Wednesday, July 24, 2013

1 Week Later: An Update on Sweet Adelaide

This post is about five days late, and we are now just two days from Addy's third visit to The Well!  (If you haven't read about our first visit, read Healing Adelaide.)  For this visit, Jesse wasn't able to come with me, and I did have to bring all four kids!  This isn't how I usually like to do this kind of appointment, as you can imagine, it's kind of hard to concentrate and have an in-depth conversation while Jude is throwing almonds around the room.  But Megan was, of course, very gracious, and my kids were all pretty well behaved.

So what did we learn at Adelaide's check-up?  We got some very exciting news: Adelaide's stomach healed 80% in her first week on her new diet and supplement!  I was so thrilled to hear this, and even more sure that we are going about healing her in the best way possible!  Evidence of this healing is mostly...well...poopy.  Adelaide has become more regular, and her bowel movements are more firm.  I know that may seems like TMI, but when you are dealing with digestive health issues, the proof is in the poop!  Megan was glad to hear that she is now going a few times a day (on the potty, no less!).  I did lament the fact that Addy's appetite has not decreased, and Megan suggested another supplement that is a digestive enzyme that should help with more proper digestion of nutrients.

After a quick check, I brought out a giant bag of skin care products.  Adelaide's skin is looking a little better these days, but after a bath she is always extra red and itchy.  As I shared in Healing Adelaide, we ought to have stock in the skin care market for all of the soaps, lotions, and creams we have tried for Addy's eczema. I decided to have Megan work her diagnostic magic on all of these products, and what she found was very interesting.  (For the skeptics among us, don't worry, it wasn't actual magic.)  Adelaide reacted well to all of our natural, organic products.  Jason brand shampoo and conditioner, natural shea butter lotion, Indian hemp soap, and Soap Nuts laundry detergent were all fine!  (If anyone in your family has skin issues, I highly recommend Soap Nuts!)  The two products that Adelaide couldn't handle were two non-organic products that are often thought to be good for sensitive skin: Dove sensitive bar soap and Cerave, which is specifically for eczema and was suggested by Adelaide's dermatologist.  We haven't actually been using those products on her recently, but I wanted to see how her body would react.  While I can't say for sure that these products aren't good for anyone, I would suggest that the more pure and natural the ingredients, the better a skin product will be for your whole health.

If the skin products we use aren't causing Adelaide's eczema to flare up, then why is she so red and itchy after a bath?  Megan confirmed my suspicions that it most likely has to do with the quality of our water.  I am fairly certain that our water is highly chlorinated, and I know from our time in the pool over vacation that Addy's skin really doesn't like chlorine.  So now what?  Stop giving her baths?  She is as stinky as any other kid, so that's not an option.  What I really think we need is a reverse osmosis filter in our bathtub.  From what I've seen these can be a bit pricey (I consider anything that isn't free pricey, though, so I may not be the best judge) but not exorbitant.  While any "extra" money we have is going into Addy's visits at The Well, I know now that we need to prioritize a good filter to help Adelaide's skin be able to heal. If you have a bath filter that you like, please let me know about it in the comments section!

And as for her skin, I think it's about time I shared some pictures!  I truly wish I had had the presence of mind to take pictures of her skin months ago, when her face, arms, and legs were red, spotchy, itchy and covered in scabs.  Since we eliminated gluten from her diet things have started to improve, and since implementing The Well diet and supplements it is better still.  We have a long way to go to smooth, even skin, but here is what it looks like today.
Her ankles have long been the most irritated spot.  I think her shoes must rub them, but since we're home most of the time, she's usually shoe-less!

Addy's knees used to be so much worse than this.

Her arms and wrists have improved a lot too, but her wrists still get itchy sometimes.

This is her "CHEEEESE!" face.  The skin on her face used to be red and splotchy, but it is perfectly clear now!

