Friday, March 30, 2012

Zeke's first at-home speech therepy session.

Do you remember me talking about my little Zekey who is now almost 2.5 years old?  I talked about how he wasn't speaking and I wasn't sure if we should just trust that he'd eventually speak, or have a specialist check him out.

                    I just love this boy!                    

As time went on (not much time) I realized it was time for an intervention.  Our first session was yesterday and it was amazing!  A woman came to our house for an hour.  For the first 5 minutes, we talked about what Zeke can say and what he seems to have a difficult time with.  Next, we all headed to the floor and I could tell Zeke was anticipating what was in the big bag that she brought.  Maybe he remembered it from when we visited "Help Me Grow"?

The first toy she took out was a ball game.  You pull the lever down, a ball comes out and you have to pop it back into the top.  Simple but whenever he would say "aaaa" (short a sound) she would take the item he wanted, which in this case was the ball and put it next to her mouth and say, "Baw.  Baw".  Then she would hand it to him.  Zeke was very interested in watching her mouth as she showed him how to form the word.

With anything Zekey wants, I need to put it to my mouth and have him watch me exaggerate (extremely) the word.  You'd laugh because my older kids do ;)

The next game was a shape game.  There were 3 shapes and Zekey practiced inserting them into the correct shaped hole.  Again, trying to get him to say "block" exaggerating the "B" sound. 

As we played, she would recognize sounds that he would say and the ones he was avoiding.  He does what is easiest for his mouth.  "N" sound, "D" sound and even "tch" sound.  If you think about it, it's with little effort those sounds can be made.  There is no need for him to put his lips together or pull his lips in such as a "B" sound.  I think of it as a lazy way to talk although I know there is more to it.  He has an over bite which makes the effort to do some sounds more difficult for him. 

Next, she pulled out a Zip Lock baggy with a dog, brush (little for dolls), doll, baby blanky and a cup.  She wanted to give him simple directions to see if he'd follow them.  We found out that although he knew what each was, he wasn't staying focused on what we were trying to get him to do.  "Brush the babies hair."  He would brush my hair at first but then after repeating it many times, he'd do what we asked.  So, I need to start working on giving him simple directions because he gets complicated ones such as "Please take your cup and put it in the sink." 

It was really great.  The woman was extremely patient and was super sweet but firm with Zekey.  It was a good reminder and model for me.  This time showed me how I need to be with Zekey and his speech.  When he would hit I would say, "Oh, gentle buddy."  Right away she would say, "Oh it's really okay.  He's just excited."  It was simple but eye opening.  When he kicks and hits by reaction, that's just a way he shows excitement.  Since yesterday I have been letting him do that more (with me) and it's been really fun!  If he screams, I scream with him to show him how my mouth does what his mouth is doing.  We've been laughing more and playing more intentionally.  I'm excited for it all!

Here is my homework.

1. Body Parts.  I worked with Zekey a long time ago on body parts but didn't continue asking him once he seemed to catch on.  I did this a lot with him with words as well.  Once I thought he knew a word, I didn't pay attention to being sure he said it again and again.  I guess with the 3rd I naturally didn't have as much time as I did with #1 and #2 and I became lazy unintentionally.  I look back and think how he was on the right track but I let it go.  So, I am going to re-teach him body parts.

2. I need to buy him a sippy with a straw.  This will build his muscles around his mouth to help him form words better.  She reminded me a few times so I assume it's important.  He knows how to use one but she wants him to only drink from a straw.

3. Toys that make him have to blow.  Totally makes sense.  I will be purchasing some kind of horn (yay) and bubbles for him to learn how to blow.

4. I will be taking Zekey to the mirror and give him simple commands so he can watch my mouth and try and imitate it with his.  He'll be able to see what his mouth is doing (or trying to do) while looking at the mirror.  Genius!  Commands such as, "Together, open mouth, smile, close mouth, ect." 

5. Zekey currently gives open mouth kisses.  It's cute but can REALLY hurt and he's too old to be giving open mouth kisses.  He also hangs his mouth open and it's just not as cute with a 2 year old as it is with a baby ;)  So, we need to practice kissing (I LOVE THIS ONE!!!!), lip pops which is basically a sound you make with  your lips that sounds like a bubble popping, the "P" sound, "B", "M", and "W" sounds repeatedly.  Also, "whooo whooo!"  like a choo choo train.  Any funny sounds that he thinks are fun while trying to get him to repeat me.

