This Week’s Miscellany: Vol. 29

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So we might not have fancy things northerners have like seasons and cider donuts (is that a thing?) but I really think my north Florida town is downright gorgeous.  Live Oaks! Spanish Moss! No socks!

Pregnancy Update: Still haven’t gained any weight back from all the vomiting last week because of the continued queasiness this week, but Zofran has improved the morning sickness situation so much that I’m feeling nothing but grateful. Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers! Almost 11 weeks!

Lucy is still not thrilled with the way my milk supply has dropped and is asking for “nuh” all the time lately even though I’ve got hardly anything left. Honestly, all the illness and exhaustion of this pregnancy makes weaning sound really great, but I’m not sure what to do. Were you nursing while pregnant? Tell me your experience. I need advice brilliant mamas!

Coming Up in the Liturgical Year: Hallowtide: All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints’ Day (Hallowmas), and All Souls’ Day! All Saints’ Day is when we honor and remember the faithful saints and martyrs through out the centuries, known and unknown.  It’s a Holy Day of Obligation so we’ll definitely be going to Mass as a family and then planning on celebrating and feasting with friends if Daniel can get off work. Hoping to observe All Souls with first Friday Mass and then head to a party for vegetarian chili and hot apple cider. Oh, and we’ll probably try to figure out how to make Gluten-Free soul cakes. As for Halloween, I’m not opposed to celebrating it. I’m just not a crafty gal with awesome costume ideas and I don’t like my kids to eat candy so….it’s not up my alley. Benjamin creatively put together his own pirate costume which I actually think is pretty awesome (he raided my closet for my boots and belt) so I  might let him show it off at the Halloween kids parade at the library or do trick or treating in my parents’ neighborhood if he seems really excited about that.

In the Garden: Lots of beautiful greens! Swiss Chard, Chinese Cabbage, Lettuce, Sweet Potatoes, and still lots of beautiful Green Peppers!


How to Raise Readers by Karen Edmisten (Like most of her posts, this one reminds me that I’d like to be Karen when I grow up.)

“The truth is, we can’t predict what our children will become or mold them into what we want them to be. They are unique souls; they aren’t here to be grand reflections of what book lovers we are, or of anything that we are. But, that’s another blog post.

Even if we can’t guarantee that book-loving steps will lead to book-loving people, one thing we can be certain of is this: Jemima Puddleduck, generally speaking, leads to good things.”

Read and enjoy.

You can also find me at talking about my favorite Winter Squash Recipes and How to Harvest Sunflower Seeds.

At risk of upsetting some of my readers, I’m going to recommend the following links about politics, Catholicism, and the culture of life. I don’t ever talk about politics on here. Mostly because I don’t have a political “home.” I’m not a Democrat, I’m not a Republican. I’m a Catholic and there’s not a party that aligns with Catholic teaching in any satisfactory way. So, I don’t usually talk politics. However, I am unapologetically pro-life. I’m also terrified by the HHS mandate. I will actually be voting in the presidential election for the first time ever in November. Not because there’s a candidate whose positions I agree with or that I even like. Merely because I cannot ignore the shocking way that the current administration is trampling on religious freedom. I’m not here to debate anyone about their politics, I just want to offer some articles that I have found interesting or thought-provoking recently:

Silent No More: Coming out of my cloister to talk about the HHS Mandate by Kate Wicker (A really great explanation of why the HHS mandate is such a problem for Catholics)

Being pro-life doesn’t make me any less of a lefty by Mehdi Hasan

The Facebook Meme That Proves We Live in A Culture of Death by Jennifer Fulwiler

 ESPN airs the story of a dad who wanted to abort his Down syndrome daughter at LifeSiteNews

The Quotable Benjamin:

“I don’t want Lucy to ever get married.”
“Why, Benjamin?”
“Because she’s my sister and I want to keep her forever!”

“A light saber would be really helpful in the kitchen. Because if you had a bunch of tough bear meat that was hard to cut with a knife, you could just use your light saber and chop it right up!” 

Instagrams Worth Sharing (I’m carrotsformichaelmas on IG if you want to follow me:

At the amazing reconstructed Spanish mission living history museum, Benjamin learned all about weaponry they used at the fort. Reason #293483 that I love homeschooling: you can go somewhere awesome you wanted to go anyway and call it a “field trip.”

