Memoirs Of A Modern Housewife

My life is nothing like the Bravo Housewives!

Archive for the category “family”

Five Minute Friday- “Perspective”


Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday

On Fridays over here a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Click the logo and head back to Gypsy Mamma’s to read  the other girls 5 minute renditions on the same topic.  

Today’s 5 minutes is on Perspective.

i am awakened by big chunky baby thighs draped across me, my five-year old’s nose pressed squarely on mine. i am uncomfortable and want to stretch, yet I barely breathe in an effort not to stir them.

they roll around on the floor tangled in each other, laughs, hysterics, joyfullness, there is not a care in the world. i need to interrupt them because of a plan, but i give it a minute as to not stir them.

they are twisting in circles, arms stretched wide, often bumping into each other, giggles, squeals, i want to tell them to “be careful”, “don’t hurt yourselves” but i give it a minute…

big sister has captured the attention of the younger siblings. they snuggle in close as she reads the exciting part of their favorite story…they’ve heard it a dozen times. i want to give them a ten minute warning that it is bedtime but the looks on their faces, the warmness of them being together causes me not to stir them.

Sleep Issues And An Overlooked Cause – Post-Operation Update


Today is day five for Beaner’s recovery from his surgery. It has been a long week as you can imagine and I thought I would show in picture how the day went.

The night before his surgery he couldn’t eat after 10pm and couldn’t nurse after 3am. If you have been following this story you know that he was still waking up several times a night to nurse. Not being able to nurse him meant a long night for all of us. Beaner woke up at 3:30am as usual and became a little hysterical because he was exhausted (like he usually is) and didn’t understand why I wouldn’t nurse him. Mr. Incredible very patiently packed him up and drove him around town for about 45 minutes. Driving a kid around to get them to sleep was a first for us. Although he did not cry during the drive (Mr. Incredible could hear him babbling and talking in the back) it did take that long for him to fall asleep. When they returned home he woke up as soon as he was placed in the bed. This cycle went on for hours. So Mr. Incredible stayed up with him allowing me to catch some sleep before the big day.

Blood-shot eyed and exhausted we made the hour-long trip (because of traffic) to the Children’s Hospital. Beaner was in good spirits in spite of the lack of sleep and was very calm during all the pre-op procedures.

Beaner and Papa (and Clifford) reading before the surgery

Beaner not sure

Beaner getting Prepped for surgery

The surgery center had everything covered as far as trying to make us feel less anxious. We had the opportunity to speak with everyone who would be involved in the surgery. They were all very patient as I continued to ask the same questions in different ways (just looking for consistency ; ). The surgery center and staff were incredibly kid-friendly. There was a lady who came and tried to show Eli what would happen to help him sleep and then let him play with a mask, etc. There was also a sweet volunteer who brings her dog in for the kids daily. The little details really made a difference in our experience.

Who is controlling this thing?

Beaner trying to make a break for it

Beaner and Maggie the dog

Facebook Post:

“Our sweet little boy is in surgery now, thank you all for your prayers. We’ve had quite a little journey to here and believe that God has been leading and guiding us throughout.”

We waited in the family room as we tried to distract ourselves with nervous jokes and people watching. The surgeon came out, told us everything went fine, except that Beaner had some bronchial and vocal chord spasms. He didn’t go into detail about the spasms and we were just happy it was over and couldn’t wait to see our boy. He was still resting and a nurse would come to take one of us to see him.

An hour went by and just as we both noticed how long it’d been a nurse came out. She acknowledged that it was taking a little while for him to wake up (it usually averages around 30 minutes), but not to worry because his vitals were fine and that he was resting peacefully.

Another half an hour went by (making it 1.5 hrs post surgery) and just when I was about to go and find out what was going on another nurse came out and asked for “Beaner’s mother”. Before he finished that short statement I was practically on his back trying to get to the recovery room.

In the recovery room Beaner was still sleeping with a nurse at his bed-side observing his vitals. He was propped up to help him with his breathing but was looking great. She said she was having the hardest time waking him up and was hoping I could help. I began to stroke and kiss his cheeks in a way that he knows. No budge. I scratched his head and called his name a few times, still no movement. The nurse suggested wiping him with a cool cloth and grabbed one as I continued my efforts.

