Photo by Layna Hendrich of PhotographyLayn

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Being A Wheeling Wife (Part 3)

Please welcome my first guest to my blog- my husband, Russ. I thought it was only fair to let him add his side to my last post, specifically on the real truths about girls that all guys should know. So here we go...

  • Girls don't understand that guys are a lot different from them
We don't hold on to things. We forget things pretty much right away. We are very basic, simple creatures- girls just complicate everything. And they never forget. Ever. Girls have laser eyes. If you do something bad, they can zap you with their eyes.

  • Don't get in to an argument, because you will lose
 Guys don't stand a chance in an argument against a girl. It's best to just say "I'm sorry, I love you, and you are beautiful" at the beginning of the argument and save yourself some time.

  • Any time you confront them with something, they will always have something on you
This goes back to the "girls don't forget anything" comment from above. Just when you think you have got something on them, they remind you that you did the same thing seven months ago. They remember every little thing you have ever done throughout your relationship. It's scary.

  • Girls get upset more easily over the little things
Girls can get their feelings hurt really easily. They can say something to you, and you could care less. If you say the same thing to them, it's the end of the world.  For instance, Ashlee got her hair done this week, and I didn't say anything right away, and she didn't like that. But I was watching this college football game and there was an awesome play and she wasn't paying attention and missed it. I got over it.

  • Girls poop too
Girls can talk all they want about how gross boys are, but girls can be gross too. I didn't think that girls pooped until I was like twelve years old. Now I know better. Girls may be more private about their gross stuff, but it still happens.

  • A girl can do something and it's fine, but if you do it, you're dead meat
Ashlee drove her car through our garage a few months ago. I mean she actually drove her car through the back wall of the garage.  I had to act like it wasn't a big deal and that I was just glad she was okay. I couldn't even get mad at her, or I was the bad guy. If I had driven my truck through the garage wall, I wouldn't be writing this blog post right now.

  • It doesn't matter how you say something, they will always take it the wrong way
 This happens all the time, but I can't seem to remember an example. But it happens all the time.

  • Even with all of the dumb things we do, girls are loyal and they stick with us
Girls are good forgivers, which is a good thing, because we do lots of dumb things. Girls have good hearts, and they put a lot of thought and effort into loving us. They work hard to keep our lives running smoothly. They make sure we have enough socks and underwear. They pretty much hold things together. They can be a lot of work, but we would be a mess without them. Girls are worth it.

Well, there you have it folks. A guy's guide to girls. Hope you enjoyed hearing the other side from a man's perspective- I know I did. And now I have to use my laser eyes on Russ for telling that garage story...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Being a Wheeling Wife (Part 2)

I asked Russ to go down to the basement for me to find some pictures for an upcoming presentation. He came back up with the pictures and something else. When we were married, we asked our guests to fill out a set of questions about how they knew us, their favorite memories, their funniest memories, and words of wisdom. Russ had found the stack of papers, and we had a lot of fun reading through them.

We saw the expected responses in the advice section. Here were the top answers:
  • Keep God first in your relationship
  • Never go to bed angry
  • Always say "I'm sorry"
Obviously, these statements are incredibly true, helpful, and biblical. They are the building blocks of any healthy relationship. But the more I looked through the pages, the more I realized that people aren't comfortable talking about the tough stuff, at least not at a wedding reception in such a public way. So I started thinking about some of the things that I have learned over the last seven years, that I wish someone had told me. Fortunately, I have a Mom who is easy to talk to and prepared me very well for being married, but there are some things that just have to be learned the hard way I suppose. Unless you read this post and believe the truths I am about to share with you. Disabled and able-bodied single women- write this stuff down...

