7 Quick Takes Friday — 7 Blogs That Make Me Want To Be A Better Mom

7 Quick Takes

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Segullah: Though the writers are Mormon and I am very much NOT, it’s a wonderful blog to read because I can identify with a lot of the posts. One of the women is a pre-eclampsia survivor (her beautiful girls are 4 years old now) and others are stay-at-home moms who encourage me greatly. There’s a lot to be said for the commonality of motherhood. (Thanks Ann for introducing me to this site!)

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House of Estrogen: This is Ann’s blog and she talks about life with three daughters. (The title comes from the fact that her husband is the lone male in a “house of estrogen”.) I found Ann through The Simple Woman’s Daybook and I love the way she blogs honestly about the seemingly mundane stuff in raising her daughters. (It feels like she and I are the only ones who aren’t conservative Catholic/Protestant homeschoolers.) I feel a lot of times like I have no idea what I’m doing in raising Daniel and Ann gives me a lot of confidence.

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Scenes from the Wild: Michelle is one of the Segullah bloggers (she’s one of the blog editors, actually) and I just found her blog in the last week through Ann. (Her blog sidebar links are great — what else can I say!) I just got done reading through all the archives and I’ve put it on my feed reader. Michelle has six kids — five (!!!) boys and one spoiled princess. I love that she’s not a perfect mom and that she admits this (a little too freely — she should give herself more credit). She reminds me that part of being a mom (a large part) is just showing up and being present for your kids. I just hope Daniel turns out as well as her sons have. Oh yes… she is an AMAZING photographer — her blog is surfworthy for just the photography.

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Fear Not Little Flock: The preoteasa is another find from The Simple Woman’s Daybook. She has four kids, homeschools them, and is also the wife of a Byzantine Catholic priest. She’s become a dear friend because she understands the crazy dynamics of being a clergy spouse and she’s a fellow NICU-mom and pre-eclampsia survivor. I’ve learned a whole lot about Eastern Catholicism in the last 4 months and have gotten tips on how to keep my house clean. 🙂

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Permission to Live: This is another pastor’s wife and a mom who deserves a whole lot more credit than she gives herself. I learned about “gentle parenting” from her blog and it’s been invaluable with a two year old to be able to put him down in his crib and give him “a moment” when he throws a tantrum. (I’ll also sometimes give him his bottle and let him self-calm if it’s appropriate.) She grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household and is dealing with the fallout of it, so she is especially interesting to read when it comes to faith issues because she is brutally honest about where we really fall short as believers. (This is a *good* thing.)

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Elizabeth Esther: I love Elizabeth because she talks a lot about being a mom and dealing with her fundamentalist upbringing. (I’m not from a Christian background — I’m a convert to the faith — but I had a lot of friends who grew up in similar families.) She writes a parenting column for the OC Register and posts some amazing insights on her blog. I have learned a great deal from her and her musings about parenting her five kids.

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I Have to Sit Down: I read Simcha not for the parenting advice but for her sense of humor. Her posts are fabulous but what got her on my feed reader was this quiz. I was reading it one of the nights Daniel was in the PICU and answer 3c made me cry from laughing so hard. (I didn’t know that one could *DO* extra-credit at a Santaria club.) She has eight kids and she admits to her house being crazy, library books being ruined, and a whole lot of things that would probably faze me if I didn’t know that they were just par for the course.

(For more of this, head to Conversion Diary.)

7 Quick Takes Friday — Rules from Your Pastor’s Wife

7 Quick Takes

This is my first week of doing the 7 Quick Takes and I guess my topic will be rules from your friendly neighborhood pastor’s wife/khouria/preoteasa/rebbetzin. (Let’s assume for this exercise that the clergy spouse is female, OK?) Keep in mind that this is written a bit tongue-in-cheek.

01.) Thou shalt remember that you called the pastor, not the pastor’s wife. Our husbands are the ones with the call to ministry — not us. We’re the bonus you get. Our primary role is to support our pastor husbands and if we have any energy left over (which isn’t much at the moment in my case), we’ll plug ourselves into the church.

02.) Thou shalt not use us as our husband’s answering service. If you have something to tell Pastor Husband, you need to tell HIM. Telling me is a bad idea — I have a bad short-term memory and it just looks silly to have me standing outside the sanctuary with a notebook so you can write down messages for the pastor.

