Thursday, July 16, 2009

Book: Breastfeeding and Fertility

My mama would say that I've been a "readin' fool" lately. I just finished Breastfeeding and Fertility by Jenny Silliman last night.

I haven't met Jenny, but I know we would become fast friends if I did. Well, I may just hush and listen to her talk. She reminds me of a young Nancy Campbell. In fact, she quotes Nancy several times in the book.

Jenny's sweet spirit and calming encouragement really resonate in the pages of this book. Along with that, the ending of all 20 chapters has a resounding theme - breastfeeding delays fertility.

In posting this, I fear (okay, probably not the best word, but work with me) that some may think that I nurse my babies to delay fertility. In truth, this is not the case at all. When we decided to leave our family size to the Lord, we did just that and fully believe that God opens and closes the womb. Understanding that, also means understanding that God has designed a woman's body to nurse her babies for, what the world would call, an extended period of time. In the Bible, we see over and over wonderful references to the nursing mother and from further research, we find that babies were generally weaned between 3-5 years. Personally we don't go this long and I have never tandem nursed my babies. Usually about 2/3 of the way through a pregnancy, I will completely wean the youngest one and even this is a very slow process.

Here is how long I have nursed my children: C13 (never nursed :( ), P10 (11 months), B5 (20 months), L3 (22 months), A1 (15 months and going strong!). My cycle has returned at varying stages, but it was very dependent on how I nursed, and still no cycle with A yet.

My last two babies haven't had bottles. My last 3 haven't had pacifiers. My last 4 have all slept with us or close to us. Even with my oldest, before Big P and I got married, C13 would end up in bed with me along with a bottle (that I laboriously had to get up and make in the middle of the night). With my 4th, L3, I ended up starting my cycle at 7 months because I wasn't eating enough to sustain a good milk supply. I had a miscarriage not long after that.

With A1, things have been very different. He would not eat the solid foods I was trying to give him at 8 months, 9 months, 10 months, 11, and yes, even 12 months. At his first birthday he was treated with pudding instead of cake or anything of the like - because he would just gag.

In the midst of my frustration, I cried out to the Lord for Him to show me what to do. He gave me a peace in the midst of my self-created storm. I then went to the bookshelf and picked out Breastfeeding and Fertility. This was merely for breastfeeding encouragement, not the fertility side. Because I was in the middle of several projects, I just read the back cover and was immediately relieved of my frustrations.

The very things I was resenting and rejecting where the very things that God made my body to do, total mothering!

I was freed. No longer would I be concerned with what others thought about my nursing exclusively at his age (12+ months). He is on some solids - up to 2nd baby foods and 3rds on some things, at this point.

Jenny covers everything in this book and at the end has a list of 20 books she recommends on breastfeeding and mothering. Some of the chapters go into forgiveness (asking for forgiveness for not completely mothering at times, forgiving your own mother if she didn't nurse you, etc.), weaning, sleeping and more. Another reason I really I felt like I could relate to Jenny is because she has struggled with being overweight as well. She talks about nutrition, losing weight while nursing, and a small portion on what she has coined as W.E.A.L.T.H.S. (water, exercise, air, light, thoughts, healthy eating, and sleep - that's another post). She even covers, to a small extent, getting things done around the house when you are total mothering - including wearing an ERGO. I love my ERGO, but honestly I haven't worn it much to carry baby around so that I can get things done. Yesterday I strapped A1 on my back and went to town. He was so happy. Oh, and he is walking some for those that think it's absurd that I would carry a baby of his age on my back!

For quite some time I've considered myself a mother who loved all things natural. But accepting what is and completely embracing what God created you to do - those are different things and now I understand that thanks, in part, to this book!

art print from:

post signature

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Workbox Freebies

I needed a little break this morning while the 4 oldest were in the pool, so I decided to do a little "mock" digi scrapping that benefited our schooling - since that's the mode I'm in right now.

We will be using workboxes with our oldest 4, including C13, but his will be a means to an end, which I will post about later. Although I feel that the workbox system is WONDERFUL for all homeschoolers, our world runs on paper and digital (planners and such). I think that children should be trained, albeit slowly, into running on the system that the rest of the world runs on (disclaimer: I'm only speaking of the area of workboxes and planners.).

So, after that little rabbit trail, let me return to what I came here for. I made the boy scout workbox numbers for C13 and then just kept going. With her permission, I used Simply Susan's Let's Go Camping kit on all of it, except the red numbers, which come from To Everything A Season. (another rabbit trail here: all of Susan's products are $1 - yes, you read that correctly! ONE DOLLAR!!)

Here we have workbox numbers for a boy scout (hiker boy), a girl scout (hiker girl), camper girl (which has a girl with marshmallows and marshmallows instead of a hatchet), and camper boy (boy with marshmallows and marshmallows instead of a hatchet). Sorry, they are out of order! :( Images are linked to a 4shared folder that will contain all the workbox items I build - .

post signature

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Recent Homeschooling Reads

I finished a couple of books recently and I thought since I had "reviewed" them on Shelfari, I would share about them here. I must preface the below "review" with the fact that I'm not a book reviewer. I'm also trying to get more selective in what I read, because it takes me a while to get through a book. Not because I'm a slow reader, but because I'm a slow reader! LOL Really, I love to ponder on what I read. I'm not much of a fiction reader, so often times I'm reading stuff with a lot of meat to it. I like to read, pray, implement, read, pray, implement.

For The Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

This was a really incredible book that took me some time to get through. Mrs. Macaulay gave me plenty of meat to chew on and in many aspects I felt true conviction. I love how she summed up Miss Charlotte Mason's teaching so well and in a way where I wasn't really left wanting more. I would love to read Charlotte's books in their entirety, but for someone just getting started in this method of education, of life, this book would give plenty to think on until they were ready to digest more. My copy will be put in my daughter's hope chest, because I think this teaching is really that crucial.

I also must say that I'm now eager to read the rest of Mrs. Macaulay's books as well as Edith Schaeffer's (Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's mother) including The Gentle Art of Homemaking.

Sue Patrick's Workbox System User's Guide

I really loved this book. She gives so many great ideas for review activities and helping your child work through difficult areas of schoolwork. On a logistics note, I felt like I was left hanging a bit on the actual implementation of the system. She goes over it in various parts of the book, but I thought she should have done a "review" or gone into a bit more detail. Also, she is very adamant that you must use all of the details of her system exactly as she has designed them. We are going to use magazine boxes on shelves - they are cheap and easier to store. Many other ladies have come up with great systems that I think will work well. Overall I think this is going to be an incredible way to organize our school day.

We are implementing this system using cardboard magazine holders from IKEA. Also, there are some aspects of this system that I won't be using, that seem, at least to me, a bit too classroom oriented. I'm just choosing to spit out the bones.

Photo from:

post signature


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...