  • Boys are gross
When Russ and I were dating, I thought he was the most thoughtful, well-mannered, clean man I had ever known. The first time I did his laundry after the wedding, my girlish notions died a quick, painful death.  Boys are hairy, smelly, and the cooties our Mothers warned us about do not fade with age. Be prepared to clean out bathroom sinks crusted with old toothpaste, nose hair trimmings, and the occassional dried loogey. And don't even get me started on what they do to toilets. Your Prince Charming will one day come to you with a bottle of Gold Bond Medicated Powder and ask you to apply it to a chafed area only doctors should visit. Be forewarned- they are gorgeous and we love them- but boys are gross.
  • Boys don't listen
This was a hard one for me, because until I figured it out, I took it personally.  I thought Russ didn't listen to me because he didn't care about what I was saying. As if my thoughts, plans, and suggestions weren't worth listening to. I would get mad and lash out when he didn't remember something I had discussed with him, or worse, if he totally forgot plans I had made. Now I understand that God made boys this way to teach women patience to prepare us for raising children. They need constant reminders passed along in a loving, gracious manner. And they need lots of them. Programmed into their phones. With reminders every fifteen minutes until the event. And lists. Lots of lists. This should really be in our wedding vows.
  • Sometimes, in order to get enough sleep to function, you are going to go to bed a little angry
I am a communicator. I like to talk things out until a consensus is reached, and by consensus, I mean that Russ now realizes the error of his ways and has come over to the side of My Truth.  Just kidding. Kind of. One thing I have learned, however, is that bed time is not always the best time to start an argument/discussion/debate over an important topic. When Russ is tired, he will agree to anything in order to be allowed to sleep. That doesn't mean I "win," it just means that his sleep is more important than talking out an issue that usually means more to me than him anyway.

So it plays out like this. We discuss. He tells me what he thinks I want to hear in order to sleep. He falls asleep. I sit up in bed for another hour rehashing the conversation and getting more angry by the minute. I seriously consider waking him up to continue the conversation that has been going on in my head for the past hour. I refrain. I get myself worked up for another hour before falling in to a fitful sleep. He wakes up the next morning having totally forgotten that we even spoke the night before, let alone what the main topic of the conversation was. He rolls over to kiss me good morning and quickly sees by my face that not only have I not forgotten about our little fight, but I've been up half the night struggling with it, and no, everything is not "all right."

Please tell me I'm not the only woman that does this...

Bottom line- men are much better forgivers and forgetters than women. And being a good communicator does not mean you "win" every conversation. And although some topics are worth staying up late to hash out until you reach reconciliation, sometimes, you just have to go to sleep a little angry and reconvene the discussion the next day.
  • Boys change after the honeymoon
This is something that we MUST explain to recently engaged couples. It would save a lot of heartache in those first few months if it was better understood.

Russ and I dated long-distance throughout our entire relationship. Which meant that every time we were together, it was for a short 1-2 week period before we would be apart for weeks on end. This meant that our time together was incredibly precious and every day was the best date ever all day long.

So after we got married, I assumed this romantic, snuggly, worship the ground I wheel on environment would continue. Wrong. Marriage is hard work- every day. When you take two, independent lives and smush them together, it's going to rock the boat a little. From schedules, to preferences, to simple, seemingly routine habits, combining two into one is sometimes a beautiful disaster. And oftentimes, it doesn't look anything like the relationship you had while you were dating.

Take the snuggling, for example. Russ was so affectionate with me while we were dating and engaged. And while this continued for a short while after we were married, it was like I eventually contracted the bubonic plague and nobody had thought to let me know.  We started in a full bed, which I loved, because you snuggled in order to not fall off of the  bed. But once we moved to a king, it was like we were living in different time zones. Once, Russ actually told me to roll over the other way away from him because I was "breathing his air." Seriously? I quickly realized that the romantic, affectionate boy I dated was not the man I married. He wasn't being deceitful- he was just caught up in the starry-eyed wonder of it all, and was putting his best foot forward in order to impress and win the girl. Once he had me, he didn't feel the need to impress me every second of every day. AND THAT'S OKAY. Because you know what? I'm his best friend, and he can be completely himself with me. And I know that when he does snuggle and buy me flowers and write me a sweet card, it is outside of his comfort zone, and it means so much more.

On the flip side, you should be warned that this comfort level will also bring out their, shall I say, locker room behavior, complete with sounds and odors no woman should ever have to endure. You want them to be comfortable with you. But save yourself some trouble and put some "comfort level" boundaries in place early on...
  • Sex is not a four-letter word 
Here's a good one. As I mentioned before, my Mom is one of my best friends, and I know I can talk to her about anything. So before my wedding, we had several discussions about what to expect on that first night together, and in the weeks and months to come. I am surprised and saddened to learn that this is not a common occurrence, especially in Christian households. It's almost like we have gone so far the other way from those who take sex lightly, that it has become a taboo topic.

