Future Family/Kid Questions

How many children would you like?

Well, this question is still a bit up in the air at our house. I would say probably around three. I would kind of like to have four children, but Derek has always said two, so we’ve settled on at least three and then we’ll just see. Maybe with my third pregnancy I’ll end up with twins, and then the whole thing will just be decided for us! Just kidding . . . though I do think twins would be fun.

Are you planning on being a stay at home mom eventually?

I would love to be a stay at home mom. That is ultimately what we’re working toward, but for now we need my income. When we don’t need my paycheck anymore I may work one day a week for a while and just see what I think, because it might be nice to have a little extra spending money for the kids – that’s the nice thing about hygiene, it’s easy to do part-time, and you can almost choose your own hours because most jobs and employers are pretty flexible. But I do think that at some point (hopefully not too far down the road) I will stop working until my kids are grown.

Do you plan to homeschool?

I do plan to homeschool my children! I was homeschooled myself from 4th grade through high school, and I loved it. I loved the flexibility and the fact that I could work at my own pace, I loved not having to deal with all the negative peer pressure at school (trust me, I still got plenty of socialization, but of a more positive variety, in my opinion), I loved the fact that homeschooling allowed me to start college early. I feel that I learned better being taught at home, and I was closer to my siblings because of homeschooling. Homeschoolers as a group also do better on standardized tests than children who go to public school, so there are academic reasons why I think it would be beneficial as well. I’ve considered writing a post about this subject, because I could probably fill an entire post easily with this, so maybe I’ll work on one for the future, but there is the short answer on why I plan to homeschool my kids.

How has your time with your husband changed since baby?

I tweaked the wording of this question a bit.

The main thing that has changed in my time with Derek has been that we don’t go on dates as much anymore. We definitely need to work on this. We’ve been on two or three dates with just the two of us in the nine months since Wyatt was born, so our record isn’t great right now. I don’t think this changes for every couple after they have a baby, but it’s been the area of most change for us. A lot of our dates pre-baby were spontaneous, and dates require more planning after you have a baby.

As far as time together though, I think we still do pretty well. In the beginning it was harder, because we were so concerned with sleep in the beginning – Derek and I timed Wyatt’s bedtime really close to ours so that we could get the longest stretch of sleep before Wyatt woke up for his first feeding of the night. Because of that we didn’t get as much time with just the two of us for the first couple months.

Fortunately though, Wyatt starting sleeping through the night fairly consistently, and once he could sleep through the whole night we moved his bedtime up to 7:00 PM. So we have about an hour or so of family time after Derek gets home, and then Derek and I usually get a few hours together just to talk, watch a movie, play a game (which we’ve been doing a lot more of to make up for our lack of date nights), or do other stuff together. I feel like now our evenings together aren’t that much different than before we had Wyatt, except for the time right after Derek gets home when we are playing with Wyatt and getting him ready for bed.

And because Derek informs me that there haven't been enough pictures on the blog lately, here is one for good measure.



Remember to submit your question for me here if you have one!



Time Management After Baby Question

I'm going to work on answering the questions I received on that survey I put up a couple weeks ago - here is the first installment! I'm going to leave the survey up at least through the end of the week, so if you have any questions for me you can submit them here (and you can be totally anonymous if you want to).

On to the first question, which ended up being a post in itself!


What is time management like with a baby? One of my biggest fears in having a baby someday is that I won't be able to keep up with everything! Any tips or advice about that?

To be honest, in some areas I’m still trying to figure out the answer to this question! But I think figuring out time management with a baby is just like figuring out time management with any life change – when I think back to the days in school with all the assignments and studying, I wonder how I managed that! Somehow you make it all work.

As far as practical tips, I think the Lord knew that parents needed time to do things when their babies are little and helpless, because babies sleep a lot in the beginning. By the time they start to sleep less they are better at entertaining themselves, so it all seems to work out.

A lot of things get done during naptime right now – anything that I can’t do very well when Wyatt is awake I save until naptime, and I work in the rest during the day around playing with Wyatt. I really try not to blog or do stuff on the computer while Wyatt is awake or when Derek is home (still working on getting better at this), so a lot of times I do that sort of thing during naptime, or I vacuum, or take a shower.

