Friday, December 28, 2007

Family Ancestry

One of my Christmas gifts from my husband this year was a software to track my family tree. The software also came with a subscription to www.ancestry.com - an online database that provides additional information from public records, birth and death certificates, etc.

Quite honestly, my first reaction was wondering if I would really find family ancestry very interesting. But within one day, my husband had traced part of his family back to England in 1497 and I was now becoming very curious about my own family line. While I am still working on that, it has been very fun finding out about my husband's ancestors.

One thing I found especially interesting was that EVERY single family that he found from two or more generations back had 10 or 12 kids, each about 2 years apart. Lest you say that a lot more children died back then - this data stems from census records (carried out every 10 years) and they only recorded children living at home at the time of the census. These children ranged in age from about 17 years to a few months old, which leaves the option that there may have been more children who had already grown and moved out, or that more children were born in the future. Again, this was not just one family, but there were dozens like it - literally every single one he found. How sad that today we live in a society that has no concept of the value of a family, and that frowns upon large families.

As it turned out, my husband's (secular) job took him to a part of Idaho this week that was very close to where most of his relatives on his Dad's side lived. So while in Idaho, he visited the cemeteries in two small towns where his ancestors were buried to get additional information. Below is a short film that he recorded during his trip. I think you will find it very fascinating, and hopefully it will inspire you to delve into your own family history.

Morning Sickness Relief

First off, I am NOT pregnant!

I can hear the sigh of relief from all my "friends" who think my husband and I are single-handedly overpopulating the earth. But, much to these people's dissatisfaction, I hope/expect to get pregnant again in the near future. This is just based on the past natural spacing of our children.

My question to anyone out there reading this is: Have you found or do you know of a cure for SEVERE morning sickness?

I get the worst imaginable morning sickness. It lasts all day, every day for about four to five months, during which time I am incapable of even performing the most simple tasks. Given my husband's schedule and the fact that we have 4 kids age 6 and under already, this is not a very fun situation. I have read about and tried with little success: eating before rising, eating small amounts all day long, sea bands, vitamin B injections, ginger tea (too spicy to drink), ginger capsules (make me gag), and other common remedies. Nothing has ever helped, and I end up throwing up about a dozen times per day. Basically, any stimulation of any of my senses makes me sick - smells, tastes, noise, busy patterns, being touched, etc. I get a little relief from lying in a dark, quiet room, but obviously I can't do that for months on end. This is also the only time I have time to build jigsaw puzzles as they "relax" and detract my brain. Being dehydrated makes the problem a lot worse, but I find myself in a vicious cycle of trying to drink water, which makes me throw up, which makes me even more dehydrated etc. I'm sure if I was seeing a doctor they would send me to the hospital with "hyperemesis gravidarum", but being a home birth advocate I see a midwife instead and suffer through the nausea.

I did find one product once that seemed to work, it was called "Morning Sickness Magic". A bottle for $12 lasted 2 days, which works out to be about $200/month. I did not continue buying it, but my husband said that he will buy it for the next pregnancy if it helps. It basically consists of a liquid mixture of ginger extract, B vitamins, and folic acid. Maybe I could make my own mixture from the same ingredients, since the amounts are listed on the back.

Anyway, I would really, really appreciate any advice that anyone has to offer. Maybe you have found a natural product that worked for you. Please leave a comment below, and remember, comments can be left anonymously.

Thank you in advance!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Photos

Here are some of the pictures from Christmas.

I lost count of how many packages were under the tree somewhere in the high 70s. Hardly any of those were gifts that we had bought, we were just given so much this year. The children certainly enjoyed opening each and every package!


The tree with all the kids' presents


Miriam eating her German sausage. Trying to pry it out of her little hands is impossible.


The kids with their new Playmobil horse stable. Thank you, Uncle Bandi & Aunt Zsuzsa!


Solomon's new obsession - building marble runs. This one is fantastic, I highly recommend it.


The kids built a Playmobil village with all the new pieces they got for Christmas, as well as ones they already had. Gotta love that wall decoration (courtesy of Solomon)!