I am in no way saying that every little detail has to be explained, and I'm not advocating parents sitting down with their soon-to-be-married children and sketching out stick figures, but you can talk about the act of sex in a beautiful, respectful way and take away a lot of the fear and anxiety of the unknown without spilling all the beans. A little mystery and intrigue is a good thing, and I'm a firm believer of remaining a virgin until you are married, but there are so many young couples who spend the first few months of their marriage in stoic silence enduring something that was always meant to be thoroughly enjoyed between a husband and his wife. 

Now, I know that sex can be an awkward conversation topic at times between a parent and child, so if you don't have the type of relationship with your parents that allows you to do this, find someone married who you love and respect, and talk to them. Seek out someone that will answer your questions and alleviate your anxiety. But you know what the best advice is that I would give a newly-married couple? Communicate with each other like your life depends on it, because your sex life does. Your spouse loves you, and wants to make you happy, so make it easier on both of you and be open to talking about anything and everything. I'm trying to be careful and remain age-appropriate with this blog post, so I won't go into any further detail, but just remember that open and honest communication, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable at first, can make all the difference in the world.
  • He needs your RESPECT 
I saved this one for last because I think it is one of the most important, and sadly, missing pieces of advice that is shared with young brides. In a world of feminism, civil rights, and equality, the last thing anyone wants to hear is the word "submissive." "Honor and obey" are being left out of wedding vows and women are feeling empowered to run roughshod over their husbands in a battle to run their homes and relationships as they see fit.  I always knew I would struggle with this. I am a stubborn, independent, strong willed woman, and with the struggles I have faced in my life, these character traits have served me well. Until I got married.

Russ and I did a Bible study a few years ago dealing with the topics of love and respect. One of the questions it asked in the beginning was, "If you were stranded on a desert island, and you could only have one thing for the rest of your life, would it be love or respect?" An overwhelming amount of wives answered, "love," and the same majority of husbands stated, "respect." Both sides were flabbergasted by the others response. But it was just another reminder of God's perfect plan in creating two beings who are perfectly suited to meet each others needs because of their differences.

It has taken me several years, and I am still learning how to better myself in this area, but I have discovered how much my husband needs my respect and encouragement. If you've read anything about love languages, you know that we usually give people what we think they need, which ends up being what we need. So, as a woman, if I want to be loved, I try to show my husband how much I love him. I do his laundry, prepare his favorite meals, leave him cute little notes. Does he appreciate these things? Absolutely. But do they make him feel fulfilled and successful as a husband? That's a negative. You see, these are sweet, romantic gestures that I am craving, but they are not what Russ needs. He needs for me to be his biggest cheerleader. To support his leadership. To always have his back, be his confidant, and respect his position in our relationship. Because being a husband is tough. Russ will have a lot to answer for as the leader of our home when he one day stands before the Lord, and although I think I want this position at times, I know that it was never intended for me to fill that role, or attempt to take that responsibility.

If I had known how much harm could be done with a sharp word, a silent glare, or a few moments of sulking, I would have cut out my tongue and plucked out my eyes years ago. We see our husbands as these tough, invincible men. But I wonder how many wives today would be found guilty in a court of law for verbal abuse towards their husbands? I cringe when I hear women degrading their husbands in public, but is it any better if we do it in the privacy of our own homes?

I've heard women ask, "How can I respect a man who hasn't earned my respect?" But beware, because the flip side of that could be asked, "How can I love my wife when she hasn't earned my love?" Put into that perspective, in my mind, drives home the reasons why God commands men to love their wives and women to respect their husbands. He never has to tell women to love their husbands, because that is our natural inclination. Oppositely, God never commands husbands to respect their wives.  We do what comes easily for us. It's the unnatural responses that require the greater effort. (And He never inserts the phrase, "Only when they deserve it," or we'd all be in trouble...)

We must share with young women the importance of respecting their husbands. And you know what? When we do, all of those nice, romantic gestures we were so desperately seeking will suddenly pour out of a husband who feels secure and encouraged by a wife who respects him and his authority and position in their marriage.

As always, I am in no way writing this as if I have mastered any of it. I fail daily, and it's only by the forgiveness, love, and patience of a God and a husband who love me unconditionally that I am given so many undeserved second chances. I have attempted to be transparent without seeming like a total shrew, but this topic requires complete honesty if it is to be of any real help to others attempting to manage this crazy thing called love. Please feel free to leave your comments, your own struggles, and pieces of honest advice you wish you had known early on in your relationship.

