Rebecca Nixon

Thoughts, Musings, & Ramblings of a Catholic Housewife

What The ?!?!?!?!?

Who in the H*LL gains 14 pounds in less than 4 weeks?  Who?  Me.  That’s who.  This girl gained 14 freakin’ pounds in just under 4 weeks.  At 12 weeks pregnant I weigh as much as I did when I gave birth to Colette.  I couldn’t believe it when I found out today.  I’m not swollen (or if I am, it’s spread out all over and isn’t noticeable) and my clothes aren’t fitting any differently than they were 8 weeks ago (or 2 weeks ago or even last week).  I don’t know – maybe the change is so subtle that I didn’t notice it but ARGH!!! this weight gain is driving me crazy.  Before you say it – yes I’m pregnant.  Yes, the baby needs nourishment, but let’s be honest here folks.  I’m not a tiny girl.  I have plenty of nourishment to offer my baby WITHOUT needing to increase my calorie intake.  I can safely LOSE weight throughout my ENTIRE pregnancy and the baby would be totally fine.  Honestly, I probably should lose weight.  I want to have a VBAC and the healthier I am, the better the chance of it being successful.  Seems like the holidays are the perfect time to throw caution to the wind and use pregnancy as an excuse to enjoy whatever I want.  After all, the Church even exempts me from any rules of fasting because I’m pregnant.   I’ve said it before – we all suffer for the sake of our children.  We suffer through difficult pregnancies (well, others do – all of my pregnancies have been quite easy, especially compared to some of my friends), labor & delivery, sleepless nights, discomfort, days without showering, cracked nipples, having to re-navigate how to make our marriages work now that kids have joined us on the outside, etc.  I should be ready to joyfully accept the tiny bit of suffering that would come with not helping myself to seconds or indulging in dessert.  Should…but I’ll be honest.  I’m not exactly looking forward to it.  It’s gonna be tough.  I’d appreciate some prayers.

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn…

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  A day to remember all babies whose parents and families have had to say goodbye, sometimes before they’ve been able to say hello.  Lets be honest, if this is a cross you are carrying, then you remember you baby (or babies) everyday.  You don’t need a day to highlight their memories.  What is great about today, though, is that it sheds light (for the rest of the world) on what can be something very difficult to talk about.  Something that is almost treated as taboo, perhaps because people just aren’t sure how to help.  They can’t make it better and death is messy stuff (just like life).  It’s uncomfortable to wade through that mess with somebody else, especially if you never had to deal with it yourself.  Today I think of the Beatitudes, especially “Blessed are those who weep and mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Dear families who are on this journey, who’ve been given this cross, please know that you are not alone.  You may be in the absolute deepest depths of weeping and mourning.  You may be surrounded by this mess but you are not alone.  There are millions of us on this journey with you.  Please, know that we are here for you, for each other, and let us comfort each other on this journey.  What’s more, know that our Blessed Mother understands our hearts and our pain.  She, too, buried her child.  No, she didn’t lose her pregnancy to a miscarriage and no, Jesus didn’t die as a young babe or child.  But, she said yes to God’s will and all that it entailed.  She gave herself wholly and completely to God, offering up EVERYTHING she was and had to Him.  We do that, too, when we say yes to life.  When we are willing to allow God to work in our wombs, to participate in creation with Him, we are offering up EVERYTHING we have and are to Him and the new life (lives) He is bringing forth in us.  We are given the great blessing of being life-bearers, of being co-creators with God.  Rain & rainbows, blessing and suffering – they come hand in hand.  We are guaranteed that there will always be some bitter sprinkled (or poured) upon us with the sweet.

There is a famous 80’s rock song…you know the one. “Every rose has it’s thorn.  Every night has it’s dawn.”  No matter where you are on your journey, no matter how normal or not your “new normal” feels, no matter if you feel like you are in the middle of the darkest night or thickest thorn bush, please know this.  Roses will bloom, the sun will rise, and you are allowed to find comfort & joy in your life and whatever new blessings you are given.  Weep, mourn, scream, pray, talk…do what you need to do and know that we are here, all around you, ready to embrace you, to weep, mourn, scream, pray, and talk with you.  You are not alone.  You are never alone.  You have all of us, along with all the angels & Saints, and our dear Blessed Mother walking with you, praying for you, and offering whatever comfort we can.

The end of this world, this temporal life, will eventually come for all of us.  May we live lives that lead us and our families closer to Christ, into His loving arms.  May we be hidden and comforted in His sacred heart.  When each of us are called, may we find that we are happy and our family is whole.

Victor's Marker

Victor’s Marker

Jesus, we trust in you.  All the holy innocents, pray for us.

Let Them Be Saints!