We’ve got 18 of these little punkins! We had 19 but a vile raccoon twisted one’s neck the other night. And it’s not like we left them outside unsecured! They were in a secured coop inside a locked shed. How do we know it was a raccoon? It left it’s filthy pawprint on the front of the coop as if to say, “just to be clear….it WAS me.” Evil, I tell you! Evil!

Sweetie, sweetie, sweet, sweet.

Queasy Pops. My life is queasy pops.


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  1. says

    On nursing while pregnant: James did the same thing while I was pregnant with Evelyn. I got pregnant when he was just shy of 11 months. I had so many moments where I was crying to my husband trying to decide whether or not to wean him. Alas – I didn’t have to. He weaned when I hit the 6 month mark. It was so hard to make it to that mark though because I was very touched out. I was so sensitive during pregnancy that it was like nails on a chalkboard to keep nursing him…I don’t know if that makes sense. My supply totally left at the 6 month mark and he stopped nursing. He fussed about it for a week, but I made sure to stay by his side while he fell asleep (I still nursed him to sleep. That was the last feeding he cut out.) I did cut a couple feedings, but past that I couldn’t bring myself to wean. I don’t know if I would have if he didn’t himself. I can’t say. Email me if you have any other questions and I’ll try to help.

    Ohhhh gluten-free soul cakes! Could you post a recipe? I’ve recently gone gluten-free and have been missing all the goodies from my gluten days. Do you have a specific gluten-free recipe or do you just substitute gluten-free ap flour where needed?

    • Haley says

      First things first. I just love the name Evelyn. Ok, on to nursing: thankfully, I haven’t had a lot of discomfort nursing during pregnancy. I think my biggest challenges are exhaustion and nausea that make keeping my body to myself a bit seem really great. At this point, I think I’m going to keep going (giving her milk when she asks, but not offering like I used to) until my milk turns to colostrum and see if she decides to wean herself. Emotionally, I don’t know if I can force her to wean.

      I don’t have a particular recipe in mind for the GF Soul Cakes. I was thinking about looking up recipes that could be easily substituted with GF baking mix. Soul Cakes are supposed to be a little dense and crumbly so, it might not be too hard to create a tasty GF alternative! I will definitely post the recipe. If I’m not feeling crummy, I’ll even try to do it ahead of time so you can have some for Hallowtide 🙂

      • says

        Thank you! Evelyn is a family name we both fell in love with. I was the same way with my son. I just didn’t have the heart to force him to wean. I did the exact same thing and only gave it to him when he asked. That cut us down to two feedings. I was able to deal with that for the most part.

        And thanks for the recipe (as long as you’re not feeling crummy! I totally understand if it doesn’t get posted. haha!) 🙂

  2. Mary says

    I was breastfeeding my second son while working as a nurse and pregnant with my daughter. I was EXHAUSTED. My milk supply wasn’t too much of an issue, since I was over pumping at work and had some stored in the freezer. I also didn’t have too much morning sickness (and subsequent dehydration), but my OB said at my first appointment that my milk would turn back to colostrum at around 20 weeks. Sure enough, right around 20 weeks my son (who was about 10 months) was done. He didn’t want anything to do with breastfeeding. I say follow your daughter’s lead. If she wants to nurse, let her nurse. Just make sure you are taking in enough fluids for being both pregnant and breastfeeding.

    • Haley says

      I definitely need to be drinking more than I am. The nausea makes drinking enough fluids really difficult for me. I don’t know why but drinking water is just so unpalatable. But I know I need it! Thanks for the advice.

  3. Cathy says

    My daughter was 12m when I got pregnant with #4. The milk supply wasn’t really there but I felt she was nursing for comfort and I let her for the bonding. She probably only nursed once or twice a day and could skip days when I needed her to. Nursing her forced me to sit down and relax. She also nursed before bed. For the last couple of weeks of the pregnancy, she did not nurse at all but started again quite happily when baby came home. And nursed on and off (tandem), I think, for another year. She is twelve now so exact details escape me as to when she stopped but I think she was close to 3yo. Don’t worry, all will be well:)

    • Haley says

      I’m trying to decide whether I can handle doing the tandem nursing. Right now as I’m feeling so queasy and exhausted it doesn’t sound very appealing but I don’t think I should make the decision now. Maybe when the time comes it will just feel natural and normal?

