Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Not once in my life has anyone accused me of being athletic. Even when I played volleyball in high school, I think everyone was just nice to me and let me play. If I hadn't played with one of the most brutal coaches high school volleyball has ever seen, I might have never learned I could run a little, or that when done routinely you can actually start to see a noticeable difference in your body. 
Have you seen this? It cracks me up because it is so ME! I look at pre-baby pictures and think, "What the heck was I complaining about?!" While having a baby and then nursing that baby for a year gives you a whole new appreciation for how amazing your body really is, I would feel more amazing if I could wear some of the pants I did prior to having that baby. :)

I blamed nursing for a while. I was NOT one of those who lost all their baby weight and then some. In fact, my body seemed to lock down on weight. Even when watching calories, my milk supply would dip but the scale would not! I treasured nursing my boy so I decided to eat as healthfully as I could and worry about the weight later. 

I heard a quote the other day that said something along the lines of, "If you run, you are a runner." So, I am embracing that and doing something "athletic" for once. :) I've started a new routine of getting up before Dane and spending time with The Lord, and making time to go for a run a couple days a week. While the scale hasn't budged yet, I feel so much better about myself. Spending time in the word helps me focus throughout the day and running clears my lungs (because I'm breathing really, really hard!) and my head. There's no room for satan to berate me and tell me my body isn't good enough when I've spent time in scripture and can fight back with Psalms that say that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made". 

The best part of running for me is listening to praise and worship music. My neighbors may think I'm nuts running with my hands raised, but sometimes the Spirit moves even while I'm running, so with tears streaming and legs moving, Jesus and I have a moment right there on the pavement. There's something about the imagery of Casting Crowns "Set me Free" that gets me every time-- and the rockin' beat motivates me to run a pretty quick mile (for me!). 

I think im only telling the internet about my running routine so that it's public knowldge and someone will hold me accountable! :) So, here's to hoping this new routine pays off and I'm back in the skinny jeans before long! 

giving up

So, here we are. We made it to the last day of this month of 7. The challenge this month was to give away 7 things a day for 30 days. 210 things. Tevie and I felt that we should each give away 210 things-- 420 total items. I lost count somewhere in the 150's for myself and counted over 100 things for him. I don't doubt we reached or exceeded our 420 goal. 

I knew this month was going to be tough when conviction set in before the month even began. It was easy to glean that first layer of crap off the top. We all have junk drawers full of stuff. Clothes in our closet that are too big, too small or out of style. Making that first run through is refreshing and liberating. Drawers clothes easily. Closets don't scare you any more. Then you realized you're only at 105 things and you better get serious because it's the 15th of the month. 

The hardest part for me was getting rid of stuff I knew I didn't need anymore, but wanted to keep just to say I had it. How ridiculous is that? I will probably never wear that too-small raincoat but it is soo beautiful, it makes the closet prettier... Wow. I need help. In the book, Jen Hatmaker mentions not getting rid of stuff just to make room for more stuff. To be honest, I kind of started out with that mindset. I would put a dress in the giveaway bag and think, "Now I have room for another one!" 

And then reality set in-- this Stay-at-home mom budget doesn't allow for replacing all the stuff I am giving away... and that's when satan tried to defeat the work the Lord was doing in my heart. I wanted to keep things just to have them and because I knew I couldn't afford to buy them again. Gone are the days when I can run into Brooks Brothers and pick up a few new buttondown shirts. But, gone too, are the days when I need things like that. I don't need to wear an $80 shirt while I am playing playdoh or digging in the mud. My days are filled with yoga pants and Target t-shirts-- and they are so much more comfortable, and my days more fulfilling, than the days when I ran around in too-tall high heels and starched shirts. 

It's rewarding to see the boxes and boxes and bags and bags and bags of clothes going away to someone who really needs them. Some stuff I'm sending to my sister or gave to my sister-in-law or friends. And it is sooooo freeing not being weighed down with stuff. Our closets are clean and organized and I am blessing Goodwill with an abundance of plastic clothes hangers.

I had to hurry up and right this today during naptime because tomorrow begins Media Month. 30 days without 7 media items. For us it is the following:

1. TV
2. iPad and apps
3. internet
4. facebook
5. Netflix
6. radio
7. texting (can be used only when you can't make a phone call)

I'm dreading the radio most because I spend ALL NOVEMBER listening to Christmas music. :( I am really looking forward to the peace and quiet. I thought about "signing off" of facebook and letting people know what we were doing. But I want to see if people even notice. I think that will prove something too. While we think we can't live without facebook, most people are so caught up in themselves they won't notice you're "missing". And just so the grandparents know, no iPad/apps does not apply to Dane's ability to facetime or for you receiving pictures of him. :)

Again, I challenge you to get your hands on this book. The Lord is using it rock our world!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

milk memories

Making the decision to have a child is one of the biggest ones you'll ever make. It's stressful. It's exciting. It's exhausting (The italics does not stress enough just how tired you will be). It's months of waiting to get pregnant. It's months of agonizing over everything that could possibly go wrong with the pregnancy. It's praying over their safety and asking for mercy when you screw up as a parent. It's making decisions and saying "I'll nevers" and then eating a lot of words. :)

There are things I thought I would sail through. Take delivery... mine ended in c-section. Ok, then. Hmmm, that's not how that was supposed to go!

Take nursing. It's natural. Everyone can do it! You'll take right to it! 

Fast forward to a fragile postpartum momma rocking her baby while her momma holds her hand and tells her she's gonna make it! "You can do this!" "Your milk will come in!" "I know it hurts but just count to 10!"

Nursing sucked at the beginning. Ha. I guess that pun was intended. It was so. very. hard. And the hospital didn't help any sending me home with that little can of crack formula. When my baby is crying because he's hungry and I just nursed him 45 minutes ago, that little devil can whispered my name from the pantry. Thankfully my husband told me I was a "trooper" and that I could "do this" and we would cry through another night of non-stop nursing. 

