Mommy and Me

Mommy and Me
Sharing life with you is fullfilling

Monday, August 8, 2016

All the changes

Just to mention a few changes that have happened over the past I don't know nearly two years....
moved out of 5th wheel in Pennsylvania and into house we own in Oklahoma.
Bought a bigger house in Oklahoma and found a renter for the other house.
Got pregnant once and lost the baby shortly after (but you know about that)
Went to California to help a friend deliver her baby.
Came home and got pregnant again.
These are not in order.

So here we are... as Daniel Cook would say (I really loathe that show).
I'm 38 weeks pregnant with this blessing baby and getting ready for my mother in law to come for a visit. She hasn't seen any of us since just before Micah was born, so it will be fun to have her here and get to see her meet both this new baby and Micah pretty much at the same time. I think Patrick is excited about seeing his mom too, he's been talking to her on the phone a lot over the last two weeks or so.

Preparation for the birth of our fourth baby (the kind I'll get to actually hold in my arms) are well underway... but since I don't know the gender of this baby there isn't a whole lot to do.
I've prepared a basket of goodies for my birth team to eat while they serve me in labor, I've prepared my birth kit, with all the stuff that will be needed, or could be needed during the delivery, I've washed clothes that are gender neutral, and I've crocheted a few things. I've got the pack n' play set up in the closet with the bassinet already to go and the changing table, with diapers and wipes, and I've stocked the diaper bag. I've also created a play list (look at that! fourth birth and I've finally done it!) for the labor, I've taken a Christ centered childbirth class, which was awesome! (shout out to Kierra at A Heavenly Welcome) I've done nearly everything, except put that inferno of a plastic sheet over our bed... because it makes me hot, and I'm already hot... and I just don't want to have it on until I have to... which will probably be this Wednesday when I clean my room again.
The kids and I are finishing up our last week of school before taking a break for baby. I'm hoping baby doesn't tarry, cause the longer I take off before baby the less time I get to take off after baby, and that could really suck. I've thought about just continuing to school until baby arrives, but I thought it would probably be better if the kids got to enjoy their grandma while she is visiting instead of doing school work the whole time.

I tried, I really tried to get the house to a 'manageable' place, but every time I turn around it just isn't maintained any longer... I'm near ready to give up, this mama is tired! But if I give up then it only gets worse....
So I'm off to fold laundry!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mother's Day week meltdown