As I wiped his face and called his name he began to squirm and as soon as he locked eyes with me he almost jumped up (he didn’t know he had monitors hooked up to him). She asked if I wanted to nurse him and I said yes and got comfortable. She brought him to me, still hooked up and he nursed like usual. I am not sure he was aware of what had taken place but I know he found great comfort in having me there when he woke up. That was one of the things I kept asking about. “Could I be there before he wakes up.” The answer was always no, in case they had a hard time pulling him out of the anesthesia or in our case, the spasms.

I totally see God’s hand in that situation. It was something that was really on my heart to do, to be there when he woke up. Even though it was against protocol, the situation allowed for me to be there. I’d requested the same thing with Poots over a month ago when she had her surgery and wasn’t able to do so. Having to comfort and reassure her after the surgery took hours. She was distraut and heartbroken and I didn’t think I could handle that again.

Facebook Post:

“Surgery went well, he had some unexpected reactions to the anethesia, but they got it under control. Doctors said he had unusually large adenoids like Maya. Ear tubes were inserted, and not a moment too soon because he was on his sixth ear infection in six months. Lip tie was clipped also (the least invasive of them all). Overall, he’s doing well and snuggling with mama and daddy.”

Post-Op, beaner snuggling with mama

Beaner and I spent the night at the hospital because he was so young they wanted to monitor him for 24 hours. We snuggled a lot. By the evening his pain was being controlled well and he even ate a soft meal. By morning I think we both were going stir-crazy and couldn’t wait to get home.

Facebook Post:

“<—this lady is excited about the new possibility of sleeping more than 3-4 hours a night…(it’s been like this for about 15 months) – the thought of it makes me a little giddy ; )”

The next few weeks will let us know if the surgery was beneficial. It is still hard to tell now because he is still in a bit of pain that is waking him up at night and he may be teething on top of that. I am glad to have gone on this journey, to listen to my instincts and trust God to guide us. Deciding to have surgery on your kids is never easy, you’re always questioning if it’s the right thing to do. I do believe now it was.

Has any of your children had to have any major surgeries? What helped you before, during and after?

MOMH Update April 12-23, 2012


Seed, Time and Harvest

I have a desire to garden but I have been trying to deny the urge. I really enjoyed my square foot gardening a few years back, I called it “Garden Therapy”. It was a lot of work but I enjoyed the labor of getting on my knees, playing in the dirt, watering and even weeding. Every morning when the sun would rise I would jump out of bed (sometimes still in my pajamas) and look at what had grown. I was like a little kid checking on it every few hours. It helped me appreciate being outside no matter what the temperature or weather conditions were because I knew the sun, rain and even wind was purposeful.  Read more…

Sleep Issues And An Overlooked Cause – Post-Operation Update

Deciding to have surgery on your kids is never easy, you’re always questioning if it’s the right thing to do. Today is day five for Beaner’s recovery from his surgery. It has been a long week as you can imagine and I thought I would show in picture how the day went.

Read more…

(in)spired Review

I know from where I have come from. It is a place that is a thorn in my side keeping pride at bay. It is a past that is only seen on the likes of Lifetime Movie Network, a past that makes me cringe at the very thought of my children inquiring about, a past that can leave me awake at night, a past that threatens my future daily. But God…  Read more…

A Woman’s Design

If you are or have had a great experience with a local midwife (home and hospital), Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, Childbirth Educators, Lactation Specialists and other professionals that work directly with pregnant women, in the East-Central Metro area please send me a note at natalia@awomansdesign.com. Would love to connect with you (or them) in the next few weeks to have trusted resources for my clients.

Seed, Time and Harvest


I have a desire to garden but I have been trying to deny the urge. I really enjoyed my square foot gardening a few years back, I called it “Garden Therapy”. It was a lot of work but I enjoyed the labor of getting on my knees, playing in the dirt, watering and even weeding. Every morning when the sun would rise I would jump out of bed (sometimes still in my pajamas) and look at what had grown. I was like a little kid checking on it every few hours. It helped me appreciate being outside no matter what the temperature or weather conditions were because I knew the sun, rain and even wind was purposeful.

Square Foot Gardening 2

Garden Therapy

 

I also had containers everywhere with  every herb I could find and every time we opened the patio door you would get hit with a mint or basil smell. Because we have a limited outside space right now I think I may focus on doing some container gardening mainly.