{I’ve been praying about this post and trying to write it in such a way to convey my feelings and what, I feel, is something very important, while remaining charitable.  I don’t want to offend anyone but I do want to make people think about their choices.  To really consider the implications of what, for many, are things that they don’t give much thought to.  If we are to be people of Christ, true & authentic Christians, then we are to live in the world but not be of the world.  We live our daily lives in the world, loving our neighbors & being the hands and feet of Christ to all we meet, without buying into the materialistic urges & idolatry that saturate this world.  We are to live our lives with an eternal mindset, keeping our focus on Heaven, because we know that this is not the end.  Not by any means.  With that in mind, I think it’s good to talk about Heaven and Hell.  It’s good to examine our lives and talk about how we can choose to be saints and how we can let our children be saints.}

It is dogma of the Catholic Church that original sin alone is enough to condemn a soul to hell & we all have the stain of original sin on our souls from conception.  Baptism is the only means of cleansing a soul from original sin.  Knowing this, as a parent who’s lost a pregnancy to miscarriage, this dogma could haunt me.  After-all, what does this mean for my son?  Could my son, my precious innocent son, who was guilty of no personal sin, really NOT be in Heaven?  Where would his soul be then?  For a long time, theologians speculated that all babies who die without being baptized and without committing any personal sin of their own (prior to the age of reason, which is around 7) did not go to Heaven (by virtue of being stained by original sin) or Hell (by virtue of being innocent of any personal sin).  They went to limbo (for lack of a better word).  Limbo is a state outside of the beatific vision and heavenly glory but also removed from torture and damnation.  It is a place of eternal natural happiness.  Some say limbo is on the absolute, outermost fringes of Hell because they are still absent from God, as God and sin can not co-exist.  However, nobody told us that our son was probably spending eternity in limbo.  Everyone seemed certain he was in Heaven.

Why was everyone so certain?  Why am I confident that our son is enjoying the beatific vision and being cradled by our Blessed Mother whenever I ask her to?  I am confident because I trust in the mercy of God and know that our desire for Victor to be baptized is enough.   The church teaches that the desire for baptismespecially in times when baptism isn’t possible (miscarriage, stillbirth, early loss, living someplace where baptism is unavailable, dying on the way to be baptized, etc.), is enough.  God knows that if we were given the chance, our boy would’ve been baptized.  He also knew that we weren’t going to have the chance to have our son baptized.  God is love.  He loves all of our children so much more than we ever could & will always take care of them.  We wanted to baptize our son.  We desired for that saving grace to be poured upon him and weren’t given the chance.  I trust that God absolutely knew our hearts, our desire, and our son was saved.

We trust the church’s teaching and in God’s love and mercy.  We trust that our desire was enough because desire is all we had, we had no other choice.  I don’t understand and my heart breaks for families who must trust that their desire was enough, not because they didn’t have another choice but because they delayed having their healthy babies baptized when they had the chance.  Parents put off baptizing their children for numerous reasons.  They can’t get everyone together, the grandparents, the godparents, etc until baby is older – perhaps even a year old or more.  The space they want to rent for the after-party isn’t available until 6 months down the line (or the caterer/dj/whatever).  They’re just busy with life, caring for a newborn, perhaps caring for other children, and just don’t get around to scheduling it.  Perhaps, one parent doesn’t want their child baptized.  I can’t imagine the pain of suddenly losing your child coupled with the knowledge that they hadn’t been baptized.  I am thankful that a desire for baptism is enough to save a child and I pray that every unbaptized child, who is innocent of personal sin, had someone who desired baptism for them.  I imagine most parents wouldn’t put off baptism if they knew their child only had a few months to live.  {These scenarios are different from the cases where parishes or priests make it difficult for parents to get their children baptized quickly.  Perhaps they don’t allow parents to attend prep classes before the baby is born, or don’t offer a varied schedule of prep classes to make it easier for parents to find a class that works with their schedule.  They have one Sunday every 3 or 4 months where all the babies (who’s parents have gone through prep) are baptized.  You could have a long wait in a parish like that, depending on the prep class schedule and when your baby is born.  While you could argue that parents in situations like these could just go seek out a different parish for their child’s baptism, that isn’t really appropriate.  A child should be baptized in their family’s parish, where they will regularly attend Mass.  To be honest, if we were in a situation like that I would seriously consider just baptizing our child at home, myself (or having my husband baptize them).  It might be illicit but it would be valid.}

I recently involved in a discussion of when to schedule a baptism.  The question was whether the family should wait to have their baby baptized until they would be able to travel home to their family, as they felt it was too much to ask their families to travel to them for the baptism, or not.  I voted for not waiting.  I said their family *should* understand.  Not long ago (i.e. less than 50 years) parents would never dream of waiting for their children to be baptized.  They understood the great importance of this Sacrament in their child’s life.  I’ve heard of babies being baptized mere HOURS after birth – and not because they were in danger of death but because their parents knew this was an absolutely vital Sacrament.  Fathers would take their babies to be baptized without their wives (aka baby mamas), if they weren’t recuperated enough to journey to church.  If parents understood the great importance of this Sacrament so much that a mother would not delay her baby’s baptism so that she could attend, then why are we delaying so that extended family, godparents, and other friends can be present?

