Monday, December 1, 2014

Dedicating Children...

Psalm 8:1
Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.

This past Friday we gathered with our extended family who were in town for the Thanksgiving holiday and we dedicated our children to the Lord.
My husband and I with our two daughters as well as my brother and his wife with their daughter. Together each couple committed before God and family that we would raise our girls to know Jesus, setting an example for them with our lives and ultimately acknowledging that our girls were designed and made by our Creator, who knows and loves them intimately and whose they truly belong to.
My dad, the patriarch of our family, along with his bride, our other sister and brother as well as our cousin and his wife via Skype and our grandmother via speaker phone, joined with us, committing themselves to our daughters, to love and lead them continually back to Christ with their lives and examples. And standing to say they will support us as parents in our quest and challenge to raise these beauties.
It was a time filled with joy and some tears and plenty of welcome interruptions from the 3 year old, 8 month old and 4 week old daughters of our King. Scriptures were read by all and through them we heard God's heart for the little ones, charging us to step out in faith, press into Him in the inevitable hard times, and accept the challenge of teaching our girls to walk with Jesus, honor their bodies, minds and souls, and ultimately go against the flow of this world, shining as lights in the darkness. 
We will commit ourselves once again, in front of our local congregation of community and friends in January, but this decision to dedicate our daughters in front of family was truly beautiful and encouraging.
We're thankful to have a family of faith.

"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many.."
Deuteronomy 11:18-19

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankful Thankful Lord knows I'm Thankful!

On this final day of the Thanksgiving weekend, I have SO much to be thankful for!
I originally thought I'd share my thanks on Facebook, but then realized that the post would be far too long, so I'd better write a blog post instead!
We celebrated Thanksgiving with two meals - one on Thursday and then a traditional meal on Friday, both were blessed to have family here with us.
As we went around the table on Friday while eating our turkey dinner, it was amazing to hear what each person was thankful for. The depth of thanks to our Lord and the way He has provided such gifts in the lives of my immediate family was awesome.
And so I'd like to share what my answer to the question "What are you thankful for this year?"
First I'm thankful that God answered our prayers for another child. Daphne Louise is a gift to our family and, born at 42 weeks, she was worth waiting for! I'm thankful I was able to have the natural birth we desired for our littlest one, born in peace and joy at home. 
Next I'm thankful for our family members that, for the past month, have traveled to come and stay with us and help us. They have cleaned our home from top to bottom, given Camille extra love and attention during this time of HUGE transition for her, and supported me as I've needed extra rest, time to shower, and even made me meals (often bringing them to me in bed!). My family has been truly amazing and I cannot express our thanks enough for their support in this time!
Finally and most importantly, I'm thankful for my husband who has been truly amazing. Throughout my pregnancy, especially at the end, he went above and beyond to take care of me and take care of our eldest daughter. His support since the birth has been phenomenal - constantly getting me food and drinks, taking our daughter for walks, taking the baby when I need time to connect with our eldest, keeping our house clean, and even doing most of the cooking for our Thanksgiving meals this weekend.
He is simply amazing.
We are so grateful to our local community of friends who have brought us meals, groceries and so much love and support.
This year I am truly full of thanks!
So in the words of our favorite Thanksgiving song: " I'm thankful, thankful, Lord knows I'm thankful! Happy Thanksgiving Hap Happy Thanksgiving!"
Hap Happy Thanksgiving 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Daphne's Birth Story

*Warning: Some images include blood, placenta and umbilical cord. All private parts are covered or cropped.*

October 30th was our 42 week mark of pregnancy with baby Daphne.
The day started out much the same without any birthing signs happening. For the two weeks prior birthing waves had been coming and going but nothing regular.
I had an appointment with the midwife scheduled for that day and she had said she would bring some herbs to see if we could regulate some contractions and she planned to stay for a few hours.
11:00a.m. I asked my sweet friend Candace, who is trained in massage therapy, wants to be a doula and has had both of her children unassisted at home, to come over to do some massage and pressure points.
She brought her two kids who played with Camille while she massaged me & did pressure points for about an hour.
When she left, Camille & I had lunch & then went upstairs for some quiet/nap time. I used the opportunity to listen to my HypnoBabies track while Camille slept in my bed & soon pressure waves were coming 5 minutes apart and increasing in intensity & power.
I texted my midwife and husband to keep them updated, knowing my midwife was coming over soon anyways.

