Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Princesses Aren't Good at Birth


I was going to title this blog post "Princesses aren't good birthers."  Until I looked up the word birther, which contrary to what one might assume does not mean one who gives birth.    Oh no, it means one who does not believe Barak Obama was born in the United States and therefore he is ineligible to be President.   Okaaaay.   Don't want Inigo saying to me.
You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means. 
So, instead I entitled it that catchy title you see above.   Princesses aren't good at birth.  At least not according to a recent article I read.   An absolutely excellent article, that I just had to blog about.  An article that is a breath of fresh air among all the natural childbirth rhetoric about "rushes" and "painfree childbirth."  But, even more refreshing, an article which actually finds value in suffering.   Something so rare in our modern day and age...where the sole purpose of existence seems to be to run far, far away from suffering in pursuit of ever fleeting happiness. 

The gist of the article is that so many women (princesses) have difficulty with birth because they have never before really experienced pain and suffering and hard work and toil.  Now, I disagree with her assessment of "princesses"..she's using it in the Snow White sense and not in the Real Princess sense.   But, irregardless of the word she uses, I think the message is a sound one.

You see, the article isn't just about birth...but about life in general.  It's true..that birth involves suffering.  Birth involves pain and sweat and tears and screams, and blood and sometimes even vomit and poop. 


And, so does life.  

Every day brings a myriad of opportunities for work and discomfort.  Take those opportunities.  But don’t simply hate them, fight them, begrudge them, resent them, and in the end, say you endured them.  Do more:  Embrace them. Welcome them.  Run toward them.   Learn from them.  And in the end, say you mastered them.  You overcame them.  You rose above them, and they made you stronger.
So, much of our modern life is wrapped around making life "easier".  From washing machines to air conditioning to smartphones....people have constantly been inventing things to lighten our workload and make life easier.  And that's not a bad thing.  I'm definitely NOT about to give up  my air conditioning or my washing machine.  But, it can be good to realize that sometimes we need to suffer, sometimes we need to wait in line for 2 hours, or wake up 5 times a night with a baby, or clean what we have just cleaned for the 50th time or deal with people we may not care for or feel too hot, or too cold or too tired.  And, that's okay.  Because, we are strong enough to do that, and this life is not about ease or comfort.

When it comes to pregnancy and childbirth and raising children..suffering is almost a given.  And, the contraceptive mentality of our society shirks from that suffering.  From morning sickness to back aches, to birth to breastfeeding, to sleepless nights and temper tantrums and aching arms and aching hearts..motherhood involves pain.  Lots of joy and lots of pain. 

And, that okay.  Because it is only by embracing our cross that we will be able to embrace our heavenly crown.  After all...
We were not born to be comfortable.  We were born to grow through adversity.  We were born to work.
Greta...shortly after birth.  As you can see, birth probably isn't too fun for the baby either. 

And, just because I love me a good link-up, I'm linking this up with Mama Moments Mondays and Mindful Mothering Mondays.  Yes..on Tuesday.
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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Yet another WIWS Post


Yes, yes, I  know you've all just been waiting with baited breath to find out What I Wore Sunday.  Well wait no longer.  Here it is..


Exciting huh?  Not!  No bling today.   No belt accessories.  Nothing exciting at all.  I do have a cute little baby accessory though...and the ever present leaves photobomb because I take every picture in the exact same spot every week.  Boring, much?

It was either that picture, or this picture...where it looks like Elsa and I are about to be consumed by a huge solar flare.  Thankfully, we weren't.


So, here's the details on WIWS.

Shirt: Guess where? Wal-Mart.  Guess how much?  $2 on clearance.  I know it seems like I shop at Wal-Mart all the time.  I only go there because the girls' piano teacher lives right around the corner from a Wal-Mart, so when I drop them off for piano lessons, I tend to pop in real quick..and find clearance deals that I just CAN'T.PASS.UP.  Actually I love this black shirt..so it really was an awesome deal. 

Tank Top:  thrifted from a LONG time ago

Skirt: thrifted from an even longer time ago

Shoes:  Stolen from payless. No, not really stolen.  You can read the whole story here

Glasses:  Zenni-optical.  But not my usual glasses.  I have a bunch of pairs, all with the same prescription   So, I decided to go for a change today. Ho-hum.

