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if-youre-alive-theres-a-purpose-for-your-lifeSometimes I feel as though I have lost much of myself throughout this season of motherhood.  But then I have moments that I feel like I have actually unveiled tiny pieces of my heart, moments that remind me that there is a reason and a season for each person and every trial I encounter.

I never actually knew what I wanted to be when I "grew up."  I always bounced back and forth between various aspirations and goals.  One day I dreamed of being a forensics investigator.  The next, an accountant.  Each day it was something new.

The things I did know for certain:  I didn't want to get married. EVER.  And I wouldn't be having any kids.

Well here I am.  A marriage and 4 kids later and still trying to figure out what it is that I want to do with my life.

But the truth is, had I never gotten married, had we never had our first child, I would have never known the passion and love I have for sharing knowledge about pregnancy and childbirth.  I would have never known the joy of encouraging a breastfeeding mom who wanted to just give up.

As time passes, and daily life changes, some of my past dreams and goals have resurfaced.  And I am slowly realizing that it's okay that I still can't decide on just one thing.

I believe that some of us are called to great, big, wondrous things.  But I also believe that some of us are called to the small,  yet significant things.  Making a difference in one person's life, for the better is more blessing than we could ever ask for.

Don't ever forget that you have purpose.  That your life is meaningful.  We may not ever feel like we have made any difference in this life, but know that there are things at work far beyond what we could even dream.

 

 

 

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With my first 2 pregnancies, I was blessed enough to not have any added stress or anxiety of a potential breech baby at the time of delivery.   My own concern of breech delivery came with my twin pregnancy, which of course increased the chances of having at least one of the babies presenting breech for delivery.

After discovering that we would be having two babies instead of the single child we had originally planned on,  the search for a new provider had begun.  I was having difficulty finding a provider in our area that would be okay with an attempted natural delivery of twins.   Not to add the struggle of finding a provider that would even CONSIDER delivery of a breech baby.

Thankfully, I had an amazing doula.  She made lots of calls and contacted many people in order to get a good list of providers for me to contact.  I spotted a name on the list that I had heard before in reference to breech babies.  So I went ahead and set up an interview with him.

I honestly didn't even know what questions to ask.  But was thankful that this provider openly shared with me what he was comfortable with and what situations would call for a cesarean.  (I did go on to have a premature, yet successful birth of two beautiful girls, one of which did end up making her appearance feet first.)

And throughout my pregnancy, knowing that my baby B liked to hang out transverse or breech, I tried many different methods to get that baby to flip.  I religiously visited my Webster certified chiropractor, did some tilts, lots of walking, squats, etc.  But the girl was perfectly content with where she was. (Check out Spinning Babies and the Better Birth Blog for more info in breech babies and tips on getting them to flip.)

Although I believe that breech presentation is a variation of normal, not everyone should and will be able to deliver a breech baby naturally.  There are risks involved with vaginal delivery and with cesarean which should be considered and researched before making any decision.  As with any pregnancy, one should always know their options and understand, to some degree, what to expect regardless of what circumstances should arise.

Which leads me to the importance of childbirth education.  Prepare and equip yourself with knowledge and confidence so that you can have an "amazing birth," Birth Boot Camp is amazing!  And although I am not currently certified as an instructor, I fully recommend this curriculum. You can look for an instructor local to you, or even take the online course if that is a better fit for you.  Don't just let your birth experience happen, educate, prepare and equip yourself with knowledge and confidence.  So that you can have an amazing birth, breech baby or not.

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I posted a few weeks ago about having the kiddos help more with household chores, and I have to say, it has really been a struggle.

I am very "type A" and everything has to be done a certain way.  I suck at delegating, because I don't want something to not be "done right."  It's a terrible quality to work through and live with.  Especially with a husband and 4 small children.  I struggle with wanting everything done a certain way, yet I complain and cry about needing more help around the house.  Oh. The irony.  I get it. It's stupid.

But I am happy to say, that we have been making progress.  This is a HUGE accomplishment for me.  And I'm sharing because the "mom guilt" these days is real.  So if I can improve on one thing, I will take it!

What we have been focusing on, chore-wise, is emptying and loading the dishwasher, along with folding laundry.

