Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Baby 3 Pregnancy Journal: 20 Weeks!

This baby deep inside me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave to me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now a part of my life, my testimony." - Brenda Rodgers, "New Rules for Announcing a Pregnancy"

How Far Along? 20 weeks! Halfway there! Unbelievable to think that in just 20 more weeks we'll have three children (37 months and under!). 

Baby Size? "size of a small cantaloupe ... about 10 ounces and 6 1/2 inches (crown to rump)" -What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th ed. 

Gender? It's a BOY! Tennyson is beginning to understand that there's "baby brother in Mommy's belly." He'll say "Huxley" when prompted. I don't think Annelise has any idea just yet. haha

Weight Gain? I've forgotten since the last appointment! Whoops!

Belly? Belly is getting bigger! I absolutely love this baby belly of mine! (I recently had several say I was barely showing. I'm thinking that was a little heavy attempt at flattery because I definitely feel like I'm showing. hahaha)

Sleep? Oh goodness. Sleep is gained only after several completely restless nights. My body seems to simply demand it at that point and I can sleep through anything. But, then the next several nights will be so restless and I feel just rotten the next day. Maintaining composure with little to no rest and pregnancy hormones has been a challenge to say the least (and it regrettably hasn't always happened). 

Symptoms? This pregnancy is definitely taking a greater toll on my body than the previous two. Then again, it is the third pregnancy in just three years. Migraines are still an issue. Fitful sleep is also still an issue. I'm also experiencing an increasing issue with my legs as painful varicose vein and muscle cramps have become common. As much as I prefer to remain active and busy with caring for our home and children, I'm learning that sitting and resting is very beneficial. I'm having to lean more on David so those opportunities are possible. I don't want to push myself to the point of causing greater problems later (especially since I have a 2/3 probability of preterm delivery). 

Clothing: After standing in the closet staring at my tiny collection of ill-fitting tops and tops that required a layering shirt and finding none appropriate for the day's activities, I decided to sit down at the computer and order some new pieces. Fortunately, when I logged onto ThredUp I discovered a balance in my account! Whoo hoo! Unfortunately, only one item from the entire order fit. Such is the way it goes in ordering from ThredUp. I suppose I'll do a little more shopping. haha

Movement? The leg issue has prompted me to begin going for a daily walk around the neighborhood. Some days the children and I will go out in the mornings with the stroller. Other days, we'll wait until David can join us in the evenings. It's a much nicer experience now that the temperature is at least in the 80s. My goal is simply a balance between propping my feet up for rest and getting them moving for circulation. 20 weeks into this pregnancy- the time has come. 

Baby Movement? He moves, but doesn't do any wild acrobatics. His position and movement reminds me a lot of my pregnancy with Tennyson. Both boys seemed to be fixed in one position and will only on occasion swing one end of his body up to a transverse position. Huxley is nearly always in the same position, which is often evident on the outside. (It's worth noting that both boys have been in the same "horn"). The full anatomy scan is in four weeks, and I'm very curious to learn his position and surrounding environment. I could be wrong, but I have a sneaky suspicion that we're encountering a duplicate experience. The similarities are striking, but, again, I could be wrong. 

Food Adversions? None. I like pretty much everything!

Food Cravings? I still love all things sweet and salty! Yum!

What I miss? Sleep and less aches and pains. haha

What I'm Excited About? Despite the unpleasant symptoms, I'm excited to be pregnant yet again. It's a thrilling experience that only occurs a few times in life. I really enjoy the belly getting bigger and browsing through those sweet new baby clothes.

(I'm also excited that the nurse at the office here is awesome at giving shots. So far, no golfball size knot, no deep purple brusing, no burning pain or pain running down my leg like last time. Phew! I think I can handle this medication if it's like that, even if it is via an injection.( ...When this is something that becomes part of life for 20 weeks and was so awful last time, you get excited over good administration! haha)

What I'm Nervous About?
    I'm still rather concerned about having childcare for my other two children whether for appointments, emergencies, or delivery. Simply finding an arrangement so that I can attend appointments (every week with the RN, every four weeks with the OB, and now moved up to every six weeks with the MFM) has been a challenge. David has been doing everything he can at work to create space enough for him to come and watch the children while I go currently. It's not a great solution, and, again, I worry about the case of an emergency or delivery in just a few months. Always a prayer.

