Thursday, July 24, 2014

Breastfeeding Goals Then and Now: A Breastfeeding Carnival Post Day 7

breastfeedingcafecarnival 
Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about how your breastfeeding goals have changed. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!  

Today will be a more detailed version of how I got to my goals and the difficulties we went through which helped shape my goals.  At times it was just a daily thing-just get through the day and go on to tomorrow if we can get through today.

Monkey: When I had Monkey my goals was to breastfeed for 6 months.  Right around the time he was born I learned that it was beneficial to breastfeed for at least a year.  I set 6 months as a stepping stone.  When he couldn't latch at birth I was devastated!  I thought that by taking a breastfeeding class in my Maternal and Infant Nutrition course as part of my degree that I would learn everything that I needed to know to be successful but it didn't. I did everything right and he still couldn't latch.

Everyone told me to give up and just pump until I dried up but a nurse said he was tongue tied.  The Pediatrician refused to clip it.  I hated bonding with the pump.  I couldn't feed my baby be ause I had to have my nipples ripped apart by a pump.  I wasn't allowed to take one home.  I was sent home with formula and at a loss of what I should do other than contact an Ear Nose and Throat doctor the next day that one of the nurses recommended.  My parents bought me an Avent Isis hand pump because I NEEDED something and couldn't afford an electric.  That first night was miserable.  I was pumping almost constantly with absolutely NO result whatsoever.  He screamed all night because we had no idea what we were doing.  A car ride at 2 AM finally put him to sleep but I don't think any of us got more than an hour total that night.

The next day I called the ENT and they squeezed me in that afternoon.  He slept through the clipping with scissors.  He latched on to me one time.  He nursed for 30 glorious minutes.  Hope.  He never latched again though.  I cried.

My goal became to see an IBCLC the next day and figure out if I could SOMEHOW get a pump.  I still had no insurance to cover it.  That night, my milk started to come in and Monkey refused formula.  I wasn't pumping what he needed though (pumps are not nearly as effective as baby and I've never been able to get much if any colostrum out for my baby to take but fortunately I didn't HAVE to pump from the get-go after Monkey).  I pumped 2 hours straight, changing bottles and handing off the couple ounces to Spencer so he could give it to screaming starving Monkey. 

The next day I saw an IBCLC and I got a nipple shield and he latched on to the shield.  A few weeks in I heard horror stories again about how I would dry up if I didn't wean him off of it.  I tried everything.  He never was able to wean from that nipple shield.  Now I know that he had a lip tie that prevented his mouth from staying open to stay on my nipple.  I wish I would have known about them back then.  I also wish I would have known about an SNS and donor milk so that I wouldn't have had to put Monkey on formula from the beginning.  I wish I wouldn't have had such pushy nurses and a REALLY rude Pediatrician.  All I can do with these wishes is try to help new mothers learn about breastfeeding, teach them who to contact for immediate help, and hopefully someday as an IBCLC I can help educate doctors and nurses about breastfeeding (in my experience though they often don't like to listen to someone they don't consider their equal) so that moms and babies don't have to suffer.  I wouldn't be surprised if some of Monkey's allergy issues were made worse by giving him formula in the beginning.  He also was extremely colicky which I think was due to the ties and his gut health not being so great not getting the colostrum in the beginning.

With Monkey we hit 6 months breastfeeding and I used that stepping stone to get to a year.  We made it a year.  I decided I wanted to nurse him until he was 18 months.  He had other plans and weaned at 14 1/2 months.

Kangaroo: When I was pregnant with Kangaroo I set my sights on 18 months.  He had a really rough 8 weeks.  He was also tongue tied but it was clipped with scissors within 2 hours of birth.  We had a REALLY rocky 8 weeks.  At times I just hoped we'd make it through the day.  Finally we hit our groove.  When he got teeth I was in a lot of pain most of the time.  I know now that he also has a lip tie though not as bad as Monkey's.  I believe his tongue also reattached and he has had major gagging issues and vomiting because of his oral defensive sensory issues.  He's been in Occupational Therapy for it but we plan to get his tongue and lip ties revised with a laser as soon as the insurance allows.  Fortunately, I was able to breastfeed him until I got pregnant with Roxy.  I started bleeding the day I found out, Mother's Day, so I had to stop breastfeeding him but when the bleeding stopped the next day I decided that he could nurse one more time so we both had good memories of our last session.  By the time I helped him finish weaning he was only nursing to go to sleep and not every night.  He was 2 +4 months.