03.) Thou shalt respect the pastor’s day off. Pastor Husband works on Sunday so he gets a day off during the week — it’s in the Letter of Call. This day is to be used to be with family, take care of errands, make appointments, and have a life. The pastor *WILL* respond to genuine pastoral emergencies which are the following: death, hospitalization, and fire. If none of those apply, wait until the next day.

04.) Thou shalt pray for the pastor’s family that they have the patience and that which they need to best live up to the expectations of parishioners. We live in a fishbowl. Our lives are on public display whether we like it or not and regardless of whether the parish is respectful of our boundaries. We’re human and we can ALWAYS use prayers, especially to deal with our human condition and find ways to overcome it and be the saints that people expect us to be.

05.) Thou shalt not drop by the parsonage unannounced. The parsonage is our home. It is not an extension of the church — it is the place where we are entitled to our privacy. If you want to have coffee with me, call me and ask. The answer might be “yes” if the wee bairn is having a good day. The answer might be “no” if the wee bairn is asleep and the pastor’s wife is dealing with a nasty fibromyalgia flare-up. Bottom line: call first. It’s the polite thing to do.

06.) Thou shalt not badmouth other people to the pastor’s wife. Pastor Husband doesn’t tell me what he hears in counselling sessions and I prefer it that way. Thus, I don’t know who in the parish is an alcoholic and who in the parish is going through a messy divorce. I prefer this and I would rather not have people tell me these things out-of-turn because it’s none of my business. It also creates the problem of someone trashing people so often that the one time they have something valid, it gets ignored because it’s regarded as just another useless piece of gossip.

07.) Thou shalt love thy pastor’s wife and their family. Seriously, it makes it easier on all of us if you love us and make us feel welcome. It’s hard to get a baby fed and clothed in addition to making myself look like I haven’t just rolled out of bed. Please make my efforts to make it to church worthwhile. It means I’ll make a more concerted effort to be there and I’ll be in a better mood.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: April 4, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY April 4, 2011

Outside my window… beautiful and sunny. Spring is here.

I am thinking… about Daniel’s SSI hearing… down in Pomona. (Guess who forgot to tell them that they moved? Yeah… March kind of got away from me.)

I am thankful for… Daniel turning 2 (story below), my seeds that were started this weekend, and black cats that consent to be petted by toddlers.

From the kitchen… nothing “homemade” but a whole lot from Trader Joe’s.

I am wearing… a blue t-shirt and running shorts. It’s cold in the parsonage so I’ll be putting sweats on imminently.

I am creating… this entry and a baby blanket if I can manage to stick to my Lenten discipline. (Not doing well thus far.)

I am going… to Walgreens in a bit, bloodwork for Daniel tomorrow, Daniel’s 2 year old Well-Child appointment on Wednesday (his 2nd birthday is actually Thursday), and Metanoia’s Ladies Night Out tomorrow at a local restaurant here in Gold Country.

I am reading… The Diva Cooks A Goose by Krista Davis. A nice fluffy murder mystery.

I am hoping… Daniel will go down for a nap or something. (I took a break from this and put him down in his crib with his bottle.)

I am hearing… Daniel babbling and “A Clamor & A Whisper” by Anberlin.

Around the house… there’s cleaning to do… around Daniel’s taking apart of the kitchen and anything else he can find.

One of my favorite things… Daniel’s smile when he sees me.

A few plans for the rest of the week: See “I am going” and add in Daniel turning 2 on Thursday and Midweek Lenten Soup Supper on Wednesday.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing… Daniel 2 years ago. Yes, that’s my nasty-looking hand next to him. (My skin was cracking from being so dry and I also had a few IV pokes in there as well.) For those who don’t know the story, they had to do an emergency c-section at 29 weeks because I developed HELLP Syndrome which is a nasty variant of pre-eclampsia. This was taken on April 8, 2009 (his second day of life) and at this stage, the only contact I could have was “finger-holding” because he was on a ventilator and all those wires and such. He knew my voice and his little hands would squeeze my fingers. It was really amazing at the time and seeing this picture reminds me of how amazing it is that he’s turning two this week.

Wanting to put my money where my mouth is, I’m taking part in the Promise Walk for Pre-eclampsia on May 7th. Click the image on my sidebar if you want to sponsor me.

Daniel two years ago.

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The Simple Woman’s Daybook: March 28, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 28, 2011

Outside my window… sunny and supposed to be in the 60’s. A drastic change from the apocalyptic storm we had on Thursday.

I am thinking… about how much I want to go back to sleep.

I am thankful for… Daniel amusing himself right now so I can do this.

From the kitchen… probably tomato soup from Trader Joe’s.

