation failure.  It isn’t common, and is a very poorly publicized condition for fear that many women will prematurely presume they have it and stop attempting to breastfeed.  The La Leche League leader I  previously saw did not mention the possibility once, and even my doctor was not familiar with it, I was the first case he had ever seen.

The lactation consultant told me very gently that although breastfeeding is ideal, the most important thing was to make sure that my son got the nourishment he so desperately needed.  We talked about several strategies for trying to maintain my supply, and she gave me a supplemental nursing system so that I could feed my son formula while continuing to breastfeed.

Now that I knew I had done everything in my power to breastfeed exclusively, I was at peace with supplementing.  The results were dramatic.  My son began gaining weight at a rapid pace (up to a pound a week for the first few weeks).  His cheeks began to fill out and he became such a happy baby.  From what I can tell, I was able to continue to provide him with 1/3-1/2 of the milk that he needed, and we supplemented the rest.  Now, nearly three years later he is an energetic, intelligent toddler.

Sammy two months after we started supplementing.

Sammy two months after we started supplementing.

My purpose in sharing this information is twofold.  First, I want to raise awareness of the condition so that other emotional, exhausted mothers might find answers sooner than I did and be spared watching their child suffer.  Secondly, I want women who are experiencing this to know that they aren’t alone and to share a few pieces of advice:

1. Get Help.   If you are having any problems with nursing or your infant displays poor weight gain, get help right away!  See a certified lactation consultant, they can be so amazingly helpful in managing breastfeeding problems.  If I had seen one sooner, my son would have been better off.

2.  If necessary, don’t be afraid to supplement.  Breast may be best, but what your child really needs is nourishment.  I was so hung up on making sure my son got the best possible source of nutrition that I was unwilling to experiment with adding in supplemental feedings.  It wasn’t until the lactation consultant told me that it was necessary to supplement that I gave myself permission to do so without fear.

3.  Forgive yourself!  After we started supplementing, I couldn’t stop playing thoughts in my head about how I had failed my son, how I wasn’t able to provide him with this one thing that I so desperately wanted to.  It took me months to forgive myself.

As parents, we want to give our children the best, and when we are unable to do so it is devastating.  But do you know what the most precious gift you can give your child is?  Your love and affection.  Focus on all the beautiful moments you are able to share with your baby. Forgive yourself for not living up to your idea about what you “should” be able to do as a mother.  You are just the right mom for the job of parenting your child.  You are not defined by your failures, but by the fierce and devoted love you give.  That love will have a greater impact on your child’s life than breast milk ever could.

Our silly Sammy, goofing off for the camera.

Our silly Sammy, goofing off for the camera.


Have you ever breastfed?  Ever struggled with undersupply, or oversupply? Please share your experiences (both positive and negative) in the com box.  Sometimes it can be so reassuring for other women to see that others share their difficulties.  

A few disclaimers: I am not a doctor, and this is not intended to be medical advice.  If you think you might have lactation failure, see a professional immediately!  

Also, I do not mean to disparage La Leche League, I have a few friends who are leaders who helped me troubleshoot more minor problems I had later on.  For smaller breastfeeding issues or general support it is a great organization.  

If you are going through a similar situation, please feel free to get in touch with me through the contact form, I understand that it is a hard burden to bear and would be happy to offer emotional support.  

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