How Am I Preparing for Baby? We haven't done much of anything specific within the last two weeks. We have added to our list of freezer meals to make. We also worked more extensively on teaching Tennyson and Annelise to sleep independently (ie without us needing to stay in the room until asleep), which will play a role later in us being able to manage bedtime with three children. We also have intentions to begin far greater effort towards teaching them to play independently in their rooms for a certain amount of time each day, and, again, this will later aid in being able to manage three very young children. So, I suppose we've not necessarily been preparing in physical or material ways, but in ways that will allow us all to function well with three so young. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Motherhood Narrative

   
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Copyright belongs to "Fredrik Rubensson."
 No alternations made to the original image. 

     We are all writing a story. Like it or not, that story will be read. What is being written in the chapters called "motherhood" and "homemaking?" 

     Too often only one portion of the story of motherhood and/or homemaking is shared. We're all familiar with presentations of either entity as blissful perfection or absolute mess. Neither instance moves us forward. We become bogged down and stuck in either position. Then, we get comfortable and stop craving continuance. We're missing a significant portion of the story.

      Every story is composed of a beginning, middle and end. The beginning often provides the background information that helps the reader understand the characters or situation. It prepares you for the middle portion of the story in which the action occurs. Afterwards,  we see how the conflict is resolved as part of the ending of a story. It may conclude favorably or unfavorably. A good story will impact us in some way. We'll have gained a greater sense of character, wisdom or grow in our understanding of people and life. 

     The same can be said of motherhood and homemaking. There's a beginning, middle and end to those narratives as well. Many times, though, we're provided only the beginning. The problems encountered are discussed to such an extent it begins to appear as though that is the complete story. "Life with children is a mess- You're a mess! You're children are a mess! You're house is certainly a mess!" How do we move on from here? We can't if this is the story.. Conversely, we're also presented with the ending of the story. We witness the woman and the home that "has it all together." Yet, we are unaware how that state came to be because all we see are the solutions. Again, the story is partial in its perspective and we're left incomplete. What is missing is the middle portion of the story. We're missing the action. What happened? How did it impact and influence the individuals involved (ie the family) or the setting involved (ie the home)? 

      I think we're hesitant to divulge the middle portion of the story for various reasons. It's the portion that is in progress. It's also the portion that requires input, and that can be either action or inaction. What did we do? Did we do anything? We can't, or at least shouldn't, withhold the middle portion of the stories our lives are writing. This portion completes the narrative and give a clear picture of that which is being written. 

      If we ever want the narrative of motherhood and homemaking to be of greater value than the perception, then we've got to be the ones to take that pen and write a new one. We've got to be the ones to share, to teach, and to guide others in representing these pursuits well.
      
     Are we taking ownership of that pen and paper? Are we actively training our children, managing our home, and growing personally? Or, are we turning away pretending those pages aren't being written and won't ever be read?

     Eyes are watching. Ears are listening. What is your voice saying? What are your actions conveying? What is the narrative you are writing?


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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Baby 3 Pregnancy Journal: 18 Weeks!

(18 weeks as of 9/13/16)
This baby deep inside me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave to me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now a part of my life, my testimony." -Brenda Rodgers, "New Rules for Announcing a Pregnancy"

How Far Along? 18 weeks

"baby is filling out nicely and getting large enough that you might even be feeling those twists, rolls, kicks, and punches he or she is perfecting. Another set of skills your baby is mastering now is yawning and hiccupping ... And your one-of-a-kind baby is truly one of a kind now, complete with unique fingerprints on his or her fingertips and toes." -What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition

Baby Size? "5 1/2 inches long and about 5 ounces in weight." -What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition

Gender? It's a BOY! His name will be Huxley Nathaniel R. It's been so fun to begin referring to his things and using his name!

Weight Gain? Total gained has been 8lbs. so far. 

Belly? The belly is getting to the point where it's pretty obvious but not so obvious that it's "safe" to ask. I can usually tell when someone has those curious eyes. haha

     I did have one lady at church ask me last week. She said the belly button gave it away most. She's had four closely-spaced children, and knows that sign well. haha. 