We continue to be optimistic and excited for Adelaide's treatment at The Well.  We are also thankful for God's provision to us, most specifically through my new business venture!  Mama's Mason Jars was established in order to provide nourishing foods to families, and to help us in our healing adventure!  Check out my Facebook page and Store Blog for more information!  Thanks so much for reading; I hope you find some inspiration from Adelaide's story!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Wonders of Bone Broth

All fixed up and ready to simmer!

When we set out on our real food adventure, one of the first things I started making at home was chicken stock.  We eat a whole chicken about once a week, and I loved the idea of truly using every part of the bird for nourishment.  I had also read quite a bit about the benefits of chicken stock, or as it is more commonly referred to in the real food community, bone broth.

Bone broth is another one of those foods that has been nourishing people for thousands of years.  When ancient tribes hunted for animals, all of that work meant that every part of the animal was going to be put to use, down to the bones themselves. Bone broth is made with bones (possibly with some meat left on them), vegetables, seasonings, and filtered water.  The difference between bone broth and typical, store bought chicken stock is the amount of time that it cooks.  Bone broth can simmer in a crock pot or pot on the stove for up to a week, until all of the nourishment has been leached from the bones.  The first time I made broth, I followed my recipe's suggestion that if the bones crushed when squeezed, all of the good stuff was now in the broth itself.  It was really exciting to see the bone crumble between my fingers and know that we were now going to be able to consume all of those nutrients!  (I know that sounds weird.  Real food problems.)  The old wisdom about chicken soup being good for a cold is true!

 "Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons--stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain." ~Weston A. Price Foundation

Bones are also rich in amino acids and minerals.  The amino acid glycine helps your body to detoxify and supports digestion.  This is one of the reasons bone broth is so good for healing Leaky Gut Syndrome!  One of my favorite things about bone broth is that it is a great way to consume gelatin.  Wait, I know what you're thinking:

Yuk, ick, NO!  NOT that kind of gelatin.  But its true, even the store-bought totally nasty stuff is made from bones.  Bad bones.  Don't eat this stuff.  (Can you tell I hate Jello?)  Bone broth gelatin, however, comes from the good bones of your chicken, preferably an organic, free range or pastured one!  And why is this my favorite thing about bone broth?  Well, because gelatin is known to combat wrinkles, cellulite, and stretch marks!!!  "Hey, I have some of those!" you may be thinking.  If so, bone broth is yummier, and cheaper, than plastic surgery.  Gelatin also supports digestive health, which makes it another key ingredient in battling that wicked Leaky Gut so many people are plagued with.  

Now that you know a little bit about why bone broth is so good for you, you may be wondering how you should eat it.  In our house, there is often a crock pot of broth simmering on the counter.  I make a new pot about once a week, maybe more often now that it's for sale at Mama's Mason Jars.  We typically use our broth to make soups in the winter, and rice and quinoa year round.  It is more delicious and a lot more nourishing to use broth in your rice than water, and it's just as easy!  Many people also drink their broth.  Addy's clinician Megan drinks hers from a portable coffee mug!  We are working up to that. I, for one, don't quite have the taste for it yet, but come cold and flu season it is sure to be a staple at our breakfast table.  If you are interested in making your own bone broth, I base mine off of the Nourished Kitchen recipe for Perpetual Soup.  I use Bragg's Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar to help break down the bones, and throw in lots of yummy organic vegetable scraps to give great flavor.  I also always use Himalayan Pink Sea Salt instead of table salt, because it provides so many good minerals.  If you are interested in buying broth from my store, just send me a message at Mama's Mason Jars!  And if you would like to read even more on the virtually endless benefits of bone broth, check out Nourished Kitchen and Mommypotamus .  They do some pretty good research!  Thanks so much for reading a little about the benefits of beautiful bone broth!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why So Much Fermenting? The Benefits of Fermented Foods

Many of you are aware that I've just started a little side business called Mama's Mason Jars.  The goal of the business is to provide people with healthy, delicious, and nourishing foods.  Many of the foods that I'll be selling are fermented foods, so a friend on Facebook asked a very important question:

"Why so much fermenting?"

