Questions God Asks Review

41JUhtlJY1L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_I don’t normally review books but when I heard this one had Christian content, I thought why not.  This book was very easy to read.  This comes from someone who writes books with list of 50 things!  Each question is listed with a very good explanation.  Each one contains a story too which really helps me.  This is a great book to read a little every night.  Or even when you have time away from the kids. Please let me know if you want to borrow the book because I have a paperback copy.

The description of the book is: God knows all things. Yet, as strange as it may seem to us, the Bible is filled with questions that God asks. These questions assist us in understanding both our Maker and ourselves. Examine fundamental assumptions about God, human nature, relationships, origins, purpose and destiny in this revealing book. Stop demanding answers from God and begin answering the questions.  He asks of us.

Click here for more information about the book.

Bye Bye Baby- Pregnancy #2

X4e0Qq6I am going to share with you the story of our babies short life.  I can only do this after support of family and friends and time.  I have researched and read many stories online so I hope this story finds someone who needs it on their search. I am known for my internet research (Getting a Doctorate in Educational Technology now) so as soon as I found out I went all over the internet including reading medical references and just stories from people.  There are many numbers out there but 10-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.

This has been a long emotional week for my family and I.  After 12 weeks of a hard pregnancy, we found out in an ultrasound that the baby did not have a heart beat.  Not only the heart was not working we later found out but there was also a lot of fluid  in the baby.  Meaning that the baby was most likely something that would have never survived or had a healthy life out in the womb.

But the world did not know this until this ultrasound.  I was having a very hard and tiring pregnancy. Since I had a hard pregnancy with my first child, I hoped it would not be the case but it happening again was not that surprising.  Looking back at it now I think it was much harder.  But that is what Moms do, just keep going. Even last week I could barley stand for all the songs at church and put my head down for the sermon.

So the three of us (husband, daughter, and I) went in for our normal 12 week ultrasound on Thursday.  She started measuring and we saw our baby at correct size.  Then they told us sadly that our baby did not have a heart beat.  At first it registered as a fact.  This first stage neither of us were that sad.  It was like almost hearing news on tv.  Like it did not apply to us.

They let us sit in another room while a Physician Assistant (PA) (Doctor was out that day) came to talk to us.  Our little girl was squirming because she was bored.  We hugged and kissed her and felt extra blessed to have her and her there with us that day.  After the PA talked to us it felt a little more real.  She said she recommended a D and C -Dilation and Curettage Procedure).  We were asking what happened next because both of us did not even look into this possibility before.  We left and went home.  No ultrasound picture and apparently no viable baby.

The first hour was hard.  Who do we tell?  Are they sure they are right? How do we tell people? I then went into all the things that won’t happened as planned.  No summer due date.  No sibling for my daughter.  Not having kids 2 1/2 years apart.  It does not matter who takes our daughter when I deliver or who goes with us to have the baby.  I found a quote online that said something like “We were not expecting a baby we were expecting a life”.  I thought we had so many years to grow and learn together.

I have to admit we were very open about telling multiple people at an early time.  I am still glad we did.  We shared on facebook, Charlie The Cavalier, and others. I even wrote about my first pregnancy that became a book with 3,000 download and over million blog views.  This time we even took video of how we told people which I will always have now.  So you could imagine a little more how hard it was to tell these people one by one.

But in my faith I realize that this baby had a life.  The baby has brought us love, joy, patience, and kindness.  Us as in the world.  Every person who reads this.  Every doctor, nurse, and helper we saw at the hospital yesterday.  Every person who read the message on facebook because they are close friend or someone we have not seen for years.  Our second baby touched many lives.  People felt emotions that they will never be able to take away. I hope these emotions will help them in the future in their own walks of life.

After calling a few people, and my husband was there every step of this process I went to the internet.  I read and read.  So many sad stories but helpful stories in our journey.  What was the next step? After much thought and a decision from both of us we decided for the D and C.  There was really only two options.  I could have my body naturally birth the baby (which could be a long process, and all the stuff may not come out so we would have to do a D and C anyway.) Or a medical procedure in the OR.  Since I am not a medical doctor I will define a D and C here:  Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a brief surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated and a special instrument is used to scrape the uterine lining.  I did not bleed at all even the day before surgery so I knew a natural birth would take while.  My water did break the night before but still no bleeding. But we decided on the D and C.