Adorable Baby: fell out of my uterus 7 months, 2 weeks and 3 days ago.  About 1 month after Elsa was born, I was out walking with her one day and this women stopped me (who I used to see on walks/runs regularly but hadn't seen her in awhile..several months probably) stopped me and was all "Where did she come from?" I'm was just all "uhhhhh" and she was like "She's not yours is she?". Tempted as I was to say "Oh, no, I stole her from Wal-Mart.", I just said "uhhhh, yeah." kinda sheepishly.  Then she was all. "YOU WERE PREGNANT??" and I just all "Umm, yes."    It was a very odd conversation, as the-woman-who-I-see-while-out-jogging-but-hadn't-seen-in-several-months was quite shocked that I had been pregnant and had a baby.  I'm not sure why she found that so shocking...people who jog have babies too, ya know?  And, I don't really have a point in telling it, other than I wanted to make this blog post more interesting with a funny story.  So, there ya go.  And, it probably wasn't even that funny. 

Baby Elsa's Outfit:  dress and diaper cover were both handed down to us from a friend. 


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Friday, April 26, 2013

7 Not So Quick, Boring takes Friday.



Another week, another 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1.

So, we're moving in about a month.  Elsa is 7 months now and will be 8  months when we move.  She and I had a nice little chat about how mommy doesn't want to babyproof the house and how it would be best if she didn't learn how to crawl before we move.

Do you think she listened?



Now..she can't crawl..yet.  Yet..being the operative word..because despite our little talk she is doing her darndnest to go ahead and crawl anyway.  Hopefully this not too indicative of things to come. 

2.

Anyone's kids have a blog?.  I just noticed on Facebook that a friend's son started a blog and I thinking my girls would love something like that too.    It would be someplace they could store their stories and poems and keep them for all posterity.    Greta, especially is a very prolific writer...so I think she would love something like that...and I'm always looking for new ways to store their stories...I feel bad throwing them away, but we sure can't keep every single piece of paper.  And, I just used way too many ellipses. 

3.

Anyone care to explain twitter to me?   I keep trying to use it and keep getting lost...like with the whole hashtag thing?  What the heck are hashtags for? And, is there some list, or do you just make them up or whatever.  And, what's the point of them anyway?  I don't get it. 

4.

I'm changing some parts of our homeschool curriculum for next year.  Again.  I seem to change something, like every year.   Yawn, yawn. 

5.

I'm sure this is weird, but I always feel sorta embarrassed when people I know IRL mention my blog.  Like, obviously the point of a blog is for people to read it...but knowing that people I KNOW are reading it always makes me feel a bit strange.  Surprisingly enough, this post, was rather popular, which makes me happy that people liked and mentioned it...but I always feel just a tiny bit awkward too.  Not strange enough for me to stop blogging though...it's too much fun.  Ah..the weird and wonderful world of social media.

6.

So, I've been reading a series of posts on various blogs this weeks where people are aruging,  discussing over whether it's appropriate to take babies and young children to Mass and whether there is an obligation to take them or not.  Honestly, it seems like a pretty silly thing to argue over, because it never occurred to me NOT to take young children/babies to Mass...I mean what else are you going to do with them?  But then, I have a tendency to take my babies to places most people don't (like to a "sorta banquet" Ben and I went to last night), so I really can't imagine leaving them home.

7.

I think these are the most boring quick takes ever. 


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Thursday, April 25, 2013

{Pretty Skies, Happy, Funny and Real}


Doing a 2 for 1 deal and linking up for both PHFR and Theme: Thursday in one little post.


{Pretty Skies}

Cari's theme for this Thursday is sky.  So, I grabbed my trusty Heidi's trusty camera and headed outside.   Got some real purty pictures here. 


I love the way the moon is showing through the palm trees (which as I mentioned before aren't technically trees).


Lots of dense foliage.



Palm trees in the early morning sky.

{Happy}



Happiness is playing in the rain. 

{funny}


Going on a picnic...got the cooler all packed.

{Real}


When you feed yourself mashed potatoes...you sometimes get a bit on the nose.

or on your eyes and chin


No, go visit LMLD for more PHFR.


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Time for some more of my favorite things!



Time for more of my favorite things. 

1.

Chocolate Coconut Almond Bark.   So easy and so yummy and pretty healthy too. 