It seems incredibly fitting to me that the week before mother's Day I would experience a rather large meltdown. I mean what other time of year are your reminded so fully of what this job actually is?
I have a personal relationship with the holiday since I was born on it,but it came as a shock to me when I realized it was coming so quickly this year. The 2ND Sunday of May just doesn't seem like it could be on the 8th day of the month... And yet it is, and will be this year.
My husband asked what I wanted, I said "a day off,not away from you guys, but just a day where I don't have to do mother stuff,and if not that then chocolate and flowers are a great fall back."
Let's face it I can't and won't get a day off, first off it is impossible not to be a mother once you are one, and 2ND,I love my job and couldn't possibly not do it when it is there for me to do.
So why then would I be having a meltdown? Probably I'm extra hormonal or something... But I woke up this morning with a light in my eyes, the kids were being good,the day was starting out right, and then I learned that my preferred presidential candidate was exiting the race.... I figured it was happening by all the things I had seen on facebook but hadn't actually heard the words. This alone would never have resulted in my toddler like tantrum, but I will honestly say I wanted to cry.
After pulling my act together I went on to teach my daughter a reading lesson while my oldest son worked on his spelling lesson, things were cruising along nicely, until I got a phone call from my church. The meeting I had scheduled two weeks ago for today was being rescheduled, and when would I prefer it, Tuesday or Wednesday next week. This was crushing for a few reasons.
I have excitedly been attempting to tell someone at the church about a ministry that was laid on my heart since last November, two weeks ago it was evident that the effort was falling on deaf ears,and going no where so I contacted the pastor via email, and he suggested I schedule a meeting with his secretary, which I did, but he was out of town for the week and then was completely booked for the following week so the earliest I could see him was Wednesday of this week... Today. And I printed out pages, took notes spent time in prayer, asked others to pray, researched everything I thought might be helpful, and contacted another church that is already involved in the ministry. And now I have to wait another week. I know I feel like a baby to be upset about waiting a week, but save your laughter... The root of my problems has to do with God's direction for my life.
After rescheduling my appointment I went on to finish my daughters reading lesson and then my oldest sons lesson, things were going well but he was struggling with his concentration, and while that is normally a problem it seemed more evident today,so I stopped him to ask what was going on, and why he was struggling. Just as our conversation was wrapping up and we were getting to the root of the problem my daughter enters the room to say that my youngest son has pooped in his underwear.
He is potty training and this is expected, but today I had made a huge effort to be on top of him, knowing that he usually does this in the morning,and asking him frequently to use the toilet, which he was doing each time I asked... But the poop hadn't come yet... And now it had and I missed the chance to get him on the toilet. Disappointed I went to the bathroom, careful not to take my frustration out on the boy I sat him on the toilet and began cleaning out his soiled underwear in the toilet.
After cleaning him up I sobbed, ugly tears, again... Because only a little earlier I had asked God in a big sob fest what service he wanted from me... Because my doula profession is at a ginormous stand still (I have one client booked for the whole year and she isn't due until November) and the ministry I've worked so hard to present to the church keeps hitting rocky roads and stand stills, so the only ministry I have been doing, which is the greatest calling ever is motherhood... Like I said, it's the greatest, but it is also ridiculous.
I'm sobbing on the floor of my dirty bathroom with poopy underwear in my hands and realizing that the greatest ministry God has called me to is to be a servant, something I normally love and enjoy even in difficult times, but right now all I want is to not have to touch anyone else's poop for the rest of my life, but in the throes of motherhood with small people,the biggest part of my ministry to God is to clean up poop from my toddlers.
I'm not dreaming of becoming the greatest minister ever known, I'm not dreaming of riches or fame, I just want to give God His glory, and the ministry he has undoubtedly called me to at this moment of my life is the cleaning of poop.
I will gladly do it... As long as it needs doing, for as many children as need it done... But allow me a moment to break down in the bathroom amidst toddler poop today... Because I'm still learning to humble myself,and it doesn't come easy.
To all my poop cleaning lady friends... Happy Mother's Day.
May every day, even the hardest ones serve as a reminder that giving glory to God isn't about us, and it is often a bitter, and hard pill to swallow, but is always fruitful, and worth every effort.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Best yogurt ever!

For months I have been attempting to master the art of homemade yogurt. That is to say I have been tweaking other people's fabulous easy to follow recipes and attempting to make it in a way that my family will love it the most.
I've read a few horror stories about screwing up entire batches but to be honest I have only screwed up one and it was still edible, it was just a bit bitter for some people's taste. Unfortunately of course without knowing I had made a bitter batch I handed it over to my best friend who then fed it to her yogurt loving children who now hold it against me and won't try my homemade yogurt again... Whatever that's their loss...more for me.
She has since started making her own as well and I'm sure we will change their minds together.
I read and found that all you need is a few simple ingredients, milk, yogurt (or starter), sugar, and vanilla are all I use.
Many many many different recipes out there, so the best thing to do is play with it.
I also just figured out that the quality of the ingredients actually does matter. Originally I would use Walmart plain low-fat yogurt (that's what wic gave us so it was free) and Walmart brand milk in whatever fat content I happened to buy. But lately I've been using whole milk from Braums and just this last time I didn't want a huge container of starter and only wanted to buy one container instead of a four pack and great value only came in a 4 pack so I ended up with Dannon plain yogurt, I don't know the fat Content it was just the first one I found that said it contained live active culture, which is essential for yogurt making.
This last batch was twice as thick as any other I have made to date, and so delicious!
The only thing I have had trouble with in the past was how much sugar and vanilla to add, but I think I have it mastered now... At least to my satisfaction, feel free to adjust it to what you like.

Vanilla yogurt

Ingredients needed:
One single serve container of yogurt, vanilla or plain (as mentioned above Dannon helped make my yogurt thicker and creamier, but great value or any other brand works well too.)