Baptism is our birth into the body of Christ and is the only means of removing original sin, making our souls absolutely pure.  Hence, the white baptismal garment is put on AFTER baptism.  Once you are baptized and up until you are guilty of any personal sin, you are a saint.  You are HOLY.  If you happen to die in a state of grace, free from all sin and the stain of sin, if you are a saint when you die then you go straight to Heaven.  No layover in Purgatory.  When we are baptized, we receive graces from Christ – these graces are what wash us clean & will help us throughout our lives as we strive to remain close to Christ.  Our souls are marked for Christ.  Considering all the graces that come with Baptism, I simply don’t understand putting it off.  You wouldn’t dream of putting off the baptism of a baby who is a preemie or very sick at birth, would you?  No.  {In cases where someone is in danger of death, ANYONE can baptize.  So, parents, if your baby is a preemie or very sick at birth – sprinkle water on them and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!  It counts!}  So, why put off your healthy baby’s baptism?

I’m obviously questioning the logic of putting off baptism and encouraging you not to.  So, what if you have an excuse, a reason to put off your child’s baptism?

What do you do if your spouse does not wish to have your child baptized?  Well, you probably knew this might be an issue when you married them.  If it wasn’t likely to be an issue at that time, then you probably saw signs that it could be an issue as your marriage progressed (maybe one of you converted/reverted to the church, or fell away from the church, etc.)  Unequal yokes suck.  Sorry about that.  Pray for your spouse and go get your kid baptized.  The church says that only one parent needs to consent to the baptism of a child.  If your spouse didn’t bother to use a seat belt would you consent to not buckling your child into their car seat?  I’m gonna say no.  You wouldn’t let your spouse’s quirks put your child’s physical safety in danger, don’t let them put their soul in danger, either.  (You could have a small, very private baptism, even in secret from your spouse (although you would eventually need to tell them), if you really aren’t ready to fight the fight over having your child baptized.  Talk to you parish priest about your situation & pray for the Holy Spirit to turn your spouse’s heart & mind.)

What about planning the party?  Well, frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn about your party and you really shouldn’t either.  If you have extended family with wild and crazy expectations about the party then let them put it together, but don’t put off baptism in order to have the perfect party.  (Think about this – especially if people aren’t able to be there for the baptism, you could throw a party later on to celebrate with them when they can travel in.  Godparents could pray over the baby, you could look through photos, and enjoy each other’s company.)  Sacraments are these amazing and powerful vehicles of grace.  They are tremendous gifts that God has given us.  Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, Weddings, Holy Orders…they aren’t about the party (I didn’t mention Anointing of the Sick or Confession because we don’t tend to make a hoopla out of receiving them).  All of our Sacraments are about the life-changing & saving grace that is given to the persons receiving them.  By the way, it isn’t just Baptism that is lost to the idea of the party.  Truly, First Communions (which aren’t any more important than your second or third or thirty-thousandth communion – you’re are receiving the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ EVERY time), Confirmations, and Marriage are all sacraments that can easily be overshadowed by the party that usually comes with them.)

Finally, what do you do if your child’s godparents need to travel in for the baptism and can’t make it until baby is a few months old (or older)?  Did you know that you can use PROXY godparents?  You can!  You can have people stand in for your chosen godparents, if they aren’t able to attend.  Perhaps it isn’t ideal but it doesn’t negate who your child’s godparents are or release your child’s godparents from the spiritual responsibility of being a godparent (after-all, the proxies make this promise & accept the responsibility on the godparents’ behalf).  Isn’t the grace and the saving work of baptism more important than having everyone in attendance?  Surely your child’s godparents would understand.

I am begging you, PLEASE don’t put off your baby’s baptism.  The Church even says that baptism is so important that parents should not delay getting their children baptized.  No reason is good enough – not waiting on everyone to be there or planning the perfect party or anything.  After-all, the Church even says that you don’t have to wait for a priest to baptize your child in cases where death may be likely.  Please, get your babies baptized as soon as possible!  Claim them for Christ, cleanse them of original sin, and have those graces poured over them.  Let them be saints for as long as possible.


What about our non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters, who don’t practice infant baptism?

In thinking about and preparing for this post, I put out a request to non-Catholic Christians for information about what they believe regarding baptism.  I knew that some denominations baptized infants while others do not.  I was wondering why, if they understand baptism the same way that we understand it, why wouldn’t they baptize all their babies immediately?  Why not save them as soon as they could?  After all, Christ’s death redeemed all of mankind making it possible for us to be saved.  Salvation is the work and acceptance of redemption.  Baptism is the gateway of salvation.  What I learned in asking my non-Catholic Christian friends about their beliefs on baptism astonished me.  Many denominations don’t practice infant baptism because they believe it is a public display of the believer’s personal choice to have a committed and personal relationship with Jesus or an outward sign of what God is doing inside the believer.  While many do believe baptism cleanses the baptized of sin, they don’t necessarily believe that baptism is needed for salvation.  I never understood why they didn’t practice infant baptism until I understood that they have a totally different understanding of baptism.  Obviously, if they don’t believe that baptism is needed for salvation, or that it is only a symbol of a believer’s choice to claim Christ, to lead a committed & dedicated Christian life then they would see no need to baptize their babies or small children.  It makes sense, now, why they would wait until a person was old enough to make that decision for themselves.  However, their babies are still stained by original sin and that alone is still enough to keep their children out of Heaven.  Would a loving and merciful God allow such a thing to happen?  If a family is being faithful to Him, striving to live out the truth as they know & understand it, would He allow their babies to be denied Heaven, should they die prior to baptism?  I don’t know.  I pray the answer is no.  We are bound by the Sacraments but God is not.  He’s God.  He can do what He wills.  I think that every non-Catholic Christian that I know, who doesn’t doesn’t practice infant baptism, are good Christians who are trying very hard to live holy and authentic, Christian lives.  God knows their hearts & their sincere desire for their children to be saved.  I would surmise that, if they believed what I believe and the Catholic church (along with some other non-Catholic  Christian denominations) teach about baptism, they would greatly desire it for their children and would not delay in having their children baptized.  I would also surmise that, even if they believe that baptism isn’t necessary for salvation, or that baptism is a choice that must be made by the person being baptized, they would still desire that all of their children are baptized because they would desire that all of their children claim a personal relationship with Jesus.  (I am also praying that the Holy Spirit will move in them and show them power and grace of baptism and they will become open to baptizing their babies.)