This is where it got weird for me and I will share this part of the story for others (may get weird here).  So they scheduled the D and C for Monday.  4 nights and 3 days away.  I got really upset.  I am going to have a dead baby in my body for all this time!  I live in America people, why can’t you take it out right now?  There were so many emotions at this point.  The next morning was a Friday so I called to have it done that day.  No openings, and no willingness to let me go somewhere else. The baby was in there until Monday.  At this point I started to lose my pregnancy nausea and sickness.  After 2 months of it I started to feel physically better.  Energy again and wanting healthy food for my body, but still too sad to actually cook for myself.

Looking back this time was good.  We got to morn and say good bye.  The baby was not hurting me and for thousands of years and still now woman’s amazing bodies can do a great job of releasing the baby itself.  But I had to go though the entire weekend with a dead baby inside of me.  That night I ground my teeth so hard that my jaw was in more pain then I ever felt.  I took pain medicine for the first time in months, because I could now, and was still in jaw pain all day.  My husband said it was a physical manifestation of the pain I was feeling inside.  We told our daughter that there was no more baby but we knew she did not fully understand in the beginning so it was ok.  Later that week she did mimic my sad cry and I felt bad for that.  But this is part of life and I am sure she will sad cry herself one day.  That weekend we became closer as a family getting pictures with Santa and going to church. But Monday was coming and I was scared and relieved.

Much amazing love, stories, and food poured in to our house. My husband and I never felt this loved (even when we had our little girl).  We were not alone in this journey nor are we ever.  My husband and I have a good idea of our faith so it was not shook.  We knew this was not done to us or our fault.  We had close friends go though a similar journey last year that we tried to be there for.  But each thought of a baby is unique and we will never get them back. That same friend said our children are playing up there in heaven together.  If you think of the movie heaven, it would be nice to think that our grandparents are holding and playing with our little ones up there before we get a chance.  While that is not my complete thought of heaven, it is still a good thought on earth.

D and C

Monday finally arrived.  We drove to Danville, just the two of us, and as we always do on car trips we talked.  When we got there it was very overwhelming.  Big place to find a parking spot.  Long walk since we did not know where we were going.  A scary amount of people waiting in the Operating Room for loved ones.  Even a beeper to tell when when to get started.  I can’t even begin to tell you how strong and helpful my husband was though this entire process.  I get back to the table and get bombarded by papers.  Sign this.  I get wired up.  Sign this.  More wires.  Then the IV.  I don’t have the best veins so I was praying for a good one.  After digging around on my left hand they finally got it on my right.

This is when I got most scared.  How did I get myself here (I am an internal person).  This could have happened with our other daughter.  How could I let myself do this to my body again? I could find myself in this situation again.  There is where my anxiety really kicked in.  Nurses, doctors and assistant kept introducing themselves to me.  They would tell me their names and I would forget.  Rushing around occurred for paperwork, and wires.  Other patients were getting the same treatment around me.  Other people were being rolled by on stretchers.  What are they here for?  Are they ok?  Is there anyone else here for a similar procedure as I am today? When do I fall asleep so this can be over? Then they let me have a warm air blower on my bed which calmed me down.  I told them it was the best part of my day so far.

In case you were wondering, again not a doctor, I had an IV in, a blood pressure cuff on my arm.  The finger pulse thing.  Three electronic things on my chest.  Compression socks which this very nice nurse struggled to get on. And compression air bags around my legs to keep pressure while I was asleep.

The rest was a blur.  They put medicine in my IV, rolled me in to the OR, I was bright light, and people chatting and giggling (in a positive way) in a room and I was out.  I woke up pleasant but I still cried.  Happy it was over but sad it was done.

They let me have more medicine and it was time to go home.  Minimal bleeding was occurring and I was not in pain. I was wheeled out of the hospital as my husband picked me up in the car and we went home.

My parents were watching our daughter so it was nice to see them.  I was not tired so we chatted, ate, and I got to see them interact with our little girl which is always fun.  I was not in pain and very little bleeding.

Facebook

I wanted to share how we shared the news with others.  My husband wrote this and I appreciate it:

It has been a difficult few days for our family as we found out on Thursday that the baby did not have a heartbeat after growing for 11 weeks, 5 days. Our family has been extremely touched by all the love and support that we’ve received over the past few days (in the form of kind words, support, stories and food) from so many people. We know that this child was loved by so many even though the baby didn’t get to say hi. More than anything this child has left a lasting sense of love and hope on our family and while very sad for all of us, this will help us as we move forward.

