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Thursday, March 8, 2018

My Three Year Old Is Not Starving

Just because my daughter is hungry, it doesn't mean I'm not feeding her.

This morning we started with the middle of a piece of toast. The middle because she doesn't like crusts (which she calls "peels", proving this is some weird inborn little kid preference, and not learned!) Then she had a bowl of cereal with milk. Kelloggs Fruit Magic Muesli, which is the only muesli (aka granola) we can buy in the store she can eat since she is allergic to nuts. She finished it, then abandoned her bowl and the baby grabbed her spoon and hit the bowl so hard it cracked in two. Seriously.

After throwing the bowl out safely, I responded to more whining about being hungry from Dreamer by giving her a banana. She ate like 3/4 of it. Then less than an hour later she begged for French toast.

After eating the middle of three pieces of French toast, she is currently eating an orange. It is not yet noon.

But I promise you if you asked her right now she'd say she's hungry and "starving". I get these looks, especially from "aunties" and I know they think she's withering away. She's not. She almost always acts like this whenever we go out, especially if she sees anyone eating anything. Unless of course you spend a lot of time and care on it-- then she'll eat one bite and be full.

Three year olds.

At a restaurant, probably telling her grandfather how starving she is. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Light Therapy

So the first AMAZING big change in my life allowing me to be busy? 

I am on a successful therapy for my sleeping disorder! 

Long term readers will know I have Non24 Hour Sleep Wake Disorder. It is a circadian rhythm disorder where my brain neurologically thinks the day is longer than 24 hours, making keeping a consistent schedule impossible without intervention. And I am truly blessed because for most N24 sufferers, nothing works. But as a sighted person with N24 one option open to me is light therapy.

I had tried light therapy with mixed success back when Dreamer was 8 months. I was trying to get on a schedule with her, and it sort of worked. I soon realized that I needed to combine it with melatonin. On the recommendation of my N24 support group I use a low dose, a quarter of a 3mg pill 1.5-2 hours before sleep. That worked fairly we we until Dreamer was a toddler.

My therapy light at the time was a stationary light box. I couldn't stay in one place at the exact same time every morning, Dreamer would need cereal and be running around. Plus I would want to get tea and go to the restroom and sometimes I wouldn't have the opportunity before I had to start. Additionally, Ryan working at nights mean if we were getting on a typical day schedule the overlap in our schedules was tiny. Which also meant no one had my back when the combo of Motherhood and sleeping disorder kicked my butt.

So I had to give it up, and I've attempted some since but with little success. Then this December I decided I'd try again, mainly to allow my daughter to participate in the upcoming holiday festivities. And... My therapy light had broken.

So I had to buy a new one... And I got a wearable!! Now I can get tea, feed the kids, etc while completing light therapy!!

And when it was clearly working Ryan talked to his bosses and got on a sort of second shift. He's not working a normal Indian day shift, but he's working 2:30pm to 11:30pm so he can wake up in the morning! The new shift is new and we are only 2 weeks in and it's not going smoothly yet, but we are hopeful.

But now I've been on a day schedule for two months and counting. And that's a miracle...

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Busy Busy Busy!

Ryan and I at Christmas
I'm in a super blessed time in my life right now, lots of changes, super busy!

One thing that hasn't changed? I am a writer. I am realizing I am aching to blog for my sanity. But there will be no opportunity for perfection here. One reason I rarely blog is typically my photos aren't stored where I type or I don't have time to sit at a keyboard. I actually have... 46 blog post drafts. Yep, seriously. A lot of those are just never going to turn into posts because their time has passed, others I haven't deleted because I'm thinking oh maybe I'll glean a paragraph from that in the future and a lot of them are really good blog posts I really do want to get out there but they're not ready or I just haven't had time.

And I think that backlog and me thinking "I could write this, but I should write this first, and maybe I should do this" and I end up completely nothing, even if I do type, is causing me to just not be active on here at all. So that's stopping.

Dreamer playing dress up
I'm committing to blogging once per week from here on out. Not for you, though I totally am glad anyone still reading this is reading this, but for myself with the hope that once I get back into the swing of things I'll be back to a level where it's for you too. For now I think I'll probably put out posts that have no photos or maybe just a post that is the best photo I took this week. I may have long rants, I may have poems; I am not limiting myself. But even though it's a busy, busy, busy season I know blogging actually is very enjoyable to me.

I think basically the metaphor (which is also true right now) is I'm not physically fit. So instead of thinking I shouldn't put myself out there until I'm back to doing the same quality of reps or length of workout I was doing last time I was fit, I just need to get moving and do something.