Roxy: I have hit the 6 month mark with the little gal.  We had a very difficult first 4 months-even more than with the boys.  Now my goal is to nurse until she is at least 2 unless she has other plans and we'll just see how it goes afterwards.  With her it was just let's make it through this nursing session for many weeks.  It took two tongue tie revisions (5 weeks and 3 1/2ish months) and the lip revision she had at 5 weeks and some time afterwards before we hit a groove.  I was screaming in pain from weeks 2-5 every time she nursed.  I cried much of the time afterwards.  I knew it wasn't normal or right but had a hard time getting some doctors to listen so fortunately I knew who to turn to and was super pushy because I refused to give up.  She is our last baby.  I am trying to savor every moment.  Once she reaches 2 I guess we'll see where breastfeeding takes us.  Right now I'm just trying to love every single moment with her.

Photo by Alicia http://unique-u-photography.com/


Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Breastfeeding Edition: A Breastfeeding Carnival Post Day 6

breastfeedingcafecarnival 
Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is a Wordless Wednesday! Share your breastfeeding photos! Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!  

Photo by Alicia http://unique-u-photography.com/

Photo by Alicia http://unique-u-photography.com/


Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The What in my Breastfeeding Journey: A Breastfeeding Carnival Post Day 5

breastfeedingcafecarnival 
Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about products that have helped you to breastfeed. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!

There have been many things that have helped me in my journey.  I would like to list them and then highlight a few that I especially liked or that are unique.

  • Boppy: I love my Boppy pillow to help my arms have a little bit of a break!
  • Nipple Shield: These are thought to be evil but for some babies they are necessary.  I would pick using one any day over not being able to nurse at all due to latch issues that can't be resolved otherwise.
  • Breastfeeding Box: I will talk about this in a minute!
  • Lactation Cookies and tea for growth spurts: I will talk about these in a minute!
  • Leftovers, frozen meals, and easy prep meals: I HIGHLY recommend freezing some meals in advance.  Use a friend or neighbor or someone at church's freezer if you need to but get some meals frozen that you can toss in the oven or crock pot especially in the first 6-8 weeks.  If you can use a few a week you can spread them out further and be sure to double to make it a little easier on your wallet so you're preparing one recipe for that night while you're expecting and then freeze the doubled part.
  • Nursing bras
  • Nursing pads especially cloth ones.  I really love Bamboobies.
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter: This was an absolute must with Roxy.  I tried lanolin in the past but I tried this for Roxy and I'm SO glad I did.  All of my cracks that I got were healed very quickly and it smells really yummy.
  • Tongue tie revisions: for my babies these were a must and I recommend everyone learning a bit about how to identify them.  This blog is by Roxy's doctor and it's very informative.
  • IBCLC: A necessary part of my tool belt.  Find one as well as your local LLL information before baby arrives so that you can contact them IMMEDIATELY if you need some help.
  • Speech therapist: For Roxy this professional was a must.  She needed a lot of extra help because of her strong gag reflex.  She is orally defensive like Korver and we use a tool like the Z-vibe to help desensitize her mouth using various z-vibe tips.  She really enjoys this.  Some people find electric toothbrushes do similar things but for sure use these tools ONLY under the advice of an actual medical professional which I am not :).
  • Water bottle: Keep one of these handy all the time.  I just got a Hydroflask (This is an affiliate link-purchasing through this link gives a small portion of the sale to me to help support buying homeschooling books for my children, thanks!) and so far I really love it.  I've only used it for a couple days but it has kept my water refrigerator temperature all day even when left in a car when it was 70 outside.
  • Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (again affiliate link-see note in bullet point above): Many moms refer to this as the "Bible" of breastfeeding.
  • Nursing necklaces: These are just a fun way to keep baby's attention on the breast.  There are a lot of them out there.  If you want recommendations feel free to comment
Now for a few details.