Herb and Flower Mix

Melon

Herb Mixture

 

Another bonus was that my children grew to love it. In the beginning (the hard work phase) they helped because I asked but didn’t know what to expect. By the end of the summer they were running into the house to tell me what had grown overnight, would take turns watering the plants, didn’t mind weeding and even oversaw newborn bunnies that were born in my oversized squash area.

Planting Seeds

"Larry" the cucumber

Poots watering

Another reason I enjoyed gardening is because it correlates with life. Everything in life starts out as a seed and requires time before you can reap the harvest. This is true whether you are expecting a good or bad harvest. Every seed has the potential to grow. Over the spring and summer months I will post about our gardening efforts but also how the experience has helped me to look at life choices from a different perspective.

Harvest Time

 

I hope you’ll join me and if you have any good tips please post them below, I’m still a bit of a rookie ; )  

Second garden

 

Love, Marriage and Finding Our Way


Love, Marriage and Finding Our Way

Mr. Incredible and IThe longer I am married and a mom the more I realize that my family is unique (as all are) and that we shouldn’t try to mold our lives to fit others’. Before, when we were trying to make any decisions we would measure them against what others have done and succeeded in, and in some instances that is a necessary and valuable method. Our problems stem from always using that method. The truth is, my husband and I both bring to our marriage our individual upbringings, ideas, dreams and behaviors. Throw in the mix, three children who have their own personalities, needs, temperaments and you don’t have cookie-cut answers. They require examination from all angles sometimes, wisdom, prayer, most of the time patience and sometimes a leap of faith.

I love a comment Jessica from the Leaky Boob made about their decision to continue to have more children in spite of her horrible history with hyperemesis graviduram, “Every one of us has a different path in life, the choices may appear the same but the reality is with our various circumstances and priorities we can’t imagine making the choices someone else does and we have to just figure out what works for us in our situation.” 

I couldn’t agree more.

MOMH Update March 11- April 11, 2012


It’s been a lovely couple of weeks here in the Midwest. We were blessed with a very mild winter and temperatures that got up to 80 degrees sometimes. If you reside in Minnesota this is unheard of. We are usually still knee-high in snow until April.I love when the seasons change, preferably the spring and fall. I am anxious for something new, to enter a new season of life. As I threw open the windows of the house to release the staleness of the winter, I deeply breathe in the fresh opportunities to that are set before me.

As  you can see it’s been about a month since my last post. I really enjoy writing because it helps me to process out loud but I also like to hear from you. It’s encouraging that something I love doing may be helping someone else, whether it is with a tip, a different perspective or a laugh.

Sleep Issues And An Overlooked Cause Part 4

As we prepare for Beaner to have his adenoids removed, his lip-tie clipped, tympanostomy tubes (ear tubes) inserted my anxiety is increasing day by day. We’ve consulted with a variety of specialists to make sure we’d looked at everything from all angles and to avoid a repeat surgery because something was overlooked. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. Every once in a while I question the necessity of the surgery and every time I do something happens that tells me it’s the right thing to do for him. From his frequent waking at night, his sleep-apnea like snoring, his constant ear drum ruptures and infections and also a slight delay in his speech.

 Read more…

Love, Marriage and Finding Our Way

Mr. Incredible and IThe longer I am married and a mom the more I realize that my family is unique (as all are) and that we shouldn’t try to mold our lives to fit others’. Before, when we were trying to make any decisions we would measure them against what others have done and succeeded in, and in some instances that is a necessary and valuable method. Our problems stem from always using that method. The truth is, my husband and I both bring to our marriage our individual upbringings, ideas, dreams and behaviors. Throw in the mix, three children who have their own personalities, needs, temperaments and you don’t have cookie-cut answers. They require examination from all angles sometimes, wisdom, prayer, most of the time patience and sometimes a leap of faith.

Read more…

(in)spired Review

I have the opportunity to review the new Redeemed Collection from DaySpring and I have to say that I was like a kid on Christmas day when the box of fun inspirational items arrived. I will be working on a review for each item and will be posting it next week.

A Woman’s Design

I mentioned that these last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I recently decided to begin taking clients on again and I am so excited about supporting women again. Because I live in a new area I will be spending a lot of time educating the community on labor support and the benefits. I am also looking into connecting with other professionals who support women during their pregnancy; ob’s, midwives, massage therapists, chiropractor’s, etc. Just this last weekend I met with another doula in the next town over. We share the same heart for women, birth philosophies and we just really clicked so we have decided to become each other’s back-ups. I also have a display at a Baby Expo this weekend that I have diligently been preparing for.

