Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Back Home

I'm finally done with my teacher certification program!! This is my first week back home full time with my children, and it's been great. My husband had been home during the day with them, but he started school fulltime, which the military pays for, last week.

The children are excited about the baby in my tummy. At least once a week my son asks me if the baby is going to come out now. He's anxious to meet his new sibling.

I'm five months along, and I'm deciding on whether to switch to a more VBAC friendly doctor. The one I chose, I thought was VBAC friendly, but she said that she only supports vaginal births after one c-section, and I have had two.

I'm nervous about trying for a VBAC, and I'm nervous about possibly having another C-section. I try not to think about it too much, and stay positive. I have been reading a lot of great posts through ICAN, specifically I Can of Atlanta's message board. It has been inspiring to read so many VBAC success stories.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

30

Today is my 30th birthday. (Sigh. . . ) No, really, I'm happy to begin a new decade of life, and I am thankful for all that God has blessed me with. Even unexpected surprises.

A while ago I blogged about yearning for a baby, but in my head I knew that it was not a wise time to have another child. I guess God had other plans, because I'm expecting number 3. I honestly can't believe it, and writing it here makes it seem more real.

I've read biblical womanhood type blogs for quite some time now, and have read about how women should joyfully anticipate the birth of any children God chooses to bless them with, and allowing God to plan your family and so forth. I think there is some merit to that.

But, can I admit that I am both happy and anxious/nervous about having another child?

I feel mostly confident that I can handle it in stride, but a part of me is nervous that parenting three children will be very overwhelming. The other part of me can't wait to hold, snuggle, and nurse this new little person.

Anyways, I'm thankful for all of my children on my special birthday and my entire family for their support and love.

My goal this year is to really work hard to accomplish my dreams of being a published author, to become a better cook because I'm really bored with my repertoire of meals, and to remember to enjoy each and every day to the fullest with my loved ones, and not waste energy on trivial matters.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Each Day is Important

It's a rainy Labor Day here, and I'm savoring this relaxed time at home with my family. Sometimes I forget how important my job is as mother to my children, and my responsibility to train and mold them. Sometimes I get in a rut, and feel like I'm going through the motions. But, today I just thought about how powerful my role as mother is.

I am so blessed to be their mommy. My daughter just turned 3 a few days ago, so for three weeks I will have two three year olds! My son will turn 4 at the end of September. It's funny that they are the same age for exactly three weeks every year.

I was reading a few weeks ago about Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama's mother, who was a full-time homemaker until Michelle was in high school. She taught both of her children to read before they entered school. They were allowed to watch 30 min. of TV while they were young children, and spent much of their day reading and playing board games.

Reading that inspired me, because Marian Robinson and her husband laid a strong foundation for their children, who both ended up very successful. I love hearing stories of women who were homemakers and proud of their role, and the fruits of their labors.

It gives me more motivation to be the best wife and mother that I can be. Even when daily life seems mundane, it really is not, because each day, every routine, everything I teach, is helping to shape and mold my children, and it is important.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back to TV

My family and I recently moved to a new place at the beginning of the month. We got TV and internet connection this past Saturday. We went three weeks with no TV. For my husband and I it was a lot to digest. But, we got used to it.

I've said before in this blog that I am a reality tv fan. I love watching The Real Housewives shows, Teen Mom, Cupcake Wars, Top Chef, and a few other shows. Mainly Bravo shows. I thought that I would be completely bored without tv to watch during my downtime when the children were sleep.

Interestingly enough, I rarely missed tv. It almost feels weird to watch the shows that I once could not miss. I feel out of the loop. I guess it's a good thing. I still enjoy watching TV, but I realize that it's not the absolute best way for me to unwind and relax.

I've always been a bookworm, since elementary school, and I had the chance to rekindle my love for reading. I've been reading more books as well as spending more time organizing our home in my down time.

Although it's been awhile since I bought a book, because I usually check them out from the library, I was so sad when I found out my local Borders was closing. Like, actually sad. I really enjoy browsing through bookstores. But, I guess a lot of people are choosing to check books out versus purchase them, or buy them off of Amazon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Preparing Girls for Career and Children


I just read an interesting article about Jill Berry, the president of the Girls' School Association, discussing how important it is to give young girls a realistic view of balancing careers with children. She said that it's important to let girls know that it's ok to not work when they have young children or to work part time.

She feels that it is a disservice to young ladies to make them believe that they have to do it all. Of course, some women can, but they need to know that it's okay if they do not try to do it all.

The article states:

A lot of our girls want to have it all. That is perfectly acceptable and anything we can do to prepare them, we will. But we need to make them realistic. At different stages of their lives, they may want different things.

"There is nothing wrong with them saying 'I need to work part-time' or 'I need support in order to enable me to do my career and have children'.

