Who We Are:

We are women, we are wives, we are mothers, and we are open to life. This is our way of standing by one another, learning from each other, and leaning on Christ our Savior.

Feb 25, 2010

Eat Well For Your Baby! - Luci Klare

I have started going to the Bradley Birth classes, which teaches mothers and fathers how to prepare their bodies for a natural drug-free way of having a baby. The benefits of this class is not only how to handle labor and delivery, but also how to prepare your body long before you get pregnant, during pregnancy and afterwards. The class focuses on helping pregnant couples obtain the birth experience they truly desire... AND gives great tips and lots of input on the benefits of breastfeeding.

The first class focused on the importance of nutrition - the foundation of a healthy pregnancy. AS MANY of you know, I was pregnant with twins last summer. I was so focused on my girls during the pregnancy, that I forgot to focus on myself - which also benefits the baby! I ended up going into labor at the hospital weighing in at a WOPPING 220 lbs... yep! I started my pregnancy at 145 lbs and ended at 220... you do the math. The comforting part was I was having twins. The uncomfortable part is I was suffering from the onset of toximia! A very dangerous and sometimes deadly condition for both mom and baby that I was unaware of.

So I would like to share with you what I have learned as far as taking care of your body. We can prevent so many health scares to mom and baby just by eating the right amounts of foods. Follow some of these simple rules before and definitely during and throughout your pregnancy and decrease the risk of gestational diabetes, toximia/preeclampsia, deformity etc...

Every day of the week you and your baby should have:

1. One quart (4 glasses) or more of milk. Any kind will do: whole milk, low fat, skim, buttermilk, or cheese, yogurt, ice cream (yummy) etc....

2. Two eggs, (hard boiled, in french toast, or added to other foods).

3. Two servings of fish or seafood, liver chicken, lean beef, lamb or pork, beans or anyy kind of cheese.

4. Two good servings of fresh green leafy vegetables: mustard, collard turnip greens, SPINACH, lettuce, or cabbage.

5. Four slices of whole wheat bread, cornmeal, cornbread, or tortillas.

6. A piece of citrus fruit or glass of juice of lemon, lime, orange tomato, or grapefruit.

7. Three pats of butter

8. Other fruits and vegetables

Also include in your diet:

1. A serving of whole grain cereal such as oatmeal or granola.

2. A yellow or orange-colored fruit or vegetabble five times a week.

3. Liver once a week. (if you like it)

4. Whole baked potato three times a week.

5. Plenty of fluids, water, juice etc.

6. Slat food to taste for a safe increase in blood volume.

You may substitute proteins if you wish, being sure your proteins are complete, and that you get approximately 100 grams per day, If you substitute, also be sure all the elements necessary for a well balanced diet are available every day.

And just to keep you motivated of what NOT TO GET TOO!!! LOL... Here is a picture that one of my best friends Melanie Pace took. She and her husband shot our wedding, this lovely picture and as well as the precious moments when our daughters were born. You can find that story on http://www.loft3pd.com/.

~ love you and praying for the best for all moms... LUCI

Feb 24, 2010

Remember that you are from ashes and to ashes you will return.

