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A Note from Jeniffer

Two years ago, I asked Melissa if she wanted to start a blog with me. We could write to the world about our love of cloth diapers and maybe some other “crunchy” things. {Oh, I don’t know…like breastfeeding? Maybe?} It wasn’t long before we [and our husbands] were planning and preparing. And then our “baby” was born!

At the time, both of our newest babies were 6 months old, give or take. And we added a baby blog to the family. For a while, things were pretty great. They were working smoothly, and it all seemed so, so good.

Two years can change a lot about a person, though, and the past year alone has brought numerous changes to my personal life. I’ve had to step up more around the house and stop relying on my husband’s presence so much. {After all, he works 3 jobs and is paid for 2! The man blows my mind every week by getting everything on his plate done!} I’ve also had to learn how to handle two babies under two…and gradually adapt to two toddlers. Things are getting a little easier around the house, thankfully, but that’s because I’ve had to rethink the way I handle the girls, the house, and myself.

One of the ways that I’ve been able to handle things better has been by letting go of the blog. We had a wonderful hiatus this past summer. I realized, too, that the longer I was away from the blog, the more I was able to do around the house. I’ve also become more present when I’m around my children, which is never ever a bad thing. And on top of that? I’ve exercised my creativity in various ways, ways that I have ignored or stifled while blogging regularly.

Because of this {and various other reasons} I have decided to stop writing for Sisters ‘N Cloth. Does this mean that I will never ever blog again? No. But I doubt that I will decide to blog again before the year is out. Or even before Lily turns 2. I just need a break from this creative outlet. Does this mean that I’m saying good-bye to the online world for good? Heavens, no! I’m always on Instagram {@smith_jeniffer} and Twitter {@smith_jeniffer}. But there is a connection on both of those social media platforms that doesn’t happen on this blog, at least not for me.

Besides, there’s too much of this going on these days for me to stay bored for too long!

Thank you all for sharing in my journey. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Thank you for your friendship. And if you ever sponsored a giveaway, left a comment, RT’d or shared a post, or even clicked like on a status, thank you for believing in our blog. Many days, those likes and comments kept us going, and I am so thankful for each of them.

The Lord bless you, and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine on you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance on you,

And give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

 

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A Friday in the Nitty Gritty

It’s easy to hide behind the computer screen. Sometimes it’s easier to write what I think about than what I’m actually doing because, really, how often can I say that I’m a mom with two clingy kids two and under?

Really, it’s not all bad. At least that’s what I tell myself.

For example, this morning, just as I was drifting back off to sleep once Lily finally finished eating/nuzzling/comforting herself, Abby shot up. At 6 AM. My husband had just started the coffee pot, which meant that it would be at least 10 minutes before my liquid energy was ready. Thankfully, Lily was still asleep. Because she hasn’t slept well since she started teething this week. Unless she’s on Mama. Then she’s out.

I digress. I start cuddling with Abby in *my* chair. I’m cuddling her, loving on her, and also playing Candy Crush Saga on my phone. That game is addictive! Oh, I’m also busy commenting and liking pictures on Instagram. Because seeing what everyone else is up to makes me feel a bit better. My kids aren’t sick this week, that’s a win. Okay, I can’t eat that doughnut…dairy and soy…ooh! Green smoothie! Maybe I should make one of those in a bit… I’m just trying to avoid the “I’m so tired, Mama!!” whines. Because I can only handle so much of that.

Abby gets down and starts playing with blocks that have been out since, um, last week? Our floor is covered. Abby even took her books off of the shelves. At least she hasn’t ripped out another page…so far. I finally get up and grab coffee. My first cup. There will be at least 2 more. I try to drink all the coffee that my husband leaves these days. I know water is better, but coffee tastes so good…

I also grab a no-bake cookie from the fridge. There were 2 cups of sugar in the batter. But it’s SO good…natural peanut butter (soy free), cocoa powder…oatmeal, olive oil…mmm… I have already convinced myself that it’s totally an okay breakfast cookie. Right up there with my green smoothie. [lies...]

