This Abundant Life

This Abundant Life
"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Calling For Help!

  • Okay, I realize that my post-baby body is going to be different. My hips have probably moved and my boobs could, very possibly, stay bigger than they were before. I also realize that my stomach muscles are probably even more lax than before baby...and they were pretty lax to begin with! However, what you see here is a beautiful woman, blessed with many wonderful features from the Lord, who is also sporting extra weight and unnecessary fat.
  • March 2009

I do not expect to come up with long, lean legs (not in the genes!) and little perky breasts...that's what surgery is for :) !!!


  • However, I know I can lose the extra weight and tone up. I need cut out the sugar, take my walks and do my Pilates at home...this is not intense training...I CAN do it!
    October 2007

  • I realize that I will probably just be getting pregnant again at the end of the year...but with the next baby...I want the BEFORE picture of me in a bikini to be from May 2009 (not still from October 2007)!!!!
  • Who will ask me about my progress??? Accountability is Key for me. I don't like being embarrassed by my lack of discipline.
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Gwendolyn's 6 Month Photo Shoot

    Enjoy the fun photos of our beautiful little silly one...


    Sunday, March 22, 2009

    Peas, Please!


    Today was Gwendolyn's first taste of real food! I don't know if she actually swallowed any of the pureed peas her Daddy fed her...but it was fun, non-the-less.






    And, nearly as important as this step in her baby-hood is MY culinary accomplishment. I am VERY proud of my peas! It's fun to make the food and I am excited to do more. I love the way it looks and it's cool that I know exactly what is going into the food. I have no idea how it tastes, because I HATE peas...but look how pretty!!!


    It's a VERY easy process, but you wouldn't know it if you were in my kitchen this morning. I actually burned a whole pot...apparently I don't know how to use a simple steaming basket. I broke the Magic Bullet...but now I get to go shopping at Costco for another food processor!


    I have a couple of mom friends, Mandy and Sarah, who each make their own baby food and have sworn by it's simplicity and their enjoyment of the process. They both love the Cooking for Baby cookbook from Williams-Sonoma...and now I know why. It's so pretty and nice and helpful...and fun! It's not necessarily an organic cookbook...but the purpose is to encourage wholesome, less processed cooking for baby.

    Saturday, March 21, 2009

    Yeah, Aunt Amy!



    Gwendolyn and I took a day trip to Phoenix to visit Aunt Amy. Gwendolyn loved being with her, as did her Mom. Amy is a beautiful musician with a voice like an angel. She loves others with Christ's love and she's one of those people who just make you feel good about yourself. Plus, she's a ton of FUN and really HOT!

    video


    • Looking Back...


    • My college roommates (below: at my baby shower) are my dear friends. God has used them in my life to show me how to really love, how to walk a life of repentance and honesty and how to PARTY! I love them!
    Jenni, Jenná, Amy, Jen

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Colic

    Colic is, arguably, an over-diagnosed condition and, frankly, a word that is attached to just about any baby who cries a lot. There is question as to whether or not "colic" even exists. However, when you have a newborn who cries and screams all the time and, persistently, for at least 3 hours in the evening every day, for weeks at a time...you'll use any word you can to try and express to others the devastation of the reality you are living in.

    --And, it's not just us moms who suffer from post-partum depression or "baby blues" with these "colicky" babies...although it doesn't help the situation!

    --At our home, we are out of the "colic" stage - Praise God!!! But, I ran across this short article in Babytalk Magazine that sounded so very familiar. There is nothing earth-shattering or even liberating, in this short article...as is the nature and reality of the "colic" situation, but I thought it could be a comfort to someone else. Read, if of interest, or pass along!

    http://www.parenting.com/article/Baby/Health/Can-Colic-Be-Cured

    Sunday, March 15, 2009

    Cloth Diapers...Continued

    • Today, I plan to order my cloth diapers. I am excited about it and it's fun hearing how other people I know are using them. I never thought I would even consider it! It's cool to me how much more of a flexible person I am becoming since Gwendolyn arrived. In general, I feel I'm just becoming more of the person who God made me to be...someone who knows Him more, enjoys my blessings more and actually wants to love others more.

      Side note on the whole "better person" thing...I think it's important to comment on what could appear to be a new-found appreciation for "nobility" or "good" actions.

    • I believe the Bible to be the ultimate word on Truth and this is how GOOD the Bible says I am:
    • "...None is righteous, no, not one, no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." Romans 3:10-12:
    • "But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name... Isaiah 64:6,7

    • It is only through the unmerited favor that God has shown me that I am even able to put my faith and trust in Him and through His death and resurrection that I have been made perfect and through my identification in Him that I am whole and GOOD.


    • My new interest in Cloth Diapers and Organic foods and cutting back on using 100 paper towels in one day, has no bearing, whatsoever, on the question of my "goodness".


    • What's more...I've got to say, my reasoning for wanting to switch to Cloth doesn't even have a whole heck of a lot to do with what is good for our planet...although, I feel I am growing in my desire to be purposeful with my consumption.


    • Also, I would be dishonest if I said I was doing it to be wiser with money...although I think this is a very good goal and something I definitely want to get better at.

    • The truth is...The start-up costs are SIGNIFICANT. We will be spending over $400 for 24 diapers and also purchasing a few accessories (diaper sprayer for toilet, etc.). These very convenient diapers are the most expensive way to cloth diaper...there are other options and you can mix and match with cheaper ones. Let's not forget that I will be doing an extra wash every two days, for the diapers, alone.