I am looking forward to telling you about some of the several things I have going on, keeping me busy... besides the fact that Rider is walking now! (Rider, by the way, is my official blog name for my son. I actually decided that like seven months ago, but I don't think I've told you. I came up with it because he would always grab my hair like reins on a horse!) He is 9 months old currently.

Rider (blurriness is true in most of his photos,
he is rarely still!)
And I am still planning on back blogging a post about each month of his first year. I've never given up on that, the main reason that hasn't happened is time. My plan is basically just to sit down with my facebook profile and scroll through updates I posted about him back then, add one or more pictures and fill in with anything I remember then publish. So not hard, but time consuming to scroll and edit it together coherently. But likely when I do it, I'll do it all and you guys will suddenly have at least ten posts to read (since Rider will be ten months soon and I doubt it'll get done before then.)

This past weekend was my birthday weekend. I'm thirty-two years old now, and feeling fine about that. The last two years I struggled with my birthday, but this year it was just happy. Guess what readers in your twenties? The thirties are seriously the best so far. You're old enough to actually have a sense of the world and yourself and you're young enough your body hasn't really turned on you yet. You've probably accomplished at least a little, so you're not feeling as hopeless as at least I did in much of my twenties, but you also know you have time to still go after the things you haven't gotten to yet. It's a good place.

So... I'll see you at latest again next Tuesday, but hopefully before then, and I'll tell you about some of things I've been doing.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Breaking the Silence

I want to figure out how to get back at blogging. I can tell you even though little man –who I am officially blog nicknaming Rider because he likes to take fistfulls of my hair in his hands like they're reigns on a horse– is now 7 months I plan on going back and post dating monthly posts for each month of this first year.

Dreamer has a fever. I'm getting over the cold that has her down. Today was a day of two birthday parties, a friend of mine and my FIL. Advent is kicking off and I want to get the Christmas tree up, put up my homemade nativity craft (which I may blog about) and my homemade preschool friendly advent calendar (which I've already started a post about but am not finished.)

I have lot burgeoning inside me wanting out, I miss the outlet of my blog.

Earlier I moved Dreamer from the bed to the couch because she didn't want to be alone but I needed to get stuff done. She asked me to pick her up, but added, "I might be too heavy." Of course I scooped my little princess right up and carried her to the couch, tucked her in with a pillow and blanket and popped on Sofia the First. I was glad to fuss over her. When we're feeling weak it can feel amazing to have someone fuss over us. Security.

I want to be spiritual and relate this back to God, and I do think we can, but the truth is I'm tired and my nose is running and I probably should wrap this up. I was just thinking about how I miss blogging and why don't I just break the silence and write something real and raw and right now? A lot of why I haven't blogged has been I want it to be polished and complete and with a 3.5 year old and 7 month old who has already been mobile a month and a half I have zero time for polish.


But here's real and raw. Hopefully that's better than silent.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

God of Order

Have you heard the phrase, "God is a God of order, not of chaos"?

Some Christians use it as a mantra. As a Christian woman who is a stay at home mom and blogger, I've definitely come across it in homemaking circles especially. People use it as an encouragement to organize their homes.

And it's not wrong exactly.

But it's limited.

My Mary heart has been wanting to exclaim this every time I hear that: You're missing the most important thing.

God is Sovereign and Satan is a liar. He's a deceiver.

What you don't understand is: there IS no chaos.

Not really.

Satan wants chaos.

But God is really in charge.

Now God does use us to beat back that chaos. So there's nothing wrong with partnering with Him to do the work of order.

But realize that nothing happens without God seeing the big picture. There is no chaos. Even if your bathroom or your hallway or in your daughter's bird's nest of a hair style today. There's no chaos if God is really in all and everything works together for God's good!

Have you heard of fractals? I did a post on it years ago, it's total theology to me, but it's a form of math that you can predict the growth of forests with, as well as so many other things in the natural world. You walk in a forest and you think it's random that the oak is growing next to the pine, but you can actually use fractal math to predict it.

Even when it looks like chaos, there is order.

God is in everything.

Chaos is a lie.

So stop repeating that you need to organize your closet or whatever because God is a God of Order not chaos.

Even if your closet is always messy, God is still with you. He's still among your pile of shoes.

Even when things look their messiest God is just as present as in the neatest home, the most tidy life.

Truthfully, when organic and alive things grow and stretch and change they are not rigid. They are not very ordered looking... though they are ordered. But the things of right angles and boxes and neatly in rows? They're all dead. 

Now they may be useful things. Living people use those things and achieve a lot. There's nothing wrong with the things of right angles. But there is life in those things that are allowed to grow and not forced into boxes. Even a plant may use a pole to grow higher, but the life is in the plant, not the pole. Don't forget that. Don't start trying to be a pole when you're meant to be a vine.  

