Thursday, March 26, 2009

Faithful Women & Their Extraordinary God

I've been in a slump... spiritually speaking that is. The past month has just been so incredibly busy that I have gotten off schedule with my quiet times more times than not, and I have had a tough time figuring out a new reading routine for this year. To add variety to my quiet time, I just ordered the book, "Faithful Women & Their Extraordinary God," by Noel Piper. Its a compilation of biographies on various women within the past 300 or so years that have had a profound impact on Christianity today. I'm only 42 pages in, and I'm hooked. What a testimony these women have! What an encouragement their lives are to us as believing women! I highly recommend this book to anyone- especially Christian women. We really don't have a lot of role models out there, and it has been refreshing to see God work extravagantly in the lives of ordinary women.

Since Abby's birth, I have had several moments where I have wondered if staying at home with Abby really matters. Like many others, I have wondered if I am truly making an impact on the world and am afraid of becoming insignificant. Maybe that's why I find the testimony of Sarah Edwards particularly inspiring.

A few facts that are too interesting and too inspirational to keep to myself.

Even though she was just a pastor's wife and stay-at-home mom and wife in the 1700's, her legacy lives on.

A study in the 1900's on the family's descendants from her marriage with Jonathon Edwards showed that their descendants produced:
  • 13 college presidents
  • 65 professors
  • 100 lawyers and a dean of a law school
  • 30 judges
  • 66 physicians and a dean of a medical school
  • 80 holders of public office, including: 3 US senators, mayors of 3 large cities, governors of 3 large states, a vice president of the US, and a controller of the US treasury
We are sinning if we underestimate or shun God's calling in our lives.

I am learning it is not the career we choose or the praise of man that determines significance. Rather, true significance is defined by whether or not we faithfully pursue the personal calling that God extends to each of us... that place of existence where we obediently and joyfully serve Him in the capacity He has designed exclusively for us. Only then are we truly happy. Only then are we truly useful to our Master.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We Have a Winner!


After cloth diapering Miss Abby for about 2 weeks with the BumGenius organic snaps diaper and for 1 week with the BumGenius 3.0., I've finally decided. Cloth diapering is much easier and much more realistic than I thought it would be. They actually work better than the expensive brand of disposables we have been using, and they are much easier on her delicate tush. Who would've guessed?

Not me.

Hands down, I like the convenience of the BumGenius organic all-in-one snaps diaper. It's nice not having to stuff a pocket diaper. I definitely think the snaps will hold up better in the long run compared to the velcro tabs of the BumGenius 3.0. With the BumGenius organic snaps, it still looks and smells brand new following the care instructions. I didn't feel the same way with the BumGenius 3.0- the velcro is already starting to pill a little bit and the microfiber insert is starting to look very used. Not good. The only downsides for the Bumgenius organic snaps are the additional expense per dipe and the dryer time. It takes 2 dryer cycles to dry the diaper completely or 1 dryer cycle and hanging overnight.

Overall, I think cloth diapering could save us a decent amount of money in the long run. I have to admit- Abby sure looks cute with a colorful diaper. The best part- more cash in our pockets & less diaper rashes on her sweet pancakes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Saltless"


Yes... that is the new word I have created to describe my future. My life with Meniere's (I'm still assuming with the doctor that this is what the MRI will reveal Wednesday). When the doctor ordered for me to go on a low sodium diet (less than 2000 mg daily), I had no clue how life-changing that would be. EVERYTHING has sodium in it, except for water, corn, and oatmeal. Yes, I'm serious. The way I eat and the way I cook will forever be changed... darn, I sure love salt and will miss it!

Check out the sodium content in a few items that I used to cook with or eat quite a bit:
  • Chicken Bouillon (1 cube) - 800 mg
  • Cheese Nips (1 serving)- 340 mg
  • 2% Milk (1 cup)- 100 mg
  • Honey Nut Cheerios (3/4 cup)- 190 mg
  • Soy Sauce (1 cup)- 14,374 mg
  • Butter, salted (1 cup)- 1,308 mg
  • Large egg (1 egg)- 60 mg
  • Chicken Breast, uncooked (4 oz.)- 180 mg
  • Cheddar Cheese (1 cup)- 820 mg
  • Wheat Bread (1 slice)- 135 mg
  • Steamed Broccoli, Cauliflower, & Cheese Sauce (3/4 cup)- 440 mg
  • Mashed Potatoes (1 cup)- 699 mg
  • Blueberry Poptart (1 package)-340 mg

Goodbye Beloved Chocolate Milk


I am very sad and yet quite happy to say that eliminating dairy from my diet for the past few days has tremendously helped Abby's reflux. Apparently, Abby is allergic to milk protein. I really should have done this sooner... I did cheat with still drinking some milk with the last elimination diet. I guess that's why I did not see a big difference before. Since I have eliminated dairy, Abby has stopped vomiting daily altogether. She, in fact, spits up rarely. Remarkable. So now, it's decided... no more daily glasses of chocolate milk until I wean Abby.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

BumGenius- Genius or Not?

