That’s what I’m
told to do.That’s what I try to
do.Soak it ALL up!
When my 18
month old ends up in my bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, soak it up.
When she whines
and whines without using actual words so I have no idea what she wants, soak it
finally feels confident in her feet and climbing abilities that she becomes a
little clumsy and starts falling off every piece of furniture in the house and
screaming her little baby head off, soak it up.
When she takes
too long of an evening nap and decides that she is going to party until
midnight, soak it up.
When she has a
break down in the middle of the produce section at the grocery store because I
asked her to pick up the two pumpkins that she pulled down, soak it up.
When she stares
at the plate of food I’ve prepared and won’t take one bite, soak it up.
When she wants
to read a book, but won’t let me actually read it and just turns the pages and
gets angry when I don’t let her because I want to know how the story ends, soak
bedtime and I’m trying to do the nightly routine and she just grunts and points
to anywhere and anything to do except go to bed, soak it up.
When she says, “I
yuv you!” soak it up.
When she kisses
me, those moments can be rare, soak it up.
When her little
fuzzy head that wasn’t combed after bath the night before tickles my cheek in
the morning, soak it up.
When she just
sits with me on the couch and watches TV while she eats an apple, or two, soak
cackles and cackles while I chase her through the house butt naked because she
escaped while I was changing her diaper, soak it up.
When she hugs
me goodbye before I leave for work, soak it up.
When she folds
her hands and bows her head while we pray for our food, before bed or at
church, soak it up.
shouts, “AMEN” before the prayer is even over, soak it up.
about just soaking up the happy times and fun times, it’s about soaking it ALL
every day that Wren won’t want to sleep in the bed with us when she is a
teenager. Soon she will learn to talk
and use all kinds of words and I might miss a little whine here and there. I can survive off of a few hours of sleep at
night, many parents have done it before me and many will continue to do it
after me. She’s not the only kid that has ever pitched a fit in the grocery
store and I’m not the first mom that got judged by someone else because her kid
was throwing a fit in the grocery store.
But I am her
only mommy! Yes, she might tell other
people that she yuv’s them, but they don’t wake up next to her fuzzy head every
morning. Yes, she gives out kisses, but
they don’t get those sleepy snuggles in the middle of the night like I do.
I will soak it
up. I will soak it ALL up. Even when I’m frustrated, tired and ready to
pull out my hair, her hair and her daddy’s hair, I WILL SOAK IT UP!
going by fast and I know I’ll look back 10 years from now and wonder where the
time went, but until then you can find me with my sweet little Wren soaking it
towards the end. I don’t feel like I
thought I would when this moment arrived.
told me that they wish they would have known when it was the very last nurse
and I might feel that way one day, but not right now. I’m ready for a break.
timeline of how this has gone down:
June 12 is
when I wrote the last blog about weaning.
From then until July 8th I kept the same pumping schedule and
was packing 7oz bags.
I started packing 5 oz bags. I did this
because I was thinking that Jessica could mix it with the milk she was planning
on moving Tayla to once she no longer had breast milk. Tayla didn’t really have any issues switching
over to raw milk!! YAY!!
I moved my pump times down to 15 minutes and still nursed Wren at night.
I moved my pump times down to 10 minutes and started packing in 3oz bags to
continue Tayla’s weaning.
I had a realization that if I was pumping 2 times for 10 minutes maybe I could
skip my afternoon pump and only do my morning pump for the full 20, so that’s
what I did! This was my first day to
move down to 1 pump a day. And I was
still nursing Wren at night.
– 30th I went on a business trip (without Wren) and only pumped
twice a day for 15 minutes.
– 5th Wren and I went to the beach (without Gary) and I nursed her
on command, but didn’t have to pump the entire time. Except that one time in the car…
I moved my morning pump down to 10-12 minutes and still nursed Wren at night.
noticing that she wasn’t acting interested in her nighttime nurse. I didn’t push her. I would sometimes fix her a sippy of frozen
breast milk, but I was fine to skip those nighttime nurses. My body would make up for it the next
morning. My supply had started to
dwindle, which is what we were going for, and if she nursed at night I would
pump 3 oz the next morning. If she didn’t
nurse, I would pump 6 oz.
