Thursday, August 25, 2011

Teagan Update

I haven't shared anything recently about Teagan, her therapy, or the progress she's made in terms of her developmental delays.

Teagan was recently evaluated by our local school district to see if she qualified for speech therapy. She will soon be turning 3 and will be discharged from BabyNet, South Carolina's service provider for children birth to age 3. At age 3, children who still need to continue with services are then picked up by the local school district. Teagan, thankfully, has met all of her goals and does not qualify for services under the school district. The only concern is that she sometimes stutters, but it's mainly when she is rushed to speak or excited about something. Some of my other kids went through a stuttering phase so I am hopeful she'll work through it.

In early June, I decided to spend the summer working on potty training with her. It took Th and T.G. about a month to really get the whole potty thing down, and considering the delays Teagan had, I figured it would take her longer. Boy, was I wrong!! It took Teagan about a week to really "know" when she had to go, be able to tell me she had to go, and then make it to the potty without having an accident somewhere in the process. In addition, she also does BMs on the potty, which is HUGE when compared to ALL of her siblings before her. It took a good 6 months to a year for the others to feel comfortable sitting on the potty for that. Teagan even naps without having an accident! I am so proud of her accomplishment in this area, especially because she's still only 2 (the others were close to 3 or had already turned 3 before we attempted to potty train).

Teagan is currently working on learning to pedal her bike. Despite being discharged from physical therapy, Teagan still has low muscle tone. She has the coordination to pedal her bike but has to build up her strength in order to pedal up our driveway (which is on a slight incline). She often pedals down and pushes it back up. But, she'll get it soon enough, just like everything else she's achieved!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Couponing 101

I have an opportunity to share all that I've learned about couponing by teaching a mini-class to a group of friends of mine in the MOMS Club. Although I am by no means an expert (I've only been doing this for about 2 months myself), I am excited about this opportunity because 1) it's a way for me to help others be good stewards with the money they have and 2) we can support and encourage each other in our attempts to save money.

Couponing, for me, is a way to contribute to my family financially without having to "work" outside of the home. I use the word "work" loosely because couponing does require time and effort in order to be successful, but so does everything. =) It's not a good feeling to always be spending money that I didn't earn, even if TJ and I are married. I'm not trying to start a debate about the fact that when we married, he agreed to take care of me, etc. I'm just saying that when I worked and had an income, spending money wasn't such a cloud looming over my head. I am not one to buy stuff just to buy (I think partly because I don't care to shop). What I mean is even spending more than usual on groceries can cause anxiety partly because TJ's personality is to save, save, save. He'd probably have us live on bread and water if I didn't balance him out. =)

I pray those who attend the class will leave excited, refreshed, and encouraged about how they can get more for their buck, and not just on groceries! There are coupons for just about everything!!! =)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lollipop Kids

I have been participating in this sale as a consignor or shopper since the Fall 2006 sale, making this my 10th season.  The current owner, MaryHelen, is a fellow homeschool mom and I appreciate all the ways she tries to help people save money, especially in today's market economy.  She has low consignor fees, plenty of volunteer opportunities to earn the coveted "pre-sale shopping pass", and although consignors' set their own prices for the items they sell, most are high quality at a great value. 

Check out the website for the complete schedule, including half-price day!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Family Planning

Whenever I am out in public with my children, I am often asked if I am going to have more children. I have even been asked if I believe in birth control (although, thinking about it, that is a very personal question to be asked by a stranger!!!).  I thought I would address my "beliefs" here.

First of all, the bible clearly states that children are a gift from God (Psalm 127). Also, the Lord opens and closes the womb in His timing (just read the accounts of Leah and Rachel in Genesis). Any woman who has become pregnant and then had a miscarriage or stillbirth is proof of the Lord opening and closing her womb; it was not her choice or timing but rather all in the Lord's hands.

Keeping these biblical viewpoints in mind, here are my beliefs. TJ and I do believe in birth control to a certain degree. We use barrier-method contraception (condoms and I am waiting to be fitted for a diaphragm) as opposed to the hormonal types (the pill, the patch, the shot, the ring, etc).

I know this is a huge can of worms - but please know that I do not think it is a black and white issue and that just because TJ and I believe this means that if you use hormonal methods you are in the "wrong." I was on the pill in high school through the time I married and we started having children to help regulate my cycle, ease the monthly symptoms of severe menstrual cramping, and to lighten my cycle (I tend to have a long, heavy cycle).  I am a firm believer that life experiences cause people to act or react accordingly. Having said that, since I miscarried a baby (now twice) I am choosing to not willingly put myself through that again. Here is what I mean:

Most women - myself included - think that hormonal birth control works by simply preventing ovulation. That is not the entire story. Most work in several ways - one of which being to prevent an egg from being released. Another way that many work is by changing the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation, should an egg be released and fertilized. Most doctors that I have discussed birth control with only share the first truth and not the second. Hmm, I wonder why?

The website for OrthoEvra very clearly states that it:
"helps prevent pregnancy the same way birth control pills do: by preventing ovulation, which means that the ovary does not release an egg to be fertilized; by thickening the cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus; and by changing the endometrium to reduce the chance of implantation." (italics and bold added by me :)

The endometrium is the lining of the uterus, in case you were wondering.

What this means is that if an egg becomes fertilized, it can't implant itself in the uterus because the hormones have changed it. The only option is for the woman to "pass" the fertilized egg when she has her monthly cycle. In essence, it is a miscarriage but because it's so early in pregnancy, the woman more than likely doesn't even know she's pregnant.

You could easily look up other forms of hormonal birth control to see how they work. Most work VERY similarly. I don't think this happens every cycle with every woman on hormonal birth control - but it raised enough doubt for me. This made me decide against hormonal birth control as a method for preventing pregnancy.

TJ and I have more of the attitude that if we get pregnant, that's wonderful. If we don't get pregnant, that's okay, too. We never want to "miss out" on a blessing from God, whether it be a baby or something else. We all have to one day stand before the Lord and I want to have a clear conscience. I would hate to find out that I could have had more children except I was using hormonal contraception and unknowingly miscarried a baby (or more!).

So, to answer your questions: yes, I believe in non-hormonal birth control and I don't know if we'll have any more. =)

Monday, August 8, 2011


We will be welcoming Taryn Eileen sometime this upcoming December...

Pray for me as the Lord obviously believes I can handle another girl, although I have my doubts. ;)