Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Counterculture

I was talking to a young wife recently and this is how the conversation went...

-She really wanted to stay at home with her kids one day when she became a mom but wasn't sure about leaving her job to live off of her husband's salary alone. She said that she hoped that her child's future caregiver would not tell her when the child experienced his/her first landmarks, such as crawling, talking, etc. She wanted to be able to pretend that her first time to witness those things when she was off work was really the "first" time that they had happened. She shared with me that a female relative had found a great daycare where they had followed this pattern. She was hoping she could find the same, because she was going to be miserable if she was reminded how much she was missing out on at work.-

This conversation has pierced me and sent me on a tangent of thoughts. Why is it in our culture that staying at home with our children is shameful if we have an education? Don't get me wrong- I feel the pressure. Daily. But, wouldn't it be a beautiful thing if the moms of us, who could choose to stay at home, did and actually invested all of our education, time, and energy into producing the Godliest children this world has seen in generations? Sure, we wouldn't be the families with the fanciest houses, the newest clothes, or the slickest cars, but maybe, more of us would be happy. Maybe, more of our kids would stay in church when they left our homes one day as adults. Maybe, this world would see a revival and renewal that would shake its very foundation for the glory of God's name. Maybe, we would find out all of the stuff we really "needed" was not really a need at all. Jesus was enough. Because, He is.

"But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine... Older women... are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and their children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled." Titus 2:1-5 (emphasis mine)

I'm reading an incredible book right now. "God, Marriage, and Family. Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation." by Andreas J. Kostenberger. Check it out!

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Photo Announcement Business!



Hey everyone! In my spare time, I am putting together a portfolio of photo announcement designs. I am not nearly finished yet, but check out the web page in progress. I am accepting orders and will not charge extra for customs designs while I am building a collection. If any of you are interested, let me know. Spread the word!

http://www.theclassycockatoo.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chef Cirlot's Abby-Safe Temptations

I have had quite a few questions about what things I can eat, so I just thought I would share a few photos of some foods that have turned out quite nicely. All of these are first-time shots, so please forgive their imperfections. I just wanted to prove that you can still eat quite happily on a restricted diet- creativity and seriously novice cooking skills are all that is required.



Flourless PB Cookies
(My husband who hates PB Cookies adores these... so yummy!)


Gluten-free Pizza
(It would have been beautiful if only I owned a rolling pin)

Delightfully Delicious M&M Cake
(I made this one with rice milk and just let Bryan eat the M&Ms- the frosting and cake itself are so good that the M&Ms pale in comparison anyways. I served this at a church fellowship and no one guessed that it was dairy free.)

Gluten Free Delight

This is what an Abby looks like without gluten in her system. Before, I was treasuring the happy moments in snapshots between our many unhappy ones. Now, I don't know what to capture next- this constant playfulness and happiness is such an incredible gift. I am overwhelmed with thankfulness and relief. Having a healthy, happy little girl is such a blessing. God is so good.

Monday, May 18, 2009

An Answered Prayer

I just got off of the phone with Abby's GI doctor, and he agreed that we could cancel all of the tests that were scheduled for this Wednesday. Since last Monday, I have completely taken gluten and peanut butter out of my diet, and Abby has been doing great. She has progressively gotten better every day and has had three days in a row now where she has hardly spit up at all. We took her off of her Prevacid for over a week now and have not noticed a difference at all. It looks like the food allergies were just mimicking acid reflux- it may never have been that at all. Praise God for many answered prayers! At this point, I will just stay on the dairy/soy/gluten/peanut free diet, and we will watch and see how she does and follow-up with the doctor again in a few weeks. If it turns out to be necessary, we can always reschedule the tests. Yay for a happy, healthy little girl for a few days now! How wonderful would it be if all of Abby's tummy issues were resolved now? Let's pray that is the case.

Gentle Femininity- Motherhood in Action


The imagery the Apostle Paul used to describe his relationship to the Thessalonian church was a nursing mom. "But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children." (1 Thessalonians 2:7) Honestly, I can't think of a more tender mental picture either. In our society, choosing to breastfeed is controversial and often criticized. I remember being embarrassed about a cousin who did. Now I am in her shoes. From this side of the fence I can now say, nursing has been the best bonding experience I could have ever wished for with Abby. God, in His incredible wisdom and insight, gave women this incredible gift- to create, sustain, and nurture life. What a humbling and beautiful role we have as mothers! Breastfeeding for me has not been an easy experience. At times, it has been so difficult that I have selfishly wanted to give it up. Now, even while looking back on those moments, I am so glad I haven't.

