The Attention Economy

As anxiety rates continue to rise over the decades one often wonders considering the events of the past, i.e. The Great Depression, WWII, The Civil Rights Era, etc., how is it that people are more anxious than ever before?

There are some basic hypothesis out there including, the global economy, cost of living, breakdown of the family unit, general uncertainty, overconfidence and overstimulation. You may be surprised to learn that despite the constant media barrage of violence and terror, that both gun violence and terrorism in U.S. are on the decline. "Terrorism killed more Westerners in the 1970s and 1980s. Although terrorist-relared deaths are on the rise in the West, the numbers are small and globally, deaths from terrorism are on the decline" (Sanger-Katz, 2016). Gun violence has been on the decline since the 1990s. Although there has been an increase in mass shootings nationwide, fewer Americans are dying from firearm homicides (Ehrenfreund, 2015). 

I am convinced America…

Go Ahead, Deny Yourself

I am 34 weeks now. I no longer feel like I am part of a family of four any longer. Days are more tiring, more involved, due to pregnancy side effects and lack of sleep. A rooster crows every morning behind our fence at 6:00am. We've never met the owner. Not quite sure of the legality. Anyways, I hated it for waking me for days now. Yet today, I embraced the alarm knowing it's simply preparing me for life with three small ones.

I have altered my prayer routine in the morning, which has had some truly inspiring effects.During this pregnancy I have probably prayed more, specifically more novenas, than I have ever before. The last one I completed was dedicated specifically to the baby and for life in general. I recognize now more than ever before that if my day does not begin with mindfulness and dedication, the rest of the day follows a more selfish and ultimately anxious path. 

"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoev…

To Truly Prepare

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. ROM 12: 1-2
This was the second reading from last week's liturgy. We ended up attending the noon mass at Christ the Good Shepard. Before leaving the house, we were unaware of the fact that the noon time slot is a Spanish celebration. It didn't matter. Spanish or English, the mass progression of events is ever recognizable. I had access to Sunday's readings from my iPhone. And as I read over the liturgy of the word, I was struck by this particular reading which was perfectly strung between the first reading and the gospel.
So much is at stake these days. According to USA Today, by July of this year the U.S. had experienced 49 separate weather, climate and flood disas…

Family Balance is BS

I've read the baby books and blogs. I've lived them now. Being a woman, a libra and living with fluid moods drives me to reflect on the notion of balance more often than not.

As my third pregnancy winds down, I am doing my best to delegate and prepare and plan for life with five people in the house. There are several areas which need to be addressed before baby number 3 arrives. Most importantly, bedtimes, feeding schedules and maintaining personal time. We are making headway in all three areas. However, there are still days where I look to the future and shake my head thinking, how is this going to work? What does balance look like with multiple young children? Is balance achieveable?

Amelia is still bottle feeding three, sometimes four times a day (in addition to solids). She is still a VERY hungry girl. She is also about to walk any day now. And she really likes pulling up on the oven door! We already went through two different oven baby proofing products, with minimal succes…

Feeling Spared

"When you go through deep waters, I will be there with you."-Isaiah 43:2

Climatologists are referring to Harvey as the "worst (tropical storm) in U.S. history" (Garfield, 2017). It is likely that Harvey will wind up being the most devastating flood Houston has ever seen. As the storm surges on, some parts of Texas could see up to 50 inches of rain. Fifty inches! According to the Washington Post, the hurricane could force as many as 30,000 people from Texas and Louisiana to evacuate by the time the storm comes to an end. The death toll is estimated at 17 people and rising.

We live about forty-five minutes north of the Houston city center, in Spring, Texas. Our neighborhood, Sawmill Ranch, has seen heavy rain, water levels around 2-3 feet in spots and limited road access. We have also yet to speak to a neighbor who has water in their home or a power outage issue. Our water has been receding steadily since Monday and today we walk on dry sidewalks and streets.  

We took …

Stop Searching For Your Passion

Terry Trespicio is a writer and branding consultant. She gave a fabulous TED talk entitled, "Stop Searching For Your Passion." She describes passion happens when "your energy and efforts meet someone's need." Giving your full attention and energy to the task in front of you is the best way to fuel success and consequently ignite passion. We are so focused in this society on labels and destinations. Social media and social conversation demand brands, titles, interests (passions) and links to websites and blogs, etc. As a society we loose the value and momentum found in the journey, the process. 

As a stay at home mom, the environment and the responsibilities involved are limiting at times. There are days when daydreaming of future professional endeavors are inevitable. Life becomes monotonous and tired with many a job over time. It's important to remember that reinventing yourself can happen at any stage. It may begin with a hobby or some freelance work. When…

Poor Practice

I had a friend over the other night. I'll refer to her as Kelly for the sake of privacy. We were taking about pregnancy and crossed over to the topic of medication in pregnancy. She has a history of depression and has been taking antidepressants for about 4 years. Kelly is getting married soon and she plans to start a family in the near future. She recently spoke to her OBGYN about her about her options regarding medication in pregnancy. She has been working with this particular doctor since adolescence.

Kelly's doctor shared a new study on antidepressants and autism with her, explaining that if she were to continue on her antidepressant that she would have to locate another healthcare provider. There was no mention of a referral made.
This story took me back to my initial conversation with my longstanding OBGYN. He was similarly limited and uncomfortable with my questions regarding lithium in pregnancy. After explaining to him that I reviewed the research and I intended to rem…