Thursday, September 30, 2010

Small Successes

FaithButtonWell, this week has been pretty crazy with orientation for me at PMC and Jason having the baby, along with phone interviews for me for other "side jobs". So, it's nice to take a break and think about what I've done good this week.

1) I cleaned the kitchen and the dining room and living room. The dining room and living room are our "catch-all" rooms. We come in and throw things on the table, on coffee tables, on the name it. But right now the little bit of clutter left on the table looks organized and I even dusted!!! :-o

2) By tomorrow I will have worked for part of 4 days this week. This was tough for me as it's surprising how used to being at home one can get. I didn't realize sitting in a room for orientation could be so tiring, but I think it's because I didn't have the option to take a nap if I wanted to! ;-)

3) I made the bed. Seems really small, but after having picked up the house, this is the hardest thing for me...just staying on top of things. So, making the bed is a big deal as it keeps me a little closer to our clean house!

What successes do you have this week?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Baby Giggles

Our little kumquat is growing so quickly! It's really awesome because we are super excited to see him learning and can't wait for him to start moving around more...or can we?! Recently my best girl friend came to visit with her husband and 17 month old son. We found ourselves in one breath thinking we couldn't wait until Dominic could do those things, and in the next breath thinking we could definitely wait until we had to constantly watch him. :)

The sweetest thing in the world is when your little one recognizes you and smiles at you. Not that, it might be gas kind of smile. But that wide, toothless grin. It completely melts your heart! And now Dominic is starting to giggle a lot. He really enjoys his mobile above his bed and sometimes when he's in there, he'll notice it and just laugh like it's the funniest thing ever.

He also has this little chair that has an arc with some toys over it; he can rock his seat and make the toys move and this is his current favorite past time. He'll kick and then yell at the toys and then giggle and then he has to rest because being the cutest baby ever born in the whole world, is hard work! ;-) Sometimes he kicks for a minute and the next minute he's sleeping. It's just so tiresome I guess! :)

These are a few of our favorite milestones with Dominic. What are some of your favorite milestones, with your kids?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Apologetics Does NOT Mean I'm Sorry

I've been listening to Catholic Answers Live and EWTN Open Line when I'm feeding the baby and when I'm picking up around the house. I really enjoy the open forum questions; I especially enjoy Tim Staples, Jimmy Akin, and Patrick Madrid--in no particular order. And of course, Patrick Coffin the best radio host ever!

Today I was listening to Patrick Madrid's show from last Thursday and a caller asked about how to talk to non-Catholics. (I was changing Dominic's diaper when the caller was talking, so my memory could be a bit off here! ;-)) Patrick told a couple stories about how he changed the hearts of two different people. One was a woman who's husband was Catholic and she needed Patrick to answer her questions in order to help bring her to the Faith. The other was a former Catholic who's heart Patrick opened with a simple phrase "I did not say you stole the money". I'll direct you to EWTN's site, and Patrick's podcast to hear the whole story.

Apologetics has been on my heart and mind these past couple of days when I have been faced with some of my old, becoming new, coworkers. I used to be Mormon. I was a convert to Mormonism sucked in by some of my coworkers (3 of them to be exact) and lured by their wonderful "fellowshipping" (the word makes me cringe now!). When I left, many of them took it personally; the ones I worked with especially. My boss at the time locked me in his office with him and read me scripture and from The Book of Mormon. One of the other ones got really hateful and our working relationship suffered incredibly. I was close to these people before I left, really close to them. I babysat their kids, I went over for meals, one of the people I spent nearly every lunch and many evenings hanging out with her and her family. I couldn't bring myself to tell them the whole reason why I left at the time, and found myself apologizing for their hurt feelings. I thought it would hurt them so bad to tell them that I think the basis for the religion can only have one of two grounds; a) their founder, Joseph Smith, was a liar and con-man (which many believe, but come on even the best con-man wouldn't DIE for his con) or b) that Satan had tricked their founder and all subsequent members into believing that it was the one true church. Option "b" is what I think it is. How do you tell someone you think they're being tricked by Satan to believe a ridiculously elaborate religion? Heck, how would you tell someone you think they're being tricked by Satan period when they believe so firmly in something?!

