Monthly Archives: November 2011

Lessons in Helping Others

I was given the opportunity yesterday to volunteer at a local food help organization, Gleaners.  It was an amazing experience.  And it was heartbreaking.  I was looking at this food and realizing how much it would bless the people we were packing the boxes for, and mourning how picky our family and kids are about their food. 
1.  I felt guilty being at a food bank and being overweight, thinking how I would be going to the store to spend extra on food to help me loose weight.  I do need to lose weight, as pictures from the event proved, but it seems selfish to have gotten myself to this point.
2.  I was amazed at the generosity of people, organizations, and food corporations in America.  A heartfelt thank you to everyone.
3.  I was also amazed at some of the things people donated.  Half used boxes of stuffing mix, peanut butter and macaroni and cheese are not helpful.  Neither are water chestnuts.
4.  All items used in food boxes must have a nutrition label on them.
5.  Dried goods, spaghetti, oatmeal, noodles, are all great things to donate.  So are items that are good sources of protein, peanut butter, tuna fish, kidney beans, beef ravioli.  Breakfast foods are needed.  If you donate cake mix, please donate frosting as well, same with peanut butter and jelly.  They try very hard to have complimenting items in the box. 
6.  I can take my older girls to volunteer.  The coordinator has worked with kids as young as 20 months old.  You can drop in to volunteer any Saturday 9 to 2:30 starting in January.  You better believe we will be there!
7.  Getting involved and helping was a great learning experience and a lot of fun!
8.  I will find a way to make this a family tradition.
What have you learned lately?  Link up with Life Ever Since.

How to Follow Up?

Yesterday’s post was hard won and personally very cathartic to write.  Thank you for all the amazing comments, support and love.  I am excited to be able to move from feeling like a failure to looking with pride and joy on Patrice’s birth.

Today is World Prematurity Day.  I have seen that popping up on twitter and facebook and was thinking, but I have nothing to write about concerning that day.  I am blessed that each of my girls came full-term, two of them with a little extra baking time even.

Then it dawned on me, I was a preemie baby. 

I was born 6 weeks early a *few* years ago.  My mom went into labor after a volleyball got spiked into her stomach and knocked loose a piece of my placenta.  The doctors told her even if that had not happened,  I had run out of room so would have needed to be born very soon.

So there I was.  And back then, 6 weeks was a lot to be early.  They did an emergency c-section, whisked me off to the nursery and so began a 3 week stay in the hospital.

I cannot imagine how hard it was on my mom to have all this going on.  To be given conflicting information on if she could nurse me, to have baby away from her most of the time and then to go home without her little girl.  Oh boy.  They wanted to keep Sue for an extra night when she was born due to jaundice and I went ape on them…the thought of weeks…wow.

Then she brought me home and at 4 lbs 5 ounces, no baby clothes fit.  Thankfully a neighbor lady saw my mom’s plight and fixed up some doll clothes for me to wear.  What a rough start for my mama.  No wonder I’m an only child…or does that mean my parents reached perfection the first time and didn’t need to have anymore?? 🙂

My heart goes out to the mamas whose babies come early.  I have seen friends work through it, and it is hard.  There is so many emotions as they wait to see how their babies will fare physically and mentally after their early arrival.

March of Dimes works to end prematurity.  Won’t you check out their website?  Get the facts, get involved?  Babies all over the world thank you!

Lost Some Sleep

I lost some sleep last night.  But I am hoping it will mean improved sleep in the future.

Patrice is 15 months old.  I love her to pieces.  I do not love the postpartum depression and anxiety that came with her.  Yesterday was a bad one.  The weight of anxiety settled in my chest.  My thoughts went haywire, the panic level rose and rose and rose.  It came, it hit, it suprised, it scared me.

Now, I’ve known since the day she was born there were some things I regretted.  Bear with me here.  I had planned an all natural, unmedicated birth.   Her labor was by far the most intense of my three.  I swear each contraction started at my toes, shot up my body and overwhelmed me.  I knew yelling was counterproductive, but the birth was so primal, I yelled.  I used the birthing tub, my midwife did counterpressure, hubby counted through each contraction and swayed with me.