Sleep? Yikes. Sleep is still so hard fought. So many nights are spend restlessly dreaming. This is the first pregnancy in which I've had so much vivid (and sometimes disturbing) dreams. 
     I've had to make a much greater effort to going to bed as soon as possible to maximize rest. David has been wonderful in finishing the kitchen cleaning and tidying up the house before he comes to bed so that I can get that headstart. 

Symptoms? The migraine headaches are still problematic. My OB suggested I try drinking a cup of a caffeinated beverage since that's the key ingredient to over the counter migraine medications. It hasn't eliminated the headaches and their symptoms but did take a bit of the edge off. I have found that rest and water make a difference. So, my remedies have included a cup of coffee, laying down if David is available to care for the children and home for me, and drinking lots and lots of water. It's not a total solution, but the best I know of currently. Crazy how every pregnancy can be so very different! 

Clothes? Still wearing the same four maternity shirts and two maternity pants. As much as I enjoy clothing and the creativity of styling clothing, I also hate shopping and spending money. I will eventually need to expand my wardrobe. I'm just being stubborn currently. haha!

Movement? I'm keeping up with a household, two young children, and so many appointments...good enough! haha. 

Baby Movement? My OB asked if I had begun to feel some flutters. I held back from laughing because I've been feeling this little guy for the past four weeks! One advantage of being my natural size is the ability to feel baby movements very early. I love feeling each and every squirm and kick! So very, very grateful to do so this one last time. 

Food Adversions? Not particularly! I'm loving food! haha

Food Cravings? Juicy fruits! I love citrus fruits, especially pineapple. I also enjoy salty things like pretzels. (Just like I did in my first pregnancy with a boy!)

What I Miss? Dreamless nights. Seriously, killing so many nights' rest. 

What I'm Excited About? I'm excited to get to experience pregnancy again. (Though, some aspects have been rather unpleasant). So many days I think of this little one being with his siblings. I watch Tennyson and Annelise play together and see their little friendship forming. What a treasure all three of them will have to have one another in life. Makes my Mama heart so full!

What I'm Nervous About? My Mama hands are already equally as full as my heart. I worry at times about how to manage yet another person who is fully dependent upon me. It can be a lot in a day's work. 

I'm also nervous about beginning injections soon. 20 weeks of pain is not exactly a nice view. However, the only way is through. Like it or not, this is what must be done. Perhaps a little sweet and salty chocolate treat after each appointment. haha

How I Am Preparing for Baby?

     We started to prepare meals for the freezer, but then read that 5-6 months in the freezer may lessen the quality of meals. So, what we decided to do was add two breakfast freezer-friendly meals and two dinner freezer-friendly meals to our weekly menu plan, but not freeze them. We're making them to determine if we like them, and then compiling a list. Probably the beginning of the new year, we'll take that list and do large batch freezer cooking on the weekends. 
     Other preparations have been the start of replacing our carseats. We chose to not upgrade our vehicle to accommodate another passenger, but, instead, continue our debt snowball to payoff and purchase three carseats specifically designed to fit three across a row. We chose the Diono Radian RXT. We'll eventually get a van for more space, but for now...squeeze in everyone! haha

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Baby #3 Pregnancy Journal: 16 Weeks!

(Actually 17 weeks in this photo)
This baby deep inside of me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now part of my life, my testimony." -Brenda Rodgers, "New Rules for Announcing a Pregnancy"

How Far Along? 16 weeks!

"The bones that are now in place in his ears means he can probably hear your voice. ...thanks to his developing facial muscles, your baby is capable of making a few expressive frowns and squints, even at this early stage. ... And his eyes are finally working, making small side-to-side movements and perceiving light (although the eyelids are still sealed)."- What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition*

Baby size? "three to five ounces, and he's four to five inches in length"- What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition*

Gender? It's a BOY! His name will be Huxley Nathaniel R. It's nice to be able to give "baby #3" an identity now! We are so excited to add a little boy to our family!

Weight Gain?  I've gained 6 lbs. total so far.  

Belly? Oh yes. Baby #3 is making his or her presence known already! I love baby bellies, though, and think they're beautiful. I'm very grateful to wear one this one last time!

