Monday, February 22, 2021

Gratitude for the Week - 2/22/21

Good morning and happy Monday! It's 6am as I begin to type this blog post. Delaney (11wks) woke up for her bottle around 5:30. She was still sleepy enough to go right back to sleep after she finished. Piper (6yrs) is still sleeping (which is rare) and so I quietly scoot downstairs to grab a small cup of hot coffee that my husband brewed moments ago. I say a quick good morning to him as he's getting ready in the bathroom, grab my prayer journal from my desk and head on back upstairs to our bedroom. As I reach the top of the stairs I pause for a moment, both the girls are quiet in the rooms and I breath a sigh of contentment. I think about how grateful I am for this family of mine; for the season we're in. It's so, so sweet.

Now, that's a great way to start a Monday - with gratitude. As I mentioned at the beginning of this year (last month), my focus word for 2021 is gratitude. 

Here are a few things I'm grateful for this week...

New Mercies - Lamentations 3:22-23

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

To be quite honest, I had a grumpy day yesterday and not for any single or good reason. I'd like to blame it on the postpartum hormones and I will blame it on that a little. This morning, I am feeling better already and the difference from yesterday to this morning just reminded me of God's mercies and how they are new every morning. Even more, His mercies are available to us any time of day or night. I don't know about you, but it is so comforting in knowing that His love and mercies will never come to an end for us. Being grateful for this would be an understatement, but we'll start there.

Medical Care

If you didn't already know, we're coming out of an incredibly hard week. Last Monday at this time we were sitting in the ER with our 10 week old daughter. She had a fever of 104.7 and we had no idea why. She was going through a slew of tests and, we had some hard and quick decisions to make. Thankfully, it all turned out okay. Two days later we found out she had an amoxicillin resistant UTI. She is on the correct medicine now and has 4 more days of taking the yucky stuff day and night before it's all over. As much as I hate putting that medicine into her body, I am so grateful to have the correct medicine to help her little body fight this infection that could easily turn worse and spread to her bladder and kidneys.

God's Care in Difficult Times - Romans 8

If you've been with us over the years, you know we've been through multiple challenges with miscarriage and loss. This most recent health scare with Delaney was very triggering of my grief from those losses and also triggered a fear of facing another loss. As for my fear, I feel as though God wants to gently take my hand and direct me to Romans 8:15 and 18. 

Romans 8:15

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"

Romans 8:18 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us.

I am grateful for the comfort of knowing God cares for us and He works all things out for our good (Romans 8:28) and His glory.

Well, now it's 7:15am. My husband has already come in to kiss me goodbye and has left for work. Piper and Delaney are both awake and in my bed with me as I finish up this post for the day (as you can see in these photos).

It's time for me to go get some breakfast into these girls and start the day! I hope this gratitude post gives you some hope and sparks a posture of gratitude for your day, as well.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

VLOG: *FULL* Winter Night Routine with a Newborn + Kindergartener

This season of life when we have a newborn and a Kindergartener is quickly slipping away. Only another couple of weeks and we will no longer have a "newborn" in the house. Delaney will soon be 3 months old! Before this season passes, I wanted to document life as it is currently. Here's a look into our night routine with a newborn and a Kindergartner:


I hope you know that no night is ever truly the same in our home but we have fallen into certain rhythms. I also wanted to mention that I'd think typically you would see our Kindergartener doing homework in the evenings but since we've had the privilege of schooling her from home this year we get all of our school work done during the day! Not sure if I should say it's all "home"work in that sense or if there's no homework! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed a look into our nightly rhythm in this special season of life we're in.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Gratitude for a Hard Week

Well, this was a crazy week. 

In case you missed it, this week started out with an emergency visit to the hospital with our 10 week old daughter. We left without answers but later the next day we got the news that she was battling a urinary tract infection that came back positive with her urine cultures. 

Then the morning after we began her antibiotic we got the news that they needed to change her prescription because the infection was immune to amoxicillin. 

Later that day, our furnace broke while it was 14 degrees outside. At that point I was ready to throw in the towel, but gratitude got the best of my heart.