And yet, toward the end, my midwife offered me nubaine through my IV.  I accepted.  They got 1/2 a shot of medication in and had to stop because Patrice’s heart rate dropped.  Then started a very intense pushing phase.  Patrice was stuck, her cord was wrapped around her head, shoulders and neck.  I would push, her heart rate would plummet and she wouldn’t come down.

I remember hearing my midwife ask for an operating room to be opened.  Then I heard her say “push, push for your baby NOW!”

Out she came.  Blue.

My midwife cut her cord, she turned pink and was yelling.

I have struggled with feeling like I failed.  I told my midwife shortly after her birth, “I know I will regret the decision to take the meds, but it was wth right decision.”

Promptly, I forgot the right decision part and was consumed by the feelings of failure.  I have struggled with that ever since.

Many people have told me I did a good job.  My midwife, and she would know, huh?  My hubby, but what does he know about birth?  My midwife told me she hoped I could some day embrace my birth.  That I did a great job and could stand tall about my unmedical birth.  Recently hubby and I talked about it again.  He so patiently reassured me.  He said, “I saw Patrice when she came out, that cord was all over her.  It was a struggle.  Maybe your body knew it needed the medication to get her out.  [Midwife] and I talked about it, she asked me how sta-dol had helped you with Sue’s birth, we decided medication might be good.  You didn’t, we did.  You never asked for it, we offered it.”

I still heard failure in there.  I still heard me needing, not able to get Patrice here without help.  I felt some better, but the pain was still there.  Until last night.

He’s right, I never asked for it.  I wasn’t on the verge of asking for it.  People I trust greatly, offered it.  I trusted them before then, and after then, why not then?  Of course, then.  And it did help me get Patrice here, without a surgical birth and safely.  She was in distress.  I had to push without the help of contractions.  Simply by sheer force of will.  And I did it.  If that little bit of Nubaine allowed me to birth her safe and sound, then I did the right thing.

That thought process may not sound like much, but it is so freeing to me, it caused me to almost wake up my hubby to tell him, late at night.  I wanted to call my midwife and spill it all to her, again, late at night.

A weight has been lifted.  I can now embrace Patrice’s birth. I may have lost some sleep last night, but I have turned a corner.

Then
Now

Pouring my Heart Out with ShellThings. And Thought Provoking Thursday with Some Girls Website.  And Serenity Now’s Weekend Bloggy Hop.  And Write On Edge’s Weekend blog hop.

#workingforlessjunkinthetrunk week 2

Ahhhhh.  First week of weight watchers down.  A lifetime to go, but it is nice to have the first week down.  And to have stuck with my changes and choices. 

Lots of changes.  Traveling this weekend.  Not as much exercise as normal.  It could have spelled disaster.  But it didn’t.  I did okay.  I lost 2 pounds.  Not too shabby.  It could have been worse.  Much, much worse. 

I love how weight watchers has you break it into smaller goals, 5%, then 10%, so on and so forth.  But they are still kind of daunting.  I have been gaining and losing the same 6 pounds for the last year.  I have lost these two more times than I care to count.  I am a little nervous they are not gone, just messing with me again.

How do you battle the fear?  How do you move past the pounds you have gained and lost over and over again?

This week’s weight watchers meeting was about how to deal with Thanksgiving.  It is a toughie.  One of the first things they mentioned was setting your goal–continuing to lose, stay steady at current weight or even plan for a gain.  My goal?  To keep losing. 

Are there people in your life who are changing their food choices?  Won’t you encourage them, help them?  Add lots of veggies and fruit, without dressings and creams, to the menu.  Don’t take it personal when they choose to pass on some of the treats, know they are just doing what they need to so for themselves.

What are your goals, what is your plan?

Linking up with Weight Loss Wednesday and Working for Less Junk in the Trunk.

