Alright, Blogosphere friends, I need help! I am hoping that among my reader base there are some experienced nursing Mamas out there who can help me out. I need troubleshooting. The last couple weeks the girls have been eating like crazy and have become very fussy. I know it isn’t a milk supply issue as their weight gain is above average for twins, right on track for singles and they have an enormous amount of wet and dirty diapers. I should say upfront my typical nursing style is on demand as needed but from the beginning they have tended to eat in three hour intervals since they were in the NICU for a bit and that is what they had them doing. They are 5 months old now and the doctor advised me to start solids with oatmeal cereal even though for the other kids I waited longer- twins has been a bit different ballgame. So, I have been giving them oatmeal at 6:30 pm before the bedtime routines start and then a very full nursing at 8:30 to make sure they get the fatty hind milk and not just the watery fore milk. They have fresh diapers and are put down to bed. From there I charted last night’s activity as I thought, just maybe, in my sleep blurriness I was feeling like I was getting up with them more than I really was. Unfortunately, my foggy memory was accurate and they are eating about 8-10 times in the 10-12 hours they sleep. Maybe from looking at this you could give me some ideas to try? I do not have grandiose ideas of sleeping through the night- just a manageable amount of sleep for a functioning Mama. So, fed and to bed at 8:30, Anna wakes at 11 pm eats on right side, then I change her diaper and feed her more on the right side to give her the hind milk, then back to bed. Ruth wakes at 11:30 eats on the left side and falls asleep. Anna wakes at 2:15 am, eats on the right side and falls asleep. Ruth wakes at 4 am, eats on the left side and falls asleep. Anna wakes at 4:20, finishes on the left side from what Ruth didn’t eat and then nurses on the right side and falls asleep. Then Ruth wakes up again at 5:15 am finishes on the right side, falls asleep but not before her crying has woken my older two kiddos up and we are up for the day… I walk through most days in a fog. If I stop for even a moment to eat or nurse I am nodding off. Any help would be appreciated. Oh, and I should mention that I try all other things before nursing at night: pacifier, rocking, check diaper, etc. but if I let them cry any length of time everyone wakes up and then I have to get four kids back to sleep- not fun. Thanks for any ideas! These two cuties thank you as well.
Happy Birthday Mama! January 13, 2012
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
- Tenneva Jordan
It is through raising my children that I have come to some small understanding of what it may have been like for my mother to have raised me. My Mama used to joke that she hoped I would have a child just like myself to raise so I would “get it”… Well, I had Aralyn Elizabeth. I both laugh and cry when I hear myself come out of my sweet baby girl’s mouth but laughing or crying, I always appreciate my Mama more. I am quite certain that I may have been THE challenge of my mother’s lifetime. A bundle of energy and nerves wrapped in stubbornness and sprinkled with sass and ‘creativity’ and not always the good kind . How my Mama still has no visible gray hairs is beyond me! But I am grateful everyday that she did not give up on me. I am hopeful everyday that I can somehow repay her efforts. I am blessed everyday as I watch her in her now role as ‘Mimi’ to my children. Today, on her birthday I wish her every kind of happiness and many more years of the same. Happy Birthday Mama, I love you.
Homespun Holiday January 12, 2012
What a wonderful, blessed Christmas we had! Here are some of the highlights:
I scored this beautiful tree on black friday- next best thing to a real one, most people couldn’t tell it was fake!
The REAL garland to give the home a piney smell. Also scored on black friday!
Ara and James loved the tree this year. The ornaments were never in the same place and we had quite a few bite the dust, unfortunately.
Our first fire in the fireplace
This year we did quite a bit of holiday baking!
Peppermint Bark chilling in the fridge
Baking Maple Granola for gifts…
Along with 6 dozen cookies: 3 dozen chocolate chip and 3 dozen toffee crunch
Packaged and ready to go and one left for Paul and I to munch on…
We took the kids to see the Christmas train display
Made gifts for our family…
…started to knit the kids stockings… and then decided to let that go this year, maybe next.
