I’m surrounded by natural beauty – most notably in the beautiful squishiness of our newest addition, Beckett. He was born on a very hot, humid August day – the feast of St. Dominic. The doctor was a bit late to the delivery because the elevator was out of order, and he almost arrived without her assistance. He’s a squishy, fat, bundle of love of which his older siblings can’t get enough. I’m spending my maternity leave soaking in his goodness – the smell of his milky breath, the rolls upon rolls of baby fat, and the quiet calmness of his coos. I’m in awe of this little man.
Soundtrack of my life
Loving my subscription to Sirius XM Radio. We bought a new-to-us van in February and it came with a three month free trial. My parents were subscribers when I was in college (back when it was XM Radio – they hadn’t yet merged with Sirius) and I fell in love with it then. I’ve missed it so much! Ever since the debut of Jennifer Fulwiler’s show, I’ve wanted to subscribe myself but we just couldn’t swing the $15 a month. So, when the trial period ended, I took advantage of the special offer that I couldn’t refuse. You just can’t beat $30 for six months of service! My favorite channels are the Catholic Channel, The Bridge, Love, and Classic Rewind. Cannot. Get. Enough! Superman has been enjoying sharing 60s on Six with the kids, introducing them to some great oldies.
After months of not reading anything, I really kicked things up a notch in my last month of my pregnancy and during this maternity leave. I‘m always crazy cautious about fiction because I really hate sex or illicit relationships in books. I just do. I also hate leaving books unfinished so if I come across yucky scenes or themes, I can’t just stop reading (yes, I’m aware of how weird that sounds.) So, I’m usually reluctant to read fiction at all. I’ve recently discovered that’s really no way to live, because I love to read and I can’t read spiritual reading ALL.THE.TIME. or else my brain shuts down.
My recent reads are:
Station Eleven – Futuristic, slightly dark tale about the days and years following a worldwide epidemic that ended life as we know it. Lots of interweaving done of multiple storylines, and since it jumps back and forth in time, it’s a little hard to follow. OK book, in my opinion.
The Awakening of Miss Prim – I picked up this gem because I’d seen that Christy Isinger and Elizabeth Foss both read it and liked it, and that was good enough for me. I couldn’t put it down! Great little story about a young woman who learns about herself as she works as a librarian in a quaint little town. Her mysterious employer is a gentleman who values classical literature and education, and is keen on enlightening her to a world she’s never known. I loved this book and I hope there’s a sequel!
On the Other Side of Fear – This short, sweet volume is going to be one I read over and over again. It’s already worn, dog-eared, and contains copious underlined passages. Hallie Lord lays her heart on the pages of this vulnerable work, exploring themes of fear, grace, and trust in God’s providence for our lives. So much of her story is my own, especially the chapters granting us a peek into the Lord family’s extreme financial struggles. I sobbed through those parts, aching with a familiar sense of dread. If you’ve ever experienced soul-searing fear or crippling anxiety, you’re going to want to read this with a cup of hot tea. Hallie’s words will envelop you in the warm hug you need to overcome your worries.
Sittin’ and Thinkin’
About the future of our country. I think, and I worry, and then I remember that God is in control. My responsibilities as a Catholic are to vote my conscience and pray for all involved – the candidates, the voters, and everyone affected by these races. And then? It’s in God’s hands. I particularly love this version of the Rosary, especially during an election year. The Rosary for the United States was developed by lay Catholic Manny Yrique, who was inspired by Our Lord during Adoration to ‘Take it to My Mother.’ Each Our Father is prayed for a certain governmental entity (governors, congress, city governments, etc.) On each of the 50 Hail Mary beads, a different state is named and specifically kept in prayer. We will be praying this one as a family as we draw nearer to November 8th.
My Rush Hour Commute
Maternity leave = no commute. Am I looking forward to those few minutes to and from work each day when I return in early October? Maybe. A little.