6. Hold the desired object by my mouth and exaggerate the word so he can see and try to repeat it.  Problem is, he doesn't like to actually repeat.  I guess this is one I'll be doing on faith hoping he'll just start to say it eventually.

7. Teach him to sign "more".  Again, something he knew a long time ago but I never enforced it.

8. Meal time clean up I should give him the simple commands.  "Give me cup.  Give me plate.  Give me fork." etc.  It's the simple commands I guess I kind of skipped with him ;)

With Zekes motor skills, which he scored high in the original testing, I just have to be sure that he is NOT sitting in a "W" form.  That is when a child puts both feet back with knees bent and pointing forward.  It's REALLY bad for their hips and knees and so this is going to be a difficult habit to break but I must!

I really want to stress fun with ALL of this because he NEVER gets upset if I am smiling and just playing.  I'm secretly teaching him.

With the 3rd, simple things I naturally taught my older babes isn't as easy to teach because of less time.  Sad but true.  So I am now going to have more focused time with Zekey and I'm also going to be more aware of all of this with Bexley!

Now that I know all of the practice and work we have ahead of ourselves, I am for SURE it was the right thing to do in getting Zekey to talk sooner.  It's only going to bring blessing!  Yay!

I hope this helps any of you momma's out there with questions on your own child!  Looking forward to hearing more fun games from a friend that I'll share with you and also my sweet Zekey Zoo Zoo talking sooner than later!  I have 2 other scheduled meetings and will continue to make this a huge priority.  He only gets free help until he turns three. 

Phil 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."  I love my God.  One I can go to with big and little things and He's always listening and staying involved. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Have you tried the new Fresh Take from Kraft?

I was hesitant at first, but when I went to Kroger and they literally handed me a coupon to try the new Fresh Take from Kraft, I thought, "Why not?"  Have you seen the commercial?

Why was I hesitant?  Well, I'm not a fan of buying things that are not real or all packaged up but I wanted to cut myself some slack and see how easy it really was! 

With coupon in hand, I went ahead and plopped the Italian Parmesan (yes, they have different flavors to choose from!) in my cart less hesitant than before.

Here's just how easy (and so yummy!) it was to use!

I plopped my Farmers Market chicken (which made me feel better about eating it! ha!) in the bag and just tossed it (maybe cheated a bit and pressed it) all in there reeeeal good.  I put it into the oven just as the directions said and started on my side dish.  Brussels sprouts.

Not sure about brussels sprouts?  I cannot promise you'll love them but I can't stop eating these with the way that I prepare them.

Cut them in half and place them on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle EVOO and Kosher salt, toss a bit and put it in the oven with your main dish.  It takes about 15 minutes for them to brown.  Ahh-mazing, healthy and of course, quick and easy.

Ready for the final product?

So darn good!  The kids (2 out of 3 eating kids) LOVED...the chicken but they know they have to eat their veggies! ;)

When Cyrus is in a good mood, he tells me that he's happy to eat the veggies because he wants to be healthy!  This was that kind of night ;)

Poor Eisley girl is a vegetarian and HATES meat.  I do not serve a lot of it nor do I make her eat much.  So, although she's smiling...she's not a fan of our dinner. :)

Zeke eats anything.  He also likes me to feed him like a baby which I secretly love.

Have you tried it?  Will you now?  I highly recommend it!  Happy healthy cooking!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bee Pollen and why it's apart of our morning ritual.

This is what our breakfast usually consists of.  I substitute oatmeal with the Ezekiel bread on some days.

Ezekiel toast with honey and almond butter (whoops, forgot to add that in) and apple slices.  After they eat they GET to have a spoonful of bee pollen with a drizzle of honey from none other than Honeyrum Farm, of course. 

I cannot say enough good things about this farm and their owners Jayne and Isaac.  They're so sweet and their products are fantastic!  I always purchase my honey and soap from them at (say it with me!) the Ole Worthington Farmers Market, but I wanted to see what this bee pollen was all about. 

Isaac told me that it had a ton of health benefits and his kids get excited to have it daily.  I was intrigued (and a little weirded out by eating bee pollen) but I bought some anyway.

He gave me a slip with some amazing facts about bee pollen.  I was so excited to try it when we got home! 