What a sweet Christmas it was! Quiet, no places to rush off to, celebrating with family and friends the birth of our Lord.
So grateful for the blessing of God’s Son sent to earth and the blessings He continues to send everyday.
I hope you and your family had a very blessed Christmas as well!
What’s Cookin’ Wednesdays January 11, 2012
Jen’s Coconut Muesli
Mix in a bowl a handful or two of oats, a handful of chopped raw walnuts, a handful of raisins or chopped dates, 1/3 banana torn into chunks, and sprinkle with coconut flakes.
You could toast these and drizzle with honey if you wanted more of a dessert but for breakfast, I just toss a handful of coconut flakes on top.
Serve with cold milk of choice. Great with nut milks and coconut milks as well!
So, these aren’t the best quality pictures, as all I am working with is my phone camera right now, but they will give you a sense of this wonderful blessing we now call home. Welcome! Come on in. The kitchen is where all the fun happens so we’ll start there.My cute son is a bonus . Next, you have the living room all decked out for Christmas…Next, my kid’s favorite room, the playroom… I feel so blessed to have this space to keep the toys out of their rooms! I might have gone a little bit crazy with the pictures on this one but I love that they have this space!This side of the playroom is mostly Ara’s domain until the little girls are older. Her dress up, new dollhouse from Mimi and Granddad and kitchen set that Papa made her.This side has the book nook which now hosts a green wooden toy chest for storage and seating, James’ shelves, and the millions of baby dolls/stuffed animals in the cradle.James’ domain: Trucks and trains galore! A boy has to have some space of his own with all these girls around!There is also a half bath downstairs that I will take pics of later and the upstairs which will be “Our Home” Part Two… TO BE CONTINUED…
My Ugly Heart December 6, 2011
- (DISCLAIMER: I have no idea how those bullets down the side got there or how to remove them. SORRY!)
- The Christmas season has a way of revealing to me what a sinner I am. Fitting, since the holiday is a celebration of my Savior’s birth, but humbling none the less.
- Every year around this time I get bit by the bug. A bug so rampant, I’m thinking it needs to be added to the strains of illnesses included in the flu season records. As a helpful guide, I am including a list of symptoms. You may have the Christmas bug if:
- 1. As you are shopping through Target, every toy you pass you imagine being opened Christmas morning by your child with a huge smile on their face, accompanied by the exclamation, “I love it! You are the best Mother in the whole world!”
- 2. The words “Honey, we bought each other a house (or insert needed appliance, car repair, or plumbing job here) for Christmas, let’s not exchange gifts this year” make your heart drop with sadness no matter how right they are.
- 3. Your store daydreams change from #1 symptom to imagining your child unwrapping the boring things like underwear that they really need but don’t want with a disappointed look on their face, accompanied by the proclamation, “This is the WORST Christmas ever!” (you only think that’s an exaggeration- I have a very dramatic little 5 year old.)
- 4. You start wondering how kids during the great depression didn’t break their parent’s hearts after opening their one and only gift- an orange which was a rare treat to them.
- 5. You realize now, more than ever, you are much more materialistic then you ever imagined…
- Treatment for the Christmas bug includes a hefty dosage of reality:
- 1. Your child doesn’t need every toy in the store, in fact they are undoubtedly better off without it and so are you. Not to mention, as the years pass, their enthusiasm for gifts drastically reduces and last year we were horrified to hear the dreaded phrase, “what else did you get me?” escape our child’s lips more than once. ”Where did we go wrong?”, we asked ourselves. After all, we had been careful not to make Christmas about the presents…or so we thought. We didn’t “do” Santa, we limit our gift giving to a few special items per child, we read “The Three Gifts of Christmas” leading up to the holiday, we even tried no gifts on Christmas day one year opening them on Christmas Eve instead so all of Christmas day could be focused on Christ’s birth. How did we end up with such greediness coming from our children? Perhaps the first dose of medicine I needed to swallow was the reality that my children get the Christmas bug too. Whats worse? They caught it from me. MODEL CONTENTMENT!
