Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pro-life Is More than Anti-Abortion

I am pro-life. And by pro-life, I do not just mean that I am against abortion. I believe that every human life is sacred - those just conceived, those growing in the womb, those born and growing, those who are adults, and those who are dying.

After listening to a conversation yesterday about family-size, contraception, and "I've been on the Pill all this time that when we're done having children, my husband is getting snipped because it's his turn to do the work," I wept. I had no words to contribute partly because I was scared to be different and partly because I didn't even know where to begin. These women (who are dear friends) know my husband and I are hoping for a large family. They know we use Natural Family Planning to determine if we need to avoid conceiving. But there's so much more that I wish I could say and explain about WHY we don't use artificial birth control and WHY I would never make my husband lose his fertility or take mine away.

Where do I begin? How do I tell someone that I refuse to contracept, not just because the Pope says "no?" How do I explain the Theology of the Body in one small conversation? That our bodies were made to be united as one and that when we vow to love each other through sickness and health, rich and poor, til death do us part, that it is all-encompassing? That when I am united physically with my husband that we are saying to each other, "I am giving you all of me and I am accepting all of you" because that is the true meaning of love?

I embrace my husband's fertility because that is part of his masculinity and his masculinity is what makes him male and separates him from me but also is what God created him to compliment my feminity as well. To take his fertility away is to deny God is in control of our lives. To remove what makes him masculine is to say I do not need him, that I do not value his human dignity.

I embrace my own fertility as well. Not everyone was meant to have a dozen children and I know that. I do not know how to say, "While we desire to have a large family, we are perfectly content with the two God has blessed us with, should we be unable to have any more." Maybe that's all I need to say. I am not against two-children families. What I am against is this blatant attack on women by the lie that we need to only have two children and to go about that, we need to ruin our fertility and take the reins from God, telling Him that we know better than He does. How many babies have these women truly lost/aborted because the Pill did its job?

I will not ruin my body by taking a pill that works against nature. I will not take something that can eliminiate my ability to bear children (even permanently), to be feminine. I will not consume a pill that can give me migraines, prevent me from losing weight, assist me in gaining it, cause breast cancer, and only change the symptoms of a possible problem. I, personally, am against using the pill medically, unless every other option has been exhausted. There's a great place to get more information on helping women with problems that the Pill is commonly prescribed to "help" them. It's called the Pope Paul VI Institute ( They are filled with doctors who help women get to the root of why they are having problems and work on a solution instead of masking it with a pill that can do so much harm to your body.

I believe my marriage, even with the rocky parts, has been so solid because we have been open to life. We have not taken the reins and we have trusted that God knows best. We do not view children as another stepping stone in marriage and we believe they are truly a gift and not a "right." We do not view the marital embrace begrudgingly, but have come to see the beauty in "becoming one" and that we are renewing our marriage vows each time we take part in this act. We are working with God and that brings such joy to our lives.

What I have said is not even an ounce of what I want to say, but it's a beginning. I'm so afraid of rejection when I know the Truth shall set everyone free! They may not want to hear it and I don't know that I will have the courage to bring it up, but I pray that if God wants me to be a light for Him that I will find the strength to say the words He wants me to say.

Friday, January 29, 2010

7 Quick Takes volume 2

1. Well, I had planned on posting daily, but this week has exhausted me like nothing else really ever has, except getting mono back in high school. The reason for this: babysitting I have been watching three other children to add to my own two who are all 3 years and younger and let me tell you, it's energy-sucking! Three days of this and I think I can pretty much do anything now - jump across buildings, have ten more babies, maybe even pull an all-nighter except I'm no longer in college so what's the point? Plus, I'll have a baby waking up in the morning now and that'll be no fun.

2. The reason for babysitting is due to something for which I'm requesting prayers. LOTS of prayers. And it's more someone than something. My dear friend who normally babysits for a friend has a son who is about the same age as Mr. 1-yo (so, he's one). He was born with three holes in his heart and areas that were underdeveloped or not developed. I'm not a medical person, so I don't remember. He is back in the hospital (which is why I'm taking babysitting duty over for her) with a number of other problems and the doctors are stumped with some of these problems. So, please pray they find the answers and can fix what's wrong! Thanks!

3. Since, those are really long "quick" takes, I'll make these ones super short. I'm reading a fantastic book called Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. Excellent read! Easy read. I highly recommend it!

4. My mom's good friend who was my Confirmation sponsor and is now becoming my friend as well (isn't that transition from childhood to adulthood crazy sometimes?) introduced me to Matthew Kelly with his book A Call to Joy. It took me a couple years to pick it up and actually read it (Sorry, Laura!), but once I did, I was hooked and I love his books!

5. Speaking of that transition, I am wondering how you went from addressing someone as Mrs. X to Firstname when you got older...I'm still not sure what to do in some situations. Some are more natural, but some are still hard for me to say. And how do you have your children address adults? I'm having a battle that I'll save for another day to expand on with that and am just curious.

6. REALLY off topic, but I hate waiting for our W-2s. I enjoy doing our taxes, but I hate waiting for those darn little slips of paper. Mostly, because we move so often so I'm never sure if we'll get all the ones we need. I got in trouble for that one year and never again.

