7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 23)

February 27, 2009 | 79 comments

— 1 —

I really can’t believe that the baby will be here Monday. It’s now becoming clear that I’m not even going to be able to accomplish a small percentage of my “things to do before the baby gets here” list.

Those of you with the nesting gene might be picturing that that list is composed of lovely but nonessential homemaking tasks like “apply a fresh coat of paint to brighten up the baby’s room” or “lay out coordinating outfits to take a family portrait at the hospital.” No, my list is more like, “put sheets on the crib” and “find newborn clothes.” Oh well, it’ll all work out.

— 2 —

A funny kid story: my four-year-old and two-year-old are absolutely, unwaveringly adamant that the baby’s name is “Joy, ” even though that is nothing close to the name my husband and I picked out. Every time we refer to her by the name that will be on her birth certificate, they immediately correct us with, “No, it’s baby JOY!” They refuse to call her by anything else.

I’m not sure where they got the name Joy. Maybe from the new section of our pre-school homeschooling curriculum where I’m prayerfully teaching them the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit as part of our hour-long morning catechesis lessons?

(Totally kidding. I just wanted to see what it would be like to type that, as if I have my act together enough to have started homeschooling already. I think it’s from a baby on the cartoon SuperWhy that I sometimes turn on to numb their minds while I lie on the couch.)

— 3 —

The only major thing I’m dreading with every fiber of my being concerned about for next week is the breastfeeding issue. With every baby I have experienced two weeks of mind-bending, indescribable, unreal breastfeeding pain. I’ve worked on it extensively with four different lactation consultants and nothing seems to help. There’s no cracking or bleeding or infection or latch issues, it just seems to be an issue of deep bruising or something, and it eventually subsides after my body toughens up. (Long-time readers may remember that we discussed it a lot after the last baby here. If you’d like to offer thoughts you may want to do so on that post so that other people looking for answers can find them in one place.)

Hoping for some wisdom or at least camaraderie, I decided to Google extreme breastfeeding pain this afternoon. Guess who’s the #1 result. Not exactly what I was hoping to find.

— 4 —

Last Friday I was talking about how extremely politically correct my city is (#6 here). Another example that I just remembered: last Christmas I was at a grocery store and saw some delicious-looking gingerbread man cookies. I saw, however, that they were careful to label them “Gingerbread People.”

— 5 —

Is anyone else seriously concerned about what’s going on in Mexico?

Our families have a lot of ties to Mexico, and over the past couple of months we’re starting to see more and more emails flying around from our Mexican friends talking about how the situation down there is degenerating. For example:

  • The daughter of a co-worker of my dad’s who is from Mexico was out with her daughter, husband and his brother. When they stopped at a light some gunmen came and shot the husband and brother. She threw herself on her daughter. They put a gun to her head but decided to let her and child go.
  • Juarez, which borders the U.S., is basically an open war zone. Friends we know who have ties to the police force there say that the police are under strict orders to wait 45 minutes before responding to gunshot calls since the cartels kill all the witnesses, police included, when they murder someone. There have been 200 murders so far in Juarez this month.
  • Speaking of Juarez, evidently the cartels released a list on Monday of people they planned to kill, and have effectively worked down the list so far. They also have announced that they’re going to behead the mayor and his family.
  • We have other friends who live in various parts of Mexico, and almost all who can afford it have had to hire security guards for their families and don’t drive alone anymore. Those who can’t just try to keep their heads down and stay safe.

Has anyone else who has Mexican friends or family noticed that the concern about the rampant crime has really picked up over the past couple of months?

— 6 —

On a somewhat-related topic, it seems like more and more people are becoming interesting in self-sufficiency, taking themselves “off the grid” to live simple lives away from society. Anne Marie’s troubling post from Tuesday is a good example of what I’ve heard a lot of people express.

Even though I’m not terribly concerned about the long-term future of the economy (yet), I too am drawn to the idea of becoming more self-sufficient and living a more rural life. I even know some people who are seriously talking about going in together to get some large patches of land and have all their families move out there together.

Anyone else thinking about stuff like this?

— 7 —

Having a baby during Lent definitely prevents me from planning to do too much in terms of giving up or adding things — I think I’ll have plenty of opportunities to die to self and detach from my controlling ways with three toddlers and a newborn. πŸ™‚

I’ve been tempted to get frustrated that I can’t make Lenten sacrifices on my terms, but I’m starting to realize that this might be even better. I need to remember the lessons I learned from Lent 2007: I had all these great plans of what I was going to for spiritual growth for this very important season leading up to my entering the Catholic Church at Easter, and was exasperated when it all fell apart because I got really sick. In the end, though, I saw that having my own plans for spiritual growth derailed was the best thing that could have happened to me.