I hope I get the opportunity to discuss my leaving with them.I feel ready to, I just don't know if I'm ready to bring it up. So, I hope one of them does; I'm ready to test out my apologetics. I think they'll be surprised when I don't say "I'm sorry."

Monday, September 27, 2010

All Parents Are "Working" Parents

So although I consider myself a stay-at-home wife and mom, I actually have a job outside of the home too. It's just part time, per diem, and scheduled for when Jason can be home with Dominic. Regardless of which one of us is working outside the home, we want one of us to be with the kumquat. Both of our jobs are at PMC, and this week I have orientation. Jason has an awesome boss who said he could either take the day off or take Dominic to work with him. Well, since his coworker has a web-class to "attend" this week, he decided he could watch Dominic at work.

I dressed him warm since Jason has a FREEZING office, his poor coworker is always freezing. All 56 pounds of her. ;-) So, back to Dominic. He was in this adorable little outfit all warm and cozy. What do you think he did a couple of hours into Jason's day with him? Yep, a blow out diaper. Well, it's a good thing we'd already learned our lesson about how to pack a diaper bag properly (don't ask how we learned that lesson, suffice it to say, it was the hard way!). Jason handled it well. In fact, he handled being a dad and working really well. He took Dominic all over the hospital with him, held him while working on computers. Pretty much he's a rock star.

And I struggle to get laundry done while caring for him when I'm home. What exactly am I doing wrong?!

Well, I'm going to chalk it up to beginner's luck; not that he's a anymore of a beginner than I am except that he doesn't spend all day on work days with him. But, thinking of him as a beginner makes me feel better about my ineptitude. :)

It doesn't really matter if you're working outside the home or not, being a parent is super hard. It's really hard to do things while you're caring for a child. And today I got a look at what it's like for Jason on a regular day. How much you want to hold, and hug, and kiss that little one that you had to be away from. Even if we were in the same building and I took my breaks with him.

Working (outside the home) moms, how do you do it?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

1 Year Down...A Lifetime to Go

One year ago today Jason and I were joined in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

Fr. Frias, Jason, and me

This has been a crazy, wonderful year. 5 days after our wedding we left on our honeymoon to Rome for 4 days and then on a 10 day Mediterranean cruise with Catholic Answers. It was amazing and we are so thankful that we had the opportunity to go. Someday I'll have to do a post just about our trip with pictures and explanations of the many wonderful places we had an opportunity to see. When we returned from the cruise real life happened and I started a PTA job in Garden City, KS. This left me living in Garden City during the week and coming home on the weekends. Initially I also came home mid-week but the next awesome part of our year hit and made that difficult. Towards the end of October we found out that we were expecting our first little one. The kumquat. I continued to work in Garden City until April when we decided it was just too difficult to be away from each other, especially with the difficulties I had during my pregnancy. You can read more about THOSE in earlier blog posts.

Through all of this Jason and I were learning how to be married. Jason had a hard time transitioning from bachelor-hood to husband-hood; mostly in the drinking-out-of-the-milk jug and eating out of the PB jar realm! ;-) To this day if you're offered milk or PB you might want to ask for a fresh jug/jar! :) But, he truly is an amazing husband. It's amazing to be loved so much by someone and to witness sacrifices. He has also taken on the role of Spiritual Head of Household fully and he leads our family in our prayer life. This has been kind of thrown for a loop since Dominic's birth, but we're slowly getting back to our normal routine. He is an awesome daddy and loves holding and taking care of Dominic. When he gets home from work Dominic is in his arms until bedtime. It's wonderful!

