Welcome Wendy

Wendy is visiting us from Australia. She spent two weeks in Washington, a week in LA and is now finishing up her vacation in San Diego. Since both my husband and I have to work and she’s staying with us, we decided to recruit a few friends to keep her busy during the last part of her stay. She’s going to the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Balboa Park as well as some girl time with some of the ladies from church. We are so thankful she is able to stay with us and we hope she will be able to take back some wonderful memories with her to Australia.

Knowing dads voice

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A couple weeks ago Luke brought home Children’s Illustrated Bible. He told me he wanted to start reading to our son so that when he was born he would know his voice. Every night since, Luke will read a couple stories from the children’s bible and we will pray.

Thank you God for putting the motivation and desire on my husbands heart to want to reading and pray to our unborn son. I am overjoyed that they are bonding as father and son even though he is still in the womb and I know when he is born he will know exactly who daddy is. For me, that is just the sweetest thing.

Some people may not realize, but by 28 weeks a baby is already able to see, hear, touch and have a sense of smell. All the organs, muscles, eyes, hands and feet, brain, ears and even hair are developed by this time. A baby has established sleeping patterns and when awake they are practicing their reflexes by kicking, moving, sucking his thumbs and stretching. There is an actual little person inside me!

What is Fear

In America we have so many freedoms that others do not experience, so why do we bind ourselves with fear? Is some fear healthy? I don’t know for sure, but I do know from my experience that when I educate myself in the areas where I find myself afraid, I find understanding and peace. And when I choose to dwell on the unknown and hope for the best, I am plagued with anxiety and stress. I guess that’s the key…facing a fear head on. Then why is facing a fear such a challenge? Let’s start by describing the attributes of fear. Fear = anxiety, apprehension, cold feet, consternation, dismay, distress, dread, fear, fright, horror, nervousness, panic, scare, strain, stress, tension, terror, trepidation, unease, uneasiness. Think about how unhealthy we would feel if we experienced these emotions on a dialy basis. This is not how God intended us to live our lives. For God said in Phillippians 4:6-13:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

By trusting in God, fear is not what controls a Christian any longer. Relinquishing control and fear to God is actually freeing and lightens the daily burdens we carry so that we can rejoice through our trials. If you were able to take all the attributes of fear out of your life, how would you feel? Joyful and at peace-right? How could you not! I’m not saying that being a Christian means that you won’t face fear, but we have a God who promises to give us strength and encouragement through our trials as well as courage and wisdom to fight the good fight.

Exercising my gifts

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Some people know that I enjoy photography. I haven’t been practicing like I should because I have been preoccupied with all that life has on my plate right now, but thankfully a friend of mine gave me a wonderful reason to exercise my gifting. She asked if I would be so kind as to take pictures of her newborn son, Silas. I was more than happy to oblige and looked forward to using my camera again. I just love seeing the smiles on peoples faces when they view them for the first time. I hope she will be able to pick one for her birth announcement.

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I miss Seattle

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P.S. I miss Seattle

Last October my husband and I took this amazing trip to Seattle and as October is fast approaching I am reminded of that wonderful trip. The foliage was breathtaking, the bodies of water were glossy, the mountains were covered with clouds, the air was crisp, the mist of rain, the smell of nature…so beautiful. Maybe someday we’ll have the chance to move to Washington, but for now it will be a fond memory that I can only hope to recreate in the future.

What is a doula?

Until about a year ago, I had no idea what a doula was until my friend Kathleen told me she was going to interview a doula for her birth. The concept seemed so foreign to me at the time, but after hearing the benefits of what a doula would provide for her, I was intrigued. Did you know that doula’s or childbirth professionals/attendants have been around for centuries? I sure didn’t.

Now that I’m pregnant it has been my quest to gain more information on the birthing process. In that quest I have come across through my reading a new understanding of the birthing process, exercises, breathing techniques, positions, medication warnings as well as the benefits of having a birthing attendant as well as a doula. A doula is a childbirth professional who assists the mother before and during the labor process. I have also found that talking to moms that have already experienced childbirth to be very helpful (keep in mind that advice shouldn’t be taken too literally and should be researched on your own before taking their word for it. Everyone has different experiences with births and your birth will most likely differ from their). I love hearing what they went through as what they have learned from it all. The best advice that I’ve learned so far is to always ask the doctor if there are alternative treatments (saying no is not always the best) and to also bring the childbirth book that was most helpful and informative with you to the hospital and have certain pages tagged so you can quickly flip for a quick reference when doctors are wanting you to make important decisions on your birth such as a C-section or taking pain medictaion. Another comment I have been hearing more and more women wanting and looking for are doula’s for their births.

