Friday, July 27, 2012

The Baby Planner

Right now I'm currently reading The Baby Planner by Josie Brown, and I am loving it!! 




Being the baby lover that I am, I was so excited to find out about this book, The Baby Planner.  It's like Pregnant in Heels in novel form.  I have been devouring it since yesterday.  I checked it out from my local library a few days ago, but yesterday I had ample time to read it, because my older two children will be with their grandparents for a week.  That means:  I'm cramming as much reading as I can during this week of having just one child at home.

Also, I can't wait to get my hands on Where We Belong by Emily Giffin.  None of my local libraries have it.  And, I'm so amped about reading this book, and reading it during my free week, that I may buckle down and buy it. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I've Been Reading and Watching

Books:

I read Vanessa Williams autobiography, You Have No Idea.  When I first began reading the book I was very turned off by Vanessa's story.  She had quite a tumultuous relationship with her mother, and how she described her feelings about winning Miss America just seemed very flippant. 

But, as I continued reading, I became engrossed in it.  It was actually a very enjoyable read, and I came away from it with a newfound respect and appreciation for Vanessa Williams.  I recommend it.

Another book I read was The Ivy Chronicles by Karen Quinn.
I really enjoyed this book.  It follows Ivy Ames, who has recently been fired from her job, and soon after getting fired she discovers that her husband is having an affair.  So, she is left to pick up the pieces of her life.  She begins a business advising parents on school admissions for their upcoming kindergarteners.  I laughed aloud quite often throughout the book, and I was amazed at the lengths that many of these parents would go to in order to secure a spot for their child at a "Baby Ivy."

Television:

Melissa Gorgas of RHONJ said on the show a few nights ago that the key to a successful marriage is to have sex every. single. day.  I do enjoy watching Melissa and Joe Gorgas.  They seem to be very hot for each other, which is sweet to see for a young couple with three children. 

The season finale of Pregnant in Heels came on last night, and I savored the last episode.  I love this show.  I'm even thinking about becoming a baby planner myself.  ;)  I was so happy for Rosie as she welcomed her precious baby girl, and tried to get over her own difficult relationship with her mother.  It was endearing for Rosie to allow cameras to see her vulnerable side. 

Teen Mom:  Yes, I still watch this, although maybe not for long.  All I do is fast forward through Catelynn and Amber's scenes.  I was absolutely appalled at the way Farrah and her sister treated her mother on the show last night.  There is no reason under the sun to treat a mother with such disrespect.  We are to honor our parents.  And, I don't even see where Farrah's mom is so bad.  Sure, she may be annoying at times, but that DOES NOT warrant the complete disrespect that her daughters show her.  I would be ashamed to even be on national television treating anyone like that. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy 3 months!!


My little princess is 3 months old today!! It feels like time has flown by. She is so sweet and precious, and I just thank God everyday for blessing me with a new little gift.

Last night she slept 9 hours through the night!! I was amazed. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was trying to implement Babywise to a degree, but with no crying it out. Basically, I just try to keep her on a similar routine each day, and feed her a bit more than usual before bedtime. The other night she slept 8 hours.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will continue this. This is a first for me, because my other children never slept this long at this age. But, they may have if I had tried to work on it.

She's a pretty quiet baby who enjoys sitting back watching her brother and sister play and be rambunctious. She absolutely loves when they hug and kiss on her, which is all. the. time! She just smiles and laughs when they get all in her face. It's so cute!

I'm amazed that my older children are so in love with their baby sister. I thought the "new baby high" would have worn off by now, but they are just as excited as when she first came home! It really warms my heart.

Interestingly enough, they continue to talk about when I'm going to have a boy baby in my tummy. Ummmm. . . Not right now kiddos! Let's just enjoy our sweet little baby girl for now!! :)

Linking up with Women Living Well

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Regretting children

Yesterday I happened upon a website about being child free. The blog author's goal for writing is to share the beauty of living a child-free lifestyle. She wrote about how the U.S. is such a family and child centered country, and how being child-free is really a wonderful option for couples.

I didn't find anything totally wrong with that if a couple chooses not to have children or they simply cannot have children, it's ok to cheerfully embrace being childless.

But, what made my heart sink was reading her guest posts from mothers who regretted having their children, and wished that they had remained child-free. These posts were to serve as "inspiration" to other women of the "reality" of being a mother. It's mainly a regrettable decision.




The main reasons many of the women cited for regretting their children:

1. Lack of time to themselves.

2. Compromises with their career.

3. Drain on their finances.

4. Missed their carefree, before children lifestyle.

I thought about a previous post I wrote about teaching our daughters to love motherhood.