I have entered into my second trimester of the pregnancy. I am 15 weeks today. It is amazing how quickly time is flying by. I find myself doing daily comparisons of this pregnancy compared to being pregnant with little Hopie and Gracie. For all the obvious reasons... Last year at this exact same time, Chris and I found out we were having conjoined twins. That was a pain like no other. And this pregnancy I am waiting, waiting, waiting to find out if this child is healthy and what the sex is. Everything about this pregnancy is going along as wished for. When I was pregnant with Hope and Grace I was tired and sick all the time. I hibernated for four and half months. I grieved and sobbed almost on a daily bases because I didn't know what to expect from day to day. This pregnancy feels too easy. I feel guilty for that. I have more energy, I am rarely ever sick, and when someone asks me how everything is going, I say, "Great"! But really in my heart I miss Hope and Grace and wish I had them crawling all around me and getting them excited for their new baby sister / brother.
It is a daily struggle to stay positive. But I am. I know my daughters miss me as much as I miss them. I know that they are just as elated as this new baby grows daily inside of me. I stay positive about having a healthy baby - as odd as this may seem. A part of me continuously prepares myself for another devastating loss. But I try to keep reminding myself that it is not the amount of breathes we take that count, but the moments that take our breath away!
****Ash Wednesday mass was such a good reminder to me of that saying. As I feel this looming loneliness for my daughters and for this new baby, I am reminded that it is a great preparation of my soul. God is preparing my soul - hopefully for heaven! As the priest marked my forehead with a black cross made of ashes and said the words, "Remember that you are from ashes and to ashes you will return." My heart filled with emotion as I could understand more profoundly this gift of life versus eternal life.
I walk this world alone. No one can walk it for me. I feel this pain for having given birth to my daughters and having to let them go, that no one else will ever know. I will walk alone as I carry each child and develop a love that will be different for each one - but none more than the other. I will be the only one to love my husband, the way I do. No one will ever know how much I long to hold his hand or what it means to me to share a kiss that only we can share. And no one will be able to walk my path to heaven. Each path is different and you must walk it alone, as Jesus did. I must say, that I desire heaven more than I ever have. My girls are there.
I thank the Lord for giving me my carrot to chase to that I may always be reminded of what is waiting for me there. However, before my journey is complete here I have to continue my path in this world to get to heaven.
Thank you Lord for these joys of life. Thank you for my faithful and loving husband. Thank you for allowing me this humbling gift of being able to carry a child in my womb and give birth. Thank you for my family and friends who give me such wonderful examples of how to chose to walk the path which leads me to you. Thank you for everyday in which I can learn what makes you happy and brings you joy, so that when I get to heaven I can present them to you.

Feb 19, 2010

Why Most Families Have 2 Children - by Lindsey

I read this and couldn't help but to share her thoughts and to summarize:

"I write to encurage young and older mothers to keep going. One more life. One more soul. A whole new person. The possibilities in one person are breathtaking. I meet so many women who wished they would have had more children, but I've never met a woman who wished they didn't have so many. God gave women the gift of fertility really for a few short years in the perspective of a lifetime. I pray that I reasure this gift and use it wisely."

Check out her blog http://www.mychildiloveyou.blogspot.com/ Or read her post below:

This could end up being a controversial post, but not intended to be. The average American household size is 2.5 persons with the average household having .90 children. Wow! When I looked up this statistic tonight, I was shocked by the number. The number of children per household has drastically fallen since I last checked about 10 years ago.

Not until I had children did I ever understand why people only had two children. In my dreamy world, I grew up wanting hundreds of children. Truly. I dreamed of a home full of children and babies. I didn't understand the realities of motherhood at all. I didn't know what it felt like to have morning sickness. I didn't understand how pregnancy is hard for most people and very scary at times. I didn't know what it felt like to be up all night for several weeks at a time with a new baby only to be woken in the morning by a very rested 2 and 3-year old. I never thought about those things. I didn't know what the pain felt like to hover over a sick child worried to death. I didn't know what it felt like to continually ponder a child's future and formation. You see, I was confident and ignorant. Then, I had children.

I had my first child and fell desperately in love. Like most mothers with their first, I was meticulous about everything. I made sure I read to him 40 hours a day, taught him baby sign language, made all his baby food, took him outside everyday, and read every parenting book to make sure that I wasn't messing him up for life. Looking back though, I was very overwhelmed. You see, when a woman gets married and has children, the life you once knew has now completely changed. Your life is not your own anymore...forever. You are now responsible for entire human being. I remember thinking when he was sick for the first time, "If I don't take him to the doctor, nobody will." You have to make serious decisions about things like vaccinations, schooling options, medicated or unmedicated birth, allergies, parenting techniques (i.e. to spank or not to spank), sleeping troubles, temper tantrums, eating issues, etc., etc. There is no barometer in motherhood. You do not get a medal at the end of the day that says, "Well done, you handled that fit well" or "Well done, you chose wisely on the vaccination decision" or "Great diaper change!" So, for the first time in lives of most women you are faced with a scenario that makes most feel like they started preschool again only this time the textbooks are on the level of your post-doctorate.

