Just Give Me The TMI Crown Already…

I got all riled up after reading a news article about breast feeding. Here’s a link to an article about the horrors of a man bottle feeding his baby girl.  http://moms.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/28/10520642-sweet-photo-of-dad-feeding-baby-turns-controversial

I keep having to delete and start over. I is riled up. Consider my hide chapped. Breathe, Lindsey… Men, if you do not want to read about nursing infants and the gory details, than you should leave my blog now.

I am writing this as a breastfeeding mom. I nursed 4 kids. The shortest length was 7 months. That means I’ve lactated for over 28 months. I have experience. I’m almost an expert! Or something…

What I’m about to say is going to shock some people, but I don’t care… Ready???

You can be a good mom. No, you can be a great mom and never breast feed your child.

Shocking, right? Gird yourself for TMI zone….

When I had my first baby at the advanced age of 22, I was going to nurse. For lots of reasons. And for lots of reasons nursing my baby ended up damaging me and hurting me. We worked with the Lactation Consultant and she threw her hands in the air and said, “I have no idea how to get this kid to nurse.” My body was so damaged from nursing that after less than 2 weeks, we had to quit nursing and pump. Pumping allowed me to enjoy 4 mastitis infections in less than 2 months. After 2 months of pumping, I tried to get my son to nurse. He finally did. Well sort of. He never nursed right. It hurt physically every time he nursed. Which with a 2 month old is every 3 hours. That’s a lot of pain and stress and dread.  I really, really, really did not want to do formula. Big bad evil formula. I looked into switching him to goat’s milk. I talked to 5 different people and got 5 different answers about cautions, or concerns about goat’s milk. So with no viable alternative, at least in my crazy brain, I just kept on nursing.

What I had been expecting to be a beautiful, bonding, healthy experience with my sweet baby was instead painful, stressful and depressing. I would tense when I heard him cry, or when I knew he was hungry. Our first night home from the hospital, my milk came in. No one warned me about how bad it could be, how I should have a pump to relieve the pressure. Noel ended up driving across town to Wal Mart in the middle of the night to buy a pump. I was crying, the baby was crying, and when Noel got home and opened the pump only to discover that it was MISSING A PIECE!!!! AND WOULDN’T WORK!!!!! He started crying too. One of us threw that useless thing against the wall. One of the worst nights of our lives! Still is 12 years into our marriage! I finally got a pump from a good friend and thought things would work better. I was wrong.

My baby was fussy, so fussy. He would never stay awake to eat. I called the hospital late one night to ask a question and the nurse I was talking to asked what I was doing with the milk I was pumping to relieve the pressure(which had nothing to do with why I called). I was just dumping it because I was too exhausted and overwhelmed to deal with keeping it in a clean way. She yelled at me, “That is liquid gold you are dumping down the drain!” I hung up on her and cried. Thanks for the help, lady.  I heard from women, “I’ve never heard of a baby not nursing.” And other really helpful comments. Not everyone was horrible, but in my crazy, the horrible is what I remembered and believed. Some of the horrible was accidental; people just trying to be helpful. I realized that some of the horrible was purposeful. It was that competition/knock-others-down-so-I-can-feel-better-about-myself-thing that women do so well.

Newborn babies don’t have many needs: clean diaper, sleep and food. Here I was failing at the simplest of things, what on earth was I going to do when the baby got bigger and had more difficult and complex needs? The challenges of nursing and insensitivity of others made me think I was a horrible mom. I felt like a failure constantly. I was depressed and scared. What on earth was I thinking becoming a mom? I couldn’t even feed my baby right!

Just to be clear, most of the pressure was coming from myself. I don’t even know if anyone could have forced me to switch to formula. I can be crazy, stubborn, determined.  I nursed that kid for 7 painful, stressful, depressing months. And he thrived. He was huge! The only problem he had was he was a projectile spitter-upper. Yuck. At 7 months, he was eating a lot of foods, so I weaned him(my milk supply was waning) and switched him to goat milk. Guess what happened. He quit spitting up. Totally. I laughed and cried about that one. If I’d have known he’d quit spitting up I’d have switched him earlier!

Months after weaning him I realized how insane I had been. How depressed I had been. How digging my heels in about nursing had been a mistake. Me breast feeding my baby had made me a worse mom. It stressed my relationship with my baby. It wasn’t worth it. Nursing my first born was not worth what it cost me physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. I would have been a better mom if I’d just given the kid some formula.  But it was too hard to give up my dreams and expectations. Too hard to accept that I wasn’t in control, and never had been. I promised my husband that if nursing was that hard with any more kids we had that I’d quit after a month and just give the kid formula. An emotionally healthy mom trumps the physical benefits of breast milk.

