Monday, December 23, 2013

Life is busy

My days are so full, I can't even believe how much I do in a day. Diapers, nursing, washing diapers and clothes, changing outfits, cooking and cleaning up... I am constantly busy. This is definitely the way I prefer it, but I just can't believe the amount I do and have to do every single day. 

I'm trying to find an indoor clothesline solution to reduce the amount that I use my dryer, too. Especially today while the power is out, I have clothes air drying everywhere and diapers hanging to dry all over the place, and that makes me wonder why I don't air dry things all the time. 

I can't believe how big the boys are getting. Luke is in 9 month clothes and sprouting up fast and Arie is finally filling out his 18 month clothes. 

Every day is awesome because both Luke and Arie reach milestone after milestone. 

My sister is here and without me telling him, he remembered from when she was here a few weeks ago on Thanksgiving that her name was Liz. He knows Mama, Dada, Lukey, Dixie, Puppy (Bessie) and now Liz by name. 

This is such an amazing thing to have children and watch them learn about themselves and their abilities, and then the world around them. I'm just so amazed. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

For all the haters

I know that putting myself out here like I do in so many different ways opens me up to criticism. I have gotten my fair share of if, this is the internet after all, where mean and sad people can cowardly sit behind the cloak of their keyboard and spew out negativity from their fingertips. 

I don't share my life for people like that. I share my life to come alongside and lift up those who think they are alone. 

I have gone through so much and sharing my journey helps me, but more importantly, it builds up others. Me putting myself out there for all to see, all of my vulnerabilities, my weaknesses and my struggles and triumphs, help others. 

I have been sharing my life in a blog for 12 years. I've shared so much of myself. 

I have lifted up people struggling with their families. I have lifted up couples and helped to repair marriages. I have encouraged people of all faiths. I have supported moms who have gone through the loss of a child. I have supported and been right along side of the moms who desperately struggle to conceive. 

My story gives people hope for their own miracles. Sharing my story gives people all over the world hope and encouragement. 

Sharing my parenting story encourages and validates those not as confident. It encourages those with surrounded by ignorance who are being torn down by loved ones. Sharing my story shows the ignorant that their views are not the only views. 

I have been so blessed over the years to have received comments and emails from those who my story has touched. 1000s of emails and comments over the years telling me how one part or another of my story that I've shared has met them right where they are in their life. 

I share myself and my story not because I think I'm more important, but because I think we are all important and that God will use me and use my life in ways I will never predict and probably ways I'll never even know about. 

I'm not surrounded by pillars of support. I stand next to my husband on The Rock. I stand supported by my faith in Christ. 

Jesus tells us that we will be HATED because of him. And I have experienced that hate, and I'm sure that I've not experienced the last of it. 

I'm putting on the armor of God and following Him and staying true to the path He has chosen for me. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

6 months & 21 months old.

6 Month Update

  • Cloth Diapering
    • Diaper Laundry goes in the wash every morning. On really good and productive days, I get other laundry done too. 
    • We switched back again to prefolds and covers. Dealing with stink issues is something I just don't have time for, and the synthetic fibers in a pocket hold on to stink, where 100% cotton prefolds are bullet-proof and really easy to care for and use. And, with the amount of diaper changes in this house, that's what I need. 
    • One more aspect here, that I can't even believe I'm typing right now... Potty Training! Arie is 21 months old and now knows what the potty is and is starting to understand that. This past Tuesday, after we got up from a nap, I went to change Arie's diaper and he was dry. I asked him if he had to go potty and he nodded and said, "potty." I took his hand and shuffled him into the bathroom and sat him at the edge of the toilet. I aimed for him and said, "pee pee." He grunted and said, "pee pee!" And went pee! In the potty!!!! 
    • It's time to either buy a step stool and a seat for our toilet, or a little potty for Arie. My first school of thought though is that if I buy the little potty, won't we have to teach him twice? Once to go on the small potty, and then again to go on the big potty. And, then, isn't the small potty just one more thing I'll have to clean? Hmmm.... 

