Why I don’t post….

I turned this blog into something that wasn’t working for me. I thought of it as a way to blog about family life. I thought that I could have a cute family blog with pictures and updates and it would be a scrapbook of our lives. Even if it was only there so that my kids could follow it since I don’t actually make scrapbooks… That is fine. A blog for just those reasons is great but it just…was…not..working. I would keep putting of making updates because it was too difficult. I found it too time consuming to remember and post all the updates. It was too draining to come up with a way to keep it short but explanatory and somewhat interesting. I was not invested in it and that is very telling by my work but that is what I thought I had to do for a blog. Why?? Why did I make those rules??

Why can’t I just create a blog with just my thoughts?

Why can’t I have a blog that is almost like a journal?

Why do I try to force myself into a mold of something that I am not?

I am a complete mess. Actually I am forgetful, disorganized, cranky, impatient and tired. Oh so very, tired.

I decided today that I don’t care how the blog “looks” or how it “feels” or if it fits into a mold that I had envisioned. This blog is going to be whatever it is going to be.

If I want to update then I will. If I don’t, I won’t. I will probably share more of my chaotic thoughts that don’t make sense..and that is okay. This blog is for ME. Writing out my thoughts helps to clarify them. I hope you will stay and join me. I hope you will comment and tell me your thoughts. If you find this too boring, that’s fine too. There are MANY others that have perfected their blogs and are great. You have to find what works for you just as much as I have to do what works for me.

Carry on, courage! God is with us. St. John Bosco

What are YOUR thoughts today??

7 Ways I am Working on MY Mental Health in SQT

In Seven Quick Takes I am going to list 7 ways that I am working on my mental health. We probably all need some mental health care right now. These times are unprecedented and can be tough!! Also, I am two months post partum and dealing with lack of sleep, extra weight and adjusting to another precious baby!

1. FOOD.   I am making myself eat.  I am nursing and that makes me starving ALL THE TIME. I am trying to lose some weight from the pregnancy and because of that…. I wouldn’t make full meals. That does not help me at all.  I would either be grouchy because I didn’t eat enough or grouchy because I ate something unhealthy and so it wasn’t working. Now, I take the time to make myself a full breakfast and lunch and healthier snacks. 

2. WATER.  I am drinking more water.  Again, it was difficult to keep drinking because it takes time to get a glass to fill up.  I make the time. It’s better for nursing too.

3.  DISCIPLINE. I am disciplining the younger kids more.  No, you may not have your third snack. Or.  I need to eat like you do so you need to wait till I am done. You must be quiet when I am on the phone or you will get time out. I am finding that if I take the time to discipline, then things will go smoother.

4.  PRAYING IN THE MOMENT. This is easy to do but I don’t always do it.  Come Holy Spirit. Lord, I am really angry right now so PLEASE come and take my anger away. Lord, I am tired. Please. Give me strength. I also committed to praying a Latin rosary (with a youtube video and subtitles) anytime that I really lose my cool.

5.  NAPS. I am feeling more tired than ever.  I am up several times with the baby and I think dealing with a lot of stress contributes to it. My body needs REST. If I can get my toddler and the baby to nap, then I will try to catch 20 to 30 mins.

6. EXERCISE!! This is the hardest to fit in.  If my husband gets home early enough than I will do 30 to 40 minutes 2-4 days a week. This probably helps me the most but it is not always easy to do especially if I’m exhausted by the time he gets home or if the baby is fussy in the evening.

7. GRACE. Giving myself grace!  I am not going to get everything done. I am going to fall..over and over again. But I can get back up. I can ask for help from Jesus. Jesus, please help me do x,y and z. I can forgive myself for yelling AGAIN or snapping at my husband and ask for forgiveness from my family. Also by, realizing, these moments are hard but it will get better.

How do YOU work on your mental health?? I would love to hear your ideas or tips?? Please, check out Kellys blog and other SQT!

Another habit I am working on is limiting social media and news media. We are being inundated with information everywhere. We can choose what to focus our energy on and that will impact our mood and stress level. If I am focusing on current events more than our Lord than I am breaking the first commandment.

St. Dymphna is the patron saint of anxiety, mental illness, and family happiness. A perfect saint to call on to pray for us during this time!

β€œJesus does not demand great actions from us, but simply surrender and gratitude.” -St Terese of Lisieux 

Holy Crap! So MUCH happened!