Yesterday, I put away a very asymetrical-ly folded towel without fixing it.  Yes, I just left it, closed the door, and walked away.  And I haven't even thought about it until now.

Today, instead of telling Jason and Carrie where to put the dishes in the dishwasher, I let them just do it on their own.  And they did great! Of course, I would have put things in a little differently, it wasn't bad at all.  I also noticed Jason go back and switch some things around so that it all fit better.  They also picked up all of their toys and books and yelled "SURPRISE!!!" as I came downstairs.   Even though stuff was just put wherever, I knew they both meant well and forced myself to not make some dumb comment about how nothing was in the right spot.

Of course, I still correct them, and sometimes redo things that they have already done.  But lately, I have been noticing this more and try to just take a step back, breathe, and just let it be.

I know that I am far from perfect, yet I expect so much of my children.  I am working on meeting them on their level, and just giving them a little push when they need it.  They are so smart and have such beautiful hearts, and I never want to be the one to make them feel like they are not enough.

Parenting is tough, and I think a lot of our anger and frustration toward our children is actually an insecurity we have in our own abilities to parent.  At least, I know it is often a problem I have.  I worry about what others may think of my parenting if my kids don't behave a certain way or know certain things by a specific age.  But if we can just let go of that and be confident in the fact that God chose us to lead and guide these children, our expectations and priorities may change.

 

 

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So, I want to go on this big rant about what not to say to/about "big families" and stay-at-home moms because it's just super irritating and a lot of times hurtful.  But I'm not going to rant... I'm just going to "throw some truth" out there.

Oh! The places we'll go because of you! (1)

 

Throughout our family journey, we have faced many, many trials.  And if we were in the place we were 4  years ago, I am almost certain we would have only had our first child.  But we have been beyond blessed with the path God has led us down.  We are not rich by any means, but we have made tremendous sacrifices to be at the point that we are at now.  I promise you, that our children do not go without anything that they need.  Please don't ask me how we can afford to care for our children.

Our oldest child is not quite 5, so each new day brings with it a new discovery.  I am in awe of these amazing little people who have captured my heart.  And with our twins, I am so fascinated by their different personality traits that come through more and more each and every day.  I know that every child is different.  However, to watch 2 children at the exact same age develop and grow right alongside each other is truly remarkable.  Please don't tell me how bored you would get being home all day with your children.

Yes, some days are tougher than others.  And there will be fit throwing and frustrations made known.  Yes, even in public.  Please don't feel sorry for me.  I've got this, even if it may not seem that way right at that moment.

I may literally have my hands full with a baby in each arm, at times, and with an older brother and sister in tow.  Please don't tell me about how "full my hands are", unless followed by something about how my heart is fuller.

All of my children greatly resemble each other, yes this is true.  Yes, there are 1, 2, 3...4 of them.  Please do not ask me if they are all mine.

Again, that's 4 children.  I DO know how we got  them.  Please don't feel the need to educate me about where "babies come from".

Apparently having 4 kids, puts you in the "Big Family" category.  Honestly, a "big family" is not anything we had planned on.  We had our first 2, and knew that we wanted to try for one more. Three seemed like a good number to us. God had other plans... we now have 4 little ones.  We thought we would be done at 3.  Apparently we don't always know what God is going to throw our way. Please don't ask me if we are done having children yet.

This journey may not be easy, or quite what we expected, but the amount of love we have in this family cannot be measured.  And I will gladly sacrifice.  I wouldn't trade this life for anything!

Truth.

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We have used cloth with all of our kiddos.  And each experience has been different with each individual child.

We ultimately began the whole cloth thing with our first, because we needed to cut costs on diapers.  We really had very little extra money, so this was definitely one way for us to make ends meet. When we initially began pricing cloth diapers, I really thought there was no way we would be able to afford that either.  Because, really, the initial upfront costs of cloth can get pretty crazy.  And finally after searching and searching, I found Econobum, an affordable line from the same makers of BumGenius.  So if you are looking for a budget friendly way to start out, these are a good place to start.

My main issue with Econobum was just the overall bulkiness of the prefolds.  The covers worked great and lasted us for 2 little ones.  The prefolds, we did away with when we started using cloth for our 2nd because she was just way too tiny and she could not move very well with one of those on her.