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Megan (Half-Pint House)
2. Christi @ The Journey
3. Venite
4. Gennaro Salamone
5. Kathy @ 10 Minute Writer
6. Kate Wicker (Momopoly)
7. puellaq
8. Debbie
9. Laura
10. Cath
11. Sara @ A Shower of Roses
12. Sarah Reinhard
13. Denise @ Full Nest
14. Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker
15. Beverlydru
16. Tami @ The Next Step
17. Sarah
18. Charlotte
19. the luxurious life of anna
20. Katie @ Just Another Catholic Mom
21. Tina @ Multiple Mom T
22. Trena @ The Third Prayer
23. Annemarie
24. Tracy@The Secret of Living
25. mom.huebert
26. Betty Duffy
27. Sarah\’s Musings
28. Megan@SortaCrunchy
29. Cathy Adamkiewicz
30. Sheila @ Momfessions
31. Milehimama (Mama Says)
32. Jen
33. CheekyPinkGirl
34. Elena @ My Domestic Church
35. Joy Bailey
36. April @ SALT for the Spirit
37. Sarah Bauer
38. majellamom
39. Kate @ Heart Speaks to Heart
40. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
41. Eliz at Tink\’s Mom
42. Scarlett
43. Petroni
44. Mrs. B
45. Marianne @ Writer-Mommy
46. Carrien@She Laughs at the Days
47. ChrisV
48. Aimee (The Mother Load)
49. GiGi Diaz @ Incrementum
50. Mrs. C.
51. Just a Minute
52. Smockity Frocks
53. Baroquem
54. Amy Jane (Untangling Tales)
55. TwoSquareMeals
56. KimK
57. Nutmeg
58. Hannah @ Confused Agnostic
59. T with Honey
60. Monnie @ Fashioning a Fabric
61. Aussie Therese
62. Tiphaine @frog\’s life
63. MandM
64. MandM
65. As the Family goes…
66. Dawn
67. Ordinary Time
68. Catherine @ To Mark Time
69. Jenny
70. Kathy at The Political Housewyf
71. Erin@ Seven Little Australians Plus One
72. Party of Eight

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

photo by ToniVC


  1. Susan Thompson

    Joy would be a great name for a baby! Twenty-four years ago I named a baby Melody Joy.


  2. Megan

    Looks like I’m the only nerd who stays up late to post this. Or the only person who can’t get up early to do it! *wink*

  3. Mrs.KAOS

    I’ll be keeping you in my prayers on Monday. And yes for a long time I thought about living off the grid. And then I realized if we all up and moved t the country the country would be the new suburbs. So I am trying to focus on urban homesteading and doing what I can with the space that God has given me. The was the original intent of my blog. Right now though God has given me a different set of challenges, so I’m working with that right now. Eventually I will take up my trowel again and bring veggies grown in pots and organic living with only 4 square feet of earth back to the internet.
    God Bless
    PS: I have really enjoyed reading your blog πŸ™‚

  4. Anonymous

    Regarding your #3 post:
    I found this comment online – while this “toughening up” method is not typically recommended – perhaps in your case you should consider it.

    Hmmm.. I would use lotion for the “getting bigger” part of pregnancy..

    Yes, toughen them up. Pull on them, be as brutal as you can.

    If I could go back, I’d pull twice as long, twist, do a knot..whew.. because even after 3 months, I’m STILL supplementing maybe 4 times every 24 hours. And usually there are times when she prefers formula. Heartbreaking for me, I love breastfeeding.

  5. sarah

    I hope you don’t mind me saying that Joy is a beautiful name πŸ™‚ It’s actually one of my own dd’s names as I couldn’t stop saying “joy joy” when I found out I was pregnant with her.

    Re going off the grid: I’ve actually done this in the past and would very much like to do it again. I think America must be a very difficult country to live in right now. The recession is terrible, but if its getting people back to the land, to a more simple way of life, then I count that as a blessing.

  6. Hannah

    Ooooh! Good luck on Monday! πŸ™‚

  7. expat


    Regarding your breastfeeding problems — consider consulting someone well qualified in homeopathy.

    Despite the naysayers, it really can work miracles. I’m an example.

  8. MDiskin

    Jennifer, can you post a few details of your Saint Diet before you go to the hospital? (as part of your nesting plan, natch)

    I’m also pregnant and fighting extreme nausea and exhaustion. I’d love to know more about what you’re doing so I can feel better…

  9. Kate Wicker

    My quick takes for this week include 7 ways to “live” Lent.

    Per your lovely edition:

    #1: Prayers are with you as the finish line of your pregnancy comes in sight.

    #2: My 4-year-old used to like Glitter as a name for our baby. Now she’d like to name the baby Mary Elizabeth Katherine Julie Anne Samantha Claire. Kind of has a John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt (spell?) ring to it.

    #3: My mom-in-law is a lactation consultant at a children’s hospital who has helped many of my friends with BF issues – even some who had seen other LCs. If you want her email, drop me a line.

    #5: Tragic…

    #6: My husband has been interested in self-sufficiency for a long time (we have a whole bookshelf of books on the topic, if you’re interested in some recommendations). We have to live in a city right now for his training, but we plan to go rural once he’s finished and hope to embrace a more simple, self-sufficient life (with high speed Internet access, of course).