A Few Reasons It Is Worth It to Me.
  • Instant Gratification: Knowing that I am directly contributing to Abby's physical well-being is the most instantly gratifying thing I get to experience as a mom right now. Sure, I know that Abby will bless me even more as she grows older, but during this baby stage, it is nice to visually see that some of my hard work is paying off.
  • Unparalleled Bonding & Emotional Satisfaction: Because of Abby's tummy's issues, for a little over 2 months, I pumped exclusively and bottle fed Abby (I hated every day of it). Since Abby has started teething, she has refused to take a bottle from me, and I have went back to nursing her again exclusively. Not only am I much happier (it is so much less hassle without preparing, warming, washing, and storing bottles), Abby has been noticeably happier too, enough for Bryan to even comment on it. The emotional satisfaction we both get from the experience is a nice exchange for something that is completely natural and healthy to do.
  • No Worries About the Swine Flu (or any other illness): God designed nursing as the most ingenious health defense in the world. According to medical experts, a teaspoon of breastmilk alone as has 3 million germ-killing cells in it. As the nursing mother is exposed to anyone sick, her body instantly begins producing antibodies in her breastmilk to keep her child from getting sick as well. As long as the mom and nursing baby are together, it is unlikely that the child will get sick. (An excellent biological argument for stay-at-home moms)
  • 101 Reasons You Can Read About On Your Own
Isn't our Creator marvelous? He has created everything in perfect orchestration. God is the Master of every detail. As David says in Psalm 139, "I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works and my soul knows it very well."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Innocence

I let Abby be naked (diaper excluded) Saturday morning and this her response. Click here if you cannot see the video.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Abby's Visit with the GI Specialist

Everything went really well at the doctor's apt today. The doctor who saw us was a specialist in cases like this and has often worked with babies like Abby before. He did a really thorough medical history and tested her stool for blood. The doctor confirmed the diagnosis of a milk-soy protein allergy and said that he is not even completely sure she has acid reflux. It is possible that she is simply allergic to something else still (which we have been suspicious of). From this point, he wants to run 3 more diagnostic tests to see what we need to do next. She's scheduled to have an endoscopy and a sigmoidoscopy to take biopsies in her intestines to make sure these "flareups" are not causing any serious damage. If they're not, we just know I need to keep doing what we are doing and that the allergy is not severe enough to eliminate anything else from my diet. If there is inflammation or damage, I have to go on an even stricter diet to try to narrow down the allergen, which includes eliminating dairy/soy/wheat/eggs/nuts/shellfish for 2 weeks then slowly reintroducing them back in. The last test that we will have done( which will be on the same day as the other tests) is they will stick a tube down Abby's nose and into her stomach for 24 hours to measure the acidity of her stomach acid when she is not on her medicine. If her stomach acid is normal, we'll know acid reflux is not the problem. If it is too acidic, we'll know for sure how much medicine she needs from that point on. He's also going to do a blood test to make sure that the Prevacid dose she is on now is safe and has not had any negative side effects in her system. All of this is scheduled to happen on May 20th. We're thankful that we should have definite answers soon, but a little nervous that this is the only way we can find out what is going on. We'll just pray that everything will go smoothly and that Abby will be safe with the endoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. Thanks for wanting to keep up with what is going on.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Priceless



-Quality snuggle time with Daddy-


I haven't been able to blog nearly as much as I have wanted to lately, because I have been working on building a website for a photo announcement business I am opening soon. I'll blog more on that later. I just wanted to share a few Abby snapshots from the past couple of weeks.



-Abby tried to sneak out of her car seat before church Sunday morning while I was getting her nursery bottle ready.-



-I placed Abby in the crib while I was showering, and she tried to squeeze between the rails. This is how I found her.-



-Abby enjoying her rice cereal this morning. She decided to try to feed herself at the end. Such a nut!
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