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.

View original post 816 more words

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.  

Shine On


Thank you to Ms. Candace Marie for nominating me for the Shine On Award!  I am honored to be considered and receive any awards for my blog.  I love Candace’s blog and reading about her adventures as a new mom.  She has recently made me want warm weather (it’s winter here) and a kiddie pool for Cody.


1: Display the award logo on your blog.

2: Link back to the person who nominated you.

3: State 7 things about yourself.

4: Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

7 things about myself…..

  1. I am obsessed with all things health and simultaneously addicted to soda.
  2. I hate having long nails.
  3. I am embarrassed easily.
  4. I am a choir nerd.
  5. If I’m feeling frumpy, I can usually solve this dilemma by getting my eyebrows waxed.  Seriously makes me feel so much prettier!
  6. My husband described me as “cute but crazy” when he first met me.  This is why we didn’t start dating for over a year.
  7. I LOVE TEA.

Oh my, 15 blogs…let me see…

  1. Kinda Crunchy.  Where Jaclyn shares her natural parenting style and family life.
  2. Our Hearts, Our Love.  So enjoy reading this mama’s adventures.
  3. Makeshiftwonder.  Where Holly reflects on life and shares spiritual insight.  I love her writing style (and she’s one of my real life friends).
  4. Homesickandheatstruck.  I love the way Lucy writes about making somewhere so far away home.  Always a comfort to know when I’m not alone in this.
  5. ConfessingMyHeartOut.  This girl is young and honest.  I love it.
  6. LittleMissRose.  A fellow mum blogger.
  7. Giving Her All She’s Got.  Eileen writes about her life as a wife and mother as well as opening up about her struggles with social anxiety.
  8. Searching For Middle Ground.  Another beautiful pregnancy blog (although perhaps she’s had the little one by now?)
  9. Dreams of Midnight Feedings.  And her dream came true!  Her little bundle of joy is now almost 6 months.  It’s neat to see the babies of the mothers who’s pregnancies were around the same timing as mine.  And her daughter is super cute!
  10. Natural Birth and Parenting.  One of my favorite blogs.
  11. Now and ever more.  Another blogger who had similar pregnancy timing as me.  Love the posts about her son.  He is a cutie.
  12. From My Bathtub.  Where Jessica shares her journey with ttc and infertility.  Love her boldness to be open about this struggle and often wish I could have a coffee with her and give her a hug.
  13. “Just” a Mom.  Love her writing style.
  14. Harsh Reality.  I recently started following this blog, and it has easily become one of my favorites.  OM makes me laugh and makes me think.  Love it.
  15. Observing Expressions.  A lovely travel blog.

Thanks again, Candace!