This is similar, except they built a city with Lego (Duplo) pieces.

Thank you for my pretty new dress!

The Three Stooges

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Where did her parents go wrong?

"Leigh Lawson stands in front of the San Francisco Zoo on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007, protesting the killing of a Siberian tiger that killed one person and injured two others on Christmas Day. Police officers shot the tiger after it escaped from its enclosure and attacked the three visitors. Lawson, picketing alone, outside the zoo Wednesday afternoon, says she wishes officers had tranquilized the animal instead." (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

If you read any of the news stories on this, you may know that when the police entered the zoo around 6 PM, it was getting dark. Also, they initially thought that 4 tigers had escaped. The first thing the police found was a dead body near the tiger exhibit. As they searched the zoo, they happened upon the tiger near the cafe as it was repeatedly attacking one of its victims who was sitting on the ground bleeding from gashes on his head. When the police yelled at the tiger to stop, it started coming toward them. A 350 lb animal is pretty hard to kill with a single shot, and I am not surprised that several of the officers started shooting at it. I am glad that they killed the animal before it hurt any of the officers. It was then that they discovered another severely injured person on the ground behind the tiger - the other victim's brother. Both are reported in stable condition after undergoing surgeries today.

As far as I know, the police does not carry guns with tranquilizers. The zoo does keep such drugs on hand, but the zoo keepers had locked themselves into various buildings after the escape (as they had been taught to do). How this woman possibly thought that the police should have left the tiger to continue mauling its victim while they went to grab a gun loaded with special tranquilizing drugs is beyond me. Even if they were already carrying such a gun (which I greatly doubt), why should such an animal be allowed to live?

Who cares if this is an "endangered" species or not? Sounds like the three victims were the ones being endangered. Are humans worth less than tigers because there are more of them? I guess if you think that we are animals and that there is not God, that would make sense to you.

I have a feeling that this woman is also pro-abortion and against the death penalty. She likes to see innocent victims die, while the perpetrators are protected.

WHAT A SICK FREAK!!!

Exodus 21:28 "If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit."

The zoo missed the boat a year ago, when they failed to put the animal down after viciously attacking a zoo keeper: Exo 21:29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.
Had they done as the Bible commands in this verse, the tragedy yesterday would have never happened. Zoo management is therefore responsible for the young man's death if they have not properly kept the tiger in, and the Bible places the death penalty on that.

If I am a fanatic for believing the Bible, then so be it.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Our plans for Christmas

Wow, I can't believe how fast the time between Thanksgiving and now has gone by! I am finally catching on to the kids' excitement and feel like opening all the presents immediately. But no, I want to use this as an opportunity to teach them patience.

We will not be travelling to visit family, nor is anyone coming to visit us. For dinner on Christmas Eve we will be having German sausages and potato salad, a tradition from my side of the family. The kids will each get to open one present that I pick out - I sewed all four of them matching PJs so they would be looking cute in the pictures on Tuesday morning. Then we will open presents on Christmas morning once they manage to drag us out of bed, which hopefully won't be too early, and after reading the Christmas story in the Bible first. Personally, I'd rather open presents on Christmas Eve, as was our tradition growing up, but I don't want to deal with crying breakdowns when I try to send the kids to bed after just having received all these nice new toys and other things. On Christams Day, somewhere between getting dragged out of bed tired and opening the dozens of presents under the tree, we will have a breakfast of bacon, eggs, and pancakes on Christmas morning. (Side note: The BEST way to cook bacon is in a deep fryer, seriously. I have never made bacon any other way since learning about this. Try it, you'll love it! This does not add any more fat because you drain it all on paper towels before serving.) Hopefully the kids will be so occupied with their gifts that my husband and I will be able to enjoy some board games throughout the day, as well as cook the Christmas dinner - Honeybaked Ham with mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, fresh rolls, etc. We only have this ham once a year, and it is soooo good. My guess is that we will be eating this in the early afternoon, as well as nibble on leftovers throughout the evening. I would also like to make a cheesecake for dessert. Maybe we can also go for a leisurely walk in the afternoon.

