I have found the most incredibly great person online. I had to share.
I found her homebirth video over at Marvelous Kiddo and was just awed by the beauty of it and her birth story. MUST watch...it's sooo wonderful and there is no graphic images...just a gorgeous video of how PEACEFUL birth can be!!
I traveled to her blog and noticed how much I LOVED her little apartment....and then onto her other blogs and SHE IS GREAT! Her beautiful family travels the US in a "green" RV on veggie oil doing RV makeovers and photo sessions etc. They sold their gorgeous house, paid off debt, quit their jobs to do this... How incredible?! Check out their travel blog for more awesomeness... Happy Janssens
Do you crave direction or some sort of goal regardless if it creates/adds more stress to your life?
Maybe its a personality characteristic or something in all of us that creates this need to strive for more or have some sort of thing accomplished.
We get married, we have children, we buy a house, and then we need to have that next perfect job or next perfect car.... always something more.
Are we content to just "be"?
I have a feeling it could be generational. My grandparents have been just "being" for years now. They are content to live in the house they are in, content with the things they have, the relationships they maintain. They are happy, content people. I think their belief in God enables them to be that way...
When we depend so much on ourselves, we're never good enough. We need to lose weight, get smarter, spend more (or less)... we're always perfecting.
Can we be content to be who we are?
Personally, this is a huge struggle for me. If I'm not moving forward in some way, I feel like I'm failing. Obviously, some of this is healthy and good and we are meant to strive for things but taken to the extreme, we can make ourselves miserable.
Maybe when our focus is purely on ourselves is when this happens.
If we look at life as living to serve others and God, we will be happy.
That boring job becomes a way to show coworkers/clients/bosses kindness and love. The small cramped apartment becomes a home and not an place to be upgraded. The everyday daily annoyances of life reveal to us our weakness. When we look outside of ourselves, we see that there is much more room to strive towards things that will truly make a difference
All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Phil 4:11
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
I think for all of us, especially mothers, this needs to start at HOME.
Our closest relationships, our spouses and children, should be full of LOVE, gentleness, forgiveness and respect. By modeling this for our children, they will turn around and love those around them. That is TRULY making a difference.
If our homes are not respectful, loving places to be, how can we reflect love to others? How can we teach our children to be content and grateful for what they have without being content ourselves?
Mother and Child- Guatamalan Style Mother's Nutrition Book Review: Breastfeeding Older Children Breastfeeding in the News: The Curious Lactivist The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding : A Book That Changed My Life
Gorgeous new magazine! (isn't that a beautiful photo above?!)
Finally rested enough to get up the energy to submit a blog post.
Takes me two full days to recover from night shift and then its almost time to go back to work! Cest la vie.
Noah and I went to our new doctor today, Katina Martin. Besides her office being in a beautiful, rural yellow, Vermont farm house made over into perfect green pottery barn-esque amazingness, a copy of the newest Mothering magazine sat in the lobby/solarium.
It's "Verhemian" - a term Bryan just coined in a moment of genius. Defined as follows :
Verhemian : "Vermont agro-hipbohemia meets classic americana, something or rather "
Obviously, I'm in love.
She did have a lovely painting of the Hindu goddess of fertility, Lakshmi -- or at least maybe thats who it was. I have no idea if she follows any sort of religious belief but it was a gorgeous painting.
She mentioned they are trying to start a free standing birth center in Vermont- currently they aren't allowed by law to be free-standing..only affiliated with a hospital. That would be very cool if she was able to do that. I don't know of any birth centers near me. Right now she only does home births, of course if you are transferred to a hospital, they would go with you but they don't have Dr. privileges there....which is a bit ridiculous. But again, the only reason you would transfer would be if something went wrong and you needed an OB for surgery or whatnot.
We had a good time though..... Noah weighs 23 lbs...and around 32 inches I think.amazing.!
He kept busy the whole time- we are currently dealing with a bout of thrush but its slowly resolving itself.
I think I've finally decided to actively pursue becoming a lactation consultant.
Initially I was discouraged because I felt that I would need to be an RN to get any "good" jobs but I think that the demand for IBCLC's is great enough that even if I'm not an RN, I'll be okay job wise. and I can always go back for my RN or go into a graduate entry program in nursing instead. Being an LC would actually work to my advantage in the application process in that case. And since I don't have the time or money to do that right now, pursuing lactation education seems like a logical choice.
I'm passionate about breastfeeding.
I love to help other esp. women and children.
Makes sense. Why I am stalling about it kind of doesn't. I think I am afraid I won't be smart enough or people will reject my help or won't trust me... does that sound silly?
So .. in order to become a lactation consultant I need to do a bunch of different things.
1) Become a La Leche League Leader. I don't think this will be an issue... we need a group in Vergennes and I'd love to start one. The time commitment is minimal and every year of LLL service counts toward 500 clinical hours for the IBLCE (International Board Lactation Consultants Exam).
2) Take semester long classes in Anatomy and Physiology and Biology. Easily found at CCV online.
3) Complete 90 hours of education in Human Lactation and Breastfeeding. There is an accredited distance learning program that meets all the requirements for this that would be perfect. and is only $1750.00 tuition which is incredible.
