Friday, June 28, 2013

Back to breastfeeding one more time... kind of

You don't have to hang around my blog for long to see that I'm a huge fan and major proponent of breastfeeding. I've written multiple posts about nursing and how grueling it can be, but also never failed to mention how wonderful it is. The hard work put into nursing is paid off a hundredfold when you get those sweet, cuddly bonding moments with your little bundle.

Just recently, I got a fantastic question from Gayle, which I later (not willingly) experienced firsthand while my little boy wouldn't nurse:

"How do you promote that awesome bonding experience when you're physically unable to breastfeed?"
Photo Source
First off, there are definitely some valid reasons for not breastfeeding. In Gayle's case, she's had a preventative mastectomy (read her story here). Breast reductions, lifts, and lumpectomies can hinder nursing depending on the amount of ducts/tissue removed. Since we're on the subject of breast surgeries, breast augmentation doesn't have to affect nursing. Again, it depends on whether or not ducts/tissue was removed. Maybe you've adopted. Maybe momma has a disease that can be transmitted through bodily fluids (HIV or HTLV-1), or maybe she needs a medication that is incompatible with breastfeeding. Perhaps your little one has physical anomalies that inhibit nursing. Maybe you're in the 5% of women who don't make breast milk (which is not to be confused with producing some milk, but not enough to exclusively breastfeed).

In any case, there are ways to get in cuddle time and warm fuzzes with your baby despite needing to bottle feed.

First, it's all in your mindset. Just like you can make specific concessions to promote bonding while bottle feeding, you can also totally blow off breastfeeding. I can remember in those early days where nursing sessions seemed to never end I would zone out watching a tv show or checking Facebook or reading a blog. Sure, I was providing nourishment to my child, but my mind was elsewhere. There have been days where I've toted my kiddo around the house with me while breastfeeding so I could get some much needed items crossed off my to-do list. Connecting with your child during feedings is a choice to make whether you're breast feeding or bottle feeding.

Secondly, make your feeding environment conducive to bonding. In other words, it's not as easy to bond with your baby if you're holding his bottle while pushing the stroller through Macy's. Catch my drift? Find a special chair or get comfy with some pillows in the corner of the nursery. Turn off your phone and the tv and eliminate things that can be distractions to you or your baby. Don't rush through the process - remember, it's not just a chore to complete. Wholeheartedly giving your time to another person is an incredibly profound indicator of that person's value, and the same goes for your child!

Next comes the feeding. Make it an enjoyable experience! Talk to your baby. Sing songs to him. Cuddle him close and stroke his hair. Play music while you're feeding. Read a book. Pray over him. There are all sorts of things you can do while feeding to love on your baby. Skin-to-skin contact (or kangaroo care) is another really easy and fantastic way to facilitate bonding with your baby and can still be done despite bottle feeding. For the "full effect," you can even implement a Supplemental Nursing System. The SNS is a bottle/tube system that provides formula for baby through a tiny tube you attach to your breast. Baby goes to breast just as if it were taking breast milk but gets formula through the tube instead.

With the right attitude and some preparation, bottle feedings can still turn out to be tender and sweet moments between momma and baby.... without the threat of bites, engorgement, and mastitis.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Eight Months!

My sweet boy, you are now eight months old!
It has been a month of laughter and tears - whew- what a roller coaster. You continue to be such an easy-going, always happy baby. You love playing with your toys and can entertain yourself for quite some time just playing on the floor or jumping around in your bouncer. You are praised everywhere you go for your smiles and good behavior. You aren't anywhere close to being mobile, but it will come (probably sooner than I'd like!). You started taking baths in the regular tub this month and love being able to splash around, stretch your legs, and play with your bath toys.