I love the breastfeeding box put out by 16 Minute Club.  I learned about the box from The Mommy Dialogues and decided to order after seeing a box in person at the Portland Big Baby Shower event.  They are great and packed with information, full size products that go along with your baby's age, and a bunch of samples and coupons.  I really look forward to each box, Roxy does too.  These are a couple of items that came in the teething box:




The Appeteether and Drool Cloth were really fun surprises in the box.  Ironic though because Roxy is allergic to broccoli :).

Lactation Cookies-I like to have these as a milk boosting treat especially during fussy growth spurt times.

Here is the recipe I use to make mine:

1 C Butter
1 C Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar (dark brown is better because it has molasses)
4 Tbs Water
2 Tbs milled Flax Seed
2 Eggs
1 Tsp vanilla
2 C Flour-1 C wheat 1 C white
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
3 C Oats
1 C Chocolate Chips (ok I add a whole bag...I'll admit that!)
2-4 Tbs Brewer's Yeast
1/2 C-1 C Raw Pumpkin Seeds (the green ones)
1 C Raisins (I like to do 1/2 C Raisins and 1/2 C Pomegranate infused Craisins)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix flax seed and water and let sit 3-5 minutes, set aside.  Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.  Add eggs and mix.  Add flax mix and vanilla.  Beat well.  Sift together flour, brewer's yeast, baking soda, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the rest.  Stir in oats, chips, pumpkin seeds, and raisins, feel free to add other seeds or nuts as you wish.  Drop on to baking sheets.  Bake 12 minutes.

I love herbal teas now especially yummy ones that I just need to add a little raw local honey to.  My two favorite lactation teas are Anna's Naturals which I first heard about from Adventures of Lactating Girl and Bird's and Bees Teas blend which I received a full size tin in one of my 16 Minute Club boxes.  Yummy!


Do you have any breastfeeding products that you've enjoyed using?


*I did not receive any compensation to "advertise" any of these products.  All affiliate links were noted otherwise I'm just sharing links to awesome products that I enjoyed.*


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Monday, July 21, 2014

My Breastfeeding Mantra: A Breastfeeding Carnival Post Day 4

breastfeedingcafecarnival 
Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about your breastfeeding mantra. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!  

When breastfeeding (is) was hard with Roxy I remember that I have successfully breastfed two other children and that this is what my body was made to do.  I used that mantra in labor as well.  At times I turn to my leader materials and have turned to a new book I obtained, Supporting Sucking Skills (This is an affiliate link-purchasing through this link gives a small portion of the sale to me to help support buying homeschooling books for my children, thanks!).    I always come back to telling myself that breastfeeding is normal and that my body was made to nourish my baby.

In exhausted times I try to remember to eat extra protein and get my feet up as much as possible.  In LLL we have a saying: "Don't stand when you can sit, don't sit when you can lay down!  At least get your feet up!"  Even after successfully breastfeeding two other children weird and new things happen and some things I have forgotten so I still have difficult times.  Sometimes I get really frustrated but when I get my head straight I remember to tell myself that this is what I dreamed of and this is what I'm meant to do!

Do you have a breastfeeding mantra when things are tough?


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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Who in my Breastfeeding Journey: Breastfeeding Carnival Post Day 3

breastfeedingcafecarnival 
Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about people who have supported your breastfeeding goals. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!

I have a long list of thank yous for each kid.  Writing these posts has brought back memories and emotions and I just wish I could go back and give everyone a huge hug because they all were SO important in our breastfeeding journey!

Monkey: A nurse in the hospital looked in Monkey's mouth when he was a day old and noticed that he had a heart-shaped tongue and told me he was tongue tied and it was the cause of him not being able to latch at all.  I had no idea about this or how it could effect breastfeeding but she also tried to get him to suck on her finger and his suck reflex wasn't triggered until she was almost touching his throat.  Another nurse told me about LLL and I looked them up when I got home from the hospital and started attending meetings a couple months later.  A wonderful ENT that was willing to get Monkey in the day I called helped so Monkey could even attempt to latch.  He was clipped with scissors and slept through the procedure.  An IBCLC helped by seeing my technique and helping with a nipple shield the next day.  Carin was the LLL leader in Layton who originally helped me feel supported.  She gave tips for weaning from the shield (never was successful though) and reassured me that I could continue feeding Monkey even with the shield long term.  My husband was always there for me though he struggled with the tears and didn't offer the best advice because he was worried about me.  I could always feel his love through my struggles.  Amy was a great leader who helped me on my journey to become a LLL leader even through losses #2 and #3.  My mom was always there to remind me that I could do anything I was determined to accomplish.

