Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Unveiled Wife

I started reading Jennifer's blog a few years ago, and was immediately struck by her vulnerability and commitment to transparency when it came to her struggles with her husband. When she asked me to review her new book, The Unveiled Wife I was delighted and honoured.

I was also terrified.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Elliott: Eleven Months Old

Eleven months! This year is going by so quickly, but we're having a blast the whole way through. I'm loving each new stage even more than the last. It constantly amazes me how much Elliott understands what we say, and how he interacts with us. It may be a little early to claim a love language for him, but he definitely seems to lean heavily towards words of affirmation. This kid will do anything for praise and applause, and it's not hard to teach him new "tricks" as long as we praise him each time he accomplishes it. Something I have realized just in the past few days is that he definitely understands what I mean when I say "let's check your diaper" If he's dirty and has been fussing he immediately perks up and says "puh puh" Not sure how that translates to diaper, but he seems to think it does! I'm also appreciating that when he wakes up from a nap or in the morning more often than not he no longer cries, but just whines and says "mama" Soo much nicer than screaming! He's SO talkative these days, and seems to really be trying to say something with all his babbling. It's so hilarious when he declares something emphatically and looks at you as though he expects you to respond or do something that he's told you to do!

Friday, 6 February 2015

The One Constant In Our Parenting.

This whole parenting thing is such a new experience. We make decisions, then learn something new and make new decisions almost on a daily basis. One thing that we know won't change is how we feel about bringing Elliott up to have an intimate relationship with the Lord. Obviously we can't control what happens once he's older, but for now it is our responsibility and our privilege to teach Elliott about Jesus. It's an exciting thought, but also a little daunting, given that we don't have a model or example from our own childhoods of how to do this. It's an ongoing conversation between Chris and I, and I imagine it will continue to be during our entire parenting journey. We've come up with a couple of things so far that I'd like to share.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Vaccines. Why We Couldn't Do What Was Best For Our Family.

Vaccines. Here we go.

I didn't think I was going to write this post, and in fact fought the urge quite a few times. I felt a little intimidated by the topic and the task of gathering all the right resources and links was daunting. Instead of providing link after link of questionable resources, I'm just going to call this my opinion.

Unless you live under a rock it's hard not to hear about the vaccine debate. I became interested in it long before we got pregnant, but it wasn't until I saw those two little lines that I started taking it seriously. I was unsatisfied with the somewhat apathetic answers I was hearing from the pro-vax side, and felt myself leaning more towards not vaccinating. It seemed to me that the anti-vax side aligned more with my philosophy of overall health. I don't want to make choices because that is just what you do, I want to know it is the healthiest and best choice for me. While I am certainly not against traditional medicine I definitely lean more towards natural options. It seemed to me that I was finding more like-minded people in the anti-vax camp.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Elliott: Ten months

This year is closing in on me much faster than I expected! I'm starting to have that feeling that you get on Sunday afternoon when you know you only have a few hours of weekend left. I'm not going back to work in the traditional sense, but I am opening a Dayhome in our home and I know I will be very busy! For now I'm treasuring all the quiet cuddles and times he falls asleep on me, knowing these sweet little moments may come a little fewer and far between once I have four other littles to run after!

This has been a big month for us! Elliott start crawling and pulling himself up on everything. I find I rarely get to sit down these days as I spend all my time chasing him and stopping him from touching/pushing buttons/pulling things down on himself. I think we have our work cut out for ourselves with this one. He knows exactly what he isn't supposed to touch and finds it hilarious. That's right, the word "No" now brings giggles, and when you remove him he thinks you're "getting him" and will crawl right back to where he was so you'll do it again. I know things could be worse and I could be dealing with a stubborn screamer, but I'm not sure that this is all that much better! I do wonder how this will play itself out in his personality as he grows..

Thursday, 22 January 2015

How I Beat Mastitis Without Antibiotics

Elliott is ten months old now, and so imagine my surprise (and annoyance!) last week when I came down with a case of mastitis. You may remember that I had mastitis twice before- once when Elliott was less than two weeks old which hit in full force. As much as I resisted at first I had no choice but to take antibiotics to clear it up. And then I got it a second time a few weeks later. I recognized the warning signs and was able to nip it in the bud with Vitamin C before developing a fever.