For me, this has been a year of learning. Learning to be a wife, learning to be a stay-at-home wife and learning to be a mom. There has definitely been some learning curves for me. It's humbling to think of how often I thought that I would keep an immaculate house, because I would "just" be home, and what else would I do?! Well, once reality set in it was obvious that isn't as easy to do as one would think. The day can really get away from you! Hopefully, we will begin to see some routine in that area soon too! ;-)

[caption id="attachment_305" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="1 Year Later Jason, Dominic, and me"][/caption]

So, 1 year later finds us ridiculously happy, amazingly blessed, and parents. How awesome. And I mean that in the "awe-inspiring" kind of way. You can't understand what it's like to be a parent until you are one. I never realized that. I thought I understood so much about parenting. I didn't expect to want him to sleep in our room let alone our bed. I didn't know that I could love such a tiny little person as much as I do. And I couldn't expect that watching my husband be a dad could make me fall more in love with him.

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life. I'm looking forward to the next 100 years! :-D

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Small Successes


Well, I'm doing this because I read it over at Faith & Family Live, and think it's so cool to enjoy the successes, no matter how small. So, here are my three.

1) Getting Dominic to sleep 3 nights in a row at 4+ hours at a time. I don't know if this will last, but I know that it is light at the end of the tunnel, and we are excited! :) We can't really take credit for it, because we followed some tips from a coworker of Jason's. Thank goodness too!

2) I am almost done with my Continued Education for the past two years. Only a couple more chapters and 1 test to go and I can submit my certificates. WooHoo! Granted, I waited until the last moment, OK not the LAST because technically I have until December 31st, but pretty close. ;-) I have a tendency to "why do today what you can put off 'til tomorrow", but should have followed Mr. Krabs' advice..."what is today but yesterday's tomorrow?". :-D

3) Focusing on this blog and writing in general. While it has always been a hobby and a passion for me, I've never expected that writing could be anything more than that. Following various blogs like Faith & Family, Snoring Scholar (, and Mothering with Mary ( has really heightened my desire to write. I don't know if it will ever be anything more than a hobby for me, but I'm sure proud of myself for working to hone my 'talent'. :)

So, what are YOU proud of this week?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Knowing Where to Start

So, being a house wife (as anyone who reads this knows already) is pretty hard. I mean, just keeping a house looking nice is hard enough, but then add in some kids (or in my case ONE kid) and it becomes overwhelming.

Our house isn't dirty as in it's gross by any means. I have kept up on dishes and there isn't old food sitting around (that I know of anyway! ;-)), but it's definitely messy. People try to be nice and they say 'lived in', but really it's just cluttery and messy. I wasn't able to do a good deep cleaning before Dominic was born because, well, I was 9 months pregnant and it was over 100 degrees most days and I was so tired! And now, while I'm figuring out I can clean or do other things while he naps, I don't know where to begin.

So I've enlisted the help of my amazing husband; he has agreed to help me do a thorough cleaning this weekend so that it's easier for me to keep up with. Now I won't have an excuse to not have the house spic and span, or at the very least, picked up.

How do you keep your house clean? Do you have a routine?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Answered Prayers--On God's Terms

I have a lot of debt right now; student loans and a ridiculous car loan that total about $30,000. Jason knew this, and married me anyway, now that's love! ;-) But we've found out what many parents find out after the baby is born. Having a baby is expensive! We were really blessed that many of our family and friends have bought us lots of clothes and even diapers to get us through this time until we will be able to do cloth diapering. But, it was the actual birth that was expensive. Plus, the other 3 day stay in the hospital for Dominic. :( Add these together along and subtract from our one income family, and things are pretty tight. I have been praying really hard for something to come along to ease this. I will be working per diem for PMC, but it will only be 3 evenings a week and every other weekend. This is not going to get us out of debt by any means. We don't want to put Dominic in any daycare so that limits our options.

