Monday, August 31, 2009

Re-post of Poverty-Detachment in Motherhood-I erased the last one!

I erased this when posting Finn's pictures! I still mess up this blogging thing! I am re-posting because a couple of people were wondering where it went to! I wrote this after several frustrating things my kids did and God helped to understand a little better my vocation as a mom.
As moms I have decided that we do live a very real poverty/detachment in a very real way each and every one of us each and every day. We live poverty/detachment on daily basis when your clothes get ruined by food, blood, throw-up (fill in your own bodily fluid here)! You cannot be attached to any of your clothes! You must have a spirit of poverty and gladly give them up for love of your children. Secondly it is lived in nicks in the hardwoods, stains on the carpet hand prints on the walls writing on furniture writing on walls writing on (you can put your own object here!) You must have a spirit of poverty to give up wearing white or allowing your children to wear white and you have to maintain a spirit of detachment with some of your children’s adorable clothing! How often does it happen that your favorite pieces or outfits get ruined? Those are the days when you have your boys dressed in their nicest outfits and a big cool hill appears in your day and you turn away for second and there are the boys rolling down the hill and of course what do they have but grass stains! AHHHHH
Onto the second point, moving away from materialistic things we live it within the confines of our day with our time. Our time is not our own. Our children’s cries and needs demand of us at moments when we are not ready or wanting to give of ourselves to someone else. The sound of the hungry or poopy or hurt baby crying and our response is our poverty/detachment lived in every second of our life. The fighting children needing guidance at such inconvenient times…it would be so much easier to just ignore!
Yes moms we do in fact live it and if you are cutting coupons or budgeting and sticking to it you live it even more. If you are trying to figure out how your baby or toddler can use fewer diapers in one day without getting a diaper rash you are living it! Hand me downs, leftover mystery meat pies and mystery meals filled with everything that will go bad in the fridge! Who would have ever thought God builds it right into our vocation. As moms we don’t have a chose as to whether or not it will be demanded of us, but we do have a chose as to how we will respond. Will we embrace it and learn to live and love it or will we fight it hard and let it make us miserable. The happiest moms I know accept and then even come to love it! So let us rise up and learn to live in it and then let us accept it and then we must come to love it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sweet Finnian

Finnian is the sweetest of all our babes! We seriously have been blessed with our first amazingly good baby! He is so laid back and really goes with the flow of life not needing to much from anyone. He actually sometimes needs to just be sitting by himself away from the onslaught of hugs and kisses he receives all day. He has really made me fall in love with sweet little babes. I just adore him and don't want him to get a day bigger. Here are some pictures to prove he has had at least one bath in his first 22 days of life! Here are couple of other pics from tonight when we were sitting and eating yogurt and granola on the bed together...he is my little buddy!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My children's contribution to my growth in holiness!

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2227: “Children in turn contribute to the growth in holiness of their parents.”

Lord I find it so hard as a mom to stay focused on you throughout the day. I feel like there are constantly distraction thrown in my face, but then I realize that you are in those moments and those are moments filled with lots of grace. You are in the diapers the messes the temper tantrums and it is in finding you in those things that I stay united to you throughout my day. I find it so ironically comical that this is my path to heaven. I always thought it would be through some major excursion to another country doing missionary work or in martyrdom, but the more I experience life I realize this slow martyrdom is very difficult and requires constancy and little by little I achieve my goal. It is so easy to find myself slipping backwards in just a second. I find that this forced selflessness (motherhood) causes me to squirm often and want to rebel and fight back for my selfishness. Each of these little blessings takes a little piece of me and boy does it hurt. It is when I have my own agenda that things get distorted. It is you in the baby’s hungry cry; it is you in the fighting children that need my love and attention in order to teach them how to work together. It is you that I serve through these little guys in all of these small, but beautiful ways! I glorify you! It is so easy to forget this in the day-to-day happenings. Many days I feel like a quickly moving train and in a split second I get off track and continue down the path because it is so hard to stop the moving train. Help me Lord to be faithful to this noble path of motherhood! I need it! I feel so unworthy of being a mother to your children. Thanks Lord Thanks for entrusting these little souls to me, but please help me. It has to be you not me. I am only capable of messing things up. All that I bring to the vocation is my sinfulness, but you bring the beauty and the possibility of all that motherhood could and should be and through you and with you I can be a great and holy mother!