Sleep? I've already entered that "just can't sleep" phase. I find it difficult to maintain a comfortable position most nights. I've also had some crazy dreams in this pregnancy. Most days include me falling asleep in Tennyson's floor as he's falling asleep. haha

Symptoms? My biggest symptom is still exhaustion. Restless nights plus two toddlers and daily housework are also contributors. haha
      A new bizarre symptom I've had with this pregnancy has been frequent migraines with numbness. Sometimes I'll not sense the headache but will still have a sudden onset of facial numbness. I brought this up with my MFM, and he said he sees it daily it's completely benign. I have never heard of such a symptom. Glad it's inconsequential (though highly annoying). 

Clothes? Maternity clothing! I've debated whether to wear the same four shirts and two pants all pregnancy or purchase new clothes. I hate to spend money on items that will only be used for a short amount of time. At the same time, not feeling like a frumpy pregnant housewife is also important to me. So, I'll probably be very strategic in planning and purchasing pieces that I can mix and match so that I can get the most outfits for the least amount of purchases. 
     (You'd think that I'd have an abundance of maternity clothing since this is #3. However, I've been at different stages and in different seasons (and states) for all of them! haha)

Movement? I do my best to keep up with the housework, a two year old, and a one year old.... who needs a gym?! haha! 
     I would like to do more walking, but it's so hot and the mosquitoes swarm so fast. Bummer. I'd love to find a prenatal yoga video or app. as I feel like stretching would be of greatest benefit. However, I'm having trouble finding something for a beginner level and that doesn't take a lot of time.

Baby Movement? I can occasionally feel this little one kicking and wiggling. I still love to stop and place my hand to feel him moving. I absolutely love all those little movements before he/she gets big enough for them to be uncomfortable. 
        Kind of funny the difference from first (or second even) pregnancy and this one. In the previous pregnancies I would absolutely panic over not feeling movements. I've been much more relaxed about it this time. haha 

Food Adversions? Not much. I'm loving food! haha

Food Cravings? Pineapple! I've also thoroughly enjoyed salty snacks like chips and salsa. Salty has been my preference for the most part. Although, occasionally I've enjoyed something sweet. 

What I Miss? Sleep would be nice, but there hasn't been much of that anyways in the last 3 years. haha. Not really "missing" anything. 

What I'm Excited About?  I really didn't believe we'd attempt to have another biological child. I am so, very, very grateful that God has given us this child. I'm really soaking in the moments of this last pregnancy. 

What I'm Nervous About?  I still have concerns for what we'll do if I am "out of commission" for an extended time (via bed rest, hospitalization, csection etc). We don't have resources for childcare or anyone that could assist in household tasks. Even finding childcare for the children so that I can attend frequent prenatal appointments has been a challenge, and thus far has required David to take off work each time. I'm trying to remind myself that God has gifted us with this child and placed us where we are in life, and he will provide. 

      Of course, I'm very nervous about beginning the injections soon. Those things brought me to tears nearly every time last pregnancy. I'm dreading it. But, then I see photos or stories shared about micropreemies, and I'm able to push through because, honestly, those cases scare me. Our preemie situation was difficult enough. If I can just keep that thought in mind and push through these next 20 weeks of injections one last time. 

How Am I Preparing for Baby?
    We're starting to compile a list of breakfasts and dinner meals for the freezer. We've plugged our deep freezer in and are ready to fill it up! (I'm still really bad at freezer meals though! yikes!)
     I've also begun compiling a list of items we'll need. Things like an additional seat at the dining table, an extra car seat, replacement pump parts and storage bags etc. I'd also like to get a floor gym this time. I think one of those would help us have more successful tummy time and independent play (two areas my children have never enjoyed). Whenever he's ready to move out of our bedroom and into the "boys' room" we'll need to purchase another bed for Tennyson and then the toddler bed will get passed down to Annelise and her crib passed down to Huxley. That's not an immediate need though. The most pressing is the need to replace all carseats so that we can fit three seats across in our current vehicle. 