Just heat a bunch of coconut oil, sugar, cocoa powder and chopped almonds on the stove until the coconut oil is melted and the sugar is dissolved.  Sorry I don't have exact proportions...just eyeball it.   Pour into a greased pan, let harden in fridge, break into squares and store in fridge.  A super yummy way to get your coconut oil and chocolate in.  Because you all know that chocolate is a health food, right?  It totally is...just trust me on this.  

2.

Gingham dresses on baby girls


Have you ever seen anything cuter?  I didn't think so. 

3.

Pools.  One thing I love about FL is that everyone and their brother has a pool (except us..so we just mooch off others)...so my kids gets  lots of swimming time.  We love swimming!


4. 

This picture I saw on Facebook.  Yup. (and I don't even really drink....much).  


5.

Not my smoothie


My lunch-time green smoothie..so quick and easy and I can drink it "on the go" or while doing school since we frequently are running out the door right after lunch for various activities. I just whirl up some kefir, frozen fruit, and a handful of spinach leaves.  Sometimes I add in coconut oil or peanut butter.  It's fast and yummy and filling. 



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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Why this Health Food Nut is a little less Nutty..or Why I'm Unliking a Bunch of Stuff on Facebook




Most people who know me, know that I'm really into natural health and medicine, home remedies, supplements and healthy eating.  You've got a cold or mastitis or sinus infection or eczema or warts, or psoriasis or constipation or canker sores or allergies...I've got a home remedy for that. 

I've spent way too much time reading and learning about healthy eating...you name a food trend....juicing, green smoothies, paleo, traditional foods, vegan, raw, macrobiotic, fermented foods, soaking grains, perfect health diet, gluten-free...I've heard about it, read about it and probably even tried it to some extent.

My Facebook newsfeed was cluttered with updates from all these different natural health foods and bloggers...Natural News, Natural Health Society, All Diseases Begin in the Gut, Heal Thyself,...I could go on and on.

Every day I'd read more about the dangers of GMO's and fluoride and non-organic, conventionally raised food, and BPA's and THC's and XYZ's and microwaves and cell phones and wireless internet and oh..just about everything else that makes life even remotely easy. 

 Not to mention all the confusing information...grains are good, but you have to soak them....grains are bad, avoid at all costs.  Beans are good, if you soak and sprout them....beans are bad..just eat meat, coconut  oil and vegetables. Dairy is evil and increases inflammation....dairy is good as long as it is raw, grass-fed and from happy cows named Daisy.  Meat is evil...meat is great and you can live off bacon..   Honey is great for you....except when it's not.  Vegetable oils are good...vegetable oils are evil...except for coconut oil which is the holy grail of oils.  Vegan only is the way to go,...except  eggs are the most healthful food on earth...as long as they come from free-range chickens that eat only organic grass and bugs and run around in fields all day happily doing the chicken dance.    

And then there are the recipes.  No, making cauliflower wraps is NOT easy...you have to pulse the cauliflower and then steam it and then wring it out and form it and bake it....and that's just to make ONE wrap.   Or the infamous recipe for cauliflower pizza crust....which uses a boatload of mozzarella and takes a ton of time...and is way harder than making your own pizza crust with flour.   And, apparently everything has to be soaked before eating...grains, nuts, beans...and if you sprout it, it's even better.

Finally, there comes a point when it's time to say enough.   For me, that point came when I looked on Facebook and saw a recipe for chocolate placenta truffles.   Now, I love me some chocolate truffles...but placenta truffles??!?!?!?  Really?!?!?!?  Not even I am that crazy.    So, I'm unliking a bunch of stuff.  I don't want to be bombarded with 3,000,000,000 reasons why GMO's will kill us, and plastic is evil, or why I should spend hours each week driving around to 15 different farms in pursuit of raw, healthy, organic, pure foods that were picked 15 minutes ago.  I just want to feed my family healthy food.  Don't worry, we still avoid processed foods, we still eat all real food.  And, I still make my own deodorant.  But, I refuse to be wracked with guilt because our eggs are from the supermarket or our apples aren't organic or that I don't have the money to spend on an expensive filter to remover fluoride from our water..  At this point in our lives...with (very) limited funds and limited ability to grow anything ourselves...this is the best we can do.