One gallon of milk (I like using whole milk but have used as low as 1% without issue)

1.75 cups of sugar

3-4 tablespoons of vanilla (I use about 3.5)

4 glass quart sized Mason jars

One large pot with lid (all your jars should fit inside with the lid on top, seal is not important but you want it as close as possible)

Water

Candy thermometer


Directions

Pour milk into your large pot and heat to 170-180 degrees stirring often to avoid scalding on the bottom of the pan.
Once the temperature reaches this level shut off your heat and leave uncovered without stirring until the temperature reaches 120 degrees (F). (You will likely have a thin layer of milk on top that resembles plastic wrap only white, just scoop it out and discard it.
When the temperature is getting close soak your Mason jars in very hot water to kill any bacteria lingering in them.
In a mixing bowl put sugar, vanilla and single serving yogurt together and add about a cup of your 120 degree milk and lightly stir, your yogurt doesn't want to be beaten, just well mixed, if there are still little parts that are not totally mixed that is OK too.
After stirring pour the mixture into the pan with the rest of the milk and mix a little more. Again do not abuse your mixture, yogurt likes to be treated gently.
Remove jars and shake out excess water and dry the outside of the jars.
Using a large ladle or a coffee cup scoop out your yogurt mixture and pour it into the jars. I typically have only an 1/8 inch to the top of my jars. Then put their lids on them not too tight but tight enough that they won't leak. You may have a little left over, feel free to drink it, it's delicious!
Rinse your pot out really well and put the jars inside, fill the pan up to the necks of the jars with warm water, about like a bath, if your need exact temperature then 120 degrees is as hot as you should go, no more than that.
Pop the lid on the pot and cover with a folded towel, the sides of the pot don't need to be wrapped but you do want the towel to cover any gap the lid doesn't cover.
Set a timer for 4 hours and don't touch the pot or jars inside for the duration.
When the timer goes off remove the jars, dry them gently with a towel and place them in the fridge for 8 hours before opening.
Enjoy your yogurt!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Affirmation of the World, or Restoration for your Soul?

I've been aching to come and write here for awhile, but it is December now, and well time flies, especially when you are having fun!
Quick update; Fia's Birthday is Thursday, we had a party for her last weekend. She was so cute in her princess dress, and her little friends came dressed as princesses too! We even met a few new friends... all boys of course because it seems most of the people we know have boys!
Caeden's birthday is coming up, we will have a party for him next weekend. His party theme will be Paleontology, and Patrick and I are putting together a kit for him to dig with like a real dinosaur bone digger! He's going to love it!
Don't know when the last time I wrote was but Moo moo turned two as well... gosh he is getting so big! But he must like being the baby cause he keeps coming back for more mama loving, even when it seems he's getting to an age when he doesn't need as much mama... of course, they all come back to mama even Caeden being almost 7 wants to sit on my lap during school work time!

I actually wanted to write about something completely unrelated to my family today. It seems to me that sin and condemnation are running rampant in our world, and I've got an idea why. Who has all the answers? I want to know.