2:30-3p.m. Midwife arrived and we chatted for a bit while she observed my focus & breathing during waves. She checked my dilation, which was 4cm & did some light cervical massage which was very easy since my cervix was very soft and pliable. She said my water bag was bulging through my cervix, very taut, and could break very easily.
We then went downstairs & she gave me some herbs with water which were meant to augment/regulate contractions. After she tied a scarf around my belly to help Daphne move down we then went in the backyard to walk for awhile. Camille played, kicking the ball and running around while I walked, listening to my birthing day affirmations on my iPod, walking through waves, which continued to increase in power, needing to stop and breathe through some. I also chose to sweep our back walkway while I was at it.
We decided that we would wait to check again until Wes got home from work. He picked up thai food on his way home.
5:30p.m. We all ate dinner together and then Wes and Camille went outside to carve a jack-o-lantern while Jessica & I went upstairs to check things out and decide whether to break my water.
6:55p.m. I was now dilated to 5cm and the water bag was bulging and very taut, with Daphne's head even lower and ready to go. We decided to go ahead and gently break the water bag and it was very comfortable, warm and just easily trickling out.
There was some old yellow meconium in the water, but thankfully she hadn't inhaled any. It was probably from my having the flu a few weeks prior, which may have stressed her out.
I sat up and cleaned up a bit while Jessica went downstairs to have Wes start filling the birthing tub with water. The next waves came powerfully and I knelt by the side of the bed. I could hear Camille calling me to come and see the pumpkin but needed to make it to the bathroom as a gush of water came out.
Once on the toilet I knew I wasn't getting up for awhile. Some meconium filled fluid ended upon Camille's step stool in the bathroom,which she was very concerned about getting cleaned  up when she saw it. Funny kid.
The waves came so powerfully and quickly that I called out for Jessica because I felt faint. It was hot in the bathroom so we opened a window and I had to close my eyes and focus on breathing through each wave. I did pass out for a few seconds while she and Camille fanned me and wiped my face,arm sand chest with a wet washcloth. Heather,the backup midwife arrived during this time and after I began to vocally moan they helped me move back to the bed. They laid down some towels and plastic sheets to protect the bed.
I moved onto my hands & knees and remained in that position. The waves were coming one after another and they asked if I wanted to try to go downstairs and get in the tub. I knew I wouldn't make it down the stairs.
I was breathing in and in a deep voice "Oh"ing out. Camille got on the bed on her hands and knees and was joyfully Oh'ing also which made me smile and laugh.
I quickly felt nauseous & they set a bowl in front of me. I never did throw up but instead was belching often,which is another sign of transition.
In minutes I was pushing. As Daphne was crowning they called Wes and Camille upstairs. Jessica told me to reach down and feel her head,which really inspired me
Camille wanted to be right in the action and stood over Jessica's shoulder as Daphne's head came out.
Daphne was talking immediately and I could hear her baby noises. I really had to focus to push out her shoulders and she came out onto the bed and they told me to pick her up.  Camille was so excited and laughing.
8:31p.m. I picked up my baby girl and was so joyful! She just laid her head on my chest and quietly looked around.

The midwives cleaned up around my knees and I was able to lay back on my own pillows in my own bed and wait for the cord to stop pulsing, which seemed like15 minutes.

Camille crawled right up to see her sister and kiss her.

She knew it was her time to cut the umbilical cord and asked the midwives for gloves like they were wearing. This kid! Future midwife for sure! Ha!
After the cord lengthened, I pushed out the placenta after a few tries (I was tired of pushing!). The midwife assistant, Jennifer, put it in the bowl that I didn't use and Jessica guided Camille in cutting the cord.
They helped get me cleaned up and to the other side of the bed. Daphne and Camille nursed together and Daphne latched on like a pro!
Camille had changed into her swimsuit and was eager to go in the birth tub, so at least someone got to use it!

Everyone went downstairs and Daphne and I had some time to rest and bond before measurements were taken and she was checked out.

Daphne Louise McClain weighed in at 9 pounds 6 ounces and her length at 22 1/2 inches. Her head was 14cm and her chest/shoulders were 15cm. She is our newest little love and our birthing time was so beautiful.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

We have arrived...

Today we have arrived at the second of the estimated due dates!
Today is the date we've been going by according to my last menstrual period.
Yesterday was the date estimated by the first ultrasound.
Two days from now will be the final estimated date according to our most recent ultrasound in our third trimester.
So, here we are. And baby girl just wants to keep on keeping on in there!
I had my appointment with my midwife today and all looks good. She has dropped since last week, which is a good sign. Blood pressure, weight gain, heartbeat - all is good. Just waiting.
And waiting.
And waiting.
My midwife is hopeful that she'll be here before we hit 41 weeks next Thursday, so that at least narrows it down a bit.
Been feeling lots of pressure today and baby is moving around consistently.
I didn't get a nap today so will probably go and rest before hubby gets home.
It's all in God's hands and I'm continually surrendering to His will and His timing. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Birthing in the rain?

