Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Puffed" Up


Do you ever start to get "puffed up" in your faith, and then God brings you back down a couple notches?  Yeah, that happened to me today.  This week we are having a Christmas party at church.  Our church gave us some really nice invitations to hand out to people in our community, and they come with a New Testament Bible.  Yesterday I decided to invite a couple of my neighbors.  I gave one of the invitations to a neighbor who was out running past my house.  We used to walk together at the beginning of fall, but then our schedules changed.  The other invitation I gave to a next door neighbor.  I was returning some Tupperware, so I brought an invitation packet with me.  They weren't home, so I left it on their door.  I'm not gonna lie, I was proud of myself for inviting people to church.  I was thinking that God must be pretty proud of me too. 

This evening, my puffy self asked my husband if he had invited the people from his work.  He said, "No, I wasn't sure what time the party is, so I couldn't fill out the invitation.  I was going to check and then give it to them tomorrow." 

"All of the information is already on the invitation, right?" I answered.

"No, it's an invitation.  You have to fill it out." He said.


Fill it out?  I quickly opened one of the invitations.



I probably look like one of those people who goes door to door just handing stuff out....except I don't even know what I'm handing out, apparently!  The pizza guy who leaves Dominos coupons on our doorstep has more meaningful handouts than this.

Needless to say, I got de-puffed tonight.  I texted my (walking partner) neighbor and apologized and let her know what the invitation should say.  Then August and I walked next door with a new invitation for the next door neighbors.  They are an older couple.  The wife was not home; she is out of town helping their daughter who had just had surgery.  The husband was gracious with my mix up, and he told me that he would come. 

Why do I always have to learn lessons the hard way?  I always have to end up looking stupid.  Humility.  God always gives me a good dose of it, but I am thankful that He does.  How silly for someone like me to get puffed up.   I have done nothing.  God sent His Son.  His only Son to die for me.  Jesus suffered, bled, died.....for me?  How foolish of me to get a skip in my step when I invite someone to church.  Really Amanda?  How prideful.  I am nothing. The only thing I have to boast in is Christ.  He is everything, and He has given me life.  How silly of me to take pride in my "good works."  I am focusing on the verse below.  Adam mentioned it when he was writing in one of the prayer journals for our middle schoolers (you can read about that in my last post). 

"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30
God must have known that I would need this verse later in the week.  Ugh, I can't wait to get rid of this flesh.  Hopefully next time, this verse will pop into my head, and I won't need a lesson in humility. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prayer Journals for Christmas

Look at me on a blogging streak!  Haha.  I'm on a roll.  Today has been a busy and hectic day.  It was a blessed day, but a full day.  I slept better last night than I have slept in a while.  Adam and I have been going to bed super late for some reason, and last night we didn't go to bed as late....12:00 a.m.  Yeah, that's not as late for us.  Goodness.  We are usually in bed around 10:30 or 11, but lately we have been night owls...like 1 and 2 a.m.  Oops.  Anyway, this morning August slept in until 8:15....so I slept in until 8:15.  I try to aim to have us both ready to go out the door by about 9:10.  Sunday school starts at 9:30, and since Adam teaches middle school youth, we can't be late.  If August and I aren't ready on time, then we have to drive separately, which is no fun.  Adam spends the morning in preparation for teaching, so August is my responsibility on Sunday mornings.  So, since we slept in, we started off our morning running behind.  After I nursed him, changed his clothes, got myself ready, got the diaper bag ready, hunted for shoes, etc. we were headed to church.  I decided to take August to the nursery for Sunday school for the first time.  He usually stays with me in Adam's class, but lately as he gets older, that is harder and harder to do.  He is very wiggly and just wants to play with everything.  It makes it very hard to focus.  So I took him into the nursery, passed him off to the teacher, and he immediately started screaming.  I searched through his diaper bag and realize I didn't pack everything I needed.  So I leave him with the nursery worker, rush home (in the pouring rain), rush back to church (still pouring), and get back to the nursery to see that he is still screaming.  We are going through a clingy phase.  It's been going on a good month or more.  The nursery teachers are so great with him though.  I'm pretty sure they have more patience for that than I do.  Haha.  So I gave him a bottle when I got back.  I decided I would just try him in the sanctuary during the church service.  He didn't even make it to the actual sermon.  He wanted to sing too apparently, and very loudly at that.  So back to the nursery we go.  I stayed with him since it was a bit busy back there, and I was hoping I could get him to sleep.  No go. 

When we got home this afternoon, I needed to get the house ready for our middle school youth party this evening.  I already had the kitchen cleaned up, I just needed to prep some of the food, sweep the floors, clean the bathroom, and just pick up around the house.  Adam and I also decided to make the students prayer journals as their Christmas present.  We went to Walmart (ugh.) yesterday since I needed to make a return and bought the supplies we would need.  I made the journals for the girls, and Adam made them for the boys.  He is so crafty! :)  Haha, he even admitted that it was kind of fun making them.  We wrote out a prayer inside the front page of the journal specifically for that student.  I wrote one for each of the girls, and Adam wrote one for the boys.  I think doing that showed them how much we care about them and pray for them individually, and it also models to them how to pray.  Not that there is a specific format or that you have to use certain words, but I think sometimes it's hard to know what to pray about if you have not been praying.  I think a prayer journal is beneficial for anyone for a lot of reasons.  1) It's much easier to focus if you are writing down your thoughts. 2) A prayer journal is something you can look back on and see how God answered previous prayers, or how he answered them in a way that was surprising to you.  3) Prayer journals are also a good place to record encounters with God- those moments where you just know that God is speaking through you to someone else or God has purposefully placed you somewhere and used you, etc.  I think those kind of moments are good to look back on in hard times because it solidifies your faith.  I think recording those things is important.  A homemade prayer journal could be a great Christmas gift for a new believer, friend, son/daughter, or anyone really. 

One of the journals Adam made for the boys. 

One of the journals I made for the girls.

I love how you can personalize a prayer journal.  If your child is older, you could let them create their own.  They might be more likely to use it that way.  I have planned on starting a prayer journal for August ever since he was 2 months old, and I still haven't started it.  I want to write prayers for him in it.  Prayers about his salvation, his witness to others, his future, his thought life, his obedience to us and to God, his potential wife, his education, his time management, just everything.  I think it will be neat to give to him when he is older, so that he can see how we have prayed for him through the years, and he can see how those prayers have been answered in his life.

Adam read the Christmas story during the party, and we ate food and played a game.  Well, I missed the game part since I was nursing/bathing a little one. :)  But that's ok.  I missed being part of the fun, but I enjoyed the time with August since we have had such a busy weekend.  I fixed a cheesy rotel dip with chips, cocktail sausages, frozen pizza, cookies, and I let the students bring drinks and other desserts.....it was the party food of champions.  Haha. They seemed to enjoy. Ahh to be in middle school and eat whatever you want without the guilt.  Must be nice. :)  (By the way, am I the only one who has problems with eating too much of the food?  I eat it before they arrive to "test" it, I eat with the students during the party, and then I eat as I am cleaning up the leftovers.  Ughhh....I seriously need to start practicing some self control, because if I do this for the rest of my life, I'm gonna be huge.)

