Liam Marcus’ and Megan Ryan’s Voice - Breastfeeding seems to be falling within a newer level of awareness. It has not been long since we started breastfeeding our three younglings (only the past six years), so we did not know about the taboo or discouragement towards breastfeeding until now. We always thought, “It seems natural, why not do it?” We never thought it could have such ramifications as being kicked out of an airplane or a food court.
It is funny how ignorance can hold a society back thousands of years in evolutionary intellect, or could it be because these same ignorant people were never breastfed thus losing forever an opportunity at utilizing one of the most nutritious sources of food to help develop their gray and white cells. I mean, come on! If they are so naively concerned about nothing, then one would have to assume they have been dumbed down somewhere, somehow, no?
Nevertheless, it seem that Pope Francis has his head located in the northern part of his torso, right where it belongs because he seems to think breastfeeding is as natural as breathing oxygen. Maybe his mommy breastfed him thus allowing his brain to develop to a level of intellect all the rest of the sheep tend to get stuck on.
Megan Ryan’s voice - Last night we gave the little new addition to our lives a little bath. After a few minutes of wading and playing, I took the little guy, put him on the changing table and started to dress him up. Halfway through what should have been an easy task, I stopped and realized why I was having so much trouble. The jammies were two inches too short. The little guy is growing fast and cooing and all that other jazz. He is beautiful. They are all beautiful. The new birth of our fourth son has brought much to our lives, including a bit of memory and intellectual degradation.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Liam Marcus’ voice - Don’t fret, going to sleep and actually sleeping between the hours of 11 pm and 1 am has been proven to help improve many of the issues related to sleep deprivation, e.g., memory lapses, etc. It seem that during this time the adrenal gland dumps waste/toxins, but you have to be asleep in order for this to occur. If you are not sleeping or enjoying a fantastic trip to nowhere land, then the adrenal gland does not do its job properly. This is why when we wake up the next morning we look like a two-ton steak hit us across the face.
The precursors to adrenal gland stress are too much sugar and caffeine in you diet, among others things.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year indeed!
Megan Ryan’s Voice - You turned one year old today, our beautiful daughter. It happened while I wasn’t looking. You’re still a tiny baby in my eyes even though you are walking and talking already. Every day I look at you and vow all over again not to make the same mistakes my parents did, even though I find myself making those mistakes…every day. You are smart. You are kind. You are important. You are you. You are not the sum of my own achievements – you are a unique child of the almighty God. Given to me by Him on loan. The job He has given me is to avoid screwing you up, and to teach you about Him. He will do all the rest, if I don’t get in His way. I love you, precious girl. May God bless you all the days of your life.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Yes, she is beautiful. A gift, and yes, time doesn’t wait for anyone.
She will continue to grow and soon one day become a wonderful grown woman, hopefully in love with Christ. I pray she’ll be prepared to avoid what you mother didn’t help you avoid. It will surely be a blessing for her for I know you love her, and you will be nothing like what your mother was with you.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Hey, ever see a cat do her business in the toilet? I try not to. Our cats can do it, and have done it since we got them six years ago. This is one reason why we don’t have dogs anymore, because dogs would not be able to do what cats do, jump on the toilet, squat and sigh with relief. Sorry, that was a bit graphic, but I couldn’t resist. The other reason is the new arrivals. No, not the cats, the children. We wanted a few treats with fur from God, so why not as independent an animal as a cat? Yeah. A cat. Two cats. We don’t have to take care of that messy, smelly, little box “no more”. However, we do still have to deal with the extra fur lying around…almost everywhere.