When you run in natural health circles, you tend to know lots of crunchy, healthy, natural-health oriented people.  And, it's great to be healthy...but there comes a point where health becomes a God, and there is this futile pursuit to cheat death.   Eat this to prevent aging.  Eat that to avoid cancer.  This person eats like this and is running marathons at age 95.   Why anyone would want to run a marathon at age 95 is beyond me? If I make it to age 95, I figured I'll have earned the right to sit around and watch TV all day.   

I recently read this article by Dr. Steven Bratman, who coined the term orthorexia.  Orthorexia is an eating disorder categorized by an extreme obsession with healthy and pure eating.  Now,  I've never gone this far, or actually suffered from this and I am NOT saying that everyone who is interested in healthy eating has an eating disorder.  But some might...
This line from the article, especially resonated with me:

I was eventually saved from the doom of eternal health-
food addiction through two fortuitous events. The first occurred when my guru in eating--a vegan headed toward fruitarianism--suddenly abandoned his quest. "A revelation came to me last night in a dream," he said. "Rather than eat my sprouts alone, it would be better for me to share a pizza with some friends."

 
And, that really hit me.  Because our mental and emotional health is just as important as our physical health.  So, if healthy eating causes too much stress and worry and anxiety..or is isolating..then maybe it's not so healthy after all?  And, I was constantly stressed and worried and anxious over our non-organic food.

So, we will still eat healthy.  We will still avoid chemicals and junk and processed stuff.   We still eats tons of vegetables and fruits and only real food. But I'm giving myself permission to not feel guilty over the non-organic lettuce and regular milk.
  And, we're still basically gluten-free...but I've been testing the girls to see how they react to occasional gluten.  The jury is still out on Heidi (headaches and stomachaches we're trying to pin down)...but Greta seems to do just fine with occasional gluten. And, I'm going to be carefully testing myself.   Because, I want us to share pizza with friends..it's better than eating sprouts alone.
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What I Wore Sunday...finally some bling




For some reason, these WIWS posts are my most popular posts each week.  Not sure why...as I don't usually wear anything all that special, but whatever.  I suppose I should give my readers what they want....all 5 of them that is....and that includes my mom and my husband...(not that my husband needs this blog post or anything, seeing as he was sitting next to me at Mass and all). 

Anyway


The leaves over your face look...all the rage in photography these days.

But, in case you aren't into faceless pictures...here's another one.

 One thing I'm learning from these posts...how to stand in the most slimming stance possible.  Yes..I'm vain.

So...here's the stats:

Shirt: thrifted
Polka Dot Tank: Old Navy
Skirt: Shade (yes..I wore this last week)
Shoes: given to me
Glasses: zenni optical

And, now for the bling.  I had to look that word up BTW...I'm so not up on my hip-hop language.  I've seen other bloggers use it, so I was able to deduce that it means shiny jewelery...but I still had to look it up...so now I can feel all cool using it and stuff.



I don't usually wear bling (or jewelery for you less-cool people), but Heidi bought this matching necklace and earring set for me with her own money at our homeschool's used curriculum sale (which was sorta like a yard sale)I wore it today, so I could show it off to all 5 of my readers out there in bloggy-land.

Now, go see those fine ladies at FLAP.


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Friday, April 19, 2013

7QTF...The times...they are a-changin'



1.

So, Ben sent off his bar application to the fine state of Virginia today.  Whew!  It was like an entire book of his entire adult life.  And, there is the still the bar exam to get through at the end of July and jobs to find.  
Deep breath, deep breath, deep breath. 

2.

We moving in only 38 days...but who's counting?
more..deep breath, deep breath, deep breath

3.

BOSTON!   Check out these really weird photos of Boston being in lockdown.  Scary!  I mean, it's not even that deserted during a snowstorm.  And, it's not like people had warning and could run out and get their bread and milk first either.   Prayers for all my Bostonian friends...stay safe.   

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/19/boston-deserted-_n_3117740.html#slide=2358629
http://i.huffpost.com/gadgets/slideshows/292980/slide_292980_2358515_free.jpg?1366391667321

4.

So, I'm sure you've probably all heard about this already, but Eden Foods filed a lawsuit against the HHS Mandate.
    Yay for Eden foods!!!  So glad to see a non-religious organization recognizing the affront to religious freedom that the HHS Mandate is.   And, seeing as how Eden Foods is an organic food company and "green", it's refreshing how consistent they are in recognizing the polluting effects of estrogen in the carcinogenic birth control pill that wind up in the water and are doing weird things to all the fishies.  If you're gonna go green...so green all the way.