Tea Time

Annaliese and I had an evening here without the boys...well minus Finn. We decided to have a tea party in the backyard with yummy cookies and milk. We set up the table with flowers and all and had a wonderful tea party. It was so fun spending time with her and listening to her talk. I realize once I have my children alone I actually like them! It is so hard in the chaos of the day to realize just how darn cute they are.
The cutest thing Annaliese said tonight was when she was drinking milk. She came to the conclusion of why her skin is white. She said "See I drink this milk and it goes into my body and it makes me white like this." She then proceeded to drink the milk and point to her skin. It was so darn cute...the reasoning of a three year old!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Simple Summer Fun

At least once a day we all go outside to ride bikes, draw on the sidewalk, take a walk, find special treasures, lift up rocks to find rolly pollies (annaliese and tristans favorite), find other types of bugs and give them special names, play in the sprinker, play in the baby pool, kick the soccer ball, play in mud puddles, make mud pies, eat dirt and grass, get grass stained clothes, throw crabapples and smash them, eat crabapples and see what a crazy face you make from the sourness of them and so much more. The things to do outside are endless with three curious children. This is a critical part of our day with the boys. Annaliese does not seem as if she needs this time quite as much as the boys, but our day certainly goes better if we are outside for a good portion of the day. Since we have been in our new house Gavin is actually squawking 50% less than he was before we moved here and I think it is because we have the outside time!

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary

Jessen and Ruth were here to celebrate this special day with us. A rosary and strawberry shortcakes topped off the day. Family rosaries with our young kids are always filled with so many precious/funny moments and of course frustrating moments. I am so inconsistent with everything in life that it is always a wonderful accomplishment to remember special days! Our kids love love love celebrating these feast days of the church and it gives a great opportunity to teach our children. This is definitely not something that happens every feast day, but I hope and pray it will become more consistent. Part of what makes me so inconsistent is the fact I feel like things have to be perfect to accomplish something and it is all or nothing, but I have to say the moments/things or acivities that I feel like are not prepared and will be halfway done and not very good end up being the best because it is yes my effort, but God always makes up for the rest! So God I will do my best, but please make up for all the rest!

Visit from Grandma and Jesses

Grandma and Jessen came to see baby Finn and spent the weekend with us. It was great to have them here. The kids had more books read to them and every puzzle was completed one afternoon. We love when they come and visit us! Jessen was an extra special treat because her schedule is so busy she normally doesn't make it!

Nana's Visit

Thanks to Nana for the week she spent with us! It was a huge help and lots of fun for the kids. The days were filled with the park, bounce houses, chuck e cheese and fun at home. Thanks mom.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Labor and Delivery

So this was the best labor and delivery yet! Here is how it all went.
I woke up throughout the night Tuesday night with strong, but very sporadic contractions. Branden and I knew the next morning labor was definitely approaching we just needed to help it along knowing my body! So Branden took the day off because we knew we would be busy getting everything ready and I would need to focus on bring the baby properly down into the pelvis and did not need to be breaking up fights, changing poopy diapers, wiping booties, fixing meals etc... All my energy needed to be focused on having this sweet little babe! Little Finn had not dropped yet so the proper descent is critical for the delivery and for a good labor so I was really focused on doing what it took during the contractions to get him wedged in the right way in order to cut down on my pushing time, properly progressing labor and less painful contractions. We started the day off with a good breakfast and packing for the hospital and then we decided to go to the mall and walk around the mall because it was so hot outside and I did not want to get to tired. After walking and the kids played and had a special lunch at the mall we headed home for naps. At the mall my contraction were strong but 10 to 15 minutes apart and not getting closer. We came home and rested and then it was back to walking through the neighborhood and a bike ride for everyone else. This is when the contractions began to get closer about every 6 or 7 minutes apart and they were great contractions! I am such a person of anticipation that these moments are actually quite thrilling for me. I love the anticipation of the upcoming labor and then once I am in labor of the the thought of experiencing once again the miracle of seeing a new little life take its first breath. There is nothing in the world like this experience! I love it! To be given the opportunity to do this is such a privelage and I can't believe God gives me this opportunity! So it is about 5:30pm and dinner is being served. I of course pass and continue with my 5 to 6 min contractions until 8:30pm when we get in the car to take the kids to the Coyles (friends in Tn). My mom was on her way, but would not arrive until 10pm. We dropped the kids off in their pjs for a movie night at the Coyles (how thrilling is that for a little kid). To stay up past their bedtime and go to their friends house to watch a movie in their pjs! The kids forgot about the baby at this point because they had such an exciting night ahead of them! We headed to the hospital! It was smooth sailing from this point on. I arrived at 5cm at 9:30 and then at 1:46am little Finn took his first breath. Finnian has broad shoulders as do his brothers which always makes it a little difficult when they are coming out,but he made it and is perfect in every way!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