Lisa is healthy and the doctor stressed that this will not put future pregnancies at increased risk.

After doing research on the internet there was not much from the subject.  We got many likes and comments which made us feel not alone.  Again, I am still happy we shared our babies life and journey with everyone, no matter how short.

Refection

I am glad that I got to do the D and C.  I did not love the medical stuff but I am glad it is over now.  The process could have been long and turned into the same procedure anyway.

I have read that some woman are able to hold their baby after giving birth at home.  While I would have liked that, that is not part of my story and does not happen for all women.

The ultrasound results in our reading show the baby would not have made it to full term.  It is nothing we did or could control.  Well probably what the lucky sperm and egg did.

I realize that I was more sick that I probably thought I was in the beginning.  I have energy and life again.  We hope to try again in the future for a different child.  We can never replace the one that we lost.  But hopefully I will be less sick with the next with a healthy child.  We called our first child the bell curve baby because almost everything she tested she was right in the middle.  Even born on her due date.

We feel blessed to have a healthy child, be healthy parents, and have the love and support that we do.  We will move forward changed people.  I said I feel like I aged 5 years in one week.  This time it was not from loosing sleep. We are grateful for the doctors, nurses, and support staff who helped us though this process.  I know they do this every day but this is a very personal thing to my family that they were there to support and bring us though.  We were strangers to them at one point but each one of them have made a difference.

 

IllBeThere

 

 

 

 

 

50 Things to Know Before Having a Baby

Here is a list of things of things that people have told me or I would have liked to have known before I had my little bundle of joy.  I hope they help you too! I am just a first time Mom, not a doctor, so not all my information may be accurate.  I am writing these tips as a new Mom with a two month old.   I have been very lucky to learn many of these tips from friends and family. Growing up I was not around children often. This is advice that I would give any friend or relative that will soon be a proud Mom.  This information may be different for everyone but I hope my experiences will help in one of the best events of a person’s life.  I hope you read this information and collect other information to make your own decisions.   If you are currently experiencing physical pain during your pregnancy remember the time will end.  You are slowly creating life!    By the way, if you are trying to conceive  you can buy test strips on amazon here.  They are much cheaper than at the store.  They sell ovulation test strips too.   

1. Write Down Questions

During the week you may have many questions, but when you get to the doctor you may forget them in your 10-minute appointment. I had so many questions thought the week, but when I went to my appointment I would forget or be too afraid to ask most of them.  Ask your doctor about parenting classes.  We found a free class at a local hospital.  The best part of the class was seeing a new infant being washed for the first time.  This class helped with some of our fears. If you don’t have time to fit a parenting class in your schedule, that Happiest Baby on the Block DVD may be something that you can watch when you have time.  If you don’t like taking prenatal pills because of their size, you can take a spoonful of liquid prenatal plus instead.  Heading Home with Your Newborn is advice from actual doctors that is a good source if you forgot to ask some important questions.  Do You Have Any Questions?: A Woman Doctor Answers the 100 Most Asked Questions About Pregnancy 
 

2. What Comes Out the Morning After Giving Birth

 It may feel like a heavy period after you give birth.  They provided me with heavy pads, ice packs, and a spray for the brush burns that I had down there.  Just be aware that may different things can occur.  A C-section may have different effects on your body.  You may get a heavy first period around 6 weeks after birth. This may be different for every person. Keep those extra giant maternity pads that they give you when you have your baby because you may need them in the future.

3. Wedding Ring

Your wedding ring may become may be too tight to wear like mine.   To make myself feel better to wear another ring on my ring finger while my hands were swollen.  They may not fit for a couple months after either. Here are some more Taboo Secrets of Pregnancy: A Guide to Life with a Belly.   

4. Laugh at Yourself

LOL!  Laugh when your jeans will not button.  Laugh when your belly button goes away or turns black and blue.  Laugh at yourself when you can’t believe how well a maternity shirt fits you.  Your body will change.  Some things will go back to how they were before and some won’t.  How lucky you are to have the body of someone who gave birth.  Many Women would love to have that ability.  By the way, those pregnancy feet may grow a little in size. 