Christmas Day also is also our church's 2nd anniversary. It has been so exciting starting this church, and I think that we have the best people in the world.

I will be posting pictures later on next week. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family!

Friday, December 21, 2007

What a day!

In case you have been reading this blog and find yourself wondering if I am (a) always on top or (b) have the easiest kids in the world or (c) live in lala land where everything always goes my way, here is a list of all the annoying things I never mention but mostly experience every day:


- Mounds and mounds and mounds of laudry.

- Three different phones ringing a total of approx. 100 times per day (no joke).

- Several calls every day from strangers asking for money. My favorite this week was a woman who said she needed $1500 for her mortgage, but she would be happy to take any amount we could offer her. Could you hold for a minute while I get my checkbook? Seriously, when did God become an ATM machine?

- My husband, who likes to talk on the phone very loudly, while pacing back and forth through the entire house. Makes me every more scatterbrained than I already am.

- Having to share bathrooms with three little boys. At any given time they are either clogged, not flushed, dirty, or all of the aforementioned.

- Working for 18 hours every day, only to feel like I am always behind on chores, errands, school work, Bible reading/memory, etc. It feels like drowning.

- Did I mention laudry already?

- Trying to please the palates of four children in one meal, three times per day. One only wants vegetables, one only PB&J sandwiches, one only sweet foods, and one only meat and potatoes. I guess their nutrition is balanced between them all.

- No scheduled or guaranteed coffee/bathroom/lunch breaks ever.

- The mounds of food I sweep off the floors every day. I could easily feed another person just from what is under the table.

- Being so overstimulated by the voices of three little boys chattering loudly all day long that by the evening I am just trying not to start screaming like a maniac and asking to be put in a mental institution.

- Tattling, fighting, and sibling rivalry.
.
- Getting 6 hours of sleep or less on most nights.

- And, not to forget, lots of laundry.

Of course, they say to enjoy it while it lasts, and that the kids grow up so fast. I'm sure that's true, and I'm sure that if I get some rest tonight I will be ready for the same circus again tomorrow. I better be, because whether I feel like trying to be a good mom or not, the few years that I have to raise the kids right are running out fast.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My new camera

Well, Christmas came early for me this year and I got a new camera from the money that my parents sent us. I am about as happy as happy can be! The camera has many wonderful functions, such as...

...panorama shots, where it actually "stitches" together three photos:



... photos at night without a flash - this one was taken from our driveway just after sundown:

... and literally about 20 more settings for fireworks, motion, portraits, candle light - you name it, it's there. There is also an automatic setting for everyday picture taking. But best of all, this camera can take very high resolution videos - it's great!

Here are a few more pictures from this week:

Daddy and Miriam


Miriam being wild


Solomon and Isaac

Both Isaac and John have not worn anything other than their fireman outfits since they got them. I have to wash them at night and have them ready in the morning. When Isaac was praying before bed tonight he prayed that his fireman outfit would never get dirty for the rest of his life!

All the kids can't hardly wait for Christmas. They are still loving their advent calendars, but this has somewhat backfired on me because they are so excited about them that they wake up much earlier than usual and jump out of bed to open them. When they all woke up at 12:30 AM last night after Solomon got sick and was throwing up (he ate something bad at the restaurant that evening), Isaac got really happy and announced that he was going to open his calendar for the day. I sent him straight back to bed...

Hope you are enjoying this Christmas time with your family!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Natural Child Spacing Through Lactational Amenorrhea

Below is an article I have written on the subject of naturally spacing pregnancies through lactational amenorrhea. You will not enjoy this article if you find the thought of a nursing child inappropriate in spite of the Bible's many mentions of this subject.

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Natural Child Spacing Through Lactational Amenorrhea

Written by Zsuzsanna Anderson

December 2007

Breastfeeding provides a natural delay in women's return to fertility. It can also lower cancer rates and space babies more optimally. Mothers who breastfeed usually skip their menstrual period for some time after birth. Skipping periods during breastfeeding is called “lactational amenorrhea.”

By feeding a new baby only with breast milk, a new mother can prevent pregnancy if her period has not returned.

