Saturday, May 25, 2013

7 Quick Takes!

Lately, a lot of the blogs I follow (and love) have been emphasizing the, erm, more difficult sides of motherhood. It's been complain week around here after Jen gave everyone permission. I dont' mind; blogs exist for people to have an outlet for their thoughts and struggles. But I do wonder: 
Is motherhood harder now than it was in the past? Is it difficult because many of us come from smaller families, so we aren't used to helping with little brothers and sisters, or maybe because we spend a longer time in independent adulthood, unused to caring for other poeples' daily needs? I'm truly curious. Were women 'back in the day' happier with their role, because they knew beforehand what was expected and had seen it modeled by their own mother, aunts, grandmothers? Will our daughters struggle like we have, or will our example give them better preparation?

Photo boothing it up...

So many tragic events lately and what startled me the most was that there as a link to images of the beheadings in London - video even! I know that we live in an age of the pornography of violence, but that's ridiculous. Honestly, I'm not sure it's necessary for anyone to see that - is that really respectful of the dead, does it serve to give that poor man greater dignity in death? I worry that our refusal to leave anything to the imagination is creating a society of callous indifference. 

If there's one thing I find ridiculous, it's those silly articles about how much children cost over the 18 years you're responsible for them. Not only are they calculating many items that some parents don't need or have to use (disposables, disposable wipes, bottles, breast pump, wipe warmer, new sew of nursery furniture, etc.), they also don't take into account others generosity. We won't have to buy Zuzu clothes until she's in 3T because of how generous people are to us; we also have never (get that? NEVER) bought her a toy! Or a book. We have received so many wonderful items from others, it's been unnecessary to purchase those things ourselves.
Also, no offense to those of you that buy her such lovely and educational toys, but her goal these days is to locate and chew on my yeah. Not that expensive. 

Zuzu playing with her "Busy Bible" - one of the best toys ever! Hand-made here in Florida, helps with fine motorskills, and beautiful. My mom got it for her. Check them out!

Just finished reading Greg and Lisa Popcak's "Beyond the Birds and the Bees: Your Guide to Raising Sexually Whole and Holy Kids." Wow, I was very impressed - and I say that as a Popcak skeptic. Although I adored their book "Holy Sex" (we read it on our honeymoon), I had some real issues with his parenting book, "Parenting with Grace" and found several of his statements truly problematic. So it was with trepedation that I approached his one on how to talk to your kids about sex - but it seems that when it comes to sex, the Popcaks know how to get the right ideas across. Their book was full of great ways to teach your children the fullness of the Church's teaching about their bodies and sexuality from birth! They make the great point that you can't just give them 'The Talk' at 12 or whenever and expect them to follow what you say. You have to train them from the moment of their birth to see themselves as made in imago dei, and to respect that others' are made so as well. 
He has great examples of how to handle conversations with your kids on masturbation (even at a very young age), nudity, abortion, sex itself, boyfriends/girlfriends, dating, and everything else. If you're wondering how to deal with these topics, I found this book very helpful. 

I'm taking the Bar again this summer. 
I'm really hoping I can pass it and then just have it under my belt! Move on! We shall see...

We had some front landscaping done - cleaned up the Eureka palms, took out a mimosa tree that infringes upon the driveway, and took out a dead 'junk' palm. Now my front yard looks...naked!! A lot of foliage gone, but it's a nicer, cleaner look. Now I am knee-deep again in garden dreams, thinking about planting sweet potatoes, avocado and mango trees, and some alysium borders...ah, to have unlimited time - and money! 

This is not our front yard. This is clearing the lot down the street. But you can see how the foliage down here leans more towards jungle than English garden.

I love cloth diapering and all, but man, isn't it annoying when I ask "what diaper rash ointments are compatible with CDs?" and the person replies, "if you're using CDs, you shouldn't have diaper rash." ....uh, okay. But obviously that is an issue, so can you help or not?! 
Similar and even funnier story, during our birth class I asked "what tips can you give to partners on dealing with seeing their wives in pain? I know it's very hard oftentimes for men to see women in pain..." Her response? "You're not going to be in pain." (this is because the birth education class was hypnobirthing, may adherents of such claim to not feel pain during labor) Well, HAHA, lady the joke's on you - cause I was in pain during labor!! And I was all visioning and deep breathing! Still in pain! 

Well that's a good note to end on I guess... :) 


  1. I use Bouradeux Butt Paste with my cloth diapers and never had a problem with it.

    As far as your number 1 goes, I think people have a harder time with motherhood because as a general rule our society is very "soft" and we're used to a comfortable life and never having to deal with suffering or discomfort. We take pain medications for any pain, we have air conditioning so we don't have to be hot, we have instant access to food or drink almost anywhere...with smart phones and internet we have instant access to information and communication. People just aren't used to hard work and discomfort and suffering really.

    1. Hmm I've heard about BBP - I'll give it a try.

      I agree that people don't really do hard things anymore. 'Hard' is so relative; mostly what we mean when we say hard is that something is an inconvenience. We are so used to getting everything we want or need, that denying ourselves is very difficult.

      It makes me realize how important it is to set limits on what my children can have/consume. It's not good for us to have everything we want!

  2. We've used Bouradeux too, both with disposibles and when we did cloth.

    And you and Zuzu are so cute! I love that picture!

    And now I'm going to have to get the Popcak's book because of your recommendation. I tend to be a skeptic too, because I've really disagreed with some of their writings, but I'd also love to have a Catholic guide to discussing that sort of thing with the babies!

    1. Thanks for the compliment!

      Yeah, I don't always enjoy the Popcaks writings, but I really did think this book provided good frameworks. Some of the language they used was too strong ("if you do x then y will happen" instead of "if you do x, then y might happen...") but I found a lot of their suggestions to be good. They did a good job of framing the entire discussion within the context of the wider Catholic worldview of sex and love and being God's children, which I think is important. Adults tend to get too myopic when kids bring up a question even remotely touching on anything sexual; it's hard to remember having their innocence!

  3. wait. you had a MIMOSA tree and you cut it down?! no more perfectly proportioned OJ&champagne streaming from the blossoms? ;)

    also, Zuze is seriously the cutest. seriously.

    1. haha! No way, if my tree did THAT, I'd never cut it down!! :) That's what they're called apparently...they're supposed to have pink blossoms? But mine didn't. It had ugly yellow ones. And the roots were destroying my driveway, soo....

      Thanks re: Zuzu. I think she's pretty cute, but I'm biased!


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