- 2.The house, furnace. dishwasher, new axles for the car, toilet repair, you name it was a BLESSING! And despite the little pang in your heart that tells you otherwise, it is enough. Gather friends and family in that gift of a home. Warm bodies from that furnace mean warm hearts snuggled in their beds on Christmas Eve. Dishes covered in food being loaded in the dishwasher make me grateful when I think back on six years without one and thankful that food was on those dishes around the table where my family joins together to eat. Whatever you may have inserted in that blank, whether a car repair which enables you to travel and see loved ones or even the fixed toilet that saves your ears from the constant sound of it running- GIVE THANKS!
- 3. When needs are met, whether through Christmas or any other time of the year, teach your children to praise God! ”Kids you know you needed new underwear, don’t tell me you didn’t notice the holes in yours and no- holiness isn’t a good thing when it comes to underwear. Praise God! He provided you with new underwear this Christmas!” CHOOSE JOY!
- 4. Oranges DO make great stocking-stuffers. Throw in a ziplock baggie of cloves and let your kids decorate them to make pomanders for your Christmas table centerpiece. BE CREATIVE!
- 5. Pray that the Holy Spirit would change your heart about Christmas. Pray that He would take your greed, selfishness, and desire to please anyone but our Savior. Pray that He would transform your family through the power of His love and that we would all be awestruck by the wonder of His glory! PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!
Updates and a Really Long Story about the Twins August 27, 2011
So, I had the best of intentions to stay up to date on here but, well, plans change. Let’s see what did you miss? I got big, then bigger, then bigger still, and just when I thought I couldn’t get any bigger- I got bigger:
The houses (yes plural) that we were supposed to close on fell through and we ended up temporarily moving in with my parents until we can get a house under contract and God-willing actually close on it. It has actually been a huge blessing having the extra help around as we had our sweet baby girls shortly after moving in with them.
I would like to introduce you to sweet Anna Jane and Ruth Abigail:
More insanity in our household came in the form of my oldest two taking sick just as we were bringing home babies. It has been over a week and a half since I have been around my two older sweethearts as the girls and I are quarantined in the back bedroom to protect them from getting sick . Both had brief jaunts in the NICU and are still not completely in the clear with Anna and her lungs so we have to be extra careful of spreading germs around them.
You may be wondering, “what is it like to deliver twins?”. Well, first let me just say that my Mom would tell you I have never done anything the normal way. There is a ten percent chance in a twin delivery that the first will be delivered the normal direct route and the second will be taken by cesarean section. That means there is a 90 percent chance that won’t happen. I thought that was pretty good odds… of course, I was one of the ten percent…
Ah well, during this season of life I will be honest and tell you that our life has been through a bit of upheaval. Basically homeless temporarily, moving all our things to storage, being put on bed rest with the girls for a couple weeks, delivering twins with two very different kinds of recoveries, and then illness but through it all I have felt overwhelmingly blessed! How is that? God sent me these two precious blessings and the magnitude of it astonishes me every day.
Have I told you the story of how God told me we were having twins? Here we go.
I have never before heard God speak clearly enough that I knew what I was hearing was from Him except through scripture. I have many friends who hear God talk to them on a regular basis and to be honest sometimes I wondered if something was wrong with me because I didn’t seem to have that kind of connection with my Lord. There were times in my life I knew He was speaking exactly what my heart needed to hear (whether it wanted to hear it or not is a different story entirely) at the time I needed to hear it. Whether through speakers, authors, scripture or wise counsel- I have heard from God in this way. Before this season of life, however; I would not claim that God spoke something to me individually or revealed a part of His plan to me in advance of it happening.