We had a little more flexibility with our budget by this time, so I began experimenting with different types of covers and inserts.  I tried various brands of prefolds, flats and covers. I really liked the slim fitting inserts from the Flip brand.  The daytime flats and the stay dry inserts really worked well for her since she was so tiny. We did have to use stay dry liners with the regular flats and prefolds we used because, unlike our son, our daughter had very sensitive skin, and would get rashes.  I also had to change her a little more frequently, which wasn't an issue since it wasn't costing me any more money. We continued to use cloth, and not sure if it was a factor or not, but she did potty train herself around 18 months.  Yes, did it all on her own. Which came at the perfect time, as we were expecting twin girls shortly after that.

When we found out that we would be having twins, I knew we needed to continue to use cloth to stay in budget.  I bought a few of the Flip hook and loop closure covers, and some all in ones, since my husband was more likely to help with diaper changes if he wasn't having to stuff and unstuff them.

Long story short, throughout the first year we went through a variety of different cloth diapers and systems.  And there was a point where I just stopped using cloth.  As I was having a difficult time keeping up with every day household chores and was overwhelmed enough without throwing extra laundry in the mix.  But now that the girls are older and not so dependent on mom, we have a better, less stressful routine going and are now using cloth again, daily.

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What has worked the best for us, after trying out even high dollar all in one diapers, were flats and covers.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  I love my Nicki's Diapers Bamboo flats. The small size works for us and they are always out of stock, so if you want to try these out and they are available, get them! These flats are so soft and so absorbent. I wish I had these from the beginning.  We just padfold them and use them just like you would a prefold.  They are so slim and work perfectly with all kinds of covers.

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And my newly discovered FAVORITE covers are the Buttons Diapers One Size Diaper Cover.  These fit my girls perfectly.  We never have wing droop and no red marks are left on the girls when I change them.  I only have 2 of these at the moment, but I NEED to buy more.  These are my first picks...whenever they are not dirty.  Another reason to love flats and covers:  covers are reusable until soiled or smelly.  So you can use your favorite covers multiple times in a day.  Also,I do use stay dry liners with my twins, as they have sensitive bottoms as well.  I love the  Flip Newborn Stay Dry Inserts for this purpose.  They are slim and keep baby's bottom dry, and are relatively inexpensive.

 

If you are at all interested in that cloth diaper life and want to just test it out, I definitely recommend the flats and covers system.  This will definitely have a lower up front cost than other diapering systems.

Do you cloth diaper your little ones?  Why or why not?  If so, what is your go to cloth system?

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When we look to ourselves for strength, we often find that we just don't quite have enough.  The struggles and trials we are facing are just way too much for us, and we feel as if there is no possible way that we can get through this.

And sometimes, we just want to give up because we are done crying out to God, who we may feel has completely abandoned us.  So where is He while we navigate this storm, trying our best to just get through each day and seeing no end in sight?

Today, I was reminded that we may actually never see the end result of our sufferings.  But that doesn't mean that God is not there.  That he isn't carrying you right now in this moment.  Maybe, at times, we are so focused on the pain and turmoil, that we fail to see pieces of the puzzle that He is bringing together.  And we may never see the final piece of that puzzle or the completed picture.  At least not this side of heaven.

We see this scenario played out by Abraham, who never saw all that God had promised him.  But God did, indeed, keep his promises.

Romans 4:20-21 ESV tells us that "No unbelief made [Abraham]  waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised."

No unbelief made [Abraham]  waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

And we also know that "... for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."  Which is found in Romans 8:28 ESV.

But it's all too easy to forget who our God truly is.  We limit Him based off of our own capabilities.  And we often find ourselves in these places of utter hopelessness and despair.  But we must remember that He is there.  He is with us and He is greater than whatever trials we may be facing.  He will see us through, even if we don't get to witness the completion of the bigger picture in this lifetime.

God will be glorified in each circumstance.  Maybe He is only waiting for us to trust Him, and lean on Him.  Because reality is, we weren't meant to do life alone.  He wants to walk this road with us , He wants to carry us when we just can't go any further.  But it's our job to let Him.