Making dinner, or cleaning and all that I can do when Wyatt is awake, while he practices his crawling, or plays in his activity center, or whatever. I try to make sure I spend a decent amount of time down on the floor playing with him. Then there are his feedings, but I do that between everything else, and everything somehow gets done. In the evenings after Wyatt goes to bed (we put him to bed around 7:00), Derek and I get our husband/wife time in together.

I will say that things are more challenging on the days that I work – I leave in the morning before Wyatt wakes up, so when I get home in the evening I hang out with Wyatt as much as possible in the short time I have before his bedtime. Then Derek and I spend time together – I try to get all my cleaning and stuff done on my days off, and usually I don’t do much blogging on the days that I work because I make up for it the rest of the week. I’m blessed that I get more days off than a lot of women do – I think it would be harder to do everything without those extra days, but I’d probably just adjust things again and figure it out.

I suspect this is all going to change again as Wyatt gets more and more mobile.

It seems complicated when you first think about it, but it’s really not! Like I said, it’s like any other life change, really. The schedule adjusts a bit, but I’ve found that I’ve just become a bit more efficient with my time, and everything still ends up getting done. I’m sure you’ll find that everything works out when you have a baby as well! Many, many women find a way to make it all work, and I know you will too. The adjustments came pretty naturally for me – you might not even have to think about it too much.

So, I guess if I had to sum it up, my practical tips would be (1) approach naptime with a strategy and use it for things that are harder to do when baby is awake, (2) remember that you can let your baby play alone while you work if needed - alot of times they are just happy to have you nearby, and (3) don't worry too much, because it all seems to work out!

If you have any specific questions about how I work in certain tasks, let me know, but hopefully this answered your question!


I’d actually like to open this question up to other moms too – do you have any specific tips on time management after baby, or did it come fairly naturally for you too?




Cloth Diapers–First Impressions

 

First of all, I just want to say that this post is not going to be a “how to” post.  I’m not going to do reviews of all the different products we’ve used so far. 

We still use cloth diapers very part-time.  Mostly because I don’t have a big enough stash built up to do them more than that.  My plan is to add a diaper or two to my stash every paycheck.  In another month or two I might have enough, but for now, we only use cloth on the days that I’m home.  I’m not an expert on this subject, and I don’t feel like I qualify to do any sort of informative post until I’m doing this nearly full-time.

This post is mostly about my first impressions of cloth diapering. 

On The Diapers Themselves

They are cute.  Cute, Cute, Cute.

Right now, I like pocket diapers best.  They’re easy to prepare, you put them on just like disposables.  They seem to have about the same absorbency as disposables.  They do leak occasionally if I wait too long between changes, but so do disposables, so they are pretty comparable in my opinion.

I haven’t tried any fitted diapers, I’ve just done the one-size-fits-all kind.  I haven’t had any trouble with these.  I can see how they might not fit a younger baby very well, but they work really well on Wyatt.

On The Laundering Process

The part that is the most hassle is finding a brand of detergent.  You can’t use normal detergent on cloth diapers, so you have to buy a special kind.  This is slightly annoying, but I suspect it’ll become less annoying as I continue with this.

It’s also annoying that you can’t use normal diaper cream.  I like my petroleum jelly, because it’s cheap.  The diaper cream that works with cloth diapers is no where near as cheap as good ‘ole Vaseline.

Other than those two annoying factors, doing cloth diaper laundry isn’t too big a deal.  I just throw the diapers in there, pre-rinse, then wash a normal cycle with a second rinse using the fancy detergent.  Then I hang up the diapers and throw the inserts in the dryer.  I haven’t had any problems with them taking a long time to dry or anything.  It’s really like any other load of laundry, except for the extra rinse at the beginning.

On Detergents

The detergent I’m using right now has “enzymes” that help break things down and kill bacteria.  I really like this detergent because of that, but I’m thinking I might have to switch in the future because we have hard water.

If you have hard water you need to use some sort of water softener when you wash, so I’m using separate water softeners right now, and it just isn’t cost effective.  I’ll have to switch to a different detergent that has water softeners but no enzymes, meaning I’ll have to get Bac-out or some such product to get the enzyme benefits. 

I think it will still be more cost effective to use the other detergent and a separate enzyme product though than to use this detergent with separate softeners, just because of the price.  It’s hard to know how much I’ll save until I can know for sure how long each type will last me, and I won’t know that until I’ve been doing this longer.

Just my thoughts on detergent.

