Commentary on a Blessed Life

My Love Hate Relationship with Nursing

I am a seasoned nurser.

I call myself this only because I have successfully nursed three children. I do not claim to know everything about it. If people ask me for advice, I will (happily) give it. I do not play into any kind of “Mommy Wars” on this subject. Feed your kid. Period.

I nurse because I can. I nurse because financially it makes sense for my family. I nurse because I love to do it and I find it easy and convenient to do.



I absolutely HATE HATE HATE pumping. It has to be the biggest time suck (literally) of my life. I hate cleaning the pump, I hate cleaning the bottles. I hate trying to find time during the work day to do it. I hate that everyone knows what I am doing in the teacher bathroom. I hate that we have no nursing room and I have to pump in the bathroom. I hate the sound of the pump sucking me dry. Pumping is my personal hell.

This year we made a decision that I would only pump enough for me to be able to nurse Ryan. Meaning, I do not produce enough to sustain Ryan so we have to supplement with formula. I do not feel any guilt about this fact.

Ryan is fed and happy so I am happy.

Glad I got that off my chest. HA.

20141115-193940.jpgThe after eating coma. I love that sweet face.

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I’ve realized something about myself. On Netflix, I am only able to watch one show at a time. For instance, I finished Gossip Girl which freed up time for me to watch House of Cards and when I was caught up with that I could watch Orange is the New Black. Now that I am finished (for the time being) with OITNB I am now able to watch season 4 of Pretty Little Liars.

This is so strange to me because I watch a million different shows on regular TV (which I DVR) at once. Since I am up in the middle of the night (Ugh…that deserves its own post) I watch all the shows in any order I want…

I also never watch Netflix at home…just at the gym or other random times.

SO weird.

What does this say about my personality?


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Thank a veterinarian

Megan came home from school yesterday with a card she had made. It was really well done, with stars and stripes on the front and carefully placed letters “thank you” on the inside. She was so proud of herself and told me we needed to give it to a veterinarian tomorrow (today) because it was Veterinarians Day for the whole country.

Oh, how I just love that girl.

In all seriousness, I do want to remember all of the men and women who have given their lives both physically and mentally to make our country a better place to live. I found myself a bit choked up this morning as we stood at Veterans Park in Loveland and thanked the many people who had served our country in some capacity.
No matter how you feel about our president or our military, today is a day to remember that it is people who give of themselves every day.

So, thank a veterinarian (Veteran) today!


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Welcome, Ryan Robert

As I said before, I have sort of been overwhelmed the last week or two. I am actually feeling better today and the weekend was just what I needed to bring my sanity back. We spent a lot of time together just as a family of five which is something I really crave. I love having people around, but it is always nice to just lay low for a while and just chill with my tribe.

Being overwhelmed, it is easy just to pass over things, but I don’t want to do that…

On November 2, we welcomed out sweet baby boy, Ryan, into the Catholic Church. It was a beautiful day outside to match the wonderful occasion inside. With each child I have seen how meaningful this rite it is. I have always loved watching Baptisms at our church, our priest does an amazing job welcoming not only the new member, but the entire family as well. The congregation is encouraged to gather around the font to see the Baptism up close and participate.
There were so many children and families gather around the font it was almost overwhelming. Being that I teach at the school connected with the church I worship, many of my students came to 9:45 mass because I invited them during the previous week.

We had family over afterwards and it was a delightful day. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then this post will be quite full!







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20141109-063312.jpg Megan and her BFF, whose mom happens to be my BFF of 35 years

I would call the last few weeks very busy in my world. Ever since we “fell back” it seems like I have a lot less time to do things that I need to get done…like laundry and dishes and making beds…et al.
I wish I could get to the gym more, but I have just not made it that big of a priority in my life. But, I need to. I want to be fit and healthy but it is so hard to find the time. I know this is a huge excuse, but it is my reality. I feel like my day is filled with so much to do that the last thing I want to do is take the kids to another place, get them out of the car, into the kids zone, change my clothes, work out, rinse and repeat. I even tried this week to start C25K which is only a committed 20 minutes three times a week. I made it one day, for a half hour. I felt AMAZING afterwards. In fact, I walked/ran two miles faster than I ever have before. But, alas, I haven’t made it back since Monday night.
I feel like I am being mediocre at everything and exceptional at nothing. I know this is a season of life, and I by no means want to wish this time away. But, I also want and need to be better at, well, everything, really. So, I am going to give myself the weekend to kind of get it together as far as my fitness and overall health plan goes, and then I am going to be committed again on Monday. Three days a week is all that I need. Just three days.
You all know how much I love my job and my school. I feel privileged that I get to wake up and do something that I love. But to say that having a newborn and two other children to attend to and a job is difficult is an understatement. It has been a hard transition back to work this time around. I still love my job, but I am working on patience and organization and diligence almost every day. It has been rough…not that my students have noticed. My lessons have been better this year than they have ever been (in my opinion). I still love my work, but it is sometimes harder to get out the door than it used to be.
WOW…I have complained a lot in this post. I really didn’t mean to. I still feel blessed in this life that is mine. I am still honored to be the mother of my children and the wife to my husband. I just need to breathe and see the reality of life in the moment.

20141109-063437.jpgfirst snow

20141109-063529.jpgBoo Boo Bear

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I’m That Mom

So the other day Megan came home from Pre-K in the best mood. Like, “super excited, super happy, I have the best life ad nauseum” kind of mood. She could barely get the words out of her mouth why she was so excited…
She got to use scissors at school, and she was good at it!!!!! The teacher told her what a great cutter she was!!!!