  4. Ruth Anne says

    Been a reader for a while, haven’t yet left a comment. Found you through a friend. I have really enjoyed all of your posts, especially those about conversion and Catholicism as its something I’ve been thinking a lot about.

    On breastfeeding while pregnant: my daughter was three months when I became pregnant with my first son. At her four-month checkup she had actually lost a pound from the previous checkup, so I had to immediately start supplementing with formula. After a few days though it became clear I had NOTHING left and she weaned herself off me onto the bottle. 🙁 Not how I had planned it, but she is three now and doing just fine. Both her pediatrician and my midwife said that occasionally the milk can turn back to colostrum right away, guess I’m one of the “lucky few”.

    • Haley says

      Thanks, Ruth Anne! I’m glad you’re here 🙂

      I was only able to nurse my first child for 4 months, too. It was not how I imagined our breastfeeding relationship would be but….he did survive!
      Because Lucy is 12 months, she doesn’t HAVE to be getting as much breastmilk as before but I know she’s not getting as much as she wants because she will fuss when she’s done feeding and my milk has run out. I hate not being able to provide enough for her but I also wonder if she’ll just lose interest on her own when all I have is colostrum. I guess I should just stop agonizing about it and let things run their course, however it turns out!

  5. says

    The meme JF talks about in her article actually required me to shut off my computer and walk away because I knew I couldn’t be trusted around it. I’m also in a tricky position of not being aligned to a political party (and being unabashedly pro-life – though I can’t claim that I have always been) and finding it hard to find a candidate to vote for because if I agree with one major issue and I disagree with one equally important. One of your articles reminded me of the group “Feminists for Life” which was my first encounter with the idea that I could still be rather liberal in some ideas while uphold one that I had suddenly realized was very, very true.

    Anyways, I’m so glad you’re feeling better – I lost more than 10 lbs before I got my zofran! and you reminded me that I need to finish hammering out my Hallowtide post tonight! p.s. if you guys didn’t live at the ends of the earth I’d totally hook your littles up with some sweet homemade halloween costumes! 😉

    • Haley says

      I was honestly shocked the first time I saw that meme and had the same response Jennifer did, “Did they just compare the life of a child to suffering a tragic death?!”

      Enjoyed your Hallowtide post! And yes, so grateful for feeling alive again. It’s amazing just to be able to get dressed in the morning and leave my house!
      And you are too sweet! I actually have a sewing machine, I just haven’t learned how to sew! Iowa sounds cold. Come visit sunny Florida and teach me your crafty ways 🙂

      • says

        My biggest response to that meme was the giant (for lack of a better phrase because it’s late) plot hole of “So as long as we have “life jackets” we shouldn’t teach children how to swim or post more lifegaurd, signs and other real life saving equipment near by?” even if I still had the views I did before becoming a mother (and working in a major pediatric hospital) I would have seen the essential, wall crumbling fault in this “logic”. Ironically, that meme points out the biggest, most flawed argument – we won’t do a thing to fix the problem because we now have something that might work to throw at a person who’s already drowning and apparently in the this society that is doing the right thing.

        Okay, going away now, see I told you that meme and I were a dangerous combo!

        p.s. Iowa is cold (we topped out at 44 degrees today! woot!), it’s not Halloween unless you have to wear long underwear underneath your costume (and on more than one occasion just flash your costume at the neighbors under the down parka you’re wearing to battle the elements).

  6. says

    “Nobody’s wearing pants in this scenario, Benjamin.”

    Too funny. Is it weird I’m looking forward to such talks with my future children?

    • Haley says

      I had some friends say, “eek! I don’t want my kid asking me about sex anytime soon.” And I was actually a little surprised because, apart from the hilarity of a toddler trying to understand procreation, it is pretty wonderful and exciting to have these talks. Also, having chickens helps for illustrative purposes.

