Friday, November 15, 2013

Lusting after another man...

With the explosion of 50 Shades of Grey it seems that women lusting over men has become a little more "normal" than it used to be. When Magic Mike came out and the book 50 Shades of Grey,  I re posted this blog. I have used this point of view to try and steer my self in a respectful direction. I won't lie, Magic Mike was playing on my movie channels not to long ago and I was home with just Laynie, and was tempted. But I didn't watch it. Why? because if my husband were to watch a movie based on female strippers, it would bother me.

My goal in my marriage is to do for Aaron what I want Aaron to do for me. That means keeping my mind purely focused on him. Does this mean that I don't see an attractive man and acknowledge that God did a good job making him? No! People are attractive. And when my husband acknowledges that a woman is pretty we usually discuss if I feel the same way. But hearing things like "she's so hott" or other phrases that might be used, makes me feel less. Makes me feel like somehow because I don't look that way, I am not fulfilling what he needs as far as looks go. Most of these thoughts come from my own insecurity, but when my husband makes me feel like I'm the hottest woman on the planet, the only woman he's drooling over, it does something to me! It makes me feel confident, appreciated, unstoppable!

I want to do that for Aaron. I don't think he struggles with confidence or looks, the way I do. But I still want him to feel respected or appreciated. Like I think he's a hunk (which I totally do). But if I'm posting pictures of half naked men on my facebook, how can that possible make him feel like he's the only man for me. Not to mention that I believe that looking at these images sets you up to compare your man, to a man that's not yours. That's someone else's man, what if another woman was looking at your man the way you are looking at that man.

I realize that many men struggle with porn addiction. Maybe you are in that type of relationship and you have convinced yourself that looking at half naked men, isn't as bad as what he's doing. Maybe you openly watch that together? Maybe you think all men do, so you accept it. (They don't, and it's not healthy.) Justifying what you are doing, doesn't make it right. The grass is never greener. A better looking man doesn't guarantee he would be what you need. If you do it because he does, two wrongs don't make a right. And are you being accountable to yourself? or to God? And in most cases your obsessing over a celebrity you will never have. Why? and what is the cost?

To me- the cost is that you are disrespecting your relationship which later can/will cause issues. Maybe they say they don't have an issue with it, but how much better would it be if you only had eyes for him? I'm not judging anyone, because I realize lusting over beautiful people is normal in this day and age, that to most there is nothing wrong with it. But to me we (As Christians) are to be set apart. We are held to a higher standard. We need lasting marriages, lasting relationships, we need to be the example. We need to show society what it is to bounce our eyes, and be content with the person we have.

I also think having a pure mind is a huge part of our Christian walk. It's so hard to have a pure mind. It's so easy to go there, because we are constantly bombarded with images. But as women, when you set it in a 50 shades of Grey setting, all the sudden you compare what he does versus what your man is doing. It's the same when a man views porn and thinks that's what sex should be like. It's not realistic and it creates disappointment within your relationship. Your partner is not meeting your expectations.

All I'm saying is this, Lets be women that have eyes only for our men. Let's be women that fantasize about just our man. Learn to love every single curve of your man's body versus someone you can never have. I want my husband to feel respected, and honestly, when you have 3 kids (and one one the way) it's easy to complain, it's easy to not be happy when you see him come home, It's easy to be upset that he didn't help you, or that he didn't meet your expectations, and you don't even mean to. Aaron complained one time that I didn't smile and act happy when he got home, and I thought are you freaking kidding me, do you know what I go through all day everyday? And I of course have done my best to fix that, but there are days that I'm exhausted and I don't make that extra effort, so if one thing I can do is to tell you how hott my husband is to me, and how I only fantasize about being with him, and how I'm so thankful I have a good looking husband, and that's all I can do to make him feel acknowledged, appreciated, and respected, then that's what I want to do.

I want to live my life in a way that is above reproach. I will fail. There will be things that I do that would make someone think, "really, Brandie, you're a Christian", but this is one area I chose to be different. God is still working on me, we are all a work in progress, but I feel VERY convicted in this area, and I wanted you to see what I think. Take it or leave it, no judgement :)

Be Brave and Struggle Well...

Brandie :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When people clump it into the "ALL" category....

I have seen several posts lately about people being sick after getting their flu shots...

A friend of one of these sick people blamed their flu shot, another person commented saying they got their flu shot as well, but they weren't sick. This seems so DUH... to me, but apparently people think if one person gets sick from a source then we all must right?

Our bodies are amazing, and amazingly made. Our bodies have the absolute ability, given the right circumstances, to heal itself. If you cut your finger, what do you do? You clean it out, stick a band-aid on it, and try and keep it as clean and dry as possible so that it miraculously heals. Right? What heals it, you? No, it heals itself. Take that same finger, don't clean it, don't bandage it, and it may or may not heal, and it may or may not get infected and get worse.

I remember when Cade was in ICU. He had been aspirating his food, due to a condition he had. His lungs were full of formula, creating bacteria and infection. They placed him on a respirator and said that his body needed to rest. In children especially, their bodies get to a point they just quit. They wanted to give his body a break from trying to breathe so that he could heal.

Different circumstances create different makeup of immune systems. So if one person gets a flu shot there is a chance that due to lack of rest and nutrients that you could get very ill. It's not fair to lump it all together and say well I did that too and it was fine... I drove my car yesterday and didn't get in an accident but other people did. I took different streets and different times, my brain might have been thinking clearer and able to react better (probably not), who knows?