I have realized that a lot of people seem particularly condemned lately. They are easily offended by people's different opinions and need to be affirmed in their own beliefs in order to feel good about themselves, but it doesn't make them feel good about themselves. Take breastfeeding in public for instance. Breastfeeding has come a long way, those who do it in public are confident in what they do, and do it with a sort of pride now-a-days. When I had my first baby almost 7 years ago I didn't feel like any kind of pioneer, my mother had breastfed all of her children, my Aunt's and Cousins had breastfed their children, it was normal, and not at all strange to me, but I met several people who felt it was 'weird' or 'unnatural'. (This I have to say, while off subject, was absolutely astounding to me, that breastfeeding could be seen as 'unnatural'.) Anyway, since there are certain people who are uncomfortable with breastfeeding in public there are laws about it in some states, most of which are about the ability for a woman TO breastfeed and not the opposite, but still women are fighting for it. Women on social media are swarming pages with pictures of their bare skinned breast, feeding their child.
I even recently read an article about Christian women who should breastfeed in public baring their breasts and not being a 'prude' by covering up. The article while very interesting and insightful on the plan of God to nurture us close to his bosom, forgot a whole book in the bible that mentions repeatedly the sexual nature of the breast as well.
There are also women all over the world who are bearing their breasts just to make a statement and saying it isn't shameful... I don't agree with this idea, but that isn't my point. They want everyone to see it as normal, they want everyone to feel as they feel. The article about breastfeeding urged more women to bare their breasts in church to make it normal, and less shameful. I don't believe that breastfeeding in public is bad, I don't believe that breastfeeding uncovered is bad, but I do believe there is a modest way to go about it and a completely immodest way to do it, and would urge all women who breastfeed not to hide the fact that they do it, but rather to be discreet as the naked breast is a distraction to many people, and your personal comfort levels should be taken into consideration as well, but you shouldn't attempt to change people's own comfort level so that the breast can be more normalized.
There are other arenas where things are becoming more normalized, homosexuality, cross dressing, legal use of marijuana, the ability to buy alcohol in the grocery store (if you didn't know, it isn't legal to sell it in grocery stores in Oklahoma), so many things, little things too, celebrate your kids in mediocrity, don't let them learn about failure, instead they are all winners. Don't have too many kids, or the first few won't feel like they are important, or have enough stuff, or they will have to share their bedroom. My parents had 6 kids and somehow managed to buy into the idea that we each needed our own bedroom... I look back and think the times I had my own room were the loneliest, I really enjoyed sharing my bedroom. I even went as far as convincing my parents that we should have two exchange students because I wanted one in my room and it wasn't the biggest room in the house, my sister would have been the one to share rooms if we only hosted one.
Those who do something that is not a social norm press and strive and fight for it to become 'normal'... why? Christians and non-Christians alike are doing it, but more so those who are doing things that are deemed 'shameful' by older generations than those who follow the social norm.
I've been reading Romans this morning and I think I've come across the answer.

Romans 1:28-32 "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting, being filled with all unrighteousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."

Who are any of us? Any person on this planet would fit into one of these categories, don't think you are bad? Do you whisper about people behind their backs? Are you Proud? Were you disobedient to your parents? Do you ever envy other people? Then this describes you, don't eliminate yourself here... you fit, you are a sinner. And the bible says that if you do these things you deserve death. It also says that people who do these things will approve of others doing them. It used to be that people who drank alcohol would give minors a drink and laugh, I remember it, I remember how they tried to con young people into thinking it was cool to get drunk, they knew it wasn't, but the kids they let do it didn't have the wisdom yet to know what it was actually going to do to them... but that isn't all that is happening now.
Now even if a person is confident in their own gender they feel that it isn't right to force gender on a person, so they tell their toddler that they can be a boy or a girl, it doesn't matter. WHAT is wrong with people! I'm sorry but you are given a gender, from God.. he is the only one who can control it. This issue goes far below your skin, it goes to hormones, it goes to DNA, it goes to chromosomes. And while they are finding ways to change so many body parts they have no way of changing chromosomes that I am aware of. If they do I'd hope they were using it to cure disease not change genders.
Making what is wrong normal seems to be the only way to feel good about doing wrong... UNLESS there is a better way! No one wants what the bible predicts for those who are sinners, death is awful... Life however is beautiful. But are you really living your life if everything you do is for yourself? I'd argue that the answer is no.
God gave a perfect example of what we can do to really live... die. Not to save our own life, but to give life to others. I don't mean a death of a physical sense but rather a death of a spiritual sense... we as the bible says, die to ourselves. That means that we stop saying 'yes' to ourselves, and start saying 'yes' to helping others, start saying 'yes' to serving others, not forgiving their sins and letting them continue on in them. We have no power to forgive sins, only God does, and he says 'go and sin no more', which means that we as Christians might want to re-think some of our positions on things. Stop condemning, stop ignoring, but start doing something more like Christ. Eat with the 'sinners' like Christ did, he gave them an example to follow, and he told them not to continue in their sin anymore.
Stand up Christians, not for the right for a man to dress as a woman, or use a public restroom of his choice. Not for baring your naked breasts while breastfeeding (I'm not saying in any way that breastfeeding in public should be shunned I just don't think it is necessary to wage war on the subject), but stand up to say what sin is, and how we have a savior who has already overcome it for us, stand up and walk tall, don't hide your beliefs, don't be scared, be bold, and die to yourself, daily, the way Jesus asked us to, so that your brother, sister, friend, Aunt, Mother, Uncle, Cousin, Father, person you never met but see at work all the time, can know who Jesus really was, a bold man who knew what God designed him to be, and who knew and identified sin as sin, but also forgave sin by dying, literally dying on a cross to forgive it all. Stand up and help people out of sin, don't help them stay in it and normalize it for your children and their children, stand up and be bold.
The insecurity of those who want to normalize sin comes from Satan, and he wants you to be a part of it... Bullies bully because they hate themselves, not because they hate others. People who don't know how to love themselves (the way Jesus loved us) cause all sorts of problems, we really need to get our hands on some people and show them corrective love...
So many of my Christian friends on facebook will say "I don't do those things, but God says not to judge, so I can't say if they are wrong for doing them".... BULL You are not judging, God judged, he did it already! The judgement is done... if the bible says it is sin, it is sin! How we deal with it is a different story, but we absolutely can not stand for it to be 'normal'.