My usual answer to a question about why I make fermented foods for my family is something like, "Lots of good probiotics and stuff in there!"  While that may be true, it isn't quite eloquent enough to explain a business model.  So I've been doing a bit more research to find out what is really all the hubbub about fermented foods.  The first thing I learned is that fermenting is an extremely old practice.  Like, ancient civilizations at the beginning of history old.  While of course I believe that humans have been selfish, foolish sinners since Adam and Eve, I take great comfort in food practices that have been around for hundreds, and even thousands of years.  Before the age of medicine, people had to figure out how to make themselves well through food, and fermented foods were one that ancient cultures used across the globe.

"Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." ~Hippocrates

Speaking of the age of medicine, did you know that antibiotics kill good bacteria along with the bad?  Your gut is filled with good bacteria that are meant to help you properly digest food and absorb nutrients.  If you have been on antibiotcs in your life (and I feel sure that all of us have, some more than others) your gut has seen some damage to its good bacteria.  That bacteria can be built back up through probiotics.  And this is where the ever-popular yogurt comes in.  

Many people know that yogurt contain probiotics, and if you or your children have been on frequent antibiotics, your doctor may have even recommended eating more yogurt to balance out your gut flora (a fancy way of referring to the bacteria in your gut).  This is definitely a step in the right direction.  But I'm here to tell you that there are lots of other fermented foods that you can make (or buy!), eat, and enjoy!  Fermented dill carrot sticks are a favorite in our house.  We also drink kombucha, which is a very delicious fermented tea.  I'm working on a jar of fermented ketchup right now--who knew that you could make your own ketchup, and that it could be healthier (and cheaper) than the store-bought version!  My husband loved the fermented sauerkraut I made, and pickles are a big hit anywhere!  My favorite fermented food, however, is sourdough.  There is nothing so diverse as a sourdough starter, and nothing so delicious as hot from the oven sourdough bread!  Buyer beware: the sauerkraut, pickles, and sourdough bread you buy at the store have probably not been made using ancient fermenting methods.  Two buzzwords for detecting a food that hasn't been truly fermented are "vinegar" and "yeast" which are used to speed up the process.  I am a firm believer that good food takes time!

My first loaf of sourdough.  I was so proud!

Beyond containing good bacteria for your gut, fermented foods also contain enzymes.  According to Food Renegade, “Your body needs [enzymes] to properly digest, absorb, and make full use of your food. As you age, your body’s supply of enzymes decreases. This has caused many scientists to hypothesize that if you could guard against enzyme depletion, you could live a longer, healthier life.”  I learned last week at The Well of Life that if your digestive system isn't working properly, you may not be properly absorbing all of the nutrients you're eating, which can make you super hungry!  Megan noted that Adelaide was eating raw almonds like they were going extinct, and suggested that after we implemented her new diet and supplements her appetite may start to wane.  (To read more about our experience at The Well, click on my post "Healing Adelaide).  I would LOVE for my kids appetites to be a bit smaller, since food can get pretty expensive, but more than that I want to make sure that their little guts (and mine and my hub's slightly larger ones) are able to absorb the good nutrients in our food!  Fermented foods help us in that quest! Fermented fruits and vegetables also last longer, so fermenting fresh produce in the summer can allow you to enjoy the harvest all winter long!  

There are so many benefits to fermented foods; I feel like I have barely touched on them here.  However, if you are interested in learning more about fermented foods and how to make them yourself, you can visit Cheeseslave, Mommypotamus, and Nourished Kitchen.  Or, if you'd like to skip the part where you spend half an hour peeling carrots, a week starting a sourdough culture, 10 days fermenting komucha tea, and a day watching the thermometer rise and fall for slow-cooker yogurt, check out my page Mama's Mason Jars to purchase some yummy fermented foods!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Farm Fresh Dinner

Tonight for dinner we had a delicious meal made exclusively of ingredients from a local farm.  I wish I could say this was a regular occurrence in our house, but I am just starting to get the hang of buying local.  I spent a lot of time thinking "What's the difference between local and grocery store organics?  As long as it doesn't have the pesticides, it's fine!"  Now of course to me it is still the most important thing to avoid foods tainted with toxic chemicals (such as Monsanto's insecticide corn), but in the summertime, especially in the garden state, it is so great to eat local ingredients!