    #7: I’ve had similar thoughts being due with a baby during Lent. You’re an inspiration!

    Many blessings! You’ll be in my prayers.

  10. Rachel B

    Breastfeeeding pain. I am with two. Two weeks. Maybe three. Horrible pain. After that, I am okay as long as long as thrush stays away. Three babies, all long-term breastfeeding. I just considering it an extension of labor.

  11. SuburbanCorrespondent

    So glad you were kidding about the preschool homeschool curriculum. That spares you my rant.

  12. Beth/Mom2TwoVikings

    …praying for a quick and (relatively) painless delivery next week. LOL

    …re: breastfeeding. Fortunately, I was a “natural” without ever having done it or seen anyone else do it. So, I won’t be much help. Those “mommy hazing” weeks really stink but I’ll be praying for your quick success!

    …as to moving to the rural lifestyle, I’m all for it. Everyday week that passes, something else comes up that causes me to shake my head and/or to want to shield the Vikings from. I’ve been reading a book from an author against “compulsory government schooling” and one of his rants was about children don’t need to spend more time in classrooms – they need to spend more time with their families and communities…SMALLER communities.

  13. Beverlydru

    Prayers and joy will be headed your way on Monday. Pun intended.

    Yes, I've been alarmed (horrified is another word that comes to mind) with the situation in Mexico. And that brings us to the consideration of the future; where are we headed and do we need to be more self-sufficient? I don't really like the answer, but I think things will be changing alot more than we can even imagine. It's a good thing that all those who know Jesus have an arc of safety & provision.

  14. Tami Boesiger

    You’re right in thinking you’ll have every opportunity to be sacrificial this Lenten season. And I totally agree that the best way for us to be so is in sacrificing our own plans.

    My prayers for your delivery on Monday. May baby “Joy” bless your socks off (LOVED that psych out too).

  15. SursumCorda

    I have no family nor friends in Mexico at the moment, but that doesn’t keep me from being worried. For all my life I’ve never given a thought to what concerns many people around the world daily: instability in the country next door. (I was too young during the Cuban Missile Crisis to worry about it.) But lately Mexico has been popping onto my radar screen from vastly diverse sources — first through an article for which I no longer remember anything but its assertion that the organized crime problem in Mexico one of the most serious threats facing the United States today; then in this prediction from George Friedman’s The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, as quoted by InvestorsInsight: The final crisis of the 21st century will be a major conflict between the United States and an increasingly influential and aggressive Mexico; and now here.

    It does make me want to consider your Quick Take #6 more seriously.

    On a lighter note (but not really), you may be encouraged by an extraordinary paragraph in a 2004 First Things article by David B. Hart. I can’t imagine you’ll have time to read all of the excellent article, but I quoted the relevant paragraph here. “Militant fecundity”!

  16. Francisco

    Mexico is in very real danger of becoming a “failed state”, where the institutions effectively cease to function in a meaningful way. It is an extremely worrying situation that is constantly escalating.

    The only solution I can think of short of a bloodbath of Aztec proportions is covert US assistance and funding to top Mexican army and intelligence echelons so they can get a handle on the crisis on the ground, and slowly weed the cartels out.

  17. Sara

    “Off the grid” pretty much defines how the Amish measure what they allow or not. Does it tie them to the grid? Make them dependent on the outside? Chuck it. Can they use it and stay independent? Give it a try. Living in just the past year in an area with a fair sized Amish community, I’ve been doing some reading up on their history and beliefs. If you’re seriously interested in thinking about that issue, it might be a good way to start, so as not to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. What’ve other people who’ve thought about it come up with?

  18. Sarah

    Loved #2. Literally, as I read about your preschool homeschool curriculum, I was planning on commenting and asking what curriculum you’re using!! hehe..Thanks for the chuckle.
    Best Wishes as you finish out your pregnancy! Can’t wait to hear of little one’s arrival.

  19. Katie

    I’m so excited for you and your new arrival! My littlest is almost a year (she’ll be one on St. Paddy’s day) and I’ve had awful baby lust. But it will be at least another year before we stop avoiding, so I’ll live vicariously through you.

    Re: breastfeeding- have you ever been in contact with La Leche League? Breastfeeding can be uncomfortable in the beginning, but there definitely shouldn’t be that kind of extreme pain. It can’t hurt to take the number of one of your local Leaders to the hospital.

    And yes, I’m totally freaked out about Mexico.

  20. LauraAnne

    Holy crap. I didn’t know there was a name for it! I have SIS too! Pinching? HURTS! Running into things? HURTS! Poking? HURTS!

    In fact it also does this weird thing where if you draw your nail across my skin, even lightly, in about 45 seconds you can see the line. When me and my brother were children we would actually play tictactoe on our skin during long car rides.

    Point the second – the colleges are warning people about going to mexico. Spring break is coming up (week after next for Virginia Tech) and there are notices being passed around about the violence.

