God's Very Good Idea (Book Review)

Nick loves to read. When we had a fire evacuation a couple of years ago he asked to make sure his two suits (for preaching) and all of his books were safe from potential disaster. I never grew up with a love to read, but after being around my husband the love of reading has rubbed off on me. Inevitably we want not only to foster a love for reading in our boys but also a love for God and his words.  

The children's book, God's Very Good Idea, by Trillia Newbell surprised me on how clearly it represented culture, sin, and the gospel. Trillia did an excellent job of describing the different types of people God has created, all in his own image, and then shows the effects that sin has on the world. She clearly shows how God chose to redeem us from sin and points readers, young and old, to Christ. 

My favorite quote from the book is:

God made it. People Ruined it. He rescued it. He will finish it.

I truly believe that this book would help adults better understand the gospel, and how from creation to redemption, God has created diversity and is redeeming diversity.

I originally wanted to read this to my boys because of how the book displays the many different kinds of people God creates. Tall, short, skinny, big, old, young, brown skin, light skin, etc. Exposure is the best way we can make sure our kids treat and love their neighbors as themselves, and by exposing my kids to all the beautiful different types of people God has created I can hopefully, by God's grace, instill in them a love for all people.

I highly recommend this book to not only kids but to the church in general. I always recommend that new believers read a Children's Bible, like I was told to do, because it clearly explains the Christian faith. This book explains God's design, plan, and the gospel story very simply.

This book was graciously given to me for free. No compensation was given and all opinions are my own.

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i breastfed both my babies...until I didn't.

By Rachel Crum

I Breastfed Both My Babies...Until I Didn't: My breast and bottle feeding journeys

I never thought that I wouldn't be able to breastfeed. Everyone I knew was breastfeeding, except for one friend who hadn't been able to produce enough milk, and it wasn't something talked about in my Bradley Birthing class. I learned all about how to breastfeed, but nothing about what to do when breastfeeding was not working. I did, however, have a bunch of friends who had meant to have natural vaginal births, and wound up having c-sections, so I was much more concerned about how birth would go, and all the possible complications, than about everything that would come afterwards.

As it turned out, birth was easy for me, or, at least, easy in the sense that we had no complications, and I've now given birth vaginally twice with no meds and no interventions. The second time, I gave birth to a 10lb 3oz baby pretty simply. Everyone was amazed, and to be honest, I was amazed that my body could do one thing so naturally and simply, but couldn't manage the other: breastfeeding.

I'm thankful that I was able to give birth naturally, especially since I wasn't able to continue nursing either of my girls, and it serves as a constant reminder to me that not everything is as it seems, and just because one thing comes naturally, doesn't mean everything will.

With my first daughter, I experienced just about everything in the book. Pain while latching, bleeding, crying because I was feeding my daughter blood, crying because I couldn't stand the thought of feeding her again. I got clogs, a low grade fever, possible mastitis that wasn't ever diagnosed because my OB wouldn't see me, antibiotics, and middle of the night feverish, achy feedings. Finally, my nipple literally split open, and I had a lactation nurse come visit me, and give me things to try to heal it while I pumped for the next few weeks. Weeks and weeks went by and I wasn't healing, but pumping had created an oversupply so I was constantly fighting off clogs while in the midst of warming milk, feeding baby, pumping, washing bottles and pump parts. It was exhausting and nothing seemed like it was getting fixed or figured out. One side of me continued to be split open and oozing, and I couldn't wear a shirt or real bra, because it hurt so much. I missed my best friend's wedding in Canada thinking about traveling with the pain, and the pumping, and everything made me sob with panic.

Eventually, my OB suggested I try cutting way back on pumping to allow myself to heal, and I did and it worked! But I was discouraged that I had lost most of my supply. I finally remembered the lactation nurse had told me it seemed like my daughter had a lip tie, something my husband and I had never heard of, but in researching it, it turned out my daughter had all the symptoms. My husband still thought it was basically bogus, but in a last ditch effort to figure things out, we went to see someone about a revision.

Here's something I don't talk about much. At our appointment, the really nice doctor who did lip and tongue tie revisions for a living, walked us through everything, and finally, seeing all of my turmoil about doing the procedure and causing my baby pain, sat us down and asked me, "Do you want to keep breastfeeding?" And in 2.5 months of my baby's life, no one had asked me that, and I cried and told him "No." I wanted to sleep and maybe enjoy my baby's life, and not keeping trying and trying to figure something out that was sapping all my time and energy and worry and research. And he told me it was ok if I wanted to quit and my baby would turn out ok with formula, and even though I feel like most moms would be horrified that he said this, it was the first time someone gave me the freedom to just quit. To say, This isn't working and I hate it, and I want to try again next time.

