Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
The main reason we felt that we needed to wait to have children was because of the financial "burden" of children. Once we realized that we were called to be parents now rather than later, we becan to see that would could in fact support a baby on my husband's measly grad student stipend. Is it easy? No. But it certainly is worth it.
I believe that part of being open to life is accepting children even in "non-ideal" situations. In our modern society, being financially stable, owning your own home, having a well-paying career, etc. are generally considered necessities before a couple would seek pregnancy. Yet couples (including us) welcome children without having all (or any) of these and are still able to raise their children in loving households with the true necessities (food, clothing, shelter, love).
So in order to support other married couples in being open to life, I'm going to be writing a series of posts on having a baby in a small budget. I will give some of the tips and tricks that my husband and I use to support our family of three on his small stipend. Of course, every couple must decide for themselves if starting (or further expanding) their family is financially feasible, but I do want to provide support, ideas, and my own personal experience to help them make their decisions. It would have made the decision-making process easier for us if we knew of others that were able to do it, were able to ask questions, and seek advice.
I know there are many other men and women out there that decided to have children and are raising them on a small budget, so if you have any advice or would like to share your personal experience, I'd love to have you write a guest post. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please check out the other posts (including some great guest posts) in my Baby on a Budget series.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Lucia is such a sweet baby. She loves to be hugged and cuddled. She also loves to be swaddled. My favorite moments with her are our quiet times, especially when I'm breastfeeding her. She gets this sweet little smile right after she's done nursing, as she drifts off into a milk-induced coma. I also enjoy dancing with her - today we danced around the living room to Christmas music and she stared up at me with her mouth wide open.
So far, she hasn't liked her swing or bouncer, and while she'll sleep for a while in her Rock 'n' Play, she'd much prefer to sleep on the couch, in mama's arms, or on daddy's chest. She sleeps in our bed with us at night.
Lulu loves staring out the window, or better yet, going on walks. Although we've gone on several outings in the last week, I don't think she's noticed because she's fallen asleep as soon as we've put her in the car seat and has barely woken while we've been out. We've gone to Mass three times since she was born and she's slept through it entirely each time (which I'm a little surprised about since she was kicking and dancing in my belly all Mass long when I was pregnant).
I don't want my baby to grow up, but since she must, I can't wait to see what she'll do next. And I'm taking tons of pictures and video so I can always look back and remember my sweet baby newborn.
To catch up on Lucia's monthly posts, click below:
Friday, December 16, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The book is divided into four sections, each discussing a different aspect of the Church that could be enhanced by the use of social media: evangelization, faith formation, local parish engagement, and social justice activism. Within each section, there are several chapters written by experts on the topic who not only gave uplifting accounts of how they have successfully used new media to promote the faith, but also very specific advice for others to do the same. Just as the topics are varied, so is the advice; some is written for dioceses, parishes, and organizations while other guidance is directed toward bloggers and other individuals. As a Catholic blogger, I took particular interest in the chapters that focused on blogging and gained substantial insight and ideas about improving my blog and Catholic presence online. Yet I found the entire book to be fascinating and enjoyed the chapters about improving parish and diocese communication just as much as I enjoyed those that pertained to me specifically. As I read those chapters, I thought about the social media currently utilized at my current and past parishes and how parish life might be altered in the future if just a few of the suggestions were implemented. This in turn motivated me to consider ways that I personally can aid in the introduction of these technologies at the local level.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
No baby yet! I am currently five days “overdue” and trying to be very patient as we wait to meet our little one. At least as I write this on Thursday evening, there are no signs of labor starting.
When we moved here, several others from my husband’s lab group moved here as well, including another couple who was expecting. The wife was due the day before me (Saturday) and she went into labor on her due date! The baby wasn’t born until Monday morning after a long labor and David and I were able to go visit the new baby Tuesday night. It was so bittersweet holding their little boy! He was so adorable and made me even more anxious to meet our own baby, especially when watching my husband hold him. I can’t wait to see my husband tenderly hold his own child!
David and I went to a penance service at our church on Monday. I had been wanting to go to confession before I went into labor just in case, and it’s been too long anyway. It was really nice to see the church filled with people who were wanting to go to confession and many priests there to hear them. I’ve heard a lot of sad statistics about how few Catholics take advantage of the sacrament; I wonder if penance services were offered more often, would more people go to confession? Perhaps the communal aspect would help assuage some of the fears that people have about going?
I bought the baby’s Christmas present yesterday! I really wasn’t going to get the baby anything (Does that sound bad? He/she doesn’t need anything and there are so many people that are just waiting to spoil him/her.) but there was a really great deal on this children’s nativity set and I just couldn’t pass it up. I love the idea of a nativity scene that kids can actually play with even if my little one won’t be able to play with it until next year.