    And for QT6, yes, that is something I want to do as well, although my various issues prevent most forms of “living off the land”. I do want to have a house relatively rurally, powered with solar and heated with wood. But I’m still planning on having my TV, my computer and most other modern conveniences. It isn’t a reaction to the economy so much as it is my inner hermit bursting form, in an environmentally friendly way.

  21. Kris Livovich

    Mexico – My brother and his family live in El Paso, frequently (daily) going to Juarez to visit people. We pray for them and their sweet little girls. It would be a terrible worry – except that I know the Lord is in control of their lives and mine. I can’t protect them anymore here than I could there. I just pray. Glad other people are praying too!

    Breastfeeding – I find the first month to be difficult. Between pain, learning a new routine, taking care of the other kids… it is a lot. I have four, ages 5 and down. Will add you and our family to our Lenten prayers.


  22. Anonymous

    Is there a safe-for-breastfeeding pain med you could take? If you know it’s going to hurt, and there’s no problem with latch, etc., then it seems reasonable to simply try to treat the pain.

  23. Trena

    Oh the breastfeeding pain. I remember looking at the clock and crying because I knew I would have to feed her again soon.

    What helped me was instead of sitting down to feed her those first few weeks I would do it standing up. For some reason I felt more relaxed and I didn’t focus on the pain.

    Good luck!

  24. Aimee

    I can’t believe it’s baby time already! Your pregnancy sure has flown by — for me, anyway πŸ˜‰

    God bless you and may you have a safe delivery with a healthy mom/healthy baby at the end!

  25. Amber

    I live in Mexico, in Chihuahua. Juarez is not all of Mexico. There has been a lot of violence with the ‘narcos’ in the north lately, and most people are worried and cautious, but nothing like the hysteria you’re talking about. I teach a lot of business people, none of whom have hired private security guards and just live their lives normally. I walk back and forth to my school every night in the dark for classes and the worst I’ve seen are a few traffic accidents. Juarez is indeed bad, but there’s more to Mexico than Juarez.

  26. Sarah Mosley

    I am laughing so hard that you Googled your symptoms and found yourself listed as the number one link under Extreme Breastfeeding Pain! How horrible! It’s like having the name Addison and then being diagnosed with Addison’s Disease or something. Heh.

    Praying you have a better go round this time!

  27. Lana

    #2. you totally crack me up.
    #7: yes!
    I look forward to reaping the rewards and insights from your trials and sufferings. πŸ™‚

  28. Laura

    You gave yourself away with the homeschooling comment when you said “prayerfully teaching”. Had you just said “teaching” I would have believed you:)

    We live on 5 acres and have some friends in the area and becoming more simplified and self sufficient is a big topic around here. It is a great dream of ours but, due to many complications, will be hard to realize. I find that more and more people I meet are thinking the same thing.

    I will pray that Monday goes well for you and your family.

    God Bless!

  29. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    I have to say I am quite partial to the name Joy myself. We had long since chosen the name Joy as our second daughter’s middle name because it is in honor of my mother, Joyce. We had kind of settled on Eliza for her first name, but literally minutes before I was wheeled into the OR (repeat c/s) for her birth, we discovered that Eliza spelled with an “A” – Aliza – is Hebrew for “joyful.” I knew immediately in my spirit that THAT was her name. She is most certainly our Joyful Joy.

    Many prayers and blessings on you in the coming days. Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  30. Milehimama

    Hey Jen,
    About the breastfeeding thing – I’m like that, too. No matter how many people consult or how much Lasinoh they give me, it just hurts. If I can make it to day 10 and push through, though I’m fine.

    About Juarez – I’m in Houston, and they reported on the news that the Mayor moved his family to the US. It’s really scary, and I think that big drug bust might make things worse.

    We’re thinking about that whole self-sufficiency thing, too. We don’t even own a house yet, but I’m trying to take baby steps to be marginally more self sufficient. Ike was a big wake up call.

    Have a wonderful weekend and don’t do too much! Make someone else find the baby clothes while you’re in the hospital, LOL!

  31. Jen

    You’ll be in my prayers for Monday! How exciting! And I hadn’t heard about everything that’s going on in Mexico….something else to add to my prayer list!

  32. Cathy Adamkiewicz

    Well I finally joined the fun with my first edition of Quick Takes this week. Thanks for hosting!

    Your blog is one of my new faves. πŸ™‚

    I’ll be praying for you on Monday!

  33. Monica G

    Re: Joy…I just had my second baby in September, and my first ds was watching way too much tv the last few weeks before the baby was born. Including Superwhy, which is one of the weirdest shows out there, right? Anyway, ds was also insisting that our baby’s name was Joy. It was a constant challenge, those final weeks, to catch myself thinking, “this baby is not Joy,” and then correct myself. Because she is Joy, of course, only her name is Anna.