Sick baby... grateful for easily accessible medical care and an easy treatment

Broken furnace... grateful for a husband that could leave work early to fix and restore heat to our home

Exhausted body and mind... grateful that I have a family to love and care for, and grateful for any rest I do get

Whenever the fatigue of the moment gets to me, I try to focus on what I am grateful for and it really does help. Those are just the very basics of my gratitude, here. I could go on and on with the things I am grateful for this week. 

I am so glad I have been setting time aside for prayer and reflection each day. I think the hard stuff from this week could have easily gotten the best of me without the right priorities, perspective and mindset.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Medical Emergency with a Newborn in a Pandemic + Ash Wednesday

I originally had a different post planned for today but something hard has come up that I must share.

On Sunday night, our 10 week old baby, Delaney, randomly spiked a fever of 103.3°. We waited an hour, trying to manage it at home but her fever had only continued to rise to 104.7°. We had to very quickly make a call to her doctor’s office, who advised us to take her to the emergency room immediately. As you can imagine, it was terrifying to so suddenly need to take your 10 week old into the ER in the middle of the night during a pandemic. The fever came on so quickly. None of us saw this coming. It felt like something of a nightmare. It was hard to adjust to the reality we were in. 

When we initially arrived at the ER, I had to go in alone with Delaney. They wouldn’t allow Nick back with us. That was hard. I did gently push back on that protocol and I’m thankful they did eventually allow him to join us in the emergency room. I needed him there with us in so many ways. He needed to be there, too.

Being 10 weeks postpartum (all the hormones), and having suffered two consecutive miscarriages prior to Delaney, this experience shook me in a unique way that only some could understand. To be honest, I’m still trying to understand and process it all myself. 

It would be lot to process for anyone. In one moment I am rocking my healthy baby to sleep and then a couple hours later I am in a bright sterile room in the middle of the night, surrounded by nurses and doctors in masks, and the baby in my arms is now burning up, and I’m scared, and my husband isn’t allowed to be with me, and I’m keenly aware that my other daughter will be waking up without all of us at home (my mom was with her). It was a lot.

We found out quickly that babies under 3 months old who present themselves in the emergency room with this severe of a fever automatically get bloodwork, catheter and a lumbar puncture/spinal tap. They need to quickly find the source of the fever through all of this testing so they can act appropriately depending on what is causing it.

After their initial check over Delaney, the doctor ordered her a chest X-ray, first. The X-ray came back negative for pneumonia. Next, it was time for bloodwork. This is when I really needed Nick. He stayed with Delaney while I left the room, because painful baby cries and postpartum hormones don’t go well together for a very fragile loss mom. I knew I needed to protect my mental health in that moment more than she needed me sitting helplessly in that room. Nick was with her, and I was able to step away and read prayers from my friends and spend some time with God.

Nick texted me when she was settled down and I rejoined them in the room until it was time for the catheter to check urine. I had to leave again for this part. They also did the COVID swab while I was outside the room. I’m so grateful Nick could be there for her during those moments.

It took hours but ultimately we found out that her blood, urine and nose swab all came back negative. No infections, no COVID, no RSV, no influenza. No answers.

The next and final thing they do for babies of this age is the spinal tap to check the spinal fluid. At this time, Delaney’s fever was being managed with Tylenol. We had prayed for proper discernment and decided to not have the spinal tap done for Delaney. We were discharged with a diagnosis of “fever of unknown origin” that afternoon.

We are now back home, safe and well. We are so grateful for our community of friends and family that were praying us through this time. We are blessed to say that Delaney’s fever broke late on Monday night and she is on the mend. She began acting more normal throughout the day yesterday. We even got a few smiles out of her! 

Last night, we got a call back from her pediatrician informing us that her urine cultures (which we weren't informed we were still waiting on) came back positive for a UTI. Thankfully they called in the prescription within the hour of our pharmacy's closing time and we got her the first dose of amoxicillin in before she went to sleep. We are so grateful to have an answer now, and an easy treatment for her.

Today is Ash Wednesday and if you were with me last year you may know how God used Ash Wednesday as a pivotal moment in our journey of trying to expand our family of 3 to 4. If you weren’t here with us last year, you can read more about that experience here: Jesus Will Not Let Us Sink.

