April 22, 2016

Adventures in Feeding Tomas


This is kind of a part two.  You can read about our initial journey from NICU to breastfeeding here. If you don't know how we started this part will make less sense (but probably not that much less if you don't have time to read).

I have been intending to write a follow up for those who are still faithfully following our journey by blog only, because I know there are a few.  I've been dropping cryptic little hints and outright laments that feeding has still not been going particularly well and that growing eventually did become a concern on our Facebook page.

All of the spitting/gagging/choking issues that he started out with continued to get worse little by little until eventually he was accounting for an entire load of laundry or more every single day (Kylee started wearing layers so she wouldn't have to go back upstairs and change after he puked on her), he couldn't lay flat under any circumstances, and eventually he started refusing to eat completely.  I kept being worried that it was a milk supply problem, but I could pump until the cows came home and take supplements and eat all the right foods and double my supply in a few days, but he just wouldn't (couldn't?) keep it up.

April 11, 2016

Singing His Songs


Don't be surprised if you visit our house one day and hear the sounds of Christmas music drifting from the nearest speaker.   When Tomas was in the NICU, his oxygen levels were one of the last things to stabilize for him.   Like many babies, his stats were better when mom was holding and talking to him.  He was awake very little, but we could tell when he was getting overwhelmed and stressed by seeing those numbers dive down and not come up well on their own.

April 8, 2016

7 Days of Awesome Review

7 Days of Awesome was not at all what I expected.  I was thinking it would be a slightly rhymed, cute creation story that was just one more to add to the pile.   It was rhyming, it was cute, and it was a creation story but it was otherwise not at all what I thought it would be.

I think that there are more realistic and beautiful versions of the creation story to share with children, most particularly a good children's bible version, but I also think that this adaptation wins on fun.  Many other reviews I have read refer to it as in the style of Dr. Seuss, a comparison that is warranted.

I can't call this a top creation story adaptation as some of the cartoonish illustrations and wording is aimed more at lower elementary aged and might be a little much for the toddler crew, but it is definitely a fun book that can be enjoyed by parents and children together while they learn a little more about the Bible.

7 Days of Awesome is a hardcover title, published by Zondervan, and created by Shawn Byous and Colin Jack.


In exchange for an honest review, I was provided a complimentary copy of this title through the BookLook Bloggers review program.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.

March 17, 2016

Beauty of the Written Word


Kylee recently finished her first ever Institute for Excellence in Writing Thematic Writing Book: Bible Heroes.  For her final "project" she wrote a paragraph about something she is thankful for.

Baby Brother
By, Kylee (Age 7)

I have a baby brother, who is named Tomas.  I play with him every day.  He smiles cheerfully and plays contently on the floor.  Every morning, I change Tomas' diapers and clothes.  I am grateful Jesus answered my prayer for a baby brother.


This is a both laughable and lamentable picture of Kylee taking care of Tomas while I pump.  I guess at least it's G Rated!

Note:  We used IEW Thematic Writing Units without first doing the Student Writing Intensive.  While this worked well for us, I wouldn't recommend it unless you have at least some background in teaching writing because you will have to fill gaps and translate the teachers instructions which were meant to be used after doing the Intensive.  I know that we would have gotten more out of this if I had insisted on stricter adherence to the *method* as opposed to my wing-it method with some Montessori lessons mixed in.  

March 3, 2016

When Having a Goal Isn't Enough

From the very first moments of my pregnancy with Tomas I was surrounded by medical support and opinions.  In fact, I knew I was pregnant days before I normally would.  Progesterone injections, extra ultrasounds and monitoring, steroid injections just in case at 30 weeks as soon as I started to not feel as well.  We had only one goal.

35 weeks.

The reason we had this goal was fairly straight forward.  I wanted to deliver at our small local hospital and I needed to be 35 weeks to do it.  I previously delivered three of the bigger kids between 35-37 weeks (2 at that hospital with my OB) and they were all just fine.  Of course the longer the better was always the conversation, but we also knew that much past 37 weeks probably wasn't going to happen.

35 weeks came and went.  We had Thanksgiving.  I had a check up.  I wasn't worried.

February 29, 2016

One Spring Lamb Review

Written and illustrated by Anne Vittur Kennedy, One Spring Lamb is a delightful counting board book perfect for 1-4 year olds this Easter.  Colorful illustrations throughout the book allow children practice counting to 10 with several items to count on each page.  For example, on the 4 page there are ties, boys, and kites to count.  In the corner of each two page spread is the digit that matches the text for that page.

As the pictures tell the story of a child fast asleep after a busy Easter day, the final rhyme tells the child, "Ten little bunnies, count each one, so many gifts from God's own Son.  On Easter it's a joy to know That Jesus lives and loves me so."

My review copy will be making its way into a certain little girl's Easter basket.  In the next couple weeks, I will share how I stay organized with things like Easter baskets and Christmas stockings with our growing family.

In exchange for an honest review, I was provided with a free copy of this book through the BookLook Bloggers Review Program.

February 24, 2016

Breastfeeding, Morals, Social Justice, and a Grammar Lesson

So the internet has done that thing where everyone goes crazy over the same article.  In this case, it was a study that was reposted by Dr. Popcack on his blog about breastfeeding being a moral issue.   Simcha jumped on the ball first and wrote a response I related to.

Others followed suit with varying degrees of agreement, and Facebook comment boxes filled.

When I read this response and particularly the section about birthing, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.   The description of reasons for a cesarean birth were clearly written off the cuff by someone who has never faced the real choice between life or a child who will die and c-sections,  resulting in a forever a choice between openness to life and c-sections.  I have to remind myself often that most people will never have to face those kinds of choices and that's ultimately a good thing even if it isn't such a great thing for us.  After I patted myself on the back and told myself to calm down, I decided I would have to write my own response.