So it sounds a bit funny but my ideal birth this time around would be when it is raining.
And here in our town it's rare.
However, today the weather seems to have changed! There is now a chance of rain tonight or tomorrow morning! Oh how amazing it would be to have the windows open, listening to the sound and smelling the rain while giving birth! That would be a gift straight from Jesus!
We'll see what happens with timing and weather and all, but for now it's looking good!
Today has included more happenings, with waves while walking to and from the park this morning, light waves while walking around the house while doing dishes, folding laundry and such.
I did listen to my birthing day track while napping today, which felt like I was opening up more, so we'll see!
After last night's hour and a half of waves, which ended when I went to bed, I texted my midwife today to see when exactly she wants to hear from me. She replied that she'll head over when waves are 4 minutes apart regardless of what I'm doing - sitting on the ball, walking, laying down, etc. They need to be intense and consistent. Which was VERY helpful to hear! It did help me recall my first birthing experience when I had to turn off and focus with each wave when I was simply lying in bed, needing to hold on to my husband when I was walking and so on.
These waves are not that intense yet, so we'll wait and see when the time comes!
Please Jesus let it rain!  ;)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pre-birthing time

Sunday afternoon/evening included some pre-birthing waves that increased in intensity....until I got into the bathtub. Then all came to a halt. At least I was able to get some good sleep last night!
Today (Monday) was a pretty easy day as well. Not much happened until around 3:30pm when I listened to my Easy First Stage track on my iPod. That started some birthing waves pretty intensely for about an hour. On and off this evening until about 8pm when they started back up. Every 10 minutes lasting about a minute. But now they are down to every 5 minutes lasting for about 2 minutes. I am sitting on my birthing ball. Not sure if they'll continue when I get up and move around though...
Just thought I'd document the happenings.
I am eager to meet my daughter and hold her in my arms....and not carry around a 10 pound ball on my front side. hehe

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Conflict of emotions

What happens when you cross an exhausted mama 39 weeks pregnant high on emotions with a tired 3 year old high on emotions? Conflict.
I'm crying out to God - I don't know if I can do this thing called motherhood.
I'm afraid I'm damaging my daughter.
Today I lost it. I screamed at her. I had to leave her so I wouldn't do or say something I'd regret.
And she just came after me, crying hysterically and screaming and what did she want? She wanted me.
She just wanted me to come and lay down with her.
I didn't. I couldn't. After laying with her for over an hour trying to get a nap out of her and get a much needed one myself, I just couldn't. And now I regret it.
She's upstairs asleep after passing out from sheer exhaustion and emotions I'm sure.
And I'm downstairs crying because I feel like I'm a terrible mother.
Can I do this? Really? And another one can arrive any day now? How do I do this?
God! She's your creation and I just screamed at her. The way my mother screamed at me countless times. I don't want to be this mother.
I want to escape. And I'm trying so hard not to escape.
Parenting isn't for wimps. I'm feeling pretty wimpy right now.
When that baby is born you have no idea how hard it's going to be. Hard labor? That's nothing compared to what's ahead.
Perseverance. Just breathe. Just take it one moment at a time. Draw close to God. He made her. He made me. He knows.
Like the first bible verse she's memorized: God is with you wherever you go.
God is with me. Every day. Every moment. Even this one.
Please forgive me. Help me start over.
Your mercies are new every.single.morning. Every.single.moment.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Single digit countdown

We are 9 days from our due date! Not that baby girl is on the same schedule as us of course, but it's still exciting to be in our final days as a family of three!
So what are we up to? Slowing down, checking tasks off of lists & trying to keep just busy enough so we don't go stir-crazy waiting.
Today Camille & I had our final mommy-daughter date that included pedicures, storytime at the library and lunch. I'm so glad we got some special time for just the two of us. At home we're having plenty of cuddle time, napping together and slowly preparing for baby sister to arrive.
I've been having pre-birthing waves come and go. They are definitely more intense when I'm up and walking around. Daphne is moving lower and causing lots of pressure on my pubis-symphysis. It's separating and just wow. Lots of stretching.
Waves feel like cramping and it's hard to differentiate between pressure from Daphne's strong movements. Girl likes to stretch out as much as she can!
Camille has taken up nursing at least three times a day now - typically around waking up and going to sleep.
It's been a tricky journey of breastfeeding through pregnancy but as we approach our 39 week mark in just 2 days I feel so happy and confident that we've made it!
I'm glad we got to capture some photos before the baby arrives. Looking forward to tandem nursing my two daughters in a week or so!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Slower days and finishing strong...