    • So, yes, in the long run, this WILL save us a good deal of money, especially taking good care of the diapers and expecting many to last to the next kid. Also, it's nice to not be throwing 8-10 diapers in the trash every day. But, ultimately, for me and my husband, it's about the possible health effects that the absorbent chemicals in the disposable diapers may have on our baby. Also, they are totally CUTE! Of course, my baby looks like a sumo wrestler at night when I stuff it with an extra pad for more absorbency!


    • I hope this non-conclusive, only slightly-researched information has helped anyone who is curious about the subject! I know that I have really enjoyed getting info and opinions from friends and strangers who have gone before me in this task.

    Friday, March 13, 2009

    Cloth Diapers...Continued

    • Okay, so Gwen and I ordered a diaper to test out (money back guarantee)! They're not kidding when they say, "This is not your Grandmother's (or Mother's) cloth diaper." It's so cute and so soft and comfy...I wish I was wearing it! Wait, I take that back...I don't want to be diapers!
    • Anyway...there certainly is a whole cloth diapering routine with washing and wearing and even how you set things up at the changing station...but I'm totally excited about it! I just hope I'm not delusional and this isn't some honeymoon stage that will come crashing down on me and one day I'll be sitting in a pile of poopy diapers thinking, "What have I DONE!!!!"
    • I will be continuing to talk about these things in my next blog, but for now I just thought you ought to see my little diaper model. I just can't believe I get to be home with this smiling fat one and see every one of her little looks! What a blessing!

    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Bumbling Thoughts On Baby Bottoms


    - I haven't been Blogging, because I've been "researching". I am mulling over many things (fun things). Some of these things have to do with Cloth Diapers, Organic Food, Toxic Crib Mattresses and Cow Buying (more explanation later).




    - Anyway, I'm interested in sharing my thoughts, not just because I like to hear myself talk (type)...although that's always a plus...but because I am always faced with the question "Is this crazy...have I totally lost my mind?" Call it "insecurity" (which it probably is), but it's always nice to find out what other (real) people are saying and nice to get healthy views to evaluate. Also, especially in times of need, It's nice to know you are not alone and that you really have not lost your mind.






    - Of course, I must admit, I always feel weird when others think of, express or figure out something before I do. Call it "pride" (which it definitely is), but it's a nice reminder that I need others and that, contrary to what I originally had thought, God did not make me the smartest woman in the world.




    - So, first topic...cloth diapers...very interesting. I was going to write a bunch of background on why I've been thinking about the topic and am considering switching (which I will do), but I think Jenny Clark did a great job at that on her blog, and since she's the one who got me really concentrating on the topic (not by coercion, but by sheer curiosity and an already existing question about it, in my mind), I thought her blog might be a nice place to start.




    - I look forward to continuing the topic, but for now I invite you to view Jenny's comments and a nice graphic of the diaper in question, by clicking on the title to this blog (or on the link below).




    - Oh, by the way...the whole Infant Potty Training thing is all her. I will be NO help on the subject. Not that I think she's strange or anything for wanting to do it...I just, personally, plan to have her flown in to potty train my infant!


    * http://www.michaelandjennyclark.com/?p=255#comment-1443



    Monday, March 02, 2009

    Nursing


    I haven't written an update about nursing because it's not a fun topic for me, these days. You may remember a previous blog about how poorly things were going and how Gwendolyn was hungry and not getting enough to eat and that's when I started supplementing with formula.

    Well, I spent weeks trying to build up my milk supply by a feeding process of nursing until she was frustrated, then giving a bottle, then pumping for 15 minutes. I did it much of the time...but not every time. I also tried drinking lots of water...but at the end of the day, somehow, I never had reached my intended amount. I planned to take vitamins and an herbal supplement that might help with milk supply...but started to forget after the first couple of days.
    -- Nursing was really important to me...but somehow I did a half-ass
    (pardon my french) job at the fight to continue it. Why?
    -- Maybe it's because I felt like I was failing and it
    almost felt better to let it slip away instead of continue to spend enormous
    amounts of time, energy and emotional concentration on something that I felt
    wasn't actually going to get better.
    -- Maybe it's because when I gave Gwendolyn a bottle, she was happy and
    full and she slept better and played better and stopped crying.
    -- Maybe it's because the nursing process was so stressful for me and Gwendolyn when she would be frustrated with what she was getting from me
    and start squirming and shrieking for more milk. When I gave her the bottle...it
    felt like a relief.
    Anyway...Gwendolyn turned 5 months on Saturday. I've been in this crazy feeding cycle for the last month and a half. Every day there is less breast milk and more formula...which is to be expected with a supply and demand system like nursing. I'll probably still continue to try and nurse her at each feeding before giving the bottle (for the next few weeks)...but I've no longer been pumping after each feeding. I think letting it slip away gradually has been easier to take, for me.

    I am so thankful to the Lord for giving me 3 months of almost exclusively breastfeeding. I am so thankful that he allowed me to get through the extreme pain I had in the beginning and gave me the gift of really getting the hang of the nursing thing and the opportunity to even feel like I knew what I was doing, even in public. That feeling of really "getting it" lasted about 3 weeks before things started going south...but it was very meaningful to me.

    I'm so thankful to the Lord for answering my prayer..."Lord, I pray that I would be able to nurse my baby and that she would be able to get all she needs from my milk...and if this is not your will, I pray that you would enable me to trust you."

    Well, as I've mentioned, the nursing thing is NOT going well and will be ceasing soon. But, my faithful God has answered my prayer...I do feel less upset and anxious about this than I ever dreamed I would have, at the beginning. I am able to trust Him with the feeding of my daughter. I praise Him for that!