I think this applies to so much of our lives, not just our flu shots or vaccinations (although I absolutely think this is true for vaccinations as well). But what about our Spiritual lives? It's so easy to look for a formula, it's so easy to say well I do this, and this, and this every day and it works for me. The Bible is so Spiritual, the "Christian formula" is so unique to each person, where they are, what they have been through. It's amazing all the interpretations of Scripture that we get, it's amazing how we can read one Scripture one day, read the same Scripture the next week and interpret what we feel like it's saying completely different. Why-- because it's ministering to where we are in our journey, at that very moment. I recently read an article about Joel Olsteen and basically this article was defending him in that he saves more people than many other pastors combined in one night. I am not a Joel Olsteen fan (I don't think that's a secret), but to each his own, and you have to do what's right for you. I think he can be an encouragement to your life if that's where you are and what you need. But I wonder if "saying the prayer" isn't enough. How many of those saved are getting saved with the "feel good Gospel" and when things get tough and hurt and feel icky are they still going to stick with it. Not saying there aren't many he plants seed in, and good for him! I'm just saying the "Joel Olsteen Formula" might not work for everyone because we are all different. Churches the same way. You may love your church, it might not be the right "formula" for me.

In the same way, the sin you struggle with is different than what I struggle with. I know some people stuggle with addiction to drugs, I have never done any kind of drug in my life, but I really struggle with self control (when it comes to diet and money). It would be foolish to say I have to not go to the mall and try my best to keep sweets out of my house, so you should too, so that you don't struggle with my sin.

What about our marriages? Recently I heard the advice (from a married couple of over 30 years), given to a married couple that were in a disagreement, to just not talk about it and it would go away. That has obviously worked for this couple. They both seem perfectly content in their marriage. But I can tell you that advice wouldn't work for me and my marriage. I feel like if you have a problem, and you can talk through a solution, then it's never an issue you have to deal with again. When it happens again, you already know the solution to the problem. Maybe talking through things doesn't work for everyone. So many times we pass judgement on people that don't take our advice (especially if we are older) because it didn't work for us so it can't work for anyone, right?

God loves diversity, I'm sure of it. If we were all the same we would be so boring. If we all thought the same way, did the same things, reacted the exact same way to issues, had the same jokes, we would never appreciate each other. Wouldn't it be beautiful if we just celebrated the differences instead of judging one another for being different? What if in your marriage, you began to celebrate how your spouse is different than you, and how you balance each other? What if in our spiritual lives we just celebrated growth vs what the regime we were following is?

I can only imagine if we would quit lumping things into the "all" category, how much better it could be. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Divorce, Manipulation, Idolatry, Expectations, Jealousy, Prayer.

Unfortunately, out of respect for my amazing husband this blog had to go back in the vault. I really hope those that needed to see it did and that it ministered to their hearts. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm anti-vax and it has NOTHING to do with science....

... okay well that's partly true...

I believe in thinking for yourself, making your own decisions, and not being blasted for them. People will NEVER all agree about anything. I will never convince you my way is right and yours is wrong if your not at a place to hear it. I also believe that we are conditioned to believe a certain way and sometimes we have to be at a place to ask really hard questions in order to change our beliefs.

For instance, I'm a Christian. I was kinda raised Christian. I don't remember really going to church till I was about 8. I still to this day rarely pray over a meal if I am by myself. It's not second nature to me because it wasn't instilled at me from an early age. I don't remember having family bible studies. I don't remember talking about what we heard that day in church, and until I was about 15 I don't remember equating Biblical truth to my everyday situations. You see at some point in my life I had to learn to think for myself. So often times "free thinkers" think that Christians are Christians because they were raised that way. For me it wasn't like that. God didn't become real to me until I felt like I had no other choice... It was MY choice. I could have forever gone on living my life and calling myself a Christian and honestly no one would have thought anything different. It wasn't until I became pregnant with Cade before I was married, that I began to need and love the Lord. But it was real to me. It was something I felt, couldn't explain, and completely Spiritual. It can't be explained with science but I know it's real. My mom was very instrumental in God becoming real in my life, but it had nothing to do with pressure, or being always raised to believe that way, it was about personal experience.

So that takes me to vaccinations. I know kinda strange jump huh? I had never really read much on vaccinations. I didn't really know a lot about them other than they were good, right? My mom encouraged me to NOT vaccinate Cade and I did not agree with that decision. I mean Aaron and I were vaccinated and we were totally fine! Everyone I knew was vaccinated. What reason did I have to not vaccinate. And all the reasons my mom gave me, were not enough to sway me, at the time.  I had a flu shot during my pregnancy. I had SEVERE asthma and my OBGYN told me if I caught the flu, I would die, I believed him (FEAR). After all, I had never been pregnant before, and he was an OBGYN, surely what he was telling me was true. I later realized pregnancy doesn't equal broken. My immune system was NOT broken and I have had the flu before and guess what... I didn't die (Shocker, I know!)  When Cade was born he came out, took immediately to breast feeding, and was perfect. They then took him from me to administer vaccinations and get him an x ray to show NO meconium in his lungs. Guess what he had colostrum in that sweet tiny belly of his, and NO meconium. After a few hours his Oxygen stats began to drop when he would eat (they were bottle feeding him in the NICU at the time, while getting the results back from his x rays) I never (but not without trying for two solid months) breastfed my sweet boy again. The only thing that changed from the time he was born till the time his x ray results were given was of course the x ray- and vaccinations. I can't PROVE that the vaccinations harmed him, but one can only assume. From that point on my son had aspiration pneumonia. However one of the "rare" side effects of the Hep B vaccine are breathing problems and difficulty swallowing... I'm js... Not to mention I was tested for Hep B (as almost all pregnant women receive prenatal care are) and I do NO T have the virus. The chances of a small child getting hep b in the first few hours/ months of their life, are slim to none. So why is this vaccine necessary?