I over-share to make a few points. In my situation with my first born, people looking in didn’t know all the details. Some people assumed I was just clueless or stupid or a drama queen. How helpful would “Breast is best!” be to someone like me? Not helpful at all, in fact more harmful than helpful. Another point is that I tend to have to learn things the hard way. But once I figure something out, I’ll never forget it, and I’ll share it with other people so they don’t have to struggle as much as I did. I also share so that people don’t think they’re alone, or that they’re crazy or a failure. I learned so much from the challenging experiences I’ve had with pregnancies and labor and babies. I was such a black and white person! Black/White. Right/Wrong. Up/Down. It took these really, really hard experiences for me to see grey. To learn that grey is acceptable. Life doesn’t have to be so extreme.

One of the important things I learned was that it’s great to have ideals and standards (especially regarding pregnancy, birth and parenting), but sometimes we have to let them go. Letting go of an ideal or expectation doesn’t mean that you quit or compromised or failed. It means you’re mature enough to not be in control. You’re mature enough to not turn molehills into mountains. Just let it go.

The definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. How many of us are insane in more than one area of our life?
 

I also learned that there are different stages in your life. Different seasons. Same for other moms and families. What works for you now may not work for you in 1 or 3 years. What works for your friend now may not be right for your family now. It all comes back to not beating each other (or ourselves) up. I used to roll my eyes at statements like those, but I’ve lived it and I know it to be truth. You need to do what’s right and best for your family in the season you’re in and those seasons are going to change. So if you are wise, you will make changes also!

For moms to criticize other moms for nursing or not nursing (or a million other areas that moms differ) is totally inappropriate, judgmental and wrong. I’m not going to be a part of that! Yes, there are some moms out there who really are horrible, but they’re few and far between. Instead of turning our noses up and whispering about other moms and their horrible decisions and how their children are going to end up stupid, crazy and criminal because they were formula fed or went to public schools or were from a broken family!!! THE HORROR!!! (by the way I am all three of those things ;) The latter, not the stupid, dirty and criminal.. At least not most days… ) Or patting ourselves on the back for not being like so-and-so. Instead of that, let’s encourage, help, exhort and love each other! Let’s accept our differences instead of condemning everyone different than us! Radical, I know, but imagine what our world would be like without the criticism and insecurities!

Some of you may read this and start to feel defensive. Please don’t. I am not judging you if you made the same decisions I did and would choose to make them again. I’m also not judging if you totally and completely disagree with everything I’ve said. I’m responsible for me. You are responsible for you. I just want for women(including myself) to make good decisions for their families and themselves in their season. Decisions based on health and love and abundance and truth, not out of fear. Fear of failure, fear of not measuring up, fear of not fitting in, just plain old fear. That is a horrible way to live. I know. I lived it and it was a miserable experience!

I want you and me and our daughters to be free from the inner and outer critic. To accept Grace from God and each other. To give grace to ourselves and to each other. To be free to be who we were created to be. To believe we really are fearfully and wonderfully made. If we’re so caught up in criticizing and condemning and reveling in self righteousness, we’re missing it.

I don’t want to miss it!

Do you?

One Of Those Girls…

The first twenty years of my life I thought there were two different types of girls in the world.

The sweet, innocent, loving, feminine, protected, delicate girls. Those girls.

And girls like me.

Tough, cynical, eyes wide open, hurt, damaged, protectors.

I knew too much too young. I saw too much too young. Some because of grown ups in my life, some because of my personality.

I believed the lie into my teens, so I started making self-destructive decisions because of it.

I didn’t deserve happiness. I didn’t deserve to be loved. I didn’t deserve to be forgiven. I didn’t deserve success. I wasn’t one of those nice girls. I was tough. I didn’t need (or deserve) protecting or love.

“nobody loved me, everybody hated me”…

Then at the age of (almost) 19, I encountered God. I was flushing my life down the toilet. Skipping class to get drunk. Alone. Drinking to the point of blackouts. Abusing drugs. Hurting, lying to and pushing away friends. I went from a 3.8 GPA my first semester of college to a .8 GPA second semester. I failed 3 out of 4 classes. The only class I passed was an upper level Psychology Elective (I was a Psych major.) I was the only freshman in the class. I was the only person to get an A. The class? “Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.” The humor is not lost on me :)

I came home from that semester a mess, but through the friendship and  love of a handful of people, I realized that God loved me. Me in all my crazy. I’ll go into more detail some other time, the point I’m wanting to get to, is that God started changing how I saw myself, my future. He healed a lot of hurts and set me free from a destructive life, but I still believed that I wasn’t a girly girl. I was rough and tough. I wanted to prove that I was as strong and as tough as a man could be. I didn’t need chivalry or deserve it. I was still the hippy-punk-feminazi. I also had people (some Christians) in my life who knew me before I was “saved”, and never let me forget what I had come out of. It was like Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t enough to cover all my sins in their eyes and because I looked up to them, it wasn’t enough in my own eyes.