My heart has been heavy with so much unknown in a seemingly hopeless situation.  I know that I cannot carry these things, and I was never meant to.  Jesus Christ has borne my cross.  He has taken all my pain, I have but to lean on Him and lay this burden at his feet.

All this to say, please know that no matter your situation or circumstance, He is there and you are so very loved.

 

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Chaos callsbut all you really needis to just BREATHE

We were so blessed to have my Momma visit for a long weekend.  And I was definitely spoiled with extra help and hands with my mini monsters adorable children.

Alas, she has now left me to fend for myself, and today was a struggle.  After 4 "easy" days,  I found it very difficult to just "deal".

I was up extra early this morning and maybe that is the cause of some of my inability to "deal", but definitely not an excuse for my not so nice behavior towards my children throughout the day. Now, that I am taking a step back, I have to laugh at myself.  I can be so ridiculously silly most of the time.

I was yelling at the twins to "Stop screaming!" Does this EVER work for me? Well, no.  I have yet to see any positive results using the "yell method".  Plus, I'm doing the exact thing I am wanting them to stop doing. Brilliant, I know.  Then, I trip over a laundry basket that Carrie just happened to be using as a spaceship, and I just lost it.  And then of course, I have 4 sets of eyes staring at me like I really have gone crazy.  And then there's my mood for the day.

Why is it so extremely difficult to make myself just stop being angered/irritated by every little thing?

When we have learned to deal with our emotions a certain way, and have done it that way for such a long time, it really can be tough to change our way of handling said emotions.  This is one area that I greatly struggle with.  And I have posted about this before.  It truly is one of my biggest trials in this season with 4 young children.  Changing ones typical reaction and response process is challenging, but I have seen a huge difference in how my children respond to me when I actually take the time to respond to their behavior instead of reacting in the moment.

Today, was full of lots of reactions.  Thankfully, I did finally turn it around in the end.  I took the time (which I should have done to begin with) to get away from screaming, hyperactive children, and just breathe.

I know that the best thing for me, is to go to another area of the house or outside, take a breath and say a prayer.  Funny how quickly things can turn around once I FINALLY decide to do something about my attitude, instead of looking for more and more to be upset about.

And this song is definitely a great reminder for me:

 

 

How do you handle your emotions with your children?  Are you quick to yell or react to your children?  Or do I need some tips from you? Seriously, how do you keep calm in the chaos??

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cleaning

Since I'm on this whole making tons of changes kick, one thing I am trying to work on is our little cleaning routine.  Most days, I am constantly going over my "to-do" list in my head.  And I can often get really, really, really overwhelmed.  Me and overwhelmed...do not do that whole coexisting thing very well.  Needless to say, figuring out a new system or routine is definitely needed to maintain any type of sanity in our home.

So what is this mystery solution???  Well, it isn't something we have really mastered just yet.  And sometimes I am a tad bit concerned about my blood pressure, but I think we are headed in the right direction.  I am now having my 2 and 4 year old "help" me with some good old fashioned chores.  Not that they don't do every day basic chores, I just haven't taken the time to work with them on bigger things like sweeping (which they think they are really good at), mopping, and dishes.  I have all kinds of issues with people not doing things the "right way", you know? Of course I know my kids are still young, and I need to teach them and lead them.  Most of the time, just surviving the day is hard enough, but to throw teaching them actual skills in there?!?!

My patience level is really not where it should be, given I have 4 children and I am such a perfectionist,  so this has definitely been pretty REAL on the struggle level.  Also, I did learn that we do not need to do all kitchen cleaning skills in one lesson.  BAD, BAD, BAD idea.

Living and learning is what I do best.  So after some trial and error, I decided our main focus would be on loading the dishwasher properly.  We tried the whole rinsing and loading assembly line thing...but there were way too many ceramic casualties.  Sad to say, some bowls and plates were lost. Probably not the smartest move letting a 2 year old rinse bowls and plates half her size...but hey, no one was hurt, and we can always get more dinnerware.

For now, we are just going to master one thing at a time, and slowly add more to the list.  I am really working on the whole not having to always be in control thing, so this is really helping me to "let go" a little.  Also, it is nice not having to clean by myself all of the time.  And now that I'm not saving all of the cleaning for after the kids go to bed, I have time to write and blog again.  WOOT!

