Thursday, March 29, 2012

getting things done

Motherhood puts a whole new meaning to the term "busy."

Holy cow... I could be doing so many things with my time, it's crazy! It seems like every moment, my brain is spinning, what should I be doing right now? And don't worry, I'm not stressed about life or overworking myself. I feel like I'm handling it and growing into the mom position. I'm just adjusting to thinking about an additional person to care for, make sure that he's bathed, clothes are washed, etc.

It is especially funny how fast my mind is moving when Brayden isn't in my arms and sleeping somewhere, with Daddy, etc. My seemingly single-minded thought is, "How much can I get done before I get to hold him again?" and if he's sleeping, "How much longer is he going to sleep?"

I feel like I'm playing a squeeze game and trying to squeeze all my time and chores into an undisclosed period of time while Brayden naps or hangs with someone else. It makes me laugh.

Being down on bedrest while pregnant has taught me a few things about getting stuff done though. First, it's taught me the beauty of accomplishing one thing. I am so happy when I put away one shirt - which makes me smile at how good I feel after one when there's a stack still left behind. Second, I'm learning to utilize every moment. If I'm walking upstairs, I think, "What can I bring with me?" When I come down or switch rooms, I think the same thing. I'm always trying to contemplate what I can do to accomplish something.

Granted, all of my small things don't always look like they add up to anything, but every bit helps. :-)

My friend, Stacey, passed on some encouraging words from Renee Burt who teaches at HomeMakers at Living Word Christian Center. What I remember Renee's general idea was: "When I see something I can do, if I can do it in a minute or less, I should do it right away." That stuck with me and now if I see something I can quick do, I try to do it or at least have an argument within myself telling me to do it.

I have a long ways to go, but I really like the journey. I've always enjoyed multitasking and having multiple things on my brain and I think I've learned pretty well how to put something on the "backburner" if it stresses me out to think about it. I only ponder what I can handle and I'm always setting goals for what I can do within a time period.

I am very grateful to the Lord for His grace that helps me do everything I need to do as a wife and mother. He's awesome! :-) I'm not always the best at listening or following through on what He wants me to do, but I really do want to follow Him and when I mess up, He is amazing at letting me keep coming back to Him and trying again. Thank you, Jesus!

Friday, March 23, 2012

remembering brody

Ever since Brayden was born, I've been thinking a lot about my first son, Brody. For those of you who don't know, he was born on November 21, 2010 at 21 weeks along in my pregnancy. He was a beautiful one pound, one foot boy - absolutely perfect - who lived an hour before going to meet Jesus. (He's lucky - he's in heaven!!!)

I don't know if I ever thought about how I'd respond to having Brayden after Brody didn't make it, but it's been an interesting ride. During my pregnancy, I had to pinch myself that the baby in me was a completely different baby than the first time. After I met Brayden, I actually missed Brody the most I've ever missed him because I saw what I missed the first time.

So yes, I've thought about Brody a ton and miss him dearly as I wonder what Brody would have looked like and how life would have been with him around or even more so, both Brayden and Brody - I would love, love, love to have both boys on earth right now.

The crazy thing is that if I had Brody in my arms right now, Brayden wouldn't exist, and now I wouldn't trade Brayden for the world, especially since I know Brody is better than all of us in heaven.

That makes my mind go tilt.

What makes it tilt even more is that my grandma miscarried between my dad's older sister and him. Again, the timing works out that if that baby had stayed on this earth, my dad wouldn't have existed, which means I wouldn't exist either.


This is where I just say, God is amazing, and rely on His goodness and purposeful plan because I don't get what happened, but I know He's working everything -- bad, good, and in between -- out for His purposes.

By the way, if you read all that and got confused about which baby is Brody and which is Brayden, that's okay. I think I've said it before... Brody Mark is named in honor of my brother, Brian Mark, who passed away in October 2010. Brayden Allen is named in honor of both of them. :-) It's a wonderful way that I can remember all three of them and let their memory live on in a unique way on this earth. And I fully don't mind at all if anyone gets the names mixed up.

Also, thank you to all of my friends who remember Brody and talk about him in certain conversations. That means the world to me that you remember him.

One last thought - when asked the question about Brayden, "Is this your first?" I switch up my answer all the time, depending on the person and situation. Sometimes, I take the easy way out and say, "Yes," and other times, I say, "My first full-term" or something along those lines. Having a baby in heaven is interesting because we are family of four, but you can only see three people on earth. So I'll probably keep switching up my answer, but Brody, you always will be my firstborn and in my heart. I'm super excited to tell Brayden about you.

Okay, one final, final last thought. The best day of my life after the day I met Jesus and my wedding day, was probably the day I took Brayden home. I might have been one of the few mothers you see walking out of the birthing center crying while taking home their newborn. Given our previous situation, that day was the best, most surreal day in my life.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

mommy update!


Brayden was ten weeks yesterday. I love him very much, and it's so fun to enjoy each day and the new things each day brings. Lately we've been watching Brayden as his neck strengthens and he can hold his head better and better. He's our "big, strong boy"!

So here are a just a few of the lessons I've learned in motherhood....