I shared my struggles with motherhood. Have I had moments when I wanted to go back to my before children life of having an abundance of free time? Sure. Did the moment last? No.

I think many mothers have had their moments of wanting to have more time to themselves, and miss their pre children life. But, to just say you regret being a mother period is a huge statement. Yes, motherhood can be quite hard. It's challenging, and yes it's hard work to instill values, be consistent with discipline, and have the patience of Michelle Duggar while raising children. But, it's a wonderful job that I wouldn't trade for anything.

It did make me think about the fact that in Titus 2 the Bible admonishes the older women to TEACH the younger women how to love her children.

That would imply to me that it's not as natural as breathing to love your children, as in loving the day in day out task of mothering them. When you're exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated, you need someone to talk to who has been in your shoes, and can offer you a glimmer of hope that everything will be alright, or offer tips for how they handled discipline, whining, maintaining patience, maintaining sanity(?),etc.

Motherhood requires selflessness, and when you're really selfish, it is a lot HARDER to love being a mother. Praying daily, developing a servant's heart, and having mothering support is crucial.

I'll contine in a later post with great links to encourage mothers in this mothering journey.

Linking up with
Titus 2 Tuesday

Titus 2sDay

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cute Girly Book for Little Girls

My daughter loves this cute girly book, Summer Jackson Grown Up, by Teresa E. Harris. It is a picture book with beautiful illustrations, featuring a 7 year old girl who wants to be a grown up. It's so cute!



I like to read all types of books to my children, but I get especially excited when I can read them books featuring African American characters, because I think it is affirming for children to see positive reflections of themselves in books and television.

I searched for girly picture books along the lines of Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious, but with an African American girl, and I found Summer Jackson Grown Up. Just like I thought, my daughter absolutely loved the book and has often imitated some of the things Summer Jackson does in the book.

If you're looking for a cute, girly book for your little princess, be sure to check out this book.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Client List

I have to say that I enjoy watching The Client List. Last night's episode was. . . wow. Finally, Riley and Evan kissed. Honestly, it's been so long since I've watched a TV show that was not a reality show that I almost forgot how wonderful watching a real show can be.

The season finale is next Sunday, and I'm a bit sad. Although I hate what Riley does for a living, I like that she's a very feminine woman. And, I just knew her estranged husband who deserted her would show up as soon as Evan finally showed his feelings for her! The background music during their kiss was perfect. Is it sad to say that I rewound that scene like five times? . . . Yep, it probably is.

I just love romance. Sorry. :(

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pretty Pink Dress






Found here


I absolutely love this dress! So beautiful. It's hanging on a tree for a wedding. Gorgeous.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Another Non Hormonal Birth Control Option

I'm amazed at learning about the various non hormonal birth control options out there. Things that I've never heard of before. I'm wondering why they aren't promoted more.

I learned about VCF(Vaginal Contraceptive Film) on a forum, and I was intrigued by it, and googled it. It is a film that is inserted into the vagina and dissolves in seconds, and lasts for hours.

There are no side effects.

Supposedly you or your husband cannot feel it.

Requires no prescription to use, and can be found at any local drugstore.

You can go to their website and get a free sample and coupon. I just received my samples in the mail, and I will see how I like it, but it sounds like a wonderful product.

I've never heard anyone say that they have used this for birth control, but it sounds like a great option.

Using Babywise



Yesterday my little princess had her 2 month check up. She weighs 13 lbs, 5 oz. The little chubster!

She continues to sleep better at night. She usually sleeps around 5 hours straight before waking. I haven't read Babywise, but I've read the blog Babywise Mom, and I've gleaned a lot of information from it about establishing a sleep schedule and such.

I haven't rigidly followed it, but I have to some degree. I do not have the heart to let my baby cry it out, so I'm not going that route. But, purposing to encourage her to stay up longer during the day and feeding her more in the evening is my way of helping her to sleep through the night.

I found a great resource for using Babywise with no crying it out at Jess's blog Making Home. You can go here to read her posts on using Babywise. It's a great series!

My first two children didn't sleep all the way through the night until around 13-14 months old. They always woke up at least once through the night. So, I'm giving this a try to see if I can get little princess to sleep through the night in the next few weeks or so.

Fingers crossed. . .

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blessings of Baby # 3



I am so thankful for my precious baby. So thankful. Everytime I look at her I am filled with joy and gratitude that God blessed me with her.