I took a blog hiatus because ya’ll!! It was just TOO much. I was/is/am so overwhelmed. I froze. I just could not find the time, strength, energy, juices to write anything even though I really wanted to keep it going!! I figured I would take a short break till the baby was born but then COVID! Covid threw our lives upside down…and if that wasn’t all…

I, of course, was due to deliver my NINTH baby in the middle of a GLOBAL PANDEMIC!! Apparently, my previous birth wasn’t crazy enough and God felt it was fine to make it even CRAZIER! I will delve deeper into her birth story in another post but we did it!! We survived and all is well.

What else happened?? Well, ya know. We got thrown back into homeschooling like a week or so before the baby came! That was just FANTASTIC! 😳

And…

My kids continued on their trend of viral illnesses since we moved to PA back in October. So every cough, sneeze, and ache or pain became a daily question of “Is it covid?” To “It’s covid!”

And…

Maddie’s 12th Birthday! Luckily, it was before the covid issue. We had a small family party. Breakfast in bed, family party and she got her ears pierced with a second piercing.

Marygrace’s 5th birthday! Ya’ll…this was a hard one to decide WHAT to do. We finally were close enough for our kids to have birthdays WITH family but the virus was still a big deal!! I struggled with having family or not to have family and prayed over it. We wanted to keep ourselves safe and our families safe. In the end, we decided to “Let go and Let God.” The mix up in the numbers over and over again caused me to take a step back and focus on God. We made the right choice. Everyone stayed safe and we tried keeping everyone safe by having an outdoor party. Happy 5th birthday Marygrace!

Also…EASTER!!! We celebrated Mass thru Youtube due to the quarantine. I never thought I would say we would attend Mass by watching t.v., yet, here we are. We opened baskets from the Easter Bunny, had our own family dinner and an Easter egg hunt in our yard for the kids.

And….

I also, had my 38th birthday. My daughter made me breakfast in bed! I got to sleep a little longer…not really because of a newborn but I didn’t have to leave the bed..and it was a quiet day at home.

And….

Mother’s Day 2020. My husband made me breakfast in bed this time. I got to stay in bed a little longer again and we had a great day going for a hike at Rickett’s Glen State Park. Everyone had the same idea because it was crowded. I had forgotten how steep the trails are but we were able to do one of the shorter trails to see a wonderful waterfall and we checked out the sandy beach area.

That’s all for the major events..I think?? Stay tuned for baby birth blog, how we are handling quarantine and more medical and life updates.

“Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love.”
–Saint Francis of Assisi

SQTs on Mostly Medical Updates….

1. We are still awaiting another round on genetic testing for my 4 year old (Marygrace). The first round didn’t show anything and this round should be more thorough. Even with the medicine, she still complains of pain frequently. Today, her arms and shoulders are hurting. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

2. Abbymarie is being treated for pinworms and so therefore, the whole family is. So yah, imagine how much fun that is. She puts literally everything in her mouth so I’m not surprised but the treatment seems to be making a difference already. Cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning! Our washer and dryer are on overload right now.

3. My son has been having intermittent high blood pressure and had seen a kidney and cardiac specialist to rule out anything. Luckily, it came out good and we are just waiting on more blood work. We are not sure what is causing it right now but luckily, he is fit and active. He has been steadily working on his diet more and more but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. High blood pressure does run in the family.

4. Baby update! We went to maternal fetal medicine for another scan at 36 weeks. Her arrythmia is a little bit better this go around. Praise God! They were able to get all the views that they could not get last time in which everything looked good except for her stomache measuring slightly bigger than normal. They do not seem concerned with it. However they did see that one of her kidneys is underdeveloped. It’s in the 5% range and average is about 50%. She could live life with no effects from it but time will tell on that. She is also frank breech. So, I’m praying that she will turn head down so that I can avoid a c-section. πŸ™ she is measuring 7.5 lbs so she is growing wonderfully!

She is fearfully and wonderfully made! God’s plan!

5. We upgraded to the 12 passenger transit! I guess this officially makes us the nerdy large family now.

Meet Frank the Tank!

6. We celebrated Ash Wednesday by attending mass. I sort of love this day and the reminder of how we all are only here temporary and the sacrifices Jesus has made for us. My 2 year old wiped off her ashes off before we even got to our seats. πŸ˜‚ I wasn’t able to grab a picture because it was already dark out and my phone camera is not that great.

7. I do not have any “Lenten” activities planned this year. I just feel like life is our lent this year. We have a lot going on this year. We have had multiple viral bugs hit our family as well since we moved to Pa in September. We also had numerous doctor appointments since changing doctors and establishing care here with multiple specialists. My main goal is having a healthy baby and delivery. We are making our usual lenten sacrifices of giving up something for 40 days, fasting on Ash Wednesday and good Friday, and abstaining from meat on Fridays.

