Sunday, December 8, 2013

Praising It Through

Some days aren't worth it, it seems. There are days, weeks, months, even years when you wish you could rewind or call a "do-over". There are times that are so trying that you wish you could be in any reality except the one you're in. But you can't. The way I've found to make it through the PITs of life is to Praise It Through. It's cheesy, dorky, and maybe even childish, but it works!

One of my biggest struggles in recent history was when I was pregnant with my first child. I'm a very impatient person. I had quit my commuting job at seven months. I was bored and lonely at home alone all the time. I wanted to be finished. I wanted the prize at the end of the race. Little did I know then that my finish line would move 10 days past the due date... 

Instead of focusing on my slow waddle, my swollen feet, or the ever-present exhaustion, I decided to praise God for the good stuff. I kept the list on my phone so I could add more whenever they popped in my head, or grab a quick burst of encouragement when I was feeling desperate. You can do this for any stage or circumstance of life. This is my example. 

Joys of Pregnancy
Feeling baby move.
Being really close to meeting baby.
Joy of others sharing my excitement.
Listening to my husband talk to the baby.
Eating fruit!
Being healthy & mobile.
Learning to be a great mom.
Dreaming about our future as a family.
Working with the pup to prepare for baby.
Decorating baby's room.
My mom is coming to visit!
Being a part of making my husband's dreams come true: being a father.

This little exercise was a life line of hope for me. I still enjoy looking at it when I'm thinning down my "notes" app on my phone. I'll be deleting old grocery lists, research notes, and questions for the doctor when this little gem pops up. It reminds me of how faithful God is to bless me, and how easily I forget the benefits of living my life for Him.

I hope this helps you out during this stressful season of holiday baking, shopping, and working overtime. I hope it's a season of joy as you Praise It Through.

Note: I just burned the sugar cookies writing this post...

* My kitchen isn't full of smoke
* My husband will eat almost anything
* If he won't, the dog will... 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hope Rises?

In this house, hope comes in a diaper! A light at the end of the tunnel. We've been testing out this low-carb theory (more in this previous post). I've been pumping off the first minute or two of milk before nursing. My daughter usually had green, gooey diapers, even after resolving a dairy intolerance. After four days of only wet diapers and a concerned mommy, we have arrived! And it's not green! And barely gooey! Hooray! I think we're making progress!

The prayer of a righteous Grandma (for poo) availeth much! Thanks, Nana!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Green GooPoo Monster

It's a catchy title, right? We've been dealing with this diaper demon for the past three months. 

WARNING: This may be more graphic than you can stomach.

My daughter is 5 months old, and early on we discovered she has a cow's milk protein allergy that travels through my breastmilk. She began life with normal diapers. The brown. The seeds. The whole, happy, dirty diaper deal. Then she began to have green diapers. We kept spiraling down the poo chute until we arrived at the forest green, mucousy, streaky swamp. Complete with hair-soaking blowouts. It's awful and demoralizing to concerned mommies. If your baby has or may have a dairy allergy, you may know what I'm talking about. 

We've been dairy free for about three months now. I've learned to scour nutrition labels, speed Google restaurant allergen menus, and find creative substitutions for my favorite foods. Most surprising dairy finds? Chicken bouillon (cubes & paste). Breaded chicken (breasts, nuggets, strips, etc.), Spaghetti sauce - store bought. You have to check each flavor because no brand name is exclusively dairy free - unless it's in the natural section and specifically states "dairy free". Items labeled VEGAN are your best bet for stress-free eating, even if they don't taste the best. You can't have it all, but you can have a happy baby! My girl's diapers finally regressed to brown, but the goo refused to leave.

This was beyond a dairy allergy.

After many calls to the doctor's office, we got an appointment today. I was sure she had another allergy, like soy or gluten or some other allergy fad that's out there. I dreaded the TED (total elimination diet). That's where you miserably subsist on potatoes, pears, chicken, and cardboard. OK, not really cardboard, but it may as well be. I was pleasantly surprised to hear a completely different theory from the doc. CARBS. Simple as that. My baby may not be the same carbaholic that I tend to be! Their little tummies are too immature to process so much sugar. The GREAT NEWS is that it doesn't have anything to do with what I'm eating. It's the way my body produces milk.

So, to test that theory, we're going to pump 1-2 minutes before each feeding to reduce the sugary dessert milk, so my little munchkin can pack on some more pounds with the rich, main course milk, bypassing those pesky carbs. We also went ahead and sent some bloodwork in for some allergy testing. Since she's still so small, they don't expect to have any positive (allergic/sensitive) results. We'll see in a few days!

So, if you're like us:
(Dairy-Free Green GooPoo Monster Haters

Perhaps mentioning this theory to your doctor could put you on the right track to having happy pants once again! We'll let you know how it goes for us. 

Article my doctor referred me to:

Deep breaths & Good luck!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mindblowing Intelligent Design

I love living life. Even for the simple reason that the everyday moments reveal to me more fully who my Creator is and how our relationship works. Marriage has opened my eyes to see what sacrificial love is, and how very much God loves each of us, using our imperfect humanity to demonstrate the divine. Now that we're expecting a child of our own, I've experienced what it means to "eagerly await" Christ's return. Whenever we pencil in the next appointment on the calendar, my whole world begins to point to that day. To the excitement and joy of seeing our little baby on the ultrasound display and knowing everything is going great. How much more should I be looking for Christ and anticipating the joy of His presence and the glory of everything being righted and made perfect again?? God is good, and I'm so blessed to walk through this earthly life with Him by my side!