My prayers have leaned towards looking for things I can do from home. Yes, I've checked out all of those work at home things and nothing has panned out. I did get a response to one application for an accounting job at home, but it sounds really shady, and besides the company's based out of the UK. Don't think it will work. So, yesterday I decided I ought to look into a graveyard shift, either at Walmart or our one truck stop. Turns out the truck stop was hiring and I'll start tomorrow night. So, I'm up tonight trying to acclimate myself to working at night.

Thankfully, Dominic likes to sleep in and and take long naps in the morning, so I should get a lot of sleep in the mornings and can nap throughout the day when he does.

God answered my prayer, but He chose to do so in a way that will be difficult for me. I am NOT a night person as anyone who has known me for longer than a day knows...especially if they met me at about 9PM! ;-) So, this will be a struggle. However, it is perfect because Jason will be home at night with Dominic and I will be home with him during the day. It gives us time to spend together as a family in the evening too, so despite the challenges this is really a good thing for us.

Please pray for us, and for me especially, and anybody that happens to order hot coffee from me when my first bout of sleepiness kicks in! ;-)

My OB at the CATHOLIC Hospital Said What?!

OK, so most people reading this know that Jason and I are traditional Catholics. If you don't, well then you should probably read the "About Us" section, or you do now! ;-) Being a traditional Catholic means that we trust Holy Mother Church to tell us what is right and that we follow Magisterial teachings in all aspects of life. For those that aren't Catholic, that means that we follow ALL the rules that the Church has laid out for us. In regards to our marriage it means that we do not use any form of artificial birth control.

The insurance we had for pregnancy and delivery was COBRA insurance from my last job. My last job was at St Catherine Hospital in Garden City, KS and if you couldn't tell from the name, it's a Catholic hospital. The women's clinic associated with it was just purchased about 2-3 years ago by the hospital; that means that now they have to follow the rules of the Church as well. That means no birth control can be prescribed, no sterilization can be done, and no abortions can be done or referred. This is wonderful, fantastic, or would be if it were followed.

I really liked my doctor; he is funny and laid back and really seemed OK with most things we were doing. He was a little over concerned if you've read any of my posts during my pregnancy, but for the most part he was great.

When I saw him a year before we were married for my check-up, right after the purchase of the women's clinic by SCH and while I was working for them still, he offered birth control. He told me, "we're not allowed to use SCH prescription pads because 'the Church' says it's not allowed--eye roll inserted--but I have some that just have my name and so I can prescribe if you'd like." I told him no thank you I was using abstinence. Meanwhile, I was totally appalled! I spoke with the hospital's spiritual director (a former priest) and he thought it might just be because they hadn't been given the "we're a Catholic hospital, here's what that means" speech. So, after speaking with my priest and being advised that I've done what I could, and that it was at most remote cooperation, I let it go.

Until my 6 week postpartum visit. I got the question of what we were going to do for birth control, and then I got a rundown of how certain hormonal contraceptives aren't good if you're breastfeeding (um, duh?!) but some were OK and did I want to get on anything. When I told him that we were letting God decide, I got a bit of an eye roll and the subject was dropped. But what if I were only a luke-warm Catholic? What if I were afraid of being pregnant again and I only needed someone in some kind of authority to tell me it was OK to use ABC? And yes, being an OB in a Catholic facility makes you automatically someone in authority. I'm certain many Catholic women "on the fence" or perhaps not understanding fully the Church's teaching on love and marriage and all that it entails have been led astray by someone in authority giving the green flag. How scary!

So, I'll be making a phone call or sending an email to that same spiritual director at the hospital and hoping to make him see that he needs to be a bit more thorough with his training at the women's clinic. Those doctors are, literally, holding the future in their hands; or cutting it off before it gets a chance. :(

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Do I Have to Look Like a Slob?