As a brief recap, in the days leading up to it, I could feel God placing it on my heart that I needed to give up fear for Lent. At the time, I was very recently recovering from my second consecutive miscarriage in six months. I did not want to even think about trying for another baby so soon but for some reason I felt very strongly to pray about it. I didn't receive an easy yes or no answer as to whether or not it was the right time to try again but, what I did receive from Him was the call to give up my fear and fully depend on and trust in Him. Long story short, four weeks after Ash Wednesday, I found out I was pregnant with Delaney.

The reason I share this is because I do not find it all that surprising that this health scare with Delaney occurred in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday this year. I am not going to pretend to know why God allows certain things to happen but I can say that any time something hard happens it generally opens my eyes to how I much I need Him, and my trust in Him then grows.

This year, for Lent, I am giving up self-reliance. I feel a thirst for His word; to dive deeper in to it daily and to explore more of who He truly is. I want to strip away any of the things I think of Him that are untrue due to a simple unawareness.

Psalms 63:1-5

O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Healthy Living Quick Tips: Snacks

Happy Monday! I'm back with another post of some quick tips for healthy living. Today, I'm going to be sharing some tips on how to fit in more healthy snacks throughout your days. And when I'm thinking of healthy snacks, I'm thinking for myself and for my child!

TIP #1

Snack prep for the week ahead.

If you follow my Instagram (@goaloflosing100) then you already saw this beautiful photo of our healthy snacks prepped and ready for the week ahead!

I've found that I'm more likely to grab a healthy snack for myself and my child throughout the week if it's already prepped and less work for the grab and go. I guess this is less of a quick tip because it does take some time on the weekend to prep it all, but I've found it to be worth the time saved throughout the week, which is when we are much more busy and I have much less hands (while carrying a newborn around with me).

TIP #2

Choose a fresh fruit for your morning snack when you can.

I don't know about you, but I am much more willing to eat fresh fruit in the mornings. I'm often grabbing a fruit (strawberries/grapes/kiwi/apple/banana) paired with a string cheese for my myself and my daughter's morning snack. Doing so has helped us to fit more fresh fruit in to our days!

TIP #3

Mix it up.

Some weeks we have strawberries on hand, other weeks we have blueberries. Changing it up really helps keep my daughter (and myself) interested in eating healthier snacks. 

I also want to say that choosing healthier snacks for yourself does not have to mean only choosing fruit and/or vegetables. I personally consider it a win anytime we are able to make a healthier compromise on snacks in our house! A more recent example for me has been swapping out the granola bars we use to purchase with a higher fiber bar. If you're eating less than healthy snacks but want to make a change, try to find a healthier version of what you already enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2021

VLOG: Piper's 6th Birthday

If you had a birthday in the past year, my guess is that it was affected by the pandemic in some way. Our daughter recently turned 6 years old. Since we have a newborn at home, we had to be extra safe with our birthday party planning. 

We decided to keep all the celebrating between the 4 of us at home. We also rented an indoor bounce house facility to ourselves for a bit. It was a lot of fun for us all!

Enjoy this short video of the birthday celebration for Piper!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Delaney Jane: Two Months

Baby Laney turned 2 months old this past Thursday! I can't believe how fast time is flying by with this second baby. She is still considered a newborn, but I can see the many ways that season is coming to an end after this month.


First of all, she's got some awesome head and neck control. She loves to be held upright so she can look around at everything. She also started smiling at the sight of us and has been letting out some quiet chuckles. Really nothing beats walking over to her just to be greeted with the biggest, most pure-loving smile at the sight of our faces. She is so, so sweet.

As for sleep at 2 months old, she is doing great! She gives us anywhere between  4 - 7 hour sleep intervals at night! Honestly, she gives us more 7 hour intervals than not. I always get nervous to talk about sleep, though. I feel like in the past I would talk about how good of a sleeper Piper was and then it seemed to change the next day. However, I'd like to believe we have a good sleeper on our hands! At least until the "4 month sleep regression" hits. We'll just enjoy the sleep we're getting now while we're getting it!

