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.

Sep 28, 2010

Wipe Anyone?

Ok, three years ago, if you were to ask me if I wanted to know how to make homemade wipes I would have given you a "yea right" look. Being a first time mom and feeling somewhat overwhelmed, I wanted everything INSTANT and EASY. I still do however...

Now, two little munchkins later and my brain back to slightly functioning mode, I realize that our bank account slowing drains each month buying diapers and wipes.

I did the math. If you buy an 8 pack of wipes verses a four pack of paper towels(which you need for these), you save $10! After a couple months that's a new pair of shoes ; ) or you could just put that money into savings.

So...this seemed easy and simple enough. Hope you enjoy!

I learned about these homemade wipes here on the Frugal Wife = Wealthy Life blog.

Buy a Rubbermaid, Servin' Saver, 6 cup container. I know you can find them in a 3 pack (with 1 bigger and 1 smaller) but I haven't had much luck finding them by themselves. They are pretty much exactly the shape of 1/2 a roll of paper towels, with a rounded-edge square lid.

The paper towels that fit perfectly (once cut in half with a sharp knife) in them are the regular Bounty ones (not jumbo roll, I buy the 8 pack, makes 16 batches of wipes). I use 1/2 a wipe at a time. Though we recently discovered that the bigger roll Bounty towels that are separated into 1/2 size paper towels work great too if you just tear off a few of the paper towels before you cut them. Then they are already 1/2 sized and you don't have to tear them. (This is my husband's preference). My aunts swear by homemade wipes, but they also say that Bounty is the only brand that really works, so I haven't experimented much there.

To make them: stuff 1/2 a roll of paper towels into your tub. In a bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups water + 1 heaping Tb baby soap (I use the Wal-Mart brand Johnson & Johnsons copy). Pour over the top of the wipes. They probably need an hour to soak all the way through and then you can just pull out the cardboard in the middle and you're good to go.

Sep 20, 2010

Womb Weflections

Did you know rechem is the Hebrew word for womb, stemming from the root word racham, which means mercy, compassion, and to cherish?

It's kind of a funny word, like you can't say your "r"s and are trying to say room.

Getting to the point....

A few weekends ago, a group of couples from our parish traveled to listen to Christopher West, a humorously intelligent speaker who gives talks on Theology of the Body. I laughed my pants off, as did my husband who probably did a little too much and too loudly for sitting in the second row, but oh well.

As the Theology of the Body hints, he spoke all about our sexuality as men and women, the marriage relationship, sex, and how and why it relates to our whole existence. It was brilliantly done.

But one of points stuck with me, more than the others. It was a minor reference on our bodies as women and our wombs. He said, "Women, I'm sorry that the world has degraded you, has lied to you, has told you that your bodies are ugly and your fertility a curse. Your womb is blessed and your bodies are beautiful."

My womb is blessed? Huh, I honestly never thought about it like that. I know the Virgin Mary's was because she carried our Lord. But mine? Mine? Yes, because God asked me to be a mother and created me with this most awe invoking ability to carry life inside me.

I grew up in a home with 11 kids, respected life, my body, and knew I was a child of God. I also sometimes watched Dawson's Creek and Sex in the City, listened to Mariah Carey and Dave Mathews , occasionally glanced at In Style and People magazine, saw movies like Clueless, Sixteen Candles, and Grease. 

The outcome?  Amidst the strong convictions to love my vocation and my body.....faint whispering thoughts to have a perfect body like Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Lopez or the carefree adventurous lifestyle of Carrie Bradshaw sometimes subtly make their appearances.

Somewhere in between knowing God created me and loving my vocation and then sometimes insecure and sometimes highly conscious and aware of the annoyance and pity that fertility and wombs seem to cause the world was my thinking.

What West and the Holy Spirit did for me:

Before TOB (Theology of the Body) Conference:
My body: My husband thinks my body is beautiful, however; I myself would like not to have chest that is as flat as a wheat field.
My fertility: It is a gift from God, but it sometimes makes me nervous.
My womb: After two children, it is fascinating that my stomach can expand three feet straight out and then shrink back into a smaller blubberish mass.

After TOB:

My body: Tears....I struggle to accept my body, but with it's "flaws" I AM beautiful because I am a woman and God made me beautiful.
My fertility: I'm so ashamed that I have not been more grateful for the gift of my fertility. I never want to take it for granted. Again, remind myself, to give it to God. It is not a curse or an embarrassment, it is and will always be a great blessing. My heart knows this.
My womb: For all its mystery and for all its matter, it is sacred.