I hear Lily after a while and go get her from our room. At least she’s smiling. Seeing her smile puts me in a better mood. I even crack a smile!

But she’s hungry. (Duh, Mom!) And once Baby Sister is in my arms, Abby wants in on the cuddles too. So she climbs over the arm of the chair and squirms into my lap, kneeing me and Lily in the process. Lily is mostly content. Or was. Somehow, both girls end up on me. Again. Poor Lily can barely reach the goods. Abby is still squirming, trying to get comfortable because Lily’s legs are in her way. I put her down on the floor, hoping that she will calm down and play some of this out. And maybe Lily can finish eating.

And then just maybe I can drink my coffee?

Do your mornings look anything like mine? Maybe?

jeniffersigfinal

 

 

 

 

 

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Operation: Happy Lily

This post is one that I wish I didn’t have to write. I wish I didn’t have to talk about how difficult the past few weeks have been or how frustrated I’ve been with it all. And really, I don’t have to. I want to. Because the past few weeks have been so hard but so good at the same time.

Since she was born, Lily has spit up a lot. Daily, at the very least, and sometimes all day long. At first, I thought it was just oversupply and a very forceful letdown making her too full too quickly. But then I figured out that I was accidentally taking a galactagogue, and the spitting up didn’t stop. In fact, there were times when she would projectile spit up all over me, into my bra, the works. And on top of that, it was obvious that her tummy hurt. She would cry and cry, spit up, and then finally fall asleep sitting up. It was bad, folks, but I didn’t realize how bad it was at the time.

Abby had spit up a lot when she was a newborn, too, but we gave her some acid reflux medicine and it cleared up. I didn’t want to do that with Lily. I had a feeling that it was diet related, especially when she had a really bad episode after I ate broccoli and cheese soup.

About a month ago, I started limiting dairy. Then eliminating it completely (as in breads, cakes, cookies…anything with dairy baked or grilled in it). Food can take up to 2 weeks to get out of someone’s system…so it takes about a month to get it out of a breastfed baby’s system. I’ve slipped a few times on accident, so it’s still not out of my system, much less Lily’s. But I did notice a difference after the first week, and she still has had a few rough episodes.

One of the worst episodes after I eliminated dairy happened when I gorged on Oreos and Triscuits. Oreos don’t have dairy and neither do Triscuits. They do, however, have wheat in them! So now wheat is out, too. And just to be safe, gluten is out. For about a month. You know, during Thanksgiving. *sigh*

I’m cooking a lot more at home now, and it’s definitely been a learning curve. Most dairy-free recipes have gluten, and most gluten-free recipes have dairy. I’m having to learn how to substitute cooking oils for butter, which is far easier than trying to substitute gluten-free flours for regular flour. I’m also learning to make budget-friendly meals that are fairly simple.

It’s a far cry from eating fast food a couple of times a week and then eating frozen pizzas at least once a week. And I miss it. I miss my pizza. I miss spaghetti with the yummy spices. I miss my husband’s chicken alfredo. I miss our “regular” meals.

Because I miss my favorite foods, I made some dairy-free fudge last week. It’s my go-to comfort food right now, especially when I feel like I need some chocolate in my life.

Even though it’s been an adjustment, I feel like a new person already. I have tons more energy, and I’m finally tackling the projects that have been sitting around for months. I’m not sure if it’s the change in diet or if it’s just the motivation that comes from having to change one part of my lifestyle. Even on my tired, off-days, I’m doing more than I did on my best days.

For me, it’s worth it. It’s worth it to see my daughter happy and not in pain. It’s worth it to not be covered in spit-up all day long. It’s worth it to wake up and feel energized, motivated. It’s worth it to enjoy cooking in the kitchen and eating something far healthier. I’m still mourning the way things used to be, but I like the way things are. At least for the moment. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.

Have you made a major lifestyle change that was hard at first but ended up being the best thing for you or your family?

 

 

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