That’s it for the updates! How is your lent going??? What practices have you implemented? Please comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Also, please check out Kelly’s and all the other SQT this friday!

Continue reading SQTs on Mostly Medical Updates….

Pregnancy Update with Unexpected News in SQT

I don’t think I have even done any pregnancy updates yet for this baby so I will do it in SQT!

1. I am 32 weeks. I actually feel better than I felt in the first and second trimester.Β  The first trimester, I had horrible morning sickness and coild not move off the couch.Β  The second trimester, I was mostly exhausted and felt soooooo uncomfortable all the time probably because buof the babys’ positioning.Β  We also had so much going on so I was under a lot of stress which I believe affected me a lot.Β  I think the baby has since dropped and I am so much more comfortable now.

2. I am having a girl. Our kids ages and ranges go G 18, B 15, G 12 (next week), B 8, First loss G, Second loss B, G 4, G 2, and now another girl!!  That makes her the 5th hopefully living girl and 2 boys. 

3. I had my 20 week scan at 25 weeks because I had difficulty finding a doctor since we moved to Pennsylvania. Let me just say that because the baby was bigger, we had much great images and she’s already got hair and cute little cheeks and LONG legs. They did find out that I had a low lying placenta, an anterior placenta, and a single umbilical artery.  The anterior placenta makes it very difficult to feel her move.  They were not concerned with the single umbilical artery since her growth is doing well. She’s measuring almost 2 weeks ahead.

4.  I failed my 1 hour glucose test. I didn’t just fail it, I bombed it by 40 points. 😬 if you are not sure, it’s a blood draw test they recommended around the 24 week mark to check your blood glucose levels. I started checking my glucose at home and it was always low but I did cut out sugar completely anyway and I increased my carb intake since I normally eat low carb.  I ended up passing the 3 hour test. They check your glucose 3x and even though I failed the 1st one, I passed the other two which is what was needed.  Yay!

6. At my last appointment, the midwife detected an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia.)  I was sent to Maternal Fetal Medicine for a Level 2 ultrasound.  They did see the arrhythmia and said that she is having PACs (premature atrial contractions.)  Normally, this is mostly a benign condition that resolves itself before or shortly after birth.  We have to monitor her a little more closely and make sure she doesn’t develop tachycardia (extremely fast heartbeat).  I was then recommended to speak with a genetecist due to my medical history and learned that it could be more involved so we are going to do some genetic testing just in case.

7. I am pretty unprepared for the baby since we gave away most baby items. (Stupid) I’m not worried. We will figure it out and pick up stuff as we need. I’m thinking maybe a car seat would be a good idea tho since they won’t discharge me without one. I have barely any swelling, my BP is good and my back pain is a lot better since she dropped. I do get some weird random right rib pain at night but it’s not severe. I try to stretch every day or every other day because it helps so much with the aches. I also was working out several times a week but I’m a little concerned of her heart so at this point so I’m going to lay off for now.

I am eager to connect with YOU! Anyone have experience with a fetal arrhythmia? I know that she is in God’s hands and he will take care of her.

Wanna check out some other bloggers linking up??  Kelly has released a workbook for special needs moms and I may need to check it out myself!  You can see her post and other blogger lineups HERE!

MFL, Doctor’s again and a New Symptom.

1. My son got a Leadership award from his principal! I’m really proud of him because he transferred from homeschooling to public school in the middle of a semester and has been thriving!

2. My daughter attended the March for Life in DC! My sister took her on the train and they spent Friday at the March and rally and Saturday at museums. I’m extremely proud of her for standing up for the unborn!! I hope to be able to attend next year.

3. Mary and Abby went to see a NEW rheumatologist. This is my 4 year old’s 3rd rheumatologist. She basically stated that yes, they have symptoms of hypermobility and undiagnosed connective tissue disease. She does not see signs of autoimmune disease which is GOOD news but she will keep following them to make sure it gets ruled out completely. She also requested all records from Texas Childrens so that she can review them before next visit and ordered more lab work for Marygrace….poor kiddo.

4. Abby started back on reflux medication as well. I tried avoiding it but it is what it is. She has been waking up nightly from the reflux and having a lot of symptoms throughout the day. Heres to hoping she sleeps better πŸ™. I also, ordered another weighted blanket which is bigger so Marygrace can have that one and Abby will take the smaller one. Yes, I am desperate.

5. The stomach bug hit our house. Ben got it pretty severe AT school which is never fun. This morning my 2 year old got it but she seems to be recovering pretty quickly from it.

6. I am 31 weeks pregnant and feel like I have been pregnant FOREVER. I keep promising a pregnancy update but hey, maybe next week??