I have also started my certification process with Childbirth International to become a Postpartun Doula. I am excited about this process and looking forward to being able to support my birth doula clients during their postpartum period and also other mothers and families who decide support during the “fourth trimester” would help them during the new changes.

Who Am I? Finding Me In The Midst Of It All


20120311-100455.jpg

Recently when I am asked, “What kind of things do you like to do for fun?” or, “What do you do to relax?” I am at a lost. I usually sit there dumbfounded because 1. I can’t think of anything and 2. I realize that I have not made me a priority in a long time. I mean a long time.

The last few years, fun for me has been taking a nap, playing apps or reading or getting through a 30 minute show uninterrupted. I have been thinking a lot today about (my life in general) in this area and had a real heart to heart with Mr. Incredible.

Why is it that we as women lose who we are when we get married and have children? There is something about when children enter the picture that we begin to invest every thing within us into them. Your whole world can become consumed by them. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant your every thought is about them and how what you are doing or not doing is going to affect them. I’m exhausted by the end of the day and when the opportunity comes to go out and do something for myself I have to choose between catching up on sleep or doing something I would love; something that would feed my soul, my womanhood, the adult me. If only I can remember what those things were…

I know this is not the case for all women, some have managed to find a balance between you as an individual and you the mom/wife. This is not my reality. I would suspect that the things that attracted your spouse to you are things that he would love to continue to see in the marriage. He probably misses that…I know mine does. But more importantly, I feel a sense of revitalization when I do tap into something that is true to my (other)self. I adore my children and my husband but I have been watching me, the me he married, the me I knew before, slowly disappear and it is not beneficial to anyone.

So I would like to reconnect with me:

The me who would laugh so loud and hard that the back of my head hurt and tears would stream down my face.

The me who plays air guitar at Third Day concerts and screams…every…single…word…to each song.

The me who would drive without an agenda, without a map, without a care in the world never afraid of being lost.

The me who would sit up and write until the sun rises.

The me who would go to an art museum and sit and stare for hours.

The me who loves history and learning about other cultures, willing to try anything once.

The me who loves until it hurts without abandonment, without fear.

The me who took chances, who didn’t question why, but wondered why not?

The me who would lie in the grass, staring up at the sky with the wind blowing against my face and the smell of grass tickling my (allergic) nose ; )

The me who saw a challenge, looked it square in the eye and plowed right into it.

I love to compete, meet new people, learn new things, old homes, new ideas.

My frustration with life has been not allowing her to be seen.

She’s always been there, along with the mommy me, the wife me.

This is me…too.

MOMH Weekly Update March 4- 10, 2012


Not One, But Two Kids Needing Surgery!!! Part 2

Although we can visibly see that she was improving, she had a quick check up with the pediatrician to make sure things were healing well and they were. Poots became aware of what we all were aware of the last two weeks. Her breathe. The surgeon warned us during the post-op consultation that her breath would smell worse than death. We thought, oh no biggie we have a dog whose breath can bring you to tears. The surgeon assured us that her breath would be worse. He didn’t lie. Read more…

Who Am I? Finding Me In The Midst Of It All

Why is it that we as women lose who we are when we get married and have children?There is something about when children enter the picture that we begin to invest every thing within us into them. Your whole world can become consumed by them. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant your every thought is about them and how what you are doing or not doing is going to affect them. I’m exhausted by the end of the day and when the opportunity comes to go out and do something for myself I have to choose between catching up on sleep or doing something I would love; something that would feed my soul, my womanhood, the adult me. If only I can remember what those things were… Read more…

A Woman’s Design

I have updated my availability for the remainder of the year. These dates can be found on my website www.awomansdesign.com, Doulas.com and DoulaMatch.net. If you have any questions about what a birth doula does and what we don’t do I’d be happy to chat via email , on my Facebook fan page or (612) 801-9886. I love talking all things birthy…just ask my poor hubby!

****I still need to complete my Birth Doula Certification through DONA, which was also put on hold when I couldn’t take on any clients during my pregnancy. I would love to have this completed by July 1st, and just need to attend three more births between now and then. If you know anyone who is due in the next few months, please feel free to pass my info along and I would love to see if I may be able to meet her birthing needs.*** I will be offering a discount because of my time restraints.***

A Woman’s Design Update


A Woman’s Design

I stepped away from actively taking on new doula clients during my pregnancy with Beaner and during the first year to allow my body to recover and adjust to all the changes that were taking place.