If you have younger children, what are some ways you get them involved in household chores without losing your mind in the process?

 

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So these past few days, I have been all over the place, emotionally.  And today, I was super distracted with all the things going on with our youngest twin.  (For those that don't know we just found out that she has a peanut allergy.)  And yeah, I know it could be worse and that it isn't "that bad".  But right now, this is weighing heavily on me for various reasons.

Anyway, so I've noticed when my head is full of all kinds of thoughts, I react to my children instead of responding.  They get the stress and the frustration, that I'm trying to manage, thrown onto them.  As I sit here, I am trying to figure out how do I deal with these emotions appropriately and how to not put all of it back on my children (that I spend nearly every minute of every day with).  And it's not that I don't have anyone to talk to.  I have a husband (who may not always be listening, but I can still talk to him), family and friends that I can just talk stuff through with.  The things going through my head are things I just need to DEAL WITH.  And I'm not sure how, so they just stay there.

Again, how do I not let these dang feelings, affect how I am with my kids??? Well, I'm not sure if I will ever figure that out.  It may just be me, but I feel like my brain just never shuts off.  Drives me crazy.  I just want a "nothing box" to go to and just chill.  For like forever.  I want that.  I do.  But truth is, I just think.  All of the time.  Maybe not about the right things, but that's just what I do.

The funny part of all of this, and I always, always do this, is that I am doing what I should be doing.  Writing/blogging. Duh!  I may not be an amazing or sought after writer, but writing has always been my thing.  I love it.  Although, you probably couldn't tell, since I am never consistent with my blog.  Which is so dumb, because well I always get in this funk of feelings and can't figure out what to do with myself.  And then I write, and light bulb! That's just how I operate apparently.

So since my kiddos need a more focused mom throughout the day, and being as I'm going to be publishing this, I am going to commit to at least one post a week.  (And right now, I almost squeezed that "try" word in there", but I've done that before and then came up with all kinds of excuses as to why I couldn't get a post published.)  And not every post will be about "feelings", I promise!

This is something I am doing for myself, which will hopefully, in time, benefit my whole family as well.

So here's to the turning of new leaves!

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If you know me, you know that I love food.  All kinds of food.

And with nursing twins, I feel like I really justify a lot of my awful eating habits.  And sad to say, that I don't really pay as much attention to what I am eating as I should.

Obviously having 4 young children, makes for one tired momma, that's just how it goes.  But with a history of depression, and the way I have been feeling more recently even with my twins sleeping longer than they ever have, I just feel like something has got to change.

I have really been improving on my separation of time with my children and getting things around the house done.  Although, I do get some "alone time" most evenings, I feel so distracted and scatterbrained all day long, that I can't quite relax or sleep well. It's something that is hard to really explain, but it's not how I like to be feeling all of the time.

I used to be a morning person, up before everyone.  And that was my time to refresh and prepare for the day ahead.  Now I just wake up whenever my kids wake me up and am usually not in the best of moods.  Mornings have not been the best of times in our household.  Typically, after a not so great morning, the rest of the day is hard to turn around.  So I am desperately needing something to change.

As I said before, I don't manage my diet as well as I should be.  And I am pretty sure that once I can get myself physically feeling better, then I can better work on my emotional state.  Not that I am an expert, just trying to put the pieces together.  I have a great support system of family and friends.  I have an amazing mentor, and so many to encourage and support me.  So I am not lacking in that department.

Recently,  A sweet friend of mine posted on her Facebook about this new thing she was trying out and how amazing she felt even with having to keep up with all her little ones as well.  I was very intrigued as this is exactly what I have been struggling with.  So of course I asked her for more information, and she filled me in.

 

I just got my shakes in the mail today, and am so excited to get started on a whole new lifestyle for my family and I. And I am so excited to be trying out this product, along with working on my overall health.  If I am investing in something, the more accountable I am to take the necessary steps to see improvement.

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Forgive my lack of photographing skills. A photographer, I am not...

 

If you would like more information about Isagenix products , please contact me and I will refer you to an amazing lady!