"Women can feel very guilty, whatever path they choose. It is as if they have somehow compromised their principles. What we can do as teachers is prepare them to have aspirations, but not aim for perfection. We can help them recognise that life is about balance."

Berry, who does not have children, said that unless girls were taught this, teachers were "in danger of betraying them".

She said: "There is an unprecedented pressure on girls and more women are going back to work early after having children now. It can all work fine, until their child is ill."

Berry said a top-quality education gave girls the skills to "generate options" for themselves, which could be used both in the workplace, and the home.


You can read more of this article here.

I completely agree that women should be honest with young ladies and let them know that they do not have to be perfect and try to "have it all." I thought it was an excellent article.

This post is linked with:

Raising Homemakers

Women Living Well

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tandem Nursing


Welcome, Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! I've linked up with the June Carnival of Breastfeeding at the site formerly known as Blacktating.

I wrote an article a few years ago for Associated Content about toddler nursing. I've been reading various articles around the internet about the much lower percentage of African American women compared to other races that breastfeed their babies, and I was sad to hear that news.

I have enjoyed breastfeeding for the past almost four years. I related in a previous post about how much I have loved breastfeeding, and I do! My son is three and my daughter is 2 now, so I don't really nurse that much now. My three year old weaned himself around 2 years old, and my daughter occasionally nurses now.

When I first had my daughter, my son was 11 months old, about to turn one in three weeks. He nursed throughout my entire pregnancy, much to the chagrin of various family members, who felt that nursing him would somehow deprive the baby I was carrying of nutrients.

When I had my daughter I couldn't bear the thought of refusing him if he wanted to nurse. I already felt kind of guilty that I had another baby so quickly after having him, so I definitely wasn't going to stop nursing him if he wanted to.

It proved to work out just fine. Nursing pretty much works along the lines of supply and demand. If there is a lot of demand, the milk supply goes up. This explains why mothers of twins and even triplets are able to successfully breastfeed their children.

I allowed my daughter to breastfeed as much as she wanted, and only allowed my toddler to nurse after she was finished eating. I did not want to deprive her. Sometimes my son would whimper and whine to nurse, but he adjusted and he was able to nurse pretty much as much as he wanted, which wasn't a lot by that time. He basically wanted to nurse before naptime and bedtime and sometimes in the morning.

It worked out just fine. I enjoyed nursing my daughter just as much as I enjoyed nursing my son. Breastfeeding makes newborn motherhood SO MUCH EASIER in my opinion. To me it seemed to cure everything for babies; tiredness, hunger, comfort, if they hurt themselves and I nursed them, they IMMEDIATELY stopped crying. I was actually astounded at the powers of nursing. I even wondered why some mothers didn't even try to breastfeed. It's definitely worth trying, and even continuing for at least a year.

If I have another baby, I will definitely breastfeed again, and I look forward to the special bond that is created by doing so. Breastfeeding my first two children was one of the most special and awe-inspiring times in my life. Their sweet little eyes looking up at you with such trust and love.

So sweet.

So precious.

Other mothers sharing their breastfeeding story:

Caramel Chica: Breastfeeding the Second Time Around

Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Reasons why breastfeeding is usually easier the second time around.Takisha:

Takisha: Lessons Learned

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mommyhood Doesn't Mean Frumpyhood


I am currently reading the novel, Yummy Mummy by Polly Williams, and it has been an enjoyable read so far. I can so relate to the main character who is struggling with maintaining her old identity and realizing that her new identity as a mother, as well as many other mothers in her mommy circle are, well, . . . frumpy.

This book has made me laugh, but also I've thought about how important it is as mothers to still put forth effort in our appearance. It's easy to hide behind, oh I'm a mother now, it doesn't really matter. But, it does matter.

What are a few things every mommy can do to rejuvenate herself and feel feminine and appealing?

1. Keep fingernails and toenails painted.
Simple, but goes a long way toward feeling feminine and reflecting someone who cares about themselves and their appearance. Before, I usually kept my toes done during the summer, and very rarely had my fingernails done. But, I've decided lately to start doing both and it does put an extra pep in my step, and it just feels good. If you can't afford to go to the salon, just do it yourself!

2. Wear flattering dresses.
Having a couple of cute, casual dresses in your closet can be a lifesaver! Dresses are the most comfortable article of clothing, in my opinion. Your body can breathe and you don't have to find something to match. Just grab a dress and go. Perfect for having small children, and not a lot of time to primp. Make sure it's a dress that flatters your body, and doesn't just hang like a sack.

3. Wear a bit of make-up.
Even if it's just lipstick and blush. Doing that little bit will help you look pulled together and refreshed.