Fast forward a year. I was a youth leader at the church I went to. We took a group of highschool kids (kids, ha ha.. I was 19 and 20 at this point…But really mature… Or something…) out to Montana. One of the places we went to was Camp Bighorn. It is a Christian Adventure Camp. Boys and girls were separated by gender and we were paired up with leaders from the camp. Us youth leaders were still in charge of our kids, but we were under the authority of the Camp Leaders. We’d do an adventure during the day, white-water rafting, kayaking etc. Then we’d get dropped off in the middle of nowhere in a National Forest with tarps, rope, food and our packs. We had to make our shelter for the night with the tarps and rope. It was awesome.

Our main leader was a young woman around my age. She was so feminine even as an adventure camp leader.  She was very petite and had china doll skin. I couldn’t figure out how she was so fair when she was outside constantly. She was one of those girls: the sweet, sensitive, innocent kind. Never said a naughty word in her life. I really liked her even though I was jealous; of her innocence, her nicely curly hair (mine was always frizzy-although it was only about 1/2 an inch long at this time), her pretty pale skin (My skin was either pasty or lobster).

I had all these ideas about her, how I could never be like her because I just wasn’t born that way. Because of the life I’d lived. She was one of those girls and I was the other kind.

The second night out in the middle of nowhere, we were all settled under our shelter for the night when she started to share her story. As she started sharing, I heard a weird sound from outside our shelter. I was sitting the farthest back, by the opening to our shelter.(All those scary movies I’d seen with a creature pulling someone out of the tent screaming flashed through my mind) Other people started hearing the sound too. I was pretty sure I knew what the sound was… A cougar. Cougars make distinctive sounds that are rather un-catlike. The sounds were circling our shelter. We were being stalked.  She stopped talking and we all prayed. The sounds ceased.. She continued on with her story…

She dated an older man as a young teen. She partied. A lot. She got pregnant as an early teen. Her parents kicked her out. Her baby ended up dying… It went on and on.. One tragedy after another. One sin after another.

This sweet, innocent girl. She was like me. She wasn’t one of them. She hadn’t been protected. She was like me. I was like her. But she was so different from me! She was so free and sweet!

She was free. She had grasped the power of Jesus’ sacrifice. She trusted that He was enough. That her sins truly were removed from her as far as the East is from the West. She truly was a new creature. She trusted that He had forgiven her. Forgiven and forgotten. No guilt. No shame. She believed God. She wasn’t believing the lie anymore.

I was wrecked. I was believing the lie. The lie that I was still a marked woman. That I’d be paying for my sin, my bad choices for the rest of my life. The lie that there were two kinds of women.

This truth revealed from a brave girl’s testimony changed my life. It took time for me to accept it. To trust. To believe God. To believe that His promises were for me. To reclaim my femininity. My identity as a Woman of God. Redeemed through Jesus. My sins washed away. Hard to believe and trust that I didn’t need to do anything. That Jesus was and is enough.

Friend, it doesn’t matter where you’ve been. Where you are. God loves you. He. loves. YOU.

Sweet one, you are the Daughter of the King of Kings…

You know what a King’s daughter is:

A Princess.

You are a Princess. Even if you’ve been hurt, abused, rejected, forgotten or discarded. Filled with self hatred. None of that alters the truth. You are the Daughter of the Most High King.

I pray that when you look in a mirror you will see what God sees.  A child of His heart. A child who is wanted and loved.

I am a beautiful, sweet Princess.

You are a beautiful, sweet Princess.

I am one of those girls.

You are one of those girls.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

 

Psalm 103:12
as far as the East is from the West,  so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

 

Revelation 12:11
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
 
Luke 7:36-50
When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

 

 

 

10 reasons why I’m glad our family’s never been this sick for this long

 

10. My children just finished all 80 episodes of Phineas and Ferb available on Netflix. They started watching 2 weeks ago. (when the sickness started)

9. I just dumped out a cup that had one of my kids’ peanut butter smoothies in it. The last time I made those was 3 days ago.

8. I want to open mouth kiss almond milk for not curdling or solidifying when left out at room temperature for 3 days.

7. My 21 month old knows how to take his own temperature.

6. I’m grateful when my 21 month old’s temperature is “only” 101.

5. I showered yesterday for the first time in I don’t know how long  a day or 6 so. My two big boys both asked “Mom, are you going somewhere?” Mom showering has apparently become a special occasion in the last few weeks.

4. We have gone through 4 46oz jars of applesauce in 2 weeks.

3. Instead of going in to town to get groceries and fresh air yesterday, I took a nap. We are now out of bread and applesauce.

