Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekend in review

Regular boring weekend here at the Bockhorn house.
Friday we had our weekly pizza and family movie night. It was Jack's turn to choose so we watched Star Wars, of course.  Episode 6 to be precise.  Lynsey and Jack initiated a discussion about how the American government is similar to the Galactic Empire, pointing out that both rule through threats and force. Got to love my little up and coming Libertarians. 
Emmalyn had received a Melissa and Doug wooden play piano from my mom for Christmas, but I had just kept it in the garage until she grew old enough to play with it. Mostly because I think those things sound annoying, and I didn't want to hear the big kids pounding on it all day. Well, Emmalyn sits up unassisted now so I thought she would enjoy playing with the piano so I brought it into the school room. Sure enough in less than five seconds I hear the big kids run over and then "plink plink plank plunk".
All weekend long has been "plunk plink" concerts.  I think the big kids enjoy baby toys more than the baby:-)
  Saturday Jeff had to work 2pm-midnight so I took advantage and had a kid-free grocery shopping excursion.  Honestly,  shopping is easier when I have Lyn and Jack around to help me.
We have had lots of stormy weather lately so we took advantage of the brief sunshine and played outside.
   Jeff was off Sunday so we got to attend worship together as a family.  After lots of searching,  I think we have finally found our home church. It has the expository preaching that Jeff desires along with the family integrated service that is important to me. 
After we got home and had lunch,  Jeff mowed the lawn while I took a nap with the baby.  Jeff grilled us a yummy supper, and we enjoyed spending the rest of the evening together.
On another note,  I decided that I needed to make a commitment and get back on track with my diet and exercise.  I have not been doing well on eating choices since I've had the baby.  I finally got my "I care" back so I'm going to do Whole 30 and go back to a Paleo lifestyle as well as making sure I work out regularly.  Ashamedly, I sent Jeff to Sonic for some ice cream as my last hoorah. I'm not very proud of that-it is kind of like an addict going on a drug binge the weekend before leaving for rehab.
So that was our weekend. Tomorrow I get to sign the kids up for the fall homeschool co-op classes. We decided that just attending one class period would work best for our family this year. Lynsey decided she wants to take Life Drawing & Art History, while Jackson is going to take Math Games. I'm hoping we will get plugged in and become friends with some other homeschool families.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Breastfeeding Journey

I was not raised in a region where breastfeeding is prevalent.  However, after I became pregnant with my first child, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I ended up with an unexpected c-section that derailed my plans for a natural birth. Due to hospital policies,  I was unable to breastfeed my daughter immediately,  but she latched on like a champ. A few days later at home, I noticed my milk still hadn't come in. My daughter would scream at the breast and never seemed satisfied.  She wasn't having enough wet diapers and her lips seemed dry. We decided to take her to the hospital and learned she had lost a significant amount of weight. The nurse told me that she had lost a considerable amount of weight because she wasn't getting enough to eat. It crushed me to watch her hungrily gobble down that bottle of formula and realize that she had been starving. I had home visits from a lactation consultant,  power pumped, and took galactagoges, but my milk supply never increased. My daughter had also developed a bottle preference. The pain over losing the birth experience I had envision combined with my inability to successfully breastfeed was very difficult for me to work through. By the time I returned to work at 10 weeks post partum, I had given up on breastfeeding completely. 
     Almost two years later, we were anxiously awaiting the birth of our son. I wanted to VBAC, but my provider was not supportive.  I wish I knew then what I now know; I should have found a different provider. I tried to make the best out of the situation. I was very adamant about my desire to breastfeed, and I told them I wanted my son as soon as possible after the surgery. About thirty minutes after the c-section, I was able to nurse my son.  Once home from the hospital,  he began exhibiting the same frustration and dissatisfaction at the breast as his older sister had. I began supplementing, and thankfully he did not develop a bottle preference. However, he was a very high needs baby. In addition,  my husband was not home often due to his military career.  It became too difficult to care for a two year old and an infant while keeping up with the vigorous feed then pump schedule I needed in order to keep  what miniscule milk supply I had so I gave up.

  We conceived our third child after five years of unexplained secondary infertility.  I was older, wiser, and determined to have the birth that I wanted. In October 2014, I had an emotionally healing  VBA2C with a midwife in a birth center.  I was hoping that the circumstances of this birth would lead to a better breastfeeding experience. I wanted to be able to exclusively meet all my second daughter's needs with my milk supply,  but I was prepared if that wasn't a possibility.  I had galactagogues already on hand as well as a supplemental nursing system so I could still feed at the breast if I had to supplement. We had a bumpy start, as my daughter had lip and tongue ties that needed revised. I started galactagogues immediately and also pumped whenever possible between feedings. Despite doing all these things, my daughter was not gaining weight. I worked with an IBCLC, and she showed me how to use the SNS. It hasn't been easy ,and I only meet about half of my daughter's needs with my milk, but I am proud to say that we have made it 6 months and are still growing strong. I have made peace with our situation. Our nursing relationship may not look as I had always envisioned, but breastfeeding is about so much more than just the milk. I can still offer her the closeness and bonding even if I don't produce enough to meet all of her nutritional needs. My worth as a mother is not measured in ounces.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

To Co-op or Not to Co-op: That is the Question

On Monday, our homeschool group's learning co-op hosted an open house. The kids were able to attend and participate in some classes. In our 6 years of homeschooling,  we have never participated in a co-op. Either the classes offered didn't interest my kids or the season of our life just wasn't conducive to having a weekly commitment.  Admittedly,  our current life isn't in a particularly easy season right now since the baby's arrived. However, we have not had an easy time making connections here so the kids and I are hungry for fellowship.
 The co-op had 3 class periods, and you can attend all 3 periods or just attend a single class. There are several classes offered each hour for all grade levels.
First hour, Lynsey attended IEW Writing. I have been struggling to teach her writing since she and I greatly differ in learning styles and strengths. I always loved language arts, whereas she prefers science and math. I thought she would prefer a different approach in addition to the social aspect of the co-op class setting.
While Lynsey had fun doing brainstorming during the writing session, Jackson had his first class called "Magic Carpet Ride". This class focused on learning about different countries and cultures.
 Second hour, Lyn went to book club and Jack went to "Magic School Bus". I was in an informational meeting during this period,  but I caught the tail end of Jack's class. They watched a segment of the "Magic School Bus" show and then did related projects.  The theme this class was the skeletal system so they worked in groups gluing pieces to a skeleton. Jack really liked this class.
  They attended Beginning Robotics together during the final hour. I thought this class was so amazing. The kids learned about electromagnetism and did a hands on activity where they acted out the job of each electromagnet component. They also made a model of an atom using beads,  pipe cleaners, and modeling clay. This class was my kids' favorite. 
 Now all I need to do is decide if we are going to commit and sign up for fall semester.  The one thing holding me back is that we have to sign up by the end of this month, but fall semester doesn't start until September.  So much can happen between now and then. I don't know if Emmalyn's naps will change, and I really don't want to disrupt her schedule since it has made life so much easier for all of us. One option I've been considering is maybe just attending one hour instead of all three, but that means I will have to find a class they both want to attend during that time. I'm sure they would both love to sign up for the robotics class, but I also really wanted Lyn to take writing too.   I'm still discussing it with Jeff and praying about it. I just wish enrollment wasn't so soon and yet so far away from the semester start date!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Positive News Monday

A five year old boy digs into his piggy bank to help a toy store.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Positive News Monday

I want to make this a weekly thing. Start your week off with a smile by reading a positive news story. I will post a new story each Monday.

Mesquite,  TX students restore car to honor fallen soldier.