7. Abby came up with some new rashes on the inside of her elbows. The rheumatologist said that it looked like eczema. This poor girl keeps adding things one recently. She has joint pain, swelling, difficulty sleeping, reflux and now eczema.

How have you survived January?? I’m getting antsy for spring. I do not like cold and dreary weather and I already have the itch to move south. We JUST moved here. I am linking up again this week so check out other awesome bloggers….https://thisaintthelyceum.org/sqt-nyc-takes/


Love God above all things.

– Saint Rita of Cascia

SQT! Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry!

1. This post is hard to write and I am struggling over it. I also know that we hit the lucky “rare” scenario so it’s important to share in case others are looking for answers.

2. Brief history. My 4 year old was diagnosed with hypermobility syndrome but more than likely has a connective tissue disorder that is undiagnosed currently. This can cause symptoms throughout her whole body and does not mean she is “just bendy.” Her main symptoms are severe chronic joint pain and swelling, and stomachaches, headaches, probably a little bit of anxiety. You can check out one my previous posts Here regarding this.

3. My two year old is now being treated for the same thing. I didn’t want to admit it. I “tried” to downplay it. (Horrible..I know.) Unfortunately, it looks like she was dealt the same cards in life. It needs to be accepted and I needed to surrender to God’s plan. So, here we are…. Her major symptoms are acid reflux, joint pain, difficulty sleeping, and joint swelling. She has started Celebrex like her sister and we are hopeful it will help her just as much.

4. It is not typical to diagnose children this young with connective tissue disease so it’s mostly a waiting game until they are “old enough.” It is also not typical for either of them to have the severe and chronic pain that they have this young.

5. It is even more difficult to find a doctor that specializes in this disease.

6. There is no cure and only the symptoms can be treated to a certain extent. Their future is really unknown at this point for 2 reasons:

A. We have not found a doctor that specializes in it nor do we have a definite diagnosis.

B. Again, symptoms usually do not occur this young so I’m not sure what that means…

6. This is not a pity post. I have complete faith in God that he has a plan and something will work out. In the meantime, I am grateful for a medication that manages their pain well. ( This coming from someone that hates pharmaceuticals meds ) We already exhausted other options. We also have had pretty good and cooperative doctors that are understanding of their needs.

7. I am glad to have our faith to rely on. There is ALWAYS hope.

Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.

Padre Pio

Go check out more SQT over at Kelly’s Blog!

Christmas/New Years SQT 2019/20

Merry Christmas!! How was your Christmas and New Years?? I hope it was full of joyful moments and some peace.

In SQT I will sum up our holidays.

1. Christmas was a blur. We went to mass Christmas Eve and PREPARED for Christmas by cooking, cleaning, wrapping, and putting things together. On Christmas, we opened gifts in the morning and had a big dinner for family. Most ppl brought a dish but it was still a TON of work and way too stressful. So next year, I’m planning on just a quiet Christmas ourselves and we can visit others another day. I was so exhausted and worn out and didn’t feel peaceful at all but the kids had a good time.

2. We finally got my grandmother’s nativity set lit on Christmas Day and then something shorted out so now we need an electrician! However, they are still up and outside without being lit. Lol.

3. New Years Eve was celebrated by having some friends over and random neighborhood kids popping in?? We put an old NYC balloon drop on TV at about 10pm and made a ton of noise and then I put the little ones to bed. I dont really know what the other kids did after that….nor did I care. Lol. I don’t think I have any pics from New Years. We went to mass on New Years Day.

4. We never finished the book of Luke and I don’t plan on it either. It’s very difficult to get thru any chapters with the little ones so we just went back to our regular nightly prayer time.

5. I didn’t make a New Years Resolution. I didn’t pick a word of the year or a prayer or verse. I didn’t pick a family Saint of the year. I don’t do any of that. I take every day as it comes and try to do my best that day. Most of the times I fail but eh, just get back up again.

6. We are continuing our Christmas till the Epiphany. Well, I mean that we are trying. Our decorations are still up. This is huge for me because I used to take EVERYTHING down the day after Christmas. Our tree is up, our unlit outside lights are up, and our inside decorations are still up! Unfortunately, they are looking more in shambles each day. I found gingerbread houses on sale for less than $2 so we attempted those. They failed again but whatever, the kids had fun. We have continued playing Christmas Carols….thanks Alexa.

7. We have been very blessed/lucky lately?? I Just want to use this “take” to say how grateful I am. God has been good to us in MANY unexpected ways and we don’t deserve it. I do hope we can glorify him all the more this year. I hope we can be an example of Jesus in numerous ways this year as a light to others as well. I think Pope Benedict XVI sums it up better.

Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly [on the night of Christmas] entered into our night.

We are ALL called to be that light to others. I pray for God to remove my grumpy and poor attitude and replace it with his holy light.

Merry Christmas ya filthy animals

And a Happy New Year Too!

Check out the other SQT lineups HERE!!

Super Easy Advent ideas! SQT

What is everyone doing for advent this year?? In the past, we have done several different things. This year, has been very hectic with the recent moving so we dumbed it down to quick, easy and simple.

1. We set up an advent wreath. We light the candles 1x a week for a few minutes. I just can not deal with the kids attacking the flames or fighting over who gets to blow them out. We try to light the candles on Sunday nights but that usually turns into Monday nights. The candles from last year were surprisingly NOT broken! Although they are pathetic and not instagram worthy, they are intact and getting the job done.

2. We are reading from the Gospel of Luke one chapter a day. Okay, ya right. We “try” to read one chapter a day. We are about 10 days behind. We will just continue thru the 12 days of Christmas.

3. And that’s it!! Ha!! You want the easy way out?? This is it!! We are still unpacking and trying to get settled. We just got our garbage set up to be taken, I still need a new driver’s license. We finally got the car insurance switched, cable and internet, electric etc etc. Not to mention normal LIFE! We got school, homework, homeschooling, practices, games, medical appointments, car problems, etc. Who’s got time for anything else??

4. We did set up and decorate our Christmas tree. We have some of our outdoor lights up but we haven’t set up the nativity scene that I received from my grandmother. However, Jesus is not here yet anyway…

5. I did get our Christmas cards sent out. We do our own pics at our home and I was able to get a decent pic on Thanksgiving day and upload them to a website and these are the ones that didn’t fail! If you recall last week, the other batch I made did not turn out so well.

6. Yesterday, my car battery died. Thank God that we were only 15 mins from my husband’s job. He left work and got jumper cables and got us jump started. God bless this man. He really never complains about this type of stuff that happens ALLLLLL the time!! Is it just us?? And Thank God that he could leave his job to do it and then go back. It was SO COLD too.

7. We decorated cookies at my in-laws. I was really surprised that we were able to make GF sugar cookies that didn’t crumble. My sil made them adorable aprons. They had fun and I was worn out.

So talk to me!! How is your Advent and Christmas going?? I feel like I’ve dropped the ball on Advent this year but it is what it is and we are doing our best…AND my 4 year old is now quoting Home Alone so that’s a major positive..lol!
β€œMay the joy of Christmas and the peace which the Birth of the Saviour brings into the world be in your hearts forever.” – Pope John Paul II

Merry Christmas everyone!! May God bless you and I hope your Christmas is filled with joy and peace and love!

Linking up again with Kelly!

SQT! Christmas Card Fail and More!

1. Benny turned 8! We had a family party and he chose a couple of friends to join us…

2. This little girl got a super high fever and stomache bug.

She also was showing symptoms similar to Mary. She was refusing to walk, knee was giving out, rubbing her fingers and feet. Thank God she’s doing better now.

3. My oldest boy had his first public school highschool basketball game. He did great.

He is playing jv and varsity this year.

4. Benny had his first school concert. Unfortunately, my pics are really blurry so we shall skip that one. They sang several Christmas songs and it was short and sweet.

5. I got some Christmas cards sent out and then realized that I needed more. So, I tried to do a cheaper version and ended up with this #cardfail AFTER i paid for them.

CVS did take them back without an issue and I ordered a new set but this will always be funny. I cracked up in the car for about 10 minutes over it.

6. Miles Finch and Mrs. Finch came back again. I wasn’t sure if they would reappear this year but they did…. They dont move very often because someone is usually awake at night and they won’t move if someone is up. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ. In other words…I’ve been forgetting or just don’t care. I debated about instilling a new tradition instead of the elves but I didn’t want to start something new with everything going on this year so maybe next year. Also, it keeps the kids busy looking for them or cleaning up after them so that’s a huge positive for me. Here is their shenanigans from last night but mostly they just change spots.

7. My daughter did really well on her entrance exam for the local community college. I’m so proud of her because I know she struggled with her confidence in her schooling. I also know that she really is very smart and the staff were surprised as well with how high her scores were. Unfortunately, we thought we would be able to get the in state and in county pricing for classes but we can not until she has lived here for 12 months. 😫 So, we are trying to figure out what to do at this time about it…. I love our faith because there is a patron saint for pretty much everything. St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron Saint of education. Please pray for us! πŸ™

How is December going for everyone besides way too fast? SQT LinkUp!