I believe that my God is good, I believe He made us with these amazing bodies, completely capable of healing themselves and staying healthy if we give it the things it needs. Unfortunately we live in a environment that is completely saturated in chemicals and toxins, down to the very clothes that you wear. And unfortunately the baby industry sees a huge amount of these chemicals. The diapers you buy in the store are full of things you wouldn't put on your body and we do it to their tiny bodies 24/7. Your skin is an organ, so all those chemicals are being absorbed and the babies come out literally fighting toxins from the day they are born. We eat food with chemicals, on them  or in them. Even our fresh foods, down to the soil they are grown in are full of chemicals. Our bodies are completely capable of healing themselves, but they can't because they are constantly fighting off everything else we put in/on them.

I also think that as Christians we can't operate out of fear. For me, I fear a disease. Like for instance, when the measles outbreak happened here, I'd be lying if I didn't think for a second to run out and get my kids vaccinated. But I read up on measles and yes, they CAN BE horrible, but in most cases they aren't. Very few people die from the measles or even have to be hospitalized for them. I was fearful. The Bible is clear that we don't have to fear. If fear is the reason I'm running to vaccinate my children then, that's not good enough for me. If at any time in the future for a reason other than fear I decide to vaccinate then so be it. While I don't see that happening, never say never.

I think, like most anti-vax parents, I'm not opposed to vaccinations themselves. I'm opposed to the preservatives that are in them because our bodies were not designed to get injected with these type of chemicals. People can say all day long that theories of Autism and Vaccinations haven't been linked, and they have in fact been disproved, but it's interesting in communities where MMR is broken up and not given at one time how much lower Austism rates are. I don't know if they are linked but I do know this, you can't deny personal experience. Moms know. How can you tell a mom that it wasn't vaccinations when she knows what her child was like before the vaccination and then after it was a completely different child. Especially in the case of twins where only one twin is affected. And what about the rise of neurological disorders in children. The more vaccinations, the more our children are affected. Do you know we are now vaccinating children for non life threatening illnesses such as Chicken Pox and Rotovirus. Sure anything can be fatal, but so can driving a car. The dosage they give a newborn baby is the same as an adult... How can that be okay?

And lets talk about the herd immunity and immunocompromised, and elderly. I read this article today. And I have a couple things to say.... the first being that they have now linked the Vit K shot to Childhood Leukemia... 2 of my 3 children have had the shot and I'm not judging but did you know the amount of vit k given in a vaccination is 250,000 times the amount they need, leading to jaundice. Herd Immunity-- Some people think that anti vaxers are relying on Herd Immunity so our kids won't get sick.  In my case this is not true. Did you know that anti vaxers love "pox parties" where we knowingly expose our children to another child with chicken pox so that our kids can get it instead of hoping that in ten years when  vaccinations wear off they won't get it as a teenager or adult. Did you also know that kids that have received a vaccination recently have a risk of infecting our non vaxed child because vaccines shed? Yet we still send our non vaxed children to school with your vaxed children because (for me at least) I believe our bodies are so amazingly made that given the right tools it CAN fight off illnesses. For instance, Last year my son was exposed to a vaccinated child that had recently received the pertussis vaccination at school. Cade is also vaccinated from it, but guess what he still passed it on to me, laynie (who was very young), Addie, and Aaron (who got it the worst), but we are all here, we all made it, we survived pertussis. The child that Cade was exposed to shed the vaccination. This would also be detrimental for a immunocompromised person or someone elderly, but it didn't start in the unvaxed community. Another argument in this article is that vaccinations are every one's business. I disagree... If you want your child to be vaccinated that's your child, your choice, your risk. If I choose not to it's my choice, my risk with my child.

If you believe in vaccinations then what are you worried about. My unvaxed child shouldn't be a threat to your vaxed child. If your child is so immuno-compromised that they can't receive a vaccine all I can say is I'm sorry. But I am not responsible to protect your child, but I am responsible for the health of my own children. Does that mean I don't want to protect or love your child, no! Of course I wouldn't want my unvaxed child to ever harm your child in any way, but here's the deal, if my child is exposing your child to a preventable illness, then my child has it too... maybe that's no consolation, but again I have to do what I feel like is best for my children and you have to do what is best for yours. Would I tell a vaccinating parent to NOT vaccinate because their child could shed, no! Because it's their right and privilege to do what they feel is best. I still send my children to PUBLIC school knowing that kids are getting vaccinations everyday, as they are due. And it's my choice. this is just my venting on vaccinations. I purposely didn't put link to scientific evidence in here... I also think we need to support each other even when we don't agree. I doubt that i will ever be for vaccinations, but i support each mom that is informed and feels that is best for her child. But I do hope that you have taken the time to be informed... Also, becuase this such a controversal subject I have chosen to close comments on here....

Friday, September 6, 2013

Struggle Well

I had this blog written and someone's little fingers deleted it all, so I'm starting over...

I had a sad mom moment last night... that moment where you just want to scoop up your baby and rescue them from their hurting heart. But you can't...

