Wednesday, June 29, 2011

August Hope - 6 weeks

Our little tiny girl is, well, not so tiny anymore. August is 6 weeks old and absolutely thriving! Praise the Lord! She's slowly but surely getting a routine and flow down and is doing wonderful at night times - sleeping sometimes up to 7 hours! Makes for a very rested momma, for sure. Thankful for God's grace in that area.

She's becoming more and more alert - tho she's always been an alert baby. She smiles tons and all the time and really only fusses if her belly is hungry or if she loses her paci during naps. She especially loves her sisters kisses {which, are ALL the time} and looking at momma's face. :)

I don't know exactly how much she weighs, but I'm guessing she's close to the 13lb mark already! She has the "triple chin" thing going on and you can see those super long legs getting nice and chunky!

Praise the Lord today is my LAST day on antibiotics. August has had antibiotics in her "Food" since she was 2 weeks old. We are both ready to be done with that business! I'm so thankful that through all of my health drama this little one is doing just fine. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a little girl

It has happened again...

I blinked and my children grew more.

Somehow in the mess of our busy days and even the not so busy ones their changes creep up on me so subtly. Just when I look away for one second... they change. It melts me. Shame on me for the days when all I want is for her to "do it on her own", or "you should be going on the potty", or "don't laugh so loud you'll wake baby sister". Shame. When I look at my newbie and think, "oh how much easier you'll be in a few months..." Shame. Truth is - my life IS easy. And blessed.

My precious, curious, creative 2 year old. She teaches me something every single day. Today I have learned to RELAX, LET GO of the control I think I have over schedules and routines, ENJOY this season {both spiritual and physical} and GIVE THANKS in all things. Every single thing.

Today we let go of routine {the laundry can wait} and I took the chance at taking on the splash park by myself. I wanted Ava to have a special morning and I knew August would sleep at least 30 minutes while I focused in on her. It was sweet. :) She dove right in and was all smiles and "look at me mommy". I loved it. She is turning into a little girl more and more. While my momma-heart yearns to keep her small and chubby and...all those toddler things. She's growing and becoming more and more beautiful. How could I resist that?

Monday, June 27, 2011

My last birthday :)

This week I'll celebrate 29 years of life! And then officially stop having birthdays, right? Well, the day will {Lord Willing} roll around each year... but the numbers will stop getting bigger. ;) Forever 29? While I have no opposition to those "bigger numbers" - I just can't imagine not being in the 20's categories anymore, been here so long!

This morning I woke up thinking of how funny life can be. How it changes so rapidly and how if we don't take the time to stop and laugh about it... we might miss the opportunity. This of course ties into my turning 29.

10 years ago my life looked like this:

-Sophomore in College at BBC
-19 years old
-Had my first car, an 88 Honda Acclaim, completely rusted out - named Pearl
-Worked as a waitress/server at a restaurant that doesn't even exist anymore. Dependent on tips!
-Spent almost ALL my free time at the Underground Cafe at school... forget studying, social life was calling.
-9/11 hadn't happened quite yet - it would that coming September :(
-Loved babysitting and did it often

Today my life looks like this:

-Can't remember 1 thing I learned my sophomore year of college
-almost 29!
-Minivan driver and loving my passengers!
-Full time Momma and Homemaker, dependent on hubby and so thankful for his hard work.
-FREE TIME?! well, if I get any it's spent sleeping or maybe doing laundry. Social life consists of play dates, church events and a walmart outing.
-9/11 is now almost 10 years ago... still haunts our country.
-Two babes of my own

Is time going faster? Or is it just me?

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I never had real, of-my-same-blood, sisters.

Tho I've had many sisters of other means :)

This picture is an answer to my childhood, girlhood prayers.

I have girls.

I have sisters. :)

Thank you God for this wonderful & exciting gift!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Be gentle, mamma

She climbs out of her bed for what seems like the 15th time, walks over to the door and flips on the light. I hear her plop onto the floor and begin playing with her little toys {which, are EVERY where on her floor instead of her toybox} as if it were mid-day. The only thing is, it's not. It's 7:30pm and mamma and daddy are exhausted from life. We are ready for our "break" or at least a few minutes to not clean up a spill, hold a crying baby or pick up one more blasted toy. And wouldn't mamma be so gentle and gracious in handling this? I mean, it is the first time we've dealt with this issue, right?