Today I'm thankful for a slower day.
Our mornings have been beginning beautifully. My 3 year old climbs into bed when the sun comes up for a cuddle and asks for milkies. Now that my colostrum has come in she's enjoying nursing a few times a day once again. This cuddle time allows me to rest and awaken fully in a slow manner - which I cherish. I know my days of snuggling alone with her are numbered.
She asks to get dressed and go downstairs for "dinner" or "snacks" known to me as breakfast.
We get dressed and head downstairs where I make breakfast. This morning it was leftover barbecued zucchini with sauteed mushrooms and scrambled eggs and a piece of fruit. She asked for almond milk and I made myself a hot mug of chamomile tea. Along with my gazillion vitamins and water.
We sit at the table together and I read a Psalm and then she asks me to read from her storybook Bible. Today we read about God's promise to Abraham and Sarah that He would save the world through his family.
She told me her first memorized Bible verse from Romans: "Nothing can separate us from God's love."
And we sketched a list of things to do today.
We went into the backyard and did some gardening. Also known as pulling weeds - which is so much of gardening truly! Ugh - I despise weeds.
But getting down into the dirt, seeing the many insects that live and thrive in that rich soil, breathing the fresh air, thankful for the cloud cover keeping us cool, my daughter rolling in the grass and the quiet morning before all the air conditioning units disturb the silence, felt satisfying.
We came back inside and among the laundry, my little one painting with dot markers, wanting to trace, doing dishes and planning our dinner, I'm appreciating this slow day.
For lunch we had avocados, sausages, fruit and felt rejuvenated.
And I thought about how I want to finish this pregnancy strong. With just over 7 weeks (or so) to go, I want the foods I consume to nourish this rapidly growing baby. I want to cherish the time that I have alone with my 3 year old. I want to date my husband while it's a bit easier. And I want to appreciate these days where I'm tired but not so tired. These warm & beautiful final days of summer that I'll be wishing for in the cold of winter.
I want to finish strong.
And so I prepare for our September Whole 30 and prepare to share it with you, as a breastfeeding, pregnant mama entering the new routine of autumn. It can be done and the result will strengthen me, my family and this baby.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Growing Up Girls

For my birthday weekend I wanted to go and have our 3D Ultrasound and learn the gender of our baby on the way. So yesterday we made the trek and found out within seconds that we are having another little girl!
I'm not going to lie or pretend that I was overjoyed. Honestly I was surprised - for some reason I was so certain that we were having a boy. I guess it was mostly due to others suggesting it in addition to this pregnancy being different in so many ways - from the way this baby sits so low, to the active movement, to the differences in symptoms.
So it was a slight shock and some disappointment to hear that it's another girl.
We know that we only want two children (of course God can change our plans, but for now that's where we are). So this was kind of our last shot at having one child of each gender. I thought it would be fun to have a son, not only for my husband who is such an avid outdoorsman with all the hunting and fishing (which he can do with girls of course, but it is a little different), but also for myself! I've heard how special the mother-son bond can be and dreamed of taking him on dates just like my husband takes our daughter on dates which make her feel so special. I put a lot of hope in the possibility of having a boy and didn't think too much what it would be like to have two girls.
So I walked out a bit dazed. My husband and daughter were both very excited. My daughter said "now there will be two Camille's!" which was adorable and overwhelming to process at the same time!
I had some joy, thinking of my little princess bumping around in there, and some worry and fear and disappointment.
So when we went to the car and a drink was spilled I burst into tears. Hormones on top of all of these emotions will result in that you know!
My sweet husband was reassuring me and offering to take me to lunch anywhere I wanted to go, but I couldn't get my crying under control. My daughter was sweetly asking me a question from the backseat and I couldn't answer her.
I was mourning the loss of a dream. Which is often more difficult to let go of than reality.
I had figured that so many of my friends had either multiple daughters or multiple sons, so probability was on my side of having different genders.
I had figured that since my husband's father had two sons and both aunts on my maternal and paternal side had only boys, our odds were good.
All this reasoning and rationalizing were conversations I have been having with God for months leading up to this day. Begging God for a son. It was kind of obsessive now that I look at it and admit it openly. Again it was a dream and a hope.
So now I'm going to be a mother of two daughters.
And I told my husband between my tears that, in all gut-wrenching honesty, it scares me to raise two daughters. { tears have returned...}
Perhaps I thought a son would be my sanity in those teen years when my daughter's hormones and emotions are out of control. He would be our sense of reason, as my husband is with me when I get a little moody.
But when it comes down to it, two fears are present when I consider this task ahead of me.
First, my own mother was not what I hoped or expected. I do not wish to dishonor her in any way, but the truth is that she was not there for me in the way I needed. I had to learn things like how to deal with boys and menstruation on my own or from friends.
My mother worked hard so that we could go to private school, which truly was a gift, but as a daughter it was not what I needed.
My father gave us so much and essentially raised four kids on his own, but there are certain things a girl needs from her mother.
All that to say, my examples were slim.
I feel like today, as a 31 year old woman I am still learning how to become a woman! I am still learning about things like how to apply make-up, how to dress for my body and how to feel comfortable in it and be in tune with what a healthy body feels like. And more importantly I'm learning (and have much to learn yet) about how to be the woman that God created me to be. Brave and beautiful, strong, confident, humble, gentle, walking in the Spirit daily, leaning & trusting on His leading....let's just say I have a long way to go!
SO to have not one, but two daughters to raise to become women who follow Jesus while I am still learning how to be a woman myself, messing up daily - it's a daunting challenge that scares me!

