I’m still alive

I’m slightly embarrassed about not updating in such an absurd amount of time, but I’m here now.  Here’s what’s happened in the last year or so since I’ve written anything:

  • Cody had his first birthday, started walking, climbing, talking (a lot), and looking like a little boy instead of a baby.  I weaned him at 19 months, and he is sleeping through the night now (yay!)
  • We bought a house!
  • I signed up to sell Scentsy!  I was at the point where I needed something of my own, and Scentsy has built in a bit of “me time” where I can introduce myself as Samantha instead of “Cody’s mom” or “Daniel’s wife” (as much as I love those titles).  🙂  I have also found that it has helped me feel a little less homesick in Australia as the fragrances are American and the warmers are beautiful.  Here’s my website: sammakesscents.scentsy.com.au

I can’t think of anything else at the moment, but I will tell you that I have more to write about…I am just thinking of what else to share.  I hope it won’t be quite so long the next time I get around to writing.  Admittedly, sometimes the internet freaks me out and keeps me from sharing.  Until next time.

Josie’s Birth Story

This is a beautiful, touching, amazing birth story. A must read. 🙂


It has been a while since I have added a post to my blog…sometimes life gets in the way, but at the end of the day, there are some stories that just need to be written down. They are life events that simply change you as a person, and this story I want to write down while it is still fresh in my mind!

Twelve days ago I gave birth to my second baby. After my first pregnancy and the birth of our son, I turned into what one might call a bit of a “birth junkie.” There is truly nothing like the oxytocin high of pure joy, relief, and love that exists after a baby enters this world from your body without any medication blocking the release of any of those emotions. A lot of people think I’m crazy for not wanting drugs to take the edge off…

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Back from my “break”

I simply don’t know exactly where to start in updating you all on where I’ve been and what we’ve been up to.  

I needed a break.  Living with other people put pressure on me that I didn’t know existed.  We have lived in a very tiny bedroom with all our stuff and us in it for almost 6 months.  In the times where I have had some spare time, I have had zero privacy.  So, I guess I needed a break from blogging because it felt like my life was on display enough…but I have missed it and keeping up with all my mama friends on here…so I’m back.  I hope you don’t mind.  🙂

We are still “homeless,” but currently house sitting for some friends for 6 more weeks.  Decisions need to be made about what to do next, but I am hoping and praying we have a place to move into by the end of these few weeks.  

I need to gather my thoughts about what to write about first, but rest assured you’ll be reading quite a few posts in the coming weeks.  Thanks for reading.  

Hello again

It’s been a little while.  Apparently I needed a bit of a break.  Every time I would think about writing, my mind would go blank.  Well, I’m not going to promise for a bunch of posts, but the Lord has put quite a bit on my heart to share with you in the coming weeks.

We are moving in two weeks, and we don’t know where we’re going to live yet!  I mean, we know what town we’re going to live in, but we haven’t found a place to actually move into yet.  Stressful.  

My little man is doing good.  He’s crawling like a champ and working on his next tooth (sleep regression–again).  He has started laughing more and more and doing things to make us laugh now, which is super fun.  He knows the word “book” (can’t say it but when I say “where’s the book?” he will find it!) and can say “mama” and “dada.”  He gets cuter every day, and I love being a mother.

Anyway, will update more later as Cody just woke up.  

Simple Beauty

Growing up, I waited and waited to turn eight–the summer my parents allowed me to fly on a plane all by myself and visit my grandma and grandpa in Delaware.  

Grandma Brown was a feisty, spunky, sweet, hilarious woman that loved beer and Mcdonalds.  She owned a frame shop–Joanie’s Frames and Things–and paid us $5 a week to “help” when we had our summer visits.  She would let us stay up late watching cartoon network and loved Lifetime movies.  She would’ve loved Devious Maids (have you watched it?  A new show that I am loving).  Every weekend, we would go to a campground in Maryland (a couple hours drive) and stay in her camper.  She bought me a cheap bike that I could ride around on and bought these funky juice boxes that were basically just sugar syrup (but SO good).  On the way there, she would play gameboy the whole way.  She had all the gadgets to go with it, including a light up box thing that went over the screen so that she could play in the dark.  And, of course, she had one for me to play with, too.  (Thanks to Grandpa for driving).  