Well I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend.  I will probably be recovering tomorrow, but I also have a lot I still need to get done.  Ummm...Christmas cards anyone?  I have them and haven't mailed them out yet.  That is terrible.  So I HAVE to get on that tomorrow, especially since some of the cards need to make it to Texas!  Ahhh.  Goodnight y'all!  Have a peaceful evening!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Vaccinations, Haircut, and Tragedy

Today was a full day.  We had August's 6 month vaccinations this morning.  He is almost 7 and 1/2 months old, but he got his vaccinations today since he had the flu when he was 6 months old.  I know vaccinations are kind of controversial, and I don't think parents need to feel the need to defend their decisions when it comes to vaccines, but we have chosen to vaccinate.  My thought behind vaccinating our kids is that we don't know what the future holds.  We may be called to the mission field in a faraway country where disease is more prevalent than in the U.S., and it will be a huge relief to know that our kids have been vaccinated.  Also, it seems like there are more and more outbreaks of various diseases in the U.S., so I am glad to know that we have prevented as best we can.  I can see the other side of the fence though.  Are vaccinations causing more harm than good?  Is it a government conspiracy? No lie, I wonder about those things sometimes.  But you know I was vaccinated as a child, and I am doing alright.  It's really an individual decision for each parent to make.  I don't feel strongly either way, I just know this is what we have chosen for our family.

Anyway, dunno where that tangent came from.  After his appointment we got some breakfast from Bojangles and headed home for a nap! Oh, by the way, Adam was off work today since he had a vacation day that expires at the end of this year.  So he took today off.  After a nap, I headed to my haircut appointment.  I had just planned on getting an inch or two trimmed off, and I decided literally right before she started cutting that I wanted it chopped off.  I got it chopped off when I was pregnant, and I remember that I loved it.  It was so easy to style and made getting ready a lot faster.  These days I'm all about convenience, but I would like to still have some style.  So I opted for an angled bob.  I'm so rebellious, I know. ;) 

Adam and I had an easy night at home this evening.  August was running a low fever from the vaccines and was a little fussy, but he was able to eat half a banana for supper.  We spent the evening cuddling and loving on each other.  As you know, there was a tragic shooting in Connecticut tonight.  I heard bits of the incident throughout the day, but I didn't really know what had happened.  I heard the full story on the radio for the first time late this afternoon after my haircut when I was sitting in traffic.  I was stunned.  20 children shot....why???  I can't believe it.  I started crying in my car.  Being a parent now means so much more when I hear news like this.  I can't imagine the pain those parents are feeling right now.  I can't imagine.  I don't even know how to offer any condolences.  I don't even know what to say.  I know that God is sovereign.  I know that all of those children are with the Lord right now.  I know that Jesus is holding all of them and has wiped their tears away.  I know He loves them more than anyone could ever love those kids.  But I also know that they are there because of someone's choice.  Someone's selfish, ignorant, satanic choice.  I don't know what that man could have been going through to do that.  I do know that he is getting his punishment right now.  I am scared for him.  I'm scared for his eternal punishment.  I know people wish he was alive so that he could receive the death penalty or that they could shoot him in return, but he is getting his punishment right now.  And I do not even want to think about what it is like for him.  How tragic.  I'm just so in shock about this situation.  I just feel like our schools are not safe anymore.  I know the school that I worked in routinely practiced lock-down drills.  I am so thankful that we were extremely prepared.  Our principal and vice principal did an amazing job at equipping the staff to deal with those situations.  But I know things like this still happen because there is still sin in this world.  I will be praying for those families in the weeks and months to come.

Well, I started this blog post with just wanting to quickly mention a sweet comment that Adam gave me today, and then decided to tell you about our day, and then decided all I could think about were the victims of today's shooting.  That's so sad that I have to type that...."today's" shooting....because it seems like there is one almost every day now. 

I will end with Adam's compliment.  Tonight as we were watching Shark Tank (our favorite show during the week), a Walmart commercial came on.  In the commercial, the lady ended up saving $50.  "I will buy a new pair of shoes!" she exclaimed.  Adam looked over at me and said, "I'm so glad that whenever someone mentions $50, you think of our grocery bill instead of shoes."  That was one of the best compliments that I have ever received.  I am so glad that my husband knows my heart for our home, and my desire to manage our money for God's glory.  I'm definitely not perfect when it comes to finances, but I do try to spend them in a way that would be pleasing to God.  I don't say any of this to toot my own horn, cause God knows I do not have a horn to toot.  It just makes me feel really good to know that Adam notices my efforts and that gives me encouragement to continue to manage our finances well.  Thanks for reading, y'all.  Always feel free to leave a comment.  I love hearing from you.  Have a great weekend.

Monday, December 10, 2012

August crawls!

Here's what's going on at the Hare house this week!  Someone decided that it was time to do some Marine crawling! Today August is 7 months and 1 week old. He also said "mama" to me the other day right after I said it! What a week! Enjoy the videos!


 P.S. If you can't see these videos, leave a comment and let me know.  We got a new computer with Windows 8 (ugh, in my opinion....thankful for the computer, Windows 8 not so much), and I can't view videos on a lot of websites, so I'm not sure if it's Windows 8 or if it's something else.  Thanks!

Friday, November 30, 2012


Well, it's only been about a month since I updated.  Our computer screen died, so the computer was toast.  We took it to Best Buy, and they said we might as well get a new computer.  So we have been saving the last few weeks so we could get one.  So now I'm back! 

August woke up from his afternoon nap Tuesday of last week, and his cheeks were bright red and he felt very warm. I took his temp and it read 103.2.  Ahhh! I called his doctor's office, and they told me to give him some fever reducer and that if it didn't go down within 45 minutes to take him to the ER.  That was so scary. Thankfully I already had a doctor's appointment scheduled for the next morning (well visit).  His fever went down with the reducer, but by the middle of the night, it was back up again.  I woke up at 2 a.m. to hear him doing a deep moan. When I went in his room, he was in the fetal position on his side, and he was shaking so badly I thought he was convulsing.  I gave him some more medicine, nursed him, and prayed for the next couple hours as I held him.  I was so worried.  The next morning he refused to nurse and the little milk I could get in him he just threw back up.  I cried most of the way to the doctor's office.  I thought for sure something terrible was wrong with him.  I started picturing him in the hospital hooked up to all sorts of monitors.  When we got in a room at the doctor's office, they pricked his finger and swabbed his nose and found that he tested positive for flu.  
Waiting at the doctor's office
Let me tell you that the flu with a 6 month old is awful.  He was so pitiful and cried every time he coughed.  One minute he was cold and the next minute he was hot.  I felt so bad for him.  The same day I took him to the doctor's office I started feeling bad too.  I am sure I had the flu as well because I ran a fever for 3 days, had a very sore throat, chills, cough, and sneezing.  Adam was a WONDERFUL caretaker though.  He pretty much did everything for August so I could rest.  He kept my cup refilled with ginger ale and made sure I ate regularly.  I am SO thankful for Adam.  I don't think August and I could have made it without him.  I love my man. :) We missed Thanksgiving, but my mom brought us some food, and our sweet friend Morgan gave us a homemade pumpkin pie.  Adam and I decided as horrible as it was for August and me to be sick, we really needed those few days of down time as a family.  It was nice to spend time together and not feel like we had to participate in everything going on.