Coziness of a kitchen and thankfulness 226-233

I am standing in my warm kitchen with my hubby and three kids. Caitlyn in playing with play dough. Sue and Daddy are making salads and Patrice is watching all the activity while playing with a toy.

Caitlyn couldn’t be left out of the salad fun!

We are blessed beyond measure. We have food, clothing, our needs are met.  Do we wish we had more?  Yes.  Do we have needs that we wish were more met?  Yes.  But all in all, we are very, very blessed.

This is a knowledge we need to pass on to our children.  I wonder often how to do this.  Christmas gives us so many opportunities, but what will the understand, what will they grasp?

Over the last many years, I have gotten involved in Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child by packing shoe boxes for them to give to children all over the world.  This year it is time to have the girls help me pack the boxes.  I am going to take them to the dollar store to pick out items to go in a box.  I want each of the girls, well okay, Caitlyn and Sue, to do one and pray for the child who will open the treasure box.  And this is the week. 

This is National Collection Week.  Won’t you consider getting involved?  You can search for a collection point, suggested items to give and all necessary instructions on Samaritan’s Purse.

So thankful for:

226.  love in my kitchen

227.  coziness and warmth as fall settles in

228.  support and encouragement of my husband

229.  amazing generosity of my family to my girls

230.  accessibility to health care

231,  abundance allowing me to give gifts

232.  possibilities

233.  listening to my hubby teach my girls

234.  days off work

235.  piles of laundry to be folded because it means we have clothes to wear

For what are you thankful?   

This attitude of gratitude also works in well with this weeks Self Care Challenge.  It is to find 3 three things every morning you are thankful for, and doing the same every evening.  Head over to Real Mom Experts.

Book on CD–Outlive Your Life

James and Jax

We went on a trip to see my family this weekend.  That is a 5 hour drive each way.  I was going to work on the books I mentioned last week, but hubby had a better idea.  I bought him Max Lucado’s book Outlive Your Life:You Were Made to Make a Difference for Christmas last year, and his CD player promptly died in his car.  So he hasn’t listened to it yet.

He suggested we listen to it on our drive.  I actually was a little bummed, but whined internally.  We started listening. 

It is fantastic.  It uses examples from the New Testament Church to talk about how they followed God, how he used him and changed them to change the world.  There are also a plethora of modern day examples of people using their skills, passions and hearts to impact hearts, people and nations.  It also challenges us to take our lives and impact others, to fill a need where we find one, to stick with our calling.

We got through 3 CDs, 1 to go.  I am yearning to finish it.  Now I have to decide whether to finish it on my own or wait for hubby.

I am also thinking about all we heard.  How can that change how I live my life?  How can I help the hungry, the homeless, the needy?  It made me think a lot about this post from Erica at Off My Mama Rocker.  It made me think how she is living the truth of Outlive Your Life through her love for this man, raising her children and her work as a birth doula.

That is how she impacts the world, how can I?  I dream of getting involved with Lauren’s work for mama’s with postpartum depression.  I’ve talked about her dream.  I haven’t forgotten and my mind still goes over and over it.  One thought that has come to me is, as I get better, getting involved at a local level in helping mamas with postpartum mood disorders. 

I envision a support group that involves meals.  People open up over food.  And what mama struggling with postpartum issues wouldn’t like to be pampered with someone else providing her dinner?  I don’t mean a potluck, because mamas at that point in life don’t need another burden or task, they need someone to care for them.  Food is a universal message of care, love and healing.

But how well do I need to be before I take on a support group?  What can I do in the meantime?  How can I help those in need?  How can I get my family involved?  How can we bless people in the name of Jesus in a practical, real way?  How?

How do you brighten your part of world?  What need do you have that someone else could help you fill?

If, by any chance, you would like to get ahold of this book, it is available through Christian Book Distributors.