To think that I knew better, and was not overjoyed upon learning that I was expecting #3 UNPLANNED! Finances were tight, I had considered working outside the home, and didn't feel quite so guilty since my children were 3 and 4, and I had laid the foundation by being home with them in the early years. My husband and I thought the timing was all wrong for a new little one.

But, God knew better.

Sometimes you have to be reminded that children are truly a gift from God. Even when you had other plans, God's ways are best. Even when you think there's no way to provide for another baby. . . God does provide.

Having Alexa has brought me such joy and has made me a better woman. I feel more feminine for some reason. I've been more patient overall, especially with my other two. I am sooooo grateful and thankful for the opportunity to have had a vaginal birth. The difference in recovery is AMAZING!!!!!

I have come to realize that my agenda is not that important in comparison to raising my children properly. Usually when I put the children to bed that is my time to watch TV, write, spend time with hubby, etc. But, for the past two weeks that has been Alexa's time to be wide awake!

She sleeps great all day, and then from 8:30 to around 11:30 she is wide awake. I was frustrated at first, but then I came to enjoy having that time just for her. I just went with the flow.

She's doing better in that regard, though. Having her made me think of all mothers who get pregnant when it seems like the wrong time. Of young women who consider abortion because they don't think they can handle having a baby. I feel even stronger that when a baby is conceived God will provide. And, the blessings of having that baby will far outweigh any discomfort or change of plans that had to occur to adjust to a new life.

Baby # 3 opened my eyes even more to the fact that God always knows best.


Linking up with Women Living Well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back to Fertility


This is probably TMI, but last week Aunt Flo (AF) showed up. I couldn't believe it! I was only 7 weeks postpartum, which is the earliest that it has ever shown up.

But, I was kind of happy, because then I didn't have to worry about the birth control thing. I was stressing about the birth control situation because with me nursing I wouldn't be able to tell when my fertile days were.

Now, I don't have to worry about that so much. I want to purchase a Pearly or Lady Comp, which will tell me when my fertile days are and then I can judge myself accordingly. That sounds wonderful! :)

Out of fear I deliberated just getting on the minipill. When I had my 6 week check up, the nurse midwife, who is a young, warm-hearted young woman, told me that she would definitely get on the minipill after she has her baby, and then back on the pill. She told me this after I asked her what birth control option she used. She is 12 weeks pregnant, and she told me it's the furthest that she has gotten in a pregnancy so far.

She told me that she has had several miscarriages in the past. That just fed into my fear that taking hormonal birth control might lead to problems getting pregnant when I might want more children. I do realize that many women have miscarriages without having been on the pill before, but it is a fear of mine.

Anyways, I'm thankful that I can now use a fertility monitor to help me with natural methods of birth control.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Natural Family Planning




My daughter is 6 weeks old and I have my checkup soon. I have really been at a crossroads lately thinking about birth control and what would be the best option for me.

After I had my son I was prescribed birth control pills, and I just didn't have the heart to take them. I felt like I was telling my future unborn children that I didn't want them. I laugh at that when I think back on it. Then 2 1/2 months later I got pregnant with my daughter. But, I didn't regret not taking birth control pills.

This time I'm at a different place. I feel content with three children, but I definitely do not want to have another child quickly after. The three years between my two daughters feels perfect. I was able to fully baby my first daughter in a way that I didn't do with my son. When I was pregnant this time around I felt like it was a good time, I had time to miss having a baby around, etc.

This is my first time thoroughly researching birth control options, because the alternative way that my husband and I practiced birth control led to baby # 3. So, I'm a little nervous. I do not want to take hormonal birth control.

I've learned about the nonhormonal IUD, Paraguard, which is made of copper, which is supposed to kill sperm. This sounds like a good option, but I'm nervous about having that inserted. The side effects are heavy cramping and bleeding during your periods.

I've also discovered LadyComp and Pearly, fertility monitors that predict ovulation so you know which days to abstain or use barrier methods.

I would love to use LadyComp or Pearly, because it would be completely noninvasive and natural. The only problem is that I'm breastfeeding, and I'm not sure if it will work effectively without me having a cycle.

I recently read on Making Home blog about Albert Mohler's article about birth control. Jess says, Dr. Al Mohler writes about the direct verifiable link between "breeding and believing"... the fact that the religious-ness of a woman is statistically linked to whether or not she'll have children, and the number of children she'll have, world-wide.

So I guess the more Godly a woman is the more open she is to having children. I won't completely disagree with that. I have accepted that I'm not as Godly as I need to be, and I selfishly want to enjoy the three children I have for right now.