We are on the mend and have been fever free for almost a week now.  I am sooo glad. I finally cooked tonight. It was hard to get back into the swing of things.  Adam did a great job of keeping the laundry going while I was sick, so thankfully I didn't have too much of that to catch up on.  I feel like I have a ton more to update on, but it's not coming to me.  My good friend Samantha took some family photos/August's 6 month photos for us a couple weeks ago, and I will be posting some of those soon. She did such a wonderful job!!!  They look SO good! I can't wait to share some of them with you.  I'm headed to bed soon, so I will leave you with a couple recent photos of August!

This was a few hours before he woke up with a fever.  We ran out to the mall for a few minutes, which we NEVER do.  I can't remember the last time I went to the mall. 

This picture is out of focus and shows off my messy laundry room, but this picture is sheer joy to me.  I LOVE seeing this happy face! 

Thanks for sticking with me! I will be updating more regularly, so stay tuned. :) 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

I am so flattered that Megan from Husted Happenings nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award.  I had never heard of this award before, so I googled it.  It is basically an award that bloggers can give to fellow bloggers who have less than 200 readers.  It's kind of  like a tag.  Thank you Megan, for thinking of me! :)

I think the rules are different all around the world, but this is how it goes for the strand I was nominated for.

Liebster Blog Award Rules

1. Post 11 things about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you.
3. Create 11 questions to ask the bloggers that you nominate.
4. Choose 11 bloggers to nominate who have less than 200 followers.
5. Make sure and let the people know that you nominated them.  No tag backs, so you can't nominate someone who nominated you.

11 Things About Myself

1. I am a wife and a mother.  My husband's name is Adam, and my son's name is August.  We have 2 dogs, Heidi and.....the other one doesn't have a name yet.  It was a stray.  LOL.  Ok, that was way more info than one thing.  I'm gonna be good at this, I can tell, haha.
2. I am saved and forgiven by my Lord, Jesus Christ.  I fall short of His commandments every day, but He loves me anyway.  I live to honor and please Him.
3. I am a stay at home mom.  I originally thought this job would be baking and decorating all day....not so.  
4. I have way more nail polish than I should.
5. I love listening to Nancy Leigh DeMoss on Revive Our Hearts Radio.  She is such an encouragement in my life and walk with Christ.  I enjoy listening to her while I cook, wash dishes, or fold laundry.
6. I enjoy organizing.  That's sad, I know.
7. My favorite stores are TJ Maxx and Home Goods.  I could spend hours in those stores.
8. I have a fear of hanging things on the walls.  I'm afraid I'm going to hang it and not like it, and then there are holes in the wall that I have to putty over and repaint.  Since living in our home for 2 years, we have only hung things in our son's nursery.  I have a mirror hanging next to the kitchen table, but the holes were already there from the previous owners.
9. I don't like confrontation or conflict.  I avoid it at all costs, but following Christ means those things are inevitable.  We are called to confront fellow believers (in a loving, concerned way) about their sin.  That is a very humbling position to be in.
10. My favorite food is chocolate chip cookies.
11. Most of my friends are missionaries and will be leaving soon.  I am so thankful they are willing to step out in faith and follow God, but selfishly, I am very sad that they are leaving.

11 Questions from Megan at Husted Happenings

1. On Average, how many hours do you sleep each night?
I average about 7 hours of sleep a night.  I should be getting more, and I have no one to blame but myself.  My son sleeps 10-11 hours a night.  I am blessed, I know!

2. What is your favorite movie? 
My favorite movie has always been Rocketman.  It is hilarious to me.  I also really like Fireproof.

3. What is your favorite place to eat?
I do not really have a particular restaurant I like to eat in.  I would rather go out for ice cream or coffee than dinner. 

4. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went on a cruise.  It departed from Miami and stopped in Cozumel, Mexico, The Grand Cayman Islands, and Jamaica.  It was so much fun.  I'm ready for another cruise!  Haha.  But I'm sure that won't be happening for a while.

5. If you could live anywhere for 2 weeks, where would you live?  
I have never thought about that.  Hmmmm.  Honestly, I love where I live, and I am happy to live here.  But that's a good question.  I really like Savannah, GA and anywhere in the Bahamas.

6. What is your favorite quote?
I am not a huge quote person, but I really like this one.  It was written on my kitchen chalkboard for a while.

I also really like reading Matthew 6:25-34.  It is very reassuring in hard times.  Worry is my #1 sin.

7. Who or what inspires you?
The Bible inspires me.  It inspires my whole life.  Everything I think, everything I want to be, everything I live for is in God's Word.  I also have many friends who give me Biblical encouragement every day through texts or brief conversations at church, and I am SO thankful for their influence in my life.  

8. What one person has made the biggest impact in your life and in what way?
Jesus has made the biggest impact in my life.  He has given me LIFE!  He has promised to love me, forgive  me, be an atonement for my sins, and He has promised to step in and tell His Father that He KNOWS me, and I am a child of His.  He has promised to be my Savior on judgement day.  He has changed everything for me.

9. Hard or soft shell tacos?
Both.  Crunchwrap supreme, anyone?  Cheesy gordita crunch?  No? :)

10. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Neopolitan is my favorite.  My grandmommy always had a big tub of it in Montgomery when we would come to visit her.  It still reminds me of my childhood and hot summers in Alabama.

11. Why did you start a blog?
I started a blog to document my marriage, walk with the Lord, and I hoped to write candidly and honestly about my life so that I might be an encouragement to others.  I like to share about things I am going through.

Alrighty, here are some questions I would like answered!

1. Why did you start a blog?
2. What are your beliefs?
3. What do you like to do in your spare time?
4. What is your favorite thing to cook for supper and why?
5. What do you struggle with the most?
6. How would you describe your decorating style?
7. What is your best accomplishment?
8. It's Saturday morning.  What are you doing?
9. What is your favorite/least favorite household chore?
10. What do you and your husband do for date nights?
11. What are your favorite books to read?

Tag, you're it!  I am tagging the following people to complete my list of questions....

1. http://letsopenthewindow.blogspot.com/  Summer is one of my friends from church, and she and her family will be going to Thailand next year.  I will miss them like crazy!  

2. http://rachclark7766.blogspot.com/  I have known Rachel since middle school.  We were in band together, were pregnant at the same time, and now we both have little ones.  I love reading her blog.

3. http://mattandbetty.blogspot.com/  I have known Betty since elementary school.  We also went through band together.  Now she is married with 2 sons, and I love reading about her life.  She is very honest, and I really appreciate that.

4. http://inthedanielsden.blogspot.com/  I used to go to church with Jennifer.  She is married, has a 2 year old son, and 3 triplet boys!!!  I honestly don't know how she does it!

5. http://recycledinteriors.blogspot.com/  I have read Laina's blog for a while now.  I love her decorating style and her cute cabin.  She also has an adorable son named Zion....LOVE that name!  A few months ago, I went to a Le Leche League meeting, and she was there too!  It was really neat to meet her.  She hasn't blogged in a while, and I wish she would come back! :)  I just saw she actually has 208 followers, oops.  Oh well!

6. http://luckycharmadventures.blogspot.com/  Samantha and I have been friends since middle school.  We go to church together.  She is married and has a CUTE little girl named Zoe.  We love to go shopping together at local antique stores. :)

I didn't tag 11 people.  Oops.  I read a lot more blogs than the ones listed, but they all have over 200 readers.  I can't wait to read your responses, ladies!  Thanks again for nominating me, Megan!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturday Night Baking

Tonight I am baking some cookies for our church luncheon tomorrow.  White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Cookies.  Yum!  Super long name, super good cookies.  If you are interested in the recipe, you can find it HERE.  The only thing I changed was the amount of salt.  The recipe called for 1/2 tsp of salt, but I gave it 1 tsp instead.  I love salt in cookies!  So good!  I only have one good baking pan (my other one is dark and tends to burn cookies), so I have ten minutes to spare every five minutes.  This will have to be broken up into at least 3 or 4 batches.

