Anchored: A Book Review

  

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If you love a good Southern mommy blog (and I hope you do , if you’re here), then Kayla Aimee’s would be one you would love.  She writes all about her life as a mom to her micro-preemie-turned-sassy-toddler Scarlette, and her writing is like talking to a friend.  She just released her first book last week, a memoir of her family’s uncertain time in the NICU following Scarlette’s birth, and how that time has shaped her and her understanding of her faith.  It is not only a beautiful story of a mother’s love, told through both tears and laughter.  It is also the story of a Father’s love for his children, and His constant presence in our lives, through good times and bad.  I remember when I became a mother, the biggest epiphany I had was my greater understanding of God’s love for me mirrored in my love for my own child.  I feel like that’s something Kayla writes about too.  AND…it’s on sale through Amazon right now! Pick up a copy <a href=”here

I’m THAT Mom

Why is it so hard to get other adults to respect your parenting decisions?  I understand you did/are doing it differently.  That’s cool.  You raise your kids, I will handle mine.  I have gotten really frustrated lately, because I can’t get certain people to respect my parenting choices. So, for the record:

  • I will breastfeed as long as we both want to.  If that’s 3 more days or 3 more weeks or 3 more months, whatever.  Not your boobs.
  • Please respect my decisions regarding what we let our child eat.  I know that French fries won’t kill him (at least not today…), and I know your kids ate a lot differently. But if you know better now, you need to do better.  So when I say he doesn’t need cake with bright orange icing, he doesn’t need cake with bright orange icing.  He likes fruits and vegetables just fine.  We allow him a few indulgences here and there for special occasions, and that’s it.  His genetics are not in his favor, so the only thing I can do for him is to teach him how to have a healthy relationship with food.  Junk food is addicting, so it’s better for him if he doesn’t ever have to deal with that.
  • Don’t sass me about his rear-facing car seat.  He has a significantly reduced risk of death or spinal cord injury if he’s in an accident while rear-facing.  I’m more concerned with his safety than his view.
  • Thank you for your opinion on me putting him in nursery at church.  I’m aware he isn’t around other kids much, but if he screams like a banshee the whole time he’s in nursery and he will sit realtively quietly with me in the service, I would prefer he stay with me.  I have read a lot about parenting views related to having children in church, and I am comfortable with my stance on it.  If he isn’t disturbing you, don’t worry about how much he is or isn’t interacting with other kids.

17 Month Update

It’s so funny to me, that even though it’s bittersweet watching him grow up, Jake is more fun to me at every new stage than he was at the one before.  His personality has grown so much in just a few short months.  And his vocabulary is quickly following.  He can now easily let you know yes or no by head shakes (and also a rather sassy face, sometimes accompanied by the word no), sign for food or milk, and point out just about anything he wants.  He knows lots of his body parts, as well as some animal sounds (woof! meow!).  He is so sweet and kind-hearted, and he loves other children (Aww! Baby!).

Breastfeeding is still awesome.  He’s definitely not nursing nearly as much, and he’s come a long way with using his sippy cups in the past month.  I am really trying to get him off of bottles, but am facing some resistance (from my MIL who watches him, not from him). I’m still pumping.  I’m officially back to having a menstual cycle, though, so we will probably start trying for baby #2 in about 6 months or so.  Overall, Jake is doing absolutely amazing, and he makes our life so joyful!

Life Changing

Y’all.  I can’t even find the words to verbalize how much this new job has changed the game for me.  It’s like I’m a whole new person.  I get up in the morning and I get ready, and I get Jake ready, and we aren’t rushing out the door.  When I get home, his dad has already picked him up, and we get to eat dinner together and I’m not too exhausted to play with him.  Then we do bath time and snuggles, and he’s in bed by 8:30.  And then, I actually get to hang out with my husband!  And I’m off every. Single. Sunday.  All of them! It’s awesome!

I just really wanted to share how it was going with y’all because it’s such a testimony to me. I was trying to do it my way and I was hitting a brick wall. But when I finally handed it over to God (like, really handed it over), He answered almost immediately.  It’s such a blessing for us.

Lazy Summer Days

We have been away for a few days, enjoying a much needed vacation.  It was such a blessing to see my son enjoy the beach.  I cannot count the number of times I held back tears because of the bittersweet beauty of it all.  His little toes in the sand and surf, his little hands splashing in the pool, and his love for our family.  He is more than I could ever have hoped for.  Sometimes, in the monotony of our hustle and bustle, I forget.  I forget how the world is still so full of wonder for him.  I forget to treasure each moment.  But this trip reminded me.  “Behold, children are a gift from the Lord.”