And remember, a vine doesn't have fruit on it every day. Fruit takes seasons to grow. But a vine has the potential to grow fruit. A pole never does.

God is a God of order, but that's not a good mantra. Use a Bible verse instead. Maybe one like this:

" Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." John 15:4

[PS. I checked and "God is a God of order not chaos" is not a Bible verse. But "God is not a God of disorder but of peace" is. This is also translated as "God is not a God of confusion, but peace" as well. Here's the Bible hub to the verse (you can see several translations there.)]

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Mom of Little OneS- Birth Story and Photos

I am a podcast addict now, I tune into them whenever I'm doing anything with my hands (dishes, laundry, etc) as it helps me not get distracted. Which I realize might sound strange to some people, but my mind is so active that if I try to focus on an activity that really only can occupy so much of it, the rest of it wanders off and the next thing I know, I've completed 5-10% of twenty tasks, and fully completed zero. So putting on podcasts occupies that hyper part of my brain enough that the physical labor part of my brain can just do dishes auto pilot and actually get a sink load done.

[Yes, I think I have inattentive ADD. No, I don't know for sure, but this article basically describes me exactly. However, as I've been either breastfeeding or pregnant since I read it and had that revelation, I haven't sought out any drugs to help me and apparently there doesn't seem to be anyone to help adults with non-drug options in this area that I can find online, so I haven't pursued it further. And this was a tangent...]

So I was listening to a podcast the other day, an episode of Risen Motherhood called 'Growing in God's Word as a Mom of Little Ones' and I smiled and ran out and told Ryan that and said, "I'm a mom now of little oneS. Plural!"

Ryan smiled, "Yes you are!"

My son was born three days past his due date. Which since Dreamer came at 38 weeks 3 days, and secondborns often come BEFORE firstborns, plus my body started to dilate and stuff at 36 weeks meant I basically thought he'd come "at any moment" for a MONTH before he finally did. 

When I went for my 40 week appointment my doctor was like "we can induce tomorrow!" I was suprised, because in America doctors usually wait 41 weeks for induction unless the mom requests it or there's a reason. While I really did want to meet the baby and get over being pregnant, we wanted the baby to come when the baby was ready, you know? So she was saying let's induce on Monday and I said... what about Thursday? She said fine, but they induce at night, so that would mean a Wedneday night induction. So we scheduled it.

Ryan was more torn about it than me, he really wanted the baby to come naturally. We tried induce at home stuff, I went on long walks and such, but Monday came and went, Tuesday came and went. Tuesday night Ryan was like, "Well, we don't HAVE to go in on Wednesday for the induction. We could call the doctor and say maybe we'll go in Thursday night, right?" I paused. 

"Yeah... but if we're going end up inducing anyway I'd rather just do it, you know? Being pregnant is miserable. But maybe I'll go into labor in the morning anyway. Let's decide tomorrow at lunch time, okay?"

Well at 7:30 am the next morning I started having bad back pain. I tried laying down, stretching... it got worse and worse.

"I think this is it. I think this is back labor," I told Ryan. "And if it's not, I definitely want the induction tonight because I can't take being pregnant anymore."

"How far apart are the contractions?"

"I don't know. I can't feel them."

I did know I was having them: I'd try to move and realize my abdomen was stiffened up, then it'd relax. But the back pain was so bad I literally couldn't feel the contractions because my system was too overwhelmed from the back pain.

Long story short, after consulting my doctor we went to the hospital at around 11 am I think. I vomited on the way, and after we got there, from the pain.

The monitors were not picking up the contractions well because I couldn't lie still. The back pain was so intense I was literally writhing and couldn't just lay down. Finally after an hour or so I finally hit the magic button of telling them, truthfully, that last pregnancy I had gone from 4cm to 10 cm in less than hour, which made them finally give me clearance to go get an epidural.

With Dreamer the epidural hadn't worked.. this time it did. It did not make me not feel the contractions, but it did take away the back labor, which was amazing. The baby was only in -2 station (baby needs to be in positive digits to come!) so the doctor put me on pitocin to try to have the contractions encourage baby into position... she kept upping my pitocin every half hour but after several hours and my pitocin at a 40 (she started with it at an 8) baby still wasn't in position. 

Oh and the baby scared us because just after pitocin was given it seemed like baby's heart beat decelerated each contraction... until we realized that every contraction was moving the baby's chest enough that the monitor wasn't picking up his heart beat in the same spot. I had to physically push the little gadget against my belly harder so it picked it up even during the contractions, and that revealed that baby was just fine.

At this point the pitocin was so powerful that even with the epidural the contractions were getting painful. She broke my water... and there was meconium in it. 

