Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Finally... a green Isla likes!

Since Isla started eating solids she hasn't been too keen on anything green. She wasn't a fan of peas at all. Even after trying them the third and fourth time, she was determined not to like them. Most of the peas would end up as stains on her shirt and all across her high chair tray verses in her little belly.

Avocados were not for her either at first. She has started liking them lately, but it took lots of tries before we got the confirmed, "mmm...."

This week green beans is on the menu and she gave them two thumbs up! She absolutely loves green beans! The more I make for her, the better. She always eats them all and she hums while she eats them. Anytime she eats something she likes, she hums while she eats. It's the cutest thing ever!

They love feeding her green beans at daycare because she hums while she eats them.

So far, we've been making the majority of Isla's food. We did get some organic dried fruits and veggies from nurturme for the days when there is simply not enough time, but we find she really likes it best when we make it fresh. It was so easy peasy to make the green beans for this week. We steamed fresh green beans, and then I made sure all the beans were soft and cut into small pieces. I most of the green beans up in our Magic Bullet and left a few unmashed to put on her tray.

Avocados are another really easy baby food. All you have to do is scope out the greens and mash it up with a fork! I have been adding a little bit of milk with each as well to give her an extra boost of nutrients and make the consistency a little thinner.

We plan on doing corn, broccoli, egg plant and butternut squash in the coming weeks. It's so easy to make your own for the entire week ahead. Sundays are our days for cooking for both us and Isla. 

I'll leave you with this sweet picture of my little sweet potato!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Miracle of Life

My good friend Kristen made this for me and I absolutely adore it! It's so hard to believe my sweet girl will be 8 months old on Monday. The time is flying by and each day the miracle of her life brings light to so many more miracles we are blessed with on a daily basis.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Isla started crawling today!


Look out world… here comes Isla Rae! Today, Isla started crawling! I went to see her on my lunch break and she crawled to me. Tears filled my eyes as I watched my sweet baby girl meet yet another major milestone. 

Over the past two weeks she has really been working hard on crawling. This weekend she was doing the “worm.” She would scoot up on all fours, jump forward, then lay down flat on her belly and then start the process all over again. It was so cute to watch her put in so much effort. She even had a little rug burn on her baby knees from rocking back and forth so much. 

Even though I have known it was just a matter of time before she took off crawling, I was still shocked and amazed at her achievement today. Every day she does something that amazes me and makes me feel so incredibly blessed. I am so grateful for the blessing of our sweet baby girl! 

Keep crawling baby and amazing us with your little being every day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Good in the Midst of Mesothelioma

A few weeks ago a fellow mother and cancer survivor, Heather, reached out to me to share her story. She requested to share her story with my readers in an effort to spread awareness and hopefully prevent mesothelioma cancer from happening to others as it is 100% preventable. I would like to share her journey with you. She is a very courageous lady who has triumphed against cancer. I hope this post encourages you and continues to spread awareness!


Good in the Midst of Mesothelioma

At the age of 36, life was peaceful and happy. My beautiful daughter, Lily, had
been born on Aug 4, 2005 and we were showered with love and support from both
sets of her grandparents, other family members, and many friends. I had just started
back to work after her birth when this peaceful scene crashed in around me. I found
myself tired and out of breath all the time and I was losing 5-7 pounds a week.
These symptoms could have been attributed to being a new mom, but I felt there
was more to it.

After seeing the doctor and going through a myriad of tests, on November 21,
2005, the culprit was found in the diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma,
cancer in the lung lining. I had unknowingly been exposed to asbestos as a child and
it took 30 years to show it’s symptoms. Like most mesothelioma patients, my
prognosis was grim and I was given 15 months to live if nothing was done. My first
thoughts were of my sweet 3 and 1/2 month old daughter and my husband. I knew I
had to do whatever it took to survive so they wouldn't be without me.

We did the drastic thing of flying to Boston where I could be under the care of the
best mesothelioma doctor. On February 2, 2006 I went through extrapleural
pneumonectomy with the removal of my left lung. There was 18 days in the hospital
and 2 more months recovery before chemotherapy and radiation treatments. All this
time I was trying to be the best mom I could be.

Lily traveled to my childhood home in South Dakota to be with my parents when I
was not able to care for her. My parents didn't hesitate to take on the role of caring
for her and I knew she was in the best hands possible. There was also a whole
village of people supporting them. The people from church that I knew and looked up
to as a child surrounded my parents with love and support. Women with families of
their own whom I had babysat when young babysat Lily in order for my parents to
keep their full time jobs.

I had new amazing friends in Boston that surrounded me with support, people that
were going through the same thing I was. And the nurses tried to ease the pain of
missing the milestones Lily was making without me. I could only witness her new
achievements of eating solids, scooting, and rolling around by the grainy black and
white pictures my husband printed from emails my mom sent me. We would ooh and
aah together as I tried not to cry. Those pictures reminded me of why I was fighting
for my life.