What about our non-Christian brothers and sisters?

I recently read a blog post by a deacon about desire and baptism and how our Rite of Baptism supports our teaching that the desire for baptism is enough to save a soul.  He mentioned that the one being, aside from a child’s parents, who has a vested interest in that child’s spiritual well being is their guardian angel.  Every child is assigned a guardian angel, who is tasked with watching over that child, helping them, praying for them, and guiding them to Christ.  It doesn’t matter what the child’s parents choose to believe or not.  EVERY child is given a guardian angel who stays with them throughout their life.  (It doesn’t matter what their parents believe or what they grow up to believe – their guardian angel will stay with them throughout their earthly life.)  The deacon mentioned that perhaps the desire of a guardian angel for their charge to be baptized would also be enough to save that soul, should they die prior to committing any personal sin.  I’d never thought of that before but it gives me such hope for the innocent children of my friends who are not believers.  It also gives me great hope for all of the babies who are victims of abortion.  I’ve also started to pray for these innocent souls, hoping that God may see my desire for them to be saved, and it may be enough.


Let us remember to pray for all the unbaptized, no matter their age, that their hearts are turned to Christ and that the desire for baptism grows in them or their parents.  May they all answer God’s call to come home to Him.  May we all be together with our Father, in Heaven, basking in His glory.


The day our daughter was baptized and became a saint.

A Blonde Baker’s Baby Dozen 2.0

After I finished my last list and shared it with a newly pregnant friend, I starting thinking of a few more baby items that we love.  Since I already had 14 (15 if you count how many product links I have) items on my list, I decided I’d just make another list. 🙂  Most of these aren’t really NEEDED items, but they sure are nice to have if you are gifted them or can find a good deal.  Also, the pictures are also links, for your convenience.  Here we go!

1) Chicco Caddy Hook On Chair It can be used with just about any table.  I love it.  It allows baby to sit at the table with us & folds up flat, so we can take it anywhere with us.  I happened to find ours at a secondhand baby store.





2) Bumbo Seat  I have always loved using these – both when I babysat and now with our daughter.  Lightweight, portable (I love portable things), easy to clean, and with the little tray table it’s the perfect little picnic chair for baby.  I would put baby in this, on our bed, against the wall (so she can’t fall off the bed – although, Bumbo specifically states this is a ground seat and shouldn’t be used on raised surfaces) while I got ready or was cleaning the room, etc.  She could watch what I was doing and we could interact but it also kept her from lying on her back or tummy all the time.  Plus, I didn’t have to worry about her rolling off the bed.




3) Swing There are lots of options – some more space saving or portable than others.  We were given a swing by a friend.  It is similar to the one pictured (same brand and similar design).  One thing I must tell you about our swing & this brand – they are durable!  Swings may only be useful from birth to around 6 months (depending on the size of your baby) but they can be used over and over for subsequent babies.  That’s bang for your buck.  Movement helps soothe babies and some great early naps happened in our swing.  We love that thing.  We just recently stopped using it because our baby started arching her back trying the baby in the mirror – this lead to minor safety issue of her hanging off the side of the swing (thank God she was buckled in, so she would just hang & not totally fall out) – didn’t seem to bother her.





4)First Years Bathtub This comes with a sling to use with newborns and then the tub has a reclined side for newborns/babies who can’t hold their head up or sit up and an upright side for babies/toddlers.  We don’t use this at home.  Generally, one of us just gets in the bath with our daughter and the other helps.  However, my mother bought this tub for her house.  Our daughter loves being able to sit up, on her own, in the water and play.  I will put her in this with toys & a little water in the shower with me.  That way she can play while I shower & then I can bathe her.  Win – win!!




5) Steam Sterilizer Bags  I love using these when we travel and for quick things at home (like the paci that rolled under the fridge).  Each bag can be used 20 times before tossing.

Skimming Through Life (Why I’ll NEVER Pay At The Pump Again)

You know, skimming can be a very useful skill.

To skim through an article or text or memo…whatever…to refresh your memory before a test or meeting – wonderful!

Skimming through the paper or a blog to get the gist of today’s headlines and goings on in the world at large – fantastic!