I am two more presents closer to finishing my Christmas shopping. I am particularly excited about the crucifix we bought for my brother-in-law and his fiancée (it was my husband’s idea!). I’m not done buying all the gifts like I had wanted to be before the baby is born (perhaps that’s why he/she isn’t here yet?) but in reality, I still haven’t completed even half of my before baby goals, but I’m surprisingly okay with that. I’m sure everything that needs to get done will get done, and if things don’t get completed, maybe they weren’t that important to begin with.
My husband finally finished the fellowship application he’s been working on for months! He’s been working so hard on it and if you ask me, I think he’s very deserving of it (although I might be a little partial). He’s just waiting for one last support letter from a professor he would work with if he received the fellowship. He’s been asking her for it for weeks and has yet to receive it and we’re both starting to get really nervous. It’s due on Monday and he really needs to upload it, especially since we may have to head off to the birth center at any time if I go into labor. I find it very frustrating when people in a professional setting fail to complete their obligations in a timely manner. If she wasn’t able to do it within the time constraints, she should have told him so!
I won a box of Godiva chocolates in a giveaway earlier this week! It is supposed to arrive in the mail today. So if my baby doesn’t arrive today, at least I have another delivery to look forward to!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Usually when I hear about Natural Family Planning, the focus is on preventing pregnancy. I think this is, in part, due to the fact that Natural Family Planning proponents want to prove that it is an alternative just as effective as contraception. Although it is certainly true that NFP is very effective at preventing pregnancy, this emphasis saddens me because I believe that by simply comparing the preventative abilities of NFP with contraception, we lose the essence of what it truly is. It is not simply a method for preventing pregnancy, but rather a comprehensive system in which knowledge of the female body is utilized to plan a family – both to prevent (or postpone) pregnancy and to achieve pregnancy. Unlike contraception, NFP has a beautiful, life-giving component which should not be overlooked...continue reading at NFP and Me
Please go on over and read the post and while you're at it check out some of the great posts Katie's written!
If you are visiting my blog for the first time from her site, welcome! I hope you'll stay a while and read a little about my life in a new state, as a relatively new wife (as of July 2010), and mother-to be (I'm currently two days past my due date, so it won't be long now!).
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Today is the Feast of Saint Cecilia. Several years ago, I chose her as my confirmation Saint, although I am loathe to admit that I chose her somewhat arbitrarily. My grandmother’s name is Cecilia, and for that reason, she inherited from her parents a beautiful painting that hung in her bedroom of the Saint at a piano, surrounded by angels. I haven’t seen the painting in years, but I assume that it probably is not as beautiful as I remember. The beauty came not from the skill of the artist, but from the holiness and serenity that emanated from the painting. When I chose my confirmation Saint, I did so in part because I knew that it would please my grandmother and in part because I was running out of time to choose and Saint Cecilia was one of the only female Saints I knew by name, but I also like to think that I did so with the image of that painting somewhere in the mind.
Beloved Jesus, Saint Cecilia’s parents wed her to a pagan nobleman. Eager to convert her new husband, she told him about the angel that always escorted her. He wanted to see the angel too, so he asked for his soul to be purified by baptism. The next time Saint Cecilia prayed, her husband saw the angel place a crown on both of their heads. I ask her and my guardian angel to pray for the unconverted spouses in my family and circles of friends, and for the spouses who believe in You but are slow in spiritual growth. Lord, in Your perfect timing, help them to open up to Your friendship and purification. Saint Cecilia, pray for us. Amen.
(prayer found at http://www.marypages.com/PrayerstotheSaints.htm)
Catholics are notorious for resisting change. Greater society looks at this aversion to change as proof that the Catholic Church is outdated, rigid, and obsolete, especially since she refuses to modify her stance on issues such as birth control, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, and female clergy. But for many Catholics, it is this steadfast stance that attracts us most to the Church. While many other religions and Christian denominations seem to constantly change their beliefs and morality with the surrounding culture, the Church has remained dedicated to the original teachings of Christ which, although they should be studied in order to be applied to modern circumstances, should never waver from His original intention. There is great beauty in being part of an unwavering tradition, as well as confidence that we are adhering to God’s will...continue reading at The Catholic Couponer
She's started a series of posts to educate and prepare readers for the new Missal and I'm proud to be a part of it. Please stop over there and take a look!
Friday, November 18, 2011
I know I can’t pick the day I go into labor, but I can’t help thinking how special it would be if the baby is born on November, 22 - St. Cecilia’s Feast Day. I chose St. Cecilia as my confirmation Saint years ago, in part because my grandmother’s name is Cecilia and she inherited a gorgeous painting of the Saint that hung in her bedroom. I always felt drawn to the beauty of the painting and the holiness it depicted.