-Abby sporting the BumGenius Organic Snaps Diaper-


Motherhood has led me down several paths I never anticipated taking... babywearing, co-sleeping, dairy-free diets, and etc. The most recent adventure for us is now cloth diapering. I am not a tree hugger by any means, but as my husband likes to put it, we are all about trying to save a different type of tree... nice, clean cash. Abby's diapering has been a budget breaker in our household- she can go through 10-15 diapers a day easily. At 3 months old, we are just now backing down to close to 10 diapers daily on good days. That adds up to about $100/month just on diapers alone- good thing we're breastfeeding... formula in addition to that would be expensive!

There are quite a few options out there in the modern cloth diaper market. It's come a long ways since our grandparents' days. After hours of research, I've narrowed it down to the 2 diapers that are most likely to work for us... BumGenius One-Size Organics with Snaps & BumGenius One-Size 3.0. I like that for less than $300 we can buy diapers once and for all. Since they are size-adjustable, they will fit Abby until she is potty-trained. Even when you add in the extra expense of detergent, water, and energy costs, it is still substantially cheaper. Bryan and I have ordered one of both diapers to try them out for a few days and see how easy and efficient they really are. I'll keep you updated!

-Abby modeling the BumGenius 3.0 diaper-

For those of you interested in the nitty-gritty money details, here they are:

  • What We Spend on Disposables Per Month (If we remember to plan ahead and order in bulk): $81.98
  • Thus, we would spend $983.75 on disposables annually at this rate.
  • Total Cost for Using Disposables for 3 Years (Average time to potty train a child at present): $2951.25

BumGenius Organic OS Diapers
  • 10 BumGenius Organic OS Snap Diapers: $227.36
  • How Often I Plan to Wash: Every Night (7 x Week)
  • Cost for Water, Energy, & Detergent Per Diaper Load (Very Worst Case Scenario): $0.85
  • Cost to Wash Annually at this Rate: $309.40
  • Total Cost for Using Cloth the First Year: $536.76- additional cost in years to come are just for annual costs of washing diapers
  • Total Cost for Using Cloth Diapers for 3 Years: $1,155.56
  • Total Savings in 3 Years for Cloth vs. Disposables: $1,795.69
BumGenius OS 3.0 Diapers
  • 10 BumGenius OS 3.0 Diapers: $175
  • How Often I Plan to Wash: Every Night (7 x Week)
  • Cost for Water, Energy, & Detergent Per Diaper Load (Very Worst Case Scenario): $0.85
  • Cost to Wash Annually at this Rate: $309.40
  • Total Cost for Using Cloth the First Year: $484.40- additional cost are just for annual costs of washing diapers
  • Total Cost for Using Cloth Diapers for 3 Years: $1,103.20
  • Total Savings in 3 Years for Cloth vs Disposables: $1,848.05

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bread and Water for Me


Since yesterday, I've felt a lot of pressure in my right ear and have not been able to hear out of it well. I went to an ear, nose, and throat specialist today, and he ordered many hearing tests as a result. It's verified that I cannot hear well on certain frequencies with my right ear, but there is absolutely no infection. It looks like Meniere's disease, but since all of the tests are not lining up perfectly, I am scheduled for a MRI next Wednesday (3/25) to rule out an acoustic neuroma. Pray that the test comes back fine and that it is only Meniere's... a much better option.

Also, I've been placed on a low sodium diet, because he cannot treat me with the usual medication regime for Meniere's since I am breastfeeding Abby still. Now thanks to Abby's sensitivities and my new dietary orders, I cannot eat tomatoes, dairy, or anything high in sodium. I guess that just leaves bread and water for me (assuming the bread is low sodium sourdough bread). Talk about taking the joy out of eating! Maybe, God thinks I need to learn more self-control.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Please Don't Tell Me Cows are Evil Now Too?


Since last weekend, Abby's reflux has been flaring up again. This past Tuesday we had another pediatrician visit, and Abby's medicine was changed to Prevacid. The doctor also mentioned that she wanted me to eliminate dairy from my diet again. She's still suspicious that Abby may have a milk protein allergy, and she thinks that the last elimination diet of 2 weeks was possibly not long enough to tell whether or not milk was a problem. Since a dairy-free diet would be a HUGE change for an all-out dairy lover, I decided I would only try that if the Prevacid did not completely eliminate the reflux. I have avoided drinking my daily glass of chocolate milk until today.

Much to my dismay, we have had a terrible day with Abby's reflux. She vomited much more frequently today than she has since starting her new medicine last Wednesday. By tonight, her reflux had gotten so terrible that she was vomiting out of her mouth and her nose. For what seemed like an eternity, she started choking and having difficulty breathing. Her eyes became red, and she began to be very apneic. Very scary. Very stressful.

I have no intentions of repeating tonight ever again. I have no idea whether drinking the milk this morning was coincidental, but it is indeed suspicious. No milk for me for the next 3 weeks. I'm going dairy free. I just hope this works. If not, Abby is going to see either a GI specialist or an allergist. We're not going to play around with respiratory issues.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Little Doodlebug

Still trying to crawl- 11 Weeks old

Bouncer Happiness

Abby playing happily in her bouncer- 11 Weeks old

Soaked by Super Girl

Last Sunday right before we headed out to church for the evening service, Bryan was playing "Super Girl" with Abby. She's loves it! As he was soaring her around the house, Bryan discovered all too late that he had put her last diaper on incorrectly. Hilariously, the first urine droplet was caught on film right when Daddy was figuring out something was not quite right. Needless to say, Bryan had to change clothes before church.




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