This time around it hit hard and fast, but I was able avoid antibiotics. I wanted to write a post detailing exactly what I did in the hopes that it will be helpful for someone else in the future.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Balancing Needs With A Baby In The Mix

A few nights ago night Chris and I were both fairly exhausted. Myself because Elliott hasn't been sleeping well this week, and for Chris because he is back in school after a month off. We're both feeling this adjustment period - he has 8 am classes everyday of the week which is hard on both of us. No more nudging him awake at 7 am after a hard night of multiple wakings so I can sleep in (It was a good run while it lasted!) He also has more classes than he did last semester which means staying on top of homework is a nightly task.

We had some company over for a short while after dinner, and then after Chris did bath time and I put Elliott to bed we both collapsed on the couch for a few brief minutes before he started writing a short assignment. Once he finished around 10 pm I was having trouble keeping my eyes open and announced I needed to go to bed early.

I decided to first prepare a lunch for Chris, which was interrupted by Elliott waking up. Groan. Into his room I go, and pat his back for a few minutes until he falls back asleep. This doesn't bode well for the rest of the night.

Now it's 10:30 and I am actually going to bed. It isn't uncommon these days for me to head to bed before Chris, but he always tucks me in and we pray together. I tell him I'm heading to the bedroom and ask for the usual 5 minute buffer for me to brush my teeth and get changed before he comes in to pray.

"Do you mind if we don't pray together tonight?" He asks

What?? My mind races. Well. Umm. Yes I do mind. I instantly feel upset, but I'm not sure why.

"It's just that if I come in in 5 minutes and we take 10 minutes to pray together, I really don't have any time to myself before bed" (we typically stick pretty close to an 11 pm bedtime for ourselves)

It's true. It was now 10:35. By the time we would be done praying it would be almost 11. I feel upset though - I just spent the last half hour doing some very unselfish things. Soothing our son back to sleep and making a lunch for Chris (cute notes attached and all!) All I want out of him is 10 minutes or less to pray with me.

"But, I love when we pray together. I don't want to get out of that habit." I say, not really wanting to reveal my selfish thoughts.

"I love it too, but it's just one night. I could just use a little time to rest and unwind before bed."

"If I stay up until 11 with you, can we go to bed together and pray?" I ask


And then approximately 1.5 minutes later after sitting there feeling frustrated, I announce once again that I am tired, and now my stomach seems to hurt so I am heading to bed. And off I go. No kiss goodnight, no embrace to reassure him I am not upset.

Because really, I am still upset.

As I am brushing my teeth I start to think more about how selfish he was being. After I made him lunch! Doesn't he realize that I need time to rest and unwind too? I spend my entire day with Elliott, and he doesn't understand that there is no "time off" when you're a Mom. My eyes are always on that little man. Even when he's sleeping my ears are tuned in to hear if he stirs (Which lately, is a lot) I sure wish I could have some quiet time where I didn't have to think of anyone but myself.

Me me me me me me me me ME.

Oh boy. The Lord (thankfully) convicted me pretty quickly on this one. Because here's the thing friends:

My need for rest does not negate his need for rest.  Let's take this a step further. My needs do not negate his needs, even if I selfishly view my needs as greater. The only reason I was accusing him of being selfish was because I was feeling incredibly selfish in that moment. The fact that I am tired does not disallow him from feeling tired. My need for rest does not minimize his need rest.

In marriage there can be a constant tension of his needs vs her needs, and adding a baby intensifies those needs, and on top of that creates brand new needs. We're still figuring it all out. I have a feeling we'll be figuring it all out for a while. In the meantime we are thankful to the Lord for the ministry of his Holy Spirit who leads us in the right direction - towards a sacrificial relationship that mirrors Jesus and the church.

Chris came to bed only a few minutes later and apologized. I also apologized for how I reacted and for how I manipulated him, because if I'm really honest I went to bed with the hopes that he would feel guilty and follow me.

Conviction. Sanctification. This can be a tough gig sometimes.

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