Friday, January 31, 2014

Recent Books I've Read

by Gary Ezzo, M.A. and Robert Bucknam, M.D.

This is a book that was recommended to me by a few moms while I was pregnant with Bronson.  I didn't start using the tips in it until he was 3-4 months old, so it took him a while to get in a routine.  But once he was in a normal routine, it made a huge difference in my days and nights.  He became a very good sleeper during his pre-toddler and toddler months.  This book gives information on sleeping, eating, awake time, and other advice for newborns and young infants.  I just reread this book a couple months ago, and have been following some of the basic tips since the early weeks after James was born.  He is a much better sleeper than Bronson and has really benefited from being on a daily routine.  This book did not have step by step instructions like I had longed for in those early days with Bronson, but you can't give specific instructions to all parents when every baby and parent is different.  This book was written by the same authors that wrote "Growing Kids God's Way", which is a Christian ministry and curriculum for parents.  I have wanted to go through the GKGW series as well.  

by C.S. Lewis

This is a series Luke kept encouraging me to read.  I had a hard time getting through the first one, although I thought it was good.  This one I really enjoyed and got through it much faster.  It was more of a fantasy story than a science fiction read.  I loved the symbolism in it to represent Christ and Satan and angels.  I know that some of it was a little above my head, but I liked Lewis' perspective on how other worlds/planets with life could potentially exist.  The story is about a man from earth who goes to a new world that has just begun.  

The only other books I have read in the past few months have been nursing textbooks, which I'm sure you do not want to hear about.  The next ones I'm looking forward to pouring myself into are:

by Beth Moore

There is a group of women that I am meeting with weekly to study the book of Daniel.  I am looking forward to seeing what the Lord is planning to teach me through this study.  I am hoping I'll be able to keep up with the homework.  There is also a group of guys (husbands) that are also going to do this study separately.  It will be fun to go through a study alongside Luke.

by Kate Atkinson

The squadron book club is reading this one this month.  It sounds like a very interesting read.  I don't think I'll be able to read it in just a couple weeks time with all of my schoolwork, but it will be fun to read it eventually.  The discussion at book club is always fun.

So what are you reading?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How to be a mother of two boys

You know, sometimes I really wish there was a manual on parenting, especially now that I am outnumbered.  It would be so nice to have step-by-step instructions to follow for every situation encountered with two kids.  But there are just too many possibilities.  So, for now, we just have to take one thing at a time and figure it out.

This has been my main struggle the past few months (actually five months).  I have felt like everything I tried to accomplish was a struggle.  Nothing was coming easily, not even a shower.  When Luke deployed Thanksgiving weekend, I had no desire to even attempt to leave the house.  When I finally did, it took us a solid 45 minutes to finally pull out of the driveway.  I couldn't figure out who to put in the car first and who to leave by themselves.  I also felt like I was constantly saying, "Just a minute, Bronson.  Please be patient."  I realized that Bronson was either used to getting his demands met immediately or he was seeking extra attention because of my scattered brain and having to spend so much time in contact with James.  For this problem, I realized that I really needed to make some one-on-one time with him, which is harder than it sounds.

It's true that there are daily struggles, but I am happy to say that I can get us out of the house in about 15 minutes.  :)  I don't feel as flustered when grocery shopping with both boys, and I seem to be getting into a rhythm with them.  I have found ways to entertain Bronson while nursing James.  The floors are now generally clean (thanks to my husband who got me a robot to do it for me), although the sink is never empty of dirty dishes.  I have to admit that it's not easy, but God has been showing me areas I need to change, and He has also made it very evident that I cannot be a wife, mother of two, friend, and nursing student well without His help.  I have had moments of desperation when I didn't think I could continue this way and cried for His guidance and provision, and have had immediate relief.  He is a compassionate and nurturing God.

These have been some encouraging verses for me during this time.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

 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. Jeremiah 29:11

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

I have to say that seeing Bronson dote on James makes me so happy.  He loves his little brother, even though he sometimes gets too rough.  And James loves to watch his big brother.  I cannot wait for them to be able to play together.