Mr. Incredible and I were discussing plans for after Beaner (our last babe) start school full-time. I feel strongly in my heart that I need to be available to my kids even when they are in school. I am just as busy with my high-schooler as I am with my preschooler and expect the same when Beaner starts school. I would like to be able to contribute during that time financially with my new free time and still be accessible/flexible with the kid’s needs.

After praying and talking I decided that I would start to take on new clients (which I was planning on doing once I felt comfortable with leaving Beaner for an extended period of time), and also start my certification for being a Post-Partum Doula. This is also a passion of mine, helping new mothers during the first few weeks after having a baby and I plan on taking on more of these clients once Beaner starts school. I have also been working on a book, a survival guide during the postpartum period and will be teaching a class starting in April based on it.Image

*Stay tune for details of the book’s completion and how you can get a copy.

I still need to complete my Birth Doula Certification through DONA, which was also put on hold when I couldn’t take on any clients during my pregnancy. I would love to have this completed by July 1st, and just need to attend three more births between now and then. If you know anyone who is due in the next few months, please feel free to pass my info along and I would love to see if I may be able to meet her birthing needs.*** I will be offering a discount because of my time restraints.***

The Richest Man I Know


Today we attended a beautiful home-going for our former Pastor, Frank Sanders. “Former hockey standout and North St. Paul High School Distinguished Alumni, University of MN Gopher, Minnesota Fighting Saint and US Olympian hockey player. Pastor of Spirit of Life Bible Church, Woodbury, MN.”

Pastor Frank Sanders

The first time we sat in a church service at Spirit of Life Bible Church, Pastor Frank was preaching. I am not sure what the message was about as it was over four years ago but I do remember leaning over to Mr. Incredible saying, “Why is this guy yelling…I feel like he’s yelling at us?” I was on the fence about staying but something compelled me to not only stay, but to continue to keep coming back. It didn’t take me long to realize that the yelling was fueled by passion. A passion for the things of God. A passion for the community he was the shepard over.

This community welcomed my family and I with hugs and prayers. It was as if we always belonged there. There was a sense of family throughout from the children to the elders. I have to believe that a church so loving and accepting could only be that way because it trickles down from the leadership.

Pastor Frank was very approachable and sincere with his love for his family, friends, congregants and especially Jesus. He was not ashamed of the gospel or his relationship with his Savior. He could often be seen singing loudly with his hands thrown up and tears streaming down his face. Most of the times he could be found placing a gentle hand on a shoulder and uttering prayers on someone’s behalf.

He was a big guy with an even bigger heart. He would take time out to meet with Mr. Incredible when there was something pressing on his heart and offered sound wisdom and advice about marriage, family and finances. He never claimed to be perfect, often boasting of his weaknesses to glorify God’s strength.

Minnesota Fighting Saints

Image via Wikipedia

Frank had the opportunity to play hockey professionally, first with the Boston Bruins and then in the upstart WHA with the Minnesota Fighting Saints. After one year with the Minnesota Fighting Saints he felt the call of God on his life and went into the ministry graduating from the Apostolic Bible Institute.

I only knew Pastor Frank for a few years but what I have learned from him has been priceless:

1. There is a peace and joy in following God’s path for your life that money can’t buy.

2. Following God’s path for your life does not mean you will not face hardships.

3. Having a sincere relationship with Jesus is possible and actually living it out speaks louder than words.

4. There were several hundred people at the service today, it was apparent that he poured so much of himself into so many people over his lifetime. You never know whose life you may touch and impact everyday.

5. Most importantly, He was loved and adored by his wife, children and grandchildren. He placed an incredibly high value on family.

My heart goes out to his wife, Kathy, children, Timothy (Tricia), Jennifer (James) Mains and Jeremy (Lana); grandchildren, Owen and Declynn Sanders, Haley, Ayden, Charlie and Benjamin Mains, Jacob, Brennen, Caleb and Keegan Sanders; brother, Allen (Nancy) Olsen; sisters, Lillian (Gary) Weisbrod, Bonnie Weisbrod and Rebecca (James) Payzant; many nieces, nephews and countless friends, family and the church family of Spirit of Life Bible Church. Pastor Frank you truly will be missed.

Post Navigation