Kangaroo: Before Kangaroo arrived, I searched for a new Pediatrician and an important quality was that they could and would clip a tongue tie within a couple hours of birth.  Ties are usually genetic and frequently occur in siblings so I waned to be prepared.  For this reason I name our old doctor's office as a support.  They were able to clip Kangaroo's tie within 2 hours after birth.  I also had a great IBCLC in the hospital that taught me the "nipple sandwich" aka "asymmetrical latch" technique and to get a deep latch toward the chin and flip the nipple in very last so it would be way up by the palate forcing a deeper latch.  Various moms at LLL meetings and a few other leaders helped support me.  When we moved and I was fortunate enough to finally become an official leader I found that even through leading I still felt the love and support from other moms.

Roxy: Roxy has had a crazy journey.  I had a lot of help from Lisa (my home birth midwife) but I also got to teach her about posterior tongue ties and lip ties.  My doula Katherine was there to talk when I needed it.  A great IBCLC named Debbie whom I originally met in local breastfeeding coalition meetings was able to specifically help after Roxy's first revision and taught me a new-to-me position which baby straddles my leg and encouraged laid back breastfeedingDr. Ghaheri in Portland revised her tongue and lip ties and revised her tongue tie again when scar tissue restricted her tie because it healed closed.  A wonderful home visit nurse named Jan weighed Roxy frequently to let me know that she was gaining weight adequately.  A speech therapist helped with suck training.  A Pediatrician who is up to date on breastfeeding information and colic helped quite a bit.  My training through the Babywearing Institute was a huge help so that I could further meet Roxy's needs which eventually helped her struggles by wearing her constantly.  LLL leaders, especially Kelly who had similar LONG term struggles, were helpful to remind me that one day things would "click" and become so much better.  All of the moms and babies I see breastfeeding remind me that it is normal and it's ok to breastfeed.  Stories online of other moms who struggled that I happen upon help.  I love reading breastfeeding research articles and helping other moms through their struggles because it helps me get through the tough times because I know I'm not alone.  And of course, Womanly Art of Breastfeeding which has helped me quickly look up things and follow along with ages and stages through my younger 2 (the newest version was released July 2010 and I had the older version with Monkey).

Who has helped you on your breastfeeding journey?

Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My Breastfeeding Story: A Breastfeeding Carnival Post Day 2

breastfeedingcafecarnival 
Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about your breastfeeding (when you were a baby!) story. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!

I was breastfed as a baby.  I was fed on demand, which my mom told me was for about an hour every 4 hours.  She weaned me when I was around 8 or 9 months and was teething and bit.  Because of this biting scared me but we talked about it in a LLL meeting and I learned about it in Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.  I learned how to handle the situtation and somewhat prevent it before it even happened.

Growing up I saw my aunt and neighbors breastfeed so it was normal to me.  I always knew that when I had a baby that I would breastfeed.  My ultimate goal is for my children to also grow up seeing that it is normal so that they will be supportive of breastfeeding mothers and hopefully my daughter will also choose to breastfeed her babies.

Newborn little Ashley with my Mama

Tell me about your breastfeeding story!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

The Goals in my Breastfeeding Journey: A Breastfeeding Carnival Post Day 1

breastfeedingcafecarnival 
Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about your personal breastfeeding goals. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!

I will just give the brief version and give the more detailed version of HOW I got to the goals next week.  With Monkey originally my goal was 6 months but I learned the benefits of breastfeeding to a year and beyond so I set 1 year as my goal but 6 months as my stepping stone.  Once we reached a year (after a REALLY rocky start) I had set 18 months as my goal.  He had other plans and had finished weaning himself by 14 1/2 months.