On Dirty Diapers

Wet ones are easy, it’s the dirty ones that are more difficult.  I’ve only done a couple dirty diapers using cloth, and I really wish I had a diaper sprayer.  I’ve been using a water bottle to “squirt” water on the diapers to clean them off.  It works alright for now, but I think a diaper sprayer would make this whole process way easier.

The dreaded dirty diapers are what most people fear most about cloth diapering (me included).  It’s easy with disposables – you just take the diaper off, throw it in the trash, and never think about it again.  If you have any kind of fear of dealing directly with dirty diapers, I wouldn’t recommend you start cloth diapering without a diaper sprayer. 

Thankfully, I’m pretty comfortable with “the dirty work” and I always have been, so it hasn’t been much of an issue for me.  After that first diaper it was no big deal.

On The Whole Process

My biggest issue is the “special” brands of detergent and diaper cream you have to buy to use with cloth diapers.  I did a whole cost analysis of cloth diapers that takes this into account, and that will be up next week, so keep an eye out for it.

Other than that, I’m finding this whole thing kind of fun!  Wyatt looks really cute in the diapers, and I really don’t mind taking care of the washing and such.  I’m really looking forward to trying out more brands of diapers as well, and I get kind of excited when my cloth diapers come in the mail.

Will I stick with this?  You know, I think I will.

Stay tuned for more on cloth diapers over the next couple weeks!

Details (On The Link-Up)

Update: The Salvation Stories Link-Up is up! To check it out, click here. To get more details on how to participate, continue reading.


I'm so excited that some of you are planning on participating in the Salvation Stories link-up on November 17th! You can click here to read my original post on why I wanted to host a testimony link-up this year.

There is about a week and half left until the link-up, so hopefully alot of you have already started thinking about how you want to present your testimonies. I wanted to post some additional details or guidelines for anyone who may still be thinking about participating or who might have missed the first post.


-On November 17th I'll be posting my testimony of how I came to know the Lord, and I'd love it if you'd join me and add your story to the Salvation Stories Link-up!

-Please devote an entire post to your testimony. I know I've told bits and pieces of my testimony in posts in the past and you may have as well, but this is an opportunity to tell the whole story in one post and to let your salvation story take center stage on your blog for a day.

-If you have devoted an entire post to your testimony in the past (not just part of a post), please feel free to use that post to link-up! You can certainly re-post it on your blog if you want to, but it doesn't have to be your most recent post.

-If you've never written or told your testimony before, here are some questions to get you started (you don't have to answer these specific questions, it's just to get you thinking):

1. What were the events surrounding or leading up to the time when you accepted Jesus as your Savior?

2. Where were you/who were you with when you made the decision to follow Christ?

3. What made you decide to accept Jesus as your Savior? What people or events influenced you to make that decision?

4. How has the decision to follow Christ changed your life?

5. Give us a brief history of your relationship with the Lord from the time you accepted Him as your Savior until now. You can include any highs, lows, lessons learned, etc.

-You can include as much or as little detail as you want - it's your testimony, but please specifically include how you came to know the Lord and how He worked in your life to bring you to Him!

-And finally, here is the button! Feel free to spread the word to your readers that you plan to participate if you feel so inclined.

Salvation Stories



(Highlight the text and press CTRL-C to copy.)


I hope you decide to join in, and I can't wait to read all your stories on November 17th!



Something To Consider

This morning I woke up and opened my Google reader for a little blog reading to start my day, and I came across this post on Katy's blog on the alternatives to abortion and support that pregnancy resource centers present.

She and her husband participated in the Walk For Life to support their local pregnancy center this year, and someone had left her a (anonymous) comment on a previous post about how they think that pregnancy centers help people to choose life for their babies and then drop them like a hot potato with no follow-up care.

Katy wrote a very mature and well thought-out response showing how many resources these pregnancy centers do offer to mothers who need them. I hope you'll take time to read it and give her a little encouragement for speaking out on behalf of unborn babies!

The pro-life movement has always been close to my heart, but especially since having my own baby, and seeing him on the ultrasound, watching him grow - it breaks my heart to think of these babies that never get a chance to live, and to think of the pain of the women who I know regret the decision to end their babies' lives.