As I was growing up I would read through the bible and try my best to be a 'good girl' accepting God's grace where I screwed up, and then at school my friends would pick on me and say I was 'better then' them... I didn't understand what I was supposed to do with that, cut myself down and point out my own sin, or point to Jesus as the reason they saw me that way, and would usually end up doing both in some fashion. Now as an adult I feel somewhat smarter in this area, it is NEVER about me... so I feel like I shouldn't make it about me, but then sometimes it is about the example God has given through me. When difficult things happen, where does my trust fall? Who is watching when I lean on God to get me through a difficult time in my life? Where do I turn, what do I say, what are people deciding about Jesus when they see me?
The bible says we are made perfect through Jesus... I think I understand this more now than ever. It isn't that I don't sin, or that I am not capable of sin. It isn't that the sin I do commit is ok because I'm perfect in Christ. It is that my desire to sin has been taken away. Yes I fail, I'm not Jesus, Yes I stumble over things that maybe I shouldn't, but in the end, every day I am forgiven, everyday I desire Jesus is one day less I desire sin. I want that for everyone. Not just for my family, but for the people who are looking for the restoration of their souls, for affirmation that someone loves them, that he would do anything for them. That he accepts them just as they are, but because he does that they want to be more like him, and they stop their bad habits and stop seeking affirmation, and normalization of things that are inappropriate and/or wrong, or sinful and begin seeking God.
I want that everyone should have Jesus rather than the approval of the world for the things they do, and the way they feel.

Friday, October 2, 2015

39 weeks

I received an email from babycenter today, it congratulated me on being 39 weeks pregnant. 
I didn't opt to stop receiving these because I have a client who is due the same week as I would have been and it is a nice reminder of where she is in the wait... but it is also sad and most weeks I just delete the email and move on. Today it hit pretty close to home as I realized how flat belly is and how there will be no baby born into our family in the coming weeks.
I am so glad for the grace of God in my life to show me all the things I have to be joyful about today, even when the anticipation and joy of a new baby isn't one of them.
Thank you Jesus for the children I have!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Revelation (to me) on Abortion