This month you figured out how to shake your head "No" which is ridiculously cute. Especially when you shake your head "No" to questions we ask you. Like, "Do you want to take a nap?" ...No. "Do you want more dinner?" ...No. (proceeds to open mouth) Too soon, you'll know what No means and probably won't be afraid to use it, but for now you are so funny!
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You're also starting to babble, and your little voice is just the sweetest thing I've ever heard. "Dada" came first and you've gotten "Mama" out once or twice too. Of course, I wish you'd said Mama first, but you're still awfully cute, so I'll let it slide.
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You LOVE to eat! Solid foods are still going really well for you. This month you've eaten yogurt, mashed avocado, pureed spinach, kale, chicken, rice, pears, blueberries and sucked on a little watermelon. You tried bananas again but it wasn't successful this month either.  I'm still making 98% of your food and let me just say, pureeing chicken was disgusting. Thankfully you love your chicken & rice dinners! We have yet to master chewing table foods, because each time I put something in front of you to grab and chew, you gag. One of these days you'll get it down, so I'm not worried.
Checking out some yummy watermelon. Mauve likes cleaning up after Isaac!
In the last month, your top two teeth have broken through, taking your tooth count to FOUR. Having both top and bottom teeth now makes you a little more dangerous than you were with only gums. I've already written an entire post about the nursing strike you took last week including the OW-inducing bite that started it all, so I won't rehash it again.  I just can't get over how much it changes the way you look... because you look like such a big boy with all your teeth!!

You're wearing some 12 month clothes, but can also still fit into a few of your 9 month clothes. You're wearing size 3 diapers still. You're still nursing 4 times per day, eating 2 meals, taking 2 naps, and sleeping 7pm-7am each night. I don't have an official weight, but assume you're hovering around the 20lb mark still. We wont see Dr. Canales again until your 9 month well-baby check up, and hopefully not sooner!

My sweet, sweet boy, you have stolen my heart. I pray that I may continue to point you to Jesus in all things. You have brought me such immense joy. You have softened my heart to all things. You have caused me to fall deeper in love with Christ. I love you so dearly.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Clearer Pictures

Technically, today my little love is 8 months old. Because I was working, I didn't get any great photos of him to share, so tomorrow I'll post an 8 month + 1 day update and photo.

It never ceases to amaze me how motherhood has completely revolutionized my feelings and outlook on Christ. There are so many parallels that exist between mother/child and Jesus/church. I don't think I truly knew what unconditional love felt like until I saw my little boy. To sit and think Christ loves me even more deeply just blows my mind. Is that kind of love even possible? What an incredible, albeit tiny glimpse into the great love of the father. And then, to have a hand in creating life? Ultimately, I believe God to be the creator and sustainer of life, but for a brief moment, I was also a tiny part of that incredible creation. I was the carrier of life and my heart leaps with joy to think of the little person my body nourished and grew. If that wasn't wonderful enough, just like I am made in the image of God, my son bears the image of my husband and I. Words just don't do justice to the changes that have taken place in my heart and the depth of understanding that I've reached since becoming a mother. And each passing day reveals new and different glimpses into the nature of God. His love shines more clearly. His creation speaks more loudly. His sacrifice grips my heart. I am so grateful for these revelations. It should go without saying that He reveals himself on the bad days too.

Case in point:

Rewind to last Tuesday. It was time to nurse, but instead of latching on as usual, my little buddy decided to bite down --hard-- on my *ahem* tenders. Surprised, I reacted with a resounding OW and quickly informed him that he was not allowed to bite mama. It might have been his first scolding and I think it deeply startled him. So much so, that he went on an ugly nursing strike. It looked something like this:

PreTuesday-he-bit-me-and-I-yelped nursing: Awesome.
PostTuesday-he-bit-me-and-I-yelped nursing: Nonexistent. 

And not only were they nonexistent, my attempts to nurse were met with fussing, squirming, bucking, rolling, crying, and complete disinterest. My desire to nourish my son was met with strong opposition and I was reeling. For the first time ever, I wasn't able to comfort my child. I wasn't able to feed my child. It was devastating. I wasn't ready to stop breastfeeding. I cherished the sweet, quiet times with my son. I looked for answers and solutions, but there seemed to be no concrete answers and no definite solutions. Some friends even suggested I just get over it and stop nursing already. My little guy's refusal to nurse went on for days with no end in sight. My poor husband didn't know what to do with me. I ended up giving him bottles of expressed milk in the interim and became well acquainted with my pump again. Each day, I kept offering over and over again thinking that he would come around once again and nurse like "normal." The only thing more heartbreaking than seeing my son cry and wiggle out of my arms was seeing his face light up at the sight of a bottle and happily gulping down cold milk instead.

