Jaileigh Speaks

Marriage and Family Matters

The Build by Paul Teutul Jr.

I grew up watching American Chopper on the Discovery channel on television. My dad was a huge fan of the show and wanted to grow a mustache just like Paul Sr.

I always admired Paul Jr.’s designs he fabricated for each bike he was involved in.

His creativity was amazing and you knew he had talent and passion for making the small details seem like such a big thing to clients who ordered bikes from Orange County Choppers.

It always amazed me how much Paul Jr. would fight with his father, Paul Sr. I always believed that it was scripted and made to look over the top. Unfortunately, this was just how their relationship always was.

This autobiography gives you a window into the behind the scenes of custom motorcycle building as well as Orange County Chopper’s rise to fame and the rocky roads that came with it on the Discovery Channel’s hit series, American Chopper.

I also read about how God changed Paul Jr’s life for the better. I really enjoyed reading this autobiography and wish that my father was alive to enjoy it as well.

Visit Paul Jr’s Facebook page here.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


God Gave Us Family

The newest installment in the “God Gave Us” children’s book series is full of warm fuzzy feelings!

Little Pup is traveling to a family reunion with his mom and dad. His parent’s tell him about the different family sizes and different relatives can take care of children too.

I love how this book presents:

The traditional family

The single parent family

The grandparent family

As well as:

Biological children

Adopting children

My favorite part was when extended family was talked about. It’s not always easy being a part of a large family that has differing opinions, but they are still family and we are called to love them anyway.

All throughout the book, God’s divine design for family and community is shown.

When Little Pup gets to his family reunion, he shares his thoughts on family.

For more information, click here.

Ms. Bergren has done a phenomenal job explaining the types of families God made.

Read more about Lisa here.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Follow the Cloud by John Stickl

Fear of the unknown.

It’s out if my comfort zone.

Ever had these thoughts before?

I sure have.

I enjoyed reading Follow the Cloud by John Stickl.

This book was written based on the the Bible’s account of the s escape from Pharaoh in Egypt in Exodus.

I was having my own spiritual struggles while I was reading this and came across this quotable statement, “The familiarity of shackles is often more comforting than the unknown of freedom”.

WOW! Can you relate to that statement?

Too often we are reluctant to pursue a new venture because it’s too uncomfortable. *NEWS FLASH* God didn’t say our life would be comfortable when we agree to follow him.

I know, I’m preaching, BUT this totally smacked me in the face because this is ME!

I like comfort, familiar things, and security.

Here’s what was going on in Exodus…

Egypt was ruled by Pharaoh. He had the Israelites working to build the pyramids. The Israelites were oppressed and worked hard, but they still cried out to God to save them. So God raised up Moses. Moses was born to an Israelite family. Pharoah had just decreed that all male babies were to be put to death. So Moses’ mother put him in a basket and sent him out on the Nile River where Pharaoh’s daughter found him while she was bathing. She took him in and raised him as her son. Fast forward a few years and Moses is outside the palace and sees a guard beating an Israelite slave. He kills the guard and flees to Midian. There he meets his future father-in-law, Jethro and starts a peaceful life. One day, Moses was tending his father-in-laws flocks of sheep and came across a bush that was burning with flames, but not burning it’s leaves or branches.

Wait, what? A bush that had fire “burning” in it, but was not burning the bush itself? WOW! I bet that was a sight to see!

OK, so Moses encounters God at this burning bush and God tells Moses that he and his brother, Aaron, are going to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let God’s people go. And so begins the long back and forth dance of Pharaoh saying “no” and the plagues raining down on Egypt.

When the last plague comes and take the first-born child of every household that did not paint lamb’s blood over their door frames, Pharaoh finally agrees to release the Israelites.

Only to end up lying and chasing the Israelites.

BACK UP A MINUTE.

So, Pharaoh released the Israelites. The Israelites had 2 choices, 1. stay and remain slaves or 2. follow God into the unknown future. Imagine having no time to prepare to pick up and move your family. The deal was that they were escaping to the “Promised Land”, but they didn’t know when or where that was happening.

What faith that must have taken to pick up and just leave Egypt on faith! How uncomfortable would that have been?!