I have always been pro-life, but my husband and I have been researching a bit lately to find out more about this situation our country has found it's self in, and the facts astound me. 1.21 million children are aborted legally in the U.S. every year! Wowzers... that is a lot of innocent children being murdered. According to www.worldometers.info/abortions/ there are 125,000 every day in the world.
I have been praying about how I can help things, my husband has been praying about it, we are both on fire for the lives of these children, I can't explain exactly how we feel, but there is a sickening in my stomach to think of all the babies who would have been here and now are not because in the first place people can not control their sex lives, and in the second decide to cover that up by murdering their unborn children. For those who believe that it is not murder because there is no child, I urge you to look at the pictures of aborted babies and see if you don't see a child there.
It also sickens me to think that people call the unborn a parasite. I believe that conception happens at the same moment as fertilization, so in that belief I also think that for the first 5-7 days of a child's life they cannot be compared to a parasite at that time. They are not using anything from their mother at all, besides that a parasite never infects its mother (at least not that I have found), and a parasite must have a host for it's entire life span, a child on the other hand starts off as an egg and sperm connected in a free space not connected to any other thing and then moves to a place where it's mother can nourish it for approximately 9 months, and in only the first 3 months it has all of its body parts that it will have at birth, the rest of the time spent inside of it's mother it is only growing bigger, no longer making its own lungs and heart, but actually using them and growing them... just as a toddler would be doing, only inside it's mother because it is too fragile to enter the world before that 9 month time period is up, which is why most premature babies are kept in the hospital until approximately their due date.
Today I opened my bible to read and found that somehow my book mark had been moved, I don't know how, I don't even know of anyone being in my room to have moved it but it was moved, and instead of reading where I would have been reading I decided to see if God had some divine inspiration for me in this newly book marked place... besides I hadn't really gotten too far where I was reading before anyway. I now fully believe that however the book mark had been moved, God intended for me to read this new passage today, it shocked me how much I received from my reading today.
When I opened this morning my book mark was marking the beginning of 2 Kings, I read and the story was interesting so I continued to read into chapter 2. As I read Elijah was taken up to heaven and 'his spirit' rested on Elisha, and I believe that spirit was actually the Holy Spirit though I don't know. After Elijah is taken up Elisha begins to perform miracles in the name of the LORD. One of which is I believe in Jericho where a spring had brackish water and Elisha pours some salt from a new bowl into the water and it is cleansed and in 2 Kings 2:21 it says this: "Then he went to the spring of water and threw the salt into it, and said "Thus says the Lord, I have made this water wholesome; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it." (NRSV)
side note: I don't particularly care for the NRSV but when I came across the word miscarriage it peaked my interest so I went to some commentaries and other versions of the bible and found a bit about it, of course never expecting to learn about abortion from the bible that day, but just interested because I have had two miscarriages myself and the subject is very close to my heart.
The word miscarriage can be translated as barrenness or abortion here as well.
Barrenness to me implies there was no life to begin with, that the mother or would be mother has never had an egg fertilized to become pregnant, but it also means she might have lost a baby or two, or more. Abortion can be used to reference the body not supporting a baby or a mother deciding to kill her unborn child, neither end with a healthy baby. And miscarriage leaves the mother without much responsibility (though some can say her lifestyle choices might affect this as well) but usually she will experience a lot of grief even if not at fault for the loss of her child. All three mean the land was lacking children (in reference to the verses I had been reading).
Elisha threw salt into the water from a new bowl so that death would not happen as a result of drinking this brackish water anymore.
Jesus is the living water, whoever drinks of Him rather than the world's substitute is given ever-lasting life.
We Christians are the salt of the earth, when we devote ourselves to God we can turn the world's substitute for something good into living water and truth.
I also think that because the salt was put into a new bowl that means something too. We have to be set apart. Not just any old bowl will do, it is a new bowl, a new purpose, a new pathway, not just to sit among the other members of the salt and season things as needed, but to get excited about a cause and dive into the world and change it to a world for Jesus.
And what happened? Death and miscarriage and abortion were abolished because of the activity of salt in water. We can do nothing without Jesus, he preformed the miracle, not Elisha, not the salt, not the new bowl, Jesus. But HE also called us to participate and if we do not, then the world will remain brackish and continue to murder the children who have only just received the spark of life, but have not yet seen the light of day, or the moon at night.
What can we do? This is my list of things you can do, but I'm still figuring out how I can go about them, pray earnestly that God can show you what you can do, and I'm sure he will.
1. Adopt a child that would have been aborted.
2. Help women in need who are pregnant and feel they have no options (i.e. feed the hungry, give clothing to the naked, care for the widow, which in our culture also can be the 'unsupported')
3. Donate clothing, diapers, bottles, formula, and other baby essentials to local pregnancy centers.
4. Donate your time to pregnancy centers, they actually work with volunteers not paid employees most of the time.
5. Speak out about abortion, if you start talking about this unspoken topic and start doing your part to help the people in need then two things will happen, (a.) they will hear your voice and maybe start talking themselves, and (b.) you will prove that the stigma of Christians who care about birth but not life will go away. We have to show them we care about the baby and it's mother before and long after that child is born as well as when she/he is in the mother's womb. All talk and no action isn't going to help, you absolutely must have both. Live the life you claim to believe in! Be a walking minister of Jesus Christ.
I almost typed here that I was stepping down from my soap box, but then I decided no, I'm not.. not ever... I will help these babies, I will be their voices! I will cry out to the world that they are killing babies, and I will reach out and help the mothers who are in need.
If you are a mother considering abortion as an option, please reach out to me. You can find me on facebook. If there is anything I can do for you I will do it no questions asked, provided it is within my means, and if it is not I will do my best to figure out how I can still help you perhaps through outside resources.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Am I becoming crunchy?