I open the door and ask her, "Miss Ava, mamma just gave you a spanking because you disobeyed and got out of bed. Why are you getting out again?" She looks at me and... do I see a smirk in her eye? Every ounce of gentle-mother-nurturing drains out of me and I feel that ugly sensation of anger try to course through my mom-veins. I say TRY because I know I can control it with the Spirits help. I know I can have victory over my flesh and my human-ness. How is it that at 2 years old this little one already knows how to get my blood boiling? How can she see my heart to know where I struggle and where my patience lacks? Has it already been so obvious to her?

And I had a choice at that moment. Lose it, raise my voice {ahem, yell}, be quick to grab a little arm probably too rough, another spanking and some sarcastic-sounding disciplinary words... "Get into that bed and don't get out or I will throw every single one of your toys away and sell you to the gypsys". {please know I would never say that... ?} Or, I could scoop up this bundle of learning and 2 year old-ness and attempt yet another heart to heart with her. Because even when I think she isn't listening I hear her rehearsing Mammas words later in her playtime. She IS listening. Always with ears open and heart taking it all in. And so I begin: "Ava, Mamma and Daddy told you to stay in your bed. You are disobeying when you get out and it makes us sad. God tells us to honor Mamma and Daddy by obeying. You are a big girl now and you know how to obey, I've seen you do it! I love watching you obey. etc." The conversation goes on a few seconds more and she for just a few minutes wants to rock and say she's sorry. I stayed calm. I took those 3 big breaths and made the choice to choose gentleness over a quick tongue and hand. Don't get me wrong - I think sometimes children need the immediate discipline - but sometimes, no - many times, doesn't it seem a gentle word and guided correction go so much further? Isn't that biblical somewhere?

All this to say, I'm not boasting in my superior parenting skills. Bah! More often then not, sadly, I'm the example of what NOT to do. I'm just so humbled and reminded today to "Be gentle, Mamma" because little hearts are on the line. And so you know... that little two year old gave me the biggest neck hug and fell fast asleep right after our little chat in the rocking chair. And the next morning told me how she was "a big girl who didn't get out of my bed" with a huge smile on her little face. It's THOSE moments I live for! To God be the Glory!

"He who keeps instruction is in the way of life,

But he who refuses correction

goes astray."

Prov. 10:17

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Loving the Little Years"

The UPS guy didn't show up until after 7pm lastnight. Is that normal? Maybe they knew how eager I was for my book to arrive? Ok, probably not. But it did make the day feel sooooo muuuuch longer. There's something so exciting about getting a new book in the mail!

A few days ago a friend of mine and fellow blogger mentioned a book she was reading called, "Loving the Little Years" by Rachel Jankovic. The titled captured my attention. I had never heard of it or the author. And honestly, right now I'm having a semi-difficult time LOVING 2yo disobedience and certain other behaviors. {Blame the sleep deprivation?} So, I thought I would look into it... so glad I did! This is the back cover....

"I didn’t write this book because mothering little ones is easy for me. I wrote it because it isn’t. I know that this is a hard job, because I am right here in the middle of it. I know you need encouragement because I do too. This is not a tender reminiscence from someone who had children so long ago that she only remembers the sweet parts. At the time of writing this, I have three children in diapers, and I can recognize the sound of hundreds of toothpicks being dumped out in the hall. This is a small collection of thoughts on mothering young children — for when you are motivated, for when you are discouraged, for the times when discipline seems fruitless, and for when you are just plain old tired. The opportunities for growth abound here — but you have to be willing. You have to open your heart to the tumble. As you deal with your children, deal with yourself always and first. This is what it looks like, and feels like, to walk as a mother with God. "

So maybe if you are a momma you can see why I wanted this read! If you click the title above it will take you to a site you can buy it from, but honestly, I got mine cheaper on Amazon. {no one paid me to say that} I was able to read through a few pages today and already feel so challenged. Just wanted to leave a few thoughts for the day from the book -

"The state of YOUR heart is the state of your home"


"One of the great things about having children is that you constantly convict yourself by teaching them. If you are addressing their problems honestly, and if you double-check yourself, you will almost always find a little something to think about."

