Thursday, September 26, 2013

Oh Wise Ones!

From Kenson:

Don't eat your ear boogers.  (Yes, he meant ear wax.)

From Conleigh:
Mama, I bet it stinged when you took a shower since you have a cut on your tummy, since it sticks out like this.  (Picture a 6 year old belly being stuck out.)  You are kind of chubby, you know.  But don't worry, I won't call you fat.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Making Time for God in this New Season

This season of my life is not one I can say I fully embrace.  It is one of significant slowing down, one that seems filled with the mundane tasks of feeding, rocking, holding, praying for the baby to sleep, and hoping the other kids somehow survive, and then waking up to do it all again the next day.  While there are certainly moments of joy and happiness in it, it is also a season of doing what needs to be done simply because it needs to be done and knowing in a bittersweet way that this season will soon pass.  Things necessary for day to day living like laundry and dishes get done in the few moments when Kai is peacefully asleep.  Playing with the other kids is done often with a bottle in one hand and a burp rag on my shoulder.

Things that seem non essential get shoved to the wayside including time in God's presence.  While I know my own need for His presence, it's easy to see that as a negotiable, non tangible must do.  I appreciated these words today, from Sally Clarkson,

“I have come to believe that the success or failure of any woman who hopes to build her children into a godly legacy depends to a great degree on whether or not she is spending time in the presence of the Lord and filling her mind with His word.
Desiring to secure the hearts of our children with a love for God, often we try to teach them what is right, correct their attitudes, and often become frustrated with their immaturity, and so in our exhaustion, point out faults to our immature children.
We strive to be women of godly ideals, but tend to fall short and overwhelm ourselves with the mundane, ordinary day “have-tos.”
Yet, we cannot show our children the excellencies of God’s character if we have not invested time in His presence. We become like the ones we spend time with! –And so if we can never make time to cultivate a deep love, a fresh worship, a spontaneous conversation with our dear Father, then we will not be living from His spirit’s truth, wisdom and grace."
In the same blog post, she continues to put forth the challenge to be in God's presence in manageable ways.  For me, a 30 minute Bible study seems undoable.  Sally's suggestion of Post It notes with a Scripture, placed around the house for moments of meditation seems much more realistic in this new season of my life.  
Now to find the Post It''s to hoping they are in the desk drawer and not buried on the counter.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Being the Mom Who You Were Meant to Be: How Breastfeeding Nearly Cost Me My Sanity

Breastfeeding nearly cost me my sanity.  And I am now a formula feeding mom.  (Phew!  Said it outloud and I'm still alive.)

I went in to breastfeeding feeling very flexible and informed.  I took a class through a local lactation support organization.  I had many friends share their experiences with me.  I read a bit online.  I thought I knew what parts of breastfeeding would be difficult and I thought I had given myself the permission to try it for a few weeks and stop if I was having issues.

And then I actually had to breastfeed.  The things I was worried about (poor latching, pain, complications like mastitis) did not happen.  Instead, my milk took almost a week to come in and I spent many days and nights trying to feed a hungry baby who screamed for 30-40 minutes each feeding because he was frustrated.  He then started losing weight so we were encouraged to supplement with formula (actually told this was a must before they would discharge him).  The neonatologist recommended a bottle but the lactation folks at the hospital recommended syringe feeding.  So we syringe fed.  And I pumped after every feeding, trying to encourage my body to get caught up.  And each feeding seemed to take about 90 minutes, with half of that spend with a crying baby and eventually a crying a mom.  By the time one feeding would be done, there was a little down time and then it would be time to start again.

It was exhausting.  In the hospital, it wasn't so bad because the nurses were able to help with feedings and while I didn't often take advantage of having others feed him, if I wanted to, I could utilize the nurses to do a whole feeding for me.

Then we came home and I had two days of real life with 3 other kids plus a newborn.  It became apparent that I was having some major anxiety that was affecting my body, probably just due to stress, a semi traumatic birth experience, and lack of sleep.  After 5 days in the hospital and a day at home, I finally started asking myself why breastfeeding seemed so important to me and if the stress it was creating in my life was worth the benefits I felt it had.

 That's when I started realizing how breastfeeding was making me crazy.  Not just in the sense that it was stressful but also because it was causing me to doubt myself.  I am normally a pretty "take it or leave it" person.  Who I am is who I am and I don't spend a lot of time second guessing that or wondering what others might think.  But saying "I am not going to breastfeed" created a crisis in me.  How could I say I was done after such a short time?  So many of my friends breastfed and while none of them were pressuring me to continue or would have looked down on me for using formula, I still felt like I was comparing myself to them and failing.  I also felt this sense of societal peer pressure, that breastfeeding is best and that good moms breastfeed.  Those are not feelings I am used to having regarding motherhood or my self worth.