Thursday, September 8, 2016

August 2016 In Our Home

 

    I've felt my heart be drawn more towards home. My attention has been pulled far too often away from being centered on our home and our family. There are so many distractions encountered each day. Social media on my phone has a powerful pull. With a simple press of a button I'm entered into another world. When behaviors and attitudes sink, I'm tempted mightly to use this device as an escape. But, mothering-well is not about escaping when times are tough. It's about pushing through and pressing on because the challenge exists for everyone in the family. How else will my little ones know how to successfully overcome hurdles unless they are taught, exemplified, and permitted the opportunity to practice? Escaping will not get them far (a lesson I've had to learn the hard way in life). This lesson is greater and one I wish for them to see from me. I also wish for them to always be assured and confident that Mama is fully present. I desire for them to see that this is where I want to be. This is where my heart is. They have me- all of me. They can trust in my steady love. That means, I need to eliminate the distraction of a device and choose to be all in.
31 months old!

      Another distraction I've contended with has been in being out too often. We've moved to an area in which being out of the house daily is highly valued. We attempted to attend more activities and programming offered at various locations within the community for the purpose of making connections in a new place, but ultimately this approach is not be well suited for our family. It's rather taxing for me to get everyone ready and then adequately managed once there. (I can only carry and comfort so many children at one time!). I'm feeling fatigued and tense by the busyiness and the children certainly do too. We all do so much better by having a predictable daily routine and then reserving one day a week for getting out and about. I've determined that this may be highly unconventional, but absolutely works for us and that's my focus. I imagine this decision and weekly routine will serve us well when in the spring when I'll have three children 37 months old and under.


     As I mentioned, we've been attempting to find connections here. Although we've been here since mid-March, friendship has been hard to find. Yet, I'm remaining hopeful. I'm also remaining prayerful and seeking the Lord. He has revealed much to me regarding this matter. (Future post planned on this matter, so I'll save more details for then).

I neglected to lock the pantry back.
He found the 85% baking chocolate.
Needless to say he didn't go to sleep
until late that night!
       Despite my desire for home and tendency to be highly organized, home life can be rather..messy. It's remarkable how much I don't realize the mess or the ill effects until it's completely cleaned. Then, it's as though a weight has been lifted and I can breath easily again. Cleanliness and clutter have a strong influence on my feelings of stress, overwhelm and exhaustion throughout the day. Our personal attitudes (uh hem..mine) and home's atmosphere needs greater peacefulness and less tension and chaos. One key factor in getting to that point is exercising diligence in following our daily homemaking schedule/routines. Within this plan are pre-determined opportunities for caring for the home while also having adequate times to be attentive to the children and even myself. I rewrote our daily schedule a bit this month to account for our current later start to the day so that it's the most realistic for us to achieve. Perhaps this would be a good time to revive the Homemaking Challenge?

          In regard to the children, everyone is doing well. Baby #3 is still on the inside, and for me that is always the main focus. We did learn that we have a 2/3 probability of another preemie despite interventions. That does leave a 1/3 probability of making it all the way to term. However, we still may face the strong likelihood of an extended amount of time in which I'm 'out of commission' regardless of arrival time. This is concerning because we do not have childcare resources currently. We're prayerful the Lord will provide. 

14 months old!
    Tennyson is continuing to develop his language skills at a rapid pace. It's remarkable that how fluidly we can communicate with him. We can ask him questions like what he had for breakfast, what he did that day, or what he saw if we were out etc., and he can respond. He's still measuring to be our long and lean guy. He's 76% in height but only 13% in weight! Thank goodness for pants and shorts with the adjustable elastic on the inside of the waistband! haha

      Annelise has made a big development this month in that she's a walking girl now! She's following in her brother's footsteps on the timing of reaching milestones. She's really enjoying the greater mobility (and probably a little relief from crawling on hard tile floors!). Also like her brother, she's been working on cutting new teeth- lots of new teeth. Both of them have been slow to begin teething, but then make up for lost time by cutting six at one time. It's always an exhausting and trying time, but we make it. She still measures quite opposite of her brother. She's 51% in height and 51% in weight. She's a square. haha. 