With Kangaroo I set out to breastfeed him for 18 months when I was pregnant with him.  He also had a rocky start and a very painful 8 weeks for me.  After that 6 months, then 12 months, then 18 months came and went so I set a goal for 2 years but didn't see myself going past that.  His birthday came and went and I knew he wasn't ready to be done-he was still very much a baby.  I decided I would continue nursing until he was done or I got pregnant.  Having had 3 losses already and my body being SUPER sensitive during those early weeks I didn't want to chance losing another when we officially started trying.  We found out on Mother's Day last year we were expecting another baby and I started bleeding that night.  Kangaroo was 2 + 4 months and we dropped his last feeding.  The bleeding stopped and I let him nurse one last time so I could have a great memory of the last time he nursed.


Baby girl doesn't have a nickname online yet besides the nickname of her name :).  Roxy is now 6 months and we had a VERY difficult 4 months.  I hoped so much that we could make it through the struggles.  We have and my goal is to make it to 2 years unless she has other plans like Monkey did but I want her to nurse as long as she needs since she is our last but I don't see myself going past 3 but I guess we'll see what life brings.  As a mom I've learned to never say never because every child's needs and temperament are so different.

What are your goals for breastfeeding?

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Introducing Baby #3!

 Introducing Roxy!

Photo by Alicia http://unique-u-photography.com/
Baby #3 arrived December 31 on her Daddy's 30th birthday.  She had a rough start with breastfeeding and things have been CRAZY since her birth so I still haven't even written her birth plan but I wanted to do a quick intro with a few pictures :)!











Blessing Day

Great Cloth Diaper Change

Photo by Alicia http://unique-u-photography.com/

Photo by Alicia http://unique-u-photography.com/

Photo by Alicia http://unique-u-photography.com/

Photo by Alicia http://unique-u-photography.com/

Photo by Alicia http://unique-u-photography.com/  


Friday, June 7, 2013

"But You Went to Public School and You Turned Out Just Fine."

I know it's been a while since I posted.  I've been super busy between just being a mom (especially a homeschooling one :) ), LLL, my babywearing group, becoming a Certified Babywearing Educator, knitting, etc, etc.  So bare with me.  I'll post when I can :).  Today I'd like to start a series of FAQs about homeschooling.  These are FAQs that often come up and what my responses are to those.  Among these are "Every homeschooler I've ever met has been anti-social."  "You went to public school and you turned out just fine."  "How will your kids make friends?"  "What do you do all day?  Sit in a stuffy room and read to your kids?"  "How do you teach over all the grade levels?"  "You aren't a certified teacher, why do you think you're qualified to teach your children?"  "Why the heck are you homeschooling your 4 year old/5 year old already?"  "Homeschooling isn't something I could ever do (for x, y, z reason)."  Some of these sound really blunt and rude and I've been asked all of those at one point or another phrased in this way and some of course put a lot nicer.  We're still learning of course. 

I guess I should start out by saying we used to think homeschooling was weird.  We didn't ever see doing it and I used to actually be against homeschooling.  I received a feeling one day that we should look in to it.  I thought about tuning that out but just felt like it was really important to start looking at.  My husband had received a similar feeling.  I determined this was more than just a feeling but a prompting and something we should take seriously.  I started checking out books from the library on homeschooling.  I really like the Everything series so that was the first one I ended up reading-The Everything Homeschooling Book.




We had a lot of the same fears a lot of people do but especially the social aspect.  This book REALLY opened my eyes.  It was simple but full of a lot of information that really helped me on my homeschooling journey.  After reading the book I started looking in to local homeschooling groups even though Monkey wasn't even a year old yet.  I wanted to learn what I could learn and find out more about homeschooling so we had a solid foundation of information.  My husband and I are planners.  We like to have a general idea of what's going on and what our budget is.  We like to plan years down the road of where we'd like to be, what types of trips (including where) we'd like to go on, where we'll be living, and so on.  We have always had discussions about this even before we got married (which I think is the absolute key to a good marriage!).  We had planned that I would be a stay at home mom and that kids were really important as well as finishing education.  Education is very important to both of us and when I started doing research I found that the public school system isn't what it used to be which leads to the question I'm going to answer in this post today.