Skimming through a recipe to get a general idea of what you need & how to put it together, and then using that information to create your own deliciousness – amazing!!

SKIMMING MY CREDIT CARD WHEN I’M SIMPLY GASSING UP AND MY BABY IS SLEEPING IN THE BACKSEAT…Man, you are a sucky face jerky goober bottom feeder!  Boo!  I hope someone pours sugar in that lovely tank full of gas you used my card to “buy” steal.

That is all.   Crap.  No, it’s not.

I think the response that I am called to have is forgiveness.  Theft is always wrong but theft to feed your family is less wrong than theft because you’re some punk who just wants to steal because you can.  (I’m thinking of St. Augustine and the pear with that.)  If I give you the benefit of the doubt, then perhaps you have been unemployed for a very long time, constantly seeking work and unable to find any…maybe…    Perhaps, you needed that full tank of gas to get your sick child to the hospital and your friend needed that OTHER full tank of gas to get to their dying mother’s bedside.  Yeah, I’ll go with that.  I really will be praying for you and for any of your other victims.  Thankfully, we have awesome fraud protection and won’t have to pay one penny towards your fill ups or anything else you managed to charge to our accounts.  Please, stop it.  Stop stealing from people.  Really, really, STOP stealing from people!  For all you know, you are stealing bread out of a hungry child’s mouth or the last few dollars a poor widow has to get her through the rest of the month.  One day you will be caught and you will pay.  By the way, even if you aren’t caught in this life – you will still have to answer at the end of this life.  Please, make better choices for yourself – both for your life now and your eternal one.


Now for my P.S.A…

We *think* that my card was compromised via a technique called “skimming”.  Skimming happens when a sucky face jerky goober bottom feeder (aka thief) tampers with the payment computer at a gas pump.  I don’t know all the technicalities of how it works but I do know that it makes a digital copy of your card and wirelessly transmits said copy to the thief.  All they have to do after that is use that info to make a physical copy & poof!  Your card has been stolen, while remaining in your wallet!!  

A local news channel just reported on this practice a week or two ago.  They suggested the following to safeguard your credit card info…

1) Pay inside – cash or credit

2) If you must pay at the pump, choose a pump that is in full view of the store & attendants.  The chances of pumps in full view of the attendants being tampered with are much slimmer than those on the “outskirts”.

**Btw – waiters, cab drivers, and others can use skimmers to steal your card info as well.  We think the skimming happened at a gas station because that’s what we’ve heard about, BUT, upon further investigation online, we learned that skimmers can be bought online and pretty much anyone you hand your card over to could skim it (if they are a sucky face jerky goober bottom feeder).  It doesn’t take long at all – you probably wouldn’t even notice the time difference.**

I hope you all enjoy a theft-free day!!  🙂


Our son, Victor, was born into eternal life on Sept. 11, 2010.  He never breathed a breath in this world.  This is his story.

Victor's Marker

Victor’s Marker

My entire life can now be labeled pre-Victor and post-Victor.  Miscarrying our son is a dagger in my timeline.  It is a break in the chain.  It was the kind of thing that changes you forever.  The crazy thing is that, unless we’ve shared our story with you (and we are pretty open about it), you wouldn’t know.  When someone is physically injured or maimed in some way, people can SEE that something is different about them.  They bear physical scars.  Nobody can see the scars on my or my husband’s hearts that tell a big part of our family’s story.

Life and death is messy stuff.  Physically, emotionally, and spiritually messy.  Originally I thought I’d share the specifics and mechanics of our brief time with Victor but that isn’t really the important stuff.  That isn’t his legacy.  Believe it, my son, who had been in existence for just over 9 weeks, who could not survive outside of my womb, has a legacy.  This isn’t about our experience with thoughtless ninnies at the hospital, who ran the gamut from simple thoughtlessness to idiocy to near cruelty.  This isn’t about them.  It is about Victor.  Our son.  Our first baby and our daughter’s big brother.  Our family’s little saint.

We are Catholic and we believe that God has a hand in everything.  Things happen via his specific will (i.e. It was His specific will that Christ die on the cross in atonement for our sins, in order to save us and open the gates of Heaven.) or his permissive will (i.e. He doesn’t specifically will for me to catch your cold but He doesn’t prevent it from happening, either.)  It is so easy to say those words.  We believe things happen for a reason.  We trust in God’s will.  We WANT God’s will for our lives.  (Although, when you think about what He willed His only son to suffer in order to save us – sheesh – sometimes I think we’re crazy for wanting His will in our lives, but then again, this is all temporary and we have an eternity in Heaven to look forward to.)  It is SO. MUCH. HARDER. to live those words.  Victor taught us how.

With Victor, we were given the gift of participating in creation.  Our love begat.  Our love created.  With REAL love (not what our society often defines as love…that’s another post), there is always a possibility that it will overflow into creating new life.  We were given the gift of parenthood and the responsibility to help our child get to Heaven.  With Victor, we were given LIFE.  We enjoyed life with him for something like 2 – 3 weeks.  We loved him.  We loved him more than anyone who isn’t a parent might be able to understand, considering we hadn’t even met him, yet.  We hadn’t met him, seen his face, heard his voice, or held his body but we KNEW him and we loved him.