To Nurse or Not to Nurse That is the Question

I wrote this after I had Annaliese (baby #2) and I was really struggling with nursing as you will see as you read. I pulled it out last week when mastitis struck and nursing was awful, it always seems to help me! My fever hit and flu like symptoms began the day after my mom left.
After I wrote this I thought some of you might be in the same boat with me or about ready to get on the boat or maybe someday will be on the boat or maybe just got off or got off along time ago but still will find this helpful for you or for someone else you know.

To nurse or not to nurse, that is the question, that I along with many other mothers ask ourselves on an hourly basis when we have a nursing baby that seems to be sucking everything out of us from our brain to our toes. We ask ourselves this question after many sleepless nights, when we could otherwise have our husbands help or after not being able to go shopping or run errands for more than two or three hours at a time. We ask ourselves this question when our husbands are holding the baby and they are ready to be relieved and they say "the baby is hungry I don't have the equipment, even though they just ate 20 minutes ago. It is the ultimate excuse for anyone who is tending to a nursing baby that does not want to do so anymore. Tristan our four year old has already learned this trick. This is the question we ask ourselves when we want to spend an evening out with our husband, but it can't be too long because we have to be back to nurse or we have to take the baby with us. This is the question we ask ourselves when none of our shirts fit and we are just tired of having boobs the size of Dolly Parton or so it feels. This is the question we ask ourselves when we have found our lunch in the microwave at dinner time stuck to the plate because it has been reheated three times and we still have not had anything to eat. This is the question we ask ourselves when we get mastitis and our boobs feel as if they have rocks in them and you want absolutely nothing to touch them. Yes you are more busty than ever and more appealing to your husband than ever, but everyone stay far far away! This is the question we ask when our nipples are so sore you have to scream every time the baby latches on. This is the question we ask when after nine months, dang I just want to wear a normal bra (if anyone has ever found a cute pink nursing bra please let me know). THis is the question you ask yourself when you are still leaking milk and having to wear breast pads that make it look as if you have two bulls-eyes on your shirt or you forgot to wear your breast pads that day and have to spill water all over your shirt so it won't look obvious that it is your leaky boobs making your shirt wet. This is the question we ask ourselves when our baby seems to have been attached to us the entire day. This is the question we ask ourselves when we want to go to wedding by ourselves or go on a road trip without having to stop. This is the question we ask ourselves when we want to be at the beach longer than three hours without having to nurse the baby under a blanket in the hot sun and feel uncomfortable doing it. This is the question we ask ourselves when we just want to have one day to ourselves. This is the question we ask when we just don't feel well and don't want anybody to need us. This is the question we ask ourselves when we have just been touched too much that day. This is the question we ask ourselves when we have been trying to get out of the house for an hour and we are now going to be late. This is the question we ask ourselves when our baby has the loudest gas ever that can be mistaken as your own because who would ever guess a little baby could have such noises come out of them. This is the question we ask when we have had to change our babies clothes for the fifth time today because of the explosive poopies. This is the question we ask ourselves when we want to nurse our baby and there is no where to sit except on the toilet because many places are not nursing friendly. This is the question you ask yourself when sitting in the mall and you have people giving you bad looks (this is when you tell people you will see more of womans body in bathing suit than you will see on a modestly nursing mother) This is what you ask yourself when you have a screaming/hungry baby in the car and you just wish you could pass your boob back for them to nurse. This is what you ask yourself when you want to get away for your anniversary with your hubby just for one night or go on a retreat by yourself so you can concentrate better. This is the question you ask yourself when you have other children wanting your attention, dinner to cook before your hubby gets home and house that is turned inside out. It seems impossible that God could really want this and then I realized that it is exactly what God wants because he wants the best for my babies and that is the best I can give them. I thought last night, My goodness I am so tired and feeling so crummy, how could this be, aren't I supposed to feel great and love doing this? My husband brought me back to a statue, a statue that can be found in St. Peters Basilica, the statue that displays the virtue of charity. The statue is of a woman breastfeeding a really fat baby, with more rolls than the Michelin man, and there are several other small children at her feet. My husband brought me back to this image and reminded me of the wise words of a very holy priest who said, this is the ultimate act of charity for a woman, the act of breastfeeding. The giving of oneself to their baby on demand especially when speaking of a young baby who do not have wants, but have needs that need to be met. Rather than describing it so delicately my reply is, "you mean a demanding baby?" I realized that yes, this demand that these children place on us is for our holiness. So the real question for me now is not "to nurse or not to nurse", but to be holy or not to be holy. I can't control my baby and I am not supposed to, but I have to be flexible enough to love my baby with everything I have or rather with the love of God, which is always available and always ready. I figure I have two options here to go nutso or become holy. I will go nutso with lots of little kids and nursing babies if I do it myself, but if I do it with God I will become holy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Finnian Ambrose O'Neil