94613X: Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference - Audiobook on CD Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference – Audiobook on CD

By Thomas Nelson

On Pentecost, the Spirit came down and ignited the hearts and minds of believers to preach the gospel and live out justice for the forgotten. Max Lucado wonders, Might it happen again? Does God still free hearts, minds and bodies from the ravages of sin and poverty? The answer is yes! He does it through you, and in Outlive Your Life he challenges you to make a difference that will last beyond your time on earth. Take a stand for children, widows, and families who only need an opportunity to live. Unabridged.

One hundred percent of the author royalties from Outlive Your Life products will benefit children and families through World Vision and other ministries of faith-based compassion.

4 CD’s, Unabridged.

Saturday Snapshots

It is Saturday, very early Saturday, but it is still Saturday. I have been up messing with photos.  I had a groupon that expires, well, today and a coupon code for photo posters, that I got from this fab blog, that expires Sunday, so that meant I had to get them USED!  I am absolutely exhausted, but thought I might as well continue with pictures.  Here are some of Patrice playing her first musical instrument!
Head on over and see how you can pray for my friend Ali.

So Many Thoughts…

My thoughts are kind of all over tonight.  They’ve been that way all day.  And it’s been awhile since we had a random thoughts post, so here goes.

Today is the second full day on weight watchers.  I packed the same lunch as yesterday.  It fits well in my points and I like it.  But was frustrated to be REALLY hungry this morning.  Why wasn’t today’s lunch working out like yesterday.  I sent out a call on #wlwed, and got some pointers from a sweet twitter friend.  She talked me through some snacks…and then it hit me, I had forgotten to eat half of my breakfast!  I had my no sugar added breakfast shake, but had forgotten to eat my breakfast sandwhich when I got to work.  Oh boy!

Also had an open mouth, insert foot moment today.  Another lady in the office was drinking a slurpee and somebody said, “watch it or you’ll get a brain freeze”.  She said, “oh no, you get rid of that by putting your tongue on the roof of your mouth”.  To which I responded “are you full of crap?”  Everybody in the office busted out laughing, she razzed me for being so bold, and I choked on a piece of walnut I inhaled while eating my foot.  She swears it works.  I say that is solving an age old problem, too bad I learned it after starting weight watchers.  Do I have any volunteers in bloggy land to try this out and let me know if it works???

It snowed today for the first time this season.  And not just little bits, but some pretty decent snow flurries.  This of course required everyone on the freeway to slow down from 80 to 45 then 40 and finally 25 miles per hour.  I was suprised at how much it there was for the first snow of the year.  Caitlyn was excited.  Sue, not so much.

Patrice is now a full blown walker.  None of this step here or there, but a “hey, I’ll walk across the room to you” walker.  She was showing off her skills after dinner.  She had just eaten.  I had JUST nursed her.  I was so excited to see her walking, I picked her up and started tossing her in the air.  She laughed, so I did it more.  Then we stopped, then she threw up on me.  Best part, I couldn’t figure out why it was so liquidy, until Caitlyn said, as I was cleaning up vomit, “maybe you nursed her too much.”  Yup, I’m a third time mom.  How many kids do I have to have before I learn the lesson to not play catch with them right after feeding them?  Maybe that’s why the Duggars keep having them, they are waiting to learn that lesson?  (BTW, no judgment for them here; I’m more jealous than anything, I would love to be surrounded with the crazy madness of a mega family!)

I forgot to take my meds last night.  Today was a little more intense emotionally, but I made it through.  Quite well actually.  Very well, if I do say so myself.  It showed me I’m not ready to be med free, but I’m getting there.  (Thanks to the dear friend who was there to walk through emotions with me today).

Yesterday a twitter friend did this post.  Can you make her recipe and report back?  I’m pretty sure one bite is my weight watchers points for the day!  And while you’re there, could you encourage her a bit?  She is rocking this mommy gig and needs to know that!