Our son gave us the opportunity to grow closer together, closer to God, and stronger in our faith.  We learned so much because of him.  We learned that what you would imagine as being the worst possible thing ever, losing a child, isn’t really.  We learned how closely intertwined blessing and suffering is.  They always come hand in hand.  It is through and because of the bitter that we should more fully appreciate the sweet.  We learned that, as parents, we will always be called to suffer in some ways for our children.  Daily we joyfully accept that suffering, for love of them.  It is not pointless for me to suffer lost sleep if it means I am comforting my sick baby and helping her feel better, or if it means I am feeding her & providing nourishment for her to grow.  Our suffering a miscarriage was not pointless, as our son was blessed to go straight to Heaven.  We learned to TRUST God with EVERYTHING.  He always provides what we need and takes care of us.

Through this, I’ve also grown closer to our Blessed Mother, Mary, and understand her sacrifice just a little more.  I know she understands my mother’s heart and sorrow.  I also knew, when Victor passed, that he would be cradled in her arms.  The Queen of Heaven, our spiritual mother, would wrap her arms around my son.  He was okay.  No, he was more than okay, he was perfect.

Our son’s legacy is us.  His life has a profound continuing effect on our marriage and family.  He is up in Heaven praying for us and interceding on our behalf.  We’ve learned to appreciate what we are given, when we are given it.  To cherish times as they come and not to fear anything.  We no longer fear death, not for ourselves or our children.  “Oh, Death, where is your sting?  Oh, Death, where is your victory?”  We are trying to live a life of humility & love, joyfully accepting whatever crosses we are blessed with, offering up suffering to participate in redemption, and gratefully relishing every little bit.  We don’t always succeed.  We are the family of saints.  We’ve been blessed with holy children.  We will gladly accept the blessings of more little saints.  No matter if they ever live one day on this earth outside of my womb – we will joyfully accept all the blessing and suffering that comes with being parents, with being open to love overflowing.  We hope and pray that we will all be reunited in the communion of saints, whenever God calls us.

In 2010 our lives changed forever as we were married, blessed with our first child, and suffered through our first loss.  We held close to each other, close to our son, and close to God.  It was the most difficult year of my life but I am so grateful for everything that happened that year.  We learned that life is life – life on earth or life in Heaven – no matter where our children are, they are alive and we were blessed to participate in that.  <3  This is what Victor taught us.  <3

Visiting Victor's grave.

Visiting Victor’s grave.

After I wrote this, I shared it with my husband.  He said I make us sound like a couple of saints, which we aren’t.  We’ve been walking in this for three years.  It is still very difficult at times.  We both struggled with anger after losing Victor.  If you’ve read my Pregnancy Guilt post, then you know I really struggled with jealousy, too.  This isn’t an easy road.  It isn’t a road I’d ever wish on anyone.  It isn’t a road that I want to journey down again BUT it also isn’t a road that I am afraid of.  I do not fear losing another pregnancy to miscarriage & birthing another baby to Heaven.  Satan can not use that fear to rob my joy or hold me captive.  There are plenty of other things he can use but fear of losing my babies isn’t one of them.  It may not immediately sound like I’m talking about our son but without him, without being blessed with him and without the miscarriage – I do not think I would have learned any of these things.  Fear is not of God.  Love, peace in your soul, and joy…these are of God.  I am so thankful that I am blessed to be able to walk through future pregnancies with a spirit of peace, love, and joy – even if it may also be surrounded by sorrow.  God loves my children more than I do and I know He will always take care of them.


A Blonde Baker’s Baby Dozen

Here are 14 things that I’ve come to love in the past 7 months with baby.  They’ve either been extremely useful for us or are just too adorable to pass up.  All of the pictures in the list are links, for your informational and purchasing convenience.  At the bottom of the list, I’ve included pictures of us using some of our favorite things.  This is my Blonde Baker’s Baby Dozen. 😉

1) Bean Bag I don’t have a picture (link) for this because you can probably find one cheaper at your local big box store than online.  Seriously, a plain bean bag (kid’s size, I guess) has been FANTASTIC.  She loved napping in it when she was smaller.  It gave the feeling of snugness and security without actually needing to swaddle her.  Now that she’s older and more mobile, she still naps in it on occasion but she also loves to sit in it and play with her toys.  We’ve used it as a prop in pictures, too.  Multipurpose indeed!!


2) The BRICA Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet  More portable than a pack n’ play & less expensive than a portable crib.  We used this on our long road trips this summer and at home, in our bed.  It gave our baby her own space & allowed us to co-sleep with her without fear of rolling over on her.





3) The Moby Wrap  I LOVE MY MOBY!!  We used this wrap in the hospital and throughout the beginning.  Our baby loved to be worn in the wrap, too.  One of the best things about it – nobody tries to grab your baby when you are wearing her.  There are multiple colors and patterns to choose from, too.