"But you went to public school and you turned out just fine."

As a homeschooler I like to just smile at this statement.  It's really becoming much easier by the month for me to handle this criticism or the simple question of WHY do you homeschool because for us these are almost one and the same.

My public school days were years ago.  Not MANY years ago because I did graduate high school in 2005 but enough years ago that things have changed even with the graduating class a year behind me.  I remember taking a stupid test in high school that was supposed to decide if I was allowed to graduate or not and I was very very anxious about this test as I don't do well on standardized tests.  I had good grades, was smart, did very well picking up new concepts but only scored a 23 on my ACT test which was super disappointing as I would have had a full-ride scholarship my first year with 1 point higher.  Test time came and I was SO anxious.  The day after we finished the testing (I believe it was a full week of taking the stupid thing) we found out that it didn't count for graduation but would for sure the next graduating year.  EVERYONE had passed the test because the two years prior they had informed the students that the test didn't mean anything to their graduation status so most students just filled in bubbles and handed it in.  The standards were set way too low and our class was the one that set the standards for the next graduating class.  I believe this was just a Utah thing but I don't know.  The point I'm making here is that standards are often set way too low and they just get set lower and lower especially with Common Core.  I won't go in to Common Core here but it is something that you should be aware of and when I read actual information from the government on Common Core I was horrified.  I have read a lot of interpretations as well but I knew from my experience with the standard test for graduation in Utah that standards are just plain set way low and when you're looking at students all across the country of course they're going to set them to the point that intercity kids can pass and graduate rather than where the Ivy League bound students are. 

I was super bored in public school, especially elementary school, and saw way more crap than I needed to see while at school.  Most of my subjects were too easy.  I could have gone ahead in math but because I didn't have that foundation in elementary school it was too hard to just skip a level when I got to the point I could chose a math class.  Honors math was a total joke because my teacher got up in front of the class to teach, a kid in the back was too social, he'd sit down and say do the homework on the syllabus with absolutely no instruction.  I got my first C.  I was HORRIFIED.  I had math nightmares.  I spent ALL of my free time in the class room trying to get help on homework that I never was taught at all how to do because the teacher didn't want to compete with a social kid that sat in the back.  I dropped that class and went in to regular math and was again bored after a month of catching up.  I also saw way more crap and heard way more crap than I ever should have heard.  In 4th or 5th grade a boy wrote the F word on my paint shirt.  I didn't know what it meant, I'd never heard it, I knew it was bad.  That same boy groped me on the playground.  I didn't understand but I knew I didn't like it.  I heard WAY too much information about sex in Junior High in the hallways, bus, lunchroom, etc.  There was no need for me to hear that garbage.  It's getting worse too as more and more elementary students are offered condoms and having sexual relationships across the country (I read these headlines and about pregnant 12 and 13 year olds often).  Call me a prude or too overprotective but I don't think my kids need to hear a lot of graphic details as a young teen or elementary student they also don't need to be exposed to the foul language I heard all the time.

Public schools could never cater to the level I could have been at.  I can encourage my kids to do better in subjects they struggle with, allow them to move ahead in subjects they do well at, and have plenty of extra time that they can learn more about the subjects they really want to learn more about.  I was invited to join a special program for gifted and talented students but it cost too much for my parents and after learning more about it it was just full of busy work and that I wouldn't really be able to work ahead of where I was working in normal public school and eventually I'd be dropped right back in to my grade with everyone else.  Monkey is a super smart 5 year old.  I know every parent thinks their child is bright but Monkey really pushed me to teach him how to read at 3.  He started to learn to count and add and subtract items.  I realized a year ago that he was already doing everything a preschooler needed to learn before entering Kindergarten so I decided to start our Kindergarten work.  He picked everything up super quick.  He has done 1st grade work this year and turned 5 in April.  I don't say this at all to brag but I do use it as an example because I know he would be incredibly bored going back to Kindergarten level materials even if I hadn't worked with him like I have this upcoming fall.  Socially though I don't know if he is completely ready for Kindergarten though he may be by September.  I am able to cater curriculum to what HE needs rather than what the average student needs.  I'm able to spend longer on topics that he needs extra help with or skip ones that he has a firm grasp on rather than reviewing for a couple of weeks.  I'm able to specially pick out things he would like.  He's really in to space right now so we will be doing Apologia's Astronomy curriculum this next school year.  I'm also able to use curriculum to get my 2 year old interested in learning because he likes to "join in" in our school (for him that usually means coloring while his brother writes, playing with linking cubes while brother adds and subtracts, "helping" me set words up for reading and spelling, etc) and knows that it's fun and important to me.  Kangaroo has already learned the value of books and knows that they're important to us.