But what for all of those women, some of them my friends, who were never even told otherwise? So many of us women are starving from a spiritual anorexia by not feeding our souls with the truth. Some have been lied to, or think happiness will come with total freedom and a perfect body. I hope TOB gets to more parishes and more people and help us understand on a whole new level the beautiful gift of our fertility and the freedom of holy marriage. How God depends on us to share the TRUTH, share our JOY, share our GRATITUDE about all aspects of what it means to be a woman and reclaim all its dignity and worth!

I heard Christopher West speak in college several years ago, I've listened to his, "Theology of the Body" on cds three times. It took me this fourth time to understand that even though I may not agree with the modern view to get rid of my fertility or think I need surgery for the perfect body, part of my thoughts still carried this worldly residue that was hindering my full acceptance and joy about them.

It must have been a grace from God, to receive a change of heart this time around. I encourage anyone who is even in remote driving distance to get to one of his talks with your husband. It's awesome for marriage!!

Three cheers to my womb ; )

Sep 9, 2010

Enemy Occupied Territory

It don't always want to post articles on all the doom and gloom, but at the same time, we can not be ignorant or grow cold to the horrors going on down the street.  I hope by sharing this, it can remind us to pray harder, sacrifice more, and live Mother Theresa's wisdom: "If you want to change the world, go home and love your families."

Make today beautiful for God!


Abortionists Kept Aborted Babies in Jars
- article by Matthew Archbold in National Catholic Register

Two abortionists in Maryland (Dr. Steven Brigham and Dr. Nicola Riley) were ordered to stop practicing abortions in Maryland after a woman was severely injured.

Subsequently, police raided the clinic searching for medical records and to their horror they discovered dozens of unborn babies stored in a freezer.

After being shocked and disgusted my mind raced back to an incident a few months ago.

This would be a strange and horrible story if it had never happened before but just a few months ago another abortionist, this one in Philadelphia, was discovered to be keeping aborted babies in jars.

The offices of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell were raided earlier this year after a woman was injured and they found the conditions of the clinic to be “deplorable and unsanitary.”

Authorities reported: “There was blood on the floor, and parts of aborted fetuses were displayed in jars.”

I used to think that the abortion industry were simply capitalists who allowed their greed to override their humanity. I used to think that maybe it was just feminism run amok and that cooler heads would eventually prevail. I used to think that pro-lifers were simply up against the extreme of secularized logic. Over the past few years though I’ve come to believe that it’s more than that. It’s worse than that. We’re immersed in a culture with a death fetish. Our fascination with death is boundless.

Our culture increasingly sees humanity as the problem. We elevate animals in order to grant them human rights and increasingly view humans as animals.

I have increasingly come to agree with C.S. Lewis who said we are in “enemy occupied territory.” Hate has become so commonplace that it has lost its power to surprise me. Kindness now moves me more than hate. I have come to see love as the exception; kindness as counter cultural. Maybe it was always this way and I am simply more aware of it now. But maybe on the other hand we’ve stepped off a cliff here. Maybe things actually are getting worse. Maybe all the standards and rules we as a society saw as bars of a cage were actually protecting us. From each other.

No matter what, I think it’s time love made a comeback.

Sep 1, 2010

Whole Family Fare's Green Smoothie

Whole Family Fare is a sweet blog. She shares fun deliously healthy recipes that are hits every time. View her blog here. This is her post about the Green Smoothie. Enjoy!

LucĂ­a's 8 week follow up with our midwives was this past Thursday, and I am happy to report that my little lady has gained five pounds and is doing beautifully. FIVE pounds. I walked out of their clinic positively beaming. Nothing makes this mama happier than seeing my babies become fat little piggies on nothing but my milk.

It casually came up in conversation that I've been eating two whole avocados per day, at which point the midwife stopped and said "Wait--No wonder she's gained five pounds!" It's true, mamas. Avocados make good milk and are among the breastfeeding super foods, in my opinion. Having good fat, like that from avocados, is crucial to producing quality, satisfying milk for your babes.

Aside from mashing them with a little garlic and lemon juice or eating them right out of the skin, I throw them in smoothies, where they impart the most incredible, creamy texture. Since my first avocado smoothie back in May, I've been unable to drink one without the other. I'm addicted. This recipe isn't very different from my first one, but I started throwing some spinach in for even more vibrant color and nutritional value. If you haven't already, definitely experiment with greens in smoothies. The sweetness of the fruit totally masks any possible bitter taste from the greens--the perfect way to quietly incorporate them into your little one's diet.

1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
1 ripe avocado
1 kiwi
1 cup spinach leaves, packed
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 cup filtered water

Place all the ingredients in a blender, blend and enjoy!

serves 2.

For babies 9 months and older : puree a little ripe avocado, kiwi, whole milk yogurt and serve.
12 months and older : serve as is.