I had a bad day yesterday. I was emotional over some other things in my life. I had cried all day. It was just one of those days, then I started thinking about a friend's facebook post. She had been confused about something that was going on in her life for a couple days when she remembered the true character of God, and that he was a God of order and not confusion. While I was in no way confused I had been debating different possibilities about my situation in my head when I remember this and decided I was going to base my decisions on the character of God. When I did I had peace and the answers became clear to me. God continued to deal with me on alot of levels yesterday and while at times it was uncomfortable, but it was clear, and comforting to know God was speaking to me. :)

After my bad day, I was getting the kids to bed early! I was getting to spend time with them and things were looking up! I thought "YES! My day is getting better!", then it happened... Cade and I were having a rough time, after walking away and then coming back, we began discussing his heart. He told me that he felt he didn't have any friends and that people didn't like him. My heart sank. He cried, I cried! I held him tight, I assured him I liked him, he was my friend, and he was cool. And also that he looked so awesome at school this year! (he's been all about "looking good"). We prayed over him, we asked God to send him a special friend at school. I was sad, and I was mad! I was mad that kids are so mean, and that parents are not educating their children better about special needs kids. I wanted to march up to his school and make sure all those kids knew they need to be nice to him, be nice to each other. But that's not realistic. I also have to realize that most parents, unless there is a special needs kid in their family, are not educating their children, not because they are mean, but because they a) don't think about it and b) don't realize their non special needs kid has special kids in their class.

I wanted to be able to rescue my Cade from his hurt. I wanted to tell him he never had to go back to school and that he could stay with me forever. Again for us this is not realistic. I could not home school him because I don't have the tools I need to teach him the way he needs. I would be lying if I told you that I love public school and that I want my kids to be there, but right now, it's what is the best solution for Cade, and I have to be honest and tell you that I want my kids to be at school together. I want Cade to have the opportunity to be a "big brother" and I want Addie to help encourage kids to realize how cool Cade is! I would love to be able to afford a specialized school for him, but I can't, and then I struggle with, "how well is that preparing him for life" most of those schools have ONLY special needs kids and how does that prepare him for the cruelness of the world when he goes to College or Vocational Training?

I know his pain (I'm sure not the same degree) but I was not "cool" in school. I was made fun of ALOT. I wish I could just tell him that none of that really matters after high school and that it's all a level playing field in the real world, but even if I did, it wouldn't be any consolation to his pain right now. It won't help him to feel less lonely.

I obviously can't force the kids to be nice to Cade, and I can't hide Cade from the rest of the world so that his heart is protected. So I was trying to figure out, how I can best encourage him at school. I never considered asking God what I should do, or how I should approach it. I mean God had been talking to me all day but it was about something totally different. I was meeting a friend after my kids went to bed and on the way to my destination I was listening to KLTY, Nightlight with Andrea. They topic of the night was brothers. I only heard one story before commercials came on and I was where I needed to be. But it was a girl talking about her special needs brother. I thought okay God, I get it! You are so good, but the more I listened she began to talk about her brothers happiness despite any situation (there was a time i could relate to that) but I didn't feel like this applied... I questioned God, and then kept listening. Andrea asked her, "What has your brother Danny taught you" the girl replied, "he showed me what it meant to struggle well". Wow.... struggle well.

This has significant impact on me and I began to thank Him for being so real to me, ALL DAY! The truth is we all struggle! We all have times, moments, that we endure circumstances and challenges in our lives. But do we struggle well? We will struggle... we will. But how do we handle it? Cade doesn't just face struggles every so often, for him, it's everyday, every moment. I want to encourage him to struggle well. I want to encourage him to not approach his struggles poorly but with peace, confidence, and strength. I want to be an example by "struggling well". I want to encourage you as well, STRUGGLE WELL.


Just a little update: Cade's third grade teacher called me this morning in a response to an email I had written her and told me that she LOVES having Cade in her class, and that the kids in HER class fight over being his helper, and that on Meet the Teacher night when Cade was there, the parents of some of the other students that were there requested that their kids be Cade's helpers, so she has a rotation! Yay! Thank you Lord for more answered prayers. His Goodness is overwhelming!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Special Needs Struggles

I'm not really sure where to start this post. Other than to tell you the other day I was rocking Laynie to sleep and Addie was in the bathroom helping Cade get ready for bed, brushing his teeth, I believe. I hear from her in the rudest and most demanding way possible, "Cade, open your mouth!", and my heart sank. Not because Addie was being rude or ugly to him, but becuase she was immulating me. Kids are carbon copies of what they hear/see. I treat Cade that way, and I do, I know I do.

I work really hard to let Addie know that Cade is special and that God made her special becuase she knew that Cade would need her, and that it is our job to help him and love him. She is really a great sister! More than any other 4 yr old could be. God truly gave her to me, and to him. Addie loves to mother, and she will be an incredible mother one day! But who is teaching her? Me!

I started to wonder, why do I get so frustrated with him. And the truth is, I'm not. I'm frustrated at the cards he was dealt. There are days, I just don't enjoy being his mom, and it's not a reflection of Cade at all. When I think of Cade all I think of is the JOY he brings to my life everyday, the way he LOVES me and everyone in his life, how THOUGHTFUL he is, no like seriously thoughtful, how the CALLING on his life is great. His attributes like how much he loves dates, times, schedules, and how that is going to be very useful in his life. I LOVE that kid! He's cool! But on those days that I just don't enjoy being his mom it's becuase it's work, more work than I think an 8 yr old should be. Selfish huh? and who is paying the price for my selfishness? Cade. My joyful, loving, thoughtful, Cade.

Life is truly so hard for him, and there are days I think how crappy life must feel to him. But as his mom, I feel really crappy too, because I'm not loving him the way I think I should be. I honestly feel like his life is harder becuase of me. I yell more than I hug. I scream more than I tickle. I demand more than I spend time with him. I wake up frustrated with him and many nights put him to bed frustrated with him. I spend so much of my time advocating for tolerance and there are days, most days, I feel like the biggest hypocrite.