5.
And, if you're looking for a worthy cause to donate to...consider the Grace Center Foundation.   It's run by a friend of mine down here in Naples..who moved down to Ethiopia as a teen, adopted three children at the age or 25 and now at age 32, has done a world of good for children and mothers in Ethiopia.  Some of the stories I've heard of life down there make my toes curl (think large rats and bugs running around people's homes).

6.

Homeschooling at its best...Greta is dissecting owl pellets at homeschool coop.  I wonder what delightful thing she found?



7.
It has officially reached too hot status down here in Fl.   I hate sweating.  Whine, whine, whine.

Now, go visit Grace, who is hosting for Jen and see some more quickies.  








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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Theme Thursday: Boy and Man


Most of these pictures will have to be of a singular boy..as we only have one in this household (so far), but when people look at our family and say such nice things like, Poor John, all alone with all those sisters  he's quick to point out that Daddy is a boy too. 

So..


This pictures is about 3 years old.  They are wearing matching Big Guy/ Little Guy sweatshirts..but the Little Guy does NOT enjoy posing.


Is there anything cuter than a little boy babe in a baseball hat?



John's full name is John de la Croix Bentrup....so we have all these pictures of him as a baby, posing with a cross.  That's got to like guarantee that he becomes a priest..right?



And, I'm including this photo so I can pretend I'm all artsy and took advantage of the light and the shadows and used a different perspective and all that all that.




If he's not a priest, he'll be an architect.


And lastly, boy meet dirt.  Boy happy in dirt.




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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A few of my favorite things


Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.  
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up in strings
These are a few of my favorite things.

  Does everyone else start singing that song in their head every time they go to write a Five Favorites post?  
No?  It's probably just me. 
Anyway, here are a few of my favorite things.

1.

Warm snuggly babies that fall asleep nursing.   Everyone says you shouldn't let babies fall asleep nursing...but I just can't help myself.  They are so sweet, and warm and snuggly and it's just so nice to feel them go all limp and sleepy in my arms...with a tummy full of milk.  Plus, I never figured out how to do it any other way and I'm lazy so I tend to stick with the easiest route. 


2.

So, every since Ben got the kids an app on the Kindle Fire that reads the story Green Eggs and Ham, they have been obsessed with getting certain members of the family to try certain foods they hate.  Heidi and Greta gang up on John to get him to try milk (they both LOVE milk) and Heidi and John gang up on Greta to get her to try oatmeal.   It's absolutely hilarious how much time they spend trying to get John to try milk or Greta to try oatmeal. 

Today Greta made a deal with John, that if he tried 1 drop of milk, she would play two games with him.

I just have to ask why?  I do not know?

The good news is that my kids apparently are immune to peer pressure and no amount of cajoling, bribing or reasoning will get John to try milk or Greta to try oatmeal.  Hopefully, they still have the same resolve and stubborn streak when they go off to college. 

So, that wasn't really a thing...but whatever...I'm still counting it.

3. 

Brown paper packages taped up in tape. 


I love packages.  There is this old episode of the The Dick Van Dyke Show that Ben and I love called The Curious Thing about Women.   In the show, Laura opens up Rob's mail.  It's hilarious..and that is so me.  I love opening mail and packages and I have ZERO patience to wait for someone else to open it.  I have however, managed to curb my curiosity somewhat...and don't open other people's mail...most of the time. 

4.

Muffins.  I love muffins...all types of muffins.  And, they are so easy to make, and so quick to take places as snacks and you can make them super healthy or super junky  or dessert-like, and everyone in the house loves them and I can get  my kids to eat things they normally wouldn't eat...like zucchini or carrots or eggs and I can use up weird ingredients like carob chips..and everyone still loves them. 
Not my muffins...I got this off of morguefile


5.

My High Step...I use this daily for exercise.  It's so easy, doesn't take up much space and you can vary your work-out a lot.   It's so versatile.  Currently, I strap Elsa to my front, and step away while watching something on Netflix.  This is how she takes her morning nap every day.  I don't know what I would do without it. 



So, those are a few of my favorite things.  Go visit Hallie at Moxie Wife for more Five Favorites

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