7. I'm off to a baby "sprinkle" (a shower but smaller) tomorrow for a mommy-friend of mine. I made her banner and will have to post pictures once it's completely finished tomorrow :)! SO excited! I love it when my creativity gets put into concrete projects. And actually gets finished. Beautiful!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Little Humor for Your Day

When asked, "What does a chicken say?" Mr. 2-yo matter-of-factly answered, "I'm a chicken."

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Little Cloth Diapering

I am proud to say I have been cloth diapering for almost 3 years now. It all began when I was pregnant with Mr. 2-yo and was on a great Catholic parenting board, looking for advice on pregnancy and having a baby. I spent many, many hours on that board while at work because my job really gave me nothing to do but sit on the internet 8 hrs a day. I was looking for ways to save money, as I knew we were going down to one income and we had enough debt to keep us barely staying afloat.

I've tried most types of cloth diapers that are out there - pockets, one-size, prefolds, fitteds, snaps, velcro, snappis, and on and on. I've enjoyed trying them all out and my top two so far are pockets and fitteds, I think. However, my all-time favorite diaper that I've tried out so far has been the Gro-baby diaper.

Mr. 1-yo when he was much smaller in a Gro-baby diaper in Kiwi

When we were trying to figure out how we were going to cloth two and how many more diapers we would need, I came across this diaper. It was brand-new and not even being sold yet when I had Mr. 1-yo, but I was eager to try it out. The testers had only great things to say about it and I was having stink issues with my pockets that were made of microfiber. These diapers' inserts are made of organic cotton and I knew that cotton was easier to keep stink-less than anything synthetic. They also said that you can use the cover for up to 3 changes and that made me excited as well! Now, that we've been using them for about a year, I will keep buying this diaper.

Pros: Organic cotton insert (we've had less stink issues), one-size and the snaps are easy to snap together, velcro for tabbing together the waist (The husband prefers velcro for a better fit), easy to take insert apart from outer cover, LOVE the colors!, ZERO leak issues!, very soft :)

Cons: Velcro tabs do not stay together in the wash and with a couple of my diapers I've had issues with the velcro sticking at all, so my son's lost a few diapers while moving around.

I have yet to come across the perfect diaper, but I will say that this is the most satisfied I've been with a diaper yet. Way to go, Gro-baby!

Friday, January 22, 2010

7 Quick Takes volume 1

1. First, I'd like to say that today is The March for Life, held primarily in Washington, D.C. Each year, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when abortion was legalized in this country, many generous people walk through D.C. to commemorate the loss of all those who died due to this "freedom of choice" law. 1/3 of my generation is not alive because we have been given the ability to kill our babies without consequence. I am praying for all those on the March, for all those who give themselves to the pro-life cause, and for all those who have given into the lie that this is all for the betterment of women and that this is a right. I pray for an end to abortion, to euthinasia, to contraception and to anything that leads to this culture of death that seems to surround and infiltrate our culture.

2. On a completely unrelated note, my family has a cold. All except the husband. Thankfully, he doesn't because he is the one who works all day and is in constant contact with people. Let's hope we get better soon!

3. BUBBLES! I think I will now recommend bubbles to any new parent as an easy, relatively inexpensive way to keep your child(ren) entertained. My boys have loved bubbles since they could see more than 6 inches in front of them. Today, with being cooped up due to our colds, I've been blowing bubbles for them to chase, pop, and giggle with delight.

4. Both the boys have really taken to singing in the morning. I love hearing their babbles and, sometimes, I can understand a little bit of what M1 (the 2 1/2 yo) is singing. It's cute and puts an immediate smile to my face, even if I'm not feeling my brightest.

5. On the other side, I've decided to start potty-training M1 this week. I'm going for the 3-day method that I know a few have used (both with and without success), so we'll see how it goes. I'm all ready - went shopping yesterday to get treats, little prizes for going poop in the potty, high fiber snacks just in case, and TONS of little underwear. We're set and ready to go!

6. As I sit here, M2, my 1 yo, is pulling ALL the tissues out of the box...and tearing them in half. He tried to eat toothpaste this morning and this kind of mischief seems to be the norm for my second. I'm learning to be stretched in so many ways with two completely different personalities in my children and I'm learning to laugh in this journey. I love my children!

7. There's nothing better than some kisses and hugs to make your day go better! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wiping the dust

Trying to decide on what I want to write and most days, I draw a blank. My blog name comes from a long-standing joke that my parents used to tease me with due to my lack of enthusiasm for the everyday household chores was that "Jennifer's main domestic quality is that she lives in a house." I remember them saying it to each other, chuckling, as I grumbled and complained about having to wash the dishes or do my weekly dusting in the living room. Growing up as the oldest of 6 children made our house feel enormous and the amount of work to keep it decently clean felt monstrous at best.

My mom always said there was hope for me once I was on my own because she knew of a friend's daughter who was exactly like me growing up and once she was married and had a house of her own, she kept it immaculate. She was semi-right. I've been married for about 3 1/2 years and have two beautiful children and I will admit, I see the goodness in keeping a clean home now. That isn't to say that it's immaculately clean most days, but I do understand how nice it is to try to keep it as shiny as possible. And I've also come to learn the beauty of domesticity and that it isn't just about cleaning, but a way of life. So, this blog will hopefully be my journey as I learn more about "becoming domestic" and working to follow in the footsteps of my ultimate role model, our Blessed Virgin Mary. Enjoy!