I was wondering in that moment I was holding Laynie, if it's just me. Am I the only special needs mom that feels this way? I mean every other mom I see has so much compassion for her child, and I want to, truly, I do! But I'm too busy being frustrated. I was wondering how other siblings cope? Are they always that thoughtful and compassionate as I see them, as they see me? Or do they struggle the same way I do? Do they go home and yell when they tell thier child for literally the 14th time to do something they do EVERY night? or do they patiently just tell them again. I would love to be a fly on the wall. But at the same time I fear it would just be me.

About, i dunno, 6 months ago, I was in Michaels, shopping, when Addie had to go to the bathroom SOOO BAD. As I walked to the bathroom I met a teenage girl standing outside the restroom with her basket. I had noticed earlier that she was with her younger brother, who obviously had special needs, and her mother. She reminded me so much of Addie becuase you could tell she felt partially responsible for him. The mom and the brother were in the bathroom. I sent my kids in as I waited in the hallway with my shopping cart with Laynie sitting in the front seat. As the mom and the brother came out of the restroom he got a drink of water and they all began to walk off, when Laynie caught his attention. He came over and hit Laynie in the head, as the mom yells out a "NO!" and does her best to wrangle him away. They immediately left. I wanted so bad to talk to her. To tell her I admired her bravery of getting out and taking him in somewhere. To tell her it was okay (i did tell her that but quickly as she hurried away).

So many outsiders don't understand why our kids act they way they do and I was just glad that it was my daughter that he hit versus someone else's that didn't understand. I cried for days. I wanted so bad for that mom to know I was tolerant, that I empathized with her. That I wanted to be her friend becuase we fight a similar fight. I expect that we should all be tolerant. I expect that everyone should think that even when a kid looks normal (like Cade) think that if they are acting out, it's not a discipline issue. That we don't know the circumstances and with nuerological disorders running rampant, this could be the issue. But the truth is they don't. Unless you know, live with, experience someone with special needs your mind doesn't go there.

I live with a son with special needs, and I wonder am I the only mom that struggles with feeling like a mom that isn't equipped to be his mom? I wonder does living with it day in/out desensitize me to the compassion? I feel like I'm compassionate towards others but not to my OWN SON. I think about Addie and how frustrated she gets and I wonder is that becuase it's her example or is she also desensitized to it? I want so badly to breed compassionate, loving, accepting children. I want so badly for Addie, Laynie, and even Cade to love the unlovely. To stick up for the underdog. To be friends to the friendless. But I know that my example is what is ultimately going to make the difference in the long run. My kids will be what they see.

So I think of Jesus, you know WWJD. Of course he was perfect, and should be our example. But he was PERFECT and I am not. I know that Jesus would be compassionate, I know that Jesus would heal, I know that Jesus would encourage others to accept and to love. I want to be that for Cade. I want to immulate Jesus. But I'm not perfect, I'm selfish. It's hard and so many days I'm tired of "fighting the good fight", but I continue on. Because Cade needs me. Because Cade has saved me, because Cade had changed my life, all for the better. There is nothing about Cade's presence in my life that has had a negative affect on me. I know as parents, even when you have typical children, no matter how great you are, you are going to screw up, you are going to wound your children. But I want so badly to be what Cade is to me, to him, a blessing, and nothing less.

So join me in praying for me, yes! Of Course! I want to be the best mom that Cade, Addie, and Laynie would ever need or want. I want to be kind and understanding to Cade and I want to teach my girls compassion and acceptance. But, Please, pray for all special needs parents, for strength, if nothing else. It's hard enough when you KNOW what's wrong with your child and how to better equip them to handle situations. But I live with an undiagnosed child, it's like shooting arrows in the dark as to what affects him and how I can make his life easier without doing everything for him. I have no idea what I am doing and I need wisdom!

Please join me in loving on the special needs kiddos you know and thier caregivers!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Breastfeeding and my husband....and yours.

I don't think it's any secret that I'm kinda "crunchy".  Okay so I'm not an extremist but I definately have crunchy tendancies... that who knows, if I keep writing, might come out more and more.  One of the things that crunchy mommas do is breastfeed. I feel like unfortunately breastfeeding is like most crunchy topics and you have to be "extreme" one way or the other. Well, I'm not and I'd like to tell you why, and how it relates to my husband, and yours.

 It is National Breastfeeding Month with all kinds of organizations putting together "latch on's" and pretty much anything that promotes breastfeeding and just yesterday I found this article posted on a facebook group that I'm part of. They were up in arms about how this was just WRONG. I'd like to disect it a little more. I also, not to long ago, had a friend on fb post how "disgusting" she thought a mom breastfeeding in church was. I was appalled by this statement.

I absolutely 100% believe that breastfeeding is the BEST thing for your baby and that if you choose to breastfeed you should be able too, wherever you would like. Texas State Laws protect this right, and lots of other rights to breastfeeding moms, and I'm so thankful for that! I absolutely love the State of Texas! :) Breastfeeding from the breast has tons of great benefits to mom and baby. Not to mention it's the way God made us. It's the purpose and function of the breast. Our society has over sexualized breasts and therefore seeing a boob feeding a baby, just freaks us out. Why, I'm not really sure, since we can see them just about every other way and think that's totally normal. 