Seriously excited to tear through this 102 page book about loving these special little people in my home. Now... where did I leave that wild cherry pepsi? This momma is runnin' on little to no sleep today. {yawn} Love it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Adventure

Oh my am I learning so very much right now. Somehow through the fog and haze of the last month little lessons are creeping in here and there. I am so thankful for my Heavenly Fathers patience with me - perfect patience.

This morning as I was driving home from yet another appointment with the surgeon I was having another little mini-worship service, as I always seem to do now when I have the van all to myself... and the passage in Job came to mind -

"Satan left the Lord’s presence and struck Job with painful boils from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Job took a piece of broken pottery to scratch himself as he sat in the ashes.
His wife asked him, “Are you still holding on to your principles? Curse God and die!”
He said to her, “You’re talking like a godless fool. We accept the good that God gives us. Shouldn’t we also accept the bad?” Job 2:7-10 (God's Word trans.)

And while I wasn't struck with boils, dead livestock or even the death of my children {gasp - hurts to even think about that one}, I did have a choice to make - STILL have a choice to make on how I glorify God in this situation, if I am. My heart was just so tender and convicted this morning remembering that we don't just accept the good and plan on life being daisies and sunshine and leisurely days spent journaling and sipping iced macchiatos. {ahem} It's EASY to Praise God and magnify His name when things are good. But what do I do with the bad? The ugly? The unknown? How have I handled this whole situation? Hindsight is something, isn't it? We have surely been on an adventure - and today I can say "Thank you God" even if I'm not totally sure what I'm thankful for or why this had to happen. His control is a blessing.

We are doing well here. My girls are growing like weeds {sniff} and the days are flying by.

August is a month old already! Ava is 2 1/2 going on 20. Here's some pics from the last few days:

Getting to church ON TIME for the last two weeks! (thanks to an incredible husband who gives so much of himself to helping me!)

Happy Fathers Day to the very best, most handsome, daddy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Homemaker Monday - Back on track :)

(Long... exaggerated...SIGH)

Happy Monday! Can I just tell you how GREAT I feel? For the last few days I've been full of life and energy and even a little motivation and normalcy. It's been a long time coming, friends. This past Thursday I saw my surgeon again (who has still not had to actually do any surgery) who did another aspiration of my abcess and wasn't able to pull out any infection. Praise the Lord! He said I'm not 100% in the clear - but I am on track! And, just yesterday I was able to express several drops from my left side which means re-lactating might be working! So much to be thankful for. My last day of antibiotics is Tuesday and I will see the surgeon again that morning just to check my progress one last time. {Hopefully} Thank you all for your concern and prayers!

I thought it would be fun to do another of these "Happy Homemaker Monday" bits. I enjoy thinking through our days here, it's refreshing. Hope you enjoy, too! :)

The weather in my neck of the woods: Thunderstorms all night long, and now its raining.

Things that make me happy: Baby Carrots and Southwest Ranch veggie dip :)

Book(s) I'm reading: Dancing with my Father, refresher of "The Baby Whisperer" and Jo's Boys :) Love my little women...

What's on my TV today: WAY too many cartoons as we continue to adjust to life with 2 kiddos!

On the menu for dinner: Being my first FULL week of having to make my own food in several weeks... not quite sure. Def gonna use what's in the freezer! I have some steaks in there :)

On my To Do List: oh glory... a little bit of everything. But, for the sake of this thing: remove queen mattress from nursery and return nursery into a working nursery, deep clean bathroom, sweep upstairs floors (its been for-ever), sweep out van, etc.

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: Real Simple magazine had a recipe for basil spaghetti with broiled cheesy tomatoes that looked amazing. Would love to try my hand there!

In the craft basket: Non-existent at this point.