God’s Plans…

… Are bigger than ours.  I am reminding myself of this as I step out blindly in faith.  I’m leaving the only real job I’ve ever had with coworkers that I LOVE (but with hours I hate), trying to follow a plan that I believe is God’s will for my life.

Let me start at the beginning.  A few weeks ago, I was completely spent.  I was physically and emotionally drained.  When Jake laid down for a nap, I told my husband I was going to pick up a quick easy dinner and I was going ALONE.  In the car, I found myself praying aloud.  “I have no idea what I’m doing with my life.  My plans aren’t working.  Please just show me what I’m supposed to do, not my will, but Yours.”  Just acknowledging my own failures out loud was somehow freeing, a little weight lifted.
A few hours later, my brother-in-law tagged me in a Facebook post about a job opening.  I applied.  Within the week, I had an interview set up.  I have applied and interviewed for a LOT of jobs over the past 2 years, but haven’t really been moved that any of them were the right fit.  I turned it over to the Lord.  “Not my will, but Yours.” 

Another week or so went by, and I got the job offer.  Better schedule, including being off EVERY Sunday, but a pretty drastic pay cut.  Hubs was unsure, and, honestly, so was I.  We decided to think and pray about it.  On our way to church (where we hadn’t been in over a month), I joked that maybe the sermon would be about how to make good decisions.  AND IT WAS.  Y’all, it actually was.  It was about following God’s plan, and Him providing for your needs when you do.

Over the next few days, we talked and prayed and argued.  With a heart for motherhood, I know that no full time job is going to give me what I want most. But we have bills to pay, and I can’t leave my husband hanging, having to work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet.  Finally, we decided for me to take the new job (and roughly 1/3 salary cut -eek!).  Then we decided to reevaluate in 6 months. So here we go.  I start my new job June 15, and while I’m absolutely terrified, I have the peace that this plan is bigger than I am, and I’m not alone.  “Not my will, but Yours.”

Choices

Today at church, the preacher spoke about choices.  It was kind of perfect timing because we are working our way through some choices in our family right now.  We talked about how sometimes God puts us in a crappy situation to teach us, and how sometimes that’s when our faith grows the most.  Also, he talked about how sometimes, you need to listen to God’s plan rather than your own, and when you do, He will fill in the blanks that you can’t figure out. While we pray and marinate on that wisdom at our home, I hope it rings true for you as well.

16 Month Breastfeeding Update

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately, but what better way to come back than with a breastfeeding update?!

16 months finds us still nursing fairly successfully.  Jake still doesn’t sleep 100% through the night, so nighttime is when we nurse most.  We still nurse a good bit during the day too, though, because someone doesn’t like to take more than about 3 sips from a cup… Needless to say, that means I’m still pumping so he can drink from a bottle when I’m at work.  You know how people tell you to never say never in parenthood?  Yeah.  I was that mom who was like MY baby will NOT be sucking a bottle after 12 months.  But I also thought I’d wean at 12 months, so now I know that I don’t know anything.  Parenthood.  So now that I’m down off my high horse, I’ve purchased literally 10 different cups, and he hates all of them.  Boo.  And I’m struggling with the pumping at this point, though, because it takes so much effort and I’m getting so little milk.  Double boo.
Also, possibly TMI here, but I think my menstrual cycle may be coming back after 2 full years, which isn’t helping the milk dilemma.  I had some light spotting for about 3 days, so we will see…  My hubby is really wanting another baby, but with my history of PCOS, who knows how that will turn out?  I’m cautiously optimistic because of how quickly Jake was conceived, but I’m not getting overly invested in the idea of another child just yet.  I don’t think I’m quite ready yet, anyway.

the Journey

It has been 15 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days since my son made his triumphant journey from womb to world.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the beginning of my journey as well.  Motherhood is a precious gift, but an awesome responsibility as well.  More often than not, I am floundering along, praying that, by the grace of God, my son will turn out alright – perhaps in spite of me rather than because of me.  Sometimes, I am certain that I’m doing everything all wrong.  Sometimes, I am so focused on my shortcomings as a mother that I forget the beauty of the everyday moments.  But motherhood is a journey, not a destination.
Here’s to the moms, and here’s to the journey.  Happy Mother’s Day.