But, . . . I do want more in the future, which is why I'm scared to take hormonal birth control, because I fear that it could interfere with my fertility.

Anyways, these are just some things I've been mulling over as I decide which way to go. I'm leaning toward just using a fertility monitor and having faith that breastfeeding will offer a lot of protection from having another baby quickly. We'll see.

I would love to get feedback from others. What contraception options do you use or recommend?

Saturday, April 7, 2012


My daughter, Alexa, was born Tuesday, March 27th. I praise God that I was able to have a successful vaginal birth!!! I'm still in awe that I was able to birth naturally. I experienced prodromal labor, which is when you are in pre-labor for a few days or more.

I had been having painful contractions from Thursday to Monday. Monday morning I couldn't sleep hardly at all because I had contractions starting around 1 a.m. until around 5:30 a.m., coming around every 10-15 minutes. I was sooooo tired!!! Once I officially woke up for the day the contractions came at a slower pace. I was so exhausted, so my Dad came to pick up my older two children to watch them so I could get some rest.

Well, I felt depressed. I was so tired of experiencing contractions that seemed to lead nowhere. I began thinking to myself, what if this goes on for another week? I will be dead to the world, I can't take it. In this moment of depression I called my husband to vent. I started crying about how exhausted I was, and I was so ready for the baby to come. He tried to soothe me over the phone, and I felt a little bit better to get my frustrations off my chest.

About an hour later while I was sitting on my bed watching a Lifetime movie my water broke! I jumped off the bed and ran to the bathroom, and I was extremely excited that my labor had officially started. Yay!!

About two hours later my husband and I checked into the hospital. When the nurse checked me I was 5 centimeters. This was around 5 p.m. Well, I labored on through the evening, walking around, sitting on a birthing ball, leaning on my husband.

I was EXHAUSTED!! I had had no sleep basically for the entire day, and all I wanted to do was rest. My doula encouraged me that I needed to move around to make my labor progress. But, I managed to take naps here and there when I could.

Around midnight I began to lose hope that the baby would ever come out of me naturally. I just. wanted. to. go. to. sleep!!!

Finally around 3 a.m. the doctor said that I was complete!! I honestly was starting to give up and didn't think I would have any energy to push. But, somehow hearing that it was time gave me a boost of energy out of nowhere!

I began pushing, and the doctor said that I wasn't pushing effectively. After a couple of pushes, I realized that pushing a baby out is quite similar to pushing when doing number 2. I thought I was supposed to push in the vaginal area, but really it's more pushing in your bottom. Lesson learned.

My daughter was born at 3:46 a.m., and I just couldn't believe that I actually had a successful VBAC! It was all worth it as I held my precious little baby girl.

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Getting Close

My due date is right around the corner. I'm due March 25th, and I'm so looking forward to meeting my new little person!!

For those who asked, I did decide to use a doula. I hired her last week. My husband kind of did not see the need to hire one, and I wasn't totally sure that I needed to either, but I want to do everything that I can to try to have a successful vaginal birth this time around. So, we went ahead and hired one, and I do feel a greater sense of comfort knowing that I have one.

On the school front:

I shared a few weeks ago about feeling sad about sending my son to kindergarten this upcoming school year. And, you know what would make me feel better about it? Him attending a half day kindergarten. I've researched, and there really aren't that many schools in my area that offer half day kindergarten, but I'm excited that there are a few.

Doing that, to me, will ease the transition for him (and ME!!)to going to school each day. My husband thinks maybe he should just go for the full day and get used to that, but in my mind I think going a half day is perfect. I don't even feel that sad about him starting kindergarten if I know he's only going a half day. I think the school day is just too long. 8-3 is a long time for a 5 year old to be at school. Maybe I'm overthinking this. . . but, back in the day many kindergartens were half days, so I don't quite think that I'm just being a hovering mommy.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Transitions


Last week I went to a Christian school open house. My son will be starting kindergarten this fall, and I have mixed feelings about it. I have been homeschooling for preschool, but my husband is not on board for homeschooling for K-12. So, I have been looking at Christian schools in my area to see what might be a good fit.

I liked the one last week, but wasn't totally impressed with it. After leaving the open house I felt so depressed. When we got home I kept looking at my precious little boy, and sadness overwhelmed me and I began to cry. He's still my baby, and I'm not ready to depart from him just yet.

This baby is coming at a great time, I suppose. Maybe I will be so engulfed in caring for a new baby, that it will ease the pain of my oldest entering kindergarten.