Here’s the cool thing. “From the moment the Israelites stepped ouf of Egypt, God invited them to follow the cloud” (Stikl, 19).

God was with them every step of the way. He was there in the form of the cloud during the day, and in the form of a pillar of fire during the night.

“God provided exactly what they needed: a promise, his presence, and a next step” (Stickl, 19).

God is always speaking. The problem is: ARE WE LISTENING?

More about the author click here.

Author Biography

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Dr. Seuss Collection

WE LOVE DR. SEUSS BOOKS!

My kids absolutely enjoy these silly books!

These exact books have been in my husband’s family since he was little and now we have them to pass on to our kids!

I love how each book has tongue tying phrases and quirky pictures. I always find myself struggling to keep up with the phrases, but my kids love it!

I would have to say that my favorite Dr. Seuss book is “The Foot Book”. This book was one of the first that I learned to read through independently. I was so proud of myself when I was able to read this book all the way through without any help at all. It was also the first Dr. Seuss book that I added to my book collection.

Yes, the characters are funny looking, but look at how creative Dr. Seuss was when he came up with them! Truly a unique mind, Dr. Seuss had.


Never Settle for Normal

Looking for significance in your life?

How about happiness?

The path to significance and happiness has been shared! Jonathan Parnell does an outstanding job lighting the way.

“Never Settle for Normal” gives you the tools you need to find your significance and happiness.

No more living in the “stupid normal”.

Parnell takes you on a journey through scripture that helps create and nurture your spiritual life.

He paints a vivid picture of who God is and how He desires us to live our lives day to day.

This is great study material!

Parnell gives you a study guide so that you can study with a church group or friends and dive deeper in discussion.

He provides references, both scripture and literature as well as an index for quick topic research.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Bring on the Summer Fun!

It’s been a hot and humid last few days!

GOOD NEWS!!!!!!

We have finally finished our homeschooling for the year!

Now what??

We have been working on our reading skills and letter sounds.

I am also re-examining our home school schedule for this coming school year.

Year-round or follow the public school calendar?

I spent some time weighing pros and cons of schooling year-round or following the public school calendar.

I think I have settled on schooling “lightly” over the summer.

What do I mean by “lightly”?

We would focus on reading and writing this summer. I desire for my 6-almost 7-year-old to pick up reading fluently. He does well with short sentences and stories, but still needs some work on sight words. No problem. Just another reason why I love homeschooling… flexibility. We can focus on subjects or skills that need attention rather then moving on and being left behind.

My 3-almost 4-year-old will continue with his letter work and practicing writing them. He does well with one-on-one, so I need to work on making time for that one-on-one.

With the high temperatures and humidity, we will try out some YouTube channels to get moving and burn off some energy on these unbearable days we are experiencing!

What’s up with me?

I am working on decluttering currently and have a large load that needs hauled off! I am organizing and downsizing as much as my older boys and the baby will let me!

Joel’s been working long hours, so we haven’t gotten to spend much time together lately. We still spend our date nights together, so that helps us reconnect.

New things to look forward to!

Do you love reading?

I know I do! I don’t spend nearly enough time reading for myself anymore, however, I am going to work hard to make time to fill my love of reading.

I will be reviewing a wide variety of books over the summer weeks, so be on the look out for some options to fill your bookshelves with!

I know that this is short, but I just wanted to send out an update as to what we’ve been up to!


The Truth About Breastfeeding

This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small commission from any purchases made through my affiliate links at no additional cost to you. This commission goes toward supporting our homeschool. I only promote products that I find value in. Thank you for your support!

To see my full disclosure policy, click here.

***Disclaimer- I do believe FED is best, but I have breastfed my two youngest boys and formula fed my oldest. You feed your children however in the way that works best for you and your situation.***

 Breastfeeding has so many benefits.When done the right way and consistently, you and your baby can enjoy a lot of bonding time together.

So here are some truths about breastfeeding (in no particular order).

1. It hurts. It does at first. Sometimes it hurts just that first time, other times it just hurts and keeps on hurting. Some babies catch on a lot quicker than others. Remember: It’s a learning experience for both of you, especially you first timer’s. Don’t hesitate to seek out some help from a Lactation Consultant or a “seasoned” mommy friend. With practice, it will get better.