  7. Bonnie says

    I wasn’t nursing while pregnant, but my milk did start to dry up before I was ready to wean my daughter. (she was 11 months). I did have to start supplementing her with formula and soon after milk–but the transition for her was very easy–mostly because she was so hungry, she didn’t care whether it came from me or a bottle…
    The transition for me was a little harder–nursing was quite possibly the most satisfying and beautiful experience of my life, and I was sad that it was over.

    • Haley says

      Nursing was such an awful experience with my firstborn that I was so surprised that I LOVED nursing Lucy. I think if it weren’t for the pregnancy, I would be much sadder that our nursing relationship is coming to a close. As it is, the pregnancy fatigue and the hope of another baby on the horizon to nurse is making it much easier. Thanks for sharing your experience, Bonnie!

  8. says

    Chickens! Haha. Ok, I’m commenting on the comments now.

    So, I finally weaned Bela at 3.5 years. Too long for me, personally, but he was one of the rare ones who kept going strong, all throughout pregnancy with Eleonora. I never planned on doing a tandem thing, but it happened, and it was somewhat enjoyable, but like I said, I think I kept on it too long out of guilt or fear of hurting his feelings. Now Eleonora is almost 2 and I’m ready to be finished nursing everyone! Almost…it has been 7 non-stop years, and I’m starting to fantasize about not whipping out my boobs for people.

    But, all to say, I don’t necessarily regret tandem nursing or waiting so long to tell Bela to find a new hobby; we’re all fine, and I think, whatever route you take, or follow, your babies will all be fine as well. Just remember to take care of yourself, of course.

    So glad you are feeling better. I cannot imagine such horrific morning sickness. Perhaps you are having twins?

    PS I read Benjamin’s quotes out loud and it really cracks us all up. Maybe I’ve already told you as much.

    • Haley says

      Wow! 7 years! You are a trooper, Amy! I always love hearing about your experiences and advice. Lucy was super obsessive about nursing over the weekend but I think it was because she was feeling crummy due to teething. For the past couple of days, I’ve offered her the breast before nap and bedtime and she just latched on for MAYBE 5 seconds. I guess she’s losing interest because either it tastes different or it’s just gone. Tonight for the first time ever I tried just snuggling her on the couch in her room that usually nurse on and let her play with my necklace that she plays with while she nurses but I didn’t actually nurse her. Her eyes fluttered and she relaxed in my arms. Then I put her in her crib and she cried out for seriously ONE SECOND. Then she was out. Whew. It was pretty awesome. So, I’m feeling relieved that she seems to be taking the lead on giving it up. I really don’t think I could not nurse her if she was upset about the idea of stopping. We’ll see what the next few days hold.

      Not having twins, although it crossed my mind during all the awfulness. Ultrasound just showed one healthy little one. Twins! Wouldn’t that be an adventure!

      Benjamin is truly hysterical. He now refers to sex as “that time when nobody wears pants.” Best euphemism EVER.

  9. says

    The where-do-babies-come-from question and response made me laugh. Bravo for being honest with Benjamin about how it happens even though he is young and for taking the time to answer his questions! He sounds liek such a smart little guy!

  10. says

    Oh, that *is* the best euphemism ever. Hilarious. I starred this post in my Google Reader a while ago to come back and comment, and I’m just now getting to it.

    My oldest was 9 months old? Something like that, when I got pregnant with #2. He kept nursing a lot at least until he was one, then dropped back, but never stopped completely. Unlike lots of kids, his favorite nursing session was (and is) right after he wakes up. So he was only doing a morning and an after-nap for quite a while. Until the baby was born, and he was all about milk again (the baby is now 5 months old, big brother is 2, and he’s now back to nursing only once or twice a day). I kept nursing mostly because I felt like I was going to rock his world enough by introducing a new baby, I didn’t want to take away anything I didn’t have to.

    That being said, I really actually liked the LLL book about Tandem Nursing. I felt like it was very balanced in presenting when you might *need* to wean the older kid, when you might *want* to, and all the nutrition information and stuff that you might need to share with concerned persons (doesn’t the baby need colostrum? etc.)

    • Haley says

      Bless you for tandem nursing! Lucy has self-weaned so easily (thank goodness!) but if I have another baby that does NOT want to give it up tandem nursing would definitely be something I would consider. Thanks for the book recommendation!

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