Did you know that most grocery store tomatoes are picked when they are green and ripened artificially so that they are red when they arrive in your grocery store?  Because of this, the tomatoes you buy in the grocery store are less tasty and less nutritious than the in season, local variety.  This information comes from a study by the Harvard School of Public Health:

               "While all of the factors affecting nutritional quality of fruits and vegetables – crop
variety, production method, post-harvest handling, storage, and processing and packaging
– apply equally to produce that is produced locally or on farms across the country, relying
on local sources for your produce needs has some distinct advantages. First, even when
the highest post-harvest handling standards are met, foods grown far away that spend
significant time on the road, and therefore have more time to loss nutrients before
reaching the marketplace. Second, farmers growing for a local (and especially a
direct) market favor taste, nutrition and diversity over shipability when choosing
varieties. Greater crop diversity from the farmer means greater nutritional diversity for
the eater. Third, in direct and local marketing strategies, produce is usually sold within 24
hours after harvest, at its peak freshness and ripeness, making consuming them a more
attractive prospect. Fourth, during this short time and distance, produce is likely handled
by fewer people, decreasing potential for damage, and typically not harvested with
industrial machinery. Minimizing transportation and processing can ensure maximum
freshness and flavor, and nutrient retention." (Harvard School of Public Health)

Does this mean I won't go to Wegmans to buy grape tomatoes for Gracie's insatiable appetite (the kid can't get enough of them) in December?  No, at least not yet.  But it does mean that a dinner like the one we ate tonight was more nutritious, and a heck of a lot more flavorful, than it would have been if we had purchased the ingredients at the grocery store!

I am not a tomato lover, but these tomatoes are so sweet, bright, and full of flavor!
Pasture raised bacon.  Yes, please!
So, what did we eat?  A simple dinner of bacon and eggs, sweet corn, and cucumber and tomato salad.  I bought pastured bacon for the first time from Farmer Scott, and it was delicious!  Naturally cured "the way they did it 150 years ago," according to Scott. All of the other ingredients were from the farm too, and all the veggies were picked the day I
 bought them!  
Farmer Scott's corn is GMO free and grown without the use of pesticides.  Also, delicious.
Some green peppers added flavor and color to the eggs.

My final plate.  I added more cucumber tomato salad...and more bacon.

Remember to go to to find farms and farmer's markets in your area!  Bon Appetite!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Incredible Edible...or maybe not...

Eggs are one of the many foods that have been the subject of great controversy over the last 30 years or so (maybe even before, but that's as far back as my memory goes).  From commercials touting the health benefits of the incredible edible egg, to doctors warning about the dangers of cholesterol, (For more on the cholesterol myth, read this article by Dr. Joseph Mercola.) eggs have a lot of people really confused.  So, the question remains: are eggs good for us, or not?

The answer is, yes and no.  When we went to The Well yesterday, I was surprised to learn that Adelaide is allergic to conventional eggs, but not to organic ones.  I wondered why this would be, but when Megan told me, I remembered something I had already learned.  Conventional eggs come from conventional chickens, who eat corn and soy based feed.  Corn and soy are the most highly genetically modified crops in the US, (about 90% of corn and soy in America is GMO.) and all factory farm animals are eating feed made from these genetically modified grains.  Just as the poor health and nutrition of the pregnant mother passes on to her child, so does the poor nutrition of the chicken pass down to the egg.  Adelaide is sensitive to corn and soy, so of course she is sensitive to conventional, factory farmed eggs as well!  

This may be true of you as well.  Conventional eggs are not only affected by the GMO feed that the hens who lay them eat, but they are also far less nutritious than organic, pastured eggs.  