I decided to skip my morning pump and only try to nurse her at night. That was the very last time I pumped! Whoa, that’s crazy! I hadn’t really thought
about that until typing it out!! I haven’t
pumped for almost an entire month!!
As of today,
we are still nursing at night (most nights).
She takes one sippy of breast milk during the day, but she hasn’t been
taking it very well. My mother-in-law
watches her and actually didn’t have breast milk for a couple of days and gave
her almond milk (which is what we want to switch her to) and she took that ok. I’ve tried giving her a sippy at night of breast
milk and just like during the day she doesn’t really care for it.
I’ve heard of
other kids who just don’t drink milk.
They get their calcium from greens, yogurt and cheese. I have a feeling this is the route we are
about to take. It kind of makes me sad
that I worked hard for Wren to have milk well after she turned 1 and now she
will barely even sip it L. There’s a few mommies in a Facebook group
that I’m in who need some donated milk, so I’m sure that’s where the remainder
of my milk will go.
There’s a lady at church who
has 2 daughters. One in high
school. The other entering high school in
the fall. I remember when I was younger
and visited this congregation with my family, I would see these two girls with
their BIG OVER SIZED BOWS.
At the time I was a
tomboy. Bows were way too girly. I would never make my kid wear those.
Fast forward several years…
I want Wren to wear
bows. Like even with her pajamas. And THE BIGGER THE BETTER!
She goes to my sister-in-law’s
house every day and for the most part stays at home. My sister-in-law isn't really into bows and I don't want to make her job harder than it already is. So I don’t feel bad that she doesn't wear a
bow while she’s there. But come church
time, grocery time, any other time I want her to have a bow in her hair.
However, she feels
differently. She rips it out any
opportunity she gets. Especially when
The other night I went up to
this mother of two daughters who wore big bows and let her know that Wren needs
to come to bow boot camp.
This lady also baby-sits kids
throughout the school year and I've heard that she has trained many a child to
keep a bow in their hair.
She tells me, “You have to be
consistent. You have to smack her little
hand when she takes it out. You have to
I reply with, “But sometimes
I get tired of doing it over and over. I
feel silly because it’s just a bow.”
Then comes the wisdom…”It’s
not just a bow. This is setting you up
for discipline in the future. This is
you showing her you mean business.
Practice your consistency with this, something that seems small, and it will
make it better in the future when it comes to bigger things. You can do it! It’s not about the bow.”
So, if you see me in public
getting onto my child because she won’t keep her bow in her hair, now you know
that’s it’s not about the bow.
This is the beginning. The beginning of our journey. The beginning of our journey through
discipline and raising a respectful, gracious young lady.
In the summer of 2006, I was
21 & would be a senior at Freed in the fall. My aunt and uncle were going on a 6 week
vacation and asked if I could house sit.
So, I moved to Smyrna. Found a job.
And attended the church they went to.
In the beginning, I didn’t
really have friends. I hung out with my
grandparents A LOT. But it was awesome
because I got some of my grandmothers yummy cooking!
About half way through the 6
weeks, the church had ‘a day at the park’ and all the members were
invited. As I stood in line to get my
food the guy in front of me started talking to me and invited me to his house
that night for his birthday party. He
had invited several people from church so I was anxious to actually hang out
with people my own age.
We played many games that
night, but the one I remember the most was spades.
I can’t remember the
score. I can’t remember if we won. But what I do remember is my partner. I even left the party at the same time as him
hoping he would ask me out on a date when we walked to our cars.
But he was clueless.
The next day I got a phone
call from my aunt. She said, “So I heard
you went to a party last night.”
“What?! How did you hear that? You are on the other side of the US.”