Praise God! A healthy baby boy! Finnian Ambrose O'Neil was born at 1:46am weighing in at 9lbs 10oz, 20.5in.

This never gets old. This experience has really got me thinking, and I'd like to share these thoughts with you, my friends and family.

I'm 27 years old, I have 4 children under the age of 5... I'm friggin nuts right!

Or consider this, in times such as these, when our world seems to be more and more off-base, when the very core of society (family) is being attacked, what better gift could God have given the world than one more soul delivered through a faithful family. He's given us one more man of the kingdom, one more soldier to pick up His sword, and fight His fight. And to think this gift came to the world through me and my bride. What an enormous gift to our family, what an enormous gift to us all.

Mother Teresa said that to say there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers. For Lauri and I... we will continue grow our garden according to God's plan and purpose. Our garden of God designed flowers... our garden of God destined gifts to the world.

Is it convenient for us?... uh, no. But God's perfect Will and creative love rarely are. I'd like to challenge everyone reading this to have a new found love for God's plan in procreation. The world tells us that pregnancy is a convenience thing, and can be treated as a disease with the consumption of a pill. Know, love, understand, and support the fact that God has a plan for our garden.

In Christ's Love,

Branden O'Neil

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

No baby yet...

Well still no babe and I have to say I am not surprised. I am definitely in labor, but progressing slowly at home. We have had a great day laboring at home. We have gone to the mall to walk and now we are going for a walk in our neighborhood to see if we can get these contractions closer together. It is just a matter of time. I was dilated to a three yesterday at my doc appointment and had super easy contractions yesterday and cramping. Today the contractions have been spread out, but much more intense!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Labor is a comin

Okay so tonight at dinner I began to have some discomfort and contractions coming and going. I am the most uncomfortable I have been so who knows. We will see what tonight holds for us! I just decided to look at what the date was tomorrow and what feast day it might be and found out that it is the feast of St. John Vianney the patron of priests in the year of the priest. This was so special to me because I decided from the day I knew I was pregnant to offer my pregnancy and delivery specifically for the perserverance and fidelity of priests. I have done something different with each child such as and increase in vocations, abortion etc...but I really felt back at Thanksgiving last year with all of the priests I knew who were struggling that they needed my prayers the most this how ironic would it be if I had this little darling tomorrow...if not thats okay, but I did think it was quite cool that I get to be so uncomfortable on this special day of the priesthood!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

We moved!

We moved out of our two bedroom townhome and now we are in a four bedroom house with a yard!!!! Wow wow wow! It is awesome! We love it so much. Tristan learned how to ride a two wheel bike in one day have the place and space to practice and Annaliese quickly was able to use her bike as well. Gavin loves being able to go outside and has not been squawking as much lately! We all love the space that we have to spread out. It is super nice. The pics below are of the first weekend we were here and they had a fourth of July parade with a fire truck leading the way.

Trip to ATL: Alexis' Baptism

My niece and God daughter got baptized! We mad ea special trip to ATL to see her baptism and celebrate Braxten's graduation from high school.