Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No Promises

I come to you during one of my few precious spare moments... (Perhaps "spare" is a bit of a misnomer... there's a ladies' Bible class and lesson waiting to be studied for, laundry patiently sitting in the dryer, Pampered Chef packets waiting to be assembled, etc, etc.)

I make no promises that I'm "back" to blogging frequently; I'll just take it one post at a time.

What's changed in the past 3 months?

Jenaleigh is crawling and cruising. Scary, no? For all those new moms who yearn for the day that their little one puts one knee in front of the other becoming a mobile critter, you may bask in the glory for an hour, but then you will probably realize terror. Mobility means the ability to get into trouble. Alot of trouble.

Nevertheless, it is a joy watching her learn more about this world through first hand exploration. 
* Been-There-Done-That Tip : When your little one is old enough to warrant cabinet locks, make sure you leave one cabinet accessible to her and fill it with baby friendly containers so she can play while you cook or clean. Jenaleigh loves playing with her colorful bowls while I wash dishes.

We're starting to eat more local, organic, fresh foods. I was blessed to be asked to join a "crunchy mom" group on Facebook (although, I consider myself about as crunchy as a bowl of mush) and through that avenue have been introduced to local farmers through which we have been buying free range eggs, butter, grass fed meat, and more. (And we're looking forward to the organic produce CSA that we've signed up for starting in May!)
*Been-There-Done-That Tip: If you're just beginning to eat organically, be sure to check out the list of the "dirty dozen". This has a list of the 12 produce items that have been shown to have the most pesticide residues. Memorize these items or stick them in an evernote file on your phone and begin purchasing the organic versions of these fruits and veggies. The top "dirtiest"? APPLES! A fav at our house that we now only buy if they're organic. 

I'm also baking bread every week -- it's my one small step to help rid our family of all the preservative laden foods we ingest.
*Been-There-Done-That Tip: If you're going to be baking bread frequently, take a day to measure out all your dry ingredients (minus the yeast) for a month's worth of bread. Separate them into individual baggies and stick them in the fridge. When it comes time to make the bread all you'll have to do is pull a bag out of the 'fridge and add your wet ingredients and yeast!

I've gained weight. Ugh. The second I stopped exclusively pumping I packed on 10 pounds. (Okay, maybe this is a tad bit exaggerated, but not much -- I've gained about 15 pounds since the end of November!)
*Been-There-Done-That Tip: When your baby weans, remember that you're not going to be burning those extra 500 or so calories like you would nursing; so adjust your diet accordingly! Don't be like me and continue piggin' out!

Jenaleigh can talk. Seriously. She says "chicken" (at random times), "hey" when you walk in the room, "bye bye" when you leave, and of course the ever favorite "DA DA"! It's beyond interesting to watch her carry on conversations with that stern look on her face. She'll look up at me to let me weigh in on the subject and when I provide her with a very serious, "You don't say?", she'll continue. So cute.

However, this cuteness does present itself as a struggle during worship services (especially while DA DA is preaching.) I do my best to "shush" her, put a gentle finger over her mouth, and yes, sometimes even stick the paci in as a silencer. I do not want her to lose her love of words, but I figure a little gentle training on appropriate situations during which one can jabber can't hurt, right?

I sell Pampered Chef! I am so so so so so diggin' my new gig as an Independent Consultant with the Pampered Chef. Seriously. The income is wonderful (helping to quickly demolish those hospital and doctors' bills); the product samples are discounted/free; the people are fun; and my schedule is flexible. I get a little "adult time" a few nights a month and earn money doing it. (Plug: is my personal website at which you can order any time of the month.)

At first when the idea popped into my head, I squashed it. After all, aren't photography (which we only do on a very limited basis right now), piano lessons (4 kids), teaching Bible classes, keeping up with a bebe enough? But, I'm oh so glad I dove in. I'm able to get an extra sense of accomplishment through meeting and exceeding my goals that I've set through the business. Don't get me wrong, raising, training, and teaching my little one will be the ultimate accomplishment; but it's also nice to have that little extra "something".

We've moved on to the next stage as a family. I don't exactly know what that stage is; but I do know for the first 6-7 months of her life (especially the 1st month) we were in "survival mode". Trying to figure out how we all fit in together; our new schedules; new family dynamics; etc. I'm not claiming that we've got it all worked out, but it's coming a lot easier.
*Been-There-Done-That Tip: Don't worry if the first few months with a new baby seem odd. You'll experience all sorts of emotions that come with a new identity (you're a Mommy now!), the shift of your spouse's id (he's a Daddy now!), and the overall stress and joy that come with a new baby. Just keep your eyes on the hope of a more "normal" (a new "normal") future while not forgetting to cherish the current moments. Yes, I'm so glad to be able to sleep through the night in our bed. But sometimes (if I'm in an "emotional reflective" mood) I miss getting to see her in the middle of the night; getting to hold her little fingers that wrapped tightly around mine when she drifted off; and the sweet snuggles that only come in the middle of the night. 

Our (almost) 11 Month Old Big Girl Who I Love SOOOO MUCH! :-)

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