Baby's sucking controls the mother's ovulation. The more the baby has a need to suck, the less ready he is to be displaced by another. The less baby has a need to suck, the more ready and able he is to cope with a new brother or sister.

Research shows that even in the United States, breastfeeding delays the return of most women's periods.

Fully breastfeeding means the baby relies completely on mother for nourishment and for all of his sucking needs. Your baby's frequent nursing inhibits the release of hormones that cause your body to begin the monthly preparation for a new pregnancy. Ovulation does not take place and you do not have menstrual periods.

The exact duration of amenorrhea depends on each woman's nursing pattern and on her own physiology.

As explained by Sheila Kippley in Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, the seven conditions to delay the return of menstruation are:

  1. Exclusive breastfeeding (no other liquid or solid from any other source enters the infant's mouth) for the first six months of life.
  2. Comfort your baby at the breast.
  3. Don't use bottles and pacifiers AT ALL.
  4. Sleep with your baby for night feedings.
  5. Sleep with your baby for daily nap feedings.
  6. Nurse frequently day and night and avoid schedules. (For young babies, this means at least every 2 hours during the day, and at least every 4 hours at night. For older babies, this means at least every 3 hours during the day, and every 6 hours at night.)
  7. Avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your baby (i.e. leaving the baby in the care of someone else with a bottle – even if it is pumped milk – while you get some “time off” from the baby).

Mothers who follow ALL SEVEN of these tenets will experience an average of 14 months without menstruating. Mothers who breastfeed but don't do so exclusively (or don't follow all the recommendations exactly) may have delay in the return of their cycles, but usually not for as long of a period of time as mothers who do.

Mothers who follow the above guidelines still have about a 1%-2% chance of becoming pregnant in the first 6 months after birth. Between 6 months to 1 year after giving birth, mothers have a 3%-6% chance of pregnancy. Night time feedings are especially important in preventing the return of fertility.

In Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession, Dr. Ruth Lawrence explains that it is important that mothers don't expect casual breastfeeding to limit their fertility. She writes:

“A significant distinction should be made between token breastfeeding with early solids and more rigid feeding schedules and the ad lib breastfeeding around the clock with no solids until the infant is six months old. The amount and frequency of sucking are closely related to the continued amenorrhea in most women. When a totally breastfed infant sleeps through the night at an early age, requiring no suckling for six hours or more at night, the suppressive effect on menses diminishes. It has also been shown that if the infant uses a pacifier rather than receiving nonnutritive sucking at the breast, the suppression of ovulation is diminished.”

Menstruation generally occurs after the baby starts to suck less frequently. Babies need to suck at least 65 minutes a day to prevent pregnancy in their mothers. (McNeilly) Once menstruation occurs, increasing the number of daytime breastfeedings does not usually affect continuing menstruation. (Diaz) In mothers who wean before menstruation returns, most find that it returns by 2-8 weeks after weaning.

Breastfeeding can and should continue when menstruation resumes. Mothers sometimes notice that their babies become fussy at the start of menstruation, perhaps because many mothers have a slight, temporary drop in milk supply at the start of their period. After a few days of increased nursing, the supply will return. Some women experience moodiness and irritability. It is common for cycles to be irregular for the first few months. Even after the return of menstruation, the cycles may be anovulatory for several more months, meaning that the release of eggs from the ovaries is still suppressed and that pregnancy cannot occur.

Breastfeeding has a powerful effect on the body. Lactational amenorrhea is a normal, healthy part of the reproductive cycle that provides mothers with a natural break from fertility. Many scientists believe that extended periods of lactational amenorrhea may help to explain the lower rates of ovarian, endometrial, and breast cancer found in women who breastfeed.

Common objections to the effectiveness of lactational amenorrhea debunked

I have tried this before, and it didn’t work.

As stated above, the guidelines for holding off the return of menstruation must be followed 100% by some women in order to be effective. Other mothers are naturally less fertile and may not experience any menstruation as long as they are breastfeeding at all. Until you learn about your own personal fertility over time, you will need follow the guidelines exactly to make sure they work.

Many women who “try” this will find that they are following the guidelines only casually.

