11 Month Mommy & Big Girl Update

Today (3/1) at 11:55am, our little lady will be 11 months! For the past 7 weeks straight she has been sleeping through the night peacefully!! The doc gave me a lecture about getting her on a sleep schedule, putting her to bed earlier and not continually going in her room at night. I was nervous but I took the doc’s tips (which my husband had been trying to convince me of also) and it worked!! Now Elyssa sleeps from 9:30pm-7:30 am every night! She nurses at 7:30 am and goes back to sleep for an hour or two. We’re still working on the daily naps, she usually just takes cat naps but because she sleeps so well at night, we’re not complaining!
Sunday we noticed she has her fourth tooth coming in! It’s her first top tooth and it’s already broke through. She’s handling teething very well. She likes to take off her bibs and chew them and sometimes when we’re not looking, she tries to take a bite out of us! We gently tell her no and she just smiles and finds something else to relieve her gums.
 
I’m still breastfeeding and loving it. Now when I get home from work, Elyssa doesn’t want hugs or kisses, she wants her milk and she’s not playing! After she nurses she gives me smiles and starts telling me about her day in her special baby talk language. Even though Elyssa has teeth, she rarely bites me. 99% of the time she is gentle and when she starts being silly and tries to bite or play with my nipple, I pull her away and say no. If I put her to me again and she does it, then we take a break. Most of the time, she’s so ready for her milk that she doesn’t bite or play.
 
I continue to make her baby food in the blender with the breast milk. We purchased a portable high chair and she loves it! It’s her big girl seat and she enjoys eating with us up high. Currently I have 100 oz of frozen milk and I continue to pump twice a day a work. Daily I confess over my body that it will produce milk for Elyssa as long as she and I need it to. I won’t allow others to pressure me into stopping nursing when she turns one. Of course everyone has a opinion but my decision to nurse or not is not up for community vote. My husband and I agree that I will continue to nurse and do what’s best for Elyssa and I.
Elyssa is enjoying learning how to drink from her sippy cup. Some days she likes to hold it and chew on the nipple but I’ve seen her lift it up correctly and actually drink without our assistance. That was an exciting moment, esp since she never took to bottles or the pacifier well. 
Elyssa started walking in January when she was 9 months. She’s walking like a pro now and even trying to run. She has lots of confidence and walking and discovering things brings her such joy. She has escaped from her barricaded play area a few times, which was surprising, scary and funny all at the same time. I left her in her fortress (that’s what we call her play area) and I looked up and she was standing in the bathroom with me! This occurred one hour after I put on her new walking shoes. I say those shoes gave her some baby power because she’s been a walking, running, escape artist ever since! We have a gate up and she has to be in her pack in play, activity chair or booster seat if we have to step out of the room for a second. She enjoys following us around the house like a little duckling, just walking, clapping and laughing. She’s a happy, peace and smart baby girl. Thank you Jesus for blessing our family with such a amazing child. She has brought us all so much joy! I will write a post about her 1st birthday party. The special party plans are underway! 

My Journey To The Fab New Me & My 200th Blog Post!

Happy 200th blog post!! Thank you to everyone for reading, supporting and commenting! March 31 is my blogs 2 year anniversary. The blog has currently received over 60,000 hits! I love what God is doing through me to bless others! Please keep reading and I will continue to be led by the Holy Spirit regarding what to post!

My Journey To The Fabulous New Me

Recently, I went out on a date with my husband and to my surprise, it took me a minute to find my make up. I had to stop and ask myself how long it had been since I put anything besides lipstick on?? Then I wanted to wear my contacts (because I’ve been sporting my glasses for almost the last two years) but I didn’t have any contact solution in the house. I told myself that it was time to bring back the old me and step it up a notch! I missed the old me who wasn’t always running around the house grabbing diaper bags, packing baby food and combing her hair in the car. I love being a mom but I decided that I needed to make time for it all and be fabulous in the process!

Last Friday, I worked a half day then took 2hrs to do some shopping for myself, by myself. It was a warm winter day and the sun was shinning! For Michigan weather, this was a big deal! By the time I was done, I had purchased 3 pair of earrings, make up, contact solutions and other hair care and hygiene products. I also stopped to get my eyebrows arched; something that I never seem to do on a consistent basis but that’s about to change. My hair dresser was out-of-town so I asked my mom to come over and help me do my hair. I was tired of not slowing down and taking the time I needed for me. It’s no ones fault but my own. My husband is super helpful and he tries to get me to relax and not do so much but sometimes it’s hard for me to just sit down. I needed to make myself slow down and make myself a priority and over the last six days I’ve done just that!

Once my hair was washed, pressed and bouncy, I put on my contacts, make up and earrings.  I looked like a new woman! I felt confident;  like a million bucks! My husband and daughter came in the bathroom and both grinned from ear to ear. My husband told me how much he liked my look and how he missed looking into my eyes without my glasses. He of course told me I was beautiful before and he liked the changes I’d made. He wanted to take me out so we got dressed, went to dinner and had a fun family evening.

For the last six days, I’ve gotten up everyday in enough time to nurse my daughter, talk with my honey, get my lunch, coffee AND do my hair and make up. Before my daughter, I would wear make up on the weekends (Hey I’m a social worker don’t judge me 🙂 But now I’d like to wear light make up daily and take time to make sure that I have the look that I want before leaving the house.