Sweet Bow Swaddle4) The Beaufort Bonnet Company  I seriously love so many of the items TBBC offers.  I took my sweet bow swaddle to the hospital and had our little girl swaddled before she was 10 hours old.  Pure sweetness.  Check out everything they have to offer.  Great baby gifts!!  Bonus – TBBC is located in the heart of Central Kentucky and all of their (very high quality) items are made in the USA!!  They are carried in boutiques in several states – you can check their website to see if a store near you carries TBBC or you can order directly on their website.  Seriously, some of the sweetest ladies and best customer service!!





5) The Woombie  BEST. NIGHT. SWADDLE. EVER.  Our daughter LOVED to be swaddled at night but it was hard (especially for my husband) to get the blankets wrapped so that they’d stay wrapped.  It was especially difficult at 3am when we were bleary eyed and exhausted.  This makes it so simple!  You just zip them in!!  Oh the peaceful slumber and easy diaper changes we enjoyed when using this.  They have winter and summer fabric options, as well as multiple sizes and convertible swaddles.








6) Evenflo Classic Glass Bottles  Economical, easy to clean, & sturdy.  Since they are glass, you don’t have to worry about them being cloudy or somehow getting stained.  You can be sure they are clean.  They are also amazingly sturdy.  I’ve dropped them on numerous occasions (not purposefully) and haven’t broken or cracked one yet.


7) Britax Head & Body Support Pillow Our baby was on the smaller side (at two months she was still under 7lbs).  I really liked how this gave her a little extra support & it’s double sided.  One side to help keep her warm in the winter and the other to help keep her cool in summer.  The headpiece is also adjustable, so it’s pretty easy to get a good fit for your baby.  It can be used in your car seat or stroller.




8) Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat  I liked the look, the price range, and the safety ratings of this seat.  Bonus – my niece outgrew her non-Britax Infant seat by 8 or 9 months but still fit in our Britax with a room to grow.  Since our daughter is on the small side (10th% for height & weight), I’m fairly confident that we’ll be able to use the Britax for another year or so.  There are several colors available.






9) Britax B-Agile Stroller  Easy to open & easy to fold.  It’s also lightweight (as strollers go) and fairly compact once folded.  It has an over-sized canopy, so it’s easy to keep the sun out of baby’s face.  The recline option is a fluid design, so you have multiple options for how far you want baby to recline.  The undercarriage is also bigger & more roomy than first appearance suggests.  It also came with the adapters needed for our car seat to snap right onto it.  You have to purchase it separately but with the Britax Stroller Organizer, it’s pretty  much perfect.







10) KidCo Go-Pod An activity station for junior that folds up and is as portable as a camping chair.  Genius!  Bonus – It has toy latches, so you can attach your baby’s favorite friends to help entertain him.  This means you can entirely forego purchasing one of those activity center things & just get this.  You can rotate toys, to keep things fresh (for baby and to clean the toys), and it’s portable!!  Great space saver, if you don’t have a lot of room, too, since you can fold it up and toss it in a closet.




11) Cloth Diaper Liners  I use these because my baby is not exclusively breastfed, which means her solids are more similar to big kid/adult solids.  I have no desire to rinse that, so I love these.  You line your baby’s cloth diaper & then you can just drop the liner and solids in the toilet.  It’s flushable! 🙂  I love how economical they are.  I don’t feel like I’m wasting anything if my baby only wets her diaper.





12) Boppy Pillow This should be standard issue to all  new mamas.  Breast or bottle feeding – doesn’t matter.  It is so useful.  I used it for support while breastfeeding.  We used it to prop baby up in a reclined position when she was learning to hold her own bottle but couldn’t quite manage it sitting up (because she was wobbly sitting up more than anything).  Now, we use it as a little extra support for her as she is sitting up & a soft thing to help catch her if she falls over.  She’s loved rolling all over it, climbing over it, gumming on it, the list goes on.  Oh, we do love our Boppy and find so many uses for it!!




13) WASHABLE Playard/Pack n Play Center  We have this exact brand.  LOVE IT.  It was easy to set up, comes with so many features, and the fabrics are removable so they can be washed.  I am not a big fan of pack n plays because they don’t seem very portable to me BUT we love keeping this in our home.  She naps in it, plays in it, and the changing table is at the perfect height.  This is her place in our living room.





14) Rugged Butts Fedora  I purchased this as a gift for a friend.  Super cute & so dapper.  I was so excited when I opened the package to check this hat out before wrapping it up for my friend.  It felt sturdy, like it would hold up to anything a baby or toddler might do to it, and looked FANTASTIC in person.  If we are ever blessed with a boy – I’m buying him one of these in every available color.  🙂
Travel Bassinet works wonderfully as a little "boat" for photos.  We placed the Boppy inside to help her sit up and tossed a few toys in there with her.

Travel Bassinet works wonderfully as a little “boat” for photos. We placed the Boppy inside to help her sit up and tossed a few toys in there with her.

That's a Boppy under that blanket.  :)

Bean Bag under a blanket

Road trippin' in her Britax Car Seat

Road trippin’ in her Britax Car Seat

Sweet Bow Swaddle.  Oh, my heart melts when I look at this picture.

Sweet Bow Swaddle. Oh, my heart melts when I look at this picture.

Our Woombie worm.

Our Woombie worm.

Car seat snapped into stroller.


Walking downtown, hanging in a Moby.