Long story short, one of the
guys at the party was interested in me and contacted a lady at church who knew
had my aunt’s number and got her to call my aunt to get my number. I thought that was pretty clever and was
anxious to hear who it was. Fingers
crossed it was my spades partner.
Well, it wasn’t. It was the guy who hosted the party.
He and I hung out for the
next few days. We went out to dinner, to
the movies and we had people over to the house to grill out. But I just wasn’t really into it.
On the following Sunday night
a group of us went to the movies and on the way back to my car I ended it with
this particular fellow. I told myself I
couldn’t use the phrase, “I’m not ready for a serious relationship,” because I
knew that wasn’t true. But in the heat
of the moment that phrase popped out of mouth.
WHOOPS! Didn’t mean it! Oh well.
Can’t take it back now!
That Tuesday, my spades
partner and I went on our first date. It
was his birthday, June 27th.
Today is June 27th. Exactly 8 years later. Do you want to know what my spades partner
and I are doing?
House sitting for the same
aunt and uncle!!
Coincidence? Probably, but it’s still a cool story!
Happy birthday to my most
favorite spades partner in all the land!!
As more of my friends
continue to have babies and ask me questions, I have realized how much I've actually forgotten about the newborn stage.
Yes, I still remember bits and pieces and I did write this blog. But some of the more specific details are
just gone. Vanished. I just can’t
So, I’m vowing to write
more. More about the current situation
I’m in as a mother. More about my
feelings. My emotions. How these steps take a toll on my physical
body as well.
With that said, let’s go on a
journey through weaning…
You might remember that I
have a hefty supply of breast milk due to immediate & frequency in
You might also remember that
I have an increasingly strong desire to be a stay-at-home, so Gary and I had
actually talked about and briefly considered selling my breast milk. People do this. And people buy it. We thought this could help supplement some of
my income for the time being and allow me to reach my goal.
We researched it.
We prayed about it.
We decided that we couldn't do it.
There are too many women out
there who can’t breast feed that have a strong desire to do so and too many
babies that need breast milk that can’t get any.
So, we waited. We waited for
someone we knew. For someone that needed
I was first introduced to
Jessica through a former co-worker, Angela.
They were both in the same mommy group on Facebook. Jessica posted that her milk donor was
starting to wean her own baby and could no longer supply Jessica’s baby with
breast milk. She wasn't necessarily trying to find another donor, but to get feedback on goats milk and if any
other mom’s had given it to their babies.
Jessica first contacted me on March 6th. She told me about herself and breastfeeding…
“I was able to
nurse Tayla and pump for the first 4 months but then my supply dwindled and she
started losing some serious weight and was almost hospitalized.“
She told me about her daughter, Tayla…
“She gets very
sick whenever she has to take a formula bottle. Phlegmy/chest cough,
runny nose, acid poops, yucky vomiting, and screaming. She is
miserable and I hate that for her. She is on meds for her reflux. But formula
just turns her world upside down despite the meds.”
She asked me questions about my diet,
my milk and my overall health. Some of
the questions I wasn't really sure how to answer and I was a little intimated,
but she finished with this…
“I know that if it isn't you
that can help her, God will put someone else in our lives to help her.
:-). Please let me know if you are still
interested. I hope I didn't scare you off. :-)”
Her parting words pretty much sealed
the deal that I wanted to at least try.
I chatted with one of our elder’s wives
at church who donated milk both times she nursed her own boys: “Is it weird having another baby drinking
your milk? I’m scared I won’t have enough milk to supply for both babies.”
She was so positive and told me, “It’s
just milk, but it’s the special milk that helps some babies survive. God will
provide if you decide this is what you want to do.”
After several back and forth emails
with Jessica, we were sitting in their home for dinner on March 13th.
Jessica and I immediately hit it
off! And you know who else did too? Our husbands!
We ate, laughed and I got to feed that
sweet baby a bottle of my breast milk.