The situation in Burleson arose because of the children that were there ages 5-12, they were hosting a day camp. One mom was feeding her baby outside the entrance, and one right inside the entrance. I can't say for sure about the first mom, but I can say the second mom was not showing much. Part of me completely and 100% understands the mom's point of view, It's hot, your baby needs to be fed, and they did offer them a private room, but if they have other children that's not feasible (one of the mom's daughters was going to a dance class).The only part of this article I have a HUGE problem with is thier wording... "The city did not attempt to prohibit breastfeeding and we fully support the freedom of mothers to breastfeed as long as it doesn't infringe on someone else's freedom"". What feedom is it that I don't have to be exposed to a breastfeeding mom, or a half naked woman for that matter. I'd like to envoke that right when I walk through the mall, or go to the waterpark, just saying. And how about the mom, that said it was "disgusting" to breastfeed at church. What is disgusting about feeding your child? I wish that we supported each other a little better. I don't think formula is "good" for our kids. Have you read the label on an Enfamil can the FIRST ingredient is Corn Syrup Solids. But I have fed Enfamil, Similac, and Earth's Best formula to 2/3 kids... I still think formula feeding is disgusting but I also realize that sometimes it's  best given our situation. So back to the question what is disgusting? The fact that it was at church? I'm unclear? Where should she have gone?

However, I then think about boobs. My husband loves them! As I think most men do. They are wired in a way to be turned on by them (In america, at least). Are they perverts? I don't think so. Are there perverts? Absolutely! But my husband is just a normal guy. I don't believe most breastfeeding moms go out to show off thier goods, I mean, they aren't just letting them hang out.. (although i do feel some do, just to prove a point). We are in no way TRYING to draw attention to ourselves. We are definatlely not flaunting it, because in my opinion there is NOTHING sexy about breastfeeding... NOTHING! However, it still doesn't change who my husband is, or yours.

I'm not currently breastfeeding (although i so wish I was) but I plan to breastfeed again at some point. And let me tell you why I chose to be covered even in 100 degree weather. Because it's modest. Because I don't have to worry about just a regular guy looking at what I have, versus what his wife has... I'm not saying that in any way it's better, or that they WANT to look. As a matter of fact my husband has been in the presence of a woman and her husband who met him somewhere, and she got out of her truck openly breastfeeding, no cover. When I asked him what he did, he said, "I just didn't look down". I think this is how most married men react. They aren't oogling. But as my husbands wife, I don't want him to even be tempted and/or inadvertenly see another woman. And so in order to "do unto others" I choose to cover up in public. My youngest daughter wouldn't feed under a blanket, there were many times I fed in the car (becuase it was easier), but i would cover up to latch her on and then strategically tuck the blanket around so you couldn't see anything. Just to add that extra protection. Were there times I probably flashed someone, I'm sure. But I was never just out there. Why? because I wish more women did that for my husband.

Do I think breastfeeding is wonderful? yes! Do I think you should be able to do it on demand without embarrassment? Absolutely! Do I wish breastfeeding was "normalized"? you bet! But the truth is, we live in America, where boobs are sexual objects. Where men want to see them any way they can. This isn't Africa where it's so normal they walk around topless so much of the time. We have been taught they are sexual, and becuase of this, I don't believe we can deny that they ARE sexual. Does that mean they should be? I don't think so, but it is! Breastfeeding advocates say that the only way to "normalize it" is for more of us to not cover up, and while that might be true. I'm just not there. I feel like not only is it kind of disrespectful to my husband (I wouldn't want him showing off his goodies) but I also feel like it's disrespectful to you, the wife of someone or the mother of a teenage boy. As women, I don't feel its inappopriate to openly, without cover. breastfeed. I mean, we all have the same equiptment right? But in public, in front of men, boys, adolescents. I think it changes the senario.

I just think there is something respectful, modest, and honoring about being discreet.

Monday, July 29, 2013

"It could be that your dates are way off, or you could have a blighted ovum..."

Here it is, my follow up post to my situtation. I'm a processor... meaning that sometimes it takes me hours, days, ,weeks, possibly even years, to actually process what I'm feeling... Because I feel the need to be strong for so many people, something I have done since I was younger, I think I emotionally shut down after hearing "bad" news. So while this blog may be informative, and I am doing my best to "feel" I'm not sure if I'm there yet. So if it seems to lack emotion, it just may...

I went in for an hcg test today. When I woke this morning I thought, after reading up on hcg, that I would wait to have my morning coffee after my test, because I wanted nothing but water in my system.  However, in waiting for my coffee, I also forgot to eat. I packed up my precious little punkins and we ventrued off to the birthing center. They don't take much blood for an hcg test so it never crossed my mind that not eating might not be a good idea. However, She had some trouble locating a vein and for some reason they kept rolling around. So after digging in my arm and not being able to get it, I told her to try my hand, I have HUGE protruding veins in my hands. She said it would hurt and that she really hated to do that, but considering the options she would. She stuck it once and the vein again roly polied away. She stuck me the second time really trying to get it when I told her, "I'm just letting you know, I feel nasueous" she immediately took it out and handed me a trash can.. I laid my head back, she told me to take deep breaths, and asked me if I was going to pass out, I told her I might. The room got bright, the voices tunneled and I just laid back. They got me a coconut water with lots of electrolytes and cold rags. I came back too.

