Life Happenings

We have been keeping very busy lately! Here are some pictures of our recent activities.

Cute and itsy bitsy!

We went to a Halloween party as the Incredibles family: Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, and “Mae Mae” 🙂

Sam is always working hard, whether for his job at Relias, studying for a sermon, or studying for his school.

I also started back school this week. Baby wearing is the way to go while studying!

Mae looking adorable in her Daddy’s lap (as he’s studying some more) representing for the Bulldogs!

We walked about half a mile to downtown Baldwyn to a nice coffee shop twice last weekend.

Mae is two months old! Where has the time gone?!

Last week Clay was home for his fall break and he got to meet Mae. They both loved each other!

Life is busy, but it is a wonderful adventure!

High Goals, Low Expectations

High expectations are hard.

I’ve struggled a lot with high expectations recently, but I’m learning a lot from them.

I’ve always been pretty bad about having crazy high expectations, then being extremely disappointed when I don’t meet them.

When I went to Florida College, nearly twelve hours away from home, I expected to adapt right to college life, make tons of friends, and excel socially and academically. Then I called home crying after two weeks, begging to come home. (But I recovered when I met and fell in love with my future husband, and I also became closer to some people who are my best friends).

Again, when I graduated with my AA degree, got married, and moved across the world to Romania within two months I thought I would surprise everyone and be totally fine and adapt to marriage and the Romanian culture with ease. Instead I cried every day and wondered what in the world was wrong with me. (But our year in Romania turned out to be wonderful and a blessing. I actually really miss it right now!)

When I found out I was pregnant I had great expectations of running throughout my pregnancy, having a healthy baby and a natural birth, and breastfeeding. Yet, as I mentioned in Mae’s birth story, at 37 weeks I found out she was not growing and I was induced at 38 weeks. My body did not readily respond to the pitocin, and after hours on an extremely high dose I gave up my plan of a natural birth (which was already unnatural due to the pitocin) and got an epidural.

After Mae was born we had our golden hour together, and I was eager to begin feeding her. But I realized I did not know what to do. I kept wondering if someone was going to tell me how to feed her. When Mama came back in she helped me, but I never could get Mae to latch.

We got settled in a room and a nurse showed me how to do the football hold, but since she still would not latch she showed me how to hand express and feed her drops of milk from my finger. I just cried that first night because I felt like I couldn’t feed Mae and I was a terrible mother.

I did not expect breastfeeding to be hard. Now that I am reading a lot about it, I am realizing that I was not prepared at all. Many people have said that mothers tend to read up a lot on childbirth and take classes, but, like me, expect breastfeeding just to come naturally. It is worth it, but it is hard, and support is essential. I have been so blessed to have the support, help, and advice of so many mothers that I really admire.

The day after I got home from the hospital I was still having a lot of trouble getting Mae to latch and I felt like she was not eating enough, so I called the lactation consultant at the hospital. She asked me to come in that afternoon so she could watch me and help me. She could not get Mae to latch either, so she decided to give me a nipple shield since she was so small.

That thing was like magic! Mae immediately latched on and ate more than she ever had in her life. And I thought all our problems were solved.

I continued to feed Mae with the shield most of the time, trying to wean off of it, but we’re still using it about 60% of the time. She ate often and long, and I could see her growing (way too fast in my opinion!)

Yet at her two-month check up this week her weight had fallen below the curve from her previous check up. I felt like she had been eating and growing, but this is what I feared. Thankfully, my doctor did not immediately suggest supplementing with formula, but gave me tips on increasing my milk supply.

I hope I do not have to supplement with formula. But I am a firm believer that fed is best, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to keep Mae healthy. It will be hard, because it is not the perfect plan I expected, but it will be okay.. So I will take Mae back to the doctor in a week for a weight check, and if she needs to have formula supplements it will be fine.

As Mama told me, I am learning (or trying to learn) to have “high goals, but low expectations.” And if I don’t meet my high goals it is okay. I’ll keep trying my hardest, but also giving myself a little grace.

Content, sleepy baby

What I’m Reading: October ’18

I tend to have lots of books going at one time so if I get tired of one, I move on the to next, and then eventually back again to the first. Here is what I’ve been reading lately!

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller

I listened to this book on Audible, and the whole time I was wishing I had the book so I could go back and reread certain parts, underline, and make notes. I tried to order it while we were in Romania from Book Depository because they claim to ship anywhere in the world for free. Sadly, we never received our books and we were unable to cancel the order and get our money back. So I waited a while, and finally purchased it on Kindle. I began reading it in Romania, but I never finished it and I recently started over.

As with all books written by man, it is not perfect, but I am finding it very helpful. Keller is an excellent writer (we also really enjoyed his Meaning of Marriage), and he explains things so they are easy to understand. Prayer is something I struggle with and desire to improve, and this book is helping guide me in my Bible study and on improving my prayer life.