Image borrowed from recipe website

August loves pumpkin.  I think this face says it all.

"Mommy's little pumpkin" onesie

"Ohhh let's see here, you got any pumpkin on this grocery list?"
Well, I have been 3 days without Facebook now.  I must say, it's weird.  And hard.  I think in my last post I sounded a bit facebook crazed, and that's honestly not true.  Facebook is cool, yes.  But it wasn't anything I thought about all the time or checked because it was a hobby of mine, it was just a bad habit that took up a huge amount of time.  I dunno what it is about checking it.  Maybe I'm afraid I'm going to miss something?  I have no idea.  But I do have to say, it has been SO nice to not have everyone's opinions in my head.  I will just say that.  My brain is A LOT less cluttered.  I have caught myself typing in "face.." in the address bar.  Such a hard habit to break.  Oh, and also, have you ever tried to cancel your facebook?  They make it really hard to do that.  You get asked a million times if you are sure you want to cancel it.  They show you profile pics of your friends with a caption below saying, "These people will miss you!"  Some of those people I haven't spoken to in years.  I think they'll be ok. :)  The worst part about cancelling it is that they actually save your information and tell you that you can come back at anytime.  All you have to do is type in your e-mail address and password.  That's ridiculous.  What is the point of "cancelling" it if you can just sign back in?  So I guess it's going to take more willpower than I thought.

On another note, my house hasn't been this clean in a while.  I deep cleaned both bathrooms today, swept the house (we don't have carpet, just laminate hardwood), did a few loads of laundry (by did, I mean washed and dried...not folded yet....), and still had time to take the dog to the vet, drop off a prescription at Walmart, play with August, do some Insanity, cook a healthy supper (roasted asparagus, roasted red dill potatoes, and steamed corn on the cob), bake some cookies, and relax a little bit with Adam.  Not bad for a Saturday.

God has been doing HUGE things in the Hare house lately.  (Not that He isn't always doing huge things.)  But we have recently stepped out in faith, and He has been faithful to His Word.  We knew He would, but it was the first time we have lived what we believe.  It has been AWESOME.  God is so amazing.  I can't fathom His love for me; I am so undeserving.  I will give a proper post to the happenings very soon, hopefully.

I am seeing results with Insanity.  I have hit a number I haven't seen since I started trying to lose the baby weight.  I have been on a plateau for a while, but I think I am finally starting to come off of it.  I have increased my water intake, and I have actually started eating more calories.  I haven't been counting calories at all, but I have just started eating more during the day.  I guess my body was just holding onto everything because it wasn't getting enough.  I wasn't having any snacks during the day (an almost-6 month-old, housework, errands, and a crazy schedule will do that to you), so I added those in and it has worked.  Bonus, the snacks haven't even been super healthy.  (Cookies!) I know that's bad, but my body is just happy with the extra calories for now.  I have also seen an increase in my milk production from drinking more water and eating more.  Woo hoo!

Oh, and shout out to one of my best friends, Becky, for having her baby!!!  All natural people....no drugs!!!!  In the hospital!!!!  With a regular OBGYN!  (See you doubters and crunchy people, it's totally possible!)  Sooo proud of you girl!  Your little Liam is so precious, and I am just over the moon excited for you.  Love you!

I better get in the bed.  Adam is passed out on the couch, and I need to clean up my baking mess.  I am a messy baker for sure.  To the two of you, including my mom, who are still reading the blog now that I'm off facebook, I appreciate you so much!  I hope the pair of you have a wonderful night! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Deleting my Facebook

As of today, I will be deleting my facebook.  Unfortunately facebook has become somewhat of an idol to me.  I can't seem to go long without "checking" it, and when I do, I end up spending way more time on it than I should.  My house is often neglected because of it, and as hard as this is to admit, my son probably is neglected because of it too.

I don't want to set this kind of example for my son.  I also don't want to look back on my life and wonder how I spent it.  This is an idol that needs to be crushed.

I believe anything that takes up your time that keeps you from the things God called you to do is an idol.  You don't have to bow before a statue to worship an idol.  Think about it, if someone from a tribe in a faraway country came to my house and watched me for a day, they would probably think, "Oh, that thing must be her god because that's how she spends her time.  She stares at that little black flat thing that opens up and has letters on it for hours."  I may not spend hours on my computer straight, or I might, but if you added up all of the minutes in the day I spend checking my facebook or various things on the internet, it's no wonder I can't stay on top of things in my "real" life.

This is definitely not something that is easy to do.  I have my flesh saying things like, "You are a stay at home mom, you need interaction from the outside world in order to not feel so trapped."  My flesh will also say, "You can use facebook as a ministry tool.  It's also how people find your blog.  So you need to keep it."

However, I'm not using my facebook as a ministry tool.  Sometimes I do, but the impact facebook has on myself is not worth the times I do post Bible verses or stories.  And let's be honest, who doesn't post Bible verses to their facebook?  The Bible says that we should flee from temptation (1 Corinthians 10:14).  We should not be strong.  So I am fleeing.

I will still be posting on this blog, so if you would like to keep up with me, August, and Adam, you can find us here.  The blog is not an idol to me, and I believe God is going to use it to tell our story, as I have time and have taken care of my other tasks.  You can subscribe to the blog via e-mail, there is a box on the right hand side of the blog to type in your e-mail address, or I think the little "Friend Connect" button on the right might still work if you are a follower of blogs or have your own blog.  This way, you will know when I post something new and you won't have to just check it at random.  You can also leave a comment on this blog anytime you like, and I will answer you as soon as I get the time.

I just want to make it clear, that I do not look down on anyone who has a facebook, and I don't think facebook is evil.  It is just causing me to stumble, and I am not using my time wisely throughout my day because of it.  The Lord has been calling me to delete it for a while, I have just been avoiding it because I love it so much.  But that's the problem.  I love it too much.

At this point, I will continue on Pinterest, because that is where I get most of my recipes, organizational ideas, activities for August, etc.  But if it replaces facebook in becoming a time waster, then I will delete that too.

I think this is a great song for this post.  Listen to it and see if you can relate.  Thanks for reading. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Insanity- 2 weeks in

Well Adam and I completed our fit test this morning.  During Insanity, you take a fit test about every 2 weeks to check your progress.  Basically, you do specific exercises for 1 minute per exercise and see if you got more reps than the last time.  Some exercises I didn't get as many reps on as my first go-round, and I think that's for two reasons.  1) My form is better now, so I'm probably doing the exercises more correctly, which is a lot harder than doing them incorrectly and 2) The first few exercises, I didn't look at how many reps I did last time.  So I didn't have a number in my head to beat.  Apparently I needed to know that number so I would have something to aim past.  On the last few exercises, I looked at my reps for last time, and then I started beating them.  I will know better for next time.