    We’ve had our current phone number for almost 5 years, but we still get wrong numbers for someone named Mercy. She apparently had a lot of bad debts, because it’s mostly collection agencies. So we end up having weird conversations like this: “Is Mercy there?” “No, there’s no Mercy at this number!” And then I notice that my tone is pretty cranky, and I feel like an un-Christian jerk. Anyway, those names (Joy, Mercy, Grace, Hope) are such a good reminder of God’s grace (and how undeserving we all are).

    Good luck on Monday! I also had the agonizingly painful breastfeeding startup back in September and it’s no fun! Hope it passes soon.

    I just found your blog a few weeks ago. I’m an adult convert too (but to the Episcopal Church) and I’m really enjoying your insights. I particularly enjoyed a past post about praying with your kids and talking about God, when you have no personal experience of religion as a child. I am struggling with that every day, and it’s good to know I’m not alone.

    I’ll say a prayer for you on Monday. God bless!


  34. Elena

    Joy might make a nice middle name!

    I had terrible breastfeeding pain with my last one too. You can get this neosporin with an anesthetic in it that has a numbing effect and apply it to the nipple and that actually seemed to help. A lactation consultant told me about it.

    But the main thing is DON’T TENSE UP! Maybe little Joy will be a champion nurser and not cause her momma any discomfort.!

  35. Kingdom Mama


    I think our latest babes are going to be really close together. I had some contractions last night that were strong enough to wake me up.

    I think a lot about the “off the grid” stuff. If we had the money, we’d definitely buy land and plant. I wouldn’t say I’m scared, but I’d love to be able to help myself and others. During the Depression people returned to the farms. Now we have no where to go and only two days of food in the grocery stores.

  36. paula k

    My husband has been talking about nothing else but getting self sufficient. We are in the process right now of stocking up on food and supplies that we would need in any kind of emergency. And we’ll be tackling the (unsuccessful last year) project of a garden this year to grow some of our own food. Lots of people are thinking about this…

    Praying your induction goes smoothly on Monday and that THIS time the breastfeeding won’t be as challenging. : )

  37. Kingdom Mama

    And, btw, about the nesting, I actually had to pray for the instinct this go round. I’ve never had it before and can totally relate to your list!

    Praise God I finally have it because I have so little help this time I could literally lose my mind! God is so good, I really think everything (including the coat of paint) is going to be done just in time.

  38. April

    According to my niece, her little sister’s name was Maya Miguelio. She was a big fan of PBS, too.

    I’ll be thinking about you on Monday. Our third will be here on Wednesday!

  39. Joy

    I think Joy is a lovely name, obviously, Will be praying for you and your family.
    My daughter will be one on Tuesday, so I most definitely remember giving up sleep for Lent last year.
    Joining you in praying for the people of Mexico

  40. BettySue

    On feeling the need to be self sufecient…

    I pick up my cow and rabbits today, my steers (for beef in a year) in two weeks and my chickens in a month.

    Of course, I have always been a farm girl at heart and have wanted to be self reliant for years. God is jsut bringing it together now.

  41. Wendy

    About the breastfeeding pain: I had a similar issue and it turned out that my babies had various degrees of tongue tie. Once that was fixed, the change was amazing.

  42. eliz

    Sorry for the double link – not sure what I did there.

    You and Joy will be in my prayers this weekend. And I can’t wait to hear the news Monday.

    (A friend recently had her second baby, and during her pregnancy her 3yo decided the baby’s name would be Cinnamon. The child is now 6 months old and her older sister is still calling her Cinnamon. I think Joy is a far better fake name!)

  43. Christine

    My uncle and his wife have moved way up in the mtns in Co. they do not rely on anthing except nature. They even have their own bees!

    I am lucky to live in the country. I would buy a cow, goat, chickens in a heart beat if we
    have too. Our garden is huge.

    Praying for you on Monday!

  44. Marian

    Don’t feel bad about the “extreme breastfeeding pain” search– I’m sure if I’d ever blogged about it, my name would be at the top of the list with you! Tongue tied, developmentally challenged baby, serious mastitis 4 times etc, etc, etc…

    #5 – Glenn Beck has been the only one I’ve seen giving serious coverage to the Mexico situation

    #6 – Yes, I have a lot of thoughts on that, especially stemming from a vision I had 13 years ago and others since then. I’ll share that with you later, if you’d like, but not now, Jennifer…

    You’re baby is almost here!! Praying for a wholistically healthy and joyful birth. May God bless you richly as you co-labor with him in bringing forth a precious new life.

  45. Marianne Thomas

    Good luck on Monday – hope everyone is healthy and happy.

    My boys love Super Why, too. Joy would be a lovely name!

  46. Carrien

    My son insisted that our 3rd baby’s name was Rejoicing. HE was certain that that was who she was and we ought to name her that. It seemed like a good idea so I searched for a name that means rejoicing and that is her middle name. He was very upset when we told him her name until we explained that the middle name MEANT rejoicing. SO he calls her by her middle name. He won’t call her anything else.