4) Complete 1000 hrs of clinical experience (two years LLL).
5) Complete continuing eduation in
Basic life support (e.g. CPR)
Occupational safety, including security, for health professionals
Professional ethics for health professionals (e.g. Code of Ethics)
Universal safety precautions and infection control
I actually have done CPR, Occup. Safety and Prof. Ethics as well as Universal safety at Howard Center but am unsure if they will count as "continuing ed" or not. I'll have to look into it.
I'm kind of scared to go ahead and plunge ahead into something new but I feel like I need to take the step somewhere. and the affordability of this program is so much more than any other one I could take in anything and it allows me to learn from home......
I stumbled upon an article by a midwife talking about posterior birth position and its effects on labor and delivery and WOW, I am SO validated right now.
Noah was delivered in the posterior position and seriously, the labor was exactly how she describes it in this article. Long, long...at first irregular painful contractions, horrible back pain, 3+ hours of pushing....
I've been blog searching for organizational tools that will help me as a mom, organize!
We mostly struggle with meal planning. When you don't have dinner on the table, the stress seems to go through the roof.
Not to mention that Noah can't have dairy, I am usually sleeping during dinner, and Bryan is probably the most picky person I know and would rather have everything that I wouldn't consider edible food.
I did find a super meal planning program online called Plan to Eat. It has a free 30-day trial, which I signed up for. After that its $5 a month.
I hate paying for things that I should be capable of doing myself but the fact is, I'm not. I am just not organized enough. (Well...maybe I am I just don't know it yet..)
I also discovered a blog called Organizing Your Way. She has an awesome list of free printables for a home management binder as well as super resources on Once a Month Cooking. The idea is you plan out a variety of freezable meals and then once a month, take an afternoon and cook, freeze and viola! You have meals at your fingertips.
This idea sounds great in theory but actually implementing it sounds a bit scary. Maybe one of my friends will spend an afternoon doing this with me. It would definitely make my life easier.... it would have saved my sanity the first month of Noah's life, that's for sure!
I'm really enjoying her blog purely because she talks about practical ways to develop life skills like time management, planning, budgeting, etc. I know I need help in these areas and I think everything can benefit from some improvement.
Also Simple Mom is a great page to visit for more blog resources on all thing Simple Living.... The above mentioned blog contributes to her network.
I think my goals for the rest of this month should be to implement meal planning as an integral part of how we operate...then maybe we'll get to the cleaning, routines, etc..
This is what I spent my day after work doing yesterday.... in between nap and sleeping..
and lots and lots of cuddling <3 . Noah loves loves loves playing with water right now.
I'm going to have to get a little pool and more summer clothes for him soon...probably tomorrow since it supposed to be 80's all week!
My mother, father and brother in law came up to visit and helped us accomplish SOO many things around the house. I appreciate it more than they know... <3 Having three sets of hands around helps tremendously. Noah usually takes up most of my free time leaving other projects unfinished. (In this case, since November).
This is what we did.
Bryan and his dad and brother cleaned out one of the bedrooms on my mother's side of the house and it was a job, let me tell you. You could NOT walk into it. You could just open the door and peer in afraid....sweating a little bit.. Now, you can walk all the way through and there are TWO guest beds set up. The rest of the place is begging to be painted.
I'm going to help my mom paint it green (with the left over paint from our bedroom). We are going to then paint her Jenny Lind crib bright yellow as well. It's going to be adorable!! (See inspiration pic)
They moved the ginormous bed that was taking up most of Noah's playroom to that room (see pic where end of bed is). This freed up a TON of space and we were able to move the bookshelves from downstairs hall/office to his playroom. (Notice the completed chalkboards!!)
THEN we painted most of what needed to be painted in the hall and stairwell. So everything is starting to get put together nicely and really feel comfy.
Still some more painting to be done but we're almost finished!!
Now to get started on all my sewing projects! I've got a bit to do before I'm totally done with his playroom...
~ hem curtains
~ reinforce shelving
~ add shelving to top of closet
~ create and apply fabric wall decals
~ buy and hang paper lanterns over stair well
~ hang chalkboards
~ finish book slings and hang
~recover rocking chair (anyone with really good way to upholster a cane backed rocking chair WITHOUT removing the cane?)
They watched Noah for us this morning and we got to sleep in till 8:00. Isn't that the single most amazing thing you've ever heard!?! ALSO watched him while we to church at Burlington Vineyard so Bryan and I got to spend some time with each other. It was really nice.. <3
I've found a slew of creative blogs that I'm in love with and am officially motivated to start sewing!!
I've also got a list of projects to complete and completed a major trip to Lowe's to get supplies for some chalkboards and book slings I am going to make for Noah's playroom. Also, got some trim for the walls by the stairs and the rest of the paint so finally, this weekend, I am GOING to complete this stinkin project!!
I am so excited to do these projects and I wish I could take credit for them but I can't! haha. I'll blog about each one as I complete them but here is a list of links for your reading pleasuree..
I just got some old wooden frames from Goodwill, took out the glass, etc and am going to repaint them bright, fun colors.