Oh my goodness it brings tears to my
eyes! I’m sad that we didn't capture
that moment, but I will remember it regardless. I felt honored, but I also felt
Nervous that she wouldn't take it
well. Nervous that it would hurt her
tummy. Nervous that all of this just wouldn't work out.
The feeling can almost be compared to
when a new mom starts breastfeeding her baby.
That nervous in your gut please let this work feeling.
And guess what! It did!
Jessica was shocked when Tayla got
about half way through the bottle and she hadn’t even spit up once. She was amazed at the fat in my milk, which
is what babies thrive on. She was
grateful and hopeful that this was going to work!
Fast forward to today. The DeYoung’s are our friends. We have dinner together. The boys have lunch
together. And they came to Wren’s first birthday!
Statistics from 2010 say that 27% of women breast fed their babies for the first year.Four years later, I’m sure that number has increased.
I always had the plan that I would
breast feed Wren until she turned one (if I was able), but once Tayla entered
our lives I wanted to be sure she had breast milk until her first birthday as
Everything has worked great so
far! When we first met Tayla, in March, she was 7 months old. I knew making a
commitment to get her to her first birthday would mean I would have to continue
to pump 2 months longer than my original plan.
My photographer and friend, Shonta,
asked me at Wren’s first birthday party if I was sad about nursing coming to an
end and to be honest I really hadn't thought about it at that point because I
knew I had until August before I really started weaning.
Well, the closer we get to August the
more sad I get.
I currently still nurse Wren. Only at bedtime during the week and as many
times as she needs on the weekends.
However, she is starting to show signs that she doesn't really want/need
it much anymore. I really want her to
wean herself as much as possible.
On nights that I am away and Gary puts
her to bed he will sometimes forget or just not feed her milk before bedtime
and guess what? She’s totally fine and
sleeps through the night.
Our little girl is growing up! And it’s
Sad to think she doesn't NEED me anymore. I know that she really does, but not in the
same way that she needed me as an infant.
Weaning has been something that has
scared me for some time. Really ever
since the meeting in the hospital about ‘taking your baby home’ and they talk
about the women who choose not to breast feed.
They tell you to use cabbage leaves and ice to suppress the pain. They say it will be painful. I know weaning and just stopping cold turkey
are two different things, but it still scares me!!
Will it hurt? Will I wake up in pain?
How do I do this? When do I start?
Thankfully I have a lot of examples
around me and I ask a lot of questions!
I do use google from time to time, but
I would prefer to get information from people I know.
A girl at work only pumped and bottle
fed and when she started weaning from her pump, immediately after her baby’s
first birthday, she simply started cutting out the pumps that ‘got on her
nerves the most:’
The one right before dinner
morning pump at work
Towards the end she only had her early morning pump and was only doing it every other day.
She said once she got to where she was pumping less than an ounce she would quit.
Just this past month she finished pumping
completely. She said the only pain she
had was a couple of random pains, which she thinks was just everything clogging
up and going back to normal. She said
other than that she was completely fine and doesn't miss her pump at all! She had a good supply built up and has enough
to get her baby to 16 months!
My friend, Rachel, did the same thing I
pumped when she was away from her baby and nursed him when they were
She had built her supply up
early on, therefore, even had to pump once a day on the weekends, which is the
same as me. Around Preston's first birthday, she
slowly started cutting back time on her pumping, but continued to nurse him at night.
When he was 15 months he actually
weaned himself from nursing. She had to pump a little more over the next month,
but continued decreasing the length each time. She said it was a smooth
transition with zero pain. She was able to save enough milk for
him to have until he was 17 months old!!!
I’m pretty much still on the same
schedule I've been on since the beginning…
20 minutes in the morning (around 9)
20 minutes in the afternoon (around 3)
Wren's just recently cut out the evening
nurse before dinner, except the past 2 nights (I think she’s teething)
Nurse before bed
My weekend schedule is nurse on command
and pump for 20 minutes once a day. I
still have to pump even when I'm nursing her all day I get too full and start getting some
pain in my right shoulder and blade.