It seems around the 2-year mark, most people venture out and have another child. BAM! ENTER... why most people never go beyond this point of having more than two children. Yes, I know, some say it is for other reasons i.e. financial, challenging pregnancies and even scary pregnancies. Although, when you get into deep conversation with a woman, you see the longing and the loneliness on her heart for more children. She may not even know it. For me, I had my first child whom I gave ALL MY ATTENTION. I then had another child WHOM I FELT AS THOUGH I HAD TO GIVE ALL MY ATTENTION. This truly was an impossible task. Who can do that? I remember when I would go anywhere I would make sure I had army of people to help. Truly. I admired mothers of large families and felt so inadequate next to them. I would be at the zoo with my two children and six of my sisters to hold each of their arms and legs and possibly breathe for them...if they needed that. Then, I would see mothers of ten children...GET THIS...BY THEMSELF AT THE ZOO...and actually smiling. When we lived in Oklahoma, I would pack enough toys for the eight hour drive so that they would have something new to look at every 2.3 minutes. It was ridiculous. At mass, we would bring a buffet so that not a moment would go by that HOUR that he wasn't eating or looking at something. I would NEVER drive anywhere more than an hour by myself because HE MIGHT CRY OR SOMETHING and that just isn't right.

It is the first time in motherhood you are experiencing a toddler and then also having a new baby. My mom always says that most babies become normal at their one year birthday. Meaning, I have seen it time and time again. You have this sweet, beautiful, innocent baby who does everything he is supposed to for his first year of life and then...something happens. They start developing opinions. How dare they start thinking for themselves? Suddenly, they throw fits in public, arch their back, lay on the floor, climb on everything, go fishing in the toilet, become a picky eater. They are a mess and you are mess. I remember one of my dear friends crying at her sons baby pictures because he had morphed into some sort of something his second year of life. Never before are you faced with constant decisions on how to handle the octopus that now lives in your home. On top of that, you have a new baby who decides that the middle of the night is his favorite hot spot. Side note, the toddler whom has been sleeping in the other room for 13 hours didn't get the memo and still wakes up for party time at 6:00 AM. How come he didn't know that you just fell asleep around 5:30 AM?

Really, who would do this again and again? You are so tired and overwhelmed that you know that God doesn't want someone to exist in such a way. You will say, "I'm not being a good mom to the two I have, why would I have more?" "I can't imagine feeling this way the rest of my life." "I can use my talents in much more productive ways besides having more children." "I was much more patient before I had children." "I am of no use to anyone in such a state." This little voice in your head is not from God. It is the devil trying to discourage you from THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK you will ever do.

You see, like every new job something begins to change after two children (some say three children, but most say two). You begin to settle into your new job. All your little fears and questions really aren't present anymore. You start seeing trends with your children and know that usually "this too shall pass." You begin to have a peaceful acceptance of your promotion and begin to look at it as such. How come I felt more overwhelmed with one than I do with six children? How come I wouldn't think much about driving 8 hours by myself with all of my children, but a few short years ago, I wouldn't have driven 30 minutes with one? How come I will drive to see my mom three hours away and each child will only bring one book to look at and be content the whole drive when in the past they had a toy for every 5 minutes and most trips were very hairy and stressful?