5. Perineal Massage

Learn how to prepare the perineum for delivery.  “If you’re moving into your last trimester of pregnancy, chances are you’ve heard something about perineal massage—the practice of gently stretching the skin between the vagina and the anus in order to “condition” the tissues for birth. The theory is that having a more stretchable perineum lessens your chances of tearing during delivery, and that it may even help you avoid an episiotomy” (BabyZone.com).   This may help reduce tearing or the need for an episiotomy. Here is a book on Massage for Pregnancy.  An another book to Get Through Childbirth In One Piece!: How to Prevent Episiotomies and Tearing.  

6. The First Two Weeks Home

The first two weeks were hard for me and my partner.  My body was making big changes in a small amount of time.  Someone told me the first two weeks are the hardest but after that you will be fine.  I agree with that statement.  So just be mentally prepared because as hard as you try before pregnancy your body won’t be in the best physical shape right after having a baby.  You need to take care of yourself.  Along with taking your medicine, you need to take care of yourself.  Try  to change comfortable pajamas every day.  Also, try to shower every day. A shower will give you time to relax.  Once you will take a shower you realize how much it was really needed.  I also put a little makeup on each day to make myself feel better.  Remember to brush your teeth too! Here is a guide to 50 Things to Know in the First Year of Parenthood.  It would not hurt to read this now while you have time.   

7. GET HELP!!!

Just because someone comes over to watch the beautiful one for a while does not mean you failed!  It takes a whole village to raise a child is not just a saying.  Everyone benefits from you getting help including your baby, your helpers, and you!  Get Dad involved early by having him read some funny books on the subject.  Dads guide to pregnancy for dummiesDude!  You are Going to Be a Dad,  or The New Dad’s Survival Guide is a good start.  These Pregnancy Bible Verses may be a help too.  

8. Read Up on Breastfeeding

I tried breast feeding and even with lots of help it did not work for me.  I feel if I would have read some books about people who tried to breast feed for the first time I may have done better. Breastfeeding made simple was recommended during my pregnancy from a friend. You may want to know how to make more milk, the natural laws of nursing mothers, or how to problem solve when things don’t go as planned.  I tried to breastfeed and it only lasted about a week.  I used a breast pump for two more before changing to a bottle.  The more information you have now the better. 

9. Go on a Baby Moon

Enjoy your partner outside your house. I went to Vegas for a friend’s wedding.  Even complete one more of those bucket list items:  I went to Vegas and had a Frozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity.  Can’t get to serendipity yourself?  Buy yourself the gift set.  

10. Read or Watch The Happiest baby on the Block

Either we lucked out, or we had some great tips from this book.  My husband and I were never really around babies and the tips we got in this book really seem to work when our child cries.  I think this is one of the key reasons we have done so well to this point. We use the Sleep Sack to swaddle.  They now also have woobies to swaddle without arms.     If you don’t like to read, you can find links on watch the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD with your partner.  Then send the link to your husband. 

11. Make a Get Out of The House Plan

You need to get out of the house!!  Yes, maybe a week or two is ok after you little one is born to get some sleep and learn your babies habits.  But the sooner you get out the better.  If you think about places that are safe to start before you give birth this may help.  Grocery shopping, coffee shop, woman’s group, a friend’s house, or possibly church.  I started out by going to a friend’s house.  Then church. View pregnancy discussion boards for help.  You are not the only woman going through this!  Start being part of pregnancy boards. I frequented TheBump.com.    Ask questions and get answers.  Many questions or feelings that you have already asked by other people.  Or just Google your question to get the answer.  Remember to find reliable sources! My friend from college became friends with a couple girls that were pregnant the same month she was.  They now go to each others birthday parties.  Here are 10 Things to Know Before Traveling with a Baby.  If you really want to get out, here are some tips for flying with a baby.  

12. Take Belly Pictures / Set up Baby Pictures

Remember your pregnancy by taking belly pictures each week  or month.  What a life changing event to remember!  Then put all the pictures together into one image to view the great changes your body has made.  If you want to get those o-so-cute baby  pintrest, they should be done in the first 2 weeks of the baby’s life.  This means you might want to decide and kind-of schedule an appointment before the birth.  You can create a board on  pintrest.com to show the photographer what type of pictures you would like. Here is a nursery vision board and the Finished Nursery.   

13. Choose a Baby Formula or Not?

Decide what baby formula you are going to use before your big day.  I didn’t think of this, and they gave my little one Gerber at the hospital.  Now that all the coupons are gone, I wish I went with a cheaper brand.  Even if you are going to try breastfeeding, they may give your baby formula at night.  Decide now so when they ask you after the craziness is over you have an answer.