Now that I've had time to let it sink it (although it still is!) I'm remembering that I can trust the God who made the universe, who holds time in His hands, and who formed me, my husband, my daughter, and is forming this daughter inside me as I write this. He has a plan that is SO much better than mine. He knows what I need. What my husband needs. What my daughters need.
And so I am resting in His promises. He has plans to prosper my future, not to harm me.
I have a sister of my own and truly, my relationship with her is different than that with my two brothers. I have a sister-in-law, step-sister and step-brother and each relationship is so unique and different.
I do agree that there is nothing like having a sister. When my sister was born I was so excited! I remember feeling like I would have a little real-life doll to dress-up, play Barbies with and play pretend. And boy did my sister surprise me! Sure, she played dolls with me but she grew up to be a bit more of a tom-boy than I preferred. Haha
Then when she wanted to be around me and hang out with me, I was too busy being mature with my friends and didn't want my little sister following me around!
As we grew up and I prepared to leave for Australia our relationship changed again. I spoke with her more than anyone while I was away for those ten months. She mailed me burned CDs with songs saying how she missed me and she was there at the airport when I returned home. She has become my dearest friend and I feel something is missing if we don't talk weekly. She has been such an amazing aunt to my daughter and they Skype video call more than with anyone else. I so love my sister and I am so glad that my Bunny will have a sister!
So, I am turning a corner. I am excited and nervous to have two girls in the house (three for my husband!) and I know that God will walk with me through it all. I'll be pondering all the benefits of having two girls and be a bit thankful I won't have to decide whether to circumcise or not and manage not to get sprayed while changing the diapers of a boy. ;)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Life interrupted.

I have been longing to blog, but life has just been busy!
Keeping up with a toddler and the fatigue that comes with pregnancy has me beat!
I'm now just over 18 weeks pregnant and we are fast approaching our 3D ultrasound - the one where hopefully we will learn the gender of our little one. Provided they cooperate and show us the necessary parts ;)
Bunny has been so sweet and loves pretending that all things long and thin are "dopplers". She even used the "doppler" on Daddy's belly and wiped it off with a tissue and all! She cracks us up. Maybe a future midwife?
I adore the fact that she gets to be an active part of my appointments with Jessica. She is so good with Bunny and allows her to help. I feel very peaceful about this upcoming birth and am excited that Bunny will get to be here through the entire process! I think it will be magical for her to witness the miracle of birth and hope that it will allow her confidence in her own birthing choices someday.
So far baby is strong and moves like a pin ball, bouncing off the walls regularly! Daddy was able to feel him/her last night, which was amazing! Bunny wouldn't stay still long enough to wait for baby to move, so we'll just wait until baby is bigger so she can feel more easily.
Summer is quickly approaching and we had a glimpse of it this past week with temperatures near 100. The heat definitely wore on me and I felt dizzy a few times, so good reminder to take it easy. I get tired after cleaning a room or two, so the heat just expands on that. Thank you Lord for air conditioning!
We are excited that we've decided to take a vacation to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in a few weeks where we will stay in a tent cabin, which is essentially one room with two beds in it. I'm just grateful that we are keeping with our annual tradition of visiting a new NP each year! And this year we're covering two! Who know where next year will lead us!?
In late July we've decided to go ahead and plan on a trip to Disneyland - Bunny's final free trip before her birthday! We were hoping to go with my brother's family who will also be down visiting, however the dates don't look like they'll work out. At least they will be at Bunny's party!
Speaking of her party, I'm slowly trying to wrap my brain around it! Planning a party long distance is difficult and my brain power is reduced currently ;)
I struggle with wanting to control/get things done my way versus asking for help. I don't want to ever have someone feel like I "expect" them to do things for me and it's hard to ask.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hot then Cold, Yes then No