My kids are not allowed to use markers or paint or glitter or scissors or anything else that will make a huge mess.

There, I said it.

I will not let myself feel like a terrible mother because of this. The fact of the matter is, I am a working mom and I like my home and my kids to look a certain way. I do not want markers on faces that take extra time to scrub at night, I do not want glitter all over the kitchen floor that I sweep at least twice a day. I have a personal fear of the children cutting their own hair with scissors (um, from personal experience). And I am not jealous of the Pinterst people who have all the time in the world to craft and make messes and clean them up and post these said projects on Facebook. I, in fact, am happy for them. Go on with your bad self!

Now before you go off and think what a boring life my kids must have and how deprived they are, trust me, they are happy and content and really happy. They use crayons and colored pencils. They have so many coloring books it is kind of an addiction. We have made bracelets and used Play dough and the stickers, oh the stickers.

But mostly at home, they love to play. Inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs, in the basement, anywhere. Hands down, 100% of the time when you ask them what they want to do, it is playing ~ riding bikes, scooters, toy cars, and running around playing make-believe.

I acknowledge that I will be the mom that will be helicoptering over school projects at home. Not because I want them to be perfect or I feel the need for them to be the best; but because I will not want scraps of things all over the floor of my house. The Dirtdevil will have a daily work-out.

Believe it.


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Real Pain

Today is the day my dad died four years ago.

And I am heartbroken.


With each passing year I think it will be easier, but it is not.

I am sad that my children will never know the love of their Grandfather.

I am bitter when I see other people with their dad.

I am angry that his doctor did not diagnose the cancer earlier.

I am haunted by the memory of him lying in hospice.

I still run his eulogy in my mind all the time and it hurts my heart.

My dad lived a wonderful life.

He is the most generous person I have ever met.

He loved his family.

He was a hard worker and a loving provider.

My dad was the greatest.

I am sad today.

Tomorrow I may appear not to be sad, but I still am.

I think the worst part is knowing no one knows my pain, because he was mine and no one can possibly feel what I feel.

I will never forget what I had and what I lost on this day in 2010


Love you, dad, today and always.

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I Love Being a Teacher

As all of my loyal readers know (I’m talking to the one or two loyal readers I have, Beth and Beth’s mom!), I am a religion teacher at a Catholic school. I love my job. I am slightly obsessed with the Catholic Church and building my relationship with God by spreading God’s word to others. I think I have the world’s most perfect job (for me). I get to do what I love everyday with kids that are somewhat interested in what I have to say. When I was a child I always wanted to be a teacher. Really, since second grade. In high school I was a part of a really awesome youth group and my leader expanded my mind into thinking that I would be a great religion teacher…and I am. Not to toot my own horn (but I will!), I am an excellent religion teacher. I spend a ton of time thinking of creative ways to teach my students to grow in their faith. I try to create lessons that put God in a tangible perspective for my kids. I go back and forth about ways to teach a concept that is so very difficult to really grasp. I mean, let’s face it, most adults have a hard time grasping their faith, let alone 12-14 year old kids.

One of my favorite things to do as a teacher is to create really neat bulletin boards. I always joke that I only have two great talents; cutting letters and creating bulletin boards. It is true.
So I came up with some pretty awesome bulletin boards this fall and I thought I would share them here.

Let me know what you think!






Oktoberfest Cincinnati

Growing up we really did not have any “cultural” traditions. In fact, I was never really sure which ethnicity I was. My mom always said her family was Italian and Irish and my dad was mostly German, but, none of my upbringing was strong in any nationality.

I remember a friend of my mom’s being very Italian and when we stayed at her cottage in the summer she and her mother would always cook the BEST Italian sauce that they called gravy. It was delicious and I love the idea of passing cultural events on to my children, but, like I said, we just don’t have any.

Shawn, however, was born into a very strong German heritage. His grandma was a German cook and had a traditional Sunday dinner for their family as long as he can remember. Cincinnati, in general, is a very German place to live. In fact, the Oktoberfest in Cincinnati is the second largest only to the festival in Germany. This weekend we did what any good German family would do and dressed our kids in traditional German outfits and headed downtown to celebrate.

Oh my goodness, we had the best time. We very rarely do things like this as a family. This weekend made me want to schedule so many more things for us to do. From oldest to youngest the kids loved it and they were certainly loved by everyone there. Can you blame them?






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A Little Update

Ryan turned three months old on Friday and I cannot believe my little is getting so big. We go for his check-up this week but if I had to guess I would say he is around 15 pounds. He is currently wearing 3-6 month clothing and eating about 6 ounces of formal/milk every 2-3 hours. The boy likes to eat. Of all of my children, he enjoys breast feeding the least. He is not a great latcher and gets distracted very easily. I know it is what is is, so I am continuing to nurse. My long term goal is to breast feed for a year, but I am hoping to make it six months in all honesty. I am okay with whatever happens. Currently, I am pumping twice a day at work which might be my most frustrating annoyance. I only get enough for about one and a half bottles and sometimes not even that but it takes a lot of time, energy and scheduling to get the pumping sessions in. Again, there is nothing I can really do about it, so it is what it is.

Ryan is really pure joy. I absolutely love having him a part of our family and Megan and Tyler love him so much too! I honestly love being a mother and would have three more if I was so old and poor. HA! His smile is infectious and he is generally happy about 90% of the time.

I will leave you with three pictures from the last three months.




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