Although he warned me that bee pollen tastes kind of chalky tasting, I was not prepared.  Ew.  It's gross.  Ya want to know what I think it tastes like?  Farm.  Fish food.  Your pick.  I have never tried "farm" or fish food but if you could bottle "farm" up, it'd taste just the same I am sure of it.  Fish food? Well you know what it smells like from "getting" to feed your class fish back in grade school and I'm convinced I now know what it tastes like.  Sick.

But flavor isn't why I bought it.  I was excited to see how this would be another thing we could add to our diet to benefit our bodies in a healthy way.

I put bee pollen and a drizzle of honey on a spoon and I swallow it with water.  It's becoming easier to down but I highly doubt it will ever be a walk in the park.

The kids LOVE it!  I mean it!  I talked to them about it, telling them it doesn't taste great but I would drizzle it with honey.  I also told them that it's really healthy and their bodies would LOVE to have it.  They think of it as a treat :)

Here's what you should know when buying bee pollen.  Buy local.

Actually, there's a lot to know...I'd HIGHLY recommend you checking out this website where you'll find EVERYTHING you need to know about bee pollen and why it's amazing for you!  Click around and get tons of questions answered.

So, will you try this farm-tasting super food? 


Yummy Quinoa Recipe

I have been really wanting to make quinoa after I had a few different opportunities to try it over the last year.  Of course, after reading all the health benefits of it and knowing it's a super food, I wanted to start incorporating quinoa into my families' diet. 

I had a few people asking about the recipe and I cannot really take credit as I did a google search and found an AMAZING one on Food Network.

I went ahead and made a double batch so we could have leftovers and I could add it to my salads for protein.  In a double batch, the cook time definitely does double, just so you know.

Here's what it looked like while cooking in the pot.

You can see how much it changes physically.  This is boring.  After adding your dressing, it's fantastic!

It's much prettier when all deced out in herbs and flavors.

Enjoy this as a side or a full meal!  I added it to my salad the day after and because of all of the flavor, I didn't need much dressing.

Enjoy!  Share any other recipes you have tried with quinoa!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Life as a wife to a bivocational pastor.

I knew I was secretly spoiled when my husband, Andy was desperately searching for a job all while leading a church plant. Was it tough? Yessum. Like really tough. I will refrain from going into the  tough details but there was also a sweet side to it. If I was having a rough day, I could text Andy and tell him about it. If I was sick (honestly I think my body waited until he had his current job to t-bone me with a sickness which was super awesome of course) I would call and he would schedule his work around needing to come home to rescue me. We would often eat lunch together as a family because he was just up the road. I loved having the man I loved available when I needed him. So I thought..

The 'secret blessing' was actually difficult for both of us. I didn't respect his hours all the time (because i am the queen of awesome-wifeness and always on my A-game) but I never doubted the work he needed to get done. Andy had legit work to do during the week.

Here, let me answer the question you haters (totally kidding!) ask to those in ministry 'So what does he do, all day?' Andy is very dedicated to what he does. He will read book after book and bible book after bible book (haha) and then write out notes, edit them, (like all my nasty English teachers did.  Marking them up real good.  Purely evil they were.) start writing the sermon, read it allowed, mark it up real good some more and obviously praying for God's direction it it all.  Then he takes most of Sunday to prep for service. This includes setting up the children's room, decor, sound stuff, the slides for music, the bulletins and response cards on the chairs and pre-sermon prep (usually consisting of making any last minute changes he felt God was calling him to, praying over it and re-reading it until he felt comfortable with it). During the week he also met with guys to disciple them, would have meetings once in awhile, meet with other pastors in the area, etc. The man had lots of stuff to do.

Why would we want him to get a job to add to all of that, you ask?  The reason we wanted him bi-vocational is extremely complicated but the simple and sweet answer is that Ember Church was running out of the funds to pay him.  For over a year Andy searched for a job and no doors were opening.  It was crazy but God had a special plan in it all and set aside an extremely amazing and perfect job for Andy which includes a fantastic atmosphere for him to not only thrive and have freedom to grow as an individual but also be a light to those who do not believe. My heart is so full of joy when I sit back and think how good God is in bringing Quantum Health into our lives.