Oh this weather. A few weeks ago it was hot. Then we've had rain. And cold. And now we're looking at 80 plus degrees coming this next week.Oh Springtime, make up your mind!
And yet it so easily coincides with my emotions and hormones throughout this pregnancy. Hot then cold, Yes then No.
Some days I feel amazing - don't even feel pregnant and have enough energy and normal appetite throughout the day.
Then the next I'll be completely nauseous, exhausted, and not able to fit into any of my clothes.
Emotions are high and patience is limited. Not so great for my toddler on those days when I'm tired.
Today I'm 12 weeks pregnant - one more until the first trimester is complete! Crazy how time flies!
Our little one is the size of a lime.
From 6 weeks ago being the size of a sesame seed that is a HUGE growth!
That's really all for now! Just wanted to post an update!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

When kids put themselves in time-out...

Today was one of those days. Lately "those days" have been happening quite often.
In my family we try not to use the term "terrible twos" but rather use "trying twos"...and oh how trying they are!
One second she is sweet and picking me flowers, singing songs and twirling in her princess dresses feeling like the most beautiful girl in the world...
And the next she is thrashing her head around, screaming, stamping her foot and expressing her upset feelings when she doesn't get what she wants or when she hears the word "no".
Today brought me to tears. And looking back it really was over something quite silly. But it was the needle on the haystack of these long days in which each contains a tantrum (or two or three).
Today I was going through her clothes, organizing them as we try to make room in her closet to share with baby-to-come. First mistake was mine. I should know better. I DO know better than to try and go through her clothes with her right there!
So we've been given an assortment of clothes that are MUCH too big for her, but of course she sees the size 5/6 red dress with white polka dots on it and wants to wear it immediately.
Ordinarily I wouldn't care. We're just at home. It's not a huge deal if she prances around the house in a dress that is enormous on her, right?
But my mind was set on organizing. And I simply wanted to put away the too-big clothes and be done with that task.
And so I said "No."
And she decided she didn't like my answer and was going to choose to put it on anyways.
This is what my husband and I are SO. DANG. TIRED. OF!
The defiance. The disobedience. The complete disregard of our instructions.
These are the trying things.
And we're exhausted!

Ultimately each and every day ends with these battles. When she wants to do one thing and we want another.
Now I should say that I am not, nor do I ever want to be a dictator in my child's life. I do not want her to do what I say just because I say so. I want her to make her own choices and use her brain. But I want her to make good choices.
In this case, yes it doesn't come down to whether wearing a dress too-big is right or wrong. But rather that her choice to disobey my instruction.
We try hard to be gentle parents and guide her to make good choices. We try very hard not to spank or shame her into submission. We deliberately don't put responsibility for our feelings on our child.
But I'm kind of at a loss.
Today all I could do was tell her that I was upset that she chose to disobey me and that I needed to be alone. (Inside I was fuming and wanting to cry and hit a wall all at the same time. To be openly defied pissed me off!)
I tried to go into my room and organize my own closet, meanwhile she's pounding at the door, crying and asking me if I like her, if I think she's pretty. It was breaking my heart. She kept following me around the house (not giving me my alone-time!) asking if I was her friend, if I like her. And all I could say is I was upset with her choice.
I told her I love her. And that's all I can do! I'm at my end.
I am crying out to God as I don't know what to do! How to be a parent in this time.
(And yes, I recognize that my pregnancy hormones are contributing and not really helping!)
I don't have an answer.
But I do know that my daughter knew how upset I was. She went and pulled one of her chairs aside, sat in it and asked me to set the timer for her to sit in time-out!
That shows how ticked I was/am. Now I'm just a wretch. I turned on Winnie-the-Pooh so I could write this blog and get some of my feelings out.
I guess I'm hoping that God will provide some answer or wisdom for me from those of you who've been there or discovered how to best embrace this season?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Paleo & Pregnant

It's taken me a few days to get on and blog after our trip down to visit family for a week. I've been itching to write!
After our home visitor left my nausea mostly disappeared, which I hypothesize had to do with what I was eating. We returned to our paleo way of eating - fruits, veggies, nuts & meat and I felt normal and healthy again, with my only pregnancy symptom being slight fatigue and soreness when toddler girl nurses.
Now I'm down to feeling queasy only after I take my vitamins, but I can deal with that!
This past weekend was exciting as we met with our midwife, Jessica (or at least I hope will be our midwife!). She is amazing and hubby and I both have such confidence in her! Today at my La Leche League meeting I met two others who delivered or are about to deliver with Jessica and they love her! We got to hear the baby's heartbeat for a split second, but I guess baby is so far down near my cervix that we couldn't get it for long. Next time!
Otherwise we're just trudging along here! We got our chair all set up in our bedroom and have begun the process of having our toddler sleep in her own bed next to ours. Boy! Is that a challenge! She fights it with everything in her. I can't blame her, as our bed is all she's ever known for 2.5 years! Now we're saying it's not her bed anymore - which must be a bit confusing for her. She has begun to start the night off in her bed but then crawls in with me in the middle of the night. It's a difficult process for me. I don't want her to feel shunned, but I do want this transition to happen before the baby comes, because I think those feelings of being an outsider will be even stronger if she hasn't accepted her new sleeping place and then the new baby takes her place in our bed.
These are the hard times in parenting when one needs to be firm but loving. She is truly testing our boundaries. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Holy Hormones!