I bought plywood at Lowes and had them cut it to size for each frame. Now I need to prime and paint it with chalkboard paint and Viola! Adorable chalkboards for Noah to create little paintings in!! I'll put up a picture tutorial once they've been completed.
THIS site is incredible...her photography in and of itself is amazing. I would like to steal the lanterns/pompom idea and put in into blues/creams for his playroom....so adorable!!
I'd also like to make this pallet reading bed once we get into a bigger place.
Maybe you have a child before anyone you know does and your friendships drift away from you.
Or you all have babies and are too busy to make time for one another - not by choice but by necessity.
Working moms, stay at home moms...both have so much to do that its difficult to find time to talk and share. Sometimes, I feel so out of the loop when catching up with old friends or talking to coworkers or anyone for that matter. Sure, I look like I might know what I'm talking about, but I actually have no idea. I'm struggling for words.
I'm struggling for words.
I've felt a lot of grief in the past week. I should be the happiest, most cheerful person in the whole entire world considered what I've been blessed with but it's been difficult to be joyful recently. I've wanted to cry every day for no one reason that I can pinpoint at the time,
It's really not that "motherhood" so to speak is lonely in and of itself. It's actually full of company - children are incredibly loving and giving and boisterous. Its the loss or pausing of other relationships. Every once and again when you're reminded of what it was like to be able to just do, just go, just be spontaneous without worrying about whether or you not you've got diapers and wipes and sippy cups and snacks and making sure he/she is fed, happy and smiling.
Really though, Fed, happy and smiling is a much bigger joy than shopping by yourself in the end. It's just much more vulnerable. You've got more to lose.
I'm thinking about my little nephew who passed away last year. His 1st birthday would have been in a week or so. It hurts. His little life was so precious and the fact that we're mourning him now is a constant reminder that life is short and fleeting. There really are no words. Knowing that he is safe in God's arms is my only comfort.
Heidelberg Catechism Question 1.
Q. What is your only comfort
in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,^1
but belong— body and soul,
in life and in death—^2
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.^3
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,^4
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.^5
He also watches over me in such a way^6
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven:^7
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.^8
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life^9
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.^10
If I didn't have this comfort, I'm not sure I could handle the uncertainties of life.
Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there's a God who loves you,
where is He now?
Maybe, there are things you can't see
and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending.
There are a few advantages to taking the journey into the shadow of death. One is that you can appreciate the light more deeply than ever before. - Mom4Life
On another note..
We've been going to a new church. http://burlingtonvineyard.org/
We really enjoy it so far. It's very small, maybe 20 people or so. It started a little while back and its been slow growing. The people are open, honest, friendly and loving. Most of them are our age with young children. This past Sunday, we met at one of the families' houses and sang and had more of a Bible study format than what people would consider "church". The open sharing and talking about how God has worked in lives as well as how we've struggled was refreshing to say the least. Looking forward to going to church on Sundays - being thirsty for more- has been something thats been missing for me for a while. I respect and love the church we had been going to but I feel that there are boundaries (imagined or not) that keep people apart there or from sharing their struggles. I know that I'm partly responsible for the feeling I'm talking about but hubby and I both felt that we needed a fresh start. We needed something separate from where my family has gone since my grandparents moved to Vermont. When you've been somewhere your whole life, its hard to step away from old feelings/old issues/etc.
I just feel that this church is truly living and breathing and OPEN to anyone. It's a community in every sense of the word and that is the one thing we've really been missing since moving back to VT. I'm happy and excited for what's to come.
“A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” - Agatha Christie
How true is this quote?This was my second mother's day and each day that passes, I am more bonded to Noah than before. My love for him is so strong that it surprises me. I never understood "the mother instinct" concept before having him and now I understand. There is a physical reaction to your child...your whole body feels pain at the thought of something happening to them.
The second night of his life, we were in the hospital. I was exhausted not having slept much at all about 36 hrs labor and visitors, etc. Noah was fussy and crying. I didn't know what to do. The nurses took him to the nursery so I could rest. I felt horrible and woke up every 1/2 hr physically panicked about where he was. I finally asked them to bring him to me but I had never experienced such physical emotions. My whole being needed to be near him -- this is biology for the nursing mom but at the time, I didn't know anything about that.
I am thankful for him and thankful that I have the privilege of being his mother. He has the most incredible smile and infectious laugh. He is generous and empathetic even at 17 months.
However, I'd like to share one humiliating story with you.
I finally bought a diaper sprayer for my cloth dipes. It's really a mini bidet which I think it a little amusing. I just HAD to have it....I felt that it would make getting the reallllyyy lovely poops off into the toilet MUCH easier.
My dad finally hooked it up for me after days of it taking residence on the kitchen table.
Days later, when I finally needed to use it, I turn on the knob that releases the pressure so that you get water, positioned the diaper over the toilet and ever so carefully pressed the spray nozzle spraying. myself. in. the. face.
I stood there, confounded, soaking wet and started to laugh uncontrollably. Noah comes running into the bathroom to see mommy with a poopy diaper in hand, laughing hysterically on the floor- on the verge of tears.