 Anyway, Andy is really loving his job. Being able to support our family while doing what he loves has provided a lot of structure to both of our days. Honestly, I would never have guessed that having set hours would be so good for my days at home with the kids. I don't even think to text him and complain about my days or call him 'just to chat'. He showers at 8 am (I will not mention that he takes the longest showers ever!) and leaves at 8:30. I see him at 5:30 with a hot and healthy dinner on the table, children waiting at the window all while I wear heels and pearls, give him a hot and heavy kiss and wink at the Our life doesn't allow such glamor ;).

On a good day, dinner is almost ready and we spend time together as a family. The kids go to bed around 7:30 and Andy heads to the office to work on his sermon for the upcoming week. This new schedule is challenging for me because quality time is my first love language (words of affirmation a close second) and although I could not be more thankful that the kids do not miss out on time with him, I miss out on time with him. It's getting easier and we are both dedicated enough to keep on tweaking it so it works well for our marriage.

Another new area for us is his business travel. He (not we) went to Savannah, GA for three full days to shoot some video interviews with people suffering from diabetes but are trying to change their way of life. He really loved meeting new people as they shared their stories on the life they lived up to getting diabetes and how they are trying to desperately to change it now.  His favorite part is knowing he gets to tell their stories through his gift of story-telling through videos.  Pretty cool.

I was so excited for Andy to travel and do what he loves but I wasn't so excited about being away from him for three days and not having much time to communicate with him while he was there. He was crazy busy and not to mention he was traveling and working closely with another Woah-man. Yeah, I completely trust Andy and do not doubt his love for me blah blah blah buuut I also do NOT like sharing my husband other than normal working hours. With this new territory there have been good and honest conversations as we figure out how we make this work for our marriage, how we keep our beliefs in staying loyal even when it seems silly to others.  Example, he will not go out to eat with another woman even if it's stricly business.  It just doesn't look good. These conversations must be talked about carefully with love and should lack any accusation.  Like Andys' wise professor said at seminary, "You should not say, 'I will never cheat on my spouse!' but instead, 'I must never cheat on my spouse.' and take the necessary steps to avoiding that."   If you think you never will, you are a fool and already have given satan room to work.  It's not about whether Andy or I are attracted to someone or not, it's a strict rule no matter how hot (or not) that person is.  We are all capable of doing such a thing regardless of our religious status or moral beliefs. 

I think it's hot that Andy is a business man now and I love his overall joy when he comes home. It's good for us all. So there you have it. A peek into our new life as we continue to make it work. #blessedtocallhimmyhusband  Yes, I just hash tagged.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A weekend to remember!

Was it last weekend or the weekend before?  I do not recall but it was fantastic!  My amazing MIL came in town on Thursday and stayed through Saturday.  The kids always love to see her when she comes and this time was no different. *Just asked hubs, it was last weekend.*

Friday we went on a fun shopping trip to Target where my babies where spoiled with a toy and some loverly spring attire.  We all love shopping trips to target with bebe Jean ;)  The kids were really good and we just had a really great time!
The Monday before, my friend Kelly asked me, "Do you want to go out on a double-date?  Can you get a sitter this friday?"  Oh, my heart leaped for joy at the thought!  I responded, "Yes!  I will find a sitter for sure!"  We ended up bringing along two other couples and planned to dress extra nice for the occasion!

Friday afternoon as the kids slept, bebe Jean let me head out to find an outfit.  Forever 21 and The Limited saved the day!  Did I mention I went to Easton on a gorgeous day?  Oh, I was feeling so dang good!

These are some of our friends who are just a lot of fun to be around but can hold a serious convo as well.  Love them!  Let me introduce you!

 Garth and Kelly.  We've known them for 2.5 years and have gone through a lot.  Love, love these two and beyond blessed to call them friends.

 Kristy and Travis are such a great couple and we love them dearly!  Doing life with them is a blast!  They are to be wed in August and Andy, Cyrus, Eisley and I are going to be apart of it!  yay!

Kate and Evan!  You've never met such a trendy couple.  Bow tie and handkerchief, courtesy of Kate!  Love these two and their outward love of each other!  I know we'll be friends for a long time.

And I just really love this man.  He's good to me and happens to be handsome to boot!

Our handsome men all in a row!

Pretty lady friends lookin' so fine.

 Me and Sangria.

If you do not recognize the place we are dining, it's called Bel Lago.  It was a perfect atmosphere for our group.  We laughed, played random games and ate really good food.  Somehow I started talking about Ember to our waiter who connected us with a guy he worked with who happened to be another church planter from Pittsburgh who was also planting in Westerville.  Very cool.