    Best wishes for Monday. Inductions are no fun.

  47. Mrs. C.

    Good luck with that initial phase of nursing. For me, all 12 months are an initial phase. I’m on week 10 right now.

    Regarding Mexico, I think that’s just a drop in the bucket of what’s to come. I cannot shake the feeling that 2009 is going to present some incredible opportunities for spiritual growth….

  48. Jess

    I am starting to get really nervous about the economy and the massive amounts of spending being done by the federal government. There is no way we can ever pay back 12 TRILLION dollars. I do think about finding a home in a more rural area that could be self-sufficient if it needed to be. Let’s just say that my top properties to look at are not in tidy subdivisions for this move. I have read some threads on various forums about people stockpiling a years worth of food and buying guns to protect their stuff. I think more than an actual true economic collapse, I am worried about the societal breakdown, the very idea that people are already loading up on guns and ammo and plan to shoot people who try to take food from them is scary as hell. And listening to Glen Beck doesn’t help – he is ramped up and thinking we are on the verge of a complete and total collapse.

    Sharon Astyk’s blog, Casaubon’s Book is a real nail biter lately. And don’t borrow The Long Emergency by Kunstler from the library if you want to sleep well. http://sharonastyk.com/

  49. Anonymous

    Is anyone else here finding blog #50 a tad bit off color? Gigi@Incrementum? Jen, can you give someone a warning or kick them off?

  50. TwoSquareMeals

    “Joy” is much better than “Gandalf Wall-E,” which is what Calvin and Hobbes wanted to name their baby brother. They called him that for a few weeks but finally adjusted to his actual name.

  51. KimK

    Best wishes this weekend as you prepare! I’ll be thinking of you and praying on Monday.

  52. nutmeg

    I played along for the first time!
    Many prayers for your delivery on Monday….

  53. Julie

    I also had some pretty extreme pain for the first few weeks of breastfeeding. I can only offer camaraderie. I just grit my teeth and it did get better.

    And if I could rename my daughter, “Joy” would be on the short list. Because that is what she has been.

    We haven’t thought of going in with other families on land, but we have definitely thought about/tried to become more self-sufficient. We are currently working to that end.

  54. Daiquiri

    Here’s praying for a different BF experience. I had the exact same problem with 3 of my 4 babies. The other? She was a dream nurser – no pain at ALL. Have no idea why. I thought I finally had it figured out or something…but she was child #3 and child #4 was painful as ever.

    Can’t wait to see new baby “Joy”…you are going to post pictures, right??? πŸ˜‰

  55. lyrl

    Not sure if LauraAnne is still reading these comments, but I thought it was interesting there’s an even more technical term for her condition than SIS:

    artificial urticaria

  56. T. Anne

    Congratulations on the baby! I homeschool as well, so we have that and writing in common! BTW, loved your blog post. Good luck getting everything together! My kids called my DD Sugar for the longest time. I thought they would never bother with her real name. Sugar faded quickly. (The name the child) πŸ˜‰

  57. Dawn

    7 Quick Takes – Jesus’s Humanity


    Thanks for hosting. Maybe you’ll decide on Joy after all. That would be a great story for your kiddos to have!! Good luck on Monday. ((hugs))

  58. maramsey

    Ask for a nipple shield in the hospital or buy one from Target, Medela makes them-it is really a lifesaver when the pain gets so bad & is easy to use, I have the same pain you described with all my babies (baby #4 coming in June) & never have any kinds of infections or tongue-tied babies-it just seems to be something I have to go through, but the shield has really helped (& going without a bra-yes, you leak all the time all over the place but it helps with the soreness being over faster…also breast milk is better than Lansinoh by far to rub on them). I usually only have to use the shield for 3 weeks, then we're done & nursing normal. It also helps if you get REALLY full when your milk comes in-gives baby something to latch to.

  59. Chris

    The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics puts the total number of murders in the U.S. in 2005 at 15,614. You can go to http://bjsdata.ojp.usdoj.gov/dataonline/Search/Homicide/State/OneYearofData.cfm and get state-by-state totals, then add them up. Another site (http://murderinamerica.com/) suggests that last year, the total number of murders in the U.S. was 18,130. Keep in mind that somewhere in 2006 or 2007, the U.S. eclipsed 300 million residents. The population in Mexico is around 100 million and has been fairly static for a few years now (the birthrate in Mexico is less than 2 per woman, less than it is even here). At 6000 murders in 2008 for a population of 100 million, Mexico is only just now achieving a murder rate that in the U.S. has been celebrated in the past few years as historically low. Reports coming out of Juarez last year tended to remind me of what it was like living in Baltimore and the near D.C. suburbs several years ago. The real difference is that this rate of homicide in Mexico is new for the people there, and law enforcement is simply not up to the task of fighting a problem on the U.S. scale. Tales of corrupt and underpaid police officers in Mexico are all true. But the real culprit is that there is little cultural history within the police forces there of stoically fighting violent evil whatever the consequences. U.S. police forces have their own internal problems, and police officers in the U.S. are not well-paid compared to the private sector, but there is a real sense of courage in the U.S. forces that simply does not exist in Mexico. I lived in Mexico City for 18 months of my life. Friends of mine (those who traveled by car) had direct experience of bribing police officers to dismiss petty violations. This sort of thing simply does not happen in the U.S. – and blaming corruption on low salaries and injustice oversimplifies the problem. There is a cultural problem in Mexican law enforcement that will not allow (IMHO) for any successful confrontation of growing violence there until that cultural problem is resolved first. I really think it boils down to a fundamental lack of virtue. U.S. police officers, though they have their own institutional problems, are some of the most virtuous people you will find – at least in the course of their duties. Mexican police officers have a long history of using their institutional power for personal gain. Courage is innate in the former case but cannot grow out of the latter.