  • Tandem Breastfeeding
    • Everything is going pretty well. Both boys are still climbing on the charts. 
    • Luke has two bottom teeth which are like little daggers when he bites me. Most of the time I can tell when a bite is coming, and I can try to quickly get my nipple out of his mouth. Unfortunately, I still get bit a few times a day. 
    • I'm trying to teach Luke the sign for milk. I never taught Arie and he says, "nigh nigh" to ask to nurse. In the last week, or so, I've begun to teach Arie "milk" and the sign. He is doing it now, and I'm excited to see it stick! I don't know when babies will start to sign or how long it will take Luke to make the connection. 
    • Arie is becoming quite the spectacle when he wants to nurse now, especially if other people are around. I'm assuming other people make whatever stress he's under when he's asking to nurse magnified, so that's why it seems like he's freaking out. He grabs at my shirt and pulls and cries. I'm hoping the signing will help calm that, even if a little so that the first time he asks, it's silent. 
    • Arie seems to be eating a little bit better. Not consistently, and not every meal, but some meals he will actually eat a lot more than he ever did. 
    • Arie is 22lbs and Luke is just about 17lbs. 
    • I'm still dairy and soy free. The weight loss challenge that I joined is now over and I was a winner. I went from 146 when it started 4 weeks ago to 137 yesterday morning. I felt like the last month, I must have stopped the plateau I had been on. Both boys gained about a pound in the last month, so it hasn't seemed to have affected my supply. 

  • Sleep
    • I really don't want to jinx it, but for about the last week, Arie only wakes up once or maybe twice a night to nurse. 
    • Arie will now crawl over to Jack to snuggle up and go to sleep when he's done nursing. You just TRY to get that kid out of our bed, even if I wanted to, there's no way Jack would give up that. He's at work all day and still gets a ton of cuddle time. Win. Win. 
    • Floor bed is still ok. It's fair to say that neither Jack or I likes sleeping on the floor, but any day now Luke will be crawling and it really is the safest scenario. 
    • Arie really does sleep in our bed more than the twin next to our bed. It's nice for the first stretch of the night sometimes to have a little bit of extra breathing room, but most nights I have both boys sleeping so close and snuggled up to me that I can't even roll the tiniest bit one way or the other. 
    • We usually change the boys about once a night now. 
    • Naps are okay. (I'm rocking the boys as they nap as I write this!) They are generally from 12ish to 3ish. Give or take an hour. Somehow Luke will cat nap in the morning and then take a real good nap at the same time as Arie while I rock them both. And then again before bed, Luke usually takes another 10-20 minute cat nap. 

  • Home life - House stuff
    • I painted the entire laundry room! I can't even believe I'm typing it and it was one crazy endeavor, all done by me. I painted 3 or 4 coats of white on the trim and doors. 2 coats of fresh white ceiling paint. And 2 coats of a beautiful brown on the walls. We still need to replace the flooring, it's press on tile that's 15 years old, so that's still on the eventual to-do. We need to hang some coat hooks, paint the hardware to oil rubbed bronze and just some other little finishing touches. 
    • The carpet cleaner was a great decision. The downstairs carpets and the stairs have been done, and I still need to do our upstairs. 
    • Jack fixed my steering on my Durango and he's on his way home from getting new tires right now. 
    • Last weekend, I was able to stack some wood while Jack rocked the boys while they slept. Luke woke up and freaked out that I wasn't there. I came in pretty quick, but man, my kids love and need their mama! 
    • I'd love a maid. 
  • Going Out and About
    • Going out is now something that I'm limiting to as little as possible. It's below freezing now and will probably remain that way for the next 2-3 months. Hibernation mode activated. 
    • I finally got my woven wrap conversion and I think it might make trips a little quicker with two kids in one carrier. It's not exactly ideal though. It's just never quite fast enough with two babies and bitter cold weather and snow. 
  • Postpartum Recovery
    • I'm finally starting to feel a difference in my lower back and hip pain. I went two weeks between chiropractor visits for the first time in over a year! I discovered my stomach muscles split and have been doing targeted muscle workouts to correct that and already I'm seeing an incredible difference in my daily pain! 
    • I joined a weightloss challenge. I already commented on this, last month I started the challenge at 146lbs. I weighed 137 yesterday, after 4 weeks. My long term goal was 125lbs and I'm now 12 pounds away from that. It truly blows my mind that I could ever be that close to my all time dream goal of a weight. 
    • My body is definitely smaller. I wear a size 6 now and I'm not sure how much longer that will be the correct size, especially with losing 9lbs in the last month. 
    • I'm curious to see if my body is just going to hit the weight it wants to be and then just hold steady. 
    • Mentally and emotionally: I'm still pretty angry with my midwife. I was 6 1/2 months pp when I got pregnant with Luke and the thought of the healing process that still needs to take place in order to hire another midwife... Ugh. Just UGH. I don't like that I will have to discuss what happened with the new midwife, and then I have no way of knowing if they are friends, and that leaves them AND me in an awkward position. Actually, I think I would like to start interviewing midwives now to maybe begin the healing process. If God blesses us with another pregnancy, I would like to be completely ready in that respect and I think that would alleviate a lot of stress. 