After spending the past three months collecting dust on my dresser, my Fitbit jumped back into action this week. So far, I haven’t broken 3000 steps in a day, so I obviously have some work to do. My plan to get back on the workout wagon is to ease myself in, starting with walking this week and hopefully attempting Week 1 of Couch to 5k next week. Signing up for a local 5k race (my very first!) on November 5th was my way of ensuring I’d get started AND stay on track. Here we go!
Handcrafting, Cooking, or Creating
Since my mom has been in town and helping us during the postpartum phase, I haven’t done a lot in the kitchen. Compounding that is my current struggle with avoiding dairy for the third time as a nursing mama. My days have been spent longing for cow’s milk, cheese, butter, etc., as my little nursling is sensitive to dairy products. Though I didn’t mention it above, I recently read (and am now rereading my notes from) Hilary Jacobson’s Mother Food: A Breastfeeding Diet Guide with Lactogenic Food and Herbs. Hilary has done an amazing job of compiling centuries of lactation-supporting nutrition guidelines from across many world cultures. This book is a few years old, but is chock-full of research into the many kinds of foods and herbs that can support and enhance the breastfeeding experience. One thing I’ve absolutely fallen in love with, is my morning breakfast creation utilizing many of the lactogenic foods mentioned in Hilary’s book. I call it “Mama’s Milk Oatmeal” because I’m super clever and that’s the best name I’ve got. It’s even vegan, for those of you who keep track of a recipe’s veganness.
Prepare one serving of your favorite steel cut oats. Add 1 tbsp raw peanut butter, 1 tsp raw local honey or Grade B maple syrup, and 1 tbsp expeller-pressed coconut oil. Sprinkle with this crunchy blend of deliciousness – Trader Joe’s Super Seed & Ancient Grain Blend. Enjoy and grab some nursing pads!
Around the Water Cooler
Wouldn’t know. Because I’m on leave.
Caught in the Web
I spend a lotta time these days on Kellymom.com because of my current “season” of life as a nursing mom, again. This is hands-down my favorite website for breastfeeding support. Lots of great, practical advice for the newly breastfeeding mama or an old veteran like myself. You’d be surprised at how much you forget between babies, and/or how different each breastfeeding dyad relationship can be. It took until baby #5 to experience my first case of mastitis. Another first is to gleefully watch as my little one gains weight at breakneck speed. Five babies in, and we’re doing really well. We’ve even got 120 ounces and counting sitting in the freezer, poised for duty after I return for work. That’s definitely a first, and it’s making me feel better about going back to work in general. This is far more milk than I’ve ever had on hand, and I’m amazed at the success – which is largely due to the information I’ve gleaned from Kellymom.
Recently, I began a Catholic Bible Study on the book of Sirach from Jenny of The Littlest Way. I’ll be posting a review soon, but it’s been nice spending time with my mom and working through the study together while she’s visiting.
Grateful to God
Praise and thanksgiving to God for my husband’s new employment at our parish! It’s not the type of job he has a degree for – in fact, it’s in an entirely different field. Throughout the 14 months of job searching, though, our earnest prayer was that he would find the job that would be best for our family’s spiritual well-being. God answered our prayers clearly, if not quickly, and we learned a lot about letting go and leaning in along the way. Happily, we’ve been able to find reliable childcare for Beckett (the newborn) and Therese (4), so we’re all set to have Mommy and Daddy both employed for the first time in five years. Please pray for us as we make this transition as a family, and especially for Superman as he settles into his new role.
Our Little Domestic Church
September is full of celebration for our family – three birthdays and two feast days means a lot of cake and treats! We rejoiced when St. Teresa of Calcutta’s first feast day as a saint was celebrated on Elizabeth’s 10th birthday. Tomorrow we’ll celebrate my brother and sister’s feast day on Michaelmas, the feast of the Archangels, with this little prayer and probably some angel food cake!
What are you up to lately – reading, creating, cleaning, cooking? Leave me a Little Lagniappe below 🙂