As I was choosing what to wear yesterday, I had that moment that all women have sometimes, where none of your clothes fit right or look good. You know what I'm talking about. It doesn't matter what you put on, there is something "off" about it. Add to that, that I am 6 weeks post-partum and I found myself looking lumpy in clothes in a different way than ever before. Keep in mind I've always been on the chunky side; it's OK though, I've come to terms with it, it's hard to get skinny when you like ice cream so much. ;-) I do want to get *healthy*, not skinny, but that's an entirely different post. I knew that my body would be different after having a baby, but had no idea how different, it makes clothing selection even more difficult.

Which brings me to the point. How does one go about selecting modest clothes in our over-sexed, "flaunt it if you've got it" world? I put on a t-shirt yesterday that I realized, painfully, was just meant for the rag bin. It was over tight (despite being an XL) and had too low of a neck line. When you can see your bra in the back, you know it's too low! I'm not talking about every woman wearing a burka by any means; but is it really so hard to make clothes that are not meant to hug every curve of your body? What if some people don't want their curves hugged? Are we destined to wear over-large, sloppy t-shirts from the men section for the rest of our lives? (Bought a few when at the largest in my pregnancy, and I HAVE worn them since giving birth!) Or maternity clothes because at least they're loose (yep, guilty of that one too! It's nice to not feel like I'm in spandex!)?

For now, I'll wear the maternity tops I still have, until they get too big, and hope that some fashionista decides to design some clothes for those of us with after-birth bodies who don't want everyone to see what those curves look like!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Lesson in Being Thankful

This weekend we spent getting back into our routine; it has been rocked to the core with the little one. We managed to go to Confession on Saturday as it had been a L O N G time since we'd been. We also managed to say all of our prayers together as a family. That is a big accomplishment that brings us closer.

It's funny how you can get so caught up in life, and the things that you are doing, or dealing with,that you forget to take pleasure in the moments and be thankful for what you do have. Making sure we say our daily prayers really ensures that we are taking some time to thank God for the blessings in our lives; making sure we pray together gives us one more blessing to be thankful for.

So, today's post is about being thankful for the blessings in my life that happen every day, sometimes simultaneously with the difficult things. I'm thankful for my amazing husband who leads our family in every way, most especially is our Spiritual Head of Household. I'm thankful for our little kumquat (even though he hasn't figured out that he can sleep longer than 2 hours at night). I'm thankful that Jason has a job that he can depend on (even though he has to be on call and is sometimes called away from home or has to work late).

What are you thankful for?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Losing Sleep

Being parents is hard work. I mean, it's really hard! It seems like our days revolve around feeding, diaper changing and napping; and nights, they revolve around sleeping, feeding and diaper changing. And the kumquat can EAT! We had one night this week that he slept for 4 hours straight, we're holding out hope that it'll happen again, and become habit. But in the meantime, getting up every hour and a half at night is really rough. It's harder for Jason I think since he has a hard time going straight back to sleep, but even though I can hit the pillow and be out (is that a special hormone-driven mom thing?!) I'm still super tired.

But, we know that all this is short-lived. We know that eventually the kumquat will grow up and into his next stages and we'll actually miss this time. We'll miss that he loves being held and cuddled, and when he tells us that he doesn't want to hug us good night, we'll look back on these days with fond memories.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another Dream Coming True?

My longest held, deepest dream has been to be a mom, and to be a stay-at-home wife and mom. I'm living that dream right now and it. is. awesome. :-D I'm still learning the ins and outs and trying to figure out how to balance taking care of the baby with getting any household duties/chores done. Some days I get the dishes AND the laundry done and other days I'm lucky that I got dressed. Being a mom is hard work!

Those that know me, know that one of my other long held dreams has been to write. I desperately want to pen the great American novel, or write something else that's worthwhile. Well, I've been looking at online, from home job opportunities (note, there are A LOT of scams out there), and have started looking into some freelance writing. While I'm sure I would definitely have been the best person to write all of the articles that I saw ads for, it seems most people want someone with some actual writing experience. So, when one of my favorite twitter friends mentioned she was taking submissions for some guest posts, I decided to send something in. And guess what? She liked it! She not only liked it, but she's using it on Saturday! :-D Hooray! So, you can check out this awesome blog on Saturday and see a post by me! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Kumquat Has Arrived!