I'm not gonna lie, not only was I heartbroken and frustrated, I was also mad. Mad at myself. Mad at my son. He was refusing to take part in the one thing that was truly good for him. As his mom, I only want the absolute best for him, and yet he was rejecting it. After days of attempts with no success, there came a point where I was feeling so utterly dejected that I just didn't want to be around my child. I needed some time to decompress and seeing his face reminded me all over again of the frustration and pain. I handed him off to Jordan and threw myself a pity party.

Suddenly, in the midst of my angry tears, a quiet yet firm voice told me: "You still have to love him." In the blink of an eye, I got another clear picture of the nature of God. I saw myself reflected in the situation. I was the rejector and HE was the one handing down love regardless of my choices. Because how many times do I deliberately turn my back on the good things that He offers to me to choose something that's inferior? And yet, He shows great patience and continues to love me unconditionally. I know He only wants the absolute best for me, and foolishly I often choose to go my own way, passing up warm milk and cuddles for a cold, plastic bottle (if you will.). And yet, He still loves me just as deeply. Now, I don't think I could ever NOT love my son, however, there was something so profound about seeing firsthand both devastating rejection and then unending faithfulness and love. It hurt my heart to realize the depth of pain which comes from my own stubborn refusals. Oh and how marvelous and great is the Father's love for me. For this, I am thankful.

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."   -Lamentations 3:22-23

Oh and after almost a week of crying and pumping, my sweet little guy warmed back up to me and spontaneously began nursing again. Lots of kisses and cuddles ensued.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tips for Traveling as a Family


Today on the blog, I'm hosting the fabulous Kendra Thornton. She's a traveling expert and has some fantastic tips and tricks for traveling as a family. Enjoy!!

5 Tips To Make Family Travel Hassle Free

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It's summer time, which means its time for the family vacation that will leave lasting memories for both you and your children.  Think of hot summer days spent playing in the pool, traveling to unique locations, and spending time with family.  Traveling with children is more complicated than traveling alone, but with a bit of planning the trip can be relatively hassle free.



1. Home Base For Vacation
The key to a successful vacation with the family is choosing a family friendly hotel.  Research hotels before booking to make sure they have the amenities needed for kids.  Some things to check for: an in-room fridge to store food and bottles and possibly a small kitchenette.  Eating out every night with an entire family is a sure way to make a vacation go over budget, so fill the fridge with snacks for the kids.  For an all-inclusive option, consider a family friendly resort, which will provide your family with kids meals and family entertainment round the clock.  My family’s visit to Hawaii was a huge success in large part due to our family recommended Honolulu hotel.  You’ll also want to know whether your hotel offers a highchair or portable crib for your smallest.  There's a ton of tools and maps online to help you find the best location as well. Look for routes to your vacation destinations, such as theme parks and restaurants. Is there a playground nearby? What about a grocery store to pick up those last minute items? Being familiar with the area beforehand will cut out a lot of stress later.


2. 4th of July Fireworks

If you're traveling on the 4th of July, consider booking a hotel room where you can watch the fireworks display from the balcony.  While watching fireworks from a crowded stadium or park may be good for the entertainment factor, it is often not worth the hassle with kids.  Having a more controlled environment is safer and less stressful which can ultimately lead to a more enjoyable experience.  Kids just want to see the fireworks and don't need the additional entertainment.  Viewing fireworks from the hotel room also allows little ones to go to bed early allowing everyone else to watch the entire show.
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3. Routines Lead To Happiness

For adults traveling, half the fun is the spontaneity.  Unfortunately, for little ones skipping nap or snack time can lead to disaster.  They will not understand that it's a good idea to forego lunch to fully appreciate dinner later that night.  Being on vacation also requires a lot more walking for little legs than they may be accustomed to.  Increased activity levels make naptime even more important and sticking to a normal napping routine will keep kids, and therefore their parents, much happier in the long run.


4. Be Realistic With Your Expectations

As fun as it may be for you to sightsee all day, chances are it won’t be as enjoyable for your kids. Don’t try to pack a lot of activities into a short period of time. Add in breaks and playtime throughout your day. Toddlers can’t sit for long periods of time so make sure that you schedule activities that will allow them to move around. This will allow them to use some of their energy and likely make for a sound sleep, allowing for some adult time at the end of the day. 