When I got pregnant with the girls the fatigue this time around was a lot harder to cope with then the other pregnancies, probably due to the fact that I had two little ones at home to chase after and we were starting the house hunting journey. One night in my tiredness, I cried out to God to show me that everything was going to be okay and that my baby was okay. Immediately, I felt kicking for one of the first times that pregnancy in my womb and it felt like an octopus was inside me. I thought, “that’s weird how can there be hands and feet in all those places?” but didn’t analyze it too much and thanked God for reassuring me the little one was okay.
I should mention, my daughter had been praying for girls (yes girls-as in two girls) from the very moment she found out we were expecting. Well, as I laid in bed thinking about the life God had blessed me with my mind wandered to Ara’s prayers and I told God, “You know we love children and if You chose to send me two, I would feel so amazingly blessed and overwhelmed by Your goodness. I can’t imagine why You would pick me to send two babies to Lord but if You do, I will treasure it.
So months pass and I am feeling huge, I am also feeling movement EVERYWHERE! I started getting a little anxious to know if there was one baby or two babies in there. I had mentioned my thought to the doctor but they only heard one heartbeat and said the only way to really confirm a twin pregnancy is ultrasound and since we were going for one at 21 weeks to find out the gender we would know for sure then. I was pretty much told over and over not to get my hopes up, there was probably only one baby and I was just bigger and feeling more because this was my third pregnancy. So, that night in my impatience, I asked God to show me if I was having twins or one baby.
Now, there are times in life when I don’t ask God to show me certain things because I am afraid of the answer. This time I had some apprehension that I would be disappointed if it were one baby and I didn’t want to be ungrateful of even one precious life God would send me. I didn’t want that to be my heart. I wanted to give Him glory if there was one, two, or even no children. But I was impatient to find out. And God was gracious even with my impatience and He answered me. When I asked I clearly felt two long spines push their way up against the skin of my belly. I laid there with one hand on one little back and the other along the other little back and just felt- overwhelmed. Overwhelmed that God had answered me, overwhelmed that He would bless me in such a way and overwhelmed with the fact that I was the only one at that moment with the knowledge of the two little lives inside of me. I felt a bit like I feel Mary may have felt as she “treasured up all these things- pondering them in her heart”. Of course, my human flesh and frail faith began questioning if I really had heard from God. Maybe I am just fooling myself into thinking that I felt two backs, maybe I want to feel two babies so I believed that that is what I felt, maybe I don’t know God’s voice. Then I was given the overwhelming urge to look up the name meanings for the names that Paul and I had picked out. I didn’t know why this urge struck me as it was late and I was exhausted in bed already but I HAD to get up and look them up at that moment. Well, one meant companion and the other meant twins! So, thank you Lord for your sense of humor and indulging this doubting Thomas time and time again.
The time came for the much anticipated ultrasound. At this point I had told my husband and a few others from church that I was sure I was having twins and that I felt God had confirmed it and so I was really nervous to go to the gender reveal. I was afraid that if they only saw one baby on that screen I would feel like I can’t hear God clearly or worse that I had believed in “signs” that I wanted to see but weren’t really from Him. At the same time, when these doubts crept in a peace would take over and I would feel sure again and treasured by God and knew whatever we saw was His plan. We walked into the office and my husband jokingly said, “My wife thinks there’s two in there”. The ultrasound tech said, “well, we’ll take a look”. As soon as she put the device on my stomach, up on the wall screen I saw two heads. I tried not to get excited, “maybe that’s a head and a stomach”, I thought, “ultrasounds are really hard to distinguish what you are looking at to begin with”.
“She’s right.” The ultrasound tech said. !!!!! ”There are their two little heads”. :)
Praise God! To Him be the glory! May I never forget exactly who these little girls came from. At a time when so much of my life felt uncertain, God had given me what felt like a lifeline. A reminder that He was working and He was there. That He hears the prayers and petitions of little girls and the questions from mothers who struggle with uncertainty.
Feeling so unbelievably blessed!