Some of Delaney's favorite things at 2 months old are:

- bath time
- car rides
- listening to and watching her sister
- cooing
- smiling*
- holding up her head in an upright position to look all around
- long walks in our arms around the house
- listening to the shower and blow dryer

Some things that Delaney is not so fond of include:

- stopping at red lights while in the car
- the witching hour(s) in the evening (not so often but still occasionally)
- getting dried off after bath time
- laying flat on her back (we're making progress on this, though)
- tummy time
- gas pains (not happening as often, now)

These past two months have gone by so incredibly fast. This is my reminder to slow down and continue to just soak up each moment because babies don't keep. This is also my reminder to try and pick up my camera more because this photo from Piper's birthday is the only picture I have of Delaney from last month on my camera.


Don't worry! I have more pictures of her from this past month. They were just all taken on my phone because my phone is more easily accessible in these moments. Here they are:























Delaney Jane, we love you, sweet girl!

Monday, February 8, 2021

Healthy Living Quick Tips: Water

I don't know about you but it's always harder for me to drink my water in the winter months. We live in an area that gets quite frigid during winter and I'd much rather have another cup of coffee than a cold water this time of year. I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

Today, I'm going to share a few of my healthy living quick tips surrounding water intake! Here's the first one:

TIP #1

Invest in a BIG water bottle.

The bigger the bottle, the less you're going to need to refill it throughout the day. In my case, the less I need to refill my bottle, the less excuse I have to not be drinking my water. It doesn't hurt to invest in a good looking bottle, too. If you've got water goals, you're going to be keeping your bottle nearby at all times so you may want to make sure it's a bottle you like looking at. 



(Shoutout to my awesome husband for gifting me this cute water bottle for my birthday)

TIP #2

Drink a full bottle of water before coffee. 

I don't ever drink as much coffee as I do when I just had a baby. Coffee has never been a favorite of mine but it's quite necessary during this season of life. Add in the cold months of winter and I've been drinking at least two cups a day. In my case, a full bottle of water is 40oz of water before coffee. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does I feel better and get more water in throughout my day.

TIP #3

Try an add-in to help increase your water intake.

Basically, this one is a "do what you gotta do" kind of tip. Just try and make sure your add-ins aren't adding too many extra calories into your diet. 

When I was pregnant with Delaney, the taste of straight water made me sick. I quickly realized that I needed to use some sort of an add-in to help me drink the amount of water needed to keep a healthy pregnancy. In the beginning, I used fresh lemon. Then, after a month or so the lemon water started making me feel queasy. That's when I moved on to mixing Gatorade Zero into my water. I used that add-in until about 1 month postpartum when I could finally stand the taste of straight water, again. Hallelujah!

I hope these quick tips help you reach your water goals! If you have another quick tip for helping increase water intake that isn't listed here, please let us know in a comment below.

Friday, February 5, 2021

VLOG: Safe at Home for the Holidays

Happy Friday, everyone! 

Today, I am sharing a video of footage taken over the time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was such a special time for our family as we welcomed Delaney shortly after Thanksgiving. It was so special to have her here with us for Christmas and this video gives you a glimpse into what that season was like for our family. I hope you enjoy!



For more videos like this one, you can follow me over on YouTube: www.youtube.com/goaloflosing

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

*FULL* Day in the Life with a Newborn + Kindergartener {while remote learning}

Hello, hello! If you're wondering what a full day in the life has been looking like around here lately, you're in for a treat. I tried to document as much of my day as possible to give you a real look into our typical weekday with a newborn and a Kindergartener. 

This season won't last long (Delaney only has one more month where she still qualifies as a "newborn") and so I want to savor and share as much of this time as I can!

(photo of me taken by my Kindergartener in the middle of our day)

Disclaimer: this post is two weeks in the making! I documented a day in our life from a couple weeks ago it's taken me this long to get all the pictures up and coordinated with the timeline. I hope you enjoy how it all came out!

5:45am

Piper (6yrs) and Delaney (6wks) both wake up at the same time. My husband, Nick, is still home and getting ready for work. Piper goes downstairs with him and gets breakfast (fruit loops) while I feed, burp, and re-swaddle Delaney upstairs. (Delaney’s last feed prior to this time was at 2:30am and my sweet husband took that feeding.)


6:15am


Devotional time in bed for me with Delaney sleeping nearby. She only needs picked up once during this time. I rock her a little bit more and then she's fully asleep for her nap.


Disclaimer: Delaney only sleeps this way (with props + blankets) when I’m nearby. I lay her elsewhere when I leave the room.

