Moms And Babies - LeAnna

This week I'm featuring LeAnna from Thoughts And Whatnots! I love LeAnna's blog - she always has great insights into being a Christian mother and wife, sprinkled in amidst the humor. She makes me laugh - I think because she reminds me so much of myself! She says the things that I want to say on my blog, and she says them so much better than I could say them. Read on to find out more!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Well, let's see. I'm soon to be 25, part fire-cracker and married to the most hard working, sweet, and laid back man God ever made. He keeps me from igniting 98.9% of the time, God bless him. I stay-at-home with our two children, and occasionaly help Hubby with any paperwork involved with the commercial construction company we own. I mostly dream about living on a farm, take pictures of what and whoever I can get my hands on, and it is the gospel truth that I could talk your ear off about agriculture. Oh, and I wipe a lot of poop off small hiney's.

What are your children's names (or blogland aliases), and how old are they?

I keep my kid's real names off my blog for privacy reasons but my oldest goes by Q (amaaazingly his name really does start with a Q) he's almost 2 1/2. My youngest is known as Sprig (and even though I like to think I'm trendy, I am not. And that is not her real name.) She will be 8 months old in a week!

Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

Our days start pretty early, I'm a fan of sleeping but my children are not. We get up in the mornings and usually Hubby has already headed to a job site or to his office above our garage by 6:30 or 7. I make breakfast and check the online world, typically vacuum the floor so Sprig doesn't find any goodies...all while trying to keep Q from getting into things he's not supposed to, or making random phone calls to people. We head outside at 8:45 every morning to go on a 1/2 hour power walk with my friend and her new baby. Sprig naps later in the morning while Q and I go outside to take care of our plethora of animals and weed the gardens. Between our 2 dairy goats, 6 chickens, 2 dogs (plus 8 puppies!) cat (and her 5 kittens!), and my little backyard veggie gardens we spend at least half an hour or more outside while Sprig is sleeping. After that we head inside and I do chores, Q plays in his room, watches cartoons or Veggie Tales, plays outside or does crafts while I get lunch going. My goal in life is to have both kids napping at the same time in the early afternoon, which is generally accomplished. Most days they nap 1 1/2 - 2 hours. That is "me" time. I refuse to spend it cleaning...Everybody is up for snacks and any afternoon errands out of the house. I start supper and we anxiously await for Hubby to come home. It's the highlight of Q's day! Usually we have meltdowns right before he walks in the door, because the world comes to an end, every day right before Dadda gets home. We eat, and play as a family, do our evening outdoor/animal chores again (gathering eggs, putting goats up, etc) and sometimes go on walks or take the kids on Gator rides. Kids are in bed by 8. and then Hubby and I have our time together. Or in a lot of cases, Hubby sacks out in his favorite chair (because he's worked all day) and I sew or blog until I'm sleepy. ;)

If you had to choose three words to describe each of your children, what would they be?

Q is clever, sweet, and tender-hearted. Sprig is a sassy, cheerful and determined.

What's your favorite part about being a mom?

The fact that such a tiny little thing grows inside of you, then is born and continues to grow outside of you is just phenomenal. Being a Mom is tiring. It's hard work. It's 24/7, and it's priceless. Our very own mission field and heritage in the next room. Perhaps they will be a life-saving doctor, or a missionary, or maybe they'll be a brick layer or a computer tech. Regardless, when we raise them to the glory of God, they will be an offering of Hope to a hurting world, and it starts with the grace and love we show them.

Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

Cut back on the sugar and carbs. It is SO hard, but I think most people eat way too much sugar. It's in everything, too. Stay away from high fructose corn syrups, eat less processed foods. Nurse, if you can. It burns an insane amount of calories. However, don't be disappointed if you don't lose weight while nursing...I know a lot of Mom's who keep their weight until they wean. For me, the last 10 pounds are the hardest. Combined with eating less sugar and carbs, and staying active it actually came right off this time, taking some bonus fat with it. Another thing, and this is a total "to each their own" but I think there's something to it: find a natural form of birth control (NFP, FAM, Barrier,etc). For some women (obviously not all!) hormone replacement birth control makes it hard to keep weight off. That was my case!

What have you and your husband done since your first child's birth to keep your relationship strong?