She basically asked if we should go for a C-section. I told her no, that as I saw it while there was a risk baby had breathed in meconium, the risk was there whether I had the baby vaginally or by C-section. That we should see if now that my water was broken if baby progresses, but I did understand that if an hour or two he/she hadn't that we would need to consider it, in case baby might release more meconium, since it was probably the stress of labor that had stimulated him to go.

Well, the water breaking worked. He moved right into position and came within an hour. I went from 3.5 cms to 10 that fast, just like with Dreamer. Unfortunately, it was very, very painful, even with the epidural. I screamed so loud it freaked out the doctor. Part of that was that the contractions were like ten or so seconds apart at this point: with Dreamer when she came the contractions were like 2-5 seconds apart and I could barely breath let alone get much noise out at that point, where as I definitely could with this guy.

And of course, he's a boy! 

I haven't come up with a blog nickname for him yet. Partially because while Dreamer is okay, I came up with a better one when she was older that I am not using since I already used Dreamer. lol. So I think I'm waiting until I'm very sure this time. 

The hospital where we delivered him has an in-house photographer, Govind. Every family gets one free maternity pose and one free newborn pose, but you get more if you pay for more, and we did. These are the rough unedited copies, as the editing is done in Bangalore and we'll get a CD with them (as well as our frames and prints we ordered) after they get shipped in from Bangalore probably some time in the next week. But in the meantime, enjoy!
























Happy Mother's Day! 

I also want to say that my son was born the day before the one year anniversary of my grandfather's death. Which was bittersweetly beautiful. It gave our family something happy to be thinking about on that sad anniversary, and it was good knowing that the family he loved so much is growing and getting stronger even after he's gone. Miss you, Grandpa. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Eyes to See

I have been working on this post in my heart for probably two years or so? But I feel like I finally have the words and the boldness to put it out there. 

I'm going to show you a photo. 


What do you see?

Most people I've shown this to say "garbage." 

I took this photo because I saw beauty. I saw the lovely sunrise, the haze to the sky, the rooftops and yes, even the garbage but I thought the juxtaposition made a statement that was stunning. 

I didn't ignore the garbage. Heck, I was standing right next to it, I could smell it. I was far more aware in many ways of the garbage than anyone just viewing a digital image I snapped on my smartphone could be... 

But it wasn't the garbage that held my focus, it wasn't the garbage that inspired me to capture the image. It was the beauty. It was the beauty that literally stopped me in my tracks as I was out for a walk.  

And yet.

Most people just see the garbage. Which is why I didn't share this photo far and wide. I did send it to a few people close to me, who all pointed out the garbage, and I let it fade. 

Most people would think you need to clean up the garbage so it doesn't distract from the beauty. Which there's nothing wrong if you want to get together a team and go and clean it up, that'd be awesome, but a) who has time to clean up all the garbage and b) it misses the point that the beauty and the mess coexist now.

Or maybe most people would just want to crop it so that the garbage isn't showing. And sometimes I'm that person. But it makes the photo feel cheap. Like a lie. Only the lie isn't the beauty, the lie is that the beauty can't co-exist with the garbage. The lie is that there isn't something lovely about the juxtaposition. The lie would be, for me, that you need to have a narrow gaze to be in awe of beauty.

But you don't, or at least I don't.

God's given me a gift to see the beauty. But because when I try to show others they don't see it, I've stopped showing it. They get so distracted by the mess they can't see the real loveliness that is present and real. It's not beauty that will show up someday after the house is clean and pinterest perfect. It's not beauty that only comes after months of sacrifice for a bikini body. It's not beauty that is marred by the dirtiness of life, it's beauty that exists. It coexists. It is. It is present. It is real. It is always.

And I think I gave up... well all but gave up, coming on here occassionally adn plugging away but only publishing probably one in five posts I start... I nearly gave up blogging because I was so tired of the garbage eyed people. 

Which is not very nice of me, I know.

But it's tiring to say "see the beauty!" and expecting people to share your joy and hearing people go "ugh, the garbage."

And then you start cropping and you show it and people are non-responsive. Because you cropped out the context. Zooming in makes it seem pixelated and cheap. They aren't getting the big picture, and the beauty is enhanced by the big picture, it's not cheapened.

I hope you understand the metaphor. 

God's given me a gift to see beauty when others are so caught up by the mess as to have their vision obscured. And my response has been to therefore close my eyes, to stop sharing my viewpoint. I lost my blogging voice in my insecurity.

That's not right. 

I see more than they see. Why would I narrow my vision to see less?

I'm going to try to come back and blog and show you more again. To show you the loveliness. And those of you with eyes to see will see it. And those you of you without it, maybe you can learn to stretch your vision. Let's see. 

In the meantime here's something I hope you all will see the beauty in. I have had a son. 




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