4. Wear heels.
I'm not saying you have to walk around the house in heels, but if you're going out of the house, try wearing some heels. I did this the other day, and I was amazed at how feminine I felt. Before having children, I lived in heels. I did not like flat shoes. After having my children, I wore flat shoes a lot more, because I thought it was more practical. Needless to say, I did not feel as fabulous. Heels look more feminine, and help you feel more feminine.



Those are my top ideas for not being a frumpy mommy. There's nothing wrong with looking pretty while being a mother. It does require extra effort, but the rewards are worth it.

What about you? Are there any other ideas you have for being a yummy mummy?


This post is linked with:

Women Living Well Wednesday
Raising Homemakers

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Purpose

I thoroughly enjoyed watching The Oprah Show finale yesterday. I actually kind of teared up at the end.

I loved what she had to say about finding your purpose in life, and when you find it you know it because you just know that that is what you are suuposed to be doing with your life. A person's platform may be a classroom or co-workers, or their family, but however large or small, it's up to us to find out our purpose and live it out.

That really resonated with me, and I feel inspired to make EVERY MOMENT COUNT. My pastor talked about that at church this past Sunday. It's important to live every day to the fullest, and enjoy it, and make it count.

For me that includes being the best wife and mother that I can be, serving others as much as I can, writing, mentoring, connecting with friends and family, and reading great books. Those things bring me such joy and it's important to make sure that I spend time doing the various things that I enjoy.

I'm learning how important it is to be grateful for every blessing that I have, even when times are hard. Being grateful helps you to enjoy your life and live it to the fullest, because you're not wasting time thinking about what you don't have or what else you could be doing. Instead, you're grateful for the time you have now, and the people around you that you can share your life with.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tests


When I was in college, I remember a pastor saying that when it comes to tests in life, you're either tested on what you teach or you teach what you've been tested on.

I understand that saying more now than ever. I've always believed in being a stay at home mother, whatever the cost, and have encouraged others to stay at home with their children while they are young. But, I have definitely been tested on my convictions lately.

Today is the first day of being home full-time, since I started my part-time job last October. I am so happy and joyous that I'm here with the children, and we have just enjoyed each other, played with play-doh, put puzzles together, and other learning acitivities. It's been a blessing.

But, I know that now more than ever it is imperative that I buckle down with my work from home business, because I want to be here with them at least for the next two years.

But, today, I'm just enjoying being home with my babies. . . exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Womanly Inspiration


I just read a wonderful article on the grand investments of homemakers. It can become so easy to lose sight of our priorities as wives and mothers, and this article really hit home for me and made me remember that the investments that I make in my family are the most important ones right now.

I encourage you to read the article here.

The article really blessed me and I hope that it does the same for you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fabulously Pregnant


Pregnant in Heels is one of my new favorite shows to watch. I so enjoy watching shows about pregnancy and motherhood. Motherhood is one of those life changing careers, and I love watching how people respond to the call.

I am completely fascinated by watching mothers on tv. I sometimes laugh to myself, because I can relate to certain funny moments or I cringe because I see a mother do something that I have done, and seeing it from another view, I realize I need to change.

Like my voice, for example. I'm working on using a more gentle and patient voice with my children. If I have to say something more than once to my children, I sometimes get annoyed and take on a strident tone of voice, which, honestly is annoying even to my own ears.

But, when I hear other mothers use that harsh voice, I inwardly cringe, and think, I need to work on that.

So, I'm working on speaking gently, my voice laced with love and patience at all (most?) times. Firm, yet loving. Not strident.

But, anyways, I was saying that I enjoy watching Pregnant in Heels. It is a delightful show that follows Rosie Pope, who created a business catering to pregnant women, from designing maternity clothes, to being a "maternity concierge", as she educates and helps stylish, wealthy women navigate the terrains of pregnancy and motherhood. It seems like a cool business to have.

I have enjoyed seeing her educate mothers-to-be on important baby care-taking tasks, and seeing the transformation in mothers as they fall in love with their baby and realize the importance of their new role as mommy. I just love watching the transforming power of motherhood.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Align Your Life With Your Values



I have a few more weeks left for my part-time job, and then I'll be back to being a SAHM, and I can't wait!!

God has really been working on my heart lately about this, and I have to work harder at earning money from home, and spending money wisely.

There is nothing else more important than raising my children right now, and I have to align my life along that belief, even when things are difficult.

Here's an excerpt from an interview with Dr. Laura about the importance of mothers staying home with their children.

WSJ: Where do stay-at-home dads fit into the picture?

Dr. Laura: I recommend that during the first three years, the mom should be at home because all of the research shows that the person whose body you come out of and whose breast you suck at, at that stage, really needs to be the mom — unless she’s incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial. After that, flip a coin.

WSJ: At what point do you advise mothers to go back to work?