How can a baby go without bottles and pacifiers?

Simply don’t buy any. While there are mothers who cannot produce an adequate amount of breastmilk, this condition is extremely rare. Some people do not produce enough insulin and they suffer from type I diabetes, but this is likewise very rare. That is not to say that some women will not have to work harder than others to have an adequate milk supply, although personally I believe that this has more to do with the mother’s general life style, particularly how much rest she gets. A daily nap is vital to a new mother, as is healthy, balanced nutrition and loving support from her family.

If you are having a baby shower, request that you do not receive any bottles, pacifiers, formula, breast pump, etc. Do not buy any formula “just in case”. If you receive formula samples, give or throw them away. When your newborn baby is hungry and crying because your milk supply is not catching up with his growing demand fast enough, the best thing to do is to take it easy for a couple of days and lounge around feeding the baby around the clock. There are excellent herbal teas that you can drink during this time (or every day), as well as certain foods that increase milk production. If you have formula and bottles in the house, however, you will be tempted to feed your crying baby “just one bottle” until your supply increases. Although this may seem harmless, this usually leads to a downward spiral of more bottles and less nursing.

Anyone tempted to feed their baby formula should take a sip of it themselves. It must be the most disgusting tasting thing ever invented.

As far as pacifiers go, again – just don’t use one. Most babies have to be taught to take a pacifier and at first reject it vehemently. The babies suckling is not just to get milk. It stimulates the production of hormones in the mother’s body that hold off ovulation, even if the baby is not actually drinking. This is why extended nighttime feedings and a daily nap are so vital. While Mom and baby are snuggled up side by side sleeping, the baby will suckle without actually getting much milk, causing the mother’s hormone levels to be boosted.

How will we ever get a break from the baby if we can’t leave him at a sitter with a bottle?

Once breastfeeding is well established and you know your child’s personal feeding patterns, you will be able to take breaks by leaving right after a feeding and returning before the next. This window of 2-3 hours is enough to go shopping, go out to eat, or do whatever else it is you want to do.

That being said, I do not want to encourage mothers to view their children as a nuisance and a burden, but rather as an extension of their mother that automatically goes with them wherever they go. Nor do I ever leave our children in anyone’s care except their Dad’s. If we both want to go out on a date, we bring along all our children. Sad to say, children today watch dating couples on TV all day long and all too often see glimpses into their bedroom scenes, but rarely see their parents interact normally as a married couple. If you don not find going out with your children enjoyable, you may need to reevaluate their discipline (or lack thereof).

I have several kids – how can I take a nap?

Older kids can be taught to play silently if you give them puzzles, books, school work, etc. Younger kids (mostly the 4 and under crowd) who will not play quietly can be made to lie down with you. If you really can’t take a nap one day because of certain circumstances, you can retreat to a quiet spot with the baby and nurse him/her while relaxing yourself. If you cannot take a nap regularly because of your schedule, you should reevaluate your schedule. Your own baby should have priority over just about any other obligations. Many mothers are so busy “serving others” that they neglect their own child. I believe that the root cause of this is the fact that when you serve others, you receive praise and appreciation, something a baby cannot express very much. Mothers should remember that their own child also falls into the “others” category, and should be at the top of that list along with your husband and other children. Besides, taking a nap and being well rested will give you the energy to get more done in less time after your nap.

If you do not like naps because they make you groggy, plan for an extra 15 minutes after your wake up to get a small snack, a drink, and splash some fresh water on your face. You will be glad you napped later.

Not following a nursing schedule will mess up my day and take up all my time.

Babies will fall into their own predictable pattern themselves. By about 3 months of age, even if the mother has been feeding on demand exclusively, she will know her baby’s own unique pattern and be able to plan around that. Most babies born into the same family will follow the exact same pattern, making it even easier for the Mom to predict.

Personally, I think that a rigid feeding/sleeping/playing schedule designed by a “Nursery Nazi” does more to mess up a mother’s day than feeding on demand. Babies that are overscheduled tend to be thrown off by any slight change in schedule brought on by a vacation, an emergency, sickness, etc. These schedules were designed for bottle-fed babies and later somewhat “adjusted” to fit breastfed infants.