Looking forward to this week: Splash park maybe on Weds? If I can pull it off it would be the first outing with both girls...outdoors!

Tips and Tricks: Lay out clothes, diaper bags, purses, etc the night BEFORE church. Makes Sunday morning much more enjoyable if everything is already ready and everyone isn't scrambling around.

My favorite blog post this week: Several. Seemed to be a "Mom encouraging" week - which was super timely. Ann Voskamp always provides excellent posts and this week Resurgence was great, too!

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

(she's a month old already!)

Lesson learned the past few days: I am so unable to do anything on my own strength!

On my mind: The fact my 2 year old refuses to potty train... lovely. And that my 1 month old loves to cluster feed EVERY night from 5-11pm. Makes for a tired momma...

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: So thankful for my Proverb a day when I just don't have the minutes to sit down and do deep study!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Review: "What are you waiting for?"

Dear patient Waterbrook Multnomah...I haven't forgotten about you. It's just that, well, I had a child and then got sick as a dog. {whatever that means!} But, today is a good day and here comes that review.


The worst book reviewer you have :)

Months ago I was able to finish reading the newest book from Dannah Gresh titled, "What are you waiting for?". Here's a little back-cover info for you:

"In What are you waiting for? Dannah follows the trail of one provocative, ancient word through the Bible to discover God's deepest thoughts about sex. The mind-blowing truth she uncovers clearly points the way to a sexuality that's satisfying and real and everything God designed it to be.

Not one to shy away from edgy topics, Dannah candidly shares:

- the ground breaking science that explains the addictive power of romantic experiences

-honest answers about the lesbian question

-a clear plan for breaking free from sexual guilt

-the unexpected key to a lifetime of truly fulfilling intimacy

If you're a young woman looking for candid insights about sex - and wondering why its such a big deal to God - you've come to the right place. In these pages you'll discover a life-changing truth that no one ever talks about - a truth that will transform everything you think you know about sex, romance, and God."

My Review:

Am I the only one who is STILL squirmy when it comes to talking about this subject? And at almost 29 years old, married for almost 6 years, and two children later... why? I'm learning that one of the reasons is because I still struggle to think through things biblically. This is why I'm thankful for writers like Dannah Gresh - who have taken the time and dedication to study God's word and bring us truth on topics like this!

"What are you waiting for?" was a quick and easy read. I appreciated the personal stories of her own life as well as those about people she has worked with and counseled in the past. I chose this book to review because of my role in life right now working with teen girls and 20-something youth leaders. Sex is something that is talked about all the time, even if that exact word isn't even used. Our culture is saturated with it. Our girls are surrounded by it - sometimes unknowingly, and I so hope to be a source of help and wisdom for them when they come asking... or even if they don't. Dannah mentions in one chapter -

"Many women who are sexually active as teens find themselves either emotionally or physically challenged by intimacy once they are married."

And that is just one more reason we HAVE to teach and train our girls to honor God with their bodies and sexuality.

Without giving away the whole element of surprise, much of the book is based on the Hebrew word, "Yada" which means, "to know, to be known, to be deeply respected". I had heard this in my college years in relation to sex - but had never studied it out much past that. What a wake up call for me to do some re-learning. Dannah was able to go through such "sensitive" topics and apply it to what "Yada" has to do with it. While she is candid, a little too candid for this bashful lady... I can see how this book would be beneficial to parents hoping to connect with their teens. I don't recommend this book as a bible study tool or even something to work through one-on-one with a mentor/mentee situation, just because I believe the topic of sex is something parents need to teach their children. I will say that it has GREAT touch points to start general conversations and great stats and facts to keep you up to date on what is going on out there. For example: 75% of graduates are finishing high school as NON-virgins. Sheesh!