Afterwards we headed to Evan and Kate's place but Bexley woke up early and wanted da momma.  Bummed to end the night early but my heart was full when we left.  Seriously...crazy thankful for  the friends I have.

The next morning I spent with my MIL at La Chatelaine, then the Ole Worthington Farmer Market.  Next stop, Sew to Speak.  My Saturdays happen to look like this often, can you tell with all the blog tags? ;)

My MIL bought me this...

The example they had hanging.  So dang cute!

I LOVE it!  Picture this board without the fabric and that's what I have with a bundle of some coordinating fabric I picked out.  Cannot wait to make my own version and hang it in the girls' room! 

I forgot to mention we had a pre-seasoned pork roast cooking in the crock pot with onions, sweet potatoes and carrots.  Oh.My.Gosh.  You have never tasted something so yummy!

We had such an amazing time!  I'm so blessed to have the mother-in-law I have.  She loves my babies and it's a blessing to have her visit.

These are the kind of weekends that are good for my soul.  Full of love and family and friends. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I'm gonna be a Georgia peach!

So, my husband got this amazing job at Quantum Health.  Supposedly the "best place to work in the city" or something.  Well, he loves it and I love that he loves it which makes me love it, too! ;)

With wonderful jobs come wonderful opportunities for me!  Andy will be doing some traveling and I was ready to take on any travel I could with him.  First stop, Savannah Georgia!  Ya know, one of the few cities I felt like I needed to go to because I heard I'd love it by people who know me well! 

I just cannot wait to walk the historic downtown with little Bexley in tow.  To check out the old buildings and architecture, eat the yummy food and probably enjoy something like apple crisp at Paula Dean's restaurant.  Does that sound perfect?  It does to me!  I'm ecstatic!  Here are some photos I found!

 I just squealed with delight.  Or maybe I peed a little.  Or maybe a little of both.  eeee!!!

So peaceful.  And gorgeous.

I see myself strolling along with little Bex and a sun hat.  

 So fun!

Andy will be working most of the time and I'm okay with that.  I am sure I"ll have plenty of sight-seeing to do.  Plus, when I want something I tend to make it happen.  *I almost feel guilty*  So I'll be making sure I get at least one date with Andrew even if it's crazy early or crazy late.  I want to spend a special meal with the one I love most in a city I'm sure I'll have a hard time leaving.

Shout out to my parents and in-laws for helping make this happen.  They'll be with the older three and I'll have a few days to miss them but spend quality time with Bexley Jane.  I know how much I am blessed :)

Have you ever been to Savannah Georgia?  I'd love to hear your favorite places to go so I can put it on my list!  I want to experience it all as I'll only be there for 3 days! 

Until next time, ya'll!

P.S. It seems my house is healthy for now, so I plan on getting back on the blog train!  I've missed you!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Natural Birth Vs. Epidural

Before I share my story, I just want you all to know that I am not one to judge on whether to get the epidural over going natural.  I just want to share my experience and hear yours!

With Bexley, our 4th baby (second girl) I wasn't sure how I would want my labor to go concerning an epidural.  With Cyrus (my first), I was in labor for 19 hours before I got the epidural and delivered him about an hour later ( I was told I had at least 6-7 more hours left).  This proved I could go really far with pain through breathing.

My experience with Eisley and Zekey (#2 and #3) was as soon as I got set up for induction,  I was talked into getting the epidural too early.  Although it was nice not having pain, with Zekey I was so relaxed I didn't really even want to breathe.  Literally.  I was so out of it.  Babies need us to breathe in order for them to breath.  It still didn't phase me which is scary.

Early in my pregnancy, I read a book on how to do the correct mental and breathing exercises to help with labor.  At about 37 weeks with Bexley, when my body was showing signs of preparation for the big day,  I was doing more and more research on going natural.    I even called a midwife from CHOICE who talked to me for a half hour telling me how I could go natural and my body was made to do that.  I highly recommend calling them for any birthing questions.  I was blown away with how personal she was even though I was not going to use her as my doula (I didn't want one that late in the game).  You could tell she was passionate about what she did.  My sister, who just recently finished her final birth as a "almost" doula to be certified, also gave me some pointers on how to make the pain as tolerable as possible.

I was so thankful for all of these conversations and information and even felt God in them.  I think He knew my heart to go natural and was blessing that.