5. Power Of Movies

Often times, the best way for a kid to pass time while traveling is watching a movie.  Portable DVD players are perfect for long car or airplane rides.  They can be used to calm down anxious kids or help with bedtime in a new place.  Check to make sure that the battery life of the player is long enough for the trip.  When traveling overseas, bring additional DVDs as DVD compatibility changes from country to country.  




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Happy B-day!

Today is my lovey-cakes' 30th birthday!!!

THIRTY!




 There's never a dull moment when you're around.

I want to wish the happiest of birthdays to my incredible, loving, funny, sarcastic, goofy, patient, smokin-hot hubby. I love you far beyond what words could describe! You're the greatest husband and my perfect complement. I've loved watching you become the best daddy to our little boy. Seeing the way you love him makes my heart melt for you all over again. You're the best! 


Happy Birthday Jordan!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Vlog-a-hollic?

Ohhhh shoot.

If writing about my life wasn't vulnerable enough already, it's about to get REAL in here.... Feast your eyes on my very first vlog. Check it out:

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(FYI: I didn't get compensated for the review, it's just what I really thought about this product. Boscia doesn't know me from Adam.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Milk (no cookies) take 2

So when we left off, I'd told you that breastfeeding takes stamina, determination, frequent nursing sessions, and maybe a LOT of Lanolin.

Onward and forward we go. What about formula? What happens if supplementation is necessary? First off, formula is a totally acceptable form of nutrition and there are many circumstances where supplementing with formula is needed. Prematurity (this includes late-pretermers too), low blood sugar, excessive weight loss, significant jaundice, or maternal reasons (illness or complications from delivery) are all valid reasons for formula supplementation. It doesn't mean you're a failure. It also doesn't have to ruin your desire to breastfeed. Don't forget, you gotta be stubborn!

Resist the urge to supplement with formula in the few days between birth and when the breast milk comes in. Remember when I said it can take several days for mature milk to arrive? Healthy, full-term babies are born with a little extra chub-chub to burn off during those first few days. In fact, it's not uncommon for babies to lose up to 10% of their initial body weight. If your bundle of joy weighs 9 and a half pounds at birth like mine did, losing 10% can look like a LOT of weight. Just keep going back to the breast regularly, and watch your baby's output. The number of wet and dirty diapers is your clue as to whether or not he is getting enough.
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Prematurity can certainly lead to the longest period of supplementation, depending on how early your baby arrives. In this case, a good breast pump will be your greatest asset - because it may be your only means of stimulating a milk supply. This girl has written a great blog post with tons of great info about exclusively pumping. Keep in mind that most premature babies not only lack a strong suck reflex, but also don't have the energy required to nurse. For extended periods of separation, as in long NICU stays, you'll want to pump as often as your baby would nurse (10-12x per day). Maintain close contact with your NICU nurses and a lactation consultant to ensure the greatest chance for success in getting breast milk to your little peanut. Breast milk is FAR superior nutrition for premature babies, and although some supplementation will likely be necessary, any amount of breast milk will be ideal. Be diligent to pump, be protective of your milk supply, and be openly flexible in regards to feeding your baby expressed milk from a bottle.
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Low blood sugar, excessive weight loss, jaundice, and maternal reasons are typically short-lived instances of supplementation. We're talking as little as one bottle and as much as a week or so. When possible, always offer both breasts as a feeding prior to finishing a feeding with formula. This is ideal, as it still provides stimulation for milk production. In the absence of this option, pumping each feeding is needed to prevent a decrease in milk supply. If you're worried about "nipple confusion," ask your nursery nurse if it's possible to either gavage feed or use a supplemental nurser.

Maybe you're as stubborn as a mule and yet things just aren't working out like you'd hoped. There are certainly speed bumps that can pop up, which can make navigating around breastfeeding a lot more difficult. Low production, flat or inverted nipples, issues with latch, tongue tie, mastitis, engorgement, and nipple breakdown are some of the most common problems encountered while breastfeeding. My advice? Call a Lactation consultant. Certified lactation consultants can be a wealth of knowledge. Establishing contact with an LC prior to hospital discharge is a great foundation for future success.


Finally, with increased education comes increased chances of success. I can think of about a dozen more talking points regarding nursing, there is still so much to say! If you are serious about breastfeeding, look into taking a class. There are also tons of books, websites and blogs that are WAY more informative.