Pastured Vs Conventional Eggs
(Chart provided by Authority Nutrition)

So it seems that conventional eggs may not be good for us after all, but then what do we do?  There is an entire lexicon for the types of eggs available to us.  Should we buy cage free?  Free range?  And what are pastured eggs?  These terms have become highly politicized and are being used to make you think you're getting a much healthier product than you actually are.  The video below is a fabulous description of the terms used to describe eggs.

If pastured eggs are the way to go, where can we buy them?  And how can we afford them?  The best place to find pastured eggs is a local farmer.  Check out to find a farmer close to you that sells pastured eggs. My local farmer, affectionately known as Farmer Scott by our family and friends, sells eggs for just $3 a dozen, which is even less expensive than the organic eggs I used to buy at Costco.  (If you live in the Burlington County area, come to Nature's Own Farm for your eggs and other pastured meats and chemical-free veggies!) Knowing the farmer that creates your food is such an awesome thing, and bringing home farm fresh eggs is such a blessing for the health and wellness of your family!  I encourage you to find the best source of eggs near you, and even if you thought you or your children were allergic to eggs, remember that not all eggs are created equal!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Healing Adelaide

Let's start at the very beginning...

Many of you are familiar with at least a part of our family's story of how we became interested in real food and holistic health. It all began with our sweet little Adelaide, who even as a newborn baby had terrible eczema, so bad I often said it felt as if she were wearing a wool sweater.  Past the point of normal dry newborn skin, Adelaide's was rough, itchy, red, and often accompanied by open, weepy sores in her sweet chubby rolls.  It was heartbreaking to see, and it became an obsession to find the right soap, cream, lotion, balm, anything that would fix my poor little baby and make her skin soft!

We tried everything, from the traditional to the extreme, and nothing seemed to work.  Finally I bit the bullet and made an appointment with the dermatologist, who prescribed a topical steroid, and it worked!  For a while, at least.  We had to be extremely diligent with applying it, multiple times a day, and after some time it seemed almost as if the eczema was fighting back.  She would seem clear and smooth for a week or two, and then something would happen to cause a flair up, and it was worse than ever.  Of course I know, and realized it then, that there are much worse conditions a child can have than eczema.  I was thankful for Adelaide's overall health, as well as that of my other children, but her itchy, uncomfortable skin was a problem, and I wanted to fix it!

At 9 months of age Addy's pediatrician gave us the go-ahead to give her a little dairy.  Some cheese or yogurt, he suggested.  And this is where things started to change.  Addy took one bite of cheddar cheese and was covered in red splotches all over her face and body.  I remember that the next day, after the spots had cleared, we put the same bib on her (we may not have cleaned it all the way...oops!) and she broke out again!  This was the first time we had ever dealt with a food allergy in a child, and I instantly felt ashamed at my feelings towards "those parents" of kids with allergies.  Turns out, they weren't being overdramatic attention hogs, they were just trying to protect their children!  And now I was one of them.  Looking on packages, asking if dinner at a friend's house had been cooked in butter, cutting down on (but not omitting entirely) the dairy I ate.

This is a long story for a girl who is not yet three years old, so I'll fast forward.  We continued with the dermatologist, and saw an allergist who confirmed that Adelaide is allergic to casein, which is the protein found in milk.  I noticed that she had some trouble with wheat as well, and later found out that peanuts caused skin issues.  Funny thing was, the dermatologist and the allergist both agreed on one thing: the allergies and the eczema were probably not deeply related.  Yes, many kids with food allergies also have skin issues, but the relationship between the two was not a causal one.  This didn't sit well with me, and I think that is when I really started to do my own research.

Now comes the part where I become the crazy #realfood lady.  I started with a blog suggested by a friend, Mommypotamus.  (For the record, this is an amazingly researched blog and Heather Dessinger has become one of my real food heroes.)  I started reading about the connection between allergies, skin issues, and nutrition, and continuously came across the same phrase over and over: "Leaky Gut Syndrome."  What I learned, in very simple, non-scientific terms, is that the food we eat (or the food our mother eats while she was carrying us in her womb) has an effect on every part of our body.  Our gut (digestive system) is where 80% of the body's immune system lives, so poor nutrition can lead to some really messed up immune responses.  Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the lining of the gut has not properly healed.  Babies are born with their digestive system still immature, but basically, when her's was supposed to close up and start doing it's job (ya know, like digesting milk protein) Adelaide's just didn't.  (For a more detailed explanation of Leaky Gut Syndrome, read this.)