Where most people miss the boat is when the child becomes older (around 6-8 months or so) and is purposefully manipulating the parents to get his way, rather than just following the natural instinct to eat frequently. This can be corrected through discipline. Give the child what he wants, or give him what he needs – but leaving him to “cry it out” is a lazy approach.

I can’t imagine having our baby sleep in bed with us!

The practice of babies sleeping with their mothers still is practiced almost everywhere in the world, and has been throughout history. It is every mother’s natural desire to want to have her child close by and to make sure that s/he is safe. Not only is it vital to the success of breastfeeding and natural child spacing, but having your baby sleep by your side provides many health benefits to the baby, such as reduced rate of SIDS, better weight gain and growth, less colic, etc. It will also help the baby feel close to Dad, who may be gone at work much of the baby’s awake time. Mothers lose virtually no sleep at night once they learn how to nurse while lying down because the baby can eat while both s/he and Mom are sleeping side by side. These mothers will also rarely ever, or only very briefly, experience postpartum depression. This condition is brought on by poor hormonal balance after childbirth and will continue and worsen if the mother is disjointed from her child, while sleeping with the baby on the other hand will help the mother’s hormone levels to adjust.

Obviously, precautions must be taken in order to ensure the safety of the baby in the parents’ bed. Although even parents who move around much in their sleep will naturally be aware of the baby and stay away from him/her, this is not true if you are under the influence of medications, drugs, or alcohol. A crib is the safest place for children of such parents. Once the child is old enough to roll, a bedrail will keep him from rolling out of bed if s/he is not sleeping between both parents. Or you could simply push the bed against the wall, as long as there are no gaps at all.

If your husband has objections, try to explain to him how lactational amenorrhea works. For personal time without the baby, you could either lay the sleeping child in a bassinette/crib temporarily, or simply retreat to another part of the house yourself. Once you realize that most of your time in bed is spent sleeping soundly, you will not view the baby as an intruder.

Our church has mandatory nursery, and does not accommodate nursing mothers.

First, check if use of the nursery is really mandatory, or just preferred. If the latter is the case, just get used to the dirty looks you will get from others who bowed down to the “Nursery Nazis” while you keep your baby with you in the service. Even babies can be taught to sit somewhat quietly through church. The most difficult time of this training process is probably between 6-18 months of age, and you may have to step out if the child is disruptive. An excellent way to train your child, or even baby, is to read the Bible to him at home as a family and to encourage him to sit quietly during that time. You could also encourage your young child to adjust his sleeping pattern to sleep during church, since most babies will be sleepy from the car ride anyway. Or you could (GASP!) discreetly feed your baby in a sling during the service without anyone knowing about it, which will keep a young baby asleep and an older baby quiet. This is a great tool to bridge the gap between 6 and 18 months because babies can go from sleeping through the service to sitting through the service smoothly. When using a sling, other people may not notice the baby at all, or will think you are simply holding your sleeping child, as long as you use the right kind of sling that pretty much covers your entire front and back. Just don’t tell anyone what you are doing, or they may fall over dead.

Going to a church like that is a difficult situation, and you may need to be creative until you can find a good church that is also family-friendly and accommodating to mothers of large families.

Conclusion:

If mothers follow their natural, God-given mothering instincts to feed and care for their babies rather than adopting man-made, modern methods and equipment, they will be able to have healthy, safe pregnancies at naturally spaced intervals. These mothers will also be more in tune with their children through naturally nurturing them, and will have children so pleasant and loving that they would love to have as many children as God will bless them with.

References:

Bumgarner, N.J. Mothering Your Nursing Toddler. Schaumburg, IL: LLLI, 2000.

Diaz S, Miranda P, Brandeis A, Cardenas H, Croxatto HB. A study on the feasibility of suppressing ovarian activity following the end of postpartum amenorrhoea by increasing the frequency of suckling. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1988 May;28(5):525-35.