I prayed to God and asked him to help me to go natural as I wanted to take this opportunity to lean on Jesus in my pain, my husband as my rock and experience the full natural birthing process.

I waited 39.5 weeks before I had an induction scheduled.  I was thankful that the doula I talked to from CHOICE told me that the best way to be induced was to have them break my water to see if my body would go into labor from there.  Sure enough, it did!  Here's the story...

My parents came into town to watch the older 3 and Andy and I headed into Labor and Delivery at Mt. Carmel St. Ann's.  I remember saying to my friends as they asked if I was going to try and go natural, "Yeah!  I got this."  And that is the attitude I went in with.  I thought, "God designed my body to do this.  Woman have done this for so many years without drugs!  I almost went all the way with Cyrus!  I can lean on Jesus and Andy for support."  I went in with little (but some) hesitation on going natural and honestly didn't know if I would do it.

As they strapped me up my nurse said, "So do you plan on getting the epidural?"  I said, "No, I think I am going to try and go natural."  Nurse, "Okay?  Did you go natural with your others?"  Me, "No, but I would like to try this time."  Nurse, "Alright.  Just so you know it take a good half hour to forty five minutes to get the epidural once you ask for it."  Me, "Okay, thanks!"

She was just as unsure as I was.  She was really sweet but let's be honest, going into labor for your 4th induction and wanting to all of a sudden go natural is a little weird.  I just had to stay strong and not let her hesitation make me hesitant.

I started walking around the hospital and chatting with Andy about life and how it was going to change with Bexley Jane coming into it.  Then, after about a half hour I realized I had to stop in order to get through a contraction.  I got checked and I was progressing and the nurse was quick to think my body was going on its own.

I walked around for about another half hour before I became uncomfortable enough to just stay in my room.  Plus my water just kept leaking and as my nurse said, "It's the gift that just keeps on giving!" I was progressing really quickly!

My nurse was quickly realizing I was really doing it.  I was taking all of the amazing advice on different positions to take while helping baby to move into position.  I just kept doing what she said because it was working.  She even told me that since I was progressing so well on my own, if I wanted to go in the shower to help with contractions, I could.  She also said that slows down labor a tad.  I opted not to do that as I just really wanted to work on getting her out and not do a thing to make it take any longer.

Can I just note that Andy is so vital in birthing my babies.  I cannot imagine not having him there.  He's encouraging, makes me feel good about my progress and every time he'd walk away to get me ice and a contraction would start, I'd snap my fingers for him to get by my side again.  I just needed him there.  I loved that.

At about hour 4 (out of 5 hours) I finally started thinking, "I am doing this."  I think I was in denial for a long time that I was actually going natural.  I went in there not knowing if I would follow through but then I was doing it...I was actually doing it!

I remembered how I did this all with Cyrus.  It just took much, much longer because he was my first and he was induced 2 weeks early because my fluid was low.

Then,  I came to a point where I was wondering if it was even possible to get an epidural.  I wanted someone to tell me how much longer I had but never asked.  I went from being in control to starting to questions whether I could do it anymore.

I could tell baby was moving down further and as the nurse asked me if it was time to push, I wasn't convinced but she could tell and so called the dr. over.  I kept breathing through the ever-growing-in-pain, difficult contractions and the dr. said she'd be back in 10 minutes so she could go to an appointment.  I was fine with that because although there was much pain, I never felt that "pressure to poop" and so I wasn't convinced it was time.

My amazing Dr. came back ten minutes later and I was unable to laugh at her jokes anymore.  I wanted to smack her actually.  hahahaha!  But, again, I could not love my dr. more than I do!  

Transition.  Still with none of that awkward "pressure", I quickly went from being in control to, "GET HER OUT OF MEEEEEEE!!!!!"  The dr. had just walked in and was all up in my grill.  I started pushing and I said, "I can't do this!  I just can't do this anymore!!!!"  My dr. looked at me straight in the eye and with a stern voice said, "Breena.  You ARE doing this and you're doing great.  She'll be out in 2 minutes.  2 minutes.  Do you understand me, Breena?"

It felt like if she wouldn't have said that to me, I would have just passed out.  Well, within two minutes (which felt like an eternity) I pushed out that beautiful baby girl and couldn't believe how heavy she was!  Ya know the term "ring of fire"?  PERFECT NAME!  That's all I'll say.