14. De-Tag, Wash, and Sort Baby Clothes or Not?

De-tag, wash, and sort all baby clothes by size.  Put clothes in bins marked 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and 12 month plastic containers. Or you may want to wait because you don’t know what size your baby will be each season.  Here is a Baby Cloths Chart if you have trouble understanding sizes.  Some things that we just loved are: Sophie the Giraffe – I know she was expensive, but this was the teether that our little girl used the most.  I think she like it because it was similar to a human hand.  Soft with different parts to chew on. Banana Tooth Brush– She loves chewing on this one too.  I hope this will help her in the steps to loving her brush her teeth.  Halo Sleep Sack – This is what our daughter slept in since night one!  We got 2 from the baby shower, then the hospital gave us one as we were leaving for a present.  Great gift!  Sleep Sheep – This sheep was given to us to our friends who were just first time parents themselves.  (They have a fun blog too).  Before every nap and every night we turn on this sheep.  We prefer the wave and rain sound.  I switch it up to the whale sound too.  Our daughter is getting big enough that we turns the sheep on herself sometimes too! and a Infant Car Seat – After you get the hang of it, car seats are not that bad.  They let you have your freedom as a new Mom! 

15. Walk, Walk, Walk

Try to walk as much as you can.  Then waddle to the end!  I even walked in the grocery store and couponed when it got cold.  They also have pregnancy workout DVD’s for each month, and the 5 months afterwords.  

16. Start Journal

Find a Journal and start writing.  I started journaling in high school.  

17. Birth Announcements

Choose a birth announcement from a website that you are going to select.  I selected shutterfly.com to create ours. Create a spreadsheet with the names and addresses of intended baby shower/birth announcement/thank you note recipients.  Print out Avery Easy Peel White Address Labels- two times, one for birth announcements, and another for thank you notes. We used the same addresses from our wedding.  We like to use these for Christmas cards too.  Another option would be to have everyone write their address on an envelope during the baby shower.  Here is a She is About to Pop Baby Shower theme and our 5 favorite baby shower gifts.  

18. Who Will Be in the Delivery Room?

Decide who you want to be on your team on the big day.  The only person you can 100% count on being there is you!  But planning for others and telling others no in advance should set you up for success.  Are you interested in a Husband Coached Birth? Is Hypno Birthing something you are interested in?  Would you like to ready about Faith-Based Births? The last book I will recommend is Your Best Birth which talks about many of your options.  

19. Buy Thicker Toilet Paper

By the end of your pregnancy when you cannot see all of your lady parts.You can start couponing now for items you know you will need. 

20. Buy a Larger Bra

You will need to deal with your milk coming in.  You will need some support here.  Also a tip, if you are going to try breastfeeding then decide it is not right for you, it may take a month or two to quit.  This was painful to me when I just wanted to relax and enjoy my new one. 

21. Create a Google Calendar for Baby

I don’t like clutter, (I wrote a book on that called 50 Things to Know to Downsize Your Life) so keeping  online calender for your child is a great way for keep track all the events of her life.  This is also a great place for medical information.  For example if the doctor asks when you changed over to solid food, you can find it on your child’s online calendar on your cell phone during the visit. You can also purchase a baby calendar or put one on your baby registry. 

 

22. Home Renovations

Try to do these in the now while the nesting phase occurs.  Trying to do them while a little one is crawling or walking around will be even harder.  You can also go though your kitchen cabinets to make room for baby.  Here is a food storage container organizer that may be helpful in your home.  
 

23. Baby Sitter Sheet

After a couple weeks you may want to leave your awesome addition to your family at home for a couple hours while you get out of the house, but may not have time to leave that information for someone.  Creating a sheet with important information before you have your baby will make this process smoother.  You can always add more information to the sheet after the birth.  Add this document to the home binder. You can purchase baby sitter sheets to keep instructions on where you will be, where to reach you, and special instructions for each child.  Here is a Free Baby Sitter Sheet.  

24.  Get Excited! 

Get excited to know that you are the luckiest person in the world to get to see your baby grown and learn each day right in front of your eyes!  The most beautiful thing in the world is going to be in your arms soon!  If you would like you can listen to the heart beat with a prenatal heart listener.  Want to stay comfortable?  I bought this pillow to make the transition to sleeping only on my side easier when I became pregnant. It is a wonderful pillow.  