I love home grown foods, I love flowers, and essential oils are becoming pretty exciting to me, I'm a professional doula, I try to cut out most of the high fructose corn syrup in our diets, and I attempt to eat healthy, and give my children healthy options. I feel good with my feet on the grass, I wear my babies until they get too heavy, I birth naturally, I just love a lot about the way that God created earth and feel like getting back to the way things were before preservatives and other things started tampering with out foods.
But am I crunchy? Is that still the term? I think it is.
I don't get on the websites with all the women who claim they are. I don't like being nagged (not that they all do) by others on how best to be healthy... I don't seek out all the organic foods when shopping... but I do have a healthy dose of reality when it comes to the foods that go into our mouths

When I was growing up I had terrible belly cramps and was borderline constipated almost all the time. No one knew why that was. I remember it from as young as about 5 years old. I also remember having terrible pains in my legs (growing pains they say). The pain in my belly always came at dinner time. I would be fine and then I'd sit down for dinner and just as we finished eating, or even a few minutes later than that I'd get terrible cramping in my belly that made me want to cry. My mom would tell me to go to the bathroom, I would go, and I'd just cry. I honestly don't know if I knew what I was supposed to do in the bathroom, or if I just knew that sitting on the toilet wouldn't help me, but I'd spend the time crying about how badly my belly hurt. I thought I was supposed to hide my tears, so I didn't cry in front of anyone about my belly pain.
My mom on the other hand didn't know or realize how severe it was, and thought I was just trying to get out of doing my chores (helping my sister to wash dishes by rinsing and drying them). It would have been a good idea I suppose if it were true, but I wasn't trying to get out of doing my job, I was in pain.
Fast forward to middle school, I had been home schooled for 4th, 5th and 6th grade and then returned to public school in 7th grade, my diet changed from regular meals cooked by my mother and water whenever I wanted it, to school lunches with chocolate milk and a sip or two of water between classes if I had the time to stop by a drinking fountain. I found that the belly aches were coming back again. I remember having them occasionally before this point, but it was when I entered the 7th grade that they got really bad again.
What was different? MILK! I had belly aches regularly when in kindergarten through 2nd grade, but then stopped having them most of the time once I was in 3rd grade through 6th grade. What was different in 3rd grade? Only the kind of milk I was drinking.

Just before 3rd grade my family moved next door to my dairy farming grandparents and started getting some of our milk from them. The milk we got from them was pretty much straight out of the cow, my grandmother would remove the cream from the top and put it in the refrigerator and we'd drink it anytime we wanted. I wasn't a big fan of the taste of milk to be honest and usually only had it at school or with pancakes (which we ate a lot of). But this milk was whole milk, un-tampered. And then when I was home schooled I spent more time with my grandparents and eating their farm fresh foods and drinking the whole milk they had available when I felt like having a glass. I didn't get belly aches as often, though I still would occasionally.

In 7th grade I had little time to spend with my grand parents and didn't drink the milk they had, nor did I drink much water either, I was mostly dehydrated the rest of my school days. I of course had no idea at the time. And I would drink chocolate milk at lunch time. And then in the class immediately following lunch I would have such terrible belly cramps that I would have to curl myself into a ball, or even to my own horror lay across a chair to put pressure on my stomach. I spoke to my teacher about these awful belly pains and he agree'd that I could sit in the back of the class so that no one would notice me wiggling in pain, or acting weirdly by laying across my chair.