YOU BEGIN TO CHANGE. You begin to see each child very differently. You begin to look at your oldest as not being five-years-old, but as only having 13 years left at home and that takes on a whole new perspective. You start cherishing their baby hood and know that most things are phases. You start realizing how fast it really is going and you start to slow down. You know that they will eventually sleep and even if they don't, it suddenly and weirdly becomes "okay." Why does that happen? When I just had Dominic and was getting up with him in the middle of the night, I truly was the most tired person in America. Really. I would take two naps a day because I thought I was so tired. You adjust. I don't feel anymore tired now than I did with just one. You just keep going and God keeps you going. A very wise mother of nine told me, "The days are long and the years are short." I want to change it to "Some days are long, but to me the years are way too short." You begin to see things changing from one season to the next, and you start to change. You will say, "Just last summer, he loved to ride his bike outside, now he is more quiet and wants to stay inside while we go out."

You see, these are the lessons in the school of motherhood. With each new child, you are promoted. God chips away at us and refines us and makes us beautiful. Why are mothers of large families edifying? Why do we want to be near them? Do not misunderstand my words that mothers of two children have nothing to teach us. That is not what I am saying. What I am saying that with any job, usually the person whom has been there the longest and has the most experience is pretty wise.

There are those who want children and can't conceive. Are people not wise unless they have children and especially "lots" of them? No, not at all. Everybody has something to teach us. I am not here to pat myself on the back (I am still a work in much progress). I am here to encourage and simply say keep going. The world tells you to stop. My whole point is simply that if you are blessed with the gift of fertility, please let us see it as such. If for some reason, God decides not to give us anymore children, I pray that we use our lives to glorify Him in whatever avenue he chooses to take us down. I have many friends and family members whom have not been given children yet, but glorify God beautifully through their lives with their openness to adoption and other great works.

I write to encourage young and older mothers to keep going. One more life. One more soul. A whole new person. The possibilities in one person are breathtaking. I meet so many women who wished they would have had more children, but I've never met a woman who wished they didn't have so many. God gave women the gift of fertility really for a few short years in the perspective of a lifetime. I pray that I treasure this gift and use it wisely.

My brother Dominic was born seventh in our family. Little did my parents know that a few 18 years later, he would be caring for my father during his last days on this earth. The scenes I saw with Dominic and my dad still make me cry. To see a young, strapping 18-year-old lift his crippled father into his wheel chair all the while giving him such beautiful dignity. I would see Dominic turn and cry so often. It was so moving. What a gift and privilege Dominic had to take care of him. John's uncle Fran is the third youngest of twelve children. He is a physician and has spent many years doing mission work in Australia for the poorest of poor. He has repaired peoples lives with his gift of medicine. He has restored vision and hearing to hundreds. One life, his life, has changed many lives. I believe all work is important, but nothing is more important than bringing souls to this earth with the possibility of eternal existence with God forever.

I beg you to realize how privileged you are as a woman to even have children. Let us give God our whole beings without reserve and let Him write the story of our lives and the lives he chooses to bring. For some reason, God does not let us know the end of the story of our lives. So we must trust. As Mother Teresa said, "I want to be a pencil in his hand."

Feb 16, 2010

Feb 8, 2010

Understanding the Challenger - Planned Parenthood

I grew up around big families. Obviously Pro-life families. I never thought that having 10 brothers and sisters was a big deal....until the questions and comments started coming...
"Are you all from the same mother? Your parents have a handful! How do they feed you all? Are you being serious?! You mother must be a saint! etc. etc. etc."

I would continue to tell them that yes, we are all from the same mother and father, who are super cool, loves each and every one of us individually, and gave us the best gift ever-siblings!

My college friends were nothing short of amazed, and wanted to know more. I realized that they had been cheated in a way.... to believe there was only one way in life. Planning how many kids you have and not leaving room for accidents. ;) I realized that the majority of women are being told right and left of what is "normal" what will make you "happy." I realized that behind the media there is a big elephant in the room....AGENDA. I think in order to fully understand the fight for true femininity and womanhood, you have to understand the opponent.

Here is just one summary of Planned Parenthood's agenda, and what their leaders are saying. If we don't recognize their agenda, we can easily be effected by its sugar-coated lies. So if you can, do some research. You may be surprised what you find.

Do you have any other great resources links to share? Let us know!