The book is all from a biblical perspective with a lot of hard truth from a woman who has "been there" and "done that". She shares from her heart and has so much wisdom and personal experience to help out those who are hurting from sexual sin or who are curious about the topic. If you have children - it's worth your time to be educated and Dannah does it so well. I know I need to gear up already as I am raising two little girls myself now.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

You can purchase the book, read excerpts, and watch Dannah's video HERE.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Glimmer

Never in my life have I seen such dark, hard days. I always read about them on others peoples blogs and my heart always went out to them...but, for the most part, things on this end always seemed to stay somewhat peachy. {and, I hate the word peachy} I'm afraid I have a few more dark days ahead - but I am oh so thankful for the little glimmers of Hope along the way. Today is one such glimmer.

And, if you are a man... might not wanna read on. ;) Jus' sayin'!

First, let me catch you up on whats been going on since last post. I didn't make it to day 3 before calling my OB back up on the phone. The pain was still severe and it didn't make sense to me to keep waiting. I had visions of "what ifs" every minute of the day. "what if I have a disease now?" or "what if they have to remove my breast!?". I know... dumb. I blame my pain level for messing with my brain operation. Anyway, it took an ENTIRE day for the OB office to return my call, which at that point I was {of course} in the shower. So hubs answered and they told him I need to get into the ER asap. Lovely. Of course I became a puddle of tears again. I tried to recall my memorized scripture verses for strength and truth and the only one I could pull up in my distress was, "I will bless the Lord at all times..." which is strange because my heart felt so very far from blessing anyone. There, that's honest. But what a timely reminder that even in those moments of panic we MUST focus on God and on truth. If I am learning anything through all of this - it is that.

Anyway, after I pulled myself together we called a friend to come and sit with Ava while we took August with us to the ER. I wasn't sure what to expect and they gave NO details on what we would face - only that we were on our way to see a surgeon. I'm still nursing wonderfully on one side so August needed to stay with me... HOW would we pull this off?! We got there and they put us right through, even ahead of other people. A resident checked me out and did an initial ultrasound on my breast. Let me tell you - ultrasounds on anything other then growing babies are not as fun. She had to push and prod to see what was going on... and she saw nothing. The surgeon joined us a few minutes later (while I was attempting to nurse in the ER triage room) and I was relieved to know right away how kind and understanding he was. I was impressed for the first time! He did another inspection and said right away he knew it was an abcess in the breast. His guess was my initial "damage" to the nipple from nursing created a bacterial infection which led to a staph infection and a complete blockage. Ouch! This explained why things continued to swell - the antibiotics couldn't touch the infection now due to... infection building up in pus form. EW! Is this TMI?!

He wanted to attempt an aspiration of the abcess to see if just using a needle and suction they could remove the infection. Three large needles and viles later - I was able to see with my eyes just what they removed. I won't even go there with description. Just know - def NOT something you see everyday or ever. The pain was horrible. He didn't want to use an anesthesia so I had the needle stuck in 3 times in a row to be aspirated with no numbing or drugs. I'd like to say I'm kinda getting used to this no drug method of medicine...but, I won't yet. My husband reminded me, "well, you always say you'd like to live in the pioneer times, here ya go!". Isn't he cute? Bah!

So after the needle and squeezing and pain and blood and infected pus - I was bandaged up and sent home in one piece. The surgeon wants me to come back in on Monday for a check up and if he deems it necessary more aspirating or, if its worse, I'll need a complete incision and drainage of the abcess. Clearly you know which I'd prefer. I'm still on antibiotics and lots of ibuprofen.

So what are my "glimmers"?
- I'm still able to nurse on 1 side!
- This morning I was able to produce several drops of milk on the left side. It's been days since I've been able to pump out anything and my deepest sadness right now is that I'll lose my milk and not be able to nurse at all on that side anymore. That could still happen...but, what a welcome sight those several drops were!
- Some swelling has gone down and the pain seems less at this second.
- I slept last night without waking up in a total soaking sweat from fever.
- IF I do need to do a total supplement of formula with August due to losing one side of nursing... I have several cans of formula already stocked up from all the freebies we got. This saves $ and thought process for me.
- My husband is an all star and I have seen him in an all new light. No matter how gray my days are, he tries to keep things light. He cleans, he cooks, he holds babies and disciplines our 2 yr old. He does stories at bedtime, prints off devotionals for me to read through, prays over us at meals, distracts Ava, rubs my neck... etc. And I know how hard this has been on him, too. He's amazing.
- We still have a few days left of getting meals delivered.
- I woke up headache free today
- Using my left arm isn't as painful.