Those were very difficult times, but good came from them too. The bond between
Lily and my parents is deeper than ever, even with the months that sometimes go
between visits. We have learned that life is fragile and we try to embrace each day
and do the best we can. We love and cherish all those people that have been there
for us. And I am thankful for the good that has come from our trial.

To learn more about mesothelioma, visit www.mesothelioma.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Letters to Isla Rae

Dear Isla Rae,

I think you get cuter and cuter every day! At 7 months, you love to laugh. You get in these silly moods where you laugh at almost everything. You basically ticklish all over, but you are especially ticklish under your chin or chins rather and on your thighs.

You love to clap! It has been your favorite thing to do ever since January 1st when you clapped with mommy for the first time. Now, you've learned to clap and make noise. You will wake us up in the middle of the night, clapping your baby hands together. You clap when you eat, nurse, play, ride in the car and watch Bella. You really love it when we clap along with you and say yay!

You are very interested in Bella. You watch her every move. You try to grab her as she walks by. You wrinkle up your little nose and laugh at her. She is very good around you too. You love to chase her around the yard with mommy.

Your favorite game to play is up and down. All day long you want to go from sitting to standing. All we have to do is put our hands out and you do the rest. You pull up and stand for a minute then sit back down, up then down, up then down, up then down.... you never loose interest in it.

You are eating really well, but still no teeth. You like your oatmeal the best. So far you've tried carrots, peas (not your favorite), sweet potatoes and today, you're trying avocados! I'm excited to see how you like the avocados. You were not a fan of peas at all.

Your hair is getting longer and thicker. It cracks me up how its growing over your little ears. I can comb it over to the side now and it's almost long enough for me to clip a hair bow in. It has really gotten a lot thicker lately. It's still dark, but starting to lighten up some. It's a lot lighter compared to your newborn pictures. Your eyes are still blue. You have a little dimple on your chin when you smile... I have the same one. You love to raise your eyebrows up when you smile. I love this! It's one of my favorite things you do. So sweet.

You haven't started crawling yet, but you are trying! You get up on all fours and rock back and forth. You can get to where ever you want to go by scooting around and you can crawl backwards, but you haven't taken off forwards yet. I know it's just a matter of time.

Some of the names we call you right now are peanut, pumpkin, and monkey. You are the apple of our eye, baby girl!

We love you so much!

Love,

Momma

ps. I don't like peas either...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Finally on the mend...

We are finally almost at the end of the road of recovery! The Bradbury's have had the flu and it has been rough! Luckily, my mom came down to help nurse us back to good health.

It amazes me how resilient Isla is. She is so strong! I felt so bad and I know she had to too, but she stayed smiley through it all. She kept up her good spirits by clapping and smiling the whole time...runny nose and all.

It's a whole new world being sick with a little one. I was so thankful my mom could come help out. No matter how bad I felt, I just looked over at Isla's beaming smile and instantly felt a little better. I'm thankful we are at the end of this and can focus on staying healthy for the rest of 2013!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Encouragement for Moms


Isla has been doing wonderful at day care… so wonderful that it’s almost made me feel a little bit inadequate. She does things for her caretakers that she won’t do for me.  She’s so attached to me and when I am around she only wants me… and she wants me non-stop. To hold her, rock her, feed her and show her attention. In light of all the things she is learning and doing at her childcare it made me think, am I doing something wrong? Can I be doing more?

I’ve also been starting to think about Isla’s first birthday party. What can I say… I’m a planner! While perusing pinterest, I've found so many moms that pull off extravagant birthday parties, make decadent cakes and have homemade everything.  This too makes me feel like I fall short. Getting a full day’s work in and making dinner with a little help from Betty Crocker is a big accomplishment for me.

So all in all, I had been feeling pretty down this week. Down on myself as a mom for not doing enough or not doing things “right”, down on myself for not being #1 wife and down on myself for not spending more time with my friends or just having some me time. But then, The Better Mom website lifted me up as it so often does. I read the post most recent post by Ruth Schwenk and watched Sally Clarkson’s video and immediately I had renewed strength, purpose and confidence in myself. I know now that I am doing a good job, following God’s grace and giving motherhood my all is enough! I’m looking forward to gaining even more strength on Sunday after the The New Rules of Resolution Sermon at Elevation Church on living by grace.

Hope this post/video helps other struggling mommies too!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Have a good day

Dear Isla,

Today, you fell asleep in my arms. I try to visit you on my lunch breaks and some days you are not that interested in your boring old mom... you'd rather be on the floor playing with the other babies or an interesting toy, but today, your face lit up when you saw me and you wanted your momma! My heart filled with delight and I was overcome with emotion as I picked you up and held you tightly in my arms. We nursed and rocked. You laid your sweet head on my chest and drifted to sleep. Today was a good day. I love all of these precious moments with you.

Love,
Momma

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

God's Perspective on our Troubles

I couldn't help but to repost my daily devotional today. Hope this encourages you as much as it did me! Happy Wednesday!