2.  Our couches look like crime scenes with permanent outlines of bodies from being sat in so much.

1. Apparently it is Valentine’s Day?!??? And the most romantic thing my husband could give me is 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I’d settle for 9…

 

Linked up to Oh Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday

 

How to make homemade laundry detergent

I have a family of sensitive skinned people. I can only use “free” detergents. No fabric softener. No dryer sheets. Sigh… Our laundry never smelled “clean” to me. Then a few years ago I decided to try to make my own detergent. This is absurdly easy and cheap to do. Using this detergent costs my family around $20 a year.  In less than 10 minutes (more like less than 5), I can make enough detergent to last my family of 6 months. Unless I leave the container open and it vibrates off my washing machine and spills. Not that that’s ever happened, though…

Here we go.

You need the following

Washing Soda- this is similar to baking soda, but doesn’t suds. I get this from my local grocery store in the laundry detergent section. It’s $2-3 per box which will last at least a year.

Borax- This is also in the laundry detergent section. Again about $3 per box and it’ll last more than a year.

Fels Naptha- This has been around for forever. It’s a bar stain remover and is amazing for stain removal! You can use other bar soaps, like castile soaps or Dove. I’ve always used Fels Naptha and my family has not had any sensitivities to it.

 

 

Grate 1 bar of soap. A Fels Naptha bar equals 2 cups shredded. I use my cheese grater. I use the pokey side that you would use for Parmesan cheese. It takes me less than five minutes to grate a bar.

If I let my kids help, it takes longer. :) But seriously, this is so easy that a child can do it!

There’s always a little chunk that’s just too small to grate without slicing your fingers. I keep that for pretreating clothes!

So, to 2 cups grated soap I add 1 cup borax, and 1 cup washing soda.

I put a cover on it and shake. shake. shake!

Voila: Here it is! You can be done here unless you want to add some scent.

The fels naptha is VERY fragrant when you’re grating it, but the smell gets washed out in the washer, so I tried adding some essential oil to the soap. I put in a lot, a lot of tangerine oil- like half a bottle and the smell is there in clean clothes but faint. I love it!

I have a front load washer and use 1 Tablespoon for regular loads, 2 Tablespoons for big loads or extra dirty clothes.

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups fels naptha, grated (1 bar)
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda

Just keep the ratios the same and you can make in any quantity.

If you can’t find ingredients locally, Amazon.com sells them and there are lots of soap sites that sell them too.

Good luck!

If I can do it, anyone can!

 

I…

have had a very sick little toddler for the last 4 days.

have had a sick husband for the last 4 days.

have had everyone in my family (including me) sick at one point in the last 2 weeks.

am sleep deprived.

can’t remember the last time I showered.

am not sure what day it is.

hate our uncomfortable loveseat. It’s very noticeably uncomfortable when you’re sitting on it while holding a 25 pound miserably sick little boy for 23 out of 24 hours in a day for 4 days.

would commit murder for a lazyboy rocker. Only if delivery was included though.

spelled lazyboy wrong and don’t care.

had to run to our little local grocery store today. I threw my hair in a greasy ponytail and put a jacket over my Riley-drool covered shirt.

at least brushed my teeth before I went.  You’re welcome grocery store owners!

am grateful for Netflix’s streaming content.

have been watching Hoarders with Riley while I hold his poor sick little self late at night.

find it interesting (and sad) the number and variety of animals owned by hoarders. Bonus- that’s what keeps Riley’s interest and distracts him from crying.

made veggie soup for my sick family with the chicken broth I made for the blog. Then I felt like Martha Stewart- minus the felony conviction.

am irrationally ragey because I’m worn out and stressed out by toddler with high fever.

am migrainey from the sleep deprivation and the evil loveseat.

am pretty sure that I have the noisiest kids in the world.

am grateful that Ethan’s making pancakes for dinner tonight. Otherwise it would have been crackers and bread. Maybe butter on the bread.

have the coolest almost 10 year old in the world. He ground the wheat for the pancakes people!

can not wait for everyone in my house to be healthy.

plan on running away and sleeping for 3 days straight once everyone’s healthy.

wish that could actually happen.

made peanut butter, banana, almond milk smoothies and they were awesome.

just had my hair pulled really hard by Riley. Twice. Apparently he’s feeling better.

have seen enough Phineas and Ferb in the last few weeks to last a lifetime. I hate netflix streaming.

just got head butted by Riley. He’s definitely feeling better.

wonder why I didn’t conquer the world before I had kids. What did I do all day? More importantly, why didn’t I sleep more?

wonder if there’s a way to tell if a drumstick was a right or left leg on a chicken.

used to think little elves lived up in stoplights and pulled a lever to change the color. The elves who couldn’t cook or were more technically inclined. I totally grew out of that when I was 25  a long time ago…

am going to bed now. Yay….

am sorry you wasted minutes of your life reading this drivel. I would give you a refund if I could.