Six years ago, my cousin got married, and she and Grandpa came to their wedding.  I can’t begin to tell you how painful it was to see that Grandma couldn’t walk well anymore.  She was only in her sixties, but the muscles in her legs were so weak, she had to use a walker.  My heart broke.  A few months later, I got a call one morning that she had passed away…I cried to my boyfriend (now husband) and he took me out to breakfast instead of going to chapel (Bible college).  I ordered eggs benedict for some reason, and now I can’t eat them with out thinking of that morning.  The taste of eggs benedict and tears.

Later that week, I went to her funeral.  I saw photos of her life and mourned the loss of not knowing her better, of not writing her or calling more often.  Everyone told me I looked like her.  When the minister preached at her funeral, he talked of all the framing Grandma did over the years for the community and then pointed to all the pictures in the room.  Grandma had framed them.  And, indeed, Grandma had framed photos and art and memories around the town.  Her frames hung in most houses in the community.  And it was beautiful.

Simple.  It was simple what she did.  She had a talent and a knack, and she went with it.  And now the world is a more beautiful place because of it.  

Grandma, you taught me that being who we are and living our lives, enjoying our lives, is a simple way to spread beauty and happiness…a simple way to have a legacy.  Thank you for all the summers and memories.  Thanks for the jokes, the t.v. time, the hummingbird watching, the campground fun, the gameboy, and for being my spunky grandma.  You are unforgettable, and I think of you very often.  I promise to be who I am and stop being ashamed.

Baby led weaning

I feel like perhaps I have had a lot of somber posts lately, and while I want to be authentic and share my struggles, I also want to share the joys of each step in this journey.  

I realised after writing my weaning lament that a lot of changes happened in such a short time that week, and I’m sure that triggered some of those feelings.  The scary breath holding spell, two teeth in one week, and we started solids this past week.  Phew!Image

I was excited to start Cody on solids (although it’s a little bittersweet).  I had never heard of “baby led weaning” before having him, but my lactation consultant and doctor recommended this method for starting solids.  The idea is to ditch the purees and feed the baby what you are eating.  Use big pieces of food with a “handle” so they can reach and grasp what they want to eat and let them have at it!  

Of course, every parent’s thought is…won’t they choke?  I have been assured by the experts mentioned above that they will not choke, and the book “Baby Led Weaning” describes why.  A baby has a gag reflex toward the front of his mouth instead of toward the back like us, so when he eats normal food, he will start to gag on it long before it reaches the “forbidden area” of his airways.  If food does get down that far, coughing is the best method to get it out.  Still, I have adamently reviewed what to do just in case.Image

The book says to let them eat whatever you’re eating with the exception of nuts, salt, sugar, raw honey, eggs,  raw bran and bran products, peanut butter, milk, and pretty much any drinks that aren’t water or breast milk.  Because I have a gluten intolerance and my husband a dairy intolerance (although he doesn’t often admit it, ’cause we love our cheese), I am going to avoid giving Cody these foods until he is 12 months or older.  

So, my experience?  Well, it has been fun.  Watching Cody figure out how to pick things up, watching his face as he tries different foods, hearing his little exclamations that tell me whether he likes it or not, seeing him look at Daniel and me and try to imitate what we’re doing, realising that he is such a boy because he dumps his water out all over his try and splashes in it after immersing his food in it.  I guess the fun is the messiness of it and watching him discover and being able to include him in our meals.  



Hectic Week

Oh.My.Goodness…this week has been a doozy.  

I thought I was going to lose my little boy last Monday.  He woke up from a nap and was acting normal.  After a few minutes, he started to get fussy, and I needed to take him into town to get some photos done for his passport.  I handed him to Daniel so I could get everything ready to go, and within 2 minutes, he started screaming…like he never has before…I picked him back up, and he was drenched in sweat (even his hair was wet).  We took his temp and it was normal.  I tried to feed him and he screamed.  Nothing helped.  At this point, I started to panic.  Cody is so not the type to scream about nothing, and we had no idea what was wrong.  Daniel took over when he saw I was starting to have a panic attack.  He changed Cody’s diaper, and Cody started to calm down.  And then he started to turn really pale.  And then he passed out.

I can’t tell you the horror we both felt.  We kept saying his name over and over, and he would rouse a bit and pass out again.  I went to look up the doctor’s number and kept hearing Daniel call “Cody, Cody.  Cody, wake up.”  