So that's what I did. I gave up trying, and I slowly quit pumping, and for the first time, I relaxed enough to enjoy my newborn. It was so freeing.

But I wasn't totally free. I would always have a niggling feeling of guilt in the back of my mind. The question, "What if?" rattling around in there. I kept wondering. So when I was pregnant with my second child, I made a plan. I was prepared. I had all the equipment, phone number of a lactation consultant I had told about my history, and the conviction that I was going to try for two weeks before giving up. And as it turned out, plan and all, nothing worked. I saw a lactation consultant, we had my daughter's lip tie lasered, it still hurt, I was still crying, and I still split open. Except this time, I had a two year old to take care of, a husband back at work, and a move a few weeks away. So I quit again.

It's been over a year now, and I still feel a small amount of guilt, but I also feel peace. It's all mixed together. I feel frustrated that I couldn't fix it, and frustrated because by nature, I'm not a quitter, but I know both times I made a decision that allowed me to move forward and actually be a mom to my kids. It got me out of the crazy researching, buying all the products, trying every method mode and let me enjoy my baby (and spend some time with my toddler and pack my house). It was never an easy decision and I cried both times I stopped, but I have to trust that each time, I made the best decision I could, in the midst of the pain and the hormones and the anxiety. Each time is a new exercise in trustingthe Lord with my babies and my body.

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life is like a circus.

Well, it has been a while since I have had a second to sit down and write and even now life seems to be going 90 mph. Ever since we have moved into our new home we have had event, upon event, upon event and this is just the beginning. At times I can see my life acting out like a modern day circus.

Nick and I have been using every small spare minute to try to be intentional with one another because of all of the good chaos surrounding our lives right now. But I really wanted to take a few minutes and give you all a little life update.

Home

Our new house has been great. The boys have been adjusting well and Leo has even mastered climbing stairs (he just turned 6 months)!!! It seems like we daily have been adding to our house to-do list and I don't foresee that stopping anytime soon. So far we have painted our kitchen cabinets, replaced the upstairs bathtub, had our irrigation system checked out, cleaned 1/2 of the garage, bought a new couch, and started putting some decorations and pictures on the wall. In the next few weeks and months we hope to put long shelves underneath the stairwell for storage (baking and cooking appliances, etc.), get the home gym in the garage in place, tile the upstairs bathroom, reseed and prep the yard out back, and get some can lights and outside lights installed. At times the home repairs and updates take a toll on me but other times I am thankful that our family together can invest our time and energy into something we can all benefit from. 

School

Calvin started transitional kindergarten two weeks ago and loves it. His teacher said he is very arrticulate and talkative and at times I feel like I should send him to school with an extra $20 for all the talking he must do all day to everyone there. When he is not in school I work on some kindergarten and Christian curriculum with him and Max at home (10-15 minutes a day). The saddest part about Calvin being in school 3 days a week is that Max has no idea what to do without his big brother all day. But rest assured once Calvin is back home they are back to wrestling, bickering, and playing together.

Weddings

I just hosted my middle sister, Michelle's, bridal shower this past weekend with my other sister Bianca and that was really fun. I thankfully had a lot of help from my best friend Allison and my mom which made the decorating and planning process go smoothly given all that is on my plate right now. In 4 weeks I have my baby sister Bianca's bridal shower so it is back to the Pinterest and planning boards for the next event ;)

What's Next

In the next few weeks I have Calvin's birthday, Michelle's bachelorette, Bianca's shower, Nick's 30th Birthday, Nick is in a wedding, our 7th wedding anniversary, Max's 3rd birthday, Thanksgiving, Michelle's Wedding, my Dad's 60th birthday, Nick's parents 40th wedding anniversary, Christmas, New Years' and then 6 more events. I wish life would slow down a little bit because I can feel my anxiety rise by the end of the day. I have a bad habit of making all my to-do's piled into one big check-off and cannot really separate each task. I have been listening to some awesome podcasts each day which has helped me remember to be present with my kids, my husband and with God. 

 

Here's a photo dump of our circus life. Don't get me wrong though, life is crazy but the Lord has been faithful.  

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The aftermath of painting cupboards front and back side. 

The aftermath of painting cupboards front and back side. 

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