Here's our 31 month old daughter holding up a blueberry to my tummy at 7 weeks. She's so excited!

Nausea has become a bittersweet companion during these last few weeks. Over the past few days however the lovely term "bionic fatigue" joined in on the party. This is a crippling tiredness where you cannot bear to keep your eyes open and your body just shuts down in sleep. Over the weekend it worked out okay as my loving and supportive husband took our daughter out for awhile and gave me the blessed gift of a nap! It was wonderful and totally altered my outlook on life. They returned to a refreshed and rejuvenated mama - oh how I needed that uninterrupted rest!
Yesterday however our daughter decided to boycott her nap for the day...right when I desperately needed one! I do believe I snuck in a few minutes of shut-eye when I turned on a movie for her, but of course she was in my face every few minutes trying to awaken me with "true loves kisses." Not quite the same.
Last night we all headed to bed early and this morning I woke somewhat rested - as much as one can be when they are awoken at least 3 times during the night by a toddler. And yet my bittersweet friend was nowhere to be found.
I ate a banana, took my vitamins with orange juice, which usually triggers the queasy feeling...and nothing.
So admittedly I started freaking out. Have I had any cramping? No. Any bleeding? No. Other than my incredibly sore nipples when my daughter nursed this morning, I felt normal. Which scares the life out of me.
I made eggs for myself and ate them without any aversions. I made my daughter an egg and a hot dog. Feeling completely normal.
So I started crying. Crying and praying and asking for prayer. I realize that I have a deep-seeded fear that I am going to lose this baby. Or that something major will be wrong with this baby. As much as I seem fine and happy on the surface, deep down I'm fearful. There are these voices in my head telling me that I don't deserve another healthy child. That those who love God and follow after Him will encounter hardships and I guess I'm just waiting for the anvil to drop.
When is it my turn? When will I be struck with miscarriage or infertility or cancer or death of someone close to me? Yes I had a somewhat difficult childhood and my parents divorced. I suffered from depression and floundered around in my young adult life, making unwise choices, but that doesn't seem like enough...and that sounds CRAZY! Where did I get this idea? Why do I expect to be punished or experience hardships?
I guess part of it is biblical - where Jesus promises that we will experiences hardships and be rejected and hated by the world, as it hated him.
But I think it's wrong to question if God is going to "cause" these things to happen.
The truth that I am trying to cling to is this: God is always good. And I am always loved.
Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd,
I [a]shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside [b]quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the [c]paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the [d]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no [e]evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You [f]have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
[g]Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will [h]dwell in the house of the Lord [i]forever.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

To tell or not to tell..that is the question

7 weeks in
The question on my mind is who and when to announce our pregnancy. At 7 weeks our little one is not yet the size of a blueberry, although I am feeling it full-on. Nausea and queasiness are daily occurrences, today being one of those days I'm feeling it all day long. When Bunny nurses it is quite intense as my nipples are sore and the longer she goes in between nursing the more painful it is. But once she starts in, relief comes quickly. I am determined to allow her to decide when she is done with our breastfeeding journey. Especially now that we are adding another to our family. I want her to feel comforted and secure in whatever way she needs.
Off track a bit - we told family of course and I've share with a few running buddies, knowing they'll look out for me on our runs (although I'm leaning more toward walking through this pregnancy as well). And last night I shared with my bible study group, knowing they've been praying that God would bless us with another child. They were the most excited by far and it was such a blessing to have such dear friends celebrate with exclamations and tears.
Being this early on it does make me a bit nervous to share, and yet we're so excited and even if something happens and we lose the baby, I don't want to go through it alone.
I read that whoever and how many you tell in the first trimester, you should be comfortable informing those same people if the pregnancy ends.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Decisions Decisions