In the Insanity program, you work out 6 days a week.  Adam and I have only been working out 5 days a week.  Not on purpose, but we usually oversleep one morning (read: we hit snooze a billion times and neither one tells the other to get up) and can't make it up that night because of church, hockey, or Bible class.  So we usually skip a workout that's called "cardio recovery."  I'm sure that workout is still really hard, but we figure it's the best one to skip since it's supposed to be a recovery workout, and a day off definitely counts as recovery. :)

I lost just over 2 pounds in 2 weeks, which is not much at all, but my body composition is definitely changing.  I think I am just gaining muscle, and that's the reason for the low weight loss.  I have read online that a lot of people don't actually lose weight according to the scale in the first two weeks.  Of course, I really want to see a certain number on that scale since I'm trying to hit my pre-pregnancy weight.  But, for now, my goal is to just fit into a normal pair of jeans.  My maternity jeans fall down with every step I take, but my pre-pregnancy jeans won't zip/button.  So I'm in this weird stage.

My diet over the past couple weeks hasn't been perfect.  I would definitely say I'm eating better than I was before I started Insanity, but I know I can do a lot better.  So I'm really going to try to step it up with healthy eating in the next couple weeks.  I want those numbers to go down!  Yesterday, our bananas had gone bad, so I made a banana bread...and Adam and I have almost eaten the entire thing.  Gah.  It was good stuff too. Seriously, the best banana bread I've ever made.  That's why I can't bake.  Cause I will eat. it. all.  I actually baked some white chocolate chip pumpkin muffins last week, and I gave away a few of them, and then I sent  one with Adam for a treat for his lunch.  I wasn't as good this time.

I also need to do better on my water intake.  I am still nursing August, and I can tell my milk supply has dropped because I'm not drinking enough.  I think it's also hard to lose weight if you're dehydrated because your body needs water to flush everything out.  So I'm going to start carrying around my giant hospital cup again to get my water intake up.

I'm probably not going to give you specific inches/weight measurements, although I don't think they're that bad, I guess most people just don't share stuff like that. I'll just let you know if I've gained/lost.

Measurement gains/losses:
Waist (smallest part): -1/2"
Hips (around the booty): -1/2"
Stomach (around my baby belly pooch): -2 and 3/4"....awesome!
Left bicep: + 1/2"
Right bicep: +1".....welcome to the gun show. ;)
Chest: -1/2"
Neck: same
Left calf: same
Right calf: +1/2"
Weight: -2.2 lbs

So that's progress! :)  We didn't take pictures today, but we will take them in 2 weeks, after month 1.  (There are 2 months in the Insanity program.)  So we will be halfway.  I dunno if I will share those pictures or not.  Haha.  They are those embarrassing pictures where you turn to the side and just let it all hang out.  Yeah.  Not cute.  Alright, I need to fix Adam's lunch and get in the bed!  That debate craziness kept me up late last night.  Talk to y'all later! :)

Edit: By the way, I wanted to add this in.  Adam doesn't actually watch the Insanity DVD.  Nope, he watches me.  Lucky him. :)  Some of the Insanity girls aren't dressed appropriately, so he has chosen not to watch the workout.  That puts extra pressure on me to keep going because he is depending on me!  I just wanted to mention that because I didn't want you to get the DVDs and be shocked that Adam would watch that.  When we workout, I point the computer screen toward me (we workout in the garage).  So that's how we do it. It's nothing I have asked Adam to do, but he told me that's how he wanted to do it, and I was happy to oblige.  :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chilly Tuesday Morning

I woke up in a bloggy mood this morning, so here I am.  This morning we woke up to a cold house, so I turned the heat on and fixed a pot of coffee.  We usually get up early and do Insanity in the morning, but we didn't make it out of bed.  This isn't the first time this has happened.  Sometimes we are able to make up for it when Adam gets home from work, but some nights we have church or Bible study, so that just isn't possible.  Tonight is probably one of those nights.  I kind of had a feeling we would miss this morning though.  I have been having pain the past few days deep inside my knee.  It was worse after yesterday morning's workout.  I'm going to go buy a knee brace today and see if that helps.  I was so mad about it.  I have been trying so hard to lose weight, and I actually enjoy Insanity. Figures. It's super intense, and it's non-stop, you are dripping with sweat when you are finished, but the workout doesn't seem to take very long.  The longest workout in the first month's workouts is like 40 minutes.  That includes a warm-up, stretching, and a cool-down too, so it isn't too bad.  Plus you can go at your own pace.  I highly recommend it.  It's pricey if you order from the website, but like I said in my last post, you can get it cheaper off of Ebay.  I have been doing Insanity for about 2 weeks now, and I have only dropped about 2-3 pounds (same 2-3 pounds I always fluctuate between), but I can tell that my body composition is changing.  The whole muscle weighs more than fat thing I guess.  We took our measurements when we first started, so we need to take them again to see if anything has changed.  I just want to fit back into my old jeans!

My friend Rachel is being induced tonight.  We are preggo/blog/high school band nerd buddies.  I'm sooooo excited for her!!  She is having a sweet little girl named Haddie.  That takes me back to when August was born.  Such a scary/special/exciting time.  I reread August's birth story the other day.  I still cried. :)  If you didn't get a chance to read it or would like to relive the moment with me, you can find it HERE.  If you want to check out Rachel's blog, she gives regular updates.  You can find it HERE.

I haven't specifically mentioned this, but I am staying home with August.  I gave up teaching to be a stay-at-home-mommy (SAHM for you bloggers).  It has been well worth the sacrifice.  I will do a more proper post on that later.  It's not something I was "lucky" to be able to do.  Luck had nothing to do with it.  It was a step of faith in following the Lord, and He has been faithful.

I am finally starting to like the decor in my home.  I love decorating.  Since we have been married and lived in the house, I have never been happy with the decor.  As much as I try, it just hasn't been a reflection of me.  You would think it would be since I'm the one that decorated it.  I love neutral decor.  I wish I could be a bright color person, I really do.  I do decorate with a little more color for summer, but in general I like neutral things.  I like calm, cozy, subdued tones.  I like vintage/antique things.  But when I try to decorate that way, it just looks like beige.  The whole house.  Beige.  So I started looking at things on Pinterest and different websites to figure out what it is about the rooms that I like so much.  How do they pull off that look without just looking beige?  I'm starting to notice that they use a lot of different things like layering of fabrics, different textures and patterns, natural materials like wicker, cotton, linen, collected items not matchy items, different finishes, etc.  I think if you do it right, it doesn't just look beige.  So I'm working on that.  I'm not trying to make my house look like Pottery Barn by any means (although, that would look pretty nice), I just want to like my home and feel comfortable in it.

The laundry has gotten out of control over the past few days.  We have been so busy.  I have been making more of an effort to get out of the house with August.  The first few months of his life, it was just not possible to get out with him due to our rocky breastfeeding start.  Then, he got on a great schedule, and I did not want to mess that up.  Finally, we are at a great place with nursing (he is super fast at it now), and he is very predictable, so I have been able to venture out into the world on a more regular basis.  It's so nice for both of us to get out of the house during the week.  We really enjoy it, especially with this nice fall weather!  So with us being gone more, I need to figure out a better way to get this laundry taken care of.  Adam goes through 3 outfits a day: workout clothes, work clothes, and lounge clothes.  I go through 2 outfits a day: workout clothes and whatever I'm wearing that day.  August goes through 2 outfits: pajamas and his outfit for the day.  So we have at least a load a day.  Usually on the weekends I don't get around to doing the laundry because we are so busy.  So I play catch-up at the beginning of the week.