She told me she would NOT poke me again and that she would send me to the lab, and they could do it. I then began to talk to her about a sono. At the Birthing Center everything is out of pocket and with the first of the month coming up and rent, car payments, car insurance, and a mower payment all due I wasn't sure if it was something that would work for us right now. But she told me I could wait, get the HGC test done and do the sono later, but the sonographer was there, and had no appts at the moment. I just happened to have cash on me and felt like everything was too perfect not to just find out what was going on. So I told me kiddos we were going to go look at the baby,. I was excited for them. Cade has never seen a sonogram (I don't think, or that he could remember) and I wanted him to see the baby. We walked to the other room. I laid down. Cade was ready with the camera, and the sonographer began to look around. At this point according to charts, dates, and positive pregnancy test I would be anywhere from 8-9 weeks pregnant. (I have really long periods and I assume 8 weeks, by my charts, but according to last menstrual date would be 9 weeks). I knew as soon as I saw the sac. NO BABY. Cade was asking where's the baby? did we lose it? I was prompted, when the spotting started, to tell my kids that it was POSSIBLE that something might happen to the baby. I"m thankful now for that decision. The sonographer confirmed what I saw, she told me my dates could be way off, or it could be a blighted ovum. I told her there was no way my dates were off. I know because of charting and when I took my pregnancy test. And she then said in the most compassionate way possible, that she also believed it to be a blighted ovum because it lacked a second ring (seen on sonograms) that viable pregnancies have.

I asked how long.... how long till my body knows there is no baby. Answer: 2-4 weeks. It's just a waiting game.

I have to tell you I'm sad... so sad. I have only had one planned pregnancy. That was my sweet Addie Renee. I was so happy to be pregnant with her. But I am a planner. So when I haven't had the chance to plan things out I get worried and stressed. I was worried and stressed with Cade, mostly due to shame (whole nother story) but I didn't realize what a child was, what a child meant, the work, the blessing. I also didn't realize what having a child with special needs was going to mean to me. Planned Addie. And then there was Laynie. Not planned. I was working, I was fine with the two kids I had. I didn't need more. I was not happy for weeks, maybe months, of course I warmed up to the idea. At 11 weeks had a sono and it was then that I remember really being happy. I had a precious life in me... but it took me that long. With this baby, there was none of that, it was so not in my plans, my sweet Laynie is only 14 months old, not walking. But I knew it was okay we would figure it out. When I took the test, Aaron said, "wow, i think that's the happiest I've ever seen you with a test" and he was right! I was! just happy! I knew it was God's plan and that no matter what it would all work out. I honestly feel robbed of that joy.

I still know that God has a plan. I do NOT believe that God ended this pregnancy to show me anything, to prove a point, or teach me a lesson. I do NOT believe my God works that way. I do know that He allows Satan to steal, kill, and destroy certain things. And that HE sees a bigger picture, a better plan, that NOTHING in the Kingdom is without purpose. While I don't know the purpose, I trust that there is one. God had used EVERY bad thing for good in my life. I still feel He is a redeeming and restoring God.

I have to honeslty tell you though, that as I feel sad, and robbed of joy. I also feel relieved. I have been spotting for three weeks and I have been in constant wonder of what is. I have tried to be hopeful but lets face it we are human and in the back of my mind I knew this could be a possibility and according to modern science is not necessarilly a bad one. They say that they beleive that blighted ovums are the bodies way of recognizing that there was a chromosonal abnormality, an problem in cell division, or poor quality sperm, that is caught early enough the body rids it self of it. I don't know if this is true, if it's just a theory, or if it's "proven" and I can't say I have much confidence in anything pertaining to modern medicine but; You see, I was just at a Special Olympics  swim meet with my son a week and  half ago. There are several moms on his swim team that have not just one special needs kid, but two. I am a firm believer that God does not give us more than we can handle, but I can't imagine what life is like with two special needs kids. I can't imagine how overwhelmed they must feel, trapped even. Cade is healing and my hope is that one day will be completely made Whole...but life with him sometimes is just HARD... and to be honest I struggle so much in just being his mom that I hope I don't have another special needs child. They are the absolute biggest blessing and there is NO DOUBT that Cade has revealed so much about life I would have never seen otherwise, but it's hard.

So here i am, still technically pregnant, still nauseated, sore boobs, eating everything, not wanting certain things, craving things I normally don't eat,smelling everything, but I'm not growing a baby, just a sac. I'm sad. But I know it's okay.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Situation... may be too much TMI.. consider yourself warned.

I have been asking for prayer alot lately on facebook and in my personal circles. Most people have speculated what they think the issue is, or have asked if I am okay. Since it's a situation that has to be monitored and will be ongoing I think It's fair that I write out the details for those that are praying.

I have considered not writing this becuase I fear the negative thoughts that may come against me. However, the key word in the last sentence is fear. I cannot live my life according to my fears! I have to overcome fear and doubt and right now, that is an everyday, every moment occurance.. Constantly professing the perfect love that God has for me and my family! I also know that when people know specifics they can pray specifically and I hope that, that is what happens in this situation! Specific prayers for me!

I know several things: God is good! He is the creator of Life, He loves to restore, and He loves to redeem. I know to Trust! I know that fear is NOT from Him! I'm standing firm on the things I know to be true to His character! I know that redemption and restoration can look different and that in any situation, good or bad, He works ALL things together for my good! I've seen him do it in EVERY area of my life and I don't think this trumps that.....