25. Cervix Checks

Before you have your baby they will start to check your cervix.  Web MD explains this as “Effacement and dilatation need to occur for a baby to be born through the birth canal. Effacement means that the cervix stretches and gets thinner. Dilatation means that the cervix opens.”  If you did not start to change, this could be very painful, so just be aware.  You do not have to get them if you would not want because this information may not help anyway.  Research cervix checks for more on this. What to Expect When You are Expecting may be a good resource for more information on this topic.  

26. Diapering with Amazon Mom

Look into buying diapers from Amazon.  Even with coupons and sales, I could not find deals like these.  These deals were 20% off with Amazon Mom, and shipped to my door for free.  One less thing to worry about if you are not going to cloth diaper.  There is even online coupons occasionally.  
 
For a limited time, purchase $250 of qualifying nursery items shipped and sold by Amazon.com and listed below and receive a $50 promotional code via email approximately 32 days after the shipment date of your items. Save an extra $50 here.
 

27. Set up Stations

At the Changing Station you will need diapers, wipes, a changing pad, a changing pad cover and a trash can.  I recommend putting the trash can on the right if you are a righty.    This will make changing a diaper simpler. You could even have two of changing stations.  For example up and down stairs.  Keep clothes nearby in case a wardrobe change needs to happen.  Adding a mobile hanging from the ceiling  will provide entertainment to you and your baby. With a mobile the baby may stay still while you change them.  I added a inexpensive origami bird mobile  that I created.  You can view the mobile in our finished nursery. At the Bottle Station you will need bottles, nipples, formula, bibs, and a bottle washing system.  The items will need to be washed many times throughout the week.   I put these items in a basket on my kitchen counter near the sink.
At the Mommy Medicine Station you will need a piece of paper to keep what medicine to take and when.  See Mom Medicine Schedule for a paper schedule that I created.  Make a little chart where you can check off what you took each day.  I had to take pain medicine, iron, and a stool softener every day, twice a day, for the first month.  Since I was low on sleep when I came home and had to keep the baby changing schedule in my head, marking down when I took my medicine was very helpful.

28. Baby Feeding/Changing Schedule

Make sure you have a place to write when you fed and changed the baby.  See Baby Feeding/Diaper Schedule for a template to keep you and your helpers on track.  This worked great for us the first month, but was not needed after that.  You can buy a Itzbeen Baby Care Timer from amazon that can keep track of the diaper changes, sleep time, and bottles for you.Want to add more to the 50 Thing to Know Before Having a Baby list?   50 Things to Know Before Having a Baby

To read all 50 tips view 50 Things to Know Before Having a Baby eBook.  A great baby shower gift for a friend who is pregnant!  Also a great book for people that are thinking about having a baby. I ENCOURAGE YOU to borrow the book for free from the Kindle Lending Library for Amazon Prime Members.  If you want the book for free or would like to share these tips please email me at lbrennec@gmail.com.  You can also give this quick read as a gift to a friend or family member as a paperback book.  

What People Are Saying…I love it! Very informative! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 -princessctI love this! And this being my 2nd child it is all so true! I am glad to have read this because it has been 10 years since my DS was born and you forget a lot of these things.I had never heard of the happiest baby and now after watching the clip from The View you posted I will be buying the book! Thank you. ~Those who do not believe in love at first sight have obviously never given birth~ -cookiesReally enjoyed reading your first few tips for first time moms! Just started my last trimester and starting to get anxious, nervous and excited! My sister in law sent me this link and I love your tips, charts, advice!! Thanks so much! I will have to get ahold of the rest!! (Nikki)! First time mommy!!:)

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About Lisa Rusczyk
 The Insanity Workout is how I lost the baby weight and got back to my high school weight.  These workouts are great to keep you motivated to exercise while taking care of a baby.  I could just pause the DVD when I wanted to feed/change/play with the baby.  I also planned and portioned food ahead of time with these organized storage containers.  A great option if you are pregnant are these monthly workout DVDs.  Each month has a different workout. Here is a post on how I think I lost the baby weight.  

Serenity Prayer

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To all my Residence Hall Directors, Resident Assistants, and Teacher friends out there.

From Wikipedia “The Serenity Prayer is the common name for an originally untitled prayer by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971).”