“Should I call an ambulance?”  I said.

“Yes, call an ambulance!”

When the paramedics arrived, Cody was awake again, but extremely pale and lethargic.  He wasn’t playing or smiling or being himself at all.  Long story (sort of) short, they drove us to the dr’s office, and the doctor said he thought it was a breath holding episode.  Have you ever heard of those?  I thought they were just when a toddler or young kid was mad and held their breath to upset someone, but it turns out they are much more than that.  It’s funny, too, because I was reading about them on Modern Mommyhood’s blog a few weeks ago.  A breath holding episode is when a baby or child gets upset and cries so hard that they basically hyperventilate and lose the ability to breathe in.  You have to wait until they pass out for them to start breathing again.  Terrifying.  

The good thing is, Cody is doing well and we know that breath holding spells are not serious.  Hopefully it won’t ever happen again, but even if it does, we know what to expect and he will grow out of them by the age of 5 or 6.

A few days later, he was chewing on my finger (a favorite past time of his) and I felt something.  Lo and behold, he had a little baby tooth popping up!  I never thought I’d be so excited over a tooth, but it is so darn cute (but very sharp).  And today I saw that he already has a second one popping up!  

So there you go, my week.  Breath holding spells and two teeth in less than a week.  Phew, I hope this week is super boring.

The thought of weaning

I had a realisation tonight.  My baby is 6 months old.  I have planned to breastfeed him until he’s a year old…halfway there.  And I’m so not ready to think about weaning.

I thought I would be eager to wean.  I thought I would be ready to have my boobs back, my room back, my bed back…

but it’s not that simple.

I always thought it was weird when mothers said that they loved nursing.  I guess I just thought of it anatomically instead of the connection side of it.  

And now, I am that mother saying to you that I love nursing.  Nursing is a time when I can cradle my baby, cuddle him, and savour my moments with him as a baby.  As he gets older and busier, nursing is a time when he is still and cuddly.  Nursing is a time when I can breathe in and relax, forgetting my anxieties and troubles.  Nursing not only provides me with a sacred time with my son, but also I know I am giving him the best gift of nourishment physically and emotionally.  I am giving him the gift of antibodies, vitamins, minerals, lowered risk of disease, and a place of comfort and security.  I’m giving myself a decreased risk of breast cancer and, again, time to sit down and quiet my soul.

It makes me cry to think about giving this beautiful ritual up anytime soon.  Because my baby wouldn’t wean on his own for 2-4 years, and maybe that’s what he needs.  Because when he does wean, he will be a little less my baby and a little more grown up.  And both of those realisations sting.  Oh, my heart.

I will cherish every second and hope that we’re both ready when the time comes…whether that’s at 1 year or beyond.

An Uplifting Adoption Story

Such a beautiful story of adoption. Definitely worth the read.

Kinda Crunchy

You have GOT to read this amazing adoption story I stumbled upon yesterday! It will leave you in awe and smiling. Caleb and I have been talking about adopting from China someday so naturally I was googling about it.  This was the first story that caught my eye, I’m so happy I read it and can now share it with you! It’s from TODAY Moms.

‘We just had this love for her’: Family adopts Chinese baby with cancer

Lisa FlamTODAYJuly 2, 2013 at 8:06 AM ET
Courtesy Shelly White
The White family welcomes Mya, wearing a green shirt, at the airport when she arrives from China in May.

Their love for her came in an instant, and she filled them with a sense of peace.

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Bloggity Blog

I have to get something out in the open.  You may have noticed my excessive posting.  I decided a couple months ago that I wanted to try to earn money blogging, and I read somewhere that writing a post every day for 4 months was a good place to start.  So, I’ve pressured myself to accomplish this goal.  What I’ve found is that my posts have become more of a chore than a joy, and the writing hasn’t improved through the process.  Phew, I feel better just saying all that.

My new goal is to write 2 posts a week.  Some weeks I will do more, and some weeks I might do less.  I hope through this new goal that I can focus on making a more quality post and find a bit more joy in the process.

MIght I add a warm welcome to my new followers, too.  I will say that the increase in posts have brought about 20 new followers, which is incredibly exciting for me.  Thanks for showing interest in this little blog.  And stay tuned for a giveaway when I reach 100 followers!

Have a great rest of your week, and Happy Independence Day to my American readers.