I know I've already said "finally," but I have one more thing to say about breastfeeding. There's this turning point that happens one day and suddenly things start getting easier. You see, despite it being exhausting, anxiety-inducing, and grit-my-teeth painful (lanolin, cold gel soothies, and nipple shells were my go-to comfort for nipple soreness), breastfeeding is also kinda magical. For the first 6 months of my son's life, my body provided every drop of nourishment his little body needed. I also protected him from disease (including one particularly nasty stomach bug that everyone in the house got except him). I've read to him, sang to him, prayed over him, studied his perfect little features and kissed his chubby cheeks. For a few minutes each day, he is once again a part of me.

And that makes it all worth it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

All the milk and none of the cookies

Moving forward with L&D 1102, we've got another loaded topic to discuss. The questions I received were "When does the milk come in?" and "What about formula supplementation? Will it screw up breastfeeding?" So I'll get to those questions and maybe a few others also, because at work, I often hear the same questions over and over again.

What this post isn't: a litany of awesome reasons to breastfeed (I mean, we already know this, right?)

What this post is: the ins & outs, and what/where/when/why/how's of breastfeeding. I left off the who, because surely that's an obvious answer.
Source.
And no good L&D post comes without a disclaimer. It's the one you've all grown familiar with: I'm not an expert. I'm not a lactation consultant - just speaking from experience. What I talk about here can't ever replace your doctor's advice.

So lets get started. You want to breastfeed, and you've just been handed a squishy newborn. What now? First things first, just dig your heels in, get stubborn, and prepare yourself to work hard. Breastfeeding your first baby isn't exactly rainbows and cupcakes. It takes a lot of energy when you're the most exhausted. It's easy to throw in the towel, but it takes some determination to see things out to completion. Anyone can do the bottle shake, but there's only one person who can nurse your child (even at 3am-- and then again at 4:15). That's you and it's an important job.

After you've decided that you're in this for the long haul, it's time to latch that baby on. There are lots of nursing positions: Cradle, Cross-Cradle, Side-Lying, Football (which is my personal favorite for the floppy newborn phase), so pick one, and grab a couple of pillows. Positioning is really important in those first few weeks. I can't tell you how many times I ended up with a sore neck or shoulders from hunching one way or the other just to make nursing as easy as possible for my little man. Pay attention to this: A newborn doesn't have the neck control or the strength to hold himself on the breast all by himself. One hand has to support your breast, while the other holds the baby to the breast. This won't go on forever, but in the early days, it's really key to good nursing sessions. Once you're all set up in a good position (tummy to tummy, nipple to nose!), it's time to get the nipple to the mouth. When he's all wide-mouthed and "baby birding" it, that's the perfect time to latch on. A word about latching on: It's more than just having a nipple in a mouth. We're talking Dyson Root Cyclone Technology pulling the entire nipple (including almost all of the areola as well) into his mouth. When it happens, you'll know. Honestly, I didn't get the full latch-on until my second or third nursing session, but from that point on, I knew exactly what I was going for when it was time to nurse.

As a warning, it can be painful. Let me reword that: It's probably going to be painful. Now there are definitely instances where pain is the result of poor latch or other issue. But, I also think it's a widely held misconception that nursing shouldn't be uncomfortable, because even with a great latch and intact nipples, the first minute or two of each nursing session would make my toes curl. Remember that stubborn-ness? This is where you dig your heels in, grit your teeth and get over yourself.

So, When does the milk come in? In short, it can take days for your milk to come in. This means that at first it will appear as if you aren't making anything at all. The #1 most asked question/most heard excuse is "but I'm not making any milk." When your baby is only hours old, there is very little milk being made (like, as in drops of milk), and not only is that first milk super concentrated and extra fortified, but also your 2 hour old newborn has a stomach the size of a marble. It doesn't take much to fill up that tiny tummy. You'll go through three stages on the way to mature milk: Colostrum is first and it's that super concentrated, extra fortified milk I just mentioned. It's thick and sticky and a golden yellow color. Transitional milk is what comes around between colostrum and mature milk. It's less thick, higher in volume and still a yellowy color. Lastly, mature milk comes in. It's the highest in volume, the most thin and almost a bluish white in color. Typically it takes 48-72 hours for your milk to come in, but it can be transitioning as early as 24 hours or as late as 5 days (for me, it was 4 days).