I felt like I had really found something.  The "what' of this whole problem was coming into now, of course, I had to look at the "why."  And some of you already know where I'm going with this.  When I was pregnant with Adelaide, I was addicted to Diet Coke.  I don't say this lightly, this is not a tongue-in-cheek moment.  I ate organic veggies and fruits, tried to eat the right kinds of meats and stay away from junk food, but I HAD to have my Diet Coke.  Many glasses a day, without fail.  (For those of you who love DC, please know that I'm not coming down with my hammer on your occasional treat.  This was a nasty habit, and I have since had to turn around and not look back.  While I do believe Diet Coke is a harmful substance and that we would all be better without it, I know that it is possible to drink it in moderation and maintain good health.) Having learned what I did about Leaky Gut, as well as the dangers of aspartame, I truly believe that this was the main cause for Adelaide's allergies and eczema.  It's been hard, looking at the patches of dry skin on her body and knowing that I caused them, but I feel empowered by that knowledge as well, because I was able to make vastly different choices in my pregnancy with Jude, and I know now that my nutrition is of the utmost importance when it comes to the health of my little growing babies.

It was eye opening to me that bad nutrition could have an effect on so many aspects of our health.  Weight problems?  Sure!  Heart health?  No doubt!  But food allergies, seasonal allergies, migraines, chronic illness and disease?  I had just taken those things for granted!  We don't know why they happen, but we can treat the symptoms! If you've had to step out of the room for a moment, come one back.  This could mean something for your family too.  You see, the chronic illness and annoying allergy issues Americans have been accepting as a way of life are actually caused by something.  And that something is poor nutrition.  I'm not here to tell you how to feed your family the perfect diet, I certainly don't feed mine perfectly.  But if you are experiencing any of these issues, I would encourage you to do some deep investigating to find out if you can get to the true source of the problem.  Because the steroids that Adelaide used for much of the first years of her life weren't really solving the problem.  She went on more and more intense doses of steroids, spread all over her skin (the largest organ on the body, and very permeable as well!) saw a bit of progress, and never got to the root of her problem.  We were treating the symptom, not the cause.

This is where Well of Life Center comes into the story.  The Well is a holistic health center where people who have chronic illnesses come to find healing.  I had met our clinician, Megan, at an informational session at a friend's home a few weeks ago.  She impressed me with her knowledge, her sweet demeanor, her confessions of skepticism, and her beautiful testimony of faith in Christ.  Knowing that The Well was founded by a Christian woman was helpful for us, because things in the holistic health world can get pretty strange and trippy.  But Megan herself said that at her first visit to The Well she was reassured by her clinician repeatedly telling her that she was fearfully and wonderfully made by God.  That was a breath of fresh air for me.

Today at The Well our lovely clinician, Megan, was able to confirm what I have long suspected.  Adelaide's stomach, as well as her kidneys and small and large intestines, are in distress.  This is most likely Leaky Gut Syndrome, and was most likely caused by the poor nutrition she received while I was pregnant with her.  I could try to explain to you the diagnostic process they used to find this out, but it would really seem even stranger to you than it did to Jesse and I, and it was pretty strange.  But I had met Megan, I had heard her own amazing story of healing, I trusted her, I have friends who are going to The Well for treatment and seeing amazing results within days, weeks, and months, so I put aside any skepticism and just listened.  And what Megan had to say made so much sense.  Adelaide has a LOT of food sensitivities, some of which I already knew about (milk, wheat, peanuts) and some things that I was continuing to feed her and even thought were beneficial (oats, rice, corn).  Her diet is going to be pretty limited for the next weeks and months, but Megan assured me that the goal is to get her body to a place where she is able to eat all of those things!  Before today I could scarcely imagine a time when Adelaide could have cheese on her eggplant parmesan, and now we have a plan in place to get her there!