Thank you to everyone who left me advice, either on the blog, on facebook, or in person, about my last blog post.  I read everyone's suggestions, and they were much appreciated!  I have switched August from rice cereal to oatmeal cereal, and I put a little apple or prune juice in the cereal along with some water.  I also give him a little bit of watered down apple juice each day.  So we will see if that helps.

Well, I need to get some cleaning done.  I hope y'all have a wonderful Tuesday.  Enjoy this beautiful fall weather!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nap Time Ramble...advice needed. :)

Today is a rambling post.  I need to ramble.  My mind is totally scatter brained today, so this is what y'all get.  I apologize in advance.  Unless you are just super bored, you could probably skip this one. If you're a mom, don't skip this one though.  I need your advice!

August has not been sleeping the past several nights.  He literally cries all. night. long.  I am exhausted.  This is soooo unlike him.  Last night I brought him to bed with us just so I could have some sleep.  As I have told ya'll before, he is a great sleeper, and loves his schedule!  I'm not sure if he is teething or what.  I feel like he has been teething forever, but he hasn't had any teeth come through.  Another issue he is having is irregularity.  He will kill me one day for writing about this.  August goes about a week and a half between BMs.  I know this is not normal.  I have talked to his doctor about it before, but the doctor just told me that each child is different, and that this might be August's normal.  I know he is constipated though, because he has been grunting trying to go for a couple days now.  He eats rice cereal once a day, and I haven't cut out any nursing sessions.  Last night we tried 100% prune juice diluted with water, and he HATED it.  He wouldn't drink it.  Today I am just going to try regular water and see if he will take it. I also read something somewhere.....this is gonna be gross....get ready.....that if you take a bath with them, let the warm water get as high as their chest, and then rub their belly, that all of the BM should come out...in the tub.  I know that's disgusting.  Don't worry, I'll clean the tub really well afterward.  But seriously, I'm desperate so that is worth a shot.  Was your child ever constipated?  What did you do for them?  Help!  (Other things we have tried: gripe water, nursing during the night for extra hydration.) Sorry for the graphic nature of this post.  Tis the life of a mommy.  Nothing really phases me anymore.  I have a stomach of steel.

I need to get some bumper pads for his crib.  He is old enough now that he has plenty of head control, so smothering I don't think is an issue anymore.  But he has been rolling over, bonking his head on the rails.  Also, his feet and arms get stuck in between the slats, so I need to get the pads.  I really want something neutral, maybe with a check print or stripes or just plain.  I don't really want any cartoon character ones or anything.  Not that I'm opposed to that, but it just wouldn't go with his nursery.  So I'm on the lookout for some (inexpensive) ones.

I would love to have a video monitor.  With all of this chaos going on at night, it would be nice if I could see what August is doing, but not have to go in there a million times to see if he is ok.  I have been cleaning my grandmother's house on Fridays and answering my FIL's phone for his guttering business during the week (he just forwarded the company phone calls to my cell phone), so I have been making some extra money trying to save up  for one.  But, things come up, and I end up spending the money on something else.

Charter increased our internet bill for $29.99/month....to $63.00/month....without letting us know.  Peace out, Charter!  It's been real.

Adam and I have been doing Insanity for a week now....at 6:30 in the morning.  Yes, we are crazy.... or insane.  Adam is busy almost every single night, so the morning is the only time we have to workout together...or at all for him.  I am sooooo desperate to get back into my old jeans.  I have been wearing maternity jeans since August was born because I have refused to buy a bigger size in pants.  I am SO over maternity pants.  I HATE them. I can finally get my old jeans on and all the way up.  (2 weeks after I had August, I could only get my jeans up to my knees, literally.)  I can wear them with the Be Band....but that's kind of uncomfortable and weird since the pants won't zip all the way up.  We took before pictures the day we started Insanity as well as our measurements (and I have been taking pictures each month postpartum), but I dunno if y'all will ever see those.  Haha.  We missed working out one day last week, and then we missed this morning because we barely slept last night.  I'm not sure what's going on with my weight.  I eat healthy 80% of the time.  The 20% is at other people's houses, church events, the occasional (very occasional) meal out, etc.  I have been exercising since August was 8 weeks old, and it was slowly coming off.  I am (as of last week) within 12-14 pounds of my pre pregnancy weight.  I have been in this range for a while now.  It's just not budging.  So I thought maybe if I revved things up with some Insanity, the weight might come off.  Insanity is expensive by the way.  But I bought mine (new) off of Ebay for $35.  It was supposed to come from California.  Well, it took it so long to get here, that I thought I had been robbed, especially when the seller got kicked off of Ebay.  So I got a refund from Pay Pal.  Well, the DVD showed up about 4 weeks later....with packaging from China.  Who knows.  Maybe that's why it was so cheap.  Surprisingly, it works, and everything with the actual DVD set is in English.  Haha.  I dunno.  So I need to call Pay Pal and repay them.

I was excited when we got this colder weather a few days ago.  I couldn't wait to dress August in warm, fall clothes.  Well, I didn't realize what a hassle it is to dress a 5 month old in layers.  They just don't have the patience for it.  Summer is easy.  Just a diaper and maybe a onesie and you're good to go.  Turns out a diaper, onesie, pants, socks, and a sweater is more than August has time for.  Goodness.  At least he is cute and gets over it once I pick him up.  This is a picture of him yesterday in his fall attire.  We went out with my cousin Sarah to run errands.  His pants aren't really high-waters, he just has a stroller wedgie. :)

So cute.  I love this boy more than I could ever put into words.

I need to make some more laundry detergent.  I'm almost out.

Coffee creamer is my treat these days.  I enjoy coffee, especially on these colder days.  I like to try a new one each time I run out.  So far, this kind is my favorite.  I have only tried the Caramel, and it is so good.

I need to make Adam's lunch in a few minutes.  I usually do it each night while he spends time with August.  But last night was crazy with August, so I planned to do it this morning after our workout...but we didn't workout.  So Adam is going to stop by at noon to pick it up.  I need to get on it.  My mom is fixing to come by with a hot water bottle thing (she is picking one up at CVS) so I can roll it on August's stomach to see if it helps his tummy.  August has been asleep for an hour and a half now.  Lately, I call that a success.

I need to update y'all with some August pictures.  Maybe I'll do that later today, if August cooperates.  I need to get some prints of his pictures from Walmart or something.  Right now they are all stored on my computer and cell phone...and BOTH are about to quit.  Gah, technology.

I apologize for the ramble. Thank you for listening to the thoughts of a sleep-deprived mommy! Haha.  I hope y'all have a great Tuesday!  Leave me some advice for baby constipation. :)  Thanks y'all. :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

August is 5 months old!

.....well, sort of.  Calendar speaking, he is 5 months on Wednesday, the 3rd.  Weeks speaking, he is over 5 months old.  So who knows really.  But for my schedule's sake in writing this post, he is 5 months old! :)

I can't believe how much he as changed over the last several weeks.  Here's what's going on with him lately.
  • August has started sleeping on his stomach.  I was definitely not ok with this at first.  It scared me to death, and I think it scared August too.  He has been rolling constantly (back to front and front to back).  He will not stay on his back if you lay him down that way.  For about a week or two straight, each night he would wake us up screaming, and he would be on his stomach.  We would flip him to his back, and he would scream even more.  Finally, I just stood in his room where he couldn't see me, and I watched him to see how he did on his belly.  I was afraid he would smother himself in the mattress.  He would eventually just go to sleep, with his face to the side.  So he has been sleeping that way ever since.  I'm a belly sleeper too, so I guess that's where he gets it. :)
The first time he did it, he started sleeping half on his side and half on his belly....