1. I love cloth diapers! Erik and I talked about the possibilities last fall, and decided to go with them, especially since I knew two mom-friends of mine who used them and liked them. I think probably the biggest reason we decided to go for it is because we prefer spending cash up front then over a longer period of time. Meaning we'd rather spend money up front for diapers (and along the way hidden in our utility bills for washing) then to keep doling out $20 here and $20 there for diapers when needed. There's probably a debate on which are better, but I have noticed a lot of people using them, and I am happy to be one of them!

In case you're curious, I wound up going with Sunbaby diapers ( I didn't do a lot of research on brands. I knew someone who used them and liked them and found a few good comments on the quality and the price was right. Right now with him nursing, I just toss dirty diapers into a pail in the laundry room and when it's full, I separate the inside layer from the outside and rinse them on a cold rinse, do a hot/cold cycle with special detergent for cloth diapers (no additives or something like that - I found a list of what works/what doesn't online), and then tumble dry low. Easy, especially since I'm home throughout the day.

2. I love kissing chubby cheeks!


3. Motherhood is exhausting! When he's fussy, it can be exhausting as your mind is racing trying to figure out what is wrong - and it's especially exhausting when you go through all the regular options and he's still upset. Overall, though, Brayden is an amazing baby with a great temperament. I have learned that when I eat dairy and chocolate and perhaps onions that he'll be extra gassy. So my goal over the past month has been to avoid those things... and it's been hard! Have you ever realized how often cheese is used as a "go-to" food item? Well, at least it is for me. It's pretty funny how I blank on what foods are dairy product. I ate a vanilla blizzard from DQ and was proud for not eating chocolate, and then Erik was like, "Uhh, that's dairy. Aren't you avoiding that?" I was like, "Oh yeah!" Same thing happened with sour cream - I had a baked potato and figured I'd use sour cream to kinda "replace" the cheese and then my mom pointed out that was dairy. Whoops!

All that to say, it's an adventure to keep my eating as dairy-free as possible so I can help keep Brayden's gassiness to a minimum.

4. Motherhood is wonderful. I still can't quite comprehend that I have a wonderful son and he has likes and dislikes and a plan of God on his life. I love figuring it out, watching him grow, and having a little buddy to hang out with me every day.

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

contrary to popular belief... it is possible

Brayden is sleeping right now, so I should be sleeping too, but I have the urge to write! So while he is ...

... I will write.

Somehow I became subscribed to a pregnancy/baby magazine that has come monthly over the past few months. I probably signed up to get it for free, but I don't remember! All I know is that I'm not paying for it.

The last issue had an article that disturbed me, although I know it's true. It said that more and more couples are having babies before getting married. I don't like that because I'm a traditional Christian who believes that the Bible way to do life is to save intimacy for marriage.

I'm also disturbed by the amount of people I know who are having babies and not married. Now I'm not judging or condemning you if that's the case. I have no idea what's going on in your life, the back story, or anything at all. I'm not writing this to you. I'm writing to the teenagers who are interested in waiting until marriage but assume it's not possible based on the world they live in.

Well, I want to let you know that it is possible. You can control your desires and meet someone who respects you enough to control their desires and wait until marriage to be intimate.

I know the world has gotten even more corrupt in the past 10 years since I was a teen, but I also know that you can protect your heart by controlling the things you hear and see and what you think about and focus more on purity than fulfilling every desire you have physically.

Marriage provides a safe boundary. Within that, intimacy is a beautiful thing, and it is filled with joy because commitment protects your love. That doesn't happen outside of marriage, no matter how much you think he or she loves you.

Granted, the whole commitment within marriage thing is being tested beyond belief as divorce rates soar, but that's something for another blog post. I just wanted to say... if you are single and you want to wait until you get married, it is possible and it is worth it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

a bowl of marshmallows is too sweet

Although some may not want to admit it, we all have them: people in our lives who frustrate us, make us mad, don't make sense to our perfectly logical way of thinking, and overall just don't mix well with our personality.

The other day I was dealing with a few of those people and was reminded that God loves them just as much as He loves me. He thinks they are awesome, loved, amazing. He created their personality (as much as it may not seem to blend with mine). They have a purpose on this earth, just as I do.

My little mind can't wrap itself around that truth, but I know it's a reality. Then I remembered the cereal Lucky Charms. Everyone's favorite part of Lucky Charms seems to be those sugary puffs of marshmallow goodness. Isn't is great to pick those out and eat them on their own?

The only problem is that if you want to have a complete bowl of cereal for breakfast, you would be sugared out with a bowl of marshmallows. The crunchy cereal part is needed to balance out the sweetness of the marshmallows.

People are the same way. We need all types of people to make this world work. We all are friends with different people and each one of us has a unique purpose and reason on this earth, without which the plan of God wouldn't be complete. If the world was filled with one type of personality, we would be overloaded with too much sugar or too much crunch. We need variety to be the "spice of life."

So that's what I've been pondering recently. The people who frustrate me are loved by God and needed on this earth. Their perspective is just as important as mine and I need to learn to love - even like! - and appreciate them like God does.