Ryan Megan’s Voice – Now all we need to do is get ‘em to flush. We used a dandy device called a Litter Kwitter to train them. One cat was fully trained in a month, the other took a bit longer. It was a bit of a hassle, especially if you only have one bathroom in your house, but it was oh so worth it. No mess, no smell, and more moolah in our pockets because we don’t have to buy kitty litter. No litter is also nice for when we have wee ones. The cats themselves are more sanitary because they’re not climbing in and out of their own mess on a daily basis. The babies can pull and grab to their hearts’ content and no worries about extra germs.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We finally emerge victorious from a prolonged battle with Infant 0.9′s wicked diaper rash! We have cloth diapered her since the beginning and use an organic disposable at night. We did the same for Preschooler 4.9 although his disposables weren’t organic. In fact we use his same old cloths on her, because that’s the beauty (and $ saving) of cloth diapers. To make a long story short, she developed a large, painful looking, burn-like rash a while ago. Nothing we did made it go away. Out of desperation we switched her solely to organic disposables (ouch – SO expensive!) and the rash faded after a while. Switched her back to cloth and !BAM! rash city. Hit the reset button. Back where we started. So we sent an email shout out to our Catholic homeschooling group for help. Why not just go to the pediatrician? Because when it comes to curing things naturally and without prescriptions, we don’t have much faith at all in modern medicine. Once you read below, you’ll have a better understanding why. NO WAY would a pediatrician in our town have figured out the problem. They would have simply treated symptoms over a series of wasted office visits. Sad but true. We got tons of great advice from our friends, and now we’ll share with all of you the advice that won the day.
I washed all of her diapers several times in hot water alone, then once with a long soak with washing soda, followed by a few more rinse cycles in hot water. The washing soda balanced out the pH of the diapers as there must have been some buildup. The several hot rinse cycles removed any oily residue from the store-bought organic detergent (with fabric softener) I was using. An oily residue also would have trapped ammonia and contributed to the pH buildup. Click Here for the website that taught us about pH.
Then I made some homemade, organic laundry detergent using Dr. Bronner’s organic castile soap, washing soda, borax and water. It wasn’t much effort at all and yielded four gallons of detergent – yay! I made a liquid version of my friend’s recipe, but you can Click Here for a similar version.
In the meantime I used organic disposable diapers and liberally applied a homemade balm of organic coconut oil and tea tree oil with every changing – just in case it was a yeast/bacterial thing. The recipe is 10 parts coconut oil to one part tea tree oil. I used tea tree oil because it is anti-fungal, but diluted it with coconut oil because the tea tree can be quite strong. I chose coconut oil because it is anti-fungal AND antibacterial while remaining very mild.
Finally, I switched from using a wet diaper pail system (a plastic kitchen garbage can filled with water and detergent) to a dry diaper pail (no water/detergent). This also helps keep the pH neutral.
All in all, she has extremely sensitive skin. The same system that gave her a horrible rash was the same one (the diapers too) I used with our previous baby with no problems whatever. I guess it proves (once again) what one of my wise momma friends told me: Just when you think you have the parenting thing down, you get a new baby with a whole new set of obstacles to overcome
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Thanks be to God. We spent a few months battling the little one’s issue with her rash. Megan had to stop eating certain foods for fear that the foods may have been the culprits. Little did we know. Megan, don’t forget about all those baths in the natural goat’s milk soap we got from the local lady at the farmer’s market. It appears that the way to cleanliness isn’t always what doctors and commercial product companies have in mind for us. What I mean is that chemical soaps apparently aren’t reliable enough to keep us clean from everything. I personally wouldn’t mind doing it the way it is healthy and literally clean.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We had a milestone moment this week when Infant 0.8 said her first word. She was petting one of our cats, and when the cat walked away she waved her hand and said, “Bye. Bye-bye.” It took me by surprise and I had to laugh at the cuteness of it all. She’s been saying ‘ma-ma’ for a while now, but not with any real purpose, just babbling baby talk so we didn’t really count that as her first word. Now we’re just wondering when she’ll start walking unassisted. She is walking very well while holding onto something/somebody and in her walker, but we can see she needs to feel a bit for confident before going solo. Preschooler 4.8 was walking completely unassisted when he was still six months old, but for the life of me I can’t remember when he said his first purposeful word…darn it. Well, maybe blogging about things now will be my form of a parenting diary
Liam Marcus’ Voice – It was precious! I think he said his first few words before he could walk, you just don’t remember. It was “goo goo gaga”.