    We have family in Mexico City. The crime situation in Mexico City has been deteriorating ever since 1997, when the Mexican Federal District (which encompasses much of Mexico City) became a state. When it became a state, it won the right to elect its mayor (an office with the title of Governor) but lost access to the Federal government coffers that had previously been funding law enforcement there. Communities that I remember as clean and safe in 1992 (when I first lived there) were dingy and run-down by 2002 or so. Things have deteriorated since, but in all my time living in Mexico City and visiting in more recent years, I have never felt as physically insecure as I did walking from Greenmont Avenue to Charles Street in Baltimore after working a late restaurant shift. Even in Baltimore, I never felt too insecure: neighborhoods remain very strange there. In one there might be violent crime on a regular basis, but a few blocks away things can be much better. I imagine that Juarez has finally deteriorated to this level, and this is alarming because the grim and honest determination of the Baltimore City police simply does not exist in the cultural makeup of Juarez’s law enforcement personnel.

  60. Kathy

    I’m a somewhat long time, quiet reader of your blog, currently in RCIA, 22 years after making my husband leave the church to come with me to Anglican, he has returned to the church and I’m joining it. Anyways, I just had to comment on the breastfeeding pain. I have breastfed 9 children, and 8 of those experiences involved a baby that could latch properly, no cracked nipples or anything, but pain from %$#@ that lasted a week or two. My dh would somewhat chuckle, from far away of course so I couldn’t smack him, every time I would latch that newborn on during those first days weeks because up would go the leg as I’d brace myself for the pain that would ensue. For me though, the pain would lessen significantly as the individual feeding continued. Only this last time, was I pain free, and I believe it’s because I had nursed my previous son until half way through the pregnancy and he was almost 3, so it had been a long time nursing.

    Anyways, prayers for a safe delivery and a pain free nursing experiencing.

  61. liz

    oh, I so know what you mean about the extreme pain in the first few weeks. Fortunately the lactation consultant at the peds office with dd #2 was more helpful than all the others who’d somehow made me feel like I was doing it all wrong. We found that for me a medela silicone nipple shield was my answer for the short term (found extras in target or babies r us near the pumps) Often in the first few weeks apparently the babies mouths can be a slight bit small for us and can slip out of position during the feeding almost imperceptibly to the outside viewer but to us on the receiving end, that little difference can cause big pain. I had no idea that breastfeeding didn’t involve screaming for 3 weeks before this baby! I got in a great routine of putting the shield on, aiming for the roof of her mouth and somehow everything worked out. I’ve told many a friend how with the 1st dd I would get up to feed her in the middle of the night and just literally scream out loud while she fed- she’s so funny she didn’t even have a clue that wasn’t just part of the deal and kept on eating πŸ™‚ I pray you will have a safe and healthy birth this week. The mexico problems are of grave concern as I have friends near the border where it is bad. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to live that violent reality in mexico.

  62. Jenny

    Will be praying for you on Monday and onwards. It will be interesting to see if your breastfeeding pain is slightly lessened since being on the “saint diet.” Sugars and processed foods can cause inflammation and tissues to be extra sensitive. Now that you’re not eating them as much, perhaps that will translate to less pain until they naturally toughen up. Here’s hoping anyway!
    Off the grid – I had met with a small group at one point about this, but when it turned out is was be headed up by a sedevecantist (who was not telling us a such) I shied away from pursuing it further. It just seemed the “crazy aunts in the attics” (although I’m not one of them) seemed to be more drawn to this,at least in this group. Perhaps with the economy, more sane people who are not just escaping life will be interested.
    God bless you.

  63. Jane

    Dear Jen,
    From the mouths of babes…maybe your infant is “suppose” to be called Joy! It is such a beautiful name and it is so precious that your children are so insistant about it.

    I think if my hubby and I are called to be self sufficient ( in the living off the grid way) we will starve to death. We try to grow a garden every year. We spend more on it then the yield.I definitely have a pit in my stomach about the massive spending.

    Jen I wish you on Monday and will offer my Communion for you. Please know that we don’t expect you to blog until early Tuesday morning. LOL!