And then. I had made it two weeks. TWO WEEKS!!! 

And then one morning I woke up and it had been a month. ONE WHOLE MONTH!!!

And by the time Dane was four months old we were on total cruise control. It was the easiest thing ever! I could nurse in a restaurant. In the pew at church. I even managed to nurse him while he remained buckled in his carseat driving down the road. Desperate times call for desperate measures! 

And then my baby turned one. One year old? I nursed a baby for a whole year. I NURSED A BABY FOR A WHOLE YEAR!!! The girl who wanted to quit when her 4 day old baby was screaming in hunger because her milk had yet to come in had nursed her baby for 365 consecutive days. I can't explain to you how victorious I felt! 

I love nursing. Love it. There is something so very special about snuggling your newborn baby and realizing that you are sustaining him. The milk you make is giving him life. To look at those droopy cheeks and rolly thighs and understand that your milk put that weight on those sweet little bones. And the specialness that is a nursing baby wanting his momma so he can nurse. I ate it up. This is not meant at all to discount the special relationship a momma who formula feeds has with her baby. Even if you only nursed a day, you know the "wow factor" of seeing that baby latch on and relax as he melted against you, feeling perfectly content and safe. 

Dane will fall asleep for anyone but me. ANYONE. Daddy puts him to bed every night. It's become their special time together. Tevie loves getting to snuggle up with him and I love getting to relax and unwind--or finish the dinner dishes (usually)-- while they settle in for the night. If he's with momma though, he wants his milk. So much so that if he had fallen asleep in the carseat or something, Tevie would have to move him to his bed because I got close enough for him to even smell milk, he would wake up and beg to nurse. Sometimes he would be so tired he would barely latch on before falling asleep. I treasured that when he was tiny but as he grew and grew, I began to worry that I wasn't doing him any favors. I tried timing our sessions and stopping at 10 minutes and rocking him. He didn't stand for that and would be fighting mad when I put him in crib to sleep. After going to facebook to ask friends what I should do and getting a resounding "ENJOY IT!", I decided that's what we'd do. His pediatrician said that she would pleased if he nursed until his 2nd birthday and as long as he was weaned before kindergarten she had no concerns. Love that lady! :) So, enjoy it I did. 

We've had a busy couple of weeks around here. We spent one Saturday playing on Tevie's parents' farm. Dane didn't get a morning nap and while we road around the farm he fell sound asleep in his Gran's arms. That night Tevie put him to bed. 

One whole day without nursing. 

The next day, Sunday, we went to late service at church. Dane must have played hard in children's church because he fell asleep in the car on the way home. Again, Daddy put him to sleep that night. 

Two whole days without nursing.

Monday he drank some whole milk from his cup and I rocked him to sleep at naptime. He fell the next day ( a pretty bad one that left a nasty bruise on his cheek) and in an effort to soothe him I tried to get him to nurse. He latched on for about ten seconds-- long enough stop crying-- and that was all he wanted. 

Just like that, we were done nursing. Have you ever had that moment when you realized you really should have been careful what you wished for? I did want my boy to just let me rock him to sleep. I did not want us to stop nursing. And it happened, really without us even trying. Life got busy, and my baby began growing up on me.

I knew there was a possibility it could happen like that. But my baby LOVED nursing so much, I was relieved when our doctor referenced kindergarten-- I thought it might take that long! To be honest, I wanted it to last longer than 14 months. Eighteen months was my goal (after we reached the year mark). I can't help but feeling like a little bit of a failure because we didn't quite make the mark. I know, I know, that 14 months is really good- great even. I will now admit that I was one of the few who was not weirded out by the lady nursing her toddler on the cover of Time Magazine a couple months ago. When you're nursing a baby, and plan on extended nursing, I could easily see how one day you look at the calendar and three years have past. At least in our situation, at the end Dane was only nursing 2-3 times a day. And it wasn't a weird thing. It's a very special connection, an amazing thing, really, that God gives us. He creates life in us and then allows us to carry it and, then, to sustain it for months (or years). Plus, there are numerous benefits to nursing for momma and toddler

So, to the momma who's struggling with a newborn marathon feeder, or the momma of a toddler who feels a little like a worn out old cow-- HANG IN THERE! I think Trace Adkins said it best when he sang, "You're gonna miss this. You're gonna want this back. You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast." You will really will miss it because when it's gone, it's gone. Maybe when you least expect it. Soak it up. Memorize the look of his sweet grin when he smiles at you mid-latch and milk dribbles down his cheek. Treasure the smell of his sweet post-bath skin, soaked in lotion and snuggled up against yours as he settles in to sleep. Nibble those chubby little fingers as they pinch and scratch your chest. :) (HA! Isn't that the worst?!). "It won't be like this for long." (Thank you, Darius Rucker, for making me weep like a baby every.single.time that song comes on-- even if it's the middle of the bread aisle at the grocery!)

Thanks for the milk memories, Baby Dane. Here's to a new stage and watching you grow into a big boy. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Uncle Bruce

As young college students you make a lot of friends in those four formative years on campus. Some are for a season, and some friendships you know are going to last a lifetime. Bruce is that kind of friend. The kind that's worth driving all the way to Birmingham to watch him receive his white coat for pharmacy school. The kind who comes up for the weekend just to take care of your dogs. 

A few weeks ago, Uncle Bruce came to visit. He's developed a soft spot for our little guy. Dane is has been kind of weary of people lately, but he took right to Uncle Bruce and made him sit for an hour and read every book and play every iPad game he has. ;)

Poor Elphie, Uncle Bruce used to be her man. Looks like she's going to have share. :)