Dr. Laura: The answer is never. One woman asked me the other day when I think mothers should be home, and I told her, “Whenever your kid is at home.” When [my son] Deryk started kindergarten, it was from 8 to 3. So I arranged to be on the air from 11 to 2. That was it. He always had a mom. Quite frankly, my mom was one of the least warm mommies out there. Nonetheless, when I came home from school, she was always there and it made me feel safe.

WSJ: What about the women who can’t choose their hours?

Dr. Laura: Well, everyone’s capable of it. For everything in life, you have to make a priority list. This must be done. If we truly believe in something and cherish it, we find a way to make it happen. Women go from making seven-figure salaries to staying at home, and things just start to be less important. . . You don’t have to work 9 to 7. If your priority is to raise your child, it’s not just a matter of making sure they don’t get killed or have food to eat. The question is, “Do you want them to learn what’s moral and of value from your perspective?”


Read the full article here.

Photo: Beulah's Baby Primrose Paschal

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Peace and Joy



I had a very beautiful Easter, and I hope everyone else had one as well. My son recited the 23rd Psalm and my daughter recited The Lord's Prayer for their Easter speeches. I was so happy when they recited their verses at church. They were very happy too.

I was touched by a reenactment of Jesus's resurrection following the Easter speeches. I realized even more how important it is to honor God in my daily life and be truly thankful for everything that He has blessed me with.

It's not for me to complain about little things, or get upset over trivial matters. But, instead I need to focus on the positive, on what good I can do for others, and try to live a life that is pleasing to our Lord.

Doing that brings a peace and joy to life that is indescribable, and I realized just how much I need to just focus on Him, no matter what the situation is.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pretty Books to Read

I've been reading quite a bit lately, and it's so much fun. I read, Something Blue by Emily Giffin and Lilia's Haven by Kay D. Rizzo.

Both books inspired me to enjoy my children even more and appreciate their sweet little presence in my life.

I think I've found a new author that I want to continue reading. I love Emily Giffin's simple, pastel-colored book covers, and have admired them for some time while perusing through the book store. But, a few weeks ago I started reading her second novel, Something Blue, last week finished, Baby Proof, and I'm currently reading, Something Borrowed. I honestly did not think that I would enjoy reading the books, but they are fun books to read, with some substance too.

The movie version of Something Borrowed, is coming out soon, so I may check out the movie or wait for it to come out on DVD.

Since having children, I haven't read many fiction books, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting back to my book-lover self in the past few weeks!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Full-time mothering

I feel strongly more than ever that being an at home mom is the best thing for me. I've been working part-time for the past few months, and that's ok, but that combined with school and having to observe in a classroom adds more hours away from home. And. . . I don't like it. I'm looking to get back into pursuing freelance writing again, and with more fervor, because I miss being at home full-time.

I felt inspired reading about a few single mothers who are stay at home mothers. I don't know the specifics of how they are able to do that, but I figure, surely I can figure out how to do so, especially since I know that it's what I'm supposed to do. I just feel it in my heart. I guess I feel that being a stay at home mother is almost synonomous with being a good mother, and I'm trying to fight those feelings of not being a good mother.

There are those who say to just trust God and walk out on faith, and He will provide. It's great to say, but harder to do. But, my job ends at the end of May, so I kind of won't have a choice but to trust that God will provide. I hope that I will be blessed with a great writing opportunity and land back where I belong: at home with my children.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Every Day Is A Blessing

I was thinking the other day how ever since I was a little girl, I thought that family was the most special and precious thing on earth.

I loved my parents so much, and dearly loved and enjoyed my siblings. I wanted to have a large family when I got older, because it was simply so much fun having brothers and sisters. I wanted my own children to experience that same joy.

I thought of that as I pondered this new year, and what I hope to accomplish. And the main goal is to treasure every moment I have with my family. Because besides our life and health, our families are our greatest treasures on Earth.

My daily life should reflect that. I've stopped and played with my children more, and I have enjoyed them so much more, just from intentionally spending more time with them instead of focusing so much on home organization and other household things.

These are good days that I'm living right now, and I have to be mindful to always be greateful and thankful for it.

Have you ever spent time feeling unhappy about your life because you're not where you want to be and things don't seem to be going right? But, then years later when you look back on that time, you realize how blessed you were, but didn't even realize it? It's a sad thing when you don't realize the blessings of today and fully enjoy each day that God blesses you with.

I've been guilty of it. I'm not exactly where I want to be right now. I keep waiting for different things to fall in place. But, I had to check myself and realize, hey, these are good days right now.

I may look back years from now and realize how blessed I was and wish for these days back. I don't want to live life knowing that I didn't appreciatee where I was in every season of my life.

Enjoy everyday. Connect with your family. Talk to your parents, siblings, show some extra love to your spouse and children. Doing so will help ensure that you are living a life that you won't look back with regret on later.

I've been doing that this past week, and it has brought me so much joy.

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