But in the end, I made the choice to formula feed.  My other kids needed me to be a mom too and breastfeeding, especially given the time commitments it was requiring, was creating a situation where I could not attend to them well.  I was dreading Kai waking up because I knew it would mean him screaming and instead of enjoying my time with him, I was just hoping he would stay asleep so I wouldn't have to worry about feeding him.  In my head, I had no judgement for other moms who chose to formula feed and while I thought breastfeeding was a great example of how God designed women's bodies to care for children, I also believed formula to be one of God's creations too.  But it definitely took some time to get my heart to line up with those thoughts and to be okay with who I was going to be as a mom in this area.  I was going to be a formula feeding mom.

So, I am a formula feeding mom.  A sane mom.  A mom who is finding her new normal with a newborn and 3 other kids.  A mom who is now calmer at feeding time, who is able to smile instead of cry.  A mom who is okay with who she is, even if it's not exactly who she thought she would be.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

First pics for Kai

In other Kai firsts, I took him in for his first pictures last week.  We've been trying to decide what color his hair is.  When D first saw him on the night he was born, he thought it was blonde.  But it's definitely not blonde.  The back is darker than the front and there definitely seems to be some reddish hints.  You can see the red really well in the first picture.  Guess we'll just have to wait and see what color sticks around.  It took us almost 2 hours to get our pictures done by the time he took some photos, fussed, changed his pants, got fed, got rid of his hiccups, and then sat through the whole salespitch.  I still walked out with way too many photos; oh how I hate that it is so hard to get a small package when you go to the photo place I chose.  (We really wanted to just get them done in the hospital, through the photographer the hospital uses to take professional shots in the hospital.  But all of our drama made that kind of out of the question.)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Some Firsts

This last week was a week full of firsts...

D had his first day back at school since Kai was born.

Kai spent time trying to meet one of his first milestones, holding his head up.  He tries so hard to push off of our chests.

Kenson and Conleigh had their first tastes of fall sports as Conleigh went to volleyball "camp" and Kenson played in his first and second flag football games.

And this yahoo...

had his first day of preschool and his first school bus ride.  He is going to preschool through the school 3 mornings a week and will be getting occupational therapy services as well.  Really the therapy will just be on an as needed basis, when we have a specific skill we are trying to learn or something connected to a specific area of the curriculum.  (ie when he is older and doing PE and we may need to figure out accomodations)  So really he is going to preschool more as a peer model than as a special education student.  He is always full of information each day and remembers lots of things about the day which is fun.  He can always tell me what he played, what he ate, what book they read, etc., much more talkative than the big kids are about their school days.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Going Postal

Yesterday morning, Zeke got out his scissors and made himself some "mail."   Lots of cutting, folding, and a little bit of "gooing" on his part.  I found a shoebox and cut a slit in the top and wowie!  A mail box to put the mail in!  He was thrilled!  Love when something so simple brings my kids joy...and when it occupies their time.

Friday, September 6, 2013

How to Make Freezer Salsa and Put Up Tomatoes 7 Days Post C Section

1.  Assemble your salsa veggies (cilantro, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno)
2.  Enlist your husband's help.
3.  Clean the vegetables and remove all stems and blemishes.
4.  Place whole, uncut vegetables into your slow cooker.
5.  Cook on low for 8 hours.
6.  Cool.
7.  Blend in your blender.
8.  Place into freezer containers.

I know this post sounds insane.  What person in their right mind is putting up tomatoes and salsa 2 days after a C-section?  However, my garden does not understand this.

Before Kai's arrival, I had seen a Pinterest post on using your slow cooker to do salsa.  That seemed like a brilliant idea to me since the vegetables would not need chopped up and could be cooked whole.  The Pinterest post had a recipe of sorts but I just kind of dumped whatever vegetables I had in my batch.  It worked so slick.  (Other than my poor hubby who despite washing his hands numerous times ended up getting jalapeno in his eyes when he tried to put in his contacts.)  If I were to do it again, I would put an acid in withe the veggies since it was a little bland but I'm just planning to add some lime juice or vinegar to my salsa once I take it out and am ready to serve it.

I also used the same method to freeze plain tomatoes and some Italian tomatoes.  Since I will probably use those in soups and casseroles, I didn't want the tomatoes too pureed, so once I took them out of the slow cooker, I used a spoon to gently smash them.  That broke the tomatoes apart a bit and made it easy to discard the skins.  For the Italian tomatoes, I used onion, green pepper, tomatoes, garlic powder, basil, and oregeno.  I used a spoon on the tomatoes but then gently diced the onion and green peppers.  So much easier than peeling your tomatoes by putting them in boiling water and then standing over the stove cooking them.