Confirmed lentil bean status - 6 weeks in, 34 (or so) to go!
Today we decided to announce our pregnancy to family members - this included parents and siblings. Hooray! What a relief to share this blessed news with loved ones! Now I can actually talk to a few people about our excitement, how queasy I feel, and so on.
Today was also a big day in that we discussed whether we want a hospital or home birth - Yowza! BIG DECISIONS! Being our last [planned] pregnancy and birth, this is pretty big deal and our last shot. We are both very open to the idea of a home birth, but also nervous. We like the idea, but there are plenty of questions and uncertainties that come with it. The biggest being - what happens in an emergency?!
We're looking into it anyways...
Our first birthing experience was pretty incredible and smooth with zero complications. However there were those annoyances and things we didn't want that had to happen because we gave birth at the hospital. They insisted I have an IV - yuck! Which led to swollen "cankles" afterwards that made me cry (hormones). And there was the nurse when we were first admitted that totally disturbed my focus, insisting that "I" had to be the one to answer a gazillion questions that I had already answered when I pre-registered. Thankfully that woman's shift was almost over and we then had a God-send of a nurse named Toby who helped more than anyone for me to have the natural birth that I wanted.
But there were those other nurses that questioned whether my doctor would "allow" me to deliver the baby in the squatting position that felt most comfortable to me. Crazy ladies. I. didn't. care.
And that silliness of trying to keep that waistband around me to monitor baby's heartbeat while I was moving around, changing positions, trying to twist around in that tangled mess of an IV cord...ah yes. Those memories were not ideal.
The concept of going into labor and not having to worry about traveling anywhere, being able to eat and drink what I want when I want, sleep in my comfortable bed or couch or wherever I feel like it, move around in positions that feel comfortable to me - whether on a giant exercise ball, in a tub, or wherever, and give birth myself, pulling out my baby with my own two hands, having loved ones around me, with the lights on or off, music I want...yep. That sounds good to me! Oh! And in my own comfortable clothes!
Yes there are questions that need to be answered. We'll find out soon enough! Yes, we may end up choosing another hospital birth - annoyances and all, but we'll see!
Other than that I'm feeling about the same. Slept better last night. Trying to decide whether to fore-go my upcoming half-marathon or not. *Sigh* Another decision!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sesame Seed vs. Lentil

Day 43
I've decided that I'd like to document my experience through this round and hope to look back and appreciate the season, though it may have unpleasantries in the midst.
This morning revealed the second positive after yesterday morning. These coupled with all I am experiencing confirms that I am definitely growing a seed, though the size is debatable. One website ensures 5 weeks, the size of a sesame seed, while another says 6 - the size of a lentil. That is pretty big difference if you check them out! (that teeny tiny white speck in her hand? that is a sesame seed)

Either way I am excited to read about and revisit these feelings, even more aware since the last time as I kind of know what to expect and definitely understand my body more. Last week, on Monday and Tuesday I had some brown spots, which I assumed was my cycle starting, but then stopped. That's weird! But now that I read back it turns out that it was more likely implantation! And a strong one at that - you strong little seed!
This past weekend I was so tired every night, feeling like an old lady wanting to be in bed before 8pm. I skipped out on my Sunday morning long run (oops!) but so appreciated the sleeping in!
Follow that by my bought of dizziness the last few nights coupled with an unsettled stomach and soreness when Bunny nurses and ta-da! We plunked down the over $15 (what!?! I know! so pricey, but they've really got us! what else are we supposed to do?) and risked the potential disappointment of another negative month.
But nope! Two positives, insomnia (which is how I'm miraculously finding time to blog!), queasiness, dizziness, some cramping - ah. The sensations of a first trimester are strong with this one.
But all in all these signs are AWESOME! Just confirms that I'm growing a human and all is well! These are good, even though they
That said, we haven't told anyone! Yesterday was seriously the longest day of my life - not telling my sister, my family, my friends who I saw yesterday! I just want to shout it from the rooftops! Even my hubby wanted to tell his friends at work (and he's not an open-share kind of guy!). We are just totally stoked and totally freaking out at the same time. That feeling of what have we done!? is there for sure.
Adding another person to our family is a crazy big step - it's going to be a life-changer for our daughter. But I want her to feel that this is hers to grow into and celebrate with us. As much as I want to share about how little seed is growing with my husband, I need to share with her.
So we watched a little video yesterday about the egg being fertilized and implanting and what little seed looks like right now. We got out a sesame seed and she held it and we talked about it. I wasn't sure what all she would "get" as a child with only 30 months experience in this world, but last night as we laid in bed and she was having her milkies before we said goodnight, she starting rubbing my stomach and talking to her little sister or brother inside. She knows someone is in there, growing, and will one day come out.
Most likely before Halloween. To which she is considering whether she and little seed will be Rapunzel and Pascal, or Queen Elsa and Olaf....choices choices.

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow! What an answer to our prayers - God is so good always. And we are so loved. Always.