....and woke up on his belly!

  • August is now eating rice cereal in the evening.  We started this a couple days ago, and he LOVES it. That boy can eat.  I hadn't planned on doing anything solid until 6 months, but August starting waking up more often, and he also started grabbing our food off of our plates and forks.  So I decided to go ahead and try it.  I mix Earth's Best Organic Rice cereal (I'm usually not a fancy organic kind of person because I would rather save the money, but apparently when it comes to my child, I am.) with a little bit of breastmilk.  The recipe makes about 1/4 cup, but it says most babies only eat about 1/2 a tablespoon the first time.  August ate the whole 1/4 cup....and wanted more.  He cried when it was gone.  Haha.  This boy can eat!

  • August has gotten SUPER efficient at nursing.  The norm for him was anywhere from 25-45 minutes of nursing every 2 hours....which means I was only getting 1 hour and 15 minutes in between feedings.  So nursing was a full time job.  In the last few weeks, he has gotten a lot faster.  Now he is done in 10 minutes.  I have all this new found time!  So now when I have to nurse him while we're out, it's not that big of a deal.  He still nurses about every 2 hours....sometimes 2 and 1/2.  I'm ok with it though.  As long as he will let me sleep at night. :)
  • August is very active.  He is not wanting to nap, he just wants to play.  All. day. long.  His naps have been getting shorter and shorter.  He used to nap about 2 1/2-3 hours at a time.  Now he naps about 1 and 1/2 hours.....at the most.....at a time.  Where did my good napping boy go?  He is just so interested in everything.  I think he's afraid he's going to miss something.  
  •   It sounds like he says "mama."  Now, I won't tell you that he says it and knows what he's saying.  But he says it at least once or twice a day, and I'm not the only one who has heard it.  He has also repeated once too.  When I said "mama," he said it right back.  I'm still not getting excited though, because for some reason I don't feel like it counts. 
  • He still isn't sitting up on his own yet.  Most days I wish he could, and I feel like a lot of babies can by this age.  But I'm TRYING not to compare him.  I know that's a downfall of parenting, comparing your child.  So I'm really trying not to.  I know these days are short when he needs me so much, so I'm trying not to wish them away.  He will sit on his own in time. :)
  • August is generally a very happy baby.  He cries when he's sleepy and hungry, and that's usually it.  I love his smiles.  They melt my heart.
He loves to be propped up.  He thinks he's big stuff. :)

LOVES to read books outside

Flipping over...


He likes to play with the cup at bath time

Watching mommy and daddy wash cars....the hand up by the face means he's sleepy.

Early morning walk in the jogging stroller!

He had actually just turned 4 months in this picture.  This was made in Gatlinburg on Labor Day Weekend.

4 months....Labor Day Weekend

My mom had this little fleece thingy that wraps around the baby and snaps him to the shopping cart.  August LOVED it.  He  sometimes gets fussy in his car seat in stores, and he doesn't always like the Moby wrap, he's pretty independent.  So this he really liked.
His feet are his new favorite toy.  He finds them fascinating!
Thanks for reading!  Hope you had a great weekend! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summer "Dining Room" Decor

Now that summer is ending, I am starting to think about fall decor.  I love decorating my home.  My style is very simple and easy.  It won't win any awards, but I like it. Today I thought I would share with you my summer decor for my dining room since I'm about to switch it up.  I call it a dining room, but it's really just where the table is in the kitchen.  It's all one room. :)  I took these pictures a few weeks ago and forgot to post them, so here they are.

This is a view of my kitchen table as you walk in from the living room.

The tablecloth is actually a curtain from World Market.  The curtains used to be in what is now August's nursery.  The burlap is a remnant that was on clearance at Hobby Lobby.  The candlesticks were bought in college from TJ Maxx.  They were silver, and I spray painted them white.  The flowers are from my husband just because. :)  

Aren't they beautiful?  He has good taste!  I got the vase at Target about a year ago.

I'm sorry about the lighting.  The sun was setting.  

I came up with this little set up when August was about 4 weeks old.  I was getting stir crazy being home all the time, and I was ready to get back into decorating.  I usually have the round wooden candle lantern in the center of the kitchen table, but I wanted the flowers as our dinner centerpiece that night.  Adam keeps his guitar in the kitchen because he likes to play it after supper.  It used to bother me that he kept it in the kitchen because it wasn't really the look I was going for.  However, I am learning to create my home for my family, not for HGTV.  I am thankful to have a husband who likes to play music for his family. :)

You might remember this mirror from my post found HERE.  I finally hung it.  It was from a local shop in town. The green cups are  Fiesta Ware in the color Lemongrass.  The white mugs go with a Corelle set.  Both sets were wedding gifts.

This is a Bible that came from Adam's grandfather.  I can't remember the date of its publishing, but its a really old Bible.  That binding isn't even attached.  The blue books are also from his grandfather.  I got the bottle and faux plant from TJ Maxx.

This Bible also came from Adam's grandfather.  The plate was bought at a local shop in town, and I personalized it with our initials in the center.  You might remember that project, found HERE.  The lamp was from my parents' house.  It was the hallway lamp outside my bedroom.  It reminds me of those days.  The plant is from TJ Maxx.  

This is the set up on the other side of the kitchen table.  You might remember that marble top table from HERE.  I gave it a makeover after inheriting it from Adam's grandfather.  The globe is from a local shop.  The chalkboard was a picture frame, and I just painted the glass with chalkboard paint.  The flowers are faux flowers that I used in my wedding pictures before the ceremony.  I used real flowers in the wedding, but my mom didn't want them to be wilted by the time the ceremony was ready to begin, so we used these.  She is one smart lady.  The picture frames were wedding gifts.  There is a telescope to the left of the table that was a gift from my parents when I was younger.  Adam and I have enjoyed using it on the back porch on occassion.

These are the pictures on the table.  Excuse the glare.  The first picture is of Adam and his brother, mom, and dad.  We miss his mom so much.  I think about her everyday.  I wrote about her HERE.  The other is a picture of Adam and me on our honeymoon.  We were at dinner on the cruise.  

That's it!  Maybe I'll post pictures of the rest of the kitchen soon.  I enjoy homemaking.  Some aspects of it are hard, but decorating is the fun part.  Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tips for Sleeping Through the Night

A lot of friends have asked me how we got August to sleep through the night.  Honestly, I didn't follow any method or perform any witchcraft, but there are a few things that we did that I think may have contributed to him sleeping through the night.  August started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks old.  Now, the baby definition of sleeping through the night is 5 hours of sleep straight.  August started this at 7 weeks, and then quickly jumped to 6-8 hours of sleep.  After a few weeks of sleeping 6-8 hour stretches, he started sleeping 8-10 hour stretches, and now he often sleeps 10-12 hour stretches at 4 months old.  I'm not a doctor, and I can't make any guarantees that these tips will work for your baby, but they are worth a shot!

