Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Fading Birthmark

When Alexander was born, he had a huge red birthmark all over his face:
Fresh from the oven

Jaundiced Newborn
I was used to seeing stork bites on my other babies, but they were tiny on the eyelid or back of the neck.  I was worried about his marks, and asked around for what we could do about it.  My midwife said it occurred because of the position his face was in as he grew in utero.  The consensus was to just wait it out.  My sister, a dermatologist, said that we could try a laser option but suggested to wait until he was a year since it was a minor surgery.  And so we waited...

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Me, NFP and Technology

I've written about our journey with NFP (Natural Family Planning) before, so please don't hate me for bringing it up again, but much like a woman's cycle, the topic comes up monthly in our house and there are always new things we are learning. 

It seems to me that the first year after a baby has been rough in terms of knowing thyself for NFP.  Recovering, breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, and weight loss/gain, they all wreak havoc on a woman's hormones and make a cycle unpredictable at best.  Even though I give up on breastfeeding around 5 months (or should I say, breastfeeding gives up on me) things still don't get back to normal until my baby is around 13-14 months old.  These months in the first year of a baby's life can be scary if you're trying to avoid pregnancy in the short-term, and I am always interested in any new fertility advances made since my last go-round at using NFP to avoid pregnancy.

We currently use the Marquette Method, which seems to be the best for us after having tried them all.  It's a simple method that uses an ovulation monitor to detect the LH surge that happens when a woman ovulates.  The monitor gives you a reading each day (after using a test stick) that lets you know if you are experiencing Low Fertility, High Fertility, or Peak Fertility:

I've been using the same monitor since 2011, and it's been pretty straight forward for us.  There is a more updated monitor here.  The test sticks can add up, but we feel the cost of them is cheaper than having to buy baby diapers, so...yeah!  

Disclaimer: We have conceived two babies while using the Marquette Method, so I won't say it's fool proof, but those babies were conceived when the monitor read Low Fertility later into the cycle (like Day 12) when I should have been abstaining anyway, but decided to chance it because the monitor hadn't read High yet.  

Soooooo now we start abstaining at Day 6 and wait it out until all signs point to go (and then usually wait some more!)  "All signs" meaning the monitor reads Peak, then wait 3 more days until the monitor reads Low and all other fertility signs are gone.  I know, TMI, but I need people to share like this with me, and we're all adults here, right?  

{Kids - get off the mom blogs!}

In addition to the Marquette Method, we also have two new tech savvy tricks up our NFP sleeves.  They are:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Super Quick Takes on the 1st Friday in December

Linking up LATE on the First Sunday of Advent with Kelly and Friends!  TGIF!

Calling all bloggers who love to read!  I am starting a Blogger Book Recommendation page up there at the top of this site, and if you would like to send me a list of your favorite (and clean/wholesome/PG rated) books, I will happily add your list there and link back to your website.  Email me your list at collmart at gmail dot com.

My beautiful girl turned 10 on Friday...

She had swimming lessons (she says she's a good swimmer because she was born underwater.  True story!) and then it was pizza, sundaes and presents.  'Twas a great evening, her "Best birthday yet!".

Thursday, November 30, 2017

On the Eve of Her Tenth Birthday

My dear Maggie is turning TEN tomorrow.  Double digits is a big one in our house and instead of choosing a "friend" party, she went with the Kindle and pink case gift, like most of her brothers before her.  She is also very excited because turning ten means she gets to read the Harry Potter series that she's heard so much about from JP who has read five times.  She has been planning her meals for about two weeks and finally decided on banana chocolate chip muffins for her class, pizza from a local joint for dinner, and ice cream sundaes with Gammy's homemade hot fudge for dessert.  She actually went around and polled her brothers to aid in her decision making.  It was a close one between pizza and tacos, so I am making her tacos tonight :)

Maggie is my holiest child so far, or at least the holiest outwardly (I think Eamon's interior life is a humble holy light).  She was St. Jacinta for All Saints Day this year, and upon reading her story (saints books are her favorite...see what I mean?) decided that she wanted to say the Rosary every day.  We are hit and miss with our family rosary as our lives get so busy in the evenings, but I do play it every morning in the car on our way to school.  Maggie reminds me to start the rosary as soon as she gets in the car so that she can hear as much of it as she can and constantly shushes her brothers when they talk and/or yells "Be quiet we are praying the Rosary!"  She's holy but feisty ;)  When she gets out of the car at school, she makes sure exactly which prayer she left off on to be able to continue it by herself.  If you try to talk to her while she's praying (unbeknownst to you) she will get frustrated and announce that she is trying to pray.  Again, that holy feisty personality.  She asks us all the time to take her to Confession, she loves going as often as possible, and she begs her "godsister" Haley to take her to Holy Hour where she can easily adore Christ in the Eucharist for 60 minutes.  At night she has a whole litany of prayers she has to say, and I can often find her doing somebody else's chore as a good deed for God.  Seriously, she puts me to shame with her piety game.