I told my mom about the pains and she took me seriously this time, knowing I wasn't trying to get out of anything this time. Someone suggested I might have a milk sensitivity, it seemed weird that I might, but mom was willing to give it a try. I cut out milk from my diet and the pains substantially went away, but not entirely. I now didn't have to lay across my chair in science, so at least that was good, but I did feel the need to sit with my legs drawn to my stomach at least a few times a week at different times of day. I realize now that I was compounding a problem I had with milk by not replacing my milk with water... and drinking far more of it than I had previously.

Now fast forward to me in my 30's with three children.

My first son seemed to have difficulty getting a regular consistency to his bowel movements when he was a toddler but eventually out grew it and was fine, my daughter on the other hand regularly struggled with constipation, which since I am familiar with I helped her to move past this by cutting out milks in her diet and giving her a formula that was for sensitive tummies when she was still small enough to need formula (breast feeding sadly didn't work out with her), and her problem cleared up rather well. My youngest though has the same trouble as my oldest, very loose stools, but then they started getting worse, and smelling like acid or vomit. I spoke to the pediatrician about it and they suggested that it 'could' be a bacterial problem, or that it was just 'his normal'. I don't think anyone should have so much acid running through their system and it be called 'normal'. I started him on a pro-biotic, it helped a little. His poops stopped smelling as badly and started getting a little bit more firm. But then the progress stopped and even slightly reverted. I spoke to the doctor again, they didn't have anything new to say.

Then I spoke to my chiropractor and a lady at the health food store where I buy the pro-biotics. The lady at the health food store suggested trying a glutten free diet for 3 months. I asked the chiropractor about it and he reluctantly (at first) said maybe it would be a good idea to try it and see if it helps.

Here is my understanding of glutten in people who are sensitive to it. Basically it irritates the bowels, they don't absorb it or other things the way they should and try to eliminate it as quickly as possible... quite potentially causing acidic diarrhea. This is a simplistic and not well researched method of explaining the way my son may possible be dealing with glutten in his diet.

So I've been working for about a month to get rid of all the glutten in our house. I'm not completely done with this process, but we are about 90% glutten free in our diets, and I try very hard to be sure that at least my youngest doesn't get it when he is eating.

What is the trickiest thing about changing your diet? Changing your habits! We hurriedly got ready for church yesterday and I was longingly thinking of breakfast and the thought occrured to me that there is doughnuts at church. The children ate breakfast, my husband might have gotten a bowl of cereal I'm not sure, but I do know I didn't get a bite before getting to the church. We ran right over to the doughnuts. After taking the last bite of my delicious fried plain doughnut, I suddenly realized that I was eating a food full of glutten... FAIL. Not only was I eating it, but sitting on my lap was my son who I am most adamant about not having glutten more than three quarters of the way through his own sticky glazed doughnut, and my daughter who I'm moderately concerned about having glutten (for eczema) more than half way through her chocolate frosting covered doughnut, and my oldest son just about to take one of the last bites of his glazed doughnut... FAIL! I look up at my husband as he has already finished his delicious treat and say "we are the dumbest parents on the planet." The realization hits him and he laughs "yup, we are."

And for lunch we go to steak n shake, where we carefully order things that though not really listed on the menu the way we ordered them are glutten free. My husband orders loaded fries and a bowl of chili.. a heart attack on a plate he calls it. But it comes with crackers, and he deftly takes a few from the package and pops them in his mouth and then hands a few to our son who is crying out for them.... I notice just as he pops the few crackers daddy gave him into his mouth and chews them down. UGH.... It is a habit... not an accident per-say, it is just what you do when your toddler is crying in a restaurant, give them crackers...

So no. I'm not crunchy, but yes I'm going to do all that I can to help my children when they run into problems with their poor bodies. I struggled with belly pain far too long to let my kids struggle with these things.

So currently we are a light on the milk, glutten free (attempting) peanut free (daughter has an allergy), no high fructose corn syrup, fresh or frozen fruits and veggies kind of family.... and it is HARD!!! But I'm hoping it is absolutely worth it, an even if it is not I feel like it is worth it to try.