Thursday, January 26, 2012

Baby Sign Language

Denver is almost 17 months, and he still doesn't say many words. He sometimes says "dada" and "mama," and he'll occasionally say something that sounds like "nigh nigh" when he wants to go to bed, but that's about it. My parents tell me that I was a late talker though, and now I never stop talking, so I'm confident he'll be just fine. :)

In the mean time, he's gotten pretty good at baby sign language.  Austin's mom (my mother-in-law) is fluent in sign language, so she has helped a lot with the signs. Denver seems to really enjoy it, and it's nice to be able to communicate with him, even if it's not through spoken words.

Last night I recorded us showing off a few of these signs. For some reason, I always decide to do this sort of thing when I'm not wearing any makeup, and I haven't brushed my hair in like 24 hours, so please excuse that. Also, now that I watch this video, I think I sound like those contestants on Wheel of Fortune that SCREAM the letters at Pat Sajak like he's never heard of the letter "T" before.  But that's enough self-deprecation. There's still a cute baby in the video, and he's the important part.


Monday, January 23, 2012

The Long Overdue "Mummy Tummy" Update

It was May 2011 when I originally blogged about my frustrations with my "mummy tummy."  It is now almost eight months later, and I'm finally updating everyone on my progress.  I confess that part of the reason that I haven't posted on this subject until now is that I was so discouraged. I originally thought, "I'll make a plan! I'll stick to my plan! And in six weeks the results will be amazing and everyone will be encouraged and I'll be skinny again! Hooray!!"  And then six weeks passed... and another six weeks... and a few more months... and my stomach still protruded to what I felt was an embarrassing level.

As I mentioned eight months ago, I didn't just have too much fat on my stomach. I suffered from diastasis recti, which is a separation of abdominal muscles, causing internal organs to not be supported, causing a bulging stomach and protruding belly button (cute when you're pregnant, not cute when you're not.)

Although it took much longer than I anticipated (Denver is now almost 17 months old), I am happy to announce that my mummy tummy is almost completely gone! It has certainly taken a lot of hard work and dedication (Yes I did borrow that line from Dolvett on the Biggest Loser), but it's been worth it.

May 27, 2011

January 23, 2012 
(8 months later)

The little tummy that you see left in the above picture is mostly excess skin (TMI? sorry). It's possible that with time, that skin will tighten, but it's also very possible that it won't. As of now, I'm planning to never wear a two-piece again, and I'm pretty okay with that. I'd take Denver over a bikini any day. :)

For those that are interested, here's what I did to lose the tummy:

1. I went to physical therapy every week for 8 weeks, learning new exercises and helping to retrain my muscles.

2. I wore an abdominal splint (and still sometimes do) as often as I can remember to wear it.

3. I do "tupler technique" exercises multiple times a day. Like usually every time I drive, or whenever I'm sitting on the floor playing with Denver, or any time really. I try to do six sets of 100 exercises every day. Yes, that's a lot. But hopefully that gives you an idea of how important this was to me. I reeeeeally didn't want to look pregnant any more, and my lower back needed more support.

My main point of this post is to encourage anyone who is in a similar circumstance. When I look at my blog stats, I notice that other than Austin's post about Denver's birth, my Mummy Tummy post is my other most popular entry. Which makes me think there are other women out there with a similar story.

If you have diastasis recti, and you're feeling frustrated, feel free to email me and I can give you more info on everything I did:

And in the mean time, please know that if you keep up with the right exercises, your muscles can be retrained, and you won't always look 4 months pregnant! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Breastmilk Counts... continued

So last summer I let everyone know that our little family took a road trip to Austin, TX so that I could be interviewed for a pro-breastfeeding website.

Since then, I've had a number of people ask me if I'd ever seen the final product. My answer has always been... "No, I keep checking the website, but still nothing."

Well, last night, Austin asked if I had checked in a while, and it had been a month or two since I'd tried to find the video. Sure enough, it was posted!

So here it is. My 1:14 minute clip about breastfeeding. I certainly hope that my information, along with the other women who contributed, encourages women to nurse their babies/toddlers, even if they are having a hard time, or feel for some reason like they "can't."

Yes, I do nurse Denver briefly in this video. If you are uncomfortable with that, I wanted to inform you in advance. But maybe if you're uncomfortable with it, all the more reason to watch! ;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year, A New Attitude

I have a New Year's Resolution.

It's the kind of resolution that is scary to say aloud because it means people will know about it and (gasp) maybe even hold me accountable to it.

I resolve to stop complaining.

There. I said it.

I have been incredibly convicted of this for quite some time now. I feel that there are certain things that we, as Christians, take very seriously:

Love one another deeply.
Don't lie.
Don't use the Lord's name in vain.
Serve those less fortunate than yourself.
The list goes on...

But having a grumbly/whiney attitude is just as wrong as any other sin.  God is very clear about complaining.  In Philippians 2:14, Paul writes,

 "Do everything without grumbling or arguing..." (emphasis mine). 

Seriously God? EVERYTHING? 

What about when Denver has his fourth enormous dirty diaper of the day? Don't I deserve to whine a little about that?

Or what about the extremely rude woman at the grocery store? Can't I tweet about her?

Or when I'm just having a terrible miserable no good very bad day? Can't I complain about that at happy hour with my girlfriends?

The truth is that God calls us not to grumble for a specific purpose:

 "Do everything without grumbling or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation."  Philippians 2:14

People whine. That's our nature. We want everyone else to know what a crummy day we've had. So in choosing not to grumble, we stand out... like a light in a dark place.  It is just one more way to share the gospel. One more way to let people know how great Jesus is and how powerful he is. He has the power to change our attitudes.

What I'm not saying is that I'm going to walk around with a fake smile plastered on my face constantly acting like I'm in a happy mood even when I'm not. I think we are supposed to be real with each other. When someone asks me if I'm having a good day, I think it's appropriate to sometimes say, "No, it's been pretty bad," and ask for advice or have a shoulder to cry on.  I am talking about the constant complainy/grumbly attitude that I sometimes take about all sorts of things. I'm talking about mindlessly grumbling about little things just for the sake of conversation and self-pity.

The odds are pretty good that you will hear me complain at some point throughout the next year. Mainly because I'm human, and I'm sinful, and this is going to be a major change for me. But i commit to working hard at it every day. And hopefully, with LOTS of help from the Holy Spirit, my attitude and mind-set will eventually change, and it won't be in my nature to complain as often.