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Notes Taken From the Hershey Joyce Meyers Conference

999748_10200898457842432_1408641507_nShe talked about many things but I concentrated on Finding Purpose.

  • You can’t choose what happens to you but you can choose how you react to it.
  • Have faith in little things.  Only then will you be given bigger things that you can handle.
  • You give an account to God of only your life and no one else.
  • God has a plan, just not my plan or my timing.
  • People find their purpose at different ways at different times.
  • No complaining only rejoicing.
  • I know I have a purpose and talent.
  • I want to grow in the gifts that God had given me.

This section was on being content.

  • Contentment is being satisfied where I am at right now on the way to where I am going.
  • Getting to goals are probably going to be longer and harder journey than you think.  So make the decision to do it with God,with God in control, and the main job for us is to fellowship and trust in him.  He will make it happen so enjoy the day on the way.
  • Only I can focus on making me happy and I can do this by serving others.
  • The most spiritually mature person does the right thing first.
  • Get happy with where you are to get what you want.
  • You can be happy in any phase in your life.
  • Have a humble attitude and be happy for what you have.

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Accepting Help as a Mom

Asking For HelpOne of the hardest parts of being a Mom, for me, is asking for help and accepting it.  I like to tell myself that I can do everything.  It even sounds funny when I say it.  I really don’t do anything by myself.  Most things I do are a community effort.

But sometimes I really do need help.  I am sick or too tired.  I have a great support system around me.  But, when I am tired and sick, I am really bad at asking for help.  People don’t like how I ask. Then I get even more anxious about asking for help.

Now I need help and I am asking in the wrong way!  Why did I even ask for help in the first place?

God is always there when I need help.  Even when I am home alone with a screaming baby.  Phil 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, BUT IN EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 

I am grateful that I am not here all alone during the day doing this by myself.  I have supportive family, and friends to help me.  This includes God who is always here if I need help.  Don’t worry all three of them don’t provide help exactly how I want it, but they give me the help that I need.

photo by: paul bica

Motherhood- Six Experiences Shared

420904_725434267258_1148621866_nI want to share with everyone some recent posts that friends have shared about being a mother.  I have been so blessed to have so many friends to share their feelings and thoughts on the subject.

My friend Carrie has recently shared her thoughts on trying to conceive a baby. Don’t worry, Carrie did have a beautiful and smart little girl who I enjoy spending time with every much. While this may be easy for some people, it is not for everyone.  Having our first child took about 10 months.  Believe me I think it is all in Gods time.

A new blogger friend Holly is going on a journey to have a child with her Wife.  This is quite a journey they are on together.  I wish them both health and happiness.

A friends from where I grew up/ my college town Stephanie learned that both her husband and her had health issues that contributed to their inability to conceive.  They are now on an adoption journey that you can read about and help fund.

Sadly, my friend a college roommate Diana and friend Sarah wrote about their miscarriages. (For the record, I really don’t like that word.)  I don’t fully understand why God does this to people, but I know that each life has a purpose.

I know there are many stories out there that are not being told too.  But I feel blessed to have amazing woman and Moms in my life who shares their stories with the world.   I even have a friend Jen that had to change the name of her blog as they added a new member to their family.

I thought these stories should be added together in one place for people on the journey to motherhood.  There is just a very tiny amount of all the parts of motherhood that these people have shared with me.  People get there different ways.  Usually not the way we plan in our head.

I love spending time with my friends children, even the ones I don’t get to meet.  Their stories, experience, and wisdom change my life.

Chatting with Friends in My Mind

Dream Pool Sometimes when I have stress in my life and I don’t have time to talk to my friends.   Instead I have a conversation in my mind with them.

I think…  What would this person say about this?  What would this person tell me to do next?  This process really works for me.  I have fake discussions with people in my mind all the time.  These conversations guide me through my day. I find comfort in knowing what they would say.  These conversations always move me forward.

For example, if I get another revision back on my dissertation, I start to get really upset.  Then I think of what my husband would say.  Then a couple of my girl friends.  And before you know it, I am working on those revisions and starting the process all over again.

Sometimes I chat with God in the same way.  Instead of asking the question ” What would this person say about this? ” I think of what the bible says about it.  I think “What did people in the bible do in a similar situation?”.  The question “What would this person tell me to do next? ” I think of the many different things I hear about the bible at church, tv, radio, and other Christians in my life, and try to think about what those lessons would tell me.