My right side is my biggest producer
and I think it’s because of that pain that I have in my head that weaning is
I still have a couple of months before
I really start this process, so until then I'll just keep pumping. Just keep pumping pumping pumping
Some love them. Some hate them. Some plan them. Some avoid them.
I. LOVE. Them
I didn’t really start loving
weddings until after my own.
I remember the very first
wedding I attended post marriage. It was
2 weeks after Gary and I got married. It
was a girl I grew up with at church and I bawled through the entire thing!
The words, they meant more.
The details, I actually noticed them.
I love weddings so much I
decided a few years ago to purchase a nice video camera and start a small
business on the side. It allows me to
tell a story. Your story. Your happiness. Your love.
I love to video weddings, but
I also enjoy going and being a guest.
Signing the book. Picking a seat. Chatting with those around me about how I
know the bride and groom.
I will be attending my third
wedding in 3 weeks this coming weekend!
2 weeks ago I videoed a
wedding for a girl at church
This past weekend Gary and I
hit the road (baby-less) and attended a friend’s wedding in east Tennessee
This coming weekend Wren and
I are hitting the road to attend a wedding in Arab.
When I was in college I
didn’t go to many weddings because there were just too many! I hated feeling like I had to pick one friend
over another friend.
But now, if we are available
we do our best to make it to weddings that we are invited to.
The Bride. The Groom. The
bridal party. The flowers. The cake. THE UNION AND THE HAPPY EVERY AFTER…Oh it
just makes me giddy!
Don’t Miss It! That was the title of Sunday night’s
sermon. Wayne talked about Heaven. He talked about how we will all get new
bodies, the custom built house that God is preparing for us and the opportunity
that we will have to visit with Bible characters!
His very last point. THE
The UNION of Christ and His
Where will I be on that
day? Will I be videoing it? Telling someone else’s story? Seeing their happiness? Their love?
OR will I be a guest.
Watching from my seat. Telling others
that I know the bride and groom.
OR will I be among those that
will be called the BRIDE OF CHRIST?
This weekend was full of lace, lavender and tiffany blue! Oh and dirt, but I'll get to that :). I video taped a girl's wedding from church and HAD A BLAST!! Here's a quick pic of the gorgeous bride and groom...
However, I wanted to be sure that my groom and I celebrated our day as well, so here's a look back on the past 5 years via blog posts...
I wrote this poem here for our 1 year anniversary, but I wanted to re-post the whole thing just in case you don't click on the link :)
One year ago I put on a dress You put on a tux and looked your best One year ago you held some flowers Your back was turned for what seemed like hours One year ago you turned around and for the first time that day we looked each other up and down One year ago pictures were taken one after the other memories we were making One year ago I rode a horse and carriage to begin a life and a long lasting marriage One year ago the raindrops fell I didn't even cry or yell One year ago my daddy gave me away after the clouds parted and dropped down the rays One year ago we both said "I Do" We became one in something new One year ago was one of the best days of my life I love living God's plan and being your wife Happy Anniversary Gary!! I love you!!
During our 2nd year of marriage we traveled the world!!!!
Year 5 has pretty much evolved around our sweet little baby, but it's been soooo fun and I love seeing Gary as a Daddy!!
Our first Family Retreat. We I Love Softball!!
Our first 4 day trip away from Wren. A post I wrote about Gary :). Love him!!
A look back on our sweet girl's first year!
Last weekend after the wedding was complete and I taught my Sunday morning 2 year old class, we loaded up the car to the camp ground! First family camping trip was AMAZING!!!
This weekend, Wren is staying with my parents and Gary and I are headed to East Tennessee for a friend's wedding and a little alone time ;).
I love this man and have loved every minute of the past 5 years of marriage!!! I've loved the sad times, the happy times, the hurtful times and the shameful times because no matter what I know that he loves me and that's the best feeling in the world!!