Bean bag…great place for a nap!




Mongolian Blue Spots, Stork Bites, & Other Birthmarks

Hemangiomas (aka strawberries) aren’t the only strange looking birthmarks your child could have.  There are many others.  Some are vascular birthmarks (red in color) and others are pigmented birthmarks (markings on skin that can range in colors but are not red).

During discussions about my post regarding my daughter’s hemangioma, one mother shared that her daughter had something called Mongolian Blue Spots.  They are blueish in color and look like bruises.  The spots are on her back, near her shoulder and just above her butt.  (Most Mongolian Blue Spots appear on the lower back and buttocks.  It’s rare for them to appear on scalps or faces.)  They’ve had to have them documented by their pediatrician, in case someone suspects that they are bruises.  In fact, they thought that they were bruises that resulted from how the doctor pulled their daughter out at birth, when they first appeared.  How can you tell the difference?  Bruises change colors.  Blue Spots don’t.  Bruises hurt.  Blue Spots don’t.  Bruises also fade fairly quickly, whereas blue spots don’t fade or change quickly at all.  (Do a Google image search – some are huge and don’t really look like bruises, others are much more subtle & could easily be mistaken.)  Mongolian Blue Spots are a pigmented birthmark.

My daughter has a stork bite on the back of her head.  (Poor kid can’t get a break! lol )  It gave the story about storks dropping babies off a whole new meaning for us.  It is an area of her skin, near the nape of her neck, that is colored red.  It looks like it spreads when she’s upset & crying really hard, as her whole head will get red, starting from the stork bite.  It’s a vascular birthmark.

Like many/most birthmarks, Mongolian Blue Spots and Stork Bites may be present at birth or may appear sometime shortly after birth and tend to fade as the child gets older.  In many/most cases they disappear completely by adolescence.  Sometimes birthmarks do require medical attention, but generally, they don’t.  Make sure that your pediatrician is aware of any birthmarks on your child and let them know if there are any changes or any abnormalities.

I wonder how many other kinds of birthmarks there are?  (Did you know moles are considered birthmarks?  I didn’t.)  I’m sharing links below about Blue Spots, Stork Bites, and other birthmarks.  Check them out and educate yourself.  That way you’ll know what that thing is on her eye, back, neck, etc.  🙂



Thank you!  Come again!

Thank you! Come again!

What’s That On Your Eye?

“What is that on her eye?”  “What’s that red thing on her face?”  “What’s that?”  “Oh, no!  What happened to her eye?”

Colette Foot

These are all questions that I have faced from public strangers (usually kids) regarding that funny, little red bump directly over my daughter’s left eye.  I am questioned about it enough that I figured I’d write a post explaining just what it is.  🙂  My answer will normally depend on several factors – who’s asking, where we are, what else is going on, and how much time I have to explain.  For example, if I’m rushing to the bathroom to change her, or a very small child (who likely won’t understand the full explanation) asks, then I usually don’t take the time to explain everything and just say that most people call it a strawberry or angel kiss & that it’s a birthmark.  However, if I have the time and the child is older (or an adult asks), I’ll tell them that it’s called a strawberry & explain exactly what it is.  Sometimes parents answer their child’s question before I have a chance to, telling their child it’s a birthmark, and I just agree with them.  Keeps things simple.  🙂  After all, that’s what I always called my strawberry.  It’s my birthmark.

Me tub

You can see my strawberry on my upper tummy/lower chest.

Essentially, that is exactly what it is, when it’s on the skin.  A “vascular birthmark”.  It is called a hemangioma and is a group of extra blood vessels.  It grows throughout the first year of life and is usually gone by the time the child is ten.  There are several versions of hemangiomas, including internal that can grow on your organs, bones, or muscles.  Generally, hemangiomas of the skin do not require any medical treatment, unless they grow in such a way that they inhibit vision, breathing, or eating; OR if there are multiples or they are very large/fast growing.  They are usually NOT visible at birth but grow over time.  If your child has multiple skin hemangiomas, then your doctor will probably want to check for internal hemangiomas (which may (probably) require medical intervention).  I *think* hemangiomas are genetic, as I had one, numerous cousins have had them, my daughter has one, and both of my nieces had one.  (Update: According to my research, they are NOT genetic, but tell that to my family.)

No hemangioma on her birth day.

No hemangioma on her birth day.


It's visible at one month.

It’s visible at one month.


A little bigger at two months

A little bigger at two months


Growing with her at three months

Growing with her at three months

You get the idea. :) Here she is at six months and the hemangioma is bigger still.

You get the idea. 🙂 Here she is at six months and the hemangioma is bigger still.


So, now you know just what that thing is on my daughter’s eye & you’ll know what it is if you happen to notice one on anyone else.  🙂  It seems to have stopped growing and we won’t need to worry about it unless it grows large enough to hit the optical nerve directly beneath it, which would mean that she wouldn’t be able to open her eye.  If you’d like more in depth information about hemangiomas, I’ve included some links below.  Feel free to check them out!!

Interesting tidbit – in some cultures hemangiomas are considered a sign of royalty! 🙂  I always knew we were a couple of princesses. 😉

Sexy Wife!


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