I hope you'll also consider giving a donation to help your local pregnancy center in light of the Walk for Life events, and if you want to you can donate at Katy and Jason's fundraising page as well - even if it's just five bucks, I know they'd appreciate it! You may have missed out on the Walk for Life this year (like me), but you can still make a difference.

Acting Like I'd Rather Worry

Recently I went through a pretty stressful situation. I won't get into details, but it was a frustrating situation where I had to make a decision. Have I mentioned that I hate making decisions? I'm just not a decisive person, I see so many possible things that could happen, and I'm always second-guessing myself.

Anyway, this was one of those "decision-making" times, and I cried because the whole thing just wasn't something I wanted to deal with. I even said one of those "Why does this have to happen, Lord?" prayers (a little dramatic, yes, but it seemed like a really big deal at the time).

I talked the whole thing through with Derek, and we prayed together that the Lord would make it really clear to me how to handle the situation.

After Derek and I prayed together, I felt a wonderful peace about the whole thing. This is really unusual for me. I'm a chronic worrier, and I tend to obsess over things, so I knew if I was feeling peaceful it was from the Lord. I knew He was trying to tell me that everything would be okay.

I'd like to say that I just rested in that peace and didn't think about the whole problem again. But I found myself actually trying to worry about it. I intentionally thought the thing through several times, trying to decide if "this or that" happened what I would do.

Then a thought dawned on me - here the Lord had given me this wonderful peace about a stressful situation, and I was fighting against His peace. Why would I do that? It's ridiculous.

I think it was my own flesh wanting to retain some form of control, and worrying was it. I also think it was a spiritual attack from Satan, trying to get me to reject the Lord's peace.

Once I realized what I was doing, I prayed that the Lord would forgive me for rejecting the peace He was giving me, and I really didn't think about the situation again.

Shortly after, the Lord let circumstances transpire that made my decision extremely easy to make.

He answered all my prayers. He gave me a sign - He showed me what to do. He gave me a peace about the whole thing. He even answered the "Why, Lord?" question in a really obvious way for me, and I feel embarrassed now for even doubting that the Lord would work everything out for my good.

It was a reminder to me that God is the one in control, not me. It was a reminder that worrying is a habit that isn't based on my feelings, and I can fight against it. And it was a reminder of the truth of Scripture, that I really can give God all my cares, because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:9 - one of my favorites, if you couldn't tell by the fact that I use it all the time).

If you are struggling with something today, I hope you will give all your cares to the Lord, let Him give you His peace, and not reject it. He really does have everything under control, even though we might not always see how at the time.

He will make it all clear someday.



P.S. Yes, no Moms And Babies post today - I need to work on rounding up some new moms to feature, and I just haven't had a chance yet. But I've got a new list of "Posts Worth Reading" up in the sidebar, so be sure to check it out!

Have You Shared Your Story?

 

Thanksgiving is coming up soon, and everyone will be making their lists of things they are thankful for.

Somewhere in my list I always include my salvation, because really, isn’t the fact that Jesus died for our sins the ultimate gift for which to be thankful?

I realized a couple months ago that I have never posted the story of how I met Jesus on my blog.  You can get the short version in the “About Me” tab, but I’ve never devoted an entire post to the most important event of my life, the moment I’m most grateful for.  Why I haven’t is beyond me.  I think it has been a thought niggling in the back of my brain for a while now, but I’ve never sat down and typed it out.

I decided that as we enter this season of Thanksgiving and then celebrating the birth of our Savior, it would be a great time to finally share my “salvation story”, if you will.

As I thought about it, I realized a lot of you might never have posted your testimonies either.  I’m not judging – sometimes things get busy and you just don’t think of it.  I know!  So I thought I’d ask if any of you want to join me in thanking our Savior for what He has done in our lives in the best way we can – by sharing our stories with others.

I’m planning on posting my testimony on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, November 17th.  It seemed like an appropriate way to lead into a holiday that is all about thanking God for our greatest gifts.

Will you think about joining me and posting your testimony on your blog that day as well?

I’m planning on doing a link-up, and there will be a button made at some point. 

I’ll post a reminder as it gets closer, but I’m giving it a full 2 1/2 weeks – I think that’s plenty of time to decide on whether to join in and to write up your testimony if you do decide to do it.  If you have written a post about your testimony in the past, you can definitely just link to that as well.

If you’ve never devoted an entire post to sharing your salvation story, I hope you join in! 

More details and a button coming soon!

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