Photo by Samantha Willis

Weeks 0-3 of August's life

During this time, August slept in a co-sleeper in our room.  A co-sleeper is basically a bassinet.  I was supposed to wake August up every 3 hours during the night to feed him per doctor's suggestion.  I did that for about 1 and 1/2 weeks or so, but then I just let him wake up when he was hungry.

  • This is probably a given, but I would always feed him before I laid him down for the night.
  • When August would wake up during the night to eat, we would change his diaper before I fed him.  This way, when he fell asleep nursing, we didn't wake him back up with a diaper change.
  • When we would get up with August, we would only turn on lamps, no overhead lights.  This way he understood that when the room was dim or dark, that meant it was time to sleep.
  • Keep it quiet.  My husband and I would talk in soft voices at night, and we would not give August a ton of interaction.  We let him know that this was the time for sleep.
  • We used a "pippy" (passy).  Yes, this is a lifesaver.  Sometimes when newborns want to sleep, they also want to suck.  We had originally decided we were gonna be super parents and not use a pippy.  But when we had him home the first night, and he had been screaming for 5 hours straight, we gave it a whirl, and it worked like gold.  
  • For naps during the day, we would lay August down in either the co-sleeper or the crib.  We did not schedule his naps in the early weeks.  I would watch for his personal sleep cues: eye rubbing, hands up by the face, crying when not hungry, etc.  This way, he associated sleep with the co-sleeper/crib, so when we would lay him down there at night, he would know what to do.  (Sleep!)  I made sure to let him nap in his crib too, not just the co-sleeper, so that way it would be an easier transition to the crib.  He would already be familiar with it. He also took short cat naps in his swing and in our arms as well.
  • When August was napping, we didn't tip-toe around the house or lower our voices at all.  We wanted August to be able to sleep while we were still awake, and we didn't want household noises to wake him.  We wanted him to be used to noise.  We did this even in the hospital and early days at home, so when we had guests, we encouraged them to use their normal voice level.
  • We would swaddle him for night time sleep.  Newborns don't have much control of their limbs in the early weeks.  They often startle themselves on accident just by moving.  Swaddling him made him feel secure (think of the womb, very secure), and we only swaddled him when it was time for him to go to sleep.  This was another cue that let him know it's time to sleep.  

Week 3-Week 7

We moved August to his crib at 3 weeks old.  I realize this is really young for a lot of people.  However, this worked out best for our family.  August and I had a lot of difficulty with breastfeeding in the early weeks.  For the first 2 weeks Adam would have to help me get August to latch.  It would take a long time to get him to latch.  He tried to find the breast with his hands, but his hands would get in the way, and he would end up sucking on them.  Adam would have to hold his hands, and I would have to hold his head.  It was a team effort.  Breastfeeding was super painful, and it involved a lot of tears, prayers of pleading, prayers of asking for forgiveness, etc.  At about 3 weeks old, breastfeeding was still a struggle, but I was starting to be able to do it on my own.  Because breastfeeding had us awake for anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half at a time at least twice a night, Adam was missing out on a lot of sleep.  He was (and still is) working 10 hour days, so he needed every bit of sleep he could get.  So I decided to let August make the transition to the crib.  That's when he started sleeping 3 1/2 to 4 hour stretches.  Instead of nursing August in our bedroom, I nursed him in the rocking chair in his room or in the living room.  I continued to follow the tips I listed for weeks 0-3.

Week 7- Present (4 months old)

This is when August started sleeping about 5-6 hours straight.  The first night he did it, we were camping (in my parents' camper), and he was sleeping in a laundry basket.  I dunno, I guess he really liked that; either that or the day's activities had him super exhausted.  Up until this point, I did not schedule naps for August.  I just let him nap as he needed.  Newborn babies are good about sleeping when they are tired.  When he started sleeping for longer stretches at night, I scheduled his naps during the day to help regulate his sleep clock.  I didn't google "sleep training" or read up on any articles, but this is how I did it.  

  • At 0-3 months old, August would usually eat 2 times during the night.  He gradually dropped feedings until he reached 0 feedings around 7 or 8 weeks old.  
  • Before 7 weeks old, August would eat about every 3 hours.  So in 24 hours, he would eat about 8 times.  However, when he started sleeping through the night, I had to increase how often I fed him during the day to make up for his lack of feeding at night.  This helped encourage him to sleep at night because I would get all of his feedings in before bedtime.  So at this point, I started feeding him every 2 hours during the day (every hour and a half or so during growth spurts).  I did get this information from BabyWise, and it makes total sense.  So now he gets about 7 feedings during the day, and none at night.  If this sounds like I'm super rigid and calculated with our schedule, I'm not.  It comes as second nature.  I had to think about it pretty hard to be able to type this out.  So if you're thinking this sounds too "scheduley," it's really not.  Our days are just pretty consistent.  Sometimes he only gets 6 feedings, or sometimes he'll get 8 feedings.  He is human just like we are, so sometimes he needs more sleep instead of food or vice versa depending on the day.      
  • Bedtime and Wake Time.  Weeks 7-10 or so, August would go to bed when we went to bed (around 11 or so), and then he would get up around 5:30 or 6 a.m.  As he got older, around 3-4 months, he would go to bed at about 8:30 p.m. and wake up anywhere from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.  He typically wakes up a little bit before 7:00 a.m.
  • Naps.  I lay August down about the same time every day.  Not necessarily the same time each day according to the clock, but the same time according to his schedule (number of feedings).  I believe regulating his feedings with his naps is what lets him know when to sleep.  Our day goes something like this (on an ideal day....sometimes we get a little off, but it all works out).
    • 7:00 a.m. Feeding #1
    • 9:00 a.m. Feeding #2
    • Morning Nap
    • 12:30 p.m. Feeding #3
    • 2:30 p.m. Feeding #4
    • Afternoon Nap
    • 5:30 p.m. Feeding #5
    • 7:00 p.m. Feeding #6
    • 8:15 p.m. Feeding #7
    • Bed Time
  • I usually plan trips to the grocery store, errands, etc after his morning nap.  I'll get him up, feed him, and out the door we go.  If we aren't back in time for his next feeding, I just feed him while we're out. That way he will still get his afternoon nap when we get home.  
  • August naps in his crib.  We don't use the co-sleeper anymore since he sleeps in his own room now.  He doesn't really take cat naps anymore.  
  • August started getting out of his SwaddleMe when he was about 3 months old, so we transitioned to a sleep sack.  When the sleep sack goes on, he knows it's time to sleep.  We put him in the sleep sack for naps too.
  • We let him cry.  I wouldn't say we follow the "cry it out method," because we aren't following any method.  We do let him cry, because he is a baby, and babies cry.  As long as I know that he has been fed and changed and that it is time for him to sleep, I'm ok with him crying.  I usually let him cry a few minutes, then I go back in and stick his pippy back in.  Then if he is still crying 5-10 minutes later, I'll go back in and put the pippy back in again.  This is usually all it takes.  There have been rare nights where he will cry longer, but I don't take him out of his crib to comfort him.  I just rub his forehead, tell him it's ok, and stick the pippy back in.  He has never cried for more than 20-30 minutes.  Wait I take that back, he cried once for 40 minutes, but that was a really off day for him.  
These are just the things that have worked for us.  I know every baby is different, and many parents are different.  I don't think there is one right way to do things.  This is just the way we do it, and it has worked wonderfully.  If you have any questions, leave me a comment, and I will be happy to answer you.  Hope this helps!

Images by Freepik