Doula’s sure seem to be becoming more and more popular and I can understand why now that I’ve read more about them as well as heard stories of women who have been assisted by one. Doula’s don’t come cheap though. If you are interested in finding a doula, you may want to check out an online website called San Diego Doula Services or check out the Birth Resource Network. They do a great job explaining what the benefits of hiring a doula are and may help you make that choice. As for me, my husband and I are still weighing the cost and the importance and comfort of having extra support while laboring. It’s sad, but it’s the truth. You can easily spend $600 or more on a doula, but as many women I know that have had the help of a doula, say it is well worth every penny and some.

La Leche League San Diego, California

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A long time friend of mine, Crystal, invited me to attend a La Leche meeting last night. She told me how the group had benefited her greatly after the birth of her daughter and how she is now an active member. She also explained that the topic of the evening was breastfeeding. Since I am pretty much clueless as to what that completely entails other than it has something to do with my boob, food for my child and my baby, I agreed to go. I had never heard of the La Leche League previously, but because my friend encouragement me to attend and I am trying to absorb as much information as possible before my baby is born I figured it couldn’t hurt. Man, am I glad I went.

Here is a brief, yet thorough description of what the La Leche League is (also found on there website):

La Leche League is a nonprofit nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing information, encouragement and support to women who wish to breastfeed their babies. Our meetings are led by volunteer mothers who have happily and successfully breastfed their own children and have subsequently been accredited by LLL International. The breastfeeding information presented by LLL Leaders has been approved by the LLL International Medical Advisory Board of physicians and professionals recognized as experts in their field.

LLL helps mothers by sharing information and by giving mother-to-mother support. As you turn to us for encouragement, we turn to you for your help. Your support is needed in continuing LLL services to mothers who need us. Would you like to become a member or send us a donation? We are a nonprofit organization. Your $40 annual membership includes the bimonthly magazine NEW BEGINNINGS, discounted Area Conference registration, and library privileges. Your membership or donation helps us to maintain our telephone message service, buy books for group libraries, provide handouts at our meetings and print and mail meeting notices.”

I was encouraged to see a diverse group of women attend last night. There were three pregnant women and all the others had children ranging from newborns to young children. The women were not shy about talking about their personal experiences with breastfeeding or any other topic and that made me feel at ease. They were also not shy about breastfeeding during our group discussion. To them it was completely normal and natural to breastfeed and they didn’t let it interfere with being in a social environment. As a mother to be, this was enlightening and helped me to see how natural breastfeeding, motherhood and birth really is. I look forward to connecting with these women through their monthly meetings, weekly play groups or just e-mailing and calling with random questions I come up with. That’s another thing…I loved that they offered me their contact information that night and said I could e-mail or call anytime with questions. They even said that when I’m in labor and have a question I can call and they would be happy to help me as best they could. I love that!

Tummy Tattoos

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My husband actually found this item on Perpetual Kid. “Touch My Tummy Tattoos” (see picture above) are temporary tattoos that can be applied to a pregnant women’s tummy to say such things as “please don’t touch my tummy” or “feel here.” I personally wouldn’t want to put temporary tattoos all over my tummy, but I’m sure there are a lot of pregnant women in this world that would think this was the funniest and greatest thing ever and the website does say it’s a “baby shower best seller” so it must be great. I guess you could look at it as an inexpensive way to gain a laugh of two or at least a few funny and questionable faces once you lift your shirt to expose your tummy. What will they think of next?

The Mini Safe Baby Handling Kit

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My husband forwarded me a website yesterday by the name of Perpetual Kid. They have a ton of random gag gifts and novelty items to choose from. Most of them are something you would throw in your junk draw after a week, but some of them are actually memorable and funny…or maybe it’s just me. The Mini Safe Baby Handling Kit (see picture) for example got my attention because it reminded me of when our friends were given a kit like this and how we were cracked up reading the riduculous quotes and baby warnings that were written on each sticker. I’m not sure if this is the same kit or not, but it still made me smile and reminisce of our laughter fest awhile back.

Perpetual Kid explains their product to “Make new parenthood a blast! Included here are hilarious “do’s and don’ts” on caring for your bundle of joy, a small “Who’s gonna do it?” spinner to help parents negotiate childrearing duties, and other components that will keep moms and dads laughing during the sleepless nights.” Now don’t you just want to go out and buy it?