While I prefer talking to my friends in person, this is another way that I keep moving forward in my life to do happy and positive things.

photo by: Ian Sane

So Your An Author Now?: The Journey to Having 15 Books on Amazon

Welcome

Before I became a Stay at Home Mom, I was an instructional designer at Penn State.  The job was pretty much my dream job.  I did not like the 40 minute commute each way but I loved what I did, who I did it with, and the people that I worked for.

While at home I decided to blog and self-publish books on amazon as a way to connect with the world while I was home alone.  I was able to use what I have learned during my many degrees (Accounting, Business Admin, Teaching and Learning, and Educational Technology).  I have to admit, I don’t enjoy writing and I really don’t enjoy editing.  But I enjoy the way it makes me feel when I am finished.  Like I accomplished something. I even made a blog and bought the domain for the 50 Things to Know Books

I think blogging and self-book publishing is like real life lemonade stand.  You try and put a product out there that you are passionate about and you think others want.  You tweak the product and get the world out.  Then hopefully reap the rewards, even if they are just mental.  I even got a fun tv appearance out of the whole thing.

Peter 1: 4:10- God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. I know I am using these gifts as a Mom.  But I hope I am using my gift of knowledge in ways to help others.  I think I am doing this through my writing, blogging, self-publishing, and trying to help others do the same thing.

 

50 Things to Know Books

Parenting

Travel

Life

Health

Wedding

Self Publishing

Author Interview Debra Diaz

This is the first of our author interview in the series.  Enjoy! 

Who are you and what do you do?


I am Debra Diaz, and I write historical fiction (with one exception: a contemporary mystery for young adults–hope to do more of those later.)  I do have a “day” job with a government agency, so writing time is limited. I have seven books out thus far, one of them a trilogy combining three of the books of the same storyline. The titles are: Woman of SinMan of GodChild of the King(making up the trilogy, but sold separately as well)— these are Biblical fiction set during and after the time of Christ; Shadow of Dawn, a romantic suspense novel set during the Civil War; Place of Peace, a post-Civil War novel set in Memphis during the yellow fever epidemic of 1878; Summons From a Stranger, a young adult mystery. 

What do you enjoy writing about the most?

I thoroughly enjoy the research aspect of historical fiction. In fact, it’s tempting to keep on researching forever, but one has to stop somewhere. I use books, periodicals, and traveling to actual locations (not for the Biblical novels, though!)There is such a wealth of information on the internet; however, I always try to double and cross check the research. In my “book notes” I encourage anyone who finds a “historical” error to let me know so that future editions may be corrected! There is a Christian theme in all my historical novels, and that’s the most important thing to me.

How did you get started writing e-books?

E-books have turned out to be a writer’s dream. My first book was published by a “traditional” publisher and I had less than a satisfactory experience, due to their over-pricing and lack of promotion. With e-books authors can upload their books and be in control of everything: content, book cover, pricing, publicity, etc.


What are some of your career goals?

As I say on my website, debradiaz.com, my goal is to entertain, challenge and inspire! And I wouldn’t be too sad to quit my day job and write full time.


What is your favorite book of the

series?


In the Woman of Sin trilogy, it would be almost impossible for me to separate them and call one of them my favorite. The stories are all woven so tightly together they are like one book. Woman of Sin is special because it was written over the course of about thirty years, with many revisions, so it’s a huge part of my life. Writing Man of God was a challenge because I needed to stay true to the characters while showing how they had changed as a result of their experiences, and create new characters to interact with them. In that process I got even closer to the main characters from WOS. With Child of the King, I had a lot of fun exploring the relationship between Rachel and Metellus, which starts off a little rocky and gets rockier. I guess you could say the trilogy itself is my favorite, as compared to the other books. But they all resulted from a labor of love.


About Lisa Rusczyk

Lisa Rusczyk is the founder of Charlie The Cavalier (a blog about Charlie her dog, and her friends, family and home) and founder of 50ThingsToKnow. Lisa is a Doctoral student in Educational Leadership who happened to start writing her first book 50 Things to Know Before Having a Baby after her little girl was born. Her book sold over 1,000 copies in the first year on Amazon. Today, she has over 10 books and helps others self-publish. Further, she shares this information with the public via this blog, FacebookYouTubePinterestTwitter, and recently on a local television station. Lisa knows that like her there are a lot of people who would like concise information on a topic in one digital location. Lisa is known for her simple and effective tips.


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