Maybe.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Waiting for Baby

I'm pretty excited and anxious about meeting my new little one. I'm also kind of excited and scared about labor. You know how when you're really excited about something the time seems to drag? Well, I feel like this pregnancy is going slowly, although I know it really isn't.

So, I've been focusing my mind on a few things:

*Enjoying every minute that I can with my two children. My goal is to get out of the house each day and do something fun that they would enjoy from now until the baby comes. It will be a fun adventure for all of us, and it's great bonding time. Today we went to the mall and I let them play in the children's zone, and they had a blast. We then ate lunch in the food court, and had ice cream cones. Then we walked around the mall, and I did a bit of shopping.

*Organizing/Decorating my home. I'm in super nesting mode. For the past few weeks I have been consumed with decorating thoughts and ideas, and ways that I want to spruce up our home before the baby gets here. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I organize and slowly decorate our place.

*Continuing to read childbirth books. I absolutely love reading about childbirth and mothering.

*Making sure that I complete most of my online master's work ahead of time, so that it's done with before baby gets here. Now, if I had excellent forethought, I would have just not taken any classes this semester, but I was not exercising smart thinking. Not sure if I've shared, but a year ago I started my Master's in School Library Media. Although I got recertified to teach, if I have to go back to a full or part time job, I would love for it to be in a school library. In a few years it would be ideal, I think, to work part-time as a school librarian. But, it would be even more ideal to work successfully from home doing something that involves books or something else that I love.

So, I have enough going on that I'm not too anxious about our pending arrival. But, I can't wait to meet her, and the children are so excited too!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Have You Had A Doula?

So, I'm about seven weeks away from my due date. Writing that just now made me nervous, because that is pretty soon! :) As I've mentioned before, I am trying to go for a VBAC this time around. Part of me is accepting of having to have a C-section again if I have to, but I really want to experience a vaginal birth.

With that said, I'm considering hiring a doula. I've read that doula's can make such a positive difference with giving birth. I wanted to know if anyone out there has had a doula, and is it something that you would highly recommend? Or did you think you could have done just as well on your own?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Midwife review




I mentioned the other week that I loved reading a wonderful novel called, The Midwife by Gay Couter. I give the book five out of five stars. I normally do not etch out time out of my schedule to consistently read a book, but I did with this one.

It is the story of Hannah, a young midwife in training, and eventually certified midwife, who blossoms as a young woman amidst a tumultous time in Russia for Jews during the 1900's. After moving to America with her family to seek a better life, she quickly establishes herself as a competent and trusted midwife, who assists births at women's homes.

I was so enthralled with the descriptions of the various births that Hannah attended. The writing of this novel is superb, keeping readers fascinated with the process of birth, and the blessings of having a competent midwife to assist in childbirth. I loved reading about a young woman who was passionate about birth, and one of the most skilled and respected midwives in her area. It was an inspiring and informative read, and I would encourage any woman to read the book. There are some parts of it that I didn't agree with or support the heroine's choices, but overall, I think this is a great book, that most will find worthy of five stars.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Midwife


Happy New Year everyone!!

I have enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. I told my husband that having young children brings the excitement back into Christmas. Christmas from around the teen years and beyond isn't quite as exciting as Christmas when you are little. It seemed magical as a child, because I believed in Santa Claus, and there was so much anticipation to see what was under the Christmas tree.

The older I got the more the magic faded away. I still enjoyed Christmas very much, but there was no magical element there. But, having children brings that magic back for some reason. I guess because you get to witness their excitement.

Something I have also enjoyed for the past week or so has been reading an excellent book! Prior to getting marrried and having children, I was a voracious novel reader. After having children I cut back a lot on my reading. A lot. Mainly because when I get into a book I like to keep reading, and it was frustrating to read and have to stop continuously.

Another reason was because I just had not found a lot of good books that were worth trying to continue reading. But, I recently read one of the best books that I've read in a long time.

As I'm approaching my sixth month of pregnancy, of course I have been reading anything related to pregnancy. Mainly nonfiction works. But, I found a great fiction novel, called The Midwife by Gay Courter. I found it at my local library and I was hooked from the first few pages. I loved this book! Childbirth is fascinating to me anyways, more so right now of course, because I'll be giving birth in a few months. The writing was excellent, and although it was a very long book, I savored each moment of reading it. I just finished reading it, and I have to give a full review of it in a few days at least. I'm also going to get the sequel tomorrow and begin reading it.

I can't wait!

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