  • Brotherly Love
    • They absolutely adore each other.
    • Arie is so in love with Luke. If he thinks we might possibly be leaving Luke behind, he will throw himself on to Luke yelling and crying out, "Brother!!" And trying to pull him to come with us. It's the most precious thing in the world. 
    • Luke loves Arie to pieces. They just spend all day watching each other and laughing and squealing at each other. 

  • Luke
    • Weighs about 17lbs. I will try to measure him tonight and see how long he is now. 
    • He's so happy. But, his little personality is starting to shine through. When he drops his toy or wants a sip of my ice water, he will arch his back and really let out a screech! 
    • He rolls over but I haven't seen him roll across the room yet, or make an attempt to get his knees up. He's just now sitting unassisted for a few seconds here and there. 
    • He's tried a couple different foods. We aren't consistently feeding him, but I'll hand him a raw fruit or vegetable here and there. We need to get another booster chair because Luke is definitely ready to sit at the table and not on our laps. 

    • He definitely still loves his mama best and daddy second best. He spends his days in my arms, in a wrap, or sitting on the floor close to me. I'm definitely cherishing these last days with my baby because the cuddles and 24/7 holding does NOT last forever. 
  • Arie
    • He is talking alllllll the time. He wakes up in the middle of the night mumbling random words. He's trying so hard to talk about everything he sees and will repeat something completely incoherent at you but nodding and every insistent. 
    • He LOVES his cars and trucks.  He says Monster Truck, Dump Truck. He has a big truck book and loves to point at all the different kinds. 
    • He seems to be eating more every day and he will ask to eat too. He knows how to say cheese and will go to the fridge and ask for cheese. 
    • Naps are much more consistently every day and they last 2-3 hours! 
    • I taught him the sign for milk and milk instead of nigh nigh. He picked it up in less than a day. I'm hoping Luke will learn that too!
    • He's turning more and more into a rough and tumble little boy. For a good half hour tonight, I rolled around on the floor with him and he just laughed and laughed. I tried to teach him a somersault. 
I am completely amazed that it's been 6 months since Luke was born and that Arie is 21 months old! My babies will be 2 & 1 before I know it!! I think the older they get, the more I will get asked if they are twins. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving is over

All of the chaos of Thanksgiving is over and now I just need to clean my house again. 

My sister came to visit and stayed with us over Thanksgiving and went home yesterday afternoon. 

We went to Jack's parents to celebrate and eat dinner on Thursday, and on Friday, we made dinner here with my mom, sister, brother, and sister-in-law. 

I've also been in the process of starting to re-do the laundry room. We had not touched the room since we moved in 3 1/2 years ago. Jack added our second washing machine and plumbed everything. We took down the ceiling border of wallpaper and yesterday, I did two coats of paint around the border of the ceiling and one coat of paint rolled on to the ceiling. I also finished about 40% of my first coat of white trim paint. I'm thinking it's going to take 2, maybe three coats. 

I forgot how much I love and hate painting at the same time. The laundry room was so dingey and gross looking and a fresh coat of paint changes everything. I also hate how time consuming it is because I can't guarantee that babies will cooperate. 

It certainly is not easy to accomplish things around the house with a 5 1/2 month old who is used to being worn all day. And I'm certainly not going to babywear and paint... My $200 wraps do not need paint on them. 

If only I had a crummy wrap that could get dirty and painted on. 

I have to do another coat of ceiling paint and a bunch of coats of trim painting and also paint the doors. Doors take so much time! 

It's going to look fabulous when we are done though.