Happy Anniversary to my sweet sweet husband!!
P.S. I think I've really been in a look back mood lately...hope y'all are enjoying as much as I am :)
FIRST sporting event (watching her cousin, Elizabeth, play volleyball)
FIRST piano lesson
FIRST laugh (7/31) - while I was changing her diaper FIRST time to roll-over (9/16) FIRST gun lesson (9/21) - Gary went dove hunting and showed her how the gun worked when he got home. FIRST ride sitting up in the shopping cart (10/14) - Gary and I usually go to the grocery store together and when she was born that didn't change. She usually does pretty good the entire trip, but sometimes I do have to let her start snacking before we make it to the check-out line. Don't worry I still pay for everything. FIRST crawl (11/26) - Thanksgiving week FIRST spanking (1/2) - she was climbing on some metal chairs we had in the kitchen and they had already fallen on her once, but she thought they were so fun. I finally had to smack that little leg and of course that brought on the awful cry face. FIRST tooth (1/3) - felt that left bottom one coming in FIRST step (3/19) - Gary and I decided her first step could only be declared when we both saw it & this is the first one we both saw...she was 10 months old. FIRST tick (4/2) - during spring break her & her cousins spent a lot of time out at Granny & Pappy's (Gary's parents). They live in the woods and when I was changing her clothes that night I noticed something on the back of her neck. Sure enough it was a tick and she was champ while her daddy got it off. I was a little proud because I grew up getting ticks all the time :)!
FIRST beach trip
FIRST fish fry - every year Gary's Pop has a fish fry and this year some of his family from Washington state was able to come. The top right and the bottom are those family members. The top right is Gary's Uncle Gary & Aunt Peggy.
FIRST time in Bible Class
FIRST time watching momma play softball
It has been a great year and seriously I can't believe it's over. It's been so fun watching this little stinker grow and watching my precious husband be a daddy! He is the best daddy!!
Here's the final monthly picture & update
She's walking all over the place. She started walking about 2 weeks before her birthday and hasn't stopped. There's plenty of face plants, but girl just gets right back up and keeps going.
Everyone told us when she started walking she would start sleeping better, but that's a big fat lie in our house!! This week has been awful with sleeping. She just won't go to sleep. Gary and I were both so tired Monday & Tuesday that we just put her in the bed with us, which doesn't help us sleep any better because she is like her momma and a WIGGLE WORM!!! She doesn't lay still when sleeps. She sits up, plops down, puts her feet in your face, puts her butt in your face, kicks you in the stomach, it's insane!! So last night I just couldn't take it anymore and I thought let's try putting her in her car seat. We have done this once before and it worked great, but now that she's older I wasn't sure how it would work. I put her in there and went straight to bed. I woke up sometime around 4. I felt around and there was no little person in the bed. Gary kind of woke up and I asked if she was still in her seat, but he had put her in her bed before he came to bed! YAHOO!! SUCCESS!! I've said it before & I'll say it again you gotta do what you gotta do!! She just won't sit still when it's bed time, but putting her in her car seat made her sit still and that was all she needed. She had honestly been doing pretty good up until this week, so I think she's getting some pretty important teeth in. She's been extremely stuffy lately!
She now has 4 teeth! Those two top teeth finally came in!
Her new favorite thing to eat is pretzels. The first time she had them was at her party because they were the tail of the bird cake. Here's her and her daddy sharing some pretzels the other day...
aren't they the cutest!!
She can now show you how old she is!! Here's the video! I knew I wanted to teach my kids this when I saw another baby do it a few years ago! It's the cutest thing and anytime I say her name now she just holds up a 1 because that's what she thinks I'm going to ask her :).
This past year has been one of the most exciting years and I'm even more excited to watch her grow & learn new things! Gary & I love being mommy and daddy to our precious girl!
Happy Birthday sweet Wrennie! You make our lives so much more bright & fun!!