So, through all of this (and what more is to come) I'm trying to find the glimmers. They are there. Thank you for caring and praying. We are now focusing on Monday and the news we'll get there. God already knows and has a perfect plan for us... resting in that.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On my last leg...

Friends, it's been a rough few days... or, maybe its weeks now - I'm losing track of time lately. On May 29th I woke up in excruciating pain, bone freezing chills and a fever. Weird. I felt like I had been hit by a truck or something. Flu like symptoms continued and I just got sicker and sicker, weaker and weaker. By about 8am I was in full blown sobs because of the pain. My husband returned from church and I made my way to a clinic that was thankfully open on Sundays - they diagnosed me with "Mastitis". While I won't get too graphic or go into much detail - I will tell you, it makes nursing nearly impossible. So I was put on an antibiotic and told it would slowly fade within 10 days. Guess what? 11 days later and I'm in worse pain, and actually, from my view things are WORSE. Horrible, horrible, throbbing pain all day and night. I can't pump anything out and little one can't nurse - so it continues.

I went back to the Dr yesterday (a new OB) where they changed my drugs and said to wait three days MAX - if nothing clears, I'll need to be seen ASAP by a surgeon for possible blocked ducts or worse. So, here I sit - in just about the worst pain I've felt in awhile. And I have to constantly keep my thoughts right or that pit of pity just seems all too tempting. "Why me?", "Why now, she's such a great nurser otherwise?!", "Why after all my mothers left?", and after my quiet time this morning...
"How do I glorify God in my body and spirit with THIS?"

I will say - The people of God have been INCREDIBLE. Someone came and cleaned my house this morning, we've had meals brought every night and have several more signed up. Brad has taken days and afternoons to come home and just be with me. I'm being prayed for, hugged, sympathized with and the list goes on.

I have 2 more days until I can see anyone again. Is it possible to cry too much?!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Family of 4

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions, activity and change around here. Not to say the hard part is done and over, but, I do feel that after 2 weeks I'm at least somewhat adjusted to not sleeping ;)

I was able to be in the Word twice this week - and believe me, that is HUGE! It's just been crazy. And I don't at all believe that the Word of God is a special medicine to get us through our days, but, I do see a change in my life when I'm in it. God's Grace is so clear to me on my hard days - and I'm thankful for the verses stuck in my brain on the days when I can't get even 2 minutes to sit down and read.

So how are we doing as a family of 4? Well, we are def in transition. Ava seems to do "ok" as long as she has her tinkerbell sticker book or Dora ballet slippers on. We are seeing a ton more tantrums and a lot of talking back. I try to be super consistent and then feel like all I'm doing is correcting and disciplining all day. It's tiresome. Important, but tiresome. On the other hand - I feel like Ava has become this super intelligent little girl overnight. She is talking in full conversations, asking questions and just on and on.

August is doing fine. At her 2 week appointment she weighed in at 9 lbs 14oz and 22in. long! Another long and strong baby girl! She eats like a champ and sleeps wonderfully! The other night she even gave us a 12-5am stretch.:) Can't complain there.

Brad and I are sometimes fumbling our way through the changes. We are both tired. I'm still a little hormonal and irritible, which, that could be a WHOLE other post. But we are getting through it and trying to enjoy it. I just need to relax and savor the days. Sunday I had to go to a walk in clinic where I was told I had mastitis. It's horrible and painful and is messing up things with nursing... and I wonder WHY ME!? On top of all of that - I started getting seasonal allergies in an out-of-control way. Misery. So, we turned on the central air and closed up the house which has helped a ton!

But you know what - we are doing fine. We are a family of 4 and every day I feel like I'm getting stronger and possibly "better" at this two kids thing. But do pray for us, pray for me. I KNOW I've been...."difficult", "short", "mean", and "harsh". I'm working on it. Crazy how sleep deprivation turns you into another person.