I am wearing… a charcoal shirt and sweats.

I am creating… this entry and a baby blanket if I ever find time to work on it.

I am going… to Trader Joe’s and possibly Walgreens later.

I am reading… Fowl Prey by Mary Daheim.

I am hoping… it doesn’t take too long to assemble and print out all the stuff that Medi-Cal wants.

I am hearing… the furnace and Daniel.

Around the house… laundry has to be sorted and folded.

One of my favorite things… Daniel’s smile and laugh.

A few plans for the rest of the week: meeting with Medi-Cal tomorrow, going up to Sacramento on Thursday or Friday to get Daniel’s Lovenox refilled.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing… No picture this week — I’m unprepared.

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The Simple Woman’s Daybook: March 21, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 21, 2011

Outside my window… sunshine after storms.

I am thinking… about all the patient assistance stuff and bureaucracy to deal with to try and get some of Daniel’s hospital bills written off or paid by the state.

I am thankful for… Daniel being discharged.

From the kitchen… not sure tonight.

I am wearing… black v-neck shirt, pj bottoms

I am creating… a baby blanket and this entry.

I am going… to UCD Medical Center tomorrow for Daniel’s Coumadin Clinic appointment and various other places this week.

I am reading… Legs Benedict by Mary Daheim.

I am hoping… Daniel’s clot goes away so I don’t have to do 2 1/2 more months of shots on him.

I am hearing… Finian purring and Daniel whining.

Around the house… stuff to unpack.

One of my favorite things… having a snuggly child again.

A few plans for the rest of the week: doctor’s appointments, mid-week Lenten services.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing… My wedding bouquet and the rings. (My 9th anniversary is Wednesday.)

Bouquet and rings.

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The Simple Woman’s Daybook: March 14, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 14, 2011

Outside my window… dark. My laptop was refusing to start this morning so I had to wait until now to post.

I am thinking… about the Lovenox shots that I’ll be giving for the next few months to Daniel because of the blood clot in his leg caused by the central line. I’m also somewhat terrified that he’s not going to pass his swallow study and end up going home on the feeding tube.

I am thankful for… Daniel being on the peds ward now, for my laptop working, for Mom being empathetic, for the charge nurse snuggling Daniel for much of today, and for the student nurses entertaining him in the playroom.

From the kitchen… still eating hospital food.

I am wearing… my We Will Not Be Silent shirt and my penguin pajama bottoms.

I am creating… a baby blanket for Lent (which I really should work on) and this entry.

I am going… home with Daniel hopefully Wednesday but definitely by the end of this week.

I am reading… A Decadent Way to Die by G.A. McKevett

I am hoping… Daniel passes his swallow study tomorrow.

I am hearing… Daniel’s roommate screaming (justifiably — the poor kid had corrective surgery that involved bones today)

Around the house… haven’t been home in 2 weeks

One of my favorite things… my shower at the Ronald McDonald House today.

A few plans for the rest of the week: hopefully going home with Daniel

Here is picture for thought I am sharing… Daniel and I in the playroom.

Daniel and I in the playroom.

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The Simple Woman’s Daybook: March 1, 2011

I almost lost Daniel tonight so pardon me if I’m a bit bitter and cynical.

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 1, 2011

Outside my window… the hallway to the MSICU and the PICU where Daniel is.

I am thinking… about how I’m going to get through this time of Daniel being in the PICU.

I am thankful for… Daniel rebounding and not needing to go on ECMO.

From the kitchen… I’m eating out of the hospital cafeteria — when I have an appetite.

I am wearing… grey shirt and pajama bottoms.

I am creating… this entry.

I am going… nowhere anytime soon except the bathroom and the PICU. (I’m banished to the “quiet room” tonight because they need to keep Daniel’s room open in case ECMO has to happen tonight.)

I am reading… Auntie Mayhem by Mary Daheim.

I am hoping… Daniel pulls through this soon and his lungs start making a turnaround. Mostly, I’m just hoping he makes it through the night without any more problems.

I am hearing… Jon sleeping, the ventilation system, occasional alarms. God willing, I will not hear “Code Blue: Tower 7 PICU.”

Around the house… I’m at UC Davis Medical Center. I don’t know when I’ll see the parsonage again.

One of my favorite things… the amount of support from family, friends, and parishioners. Also the way the nurses take care of me in addition to Daniel.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Being here in Sacramento at the UCD MC PICU.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing… My life is too horrific at the moment to photograph.

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