2. Your breasts will feel sore and sensitive to touch. For those first few days, you will feel tender and probably experience some swelling. It’s OK. It will pass once your breasts get used to producing milk. Taking a warm shower always helped relieve some pain for me.

3. Cracked and bleeding nipples will happen. Again, you may get lucky and your baby may catch on to breastfeeding a lot quicker than others. You are blessed if you do! However, if your nipples get to the point of cracking and bleeding, DO NOT GIVE UP! That’s where I was with my oldest when we were two weeks in to our breastfeeding relationship. It just wasn’t happening. I got so frustrated and did not have any support to encourage me. I didn’t seek out a Lactation Consultant and just said, “forget it, I’ll formula feed him”. That’s OK, by the way. If you can’t find support, you have to do what’s best for your situation.

4. You will be thirsty ALL THE TIME. Breast milk’s primary ingredient is water. Have a water bottle handy or within arm’s reach all day. This way, you will be able to stay hydrated and make lots of milk for baby.

5. You will lose weight. Be sure that you are eating healthy and drinking lots of water to keep the weight off. Research what foods would help with milk production and also be healthy for you to eat to keep your energy up.

6. You will feel like baby is feeding every hour. In the first few weeks and even months, it is critical for your milk supply for you to fee on demand. Yes, it will seem like the baby is always attached to your breast, but this will help establish your milk supply and set you and baby on track to being a breastfeeding dream team!

7. If you are married, or your partner is around, be sure to pay attention to them too. Too often, breastfeeding moms get caught up in taking care of the baby, that you spouse or partner may feel left out or neglected. Let them spend some time with the baby and change diapers for you. Sneak in a short nap if you can while they spend time with your baby.

Now I want to share some breastfeeding products that helped my baby and I on our breastfeeding journey…

Having a good quality breast pump really helped me establish my milk supply. I was able to pump and save back some milk for those times that I have to have someone else watch my baby. I am lucky enough to be a stay-at-home-mom for now, so I enjoy being able to breastfeed and pump when I need to. Don’t let the price of a good pump turn you off! Most insurance companies can cover most of the cost for you; in some cases your insurance may cover up to 100% of the cost. It never hurts to call! Do yourself a favor and contact your insurance provider, you may be surprised!

Storing your breastmilk is another important thing. I used these Lansinoh bags and they have worked great. I freeze mine on their side, laying flat inside of a baby wipes container. See next picture.

There are roughly 8 packs of milk in this container all ranging from 2.5 oz-4.5 oz.

Leaks will happen, it’s inevitable. I use disposable pads for convenience. There are options for cloth pads that can be thrown in the washer and dryer.

For sore nipples, I used this lanolin cream in the beginning. You can also just rub in some of your own breastmilk to sooth sore nipples, but I found that the lanolin worked better for me.

Breastfeeding is such an amazing bonding experience with your baby. I wish you well and hope you have much success with your breastfeeding journey!


When Life Gets Rough After a New Baby Arrives

First of all, I want to share a popular Bible verse that I have clung to recently and use it as a reminder that God has plans for me even though I fail Him daily:

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

As most of you know, we welcomed our third son to our family in December.

We have now been a family of five for three months now and enjoy every day of it!

BUT

It wasn’t always like that…

The first week we had our new baby home was full of meals being brought in, extra hands to help out with our other two children, and half days at grandma’s house. We were totally blessed by our friends and family!

Then, Joel had to go back to work, and there I was, now a mom of three little boys.

Our oldest son had been through a transition when we had our second son. Our second son had never been through the process of having a sibling join the family. Needless to say, it was most rough on him. He was now a middle child and didn’t understand why he wasn’t the baby anymore.

Thankfully, he has his older brother to play with and entertain, but he still feels left out sometimes.

I failed early on with my time management and true to my oldest’s wise words from a previous post, I “was spending more time with the baby than with him and his brother”. See that post here.

The very thing I had sworn to myself NOT to do, I was doing. I didn’t see it right away and beat myself up about now, but I was so focused on the new baby, I forgot to be mom to my other two babies.

I guess I kind of justified it by telling myself that this baby was quite possibly our last baby and I wanted to enjoy every moment about it.

Then something else occurred to me…

My husband.