And if you are reading this post, and none of the above statements are in any way descriptive of your husband and/or your marriage, then feel free to keep your comments to yourself, because no one wants to hear about your blissful perfection without wanting to punch you in the face. That is all.   :o)

Obviously, these points are directed towards able-bodied and disabled people alike, but next week, I will focus on topics directly related to relationships involving a disability and how that effects the  grand scheme of things.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go and put all of my words into better practice...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Being a Wheeling Wife (Part 1)

Since I spent the last three posts talking about Addison, I thought I should write at least one about the other favorite person in my life.

I was always boy crazy. And I'm still a hopeless romantic. I adore great love stories, I'm a wedding fanatic, and if the television show has anything to do with getting engaged, picking out your wedding dress, and/or planning the wedding, then I am sold. I had several boyfriends in junior high and high school, and I was madly in love with each one, just sure he was "the one," until he wasn't and the next boy was!

And then my accident happened, and I just knew that any chance at romance had just been violently swept off the table. What guy in their right mind would want to marry a girl in a wheelchair when he could marry someone who was able-bodied? I would be the single lady with lots of cats that lived alone and secretly envied all of her married friends.

So when I returned to high school after my hospitalization, and as I moved on to college, I was hyper-sensitive to male attention. If a guy looked at me twice, in my mind, we were headed to the altar. If I didn't get my hooks in the first one that showed even the slightest bit of interest, who knew if I would get another chance? This attitude of low self esteem and being perfectly happy to settle seems to resonate with lots of single girls in our society today, and not just those with a disability. I don't know the actual statistics, but I wonder how many unhappy marriages are out there today because women don't see their worth in Christ and choose to settle for second-best, or worse?

I wasted a lot of time, energy, and feelings with guys I had no business dating, let alone actually considering for a permanent relationship. I was headed towards being one of those statistics when I had an epiphany. If I truly believed that God wanted good things for my life, I had two options. I could be patient, and wait on His timing. Or I could accept that maybe He had a ministry for me as a single woman, whether it was for a time, or for the remainder of my life, and that He had promised to always be enough for me. If this was the case, I begged the Lord to take the desire for marriage and love out of my heart so that I could better serve Him. Either way, I certainly wasn't being of much use in my current state, that's for sure! I felt such peace at this admission, and I finally and unreservedly turned my social life over to the Lord.

I ran in to Russ two weeks later.

Does God have a sense of humor, or what? I honestly believe He was simply waiting for me to surrender the control of my love life, so that He could show me this amazing thing that He had planned for me.

My sister and I were visiting friends in Wyoming in May of 2005, and the church had planned a youth group activity. When we pulled in to the ranch, a young man came and helped me out of the vehicle. He had my chair put together, in the right way, and positioned in the correct place so I could transfer in to it. He proceeded to walk by me across the gravel parking lot, and expertly turn my chair and pull it up the steps into the building where we were meeting. Who was this guy? Most boys I had been interested in seemed to be only out to prove they could throw me in their truck with one arm. In complete contradiction, this guy knew how to help without being told, but still gave me my space and allowed me to be as independent as possible. I was amazed.

I quickly realized that we had met before. Russ' Dad, Kenny, has MS and has been in a wheelchair for many years. He was one of the first disabled individuals I had connected with after my accident, and he had let me drive his van with hand controls several years before, which was the first time I had driven since my injury. (On a side note, he told me he was taking me down some side, country roads. He proceeded to take me right down main street through the heart of town. I cried the whole time. Kenny laughed the whole time. I think we have it on video somewhere.) I had briefly been introduced to Russ the year before, but it was only in passing, and I didn't know much about him. We had actually met the day before my accident back in 1999 at a church softball game, but I didn't remember him. He says he remembered me because I was cute and I wasn't his cousin. :) (Most of the single girls in his youth group at the time were his cousins).

We spent a lot of time together that night, and I saw him again the next day while visiting Kenny, and again at church on Sunday. After the evening service, we (Russ and I, my sister, Russ' brother, and all of the cousins) all loaded up in Russ' new, beautiful pickup truck and headed to the pastor's (Preacher) house to hang out. Somehow Russ and I ended up on the back porch overlooking the river by ourselves, and the conversation took off. I found myself opening up to this guy about things I didn't share with just anyone, and he did the same. It was so comfortable, so right, that we didn't even notice how late it was getting.