Read | James 1:2-4

Today’s passage seems to make an impossible demand: how on earth can we “consider it all joy” when we face terrible hardships? Doesn’t this admonition belittle our honest troubles and concerns?

Scripture never instructs us to ignore situations that cause us heartaches, doubt, fear, or worry. In fact, the Bible is quite honest about what we as Christians can expect from a life devoted to Christ. Jesus proclaimed, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33 niv). Because we seek to live by biblical values, the world does not understand our motivation and will therefore often stand against us.

How, then, can we rejoice when we face trouble? It is through our hardships that Christ often makes Himself known in our lives. If we lived trouble-free lives, what need would we have for a Savior? Rather, it is because we live fragile lives that we can see Jesus clearly.

When we face a problem head-on with the certainty that God will provide a solution and the strength to endure, we gain spiritual stamina. It is similar to training our physical bodies. Only through the resistance of an opposing force, such as a barbell, do our muscles grow. Likewise, our faith develops as a result of dealing with spiritual resistance.

Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, we can find the faith to rejoice in our pain. This is possible because we not only have the assurance that God will provide, but we also can trust that when we walk with Him, we will be better prepared to face the next obstacle.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Territory


Being a new mom comes with so many new responsibilities. Life as you know it changes and what was once a simple task becomes a difficult one. Seven months in to motherhood, I still feel like a new kid on the block. The hardest thing for me though has been balancing my mommyhood with my wife duties. 

After I had Isla, my daily thoughts… that were once focused on my husband, our home, my family, my friends, my free time…all changed and were consumed with BABY!  Being with Isla, keeping her happy, helping her as she develops and just spending time with her have been all I could think about. But I’ve learned, I have to create a happy medium. I have to ensure I am making my hubby feel loved too. I have to take some time for myself, my family and my friends. It’s a balancing act and no one said it was going to be easy, but I know as time goes by, I will find my rhythm.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sweet Potatoes, Carrots & Peas, Oh my!


We started solids again this weekend. We started Isla on sweet potatoes a month ago, but her little tummy was not ready for big girl food just yet. She had a lot of trouble digesting it and a lot of tummy pain. Since she was about 3-4 weeks old, she’s struggled with gas pains. She was a little colicky in her earlier months. For several weeks, the only thing that would console her was daddy’s shoulder. Then we switched gripe water brands to Mommy’s Bliss and this really seemed to help.

Lately, we could tell she was very interested in eating. She watched us as we ate so attentively and started reaching for our bites. This weekend, we decided to try again. We tried carrots. We videoed it this time and it was hilarious. She would take a bite, scrunch up her little button nose and shake all over as if they were sour! They were really sweet. I tried them out after we pureed them just to make sure they were tasty. She ate maybe a teaspoon full on Saturday and Sunday. 

I have to say… I am not digging the dirty diapers that accompany solid foods! Haha.  She still had some stomach issues with the carrots so we’re going to take it slow with little bits each day this week. Next up on the palate, peas! Yum :)


Friday, January 4, 2013

Letters to Isla Rae


Dear Isla,
Happy 7 months baby girl! I feel like you just turned 6 months. This month has really flown by!
You are bubblier than ever! Your personality has really started shining lately. You are very loving, giggly and have begun hanging on to me like a little monkey. I love your tight little squeezes. You also love to pat and rub me. When I’m carrying you, you’ll pat and rub my back. When we’re nursing, you’ll rub my arm. I love your gentle loves.

You are sitting up very well! You are also pushing yourself up on your hands and knees. Once you get yourself up, you’ll rock back and forth a time or two, but have yet to take off crawling forward. You do, however, scoot backwards. You started doing this on Christmas day.

You are still saying “dada” and “mama” whenever you feel like it. We started Baby Signing Time and try to do it with you every day. Your dada is still better at it than me so far, but I’m trying to catch up!
You started daycare this week. You have had a really great first week of daycare! The ladies at Nova love you! It was super hard for me to leave you that first day, but I know you are having so much fun with the other babies. There are 5 total in your class.

You have become more interested in toys this month. You love looking and chewing on books, moving things around with your little pointer finger and listening to your angel baby say a prayer. You love love love  your angel baby that your Mamaw gave you. Sometimes it’s the only thing that will get you to stop crying in the car. You are doing a lot better riding in the car seat than you used to, but our commute to your daycare is now only 5 minutes compared to the 35-40minutes you were riding.

You are laughing and squealing a lot and have become a lot more vocal in general.  I love to hear you laugh. It is my new favorite thing and you love to laugh at your momma!

At your 6 month check up, you weighed 18.4lbs (75-80%), was 26.5 inches long (75-80%) and your little peanut head measured in the 28th%.  I weighed you the other day and you are more around 19lbs now. You are a very healthy baby and we thank HIM every day for blessing us with you!

You had a great first Christmas! We got to see all of your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. You enjoyed the presents and ripping of paper, bows and boxes. The Holidays become even more special once you have children! You have brought me so much joy.

I'm looking forward to seeing everything you will achieve in month 7!

Love you!
Momma