She's fully mobile now!
      It's remarkable how different two children from the same parents can be! Tennyson and Annelise look nothing alike. Their personalities are complete opposites as well. (Makes the mind wonder what baby #3 will look and be like!). Fortunately, despite their differences they get along really well. Now that she's walking and understanding language better, she and Tennyson have really become close friends. I absolutely love hearing him call out to her, "Come on Eese! Let's play ___." (The best he could say her name when he was younger was "Eese" (pronounced like "geese"), and that has stuck. I find it adorable). They're getting old enough to where they can safely play in a room together unsupervised for short periods of time. Their favorite playtime, though, is when Daddy gets off work. My heart delights in the sound of their happy squeals and giggles. He's such a wonderful Daddy.  

     Another exciting happening within our home this month has been the beginning of "school" with both of the children. My purpose in this time is not academics, but one-on-one time. We sing songs, make and play with playdough, read stories, color, play with toys set aside for this purpose etc. We chose to utilize "All Aboard the Animal Train" by My Father's World for Tennyson. For Annelise, I heavily adapted curriculum from abcjesuslovesme.com for Annelise.  So far, we've all really enjoyed adding this time and activities into our days. (Future post planned for each of our curriculum choices, so I'll save details until then). 
Annelise's "tiny tot school." (I created a Facebook Live video on our plan)

     Last, a glimpse into what we've been reading this month. I finished reading *Toddler Rules by Jo Frost. I love her practical approach to parenting. The many techniques presented are immensely helpful. I highly recommend any of her materials. Once finished, I began the book, *Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full by Gloria Furman. The title was very appealing as that is precisely where I am in life currently. However, so far, I'm not impressed with the writing or content in the least. Perhaps it will get better. I've also been independently participating in the Good Morning Girls study of James. I've been interested in these study sessions before, but didn't want to spend $9 for a journal book that I could probably create on my own for much less. Yet, I never have so I decided to go ahead and purchase the journal. For whatever reason, having that *printed journal has made a difference in my diligence in reading and studying the Bible. I really enjoy how it's merely a space to facilitate your own study. I often don't utilize devotional materials because they often tell you what to think of a passage or make the passage fit their topic. The GMG journal does have a reflection question on one page of each section, but otherwise is a blank space to "S.O.A.K." ("scripture"- "observation" - "application" -  "kneel in prayer"). Another feature I've enjoyed is that the sections are very brief, which makes it feasible to complete on a near daily basis. I say "near" because it's taking me twice as much time as the official study to complete the chapter. Many days I simply don't have an opportunity to sit and read or study, but I look forward to those time when I am able. For this reason, I don't believe I'll join any of the online GMG groups. I will, however, continue to make the investment in the journals because it has been worthwhile for me. 

Note: Links preceded by an "*" are affiliate links. I am an affiliate with Amazon.com. As such, I will receive a small compensation from any purchased made through these links. (Thank you!).

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ladies (Bloggers), We Can Do Better

    
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     Blogging, especially personal blogs, are a wonderful way to share with others. It's a wonderful way to be encouraged and learn new approaches that might prove to be successful in our own homes and families as well. Unfortunately, they're also an excellent way to passively condemn others while asserting ourselves.They can become reactionary by being a means of merely reacting to something someone else has shared.

     This situation is so disheartening because, ladies, we can do better! We can share what works for us and how we do things in our home without condemning the choices of others. It's simple- share your approach and/or enjoyment of that method, and make no mention or even allusion to that of another's. 

      Natural toys vs. conventional toys. Child-led vs. parent-led. Small book collection vs. large book collection. Tot school vs. free play. Scheduled day vs. free flowing day. On and on and on. I'm sure you could add some as well because we've all encountered it. Sheesh.

     When it comes to caring for your home and family, do and say what works for you. We can bring so much greater peace and unity to the motherhood community by choosing to not be reactive in our posting. There's no need to critique others if you're confident in your choices. Just do your thing! 

     My heart and hope is that anyone who partakes of any aspect of Our Homemaking Story will simply find a presentation of life within our home and family, with no condemnation of anything or anyone else. If you happen to also find something that is encouraging or helpful, then "hooray." But, ultimately, I'm merely sharing our story as it develops and enjoying the connections with sweet ladies along the way. If I have written in condemnation of others' choices, then I sincerely apologize as this is absolutely not my intention in the least.

     Let's purpose to do more of this. Let's be women (and bloggers) who build each other up, even as we share our individual preferences. :)
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