The biggest thing we had to realize was that the road ran both ways. I didn't have any expectations of my husband, other than to love his son. We didn't keep score over how many diapers the other had changed, or who got up when at night...we shared the job as parents. Not only pertaining to our children, but also around the house. He started recognizing what it meant to me if he took the trash out without being asked, or folded a basket of clothes without any suggestion on my part. All of those little, seemingly unromantic things build on one another until you find yourself watching your Man fold bathroom towels and (if I might be a little honest) you think to yourself "Now, that is one hot hunk." ;) You could say it out loud, but at your own risk. *ahem* Now, maybe it's just me, but Happy Mama = Happy Daddy, if you know what I mean. And a happy Daddy loves helping Mama keep things happy, therefor the cycle continues. ;) Of course it's not always sunshine and roses, but we fight fair and move on when need be.

Your second child's birth? We went through much of the same that we did with the first child. You can just add that I think it's hot when he refers to me as Mama. Oh, how life has changed. ;)

Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

There are SO many amazing things available for Mom's right now. Of all my favorites, I'd have to say that a Baby K'tan (or Moby Wrap, if you don't mind the tying) and a mei tai style (Babyhawk) carrier, or an Ergo is pretty essential. It's nice to be hands-free if need be. I often strap Sprig in the Ergo while we're doing chores outside in the evening.

Also, these mesh feeders are awesome. Teaches the infant to learn the chewing motion, and helps with coordination once they start finger foods. I also fill it with frozen fruit or ice when Sprig is teething. It has bought me a LOT of time.

What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

Probably the time we went on vacation and Q got car sick, and threw up twice in the backseat of the Suburban.

Um, not.

We had fun going on vacation, though. Q was just old enough to take in a lot of the sights and be amazed by them. Two and a half is a very fun age. Hubby and I get a total kick out of the crazy things he says.

Any advice for first-time mothers?

Love who you are. Love who God made your children to be. Love this moment, and don't ache for the next because it will be here and then gone in a flash. Don't compare yourself. Don't compare your children. Rest in the fact that you are who you are because Christ has provided you with grace to live abundantly. Believe that He can change you where you need to be changed, and don't be afraid to ask Him to. Let go of your insecurities, and be content in Him. Don't let what others tell you hinder your instinct, God made you the mother of your child. Trust the leading of the Holy Spirit, He'll give you wisdom. And, most of all, roll with it. Learn to be flexible, and not hate yourself when your schedule goes awry. Give yourself grace, and don't forget to pour it out freely on others (especially your Hubby).

Thanks Leanna! Check out LeAnna's blog to read more!

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Kara @ Just1Step said...

I really liked reading about LeAnna's family...they seem so sweet. Thanks for featuring her Callie. :)

chloƫ. said...

Great feature on LeAnna! Her blog was one of the first ones I started following and I still learned new things about her :)

Love this feature Callie! Especially for us new moms in need of advice :)

Anne @ Sincerely, Britches said...

As always, the uses her words to weave a beautiful picture of truth and humor. So glad you had LeAnna on this M&B edition!

Anna said...

Don't we all just love LeAnna? :) I'm glad you featured her on Moms & Babies.

Rachel said...

I love her blog, and she's such a sweet gal! I love how good she is with words! Such a sweet family!

Mrs. Lukie said...

Loved this edition of Moms & Babies! Maybe it's cuz I just love LeAnna & her sweet family ;)

Thanks to both of you for sharing!

NaomiG said...

Aw, great interview! Love LeAnna.

Dove of Snow said...

Hi Callie! I am new to your blog, I was directed over here through LeAnna when she mentioned that you'd featured her on your blog, etc! I love this interview you did of LeAnna! She is a sweetheart and seems like such a great mom and I love how she keeps her focus on God and on the monumental importance of Grace in our lives and relationships!

Looks like you keep a great blog, I'm excited about being a new follower of yours! When you get time, please stop by my blog, I am fairly new at it but I love having blogging friends! And congrats on your precious baby!

-- Rachel

cait said...

this post is fabulous. I think I should print it out and refer to it often when our sweetie gets here! :) I love the line about "God made you their mom." Such an amazing reminder!

As always, thanks for this great feature on your blog!

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