2014: A Year Without Babies

I’m going to jump on the end-of-the-year blog-bandwagon and post a little about 2014.

The best way I can describe 2014 is a year without babies.  I had a baby in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, & 2013 and this is the first year that we were married long enough that I did not have a baby.  This is my first year that’s not a Baby’s First Christmas.

Kevin and I are Catholic, married, fertile and of child-bearing age.  The Catholic Church permits the use of NFP (natural family planning) for serious and grave reasons.  (See here, here, here, here, here, and here.) We are grateful that we have access to NFP, but disheartened that we had reason for NFP. This next baby, due in May, 19 months after Baby5 is my biggest distance.  On purpose.

2014 started off with news that has changed our world, rocked our very being.  My son Vince, now almost 3.5, had an MRI appointment scheduled for 1/2/14.  We had the other kids sleep over their grandparents the night before and took Vince into Children’s Hospital, leaving before 5:30 a.m.  We were doing the MRI because Vince had a small lump at the base of his skull.  The surgeon wanted to find out exactly what it was before he removed it.
“It’s not a big deal,” the pediatric surgeon, the primary doctor and the MRI scheduler-people all said.  “When you get to it,” they added.

The day before Vince's surgery a friend came here to take family pictures.

The day before Vince’s surgery a friend came here to take family pictures.

Surprise! They found a brain tumor, a totally seperate thing than he had had the MRI for originally.  The brain tumor was the size of a golf ball in his left frontal lobe and ended up being a polymixoid astrocytoma.  Our entire focus changed.  We took Vince 500 miles to the closest other real Children’s Hospital in Kansas City for a second opinion.  They agreed with the first docs and Vince had his brain tumor removed March 7th.  The surgery went remarkably well and Vince had no neurological effects from the surgery.

Vince continues follow ups.  He continues speech therapy, too.  His latest follow-up was inconclusive.  They were unable to tell if the tumor was coming back or not. There is nothing to do but wait and pray.  In March, he’ll have another MRI and if the tumor is coming back, he’ll need chemo.  Even as I type these, I can’t believe I’m writing about my own child.

Of course Vince and his tumor have dominated us this year.  I’ll give you a few quick takes on other 2014 happenings…

1. I bought a pregnant pig.  Her name is Mouse and she is a sweetheart.  She had her babies in June and we’re raising some of them for meat.  They’re still around because I don’t know what I’m doing and their weight gain has been slower than it should have been.

2. My garden failed. Again.

3. We finally refinanced our house.  We had issues with that, just with the house itself, like that our well was on a different property and that kind of crazy stuff we don’t have control over and banks don’t like.

4.  I finally got my propane stove.  Have I ever mentioned how much I hated the electric coil stove I used to have? When it finally broke beyond repair and we were without an oven for four months, someone gave us their old oven and then that broke, too.  I got a propane stove and the oven spased out and rather than Whirlpool sending a repairman to my rural area, they credited me back and I got yet another new stove.  In the past 12 months, I’ve had four stoves.  I hope this last one is a keeper.

I know it's Wal-mart, but the Wal-mart in Goodland Kansas is pretty dinky and just not worth the trip.

I know it’s Wal-mart, but the Wal-mart in Goodland Kansas is pretty dinky and just not worth the trip.

5. I went grocery shopping in Kansas once.  I hate Colorado.  I remember lamenting that in 2012, I never left the state.  In 2014, I left the state three times- one quick trip by plane to New York and New Jersey to visit my ailing grandmother and one quick trip in August into Kansas to go grocery shopping. And of course there was Kansas City Missouri and Kansas for Vince’s second opinion.  Pathetic travelling.  I know.

I really don’t know what else to say.

2014 was a miserable year, a year dominated by Vince’s brain tumor, a year without babies, a year so bad that we actually had a reason for NFP.  I wish I could leave it behind, however, Vince will have followups for this the rest of his life.  Pray for good results!

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Don’t Listen to Bloggers

I am a blogger.  On this particular blog, I hope that you can laugh with me (not at me) in my journey from Jersey girl to prairie farmer’s wife. I learn every day.  I die to myself every day.  I share some of it with you.

I love my computer.  My little house on the prairie has four walls, four walls in the middle of the lonely prairie.  On my computer, I can do some of my grocery and Christmas shopping, learn a new recipe, and educate myself (a bit).

Although I can say that all-in-all, the computer has enriched our lives, I wanted to caution you on something… Don’t believe everything you read.  Take everything with a grain of salt. Do your own research. As much information is out there, there is almost an equal amount of misinformation.  

I’m a housewife from New Jersey. Sure I have a BS degree, but what this really means is that I know jack.  There are tons of other bloggers out there (whose blogs and posts get a lot more traffic than mine) and I can bet that a lot of them aren’t scientists either.  So when you read on a blog or a forum that A definitely causes B, chances are that the author is shooting from her hips.

It seems bloggers make these outlandish statements when it comes to a lot of topics that I’m interested in.  Things like parenting and discipline, breastfeeding, natural child rearing and attachment parenting, GMOs, vaccines, cancer and nutrition, organics, soy, etc. I’m telling you, in a lot of cases they are giving anecdotal evidence or shooting from their hips.

I tend to write things on my blog like “This is what works for me.” or “This seems like a plausible theory.” I really try not to contribute to the misinformation problem.  Let me know if I do.

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  And this is my philosophy.  I take all the information and misinformation and try to weed through it.  When I need to make a decision for my family, I make it using principles of God, nature and good ol’ common sense. This is my advice to you, too…. make your family decisions based on the principles of God, nature and common sense.

If some blogger said it, all that means is that she has an internet connection and the freedom of speech.  It doesn’t make her right.  Remember this always.

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