My partner, my beloved, my friend. The one who stood by me through the whole pregnancy was now being neglected because I was being selfish with my time focusing on the baby. It sounds silly now, but babies have a funny way of driving a wedge between you and your husband; not intentionally, it just happens.

Just when you think you had everything figured out and feel great about where you are at as a family, then you start your daily routines again… except, now you have to get creative and accommodate a baby.

Praise the Lord, we have fallen into a routine.

Yes, it involves much multitasking, but it works for us.

It’s been a learning experience, but I am thankful that God has allowed me to become a mom of three. Yes, it’s challenging, yes it tries my patience, but it’s also expanded my capacity to love and extend grace.

I am still working on my time management and probably will be for an extended amount of time, but I would not change where I am in life at all.

2 Corinthians 4:15 (NIV)

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”

So, what am I doing to make life not so rough these days?

I made a quick list:

  1. I make sure to spend even amounts of time with both of my older boys. We play video games, read stories, go for short walks, anything that involves just them and me.
  2. I allow them to help me when I really need it. They are always eager to help in any way they can.
  3. For Joel and I, we still have our weekly date night. Sometimes we take baby with, other times, we don’t. We also try to put baby to bed and stay up talking and catching up.
  4. I still call on my mom to help me out when I need to run some quick errands. It’s a lot easier to have her sit with the boys than having to take them with when I just need to run in to a few places quickly.
  5. I make sure to have some “me time”. I don’t always get my Bible reading done each day, and I am trying to get better about that. I feel better when I can have some quiet time and refocus.
  6. I take my multivitamins daily. This had helped increase my energy and I am not as irritable as I was while I was pregnant.
  7. I also extend grace. I know I’m not perfect and neither are my kids or husband.
  8. I multitask when doing home school with my older boys. This is mostly me nursing the baby while they work on school work sitting nearby o the couch or floor. This has helped a lot and we have been able to get caught up from taking six weeks off for my “maternity leave”.

That’s all for this round! I hope someone finds value from this post.

Just know that you are not alone in this journey and it will get better if you’re struggling after the arrival of a new baby.

 


My Third Son’s Birth Story (My Breech Baby)

Photo credit: J. Lynn Photography

I had my last doctor’s appointment on December 27, 2016.

Keep in mind, this stinker has been flipping back and forth between head down and breech. I had been doing Forward Leaning Inversions, Breech Tilts, a version of the yoga pose, “Downward Dog”, and spending a lot of time on the floor on all fours. I had asked my doctor 2 weeks prior to this appointment what I could do, and these suggestions came up when she recommended the website, Spinning Babies.

We had a sonogram done before our appointment… and that little stinker had turned head down! All the tilts and inversions I had done had paid off!

We went back for our appointment and my doctor asked if we wanted to have an induction done tomorrow. My husband and I both jumped on that idea. Turns out she was joking at first, but our little guy was making her “nervous” and she was worried that he would flip back to breech if we didn’t give him an eviction notice right away.

So, the nurse called the hospital we requested to deliver at… but the earliest induction slot they had was Friday. We had her call the other hospital in town, and they were able to offer us a 12:00 AM induction that night. Midnight it was!

We ran a few last minute errands and made arrangements for our older boys to stay with family. Our boys spent the rest of the day with us.

When bedtime came, we took them to grandma’s house and helped get them settled. They were excited to get to spend the night with grandma :).

Joel and I went home after that and tried to get some sleep. I slept a little bit, Joel did not.

We arrived at the Emergency Room (where we were supposed to check in) around midnight and waited for someone from Labor and Delivery to come get us. My mom followed us to the hospital and joined us there.

A nurse came for us after about fifteen minutes. I got to take a ride in a wheel chair! She showed us to our room and let me get changed. A different nurse came in and introduced herself. She would be my nurse until around 7:00 AM. She got my IV’s and fetal monitor hooked up, went over paperwork with me, and then told me to get super comfy and get some rest.

Baby and I were to be monitored four an hour or so and then Oxytocin was given to me via my IV to get labor started. The nurse came in to take my vitals and check on me every 1/2 hour-hour and to increase the Oxytocin. I rested somewhat comfortably. Joel rested on the couch that folded down into a bed.