Gray RH, Campbell OM, Apelo R, Eslami SS, Zacur H, Ramos RM, Gehret JC, Labbok MH. Risk of ovulation during lactation. Lancet. 1990 Jan 6;335(8680):25-9.

Heinig MJ, Nommsen-Rivers LA, Peerson JM, Dewey KG. Factors related to duration of postpartum amenorrhoea among USA women with prolonged lactation. J Biosoc Sci. 1994 Oct;26(4):517-27.

Jones RE. Breast-feeding and post-partum amenorrhoea in Indonesia. J Biosoc Sci. 1989 Jan;21(1):83-100.

Jones RE. The effect of initiation of child supplementation on resumption of post-partum menstruation. J Biosoc Sci. 1990 Apr;22(2):173-89.

Kippley, S.M. Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing. Cincinnati, OH: CCL, 1999.

La Leche League International: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Schaumburg, IL: LLLI, 2003

Lawrence, R. and Lawrence, R. Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession. New Jersey: Elsevier, 2005.

McNeilly AS, Glasier AF, Howie PW, Houston MJ, Cook A, Boyle H. Fertility after childbirth: pregnancy associated with breast feeding. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1983 Aug;19(2):167-73.

Mohrbacher, N. and Stock, J. The Breastfeeding Answer Book. Schaumburg, IL: LLLI, 2002.

Perez A, Labbok M, Barker D, Gray R. Use-effectiveness of the ovulation method initiated during postpartum breastfeeding. Contraception. 1988 Nov;38(5):499-508.

Weinstein, M. Your Fertility Signals. St. Louis, MO: Smoothstone Press, 1989.

WHO The World Health Organization multinational study of breast-feeding and lactational amenorrhea. IV. Postpartum bleeding and lochia in breast-feeding women. World Health Organization Task Force on Methods for the Natural Regulation of Fertility. Fertil Steril. 1999 Sep;72(3):441-7.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

John's 3rd Birthday

John turned 3 on Tuesday of this week. Below are some pictures from that day. It was great!











Isaac was crushed because he had been pretending to be a firefighter for weeks and he really wanted to have a costume, too. My Mom bought him one for Christmas, but we gave it to him early so he would be able to wear it to the party.





Since John had asked for a fireman theme for his birthday, we had the party at the local fire station. The firemen gave us a tour of the facility and showed us their trucks, equipment, and all. I thought other people had gone there to celebrate their birthdays before, but the fire chief said that in 22 years this was a first for him, which made me wonder if I am a little strange. I think the kids really loved it. I'm sure they will be pretending to be firemen for months now. Below are pictures from the party.













Finally, here are some of John's birthday portraits.





Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pictures from this week

Last Sunday, we lit the first candle on our advent wreath:



A picture of Miriam in my favorite sling. It was a real life-saver this week when she was sick and wanted to be held 24/7.


John has been wearing this Tigger costume all week long, every single day. I have had to wash it for him every night.



Next are pictures of two different activities we did in the evenings this week. The first one is from when we decorated some citrus fruit with cloves, which both looks and smells great. The second picture is from another night when we cut pretty patterns out of paper doilies and glued see-through colored paper behind it for a beautiful window decoration. Notice the fruit basket on the table with the finished craft from the previous activity. In the back is my husband reading the Bible to us while the kids and I are working on our Christmas crafts.




Isaac and Miriam in the pilgrim hats that Isaac made:


This last picture was taken this morning, right before leaving for church. Now two candles on the wreath are lit!



Miriam started getting better almost immediately after I started her on the zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C on Monday afternoon. She still has a little bit of a cough and a runny nose, but is doing fine with that.

John will turn 3 on Tuesday. The theme of his birthday is "Fireman". For the party on Saturday, we are going to tour the fire department in Tempe, and then have games, hot dogs, and cake at the house. I still have some planning to do for that.

The coming week will be our first week back to routine schoolwork, which we haven't been able to have because of all the illness. When I was looking over my school planner/journal to assess the damage I realized that by working here and there whenever we could we did 3 weeks of work during the last 4 weeks of all of us getting ill twice back to back - not nearly as bad as I thought.

Have a great week enjoying the Christmas season with your family!