The plan for now is to keep Addy on a pretty restrictive, but nutrient dense diet.  She can eat fruit, which was a relief, because sugar is out of the question.  Honey was one of the few foods she had no reaction to, which made her a very happy girl.  She can eat meat, veggies, beans, almonds, wild rice, and quinoa.  She is also taking a supplement to support her digestion, not a synthetic vitamin but a real food supplement that is targeted specifically to her needs.  We'll go back in a week, and they'll continue to give their time and energy to helping us to heal our sweet little girl.  It's not cheap, and medical insurance doesn't cover our visits there.  But there were moments that I saw today at The Well that are truly worth the sacrifice it will take to continue there.  Adelaide giggling on the table as Miss Megan tickled her belly, and told her that it wasn't working right.  Addy making a friend in the waiting room, another two and a half year old girl named Adelaide, while her mother and I spoke to each other.  Looking at the book shelf in the waiting room and seeing a Bible among the other literature.  Megan holding Adelaide in her lap and giving her kisses on her cheek, because she really cares about our little girl already.  Megan reassuring me, when I spoke about my poor nutrition being the cause of this problem, and reminding me not to bring up old things, because God's grace has covered it.  These moments gave me hope, and I look forward to seeing how our visits to The Well and following their guidance could change Adelaide's life.  I've been praying for this for a long time, and today God showed me a glimpse of His plan.  I hope that we will see healing in Adelaide's body, and I will continue to share about our experiences with The Well.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 4- Did You Sleep in Yesterday?

Well, did I?  No, in fact yesterday I woke up even earlier, excited to start my day at 5:52 and ensure myself of a solid hour sitting, drinking coffee, and doing my quiet, kid-less thing.  My kids, however, had other ideas.  First is was Jude, who is back to waking up once to nurse in the middle of the night.  He had nursed sometime in the 4 o'clock hour, so I was surprised to hear him fussing at 6.  (He is usually the last one up in the morning!)  When I went to check on him, he was wet, but by the time I changed his diaper and PJ's it was clear that he wanted to play.  So I brought him down with me and he played while I had my coffee and read my Bible, but soon he was cranky and tired again, and not wanting to nurse, so back up to bed he went. 

Ahhhhh, now I still had about a half an hour of time to myself when I saw a little set of chubby pink feet scootching down the steps.  Adelaide can't get out of her room by herself, so I knew she must have an accomplice.  Sure enough, the long, brown legs of Evangeline weren't far behind.  I don't need to tell you how much I love my kids, but seeing three of their sweet little faces before 7 am was not my idea of a quiet morning.  Evie, being slightly more reasonable than her baby sister, went back upstairs to watch the clock.  But my Adelaidey was there to stay, nursing while I read my book, waiting fairly patiently while I poured my second cup of coffee.  The morning has not gone according to my plans, but the plans of God, are often different, and always better.  It was the perfect day, really, to miss the time in the morning, as I was able to spend the bulk of my day in lively conversation with my sweet friend (the aforementioned Maggie) while our kids played together happily.  

Mag and Me, at her daughter's "World Beat Dance" birthday party last year.  She is African.  I am French.  There is a certain amount of irony in that.
Today is (hopefully) the last day this week that I'll be waking up at six, and I was SUPER tired when I woke up.  Thankfully, there was some delicious coffee already prepped in the kitchen...although my poor sweet hubby was up at 5 to make it!  The last thing I remember was that he was heading in to the kitchen to make coffee before we went to bed, but there must have been a misfire somewhere in his big old brain, because when he was putting Jude back to bed, he realized he had forgotten to make it.  Now, please know that I tried to convince him to get back in bed and not worry about it, but Jesse is not one to leave a job undone.  The poor guy is extra tired this morning, but I am grateful for him...and his bean grinding skills.  I'm ready to face this day with a smile, and hopefully I'll be back to blog some more...about something other than my sleep schedule and hardcore coffee habit!