My doctor stopped in at around 7:15 AM to check my cervix and break my water.

That got things moving quickly!

That also made things a little more painful… LOL!

I asked for some medication to take the edge of the contractions and the nurse happily gave some to me through my IV. I was flying pretty high after receiving that medication. I also was able to get some quality sleep too.

I was supposed to be switching from laying on my left side to my right side, but little man decided that he didn’t like me laying on my left side. His heart rate dropped when I laid on my left side.

My medicine wore off and I was ready for my epidural. I requested it and, of course, had to wait for it. Meanwhile, I was given a “peanut” to put between my knees to help me dilate faster… and it worked. I went from 3 cm dilated to 7 cm in forty-five minutes.

I finally got my epidural! This time I didn’t receive any narcotic with it. I still felt pressure, but no pain with each contraction. This was because of how fast I was dilating. It was uncomfortable, but nice to know when to push. I was able to dilate almost completely without any more help.

I was instructed to push to try to help along the last bit of dilation. It worked! My doctor was called and she said it would be fifteen minutes before she could get there.

So, I had to breathe through some contractions so I wouldn’t push. That was exhausting. At one point, I thought that my nurse would be delivering our baby because he started crowning before my doctor got there.

My doctor arrived and had to struggle to get her other glove on as she told me to push. I pushed one time and little man did the rest. He pushed himself out with the next contraction.

I made a point to tell my doctor, “I’m not pushing, it’s all him!”.

He was immediately was wiped off quickly and put on my chest for skin to skin contact for that first “Golden Hour”. I loved it. He wasn’t whisked away to be weighed and measured. He was given to me right away, as it should be! Now, if there had been a problem, I would understand if he had to be whisked away, but there wasn’t, so this was one happy mama!

He caught on to nursing right away, he didn’t really cry. He actually was awake for part of the time he was on my chest. What an experience!

I truly believe that the reason he nurses so well is because of that first hour of his life that we got that bonding time.

Around 2:00 pm the nurses all came in and helped me get up for the first time, get the bed changed and cleaned up, weighed and measured little man, and gave him a bath. He weighed in at 7 pounds 14 ounces and was 21 inches long- the biggest of the three!

We were able to go home the next day because we didn’t have any complications. We were ready to back in our own beds and to get started adjusting to being a family of 5 instead of a family of 4!

This birth experience was so much better than I could have hoped for! I had great nurses and they helped to make this birth such a great experience!

Thanks for stopping by!


Hurry Up and Wait

Well, friends, I am 37 weeks pregnant.

My. Patience. Is. Gone.

LOL.

For real, though, I am so ready to meet our new little guy and upgrade our family of four to a family of five!

Our older boys are also anxious and excited. They keep asking when baby brother is coming.

I now attend doctor appointments every week.

Last week, we were disappointed to find out that there was nothing happening with my cervix.

We also go the news that our baby is still sitting breech and has been since about 28 weeks.

This brought on a whole lot of unnecessary worry and anxiety for me, but it happened, nonetheless.

My other two boys, if you recall, were both natural deliveries, no c-section needed.

This baby is proving to have his own agenda and I’m not sure that I’m totally OK with that.

I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions, but they have stopped. I was really hoping to at least be dilating at this point in the game, but that hasn’t seem to be happening.

Just been a rough week.

My doctor referred me to a website called Spinning Babies.

They have some pretty tried and true techniques to get a breech baby to flip head down.

I have been spending a lot of time on my head (literally) this last week.

I keep getting told I have time still and to not worry.

Honestly, this is the worst thing you can tell me… the baby is NOT getting any smaller, nor is he gaining anymore room.

It already hurts when he decides to move around during his awake cycles, I CANNOT even imagine how much it will hurt if he gets the chance to turn himself around.

Having a c-section is scary, new territory for me. Normally, I can deal with the idea of surgery, but I just don’t want to cross this bridge. I have two other busy boys to tend to.

I don’t have anyone that can AFFORD to take time off of work to help me those first couple of weeks after baby comes.

Prayer and hope is what has kept me going this last week.

I am frustrated.

I am stubborn.

I refuse to settle for a c-section.

God knows what he’s doing and soon, I will too.

Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.