Liam Marcus’ voice - Charity? I honestly don’t know what it means. I’ve heard people say that it means giving oneself to others, I’ve heard others say that it is proclaiming the Word of God without fear of condemnation, some others say that charity involves proclaiming the truth shamelessly – this one is similar to the previous, though, it is stated differently thus having a different meaning to some people. In a new world where differences of opinion are sometimes valued, I ask you then to please share what you think Charity is. What is it to you?
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Aw Marcus, sure you do. You know what charity is. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines charity in sections 1822 – 1829. In a nutshell, “Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.” CCC 1822. Although my personal favorite is section 1826.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Infant 0.7 just cut her two bottom teeth – simultaneously …ouch! It couldn’t have been comfortable for her because she made it clear she was suffering. Therefore it was hard on us too. Especially at night. Ugh! For the last four nights she’s been awake and crying every half an hour to an hour. Marcus and I have been walking around like sleep deprived zombies and guzzling coconut oil (great for energy) like some people swill caffeine laden energy drinks. We add it to our decaf coffee, or hot chocolate, and I will just dump some on top of whatever I’m eating. We use organic, cold pressed oil so it is virtually tasteless and you can mix it in anything. Plus lots of sucking on ice and teething toys for her during the day and some homeopathic teething remedy at night when she gets really bad. I think God chose for babies to have bottom teeth come out first just to spare nursing mommies like me the pain of getting bitten for just a little while longer. Thank you, Jesus!
Liam Marcus’ Voice – What do you mean by sparing you the pain? I thought it was still painful no matter where the teeth came from, top, bottom. Although, I must admit, I’ve never seen a baby bring on those Bugs Bunny rabbit teeth first. I think keeping the baby as cute as possible, for as long as possible counts for something. God bless!
Megan Ryan’s Voice – I surprised myself the other day by having fun on the trampoline with Preschooler 4.4 and Infant 0.4 together. When Preschooler asked me, “Can we jump on da twampoline now?” I took a deep breath and agreed. After all, he had been asking all morning and waiting patiently while I washed a sink overflowing with dishes, made enough pancakes to last our family of six all week (with Papi’s help), and put Infant 0.4 down for two naps. How could I say no? It turned out great! Infant sat on my lap while I rolled various balls in Preschooler’s direction so he could hop over them. Then he “protected” us for a while from the rolling balls by batting or kicking them away. After about an hour of all that, Infant got restless so we went back inside, though, healthier and happier from our doses of sunshine vitamin D and exercise. Thank you Jesus!
Liam Marcus’ Voice – How come I don’t feel healthier when I go out to play with the little rascal? Is it because I have an olive complexion? The radiation doesn’t penetrate my skin as well as the rascal’s lighter skin coloration? Whazup?! Oh yes, Infant 0.4 keeps me awake all night
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Things have been crazy (understandably) since Infant 0.4 was born. It seems like every week I have a new resolution to do “X” in order to make our home life run a bit smoother. I do great for a day or two and then it all falls apart. Back to living moment to moment, hour to hour, in between baby’s naps. It sounds pathetic but if by the end of the day I have managed to wash all the dishes in the sink, I reach around and give myself a big pat on the back. How do my friends with 5, 6, 7, 8,… kids do it?!?! I’m amazed we survived Christmas and Epiphany without the house blowing up
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Wait! I thought we had already dealt with an infant 0.4! Whatz up wit ‘dat? We re-wounded de tape or somesing? If it weren’t for the new wrinkles and bags under my eyes, I would say I jumped in the Tardis and traveled back in time – there is a tune about, too! Play it Sammy! However, back to reality, times were great four years ago, times are great today. Yes, the only occupational hazard is lack of sleep around here, AND, cook-ing! Yep. Remember we didn’t cook as much then as we do now. So while you, Meg, may feel a bit overwhelmed, we menfolk are taking on the relaxing task of bringing you and yours deliciousness from everywhere except the CAFO’s. Cooking is overwhelming, but it cannot be beat – much tastier than four years ago! That’s probably why you seem overwhelmed with dishes, dear. We cook to heaven a lot more than ever before, so thank you for doing the most important job in the kitchen, cleaning the dishes so we can dirty them again and again