The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

This is an amazing book about being a mother, written from a Biblical worldview. I am reading this with my sister-in-love and we are calling each other to talk about it and answer discussion questions once a week. We are both very new mothers and I love learning together. It has been a huge encouragement so far, and I am looking forward to reading more books together. We have decided to have a “Sally Clarkson Book Club” because The Ministry of Motherhood, The Lifegiving Home, The Lifegiving Parent, and Educating the Whole Hearted Child are on our list for the future!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I first read Anne when I was around 10 years old, and I read the whole Anne series when I was 13-14. I absolutely loved them then, and reading Book Girl (by Sarah Clarkson, the daughter of Sally Clarkson) inspired me to read them again. I’m sure there are many details I have forgotten, and I am already enjoying the escapades of Anne in the first book.

What have you been reading lately?

Life Update

Our life is full of joy and overflowing with blessings! It also has its stressful and trying times, but the good far outweighs the bad.

We are officially moved into our house! We began staying here September 26 and we are slowly, slowly getting more settled. It is feeling like home and I love seeing it come together more and more each day.

Since Sam and I moved to Romania right after we got married, all of our wedding gifts have been in boxes in storage at my parent’s house. It has been so exciting to open them all again and remember what we were gifted! I am so enjoying using all of them, especially all the lovely kitchen things.

We were given almost all of our furniture from grandparents and great grandparents, so all the new to us, full of memories furniture has been so exciting as well.

Life with a baby is wonderful and crazy! Mae is a wonderful baby and I am enjoying learning her little rhythm as we go about our day together. I am trying to settle into a cleaning and laundry routine (and later a cooking routine, but right now we are being blessed with meals from our church family!). I stay busy all day, either feeding or rocking Mae, or trying to get as much done as possible while she’s happy in her bouncy seat or in the ring sling.

Sam is staying incredibly busy, and I am constantly amazed at how much he does. He is preaching full time, working for a business full time, and is enrolled as a full time student, working towards his master’s degree. He is enjoying both jobs and we both enjoying getting to know and getting closer to our family at the congregation where Sam is preaching. He also comes home each evening to do little house projects before hitting the books, and he is preaching a series of sermons for a Gospel meeting next week.

Life is crazy. Life is busy. Life is wonderful.

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

These are a few things I’ve been loving lately in this stage of life. Life is crazy but wonderful with a new baby and a new house. We moved into our house last week. We are still slowly but surely getting more settled, but we are happy to be in our wonderful house that is becoming a home.

Family

These are my absolute favorite “things” ! Being a wife and Mama are my favorite jobs ever,. I am blessed with an amazing husband, and Mae is the sweetest baby. She is a lot of work and it is exhausting, but it is all such a joy.

Ring Sling

This ring sling is another of my favorite things. When my sister in law was staying with us with her baby (who is exactly one month older than Mae) I tried our her sling. Both Mae and I loved it! I immediately began doing some research and decided to get the same brand sling, which was Wildbird. Wildbird is a great company and all their slings are handmade by mothers. This also means that there are only certain times that the slings are available and they sell out quickly. I ended up buying a used one from a buy-sell-trade group and I was able to get exactly the fabric, color, and size that I wanted

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This is the best thing ever! Mae sleeps much better when she is held, so she has been taking many naps in the sling while I’ve unpacked boxes, cooked supper, or done laundry.

Audio Bible

While I’ve been unpacking and cleaning with Mae in the sling, I have enjoyed listening to an audio Bible. The work I’m doing is mindless, such as putting dishes in cabinets or folding laundry, so I have the mental capacity to focus. I have a lot of time to read while I’m feeding Mae, but it is different and nice to listen to God’s Word as well.

photo credit: unplash.com

Podcasts

I also really enjoy listening to podcasts. When I was in Romania I loved to listen to podcasts or audio books while I cooked or cleaned, so I have continued to listen to several while Mae is eating, or while I’m working around the house if I’m not listening to the Bible. My favorite podcasts are Happier with Gretchen Rubin, The Lazy Genius (this is my new favorite!) and What Should I Read Next. I have a few others I’ll listen to from time to time, but I pretty consistently listen to these three.

Kindle

photo credit: unplash.com

Another one of my favorite things right now is my Kindle. Sam got me a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday this year and it has been great. It is so much lighter and easier to hold than even the lightest paperback, which makes it ideal for reading while Mae is eating. Recently I’ve read Peace Like a River by Leif, Pollyanna, and I’m almost done with Prayer by Timothy Keller. I am considering starting War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy after this (I’ve read half of it before and abandoned it), but I’m not sure if I want to undertake such a big commitment. Has anyone read War and Peace, and what is your opinion?

Baby Gowns

Mae’s Mawmaw (my Mama) gave her this gown and it is my absolute favorite. She came home from the hospital in it and it still fits her!

My final favorite thing for this post (though I could go on and on with different baby items, music, or peanut butter or chocolate…) is baby gowns. I love how cute they look and how wonderful they are for changing diapers quickly, especially since Mae greatly dislikes getting a diaper changed or being undressed in any way. I have decided that this just might be my signature baby shower gift because I love them so much.

I have written this with Mae in her sling, and she’s only not wearing a gown because I need to do laundry and hers are all dirty. I’m going to go do said laundry, wash some dishes, and unpack a bit while she’s content, and I’ll probably listen to the Bible, and the Lazy Genius podcast later. I’ll read Prayer on my Kindle (and contemplate War and Peace) next time Mae eats, and I’ll probably eat chocolate or peanut butter at some point today.

Thank you for reading! What are some of your favorite things for your current stage in life?