Public school isn't all bad.  I don't think my parents are horrible for sending me or anything like that.  I also don't think that any parents now are horrible for sending their kids to public schools.  I'm in a position I can do better though and as the world gets further and further away from having any morals I'm going to take advantage of my right to homeschool my children and prepare them to have an even brighter future.  I can help them be even more prepared to do what they want to do with their future.


What do you say when someone says "But you went to public school and you turned out just fine" to you?

Friday, May 10, 2013

I Am a Mormon

You may have noticed my link on the side of my blog that says that I Am a Mormon with a link to the LDS church's website Mormon.org. It used to be a pretty button but now it just says "I am a Mormon" and links to my profile on Mormon.org. I have always been hesitant to post about why I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for a few reasons-I don't like to toot my own horn or try to look self-righteous and I have had people treat me differently because I am LDS and have different beliefs including being told I'm not welcome in several moms' groups or even treated differently by people I know. Being a member of the LDS church is a huge huge part of my life though and I decided to write a post about what my beliefs are and another post about my feelings about the Savior Jesus Christ. I ask that you please be kind in your comments-if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all. As a child I learned about the Articles of Faith which were written by the Prophet Joseph Smith just a couple of years before he died to a news reporter who wanted to know more about what members of the church believed. I am going to copy those here:

 13 Articles of Faith
1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.


Along with these I would like to share my experience as well as my testimony. The LDS church is very pro-family. As a child I sang a song called "Families Can Be Together Forever." I also sang a song called "I Love to See the Temple."  Both talk about how a family can be together forever.  I wanted to be with my future family forever.  I wanted that blessing in our life.  I knew I wanted to marry a great guy who would take me to the temple to be married to him for eternity.  I am grateful to know that I will be able to be with him forever and my children and my future posterity.  I am also grateful to know that my three angels who I never had the opportunity to meet will be with us forever.  I learned this because I prayed when I was going through my miscarriages for comfort and instead of just comfort I had a voice whisper to me that I would be able to raise my children someday after this life.

I am so grateful for Joseph Smith who as a teenager, 14 years old, read in the Bible James 1:5: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."  He went to the Bible when he didn't know which church was the true church that he should join.  He decided to go to a beautiful grove of trees to kneel in prayer and ask Heavenly Father which church to join.  He was visited by God and Jesus Christ who spoke to him and said that none of the churches were true and that he would be key to restoring the Gospel as it was in Christ's time on the Earth. 

I recently learned that one of my ancestors was confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost to be her constant companion to help her recognize right from wrong and to receive spiritual inspiration by the prophet Joseph Smith.  She was very close to Heavenly Father and had very strong faith.  She could have ran away when the mobs were burning down her neighbors' homes.  She could have given up when she actually died from lightning striking her home as a teenager as could her father who gave her a priesthood blessing which brought her back.  She could have not crossed the plains to get away from the persecution to a new home.  She didn't.  She knew that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was true as did many of my other ancestors who crossed the plains to Utah.

I don't know everything about the Gospel.  I do know that it is true.  I have prayed about it and I believe Heavenly Father answers our prayers.  I knew in my heart when I prayed if the Book of Mormon was true that it was as promised through the last chapter of the book of Moroni:


3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your chearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.

I was only a teenager in the seminary program when I did this but I felt a burning warmth in my chest that the Book of Mormon and the Gospel was true.  I know without a doubt in my mind that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church with the full truth.  All other churches have pieces and fragments but I know that the LDS church is true.  I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and my family and knows ME as an individual. 

I am a Mormon and I'm proud of it!

If you would like to learn more about my church I would recommend visiting the Church's website found here