Preacher popped his head out, and with a grin, suggested that Russ' brother take his truck to get the kids home, and then Russ and I could continue our visiting, and Russ would have his truck to go home later. Since I was staying at Preacher's, and was leaving with my sister in the morning to fly back to Indiana, this would be the last chance we had to talk. Preacher and his wife went to bed (although he told me later he had his window open in order to remain the proper chaperone :) ). I knew Russ had to be at work early the next morning, so we agreed we shouldn't stay up too late.

We talked on that back porch until 4:00 a.m. By the time Russ got home, he was able to sleep for a few hours before he had to get up for work. I was also up early for my flight, but strangely enough, I was running on pure adrenaline and excitement, and I didn't notice the exhaustion. We spent the next six months emailing, talking on the phone, and trying to visit each other every few months. We met each others families, continued to get to know each other, and started to talk about the future. And on a cold November night, at Kenny's house in Cody, Russ gave me a ring and asked me to marry him.

The next eight months went by in a whirlwind of wedding planning, my first year of graduate school, visits, letters, and dozens of nights falling asleep talking on the phone until the wee hours of the morning. It was amazing. I quickly discovered that Russ didn't love me in spite of my disability; he loved me because of it. The wheelchair was a huge part of who I was, and it had molded me into the woman he had proposed to. Russ had spent several years during college living with his Dad, and I firmly believed that period in his life was God's way of preparing him to be my husband. Although I was fiercely independent and could care for myself, the understanding, compassion, and servant's heart that had been cultivated during those years with Kenny were and continue to be some of the things that I love most about Russ.

We were married on July 29th, 2006. It was the best day of my life. Not just because of the ceremony and festivities, but because of what it represented. That day was a beautiful reminder of the love of God for His children, and of His joy to give them the desires of their heart. It spoke of His perfect timing, and the blessings we receive when we are patient and allow Him lead every aspect of our lives. It was a picture of waiting for His best for us.

Now, here we are, seven years later, and I couldn't be more thankful for Russ. He is my best friend, and a wonderful Daddy to Addison. Although he isn't perfect, and I'm certainly not perfect, we are perfect for each other. Through the good times and bad, I've learned so much about myself, about Russ, and about relationships in general, all of which I will share next week in Part 2 of Being a Wheeling Wife...




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Being a Wheeling Momma (Part 3)

We celebrated Addison's third birthday Sunday, complete with a princess theme. I decided to make her cake this year, complete with homemade fondant. I was able to find an easy recipe online, and some really helpful cake tools at Walmart. I'm really happy with how it turned out and am looking forward to having fun with this new hobby in the future! I have a tradition of making her birthday dress every year as well, so this was this year's dress...

Looking forward to trying more elaborate cakes in the future...

So cute- but got sparkles everywhere!

I really can't believe my little girl is already three years old. After her birth, people warned me that time would pass quickly. Although the days seemed to drag until she was sleeping through the night, it has been a whirlwind since. I thought I would finish this three-part parenting series with some general thoughts and ideas about my experiences, and hopefully answer a few more questions that I often am asked.

First of all, in an earlier post, I had mentioned that one of the problems that I had during my pregnancy was the inability to gain weight. (Wish this was a recurring problem...) Although I wasn't really nauseous during those nine months, I did have a little trouble with my bowel program, so I always assumed that was the culprit of the weight loss. At my check-up the day before Addison was born, I weighed exactly what I did when I went in for my first appointment six months earlier. Addison was measuring small, but everything had always checked out with her development, so there wasn't ever any concern- it was just a little puzzling.

During the C-section, we soon discovered what the issue was. My pregnancy had triggered an over-stimulation of benign cysts in both of my ovaries. They were probably always there, but all of those fun hormones that come with baby growing had really wreaked havoc. I will attach a picture below. It's a little graphic, so if you are a queasy person when it comes to blood, scroll quickly! Ovaries are usually the size of walnuts. As you can see below, mine were slightly bigger...

Yes, those are my ovaries. They're not supposed to be the same size as my uterus...

Because my doctor knew that Russ and I planned on having more children, and because the ovaries themselves looked healthy except for their size, it was decided that they would be left alone until we could decide on a course of treatment.

We followed them via ultrasound, and for the first five months, they only caused me minor pain. I had an appointment with my OB/GYN in January, and he did a full exam. Since the ovaries hadn't shrunk, and there was a risk of them twisting and causing serious problems, he made plans to refer me to a specialist in Billings to seek further treatment options.