Aside from being stubborn as a mule, breastfeeding success comes with repetition. Demand leads to supply, so stimulation is needed for milk production. This means that in those early days, baby goes to the breast frequently. Your goal is a well-nourished baby and a stable milk supply, which unfortunately comes with little sleep and majorly sore nipples. Whether you're reading hunger cues or trying to maintain some semblance of a nursing schedule, you should shoot for 8-12 nursing sessions in a 24 hour period. For the first 4 weeks, I nursed at least every 3 hours while awake. He always went to the breast for feedings, and if my boy only nursed on one side, I'd pump the other. I also got into the habit of pumping after the first feeding of the day and prior to going to bed. As my milk supply leveled out, I dropped to either morning pumping session or evening pumping session. Nowadays, I only pump at work or if I've missed a feeding and am feeling engorged. Being really diligent in a nursing schedule means routine stimulation which in turn equals milk production.

I'd say this is a good stopping point for today. I originally had written a few more paragraphs, but things started to get overwhelming. As with the epidural question, this whole breastfeeding thing could take up about five separate posts. In the next post, we'll tackle formula & supplementation and how that can affect breastfeeding. Later, we'll look at tips, tricks, and must-haves for nursing success.

To Be Continued.......

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Prayer Request

Hi Friends!

I'm here today to ask for a very specific prayer request -- would you?

This happens to be my 500th blog post, and I couldn't be more honored to use it to intercede on behalf of another person. One of my great childhood friends is taking her first step today in a battle against cancer. Very recently, her doctor spotted a tumor on her pancreas and biopsy confirmed it was in fact cancer. As I type these words, she is in the middle of a 7 hour surgery to remove the tumor, part of her stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. The surgery is known as a whipple or a pancreaticduodenectomy, which is just as extensive and difficult as it sounds.

Will you pray for her?

The recovery from surgery is extensive -- and then there's also the cancer part of this. To my knowledge, they're still awaiting more tests to see if the cancer is in other parts of her body. From the updates she has sent me, the outlook is not bad or bleak, but the road will be difficult.

I stood by her side when she married her husband and I have oogled and smiled from afar at all three of her beautiful children. Her oldest will celebrate her 5th birthday this month. She is an amazing person with a killer sense of humor and a tender heart. She thinks of others long before taking herself into consideration and is always loving, despite the circumstances. I, personally, would know this from years of being the friend who because of time and great distance became increasingly less communicative. She continues to love me just the same, despite my shortcomings.

In short: she is amazing.

To catch up on the last few weeks of her journey, check out her blog.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

29

So, today is the first day of the last year in my 20's. In other words, a year from today, I'll turn 30. I'll weird out about the 30 thing when it gets a little closer, but for now, I'm just 29.

Yesterday I was thinking about all I've accomplished in my 29 years:

  • Obviously, starting real early, the basics: feeding, toileting, dressing myself. I've had these things down for a while now.
  • Got an "honorable mention" on my project in the science fair- which can still be considered an accomplishment, because even in 4th grade I was a procrastinator. Cant for the life of me remember what my project actually was about.
  • Went to all-state band in high school. I played the bassoon. I never said I wasn't nerdy.
  • I worked hard and earned my bachelor's degree... although I never did figure out if the bachelor part of the degree is plural or not. Bachelor of science in nursing? Or is it Bachelors of science in nursing? Or is it possessive? Bachelor's of science in nursing? Thankfully, I don't have to know these things to deliver babies, which is the career my degree has afforded me. 
  • I met, dated, and married my loving, funny, pretty-much-all-around-perfect-because-he-puts-up-with-me-everyday husband.
  • I embarked (with my husband) on our first of many great adventures and set up home in Fort Worth, which was a few states away from where we both cut our teeth.
  • Then, a few years later, we went on another adventure and made Rockport our home.
  • Most recently, I had my little boy, who incidentally makes me more proud than most anything else in life. He is the answer to several very specific prayers, and yet not one of those prayers was to have a child. God is mysterious and remarkable in that way. 
It's been a pretty fantastic 29 years. 

For some reason, I feel like change is on the horizon. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I feel like my heart is being prepared for something new and different. It would seem like a 7 month old boy was enough of a change to rock our boat for a while, but the feeling lingers. Only time will reveal if these itchings in my head are for real. 

For now, I'll enjoy a birthday donut.

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