And now I shall leave you with these amazing moments of cuteness…

Yes, that is Patrice in the top bunk of the girls’ bunkbeds

Caitlyn with a homework assignment

Sue sleeping on the kitchen floor

iPPP and Works for Me Wednesday with a bottom twist

Over the last few weeks I have been working on a project.  Kind of a big one…rehabing 15 of my pocket style cloth diapers.  I was blessed enough to have a friend give me her stash of cloth diapers to use with Patrice.  I have added a few items, but it kept nagging at me that there were a lot more of them that I was not using because the elastic was stretched out and they tended to leak.

I follow a lot of cloth diaperers on twitter, so I started asking questions about rehabing them.  One person clued me in that Cotton Babies, the makers of Bumgenius, sell a refreshing kit that includes new elastic, pre-cut, and new aplix (velcro), also pre-cut, for $1 a packet and they don’t charge shipping!!!!

Another mama friend sent me a Youtube link for a video of someone fixing their diapers.  I watched it many times.

Finally, I started ripping out the stitches to get at where I needed to put in the new elastic.  It was torture.  I didn’t have a clue where to start.  I got so frustrated.  I broke a seam ripper.  I called a seamstress friend to see if I could hire her to do it.  Chickened out from asking her.  Kept at it.  Picked a different diaper to try…Bingo!

Got one opened up.  Then to sew.  That part only took 10 minutes.  And I had a wonderfully snug fitting diaper.

Over the last few weeks I have continued to rip out stitches.  Friday night I got all of them opened up.  Saturday I actually got a couple sewn.

Here is how it went down:

Turn diaper inside out.  Look closely at your diaper to see if there is a spot where the elastic is exposed.  Those are the easiest ones to work with.

See the loope of elastic sticking out? 

You rip out a few stitches at each end of the wasteband elastic.  Maybe an inch or two at each end.

 Then rip out an inch or two of stitching at each end of the leg gussets.  When all is said and done, you will have exposed elastic at 6 places in the diaper.

 Snip off old elastic where you started exposing it.  Then sew the new elastic on to the diaper where the old is showing or started.  Pin the unsewn end of the new elastic to the cut end of the old.  Go to the opposite end of that gusset, pull on the old.  It will pull the new in and through.  Make sure it goes in flat and doesn’t twist.

 Cut old elastic off, sew new elastic on.  Repeat on other side.  Sew seams shut.  Try not to sew the elastic as that will reduce it’s stretchiness.

 Next, turn diaper right side out.  Rip stitched out of old elastic side tabs.  Sew one of each of the sides of elastic to it’s “partner”.  Just sew the rounded part, leave the bottom open so you can sandwhich the diaper itself.  Finish sewing the tab onto the diaper.  Sew the square laundry tabs over the old ones.  The new ones are bigger and the old ones are SOOOO sewn on, just covering them is your best bet.

Look at your beautifully rehabed diaper!

See Patrice sporting her rehabed diaper?  You should see the proud mama!!!
*this picture was taken with my phone 🙂

iPhone Photo Phun

”worksCheck out other posts here and here.

Working for #lessjunkinthetrunk Week 1

Tuesday is a new jumping off point…I am going to really tackle my weight, getting to a healthy place, a comfortable place.  It has been a huge example to my girls as I gave up diet coke, then caffeine and sweets.  They are little militants about it when they see me take liberties.  Which is a good thing.

Now they are going to see the next step.  I am rejoining weight watchers.  They have meetings at work.  And now that I work a full forty hours a week in the office, I get a lunch time.  On Tuesday’s that lunch time will be weighing in and learning the tools to get over this plateau.  I’ve been losing and gaining the same 6 pounds for a year.  I hope to get past this and never see this weight again, unless we have another baby, which has happened the last two times I got to a goal weight.  But that is an entirely different matter.

This time I am joining two of my #ppdchat twitter friends, to #workforlessjunkinthetrunk.

Here goes, the jumping off point…

I am linking up with Healing Mutti.

And with

A few of my goals are:

Reducing my LDL cholesterol

Getting rid of my muffin top

Being able to run a half marathon (13.1 miles)

And I would love to be a size 6 again…

34 pounds to lose…