Ladies, life is busy with school, work, children, church, house work etc BUT we must take time for ourselves. We won’t be able to effectively do all that we need to do if we don’t take care of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. Here’s a list of ideas of things to do just for you: take a bubble bath, scrapbook, go to a movie, window shop, read a good book, work out, eat healthier and get more sleep. If you’ve been wearing the same hair style or make up, consider trying something new. When we feel comfortable, confident and rested, we’re at peace and much more happy. I’m sure our husbands, children, friends and coworkers were notice a change in our mood and will appreciate the new confident and relaxed us.  Take time this week and think about what you can do on a consistent basis just for you. Trust me you will be happy that you did!! Happy Wednesday!

It Always Feels Like Somebody’s Watchin Me

This Valentines Day, my husband gave our 10 month old daughter her first Valentines gift. He brought her some soft toy flowers and a cute basket. I  enjoyed watching him present her with the gift. Elyssa looked happy, surprised and intrigued by her new gift. The purpose of him giving her the gift was to start the tradition of being that special man in her life and being a godly role model of a father and husband to her. It’s so important for us parents to practice what we preach. Our children don’t need to see us talking the talk but not walking the walk. Their always watching so ask yourself what you’re showing them.

The night before Valentines Day, my husband came home with my vday surprise. He asked us to go in another room while he set it up. When Elyssa and I came out, Eddie had a beautiful arrangement of flowers, a huge I LOVE U balloon and my favorite candies and chocolates. We kissed and hugged and Elyssa watched us and grinned from ear to ear. It was as if she knew that something special was happening and she liked seeing us happy. I want to always provide her with the loving family that she needs and deserves. I will work hard to glorify God in my marriage so that she can see what it means to have a peaceful household with two parents that love God, each other and her.

Today I challenge you to be the best that you can be because people are watching you. People need to know that there is hope and they need to see Christ in you. Watch your words and actions. Live your life as if God is walking with you everywhere because He is even though you can’t see him. People are always watching you, esp once they find out you’re a Christian. So think twice before you speak badly of your boss or join in with others as they gossip behind each other’s back. Some people will never go to church so we have to bring the church to them. By setting a godly example for your children, friends, coworkers, you become a blessing and a walking example of God’s love.

Testimony Time! If He did it for me, He CAN Do It For You!

Revelations 12:11 (KJV) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. 

This past Monday, my sister in law invited my husband and I to speak to her college bible study about dating and marriage. This opportunity to share our testimony and encourage believers on a college campus was major for me. Ten years ago, I was a lost 20-year-old college student. I thought I had a relationship with Christ but I hooked up with the wrong crowd and set many of my morals/values on a shelf to become a follower. On Monday while at that bible study, I was in awe of my awesome, faithful and able God because I knew where He’d brought me from. I knew that only because of Christ could I be ministering at a college bible study ten years later; saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, a hunger to grow in God, peace of mind, a drama free lifestyle, a wonderful husband, healthy daughter, two college degrees, a 9 year stable career and so much more. God gets all the glory because He knows just how jacked up I was ten years ago. At 20 I never would have believed that I could be where I am today BUT GOD!! Genesis 50:20 (NIV)  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. God turned my mess into my message.

I told those awesome young people my testimony of being a lost, confused, bitter, unproductive partying college student. I told them how I was raised in a Christian home but didn’t have my own firm foundation and therefore I walked right into temptation when given the chance. I told them how my grades, relationship with God, my parents, my self-esteem and peace of mind all suffered greatly. One day after another failed relationship, I woke up and said enough is enough, this lifestyle sucks, I know God has better for me, Lord help me to live for you and free me of all this junk that’s holding me down. I told them that I had to let go of anything that kept me from going hard after the Lord; I asked the Lord to help free me of any distraction including certain friends, secular music, parties etc. I took it one day at a time until living holy before God no longer took so much effort, it was natural, a lifestyle. I surrounded myself with other Christians, stayed in my word, focused on my relationship with God and graduating. I sought counsel and received restoration from past hurts and I allowed God to have complete control of my life. Because of my repenting, open and willing heart to follow Christ, He was able to do a mighty work in me and help me to help others. I met my husband at Word of Faith. At our church we learned to glorify God in our friendship, courtship, engagement and now marriage. In being faithful to God, He remains faithful to us! God is so good!!

Today I want to encourage those that are going through or who aren’t where they want to be in Christ or even in life. Maybe you hoped to be married or have children by now. Maybe your secretly struggling with an addiction that no one but God knows about. Maybe you’re struggling to finish college or raise children on your own. Whatever your current situation is, I want you to know that God has an AWESOME future for you.  Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Please keep praying and keep seeking God. When you mess up, repent and get back up. People in this world, esp your family and friends, need you to walk with Christ so you can be a witness to them one day. Know that God’s there with you, wanting to help you and He will continue to give you the strength you need to keep pressing and growing in Him. He will never leave you or forsake you. Your testimony is on the way so don’t give up! Then you can sit in front of other people who are currently in the shoes you used to be in and boldly say LOOK WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE! HE DID IT FOR ME AND HE CAN DO IT FOR YOU!!! GLORY TO GOD HALLELUJAH!!