I woke up the next morning in a lot of pain, and I have a very high pain tolerance. I thought it was from the exam, but as the day went on the pain worsened, I got lightheaded and nauseous, and my temperature started to increase. Russ and I headed to the ER around 9:30 that evening, and after another ultrasound and some blood work, we left around 5:30 the next morning. We were able to get a few hours of sleep before heading to Billings, MT, to see Dr. Gibb, who is a gynecological oncologist. Even though they didn't think my cysts were cancerous, Dr. Gibb is the only specialist in a five-state region who handles this type of thing, so we were happy he was able to fit us in.

Long story short, after a long day of tests and exams, I was scheduled for a full abdominal hysterectomy the following Monday in Billings. The ovaries were taking over my abdomen, and the pain and risk of torsion/twisting was too great to leave them. Russ and I had prepared ourselves for this recommendation, and thankfully, the Lord had given us peace about it. We realize now how fortunate we were that Addison was conceived and delivered healthy, and that this abnormality would definitely threaten future pregnancies. I wasn't super excited about having this done at such a young age, but I would rather not have the threat of future problems hanging over my head as well.

The surgery went well, and they found that the ovaries were twisted, one three times around, which was what was causing the intense pain. Because of the amount of blood thinner I am on, surgery is a big deal, and has to be planned at least 3-4 days in advance in order to get my levels under control so that I don't bleed out during the procedure. So while I was under, they took out everything they possibly could to avoid having to go back in at a later date if I had more complications. I even teased the surgeon to check out any other expendable organs while he was in there, and if anything looked less than perfect, to just remove it! :)

We had always planned on having more children, but I guess the Lord, in His wisdom, know one child would be more than enough for us to handle! So to sum it up, when people ask if we are having more kids, the answer is no, unless God drops one in our laps! Since people in wheelchairs are not able to adopt internationally, and we never felt peace about actively seeking domestic adoption, we are happy in our current situation of a three-person family. Well, four if you count our dog, Shadrach. (And we do!)

I am continuing to learn more every day about parenting. Just when you think you finally have something figured out, the little boogers go and change everything on you. Here are a few of the things I have come to realize are essential to semi-sane parenting, whether you are in a wheelchair or not:

  • Accept advice, good and bad, from those around you, but in the end, YOU are the one that will know your child best. Trust me, I nearly killed myself trying to follow every book, website, and whispered word of advice from other parents. No one will love your child like you do, no one will understand your child like you do, and no one will ever take better care of your child than you. God gave that specific blessing to you, knowing your every strength and weakness, and He never makes mistakes. So take a deep breath, smile pleasantly at the experts and their usual good intentions, and go rock out being the amazing parent you are.
  •  Cut yourself some slack. No one is born knowing all of the answers to anything, especially not how to parent and care for a shrieking little banshee. Some days, I have to give myself this little pep talk every thirty minutes or so. As I mentioned earlier, you will never stop learning, so don't expect perfection from yourself or your child. ESPECIALLY not from your child. Especially.
  • Keep a healthy sense of humor. One of my and Russ' favorite expressions is, "It's a good thing she's cute!" If we didn't laugh at some of the parenting obstacles we have faced, we would probably be in the loony bin somewhere rocking back and forth in the corner of our padded cell. Discipline is important, and some issues need to be taken seriously, but try to enjoy the journey. Don't get so wrapped up in the responsibility that you forget to have fun. It goes way too fast to miss enjoying it!
  • Develop a support team. I am known for my independence, and have always prided myself in being able to do things on my own. This didn't change when I had Addison. Although I don't like to dwell on past regrets, if I could change one thing from early on, I would have reached out more. Confide in family/friends you trust that love you and have a decent track record of their own in the parenting field. And know that asking for help doesn't make you a bad parent- it makes you a better parent.
  • Work out a schedule. I'm not saying you have to go all hard core Baby Wise every time, but God created us in His image, and He is a God of order, and I firmly believe He made our bodies to function best in a cyclic pattern. It may not work for everyone, but give yourself and your baby a chance to find out if this rhythm will work for you. 
  • PRAY! I can't stress this last point enough. I don't know how Russ and I would have survived anything we've been through, including parenting, without the Lord's help, love, and guidance. He loves to teach His children how to be amazing parents.

I am obviously in no way claiming any sort of expertise in the subject of parenting, but I hope this series of blog posts had allowed you a glimpse into my life as a Wheeling Momma. As always, questions are welcome!

Next week- My Life as a Wheeling Wife!