I cried, Andy cried and my nurse just kept telling me how proud she was of me!  She was in shock as was I!  I did it!  Andy kept telling me how proud he was of me and I just felt like I was on top of the world!!!  I pushed out a 10.6 lb baby!!!

Now, after going all natural with almost one and fully with another and two epidurals, I can say for myself, going natural was by far the best!  I loved that I needed to lean on Jesus and Andy to get through the pain.  I loved that I had a huge sense of accomplishment through every contraction and of course after I birthed Bexley.

I will also say, I don't feel any differently toward the actual love I felt with each baby.  It was strictly the "going natural through the labor" part that I thought was so amazing to experience.  I have already had the joy of birthing 3 other babies which is a miracle in and of itself regardless of the details on how they came into the world.  I mean that with everything in me.

I hope you enjoyed my birthing story!  Do you have any thoughts on going natural verses getting an epidural?  I'd love to hear!!!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Have you heard the "Interrupting cow" joke?

The giggling child says, "knock, knock!"

The always smiling, never-annoyed-with-the-same-joke mother says, "Who's there?"

Child smiling so big you can almost not make out what they are saying but have heard the joke 1 zillion times aleady so you just know they are saying :gasp:, "Interrupting cow!"

Mother very slowly responds in order to give excited child enough room to inturrupt, "In-ter-rup-..."

Child SCREAMS, "MOOO!  haha!  I interrupted you!"

And we all have an ironic laugh.  It's actually really cute but here's my point.

This is the story of my life.  I have plans, things I want to pursue, fears I want to overcome and I can't.  Right now there isn't a dry nose or a clear throat or a restful nights sleep.  Quite the opposite, actually and I feel like I'm being interrupted and I Lisa Frank-ly (just for a smile) don't like it!  I get anxious and think that my dreams are going to slip through my fingers and I'll never have a clean house for more than 5 hours (while they sleep) and I...ugh.

But then I realize I have friends who come over to my disaster of a house and sit and do life with me.  They hang out with me and love on my kids and I just need to not be tempted to say, "I'm so sorry about the mess...I don't have time." because it's crazy over here ya'll! 

I must cling to Jesus and the blessings in my life because they are here right now, in the midst of this beautiful chaos.  When I get to a place in life where my house is clean and I have time to do all the many things I want without interruptions, that's the same time my children will be grown and moved out and I can say this with confidence, "I'm not ready for that!  I want my babies here!"

I'll blog more again...right now I just have to clean, clean, clean :)  I miss you blog, I won't be gone foreverrrr....

A song on my heart by Kari Jobe.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Worship Through Music

My church, Ember has this cool vocabulary when talking about worship.  It's so simple but it can really bring clarity to what most people "think" is worship. 

Here goes...At Ember, when we're talking about music, we're "not allowed" to say "I'm on the worship team" or "the worship was great tonight", etc.  Why?  Well, what is worship?

For those of us who have put our blood, sweat and tears into getting Ember going and off the ground, setting up and serving each week, well we know this is for sure a form of worship.  Worshiping with our hands and staying focused on the bigger picture, even when that picture is blurry and full of question is pretty much the only way to be while doing this.  I say this because it's not easy serving every week.  It's not easy saying goodbye to my weekend with Andy early because he has to go and set up Ember and wait for him as he cleans up afterward.  When I set aside my own agenda (heck, that'd be being with him all the time!) and remember what God's calling us to do (again, it's never really clear), I find joy in these little trials.

Are we called to worship God as we enter His presence?  Yes.  Are you not entering his presence as you listen to a sermon and God's word being taught and preached to you?  We should be.  I understand the "off" days or weeks or months and it's just really hard to have a heart of worship while sitting there listening to a sermon (not at my church!  Our preacher is fantastic! haha!).  Seriously, though.  I believe listening to a sermon is part of worship. 

The music and singing to God seems to be the most common way we communicate using the word "worship".  So, what I'm saying is this.  I do not know everything about worship, but at Ember we say, "I love the worship through music tonight!" or "I am on the music worship team."  Etc. 

It's a little change in my vocabulary but has surprisingly been very eye-opening to what I view as worship.  So, thanks to Garth and Kelly (the adorable couple who, every week, put a lot of work and love into our worship through music) for reminding us that we worship our God through more than our voices and instruments.