So here it is... I found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks... I have had three babies and had normal, non eventful pregnancies...At about 5 weeks pregnant I began having spotting and brown discharge... Not alot just some... I asked my midwife about it and she felt it was just good to monitor it and explained that sometimes things like this happen... about three days later I had a small bleed, nothing like a period but more than just spotting... I freaked out.. I have never had this before... I again talked to her and she said well... lets wait it out.  I went back to just spotting and discharge... I know that sometimes when you are low on progesterone you can have these kind of symptoms and I have struggled with low progesterone since having Laynie (in my opinion, due to taking birth control, but that's another story for another time) so I mentioned this to her and she suggested starting a progesterone cream and I have done that. I have also been diligent about taking my vitamins, lots of water, cutting most of my coffee out, just trying to protect this sweet little life as best I can! However I still continues to spot and have discharge for weeks. I thought about HGC testing, at first I thought what is the point, what will be will be, but then I thought maybe it would be good just for peace of mind... On Saturday I did my first draw, which was 12,000 in normal range for someone 7 weeks along...HGC levels should double within 48-72 hours... so on Monday I did a redraw and my HGC was at 15,000. These is not a normal rate for viable pregnancy.

There are a few things that could be the reason for this... One could just be an abnormality, but will still produce a perfectly healthy child in about 32 weeks. I could have a blighted ovum which is "The medical term for a pregnancy loss in which the gestational sac and placenta develop but the baby does not. Pregnancy hormones will rise and the woman may feel pregnant, but an ultrasound reveals that there is no baby in the sac." or it could be that it's an ectopic pregnancy, however since I have no pain in the abdomen this is probably not the case. Anyway, the midwife told me that those numbers are not great which could mean I have already miscarried or will. I have also gotten other opinions and a sono had been recommended on all sides and is the action I will take. I also think that I will get another hgc draw as early as tomorrow. :)

I am not recieving the word of a miscarriage. I have to admit that I am fearful and of course I doubt, but I'm working hard to not accept the fear and doubt and put my trust in the Lord and His promises. I'm trying to encourage my body to grow this baby in any way I can! I'm thankful for Life! I'm praying for miracles! I also encourage you to join  in praying for me specifically! I also saw my Chiro on Monday who seemed to think the issue may be my uterine lining. Thank you friends!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Those that are "different"...

Today on facebook a friend of mine whose brother is in a wheelchair, posted that she wishes parents would teach thier children (toddlers not included) to not stare at those who are different.

I just had a conversation with my inlaws last night about a young boy who had been set on fire in another country, Americans raised money for his family to move here and go to school here. They were asking him about making friends and although he looks different he had no problems making friends but said when his friends ask what happened to him he tells them.

My father in law stated that he just wouldn't want ask. And I thought about this. I would also NOT WANT TO ASK, and so I started thinking about that. Why would I not ask? My sister is missing a limb and I remember my mom getting so aggravated at adults that would just stare and look at her like it was all her fault, when she was born that way. I also have a developmentally delayed child that acts a little "odd" in social situations, as well as what others would consider "rude and disrespectful" to me. I have been told I need to spank him, I need to punish him, I need to beat him, he's out of control, by strangers no less. People that don't know anything about me or him and think that he's a product of a lack of discipline, which I assure you is NOT the issue.

And I can understand, I can understand in our world of being our kids friends before being thier parent why strangers would assume this, but wouldn't I rather they have a conversation with me before making thier assumptions? Of course I would! So back to my thinking of "Why would I not ask about a child with a disability? Why would I just stare?" I was trained this way. Not out of ugliness but just out of my parents trying to teach me not to be rude. I was taught not to stare at people that were different. I think in my mind that meant to ignore the fact that they were different. It's human curiousity that we want to know and understand. So by being taught that asking was rude, I myself have learned to not ask. I think we assume that in by not staring, and not asking, we are being nice, when the truth is we are just not acknowledging the fact that something is different.

Let me clue you in... they know they are different, if they don't know, their parents KNOW they are different. As a parent of someone that is developmentally delayed I want to encourage you, if you are curious, to ASK! I want to encourage you, to encourage your children to ASK! As a parent I feel better knowing that people know my child is different and asking questions to better understand the disability than to NOT ask and pretend nothing is wrong and not know how to deal with it, so you get frustrated with the individual. You are NOT going to offend a parent of a child in a wheelchair by asking why they are in a wheelchair, and definately not an adult. They KNOW they are in a wheelchair and just like anyone else, we like to talk about ourselves. Not to mention by educating you, you know have a better understanding of what their condition is and what life to them is like.

Okay so some of you are saying, "Brandie, I understand if they are in a wheelchair, missing a limb, have a severe scar from a traumatic event, but what about the mentally handicapp, those that are like your son, look like the rest of us but just aren't quite there. I don't want to offend someone if there is in fact nothing wrong with them", and I get that. Let me let you in on a little secret. If you spend enough time with someone, it's so much a part of thier life and who they are, they will let you know. And probably if you are spending time with them you weren't staring in the beginning. Parents love talking about thier kids so more than likely it will come up in conversation and then you can proceed to ask questions. Or you can preference it by saying, "I have a question, but I don't want to offend you". Then they know it's coming from a place of interest versus are you sure nothing is wrong with your kid...

Being that have a develop mentally delayed child and typical children, I don't think I would be offended if someone asked me if Addie (my typical child) had an issue. I would simply reply "no" and be done with it. However I absolutely welcome questions, even strangers questions about Cade.

I think ultimately, I want to teach my children tolerance. I know people are going to be ugly, they are going to isolate my children, becuase don't we ALL experience that? and even more so when you are challenged in some way? And there is nothing I can do about how others treat my child, but I can teach my children how to react, and to be different! To be the good! To accept ALL people regardless. That doesn't mean they have to be best friends, it doesn't mean they have to be friends at all. It doen't mean they have to agree on all issues, or think the same way. It just means that no matter what, they will be nice to them, they will greet them with a smile, they will show them Jesus. A Jesus they may never see or hear about otherwise!