A little over 4 weeks ago. We have been so busy adjusting to this new life of being parents, that we haven't updated the blog. But, I'm here to remedy that!

Dominic Matthew Spano made his arrival on August 1, 2010 at 6:31PM CST.

[caption id="attachment_263" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Just Arrived"][/caption]

We went to Garden City on Saturday the 31st as I was hoping that walking around would help get us ready. I had had a non-stress test in Lamar on Friday and they did an internal check and I was dilated to 2cm and 80% effaced, so we really thought we had a good chance. We walked around Target and Walmart and my contractions were starting to get (what I thought was) painful. We had lunch at El Camino's hoping that the spiciness would also add something. Then we headed straight over to the hospital at about 1PM. They checked me and I was still only 2cm and 80% effaced. :( The nurse told me to walk around for a half hour, so we did, and when she checked again I was 3cm. They decided to admit me and the doctor on call (my doctor was on vacation) decided to augment on low pitocin in hopes to regulate the contractions. However, this boy was stubborn. The pitocin kept going up and my contractions got regular but I got stuck at 4cm. They broke my water at 9PM and I stayed at 4cm and no change in effacement. The contractions were about a minute apart and horrible ALL NIGHT LONG. I had planned on birthing with no pain control, and the night nurse thought I was trying to be a martyr and kept pushing pain meds on me. So, I fought it even harder. We did two showers, sat on the birthing ball and stood when possible. The contractions were awful, I've never experienced anything like that in my life. Jason was amazing! He stayed up all night with me and massaged or held me through the contractions. I was exhausted and would sleep for the minute to five minutes between the contractions, but Jason didn't. Around 6am I was crying through every contraction and I was done, I couldn't do anymore. Unfortunately I was still at 4cm. I gave in and asked for pain medicine, which they gave me in my IV. It did nothing for the pain, but it made me feel pretty loopy and like I couldn't hold my eyes open. I asked for the epidural.

The anesthetist came in around 8AM and gave me the epi, it was uncomfortable and kind of painful to get, but brought sweet relief. I could feel that I was having contractions, but it wasn't painful. This allowed me to rest and by about 1PM I was dilated to 9cm, but I still wasn't fully effaced. About this time the epi wore off, and he came in with more medication, but it didn't do anything and left me feeling the same as before I'd had any medication. At about 5PM the nurse checked me and I was STILL at 9cm and she could still feel my whole cervix. :( She also said she could feel that the baby's head was molding since he was partially in the birth canal and had been since 1PM. They spoke with the doctor but recommended a c-section. :( It was the best option for us as I'd been in active labor for 29 1/2 hours at that point. Jason went in with me and got to watch them cut me open and bring out our little boy. Maybe he'll post the details of that, I was a little out of it! ;-)

So, Dominic weighed 8#8.3 oz and was 21 1/2" long. He has big feet too! :-D And he's adorable!!

We thought we had breastfeeding down pretty well, but it turns out we didn't. On Friday we met with a lactation specialist and found that Dominic had lost over a pound and was severely dehydrated. We were admitted to PMC and I had to start pumping breastmilk. He was given as much breastmilk as I pumped, but we had to supplement with formula because it wasn't enough yet. My milk had come in, but I had a super low supply since Dominic hadn't been eating. His tongue would go to the roof of his mouth and he would not get latched. Then he'd get angry and his sucking wasn't productive. It was very sad. :( We stayed in the hospital until Sunday morning when he'd gained about 13oz and we were able to come home. Now I'm pumping and Dominic is getting lots of milk, just not straight from the source. It's a little sad, and totally inconvenient, but he is worth it. We want him getting the best stuff!

We're extremely blessed and feeling it every moment...even at 2AM when we're up for a feeding! ;-)