  64. becky @ misspriss

    YES, so scared about the violence in Mexico. It’s the same in Tijuana – we don’t go there anymore, which makes me sad.

  65. Abigail

    Hey Readers! I’ve started a spiritual bouquet for Jen at this address: forhttp://abigails-alcove.blogspot.com/2009/02/spiritual-bouquet-for-conversion-diary.html

  66. Christina Martin

    1… If it makes you feel better, my to do list right before babies has usually been just about the same as yours. We ended up, two days before my c-section, going thrift shopping after realizing that I'd given away all our baby boy clothes.

    3… Have you considered talking to a lactation consultant? Many hospitals have them now, or your doctor may be able to recommend one. Otherwise, see if you have a community health center nearby; they may have a lactation consultant. If all else fails, tylenol & codeine is safe to take while nursing, and if you are in less pain you will produce more milk.

  67. Whimsy

    Joy — Jesus, Only You

    What a great name!

  68. truthfinder

    Will be praying for you Monday, and of course at Mass tomorrow. About living off the grid; dh and I are in such bad shape financially right now that we may be living in a cardboard box soon. Had hoped to retire in three years, but there’s nothing there to retire ON. So, a group arrangement where we could at least contribute our prayers and our labor might be an option. Sounds a bit like a monastery, doesn’t it?

  69. Jenny

    Just wanted to let you know that you will be in my prayers for a safe delivery. God Bless.

  70. coffeemom

    Praying for you tomorrow! A safe healthy delivery, and painless nursing, or at least MUCH less pain.
    St. Gerard Majella, pray for Jen!

    God bless you and we can’t wait to see the good news! M

  71. Nicole

    Prayers for a easy delivery and heathy baby!

    God Bless,

  72. Starrball

    I was gonna link up but I see I’m too late πŸ™

    The post I have finally (almost) finished (almost because I think I could edit a bit more) turned out to be 7 items long, but I’ve been busy this week and hadn’t gotten to writing it until today.

    It’s here:

    Best of luck tomorrow, I will be praying for you!

  73. Anna

    In case no one else has mentioned it, you might think about what you wrote here as part of the answer to your breastfeeding pain problem. If the pain doesn’t go away after trying people’s suggested remedies and after asking God if he will take it away, then you might as well figure it is God’s will for you to offer it up. Maybe for the baby, maybe for someone else you know who could use some extra prayer?

  74. Emily

    I’m headed to bed, thinking of your big day tomorrow. I pray that it all goes well! Can’t wait to see “Joy.”

    I’m sorry about the agonizing breastfeeding pain. I had that TERRIBLY for weeks with my first; it’s gotten a little better with each one, but the first two weeks are still miserable. There’s nothing like wincing at the thought of feeding your newborn! Nipple pain AND afterbirth pains. Anyways, hoping you get to drink up those tumultuous and wonderful first few weeks.

  75. Anonymous

    Hi Jen!
    Is there any possibility that your babies have had “tongue-tie” (a tight tongue frenulum)? That can make breastfeeding difficult and the cause can go unnoticed. My understanding is that the frenulum can be clipped by a doctor, and that it’s a really simple procedure. I second the La Leche League and Lactation Consultant suggestions!

    God bless,
    Mrs. B

  76. Amanda

    A NIPPLE SHIELD! Made by medela, and offered through the hospital (consult a lactation person), they provide a barrier for painful nursing. For both my children, it also provided an easier transition from breast to bottle since they become a bit used to the silicone. It’s VERY thin and DOES NOT interfer with bonding, in my experience and is super easy to use.

    Google it and CONGRATS!

  77. Rebekka

    Joy can be her name on your blog…

  78. Anonymous

    Yes I have been thinking the possibility of cultural/economic collapse a great deal. My thoughts have come from so many directions, and involve so many features. What would God want of us if we are facing a destructive time? Every time I go down that trail of “How can we make ourselves safe” I have a sense that that is not what God is saying to his people. I just don’t know…thank you for mentioning this. I think I need to pray about it, and… ?

  79. elizabeth

    after 70 something comments this one may be late i writing. All the same;
    #1 Congrats on this beautiful baby

    #5 my sister-in-law received word from family in Mexico about a kidnapped cousin. Sadly, her elderly uncle could not come up with the amount demanded. A few days later his body was found and now a wife and 3 beautiful children are left w/o a husband/father.

    Some areas of Mexico are still peaceful and possibly untouched by the Cartels are the violence. And yes there are areas of Los Angeles I would never was alone but, the violence created by the Cartels and the government is VERY real. Look what happened just outside of Playas, Mexico (beach city outside of Tijuana)? I haven’t seen my mother’s sister in 2 years because of the bandits.

    I wouldn’t feel safe visiting family in Mexico and I dare not risk the safety of my kids.

    #6 This has been on my mind for a while too.


  1. A name for baby Joy | Conversion Diary - [...] I mention in #2 here, my older children insist that the new baby’s name is “Joy.” It was the…

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