6:30am - 7:30am 


Nick is leaving for work at 6:30 this morning. His leave time varies by day but generally he has been trying to stay with us as long as he can during these first three months postpartum. That is such a treat for us in this season.



I take the monitor downstairs, say good morning to Piper, give her the kindle (she has to wait until 7am and gets it for an hour). I unload the dishwasher, fill bottles with water for the day’s feedings (I am weening off breastfeeding at this point), fill my water bottle, set out the crockpot for dinner (to remind myself later in the morning), get myself some coffee and breakfast (which was a granola bar because Laney was starting to stir).


7:30am 


I see on the monitor that Laney’s awake for the day (or so I think)! Piper and I go upstairs, we say good morning to Delaney, I pick her up and she falls back asleep in my arms. That doesn’t usually happen! I sit with Piper for a bit while she shows me her new Kindle game. Laney is still sleeping so I embrace the ability to rock her while she sleeps a little while longer before starting my upstairs tidy routine.


7:45am


Laney wakes up for the day (again). I change her diaper and feed her. I do my upstairs tidy routine with both girls upstairs. I make the beds that need made, gather all the bottles from nighttime feeds, pack the basket with anything we need to take downstairs for the day (bottle warmer, water cups from overnight, etc). I help make sure Piper gets dressed, I grab my clothes for the day and we all head downstairs.



P.S. If you live in a two-story home with bedrooms upstairs, "the basket" is an amazing parent hack for making life easier, especially in this season of life.

8:30am 


Piper’s teacher has posted her lessons for the day. I start to review them while I pump and Laney swings beside me. (Moms are multi-tasking heroes in this way.) Piper zooms around on her scooter (we count it as gym class). I go back and forth between talking with Laney and Piper and lesson prepping for the day.



9:00am


Laney is down for another nap. Piper and I begin her school day! The newborn stage has a lot of naps and it works well for this season of remote learning.



10:00am


Snack time for Piper and shower time for me. 



Somedays I manage to shower before Nick leaves for work, in that case I would swap the dishwasher routine from earlier this morning to now. Delaney was still sleeping (until 10:15) and so I started curling my hair. I was going to put on make-up (for you) but Delaney woke up and so you get this no-make-up picture of me instead.



10:30am


Delaney's diaper is changed and now it's time to feed her. 



After I burp her, I talk to her a bit. She is cooing and smiling back at us now which is so much fun! While she swings nearby, I prep lunch for Piper. Leftovers are everything these days! I also throw dinner in the slow cooker.



11:00am


Delaney is back down for a nap and so it's time to start he second half of Piper's school day!



12:00pm


Delaney wakes up. Time for a diaper change. She doesn't seem hungry quite yet and so we chat a bit (cooing/smiling) while Piper and I eat lunch. Delaney eats around 12:30 and goes back down for a nap. I swap the laundry that is ever in progress these days.



1:00pm 


Calendar time for Piper! This is the live session she has every day with her teacher and classmates. Over the course of the school year, Piper has become more independent with calendar time and so I am able to do a quick downstairs tidy routine while she meets with her class until about 1:15-1:30pm.



1:30-2:30pm


While Delaney is still napping, I swap and fold some laundry. I play with Piper and I fit in a little rest for myself, too. I've been on the go all day! 



This is the time of day that I start to get sleepy. Second coffee usually happens around this time. And then, before we know it...



2:30pm - 3:30pm


Delaney is awake. I give her a diaper change and feed her around 3pm. She hangs out with us for a while and then goes falls asleep for a nap in my arms around 3:30/3:45. I clean up all the school work on the table to prepare it for dinner time.


4:00pm


Nick gets home! I hand Delaney over to him and finish making and plating our dinner.



4:30-5:00pm


Eat dinner with the family while Delaney snoozes in her swing. Nick and Piper play in the living room while I clean up dinner and run the dishwasher. If I don't run the dishwasher right after dinner, it happens during our night tidy routine.




5:00pm


This was a special night for me because I was heading out to Target (which hadn't happened in far too long) to get party supplies for Piper's birthday (video of this coming soon on my YouTube channel)! Delaney is starting to wake up as I leave. Nick feeds her around 5:30pm.



Our "day" ends there and then the night routine begins!