Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Couple of Things Every Woman Should Know About C-Sections

My littlest turns one this week. So, I have been reminiscing about my birthing experiences with both of my boys. Although they were both very different, they were both by C-Section.

I don't remember where I got this feeling that the world thinks women who have C-Sections are taking the easy way out - and by 'easy' I mean planned, scheduled, no labor, 20 are done.

Maybe I read too deeply into it when I would hear women say - "I chose a natural delivery - I wanted my body to do it's thing and for my baby to come on their own time."

I took me the better part of 6 months after my first C-Section to not be angry that my body didn't do what I thought it should do. I prayed and then stopped praying and then started again so angry that I didn't have the delivery that I had planned in my head.

It was hard at first to come to terms with the fact that things did not go as I wanted.  I was angry with my body and with the Lord - wondering, 'why couldn't things have gone more naturally…..more smoothly.' But as I grew in my role as a mother, I came to understand that each delivery was as the Lord wanted it to be. I am thankful that the medical interventions I experienced were available to me, because otherwise it may not have turned out so well. 

So, here are 3 things every childbearing woman should know about C-Sections:

1. You might have to have a C-Section (even if you have delivered vaginally before) - So read about what they are. The Mayo Clinic offers a great overview here.

2. If you have a C-Section - you are not a bad mom. In fact, you are a great one. You just let someone slice into your abdomen to deliver your baby.

3. Natural birth mom's aren't judging you - Okay, maybe they are.... but just know that they would have chosen the same path if they knew it meant life or death for their child. And P.S. - vaginal births can be pretty messy too.

I now know firmly within my heart that every mother's birthing experience is designed specifically to bond her, for life, to her child.

It is cool to think that my delivery with each of my boys was custom fit for them and unique to any other delivery experienced by others. It is something that only myself, my husband, and my child share and understand fully…..that is pretty amazing.

My heart changed about my delivery experience when I saw this painting. 

This beautiful piece of art is by Amanda Greavette  and is titled..

'Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,

There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.' (L. Cohen)

Those of you who know a mom about to deliver or one who is beating herself up about her birthing experience - please share this post with her.

Thanks for reading.

This post is part of my Diary.

- brook.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Much About Doing Nothing by Ruth Simons

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you have probably seen mention the words 'Grace Laced'. It is a blog I featured on my blog roll and link up to from time to time.

Grace Laced is authored by, Ruth Simons, a mother of 6 boys. I love her faith filled writing, but what draws me to her blog is her ability to tap into the roots of living. You know, those things that we 'used to do as kids' but don't have (I mean MAKE) time for in our 'modern day' lives.

Ruth recently touched on this with her post Much About Doing Nothing. In it, she writes about how we have allowed the much needed 'slowness of summer' to slip away from us.

"We live in a culture that equates doing with learning, entertainment with engaging, and busyness with living. We know better– even if sometimes we forget."

Lately I have had this feeling that if everyone else is doing it.....maybe I shouldn't be doing it.

Things my kids access to all our electronics, putting their pictures on the Internet, eating most meals on the go......

I don't think that these things mentioned in that list are 'bad' in and of themselves, but I do believe that we as a culture have made them habit....when 'the old fashion way' may be more filling.

The heat and long days of summer are meant for filling of the cup. The hectic days of fall will be waiting for us when we get there - no need to pine their absence today when we can soak ourselves in the much needed practice of 'doing nothing'.

Please take time to read Ruth's full post here. It will definitely be worth your while.

Thanks for reading.

Find more blog posts and articles of notes on my Must Reads page.

- brook.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I did it....

...well, only one. BUT I did one perfectly without modification.

It has taken me 9 months and 21 days to physically be able to do this...... time :) Of course, Tracy Anderson calls for like 10 of these in the workout - I will get there, eventually. But for now, I am going to enjoy this moment of all my hard work.

This particular move has haunted me since I began my recovery from 2 sections and a hernia repair. Although I have reached many other milestones in my Restoration Journey, I am exceptionally proud of this one because it means that I am getting stronger in my lower abdomen and groin which is the weakest area of my body.

I was going to video myself doing it, but after I did one, I was shaking too much to be able to do another well enough :)

The video above is from Tracy Anderson's [Post Pregnancy Workout DVD]. Those of you who followed my Workout Journal from April to June of this year know that I can't say enough good things about it.

It has been a while since I have checked in with all my workout buddies. I hope you are doing well and sticking to it. Let me know what you have been up to lately....any milestones (big or small) for you?

Thanks for reading.

- brook.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dear Mama Bee No E, [Feb-July 2013]

One thing I hope for this blog is that it is an encouragement to my readers. But what I have loved about this blog so far, is all the encouragement I have received in return.

I have been receiving texts, calls, emails, and having face to face conversations from those of you who enjoy, identify with, or are encouraged by my writing here in this little corner of the Internet. I am so glad.

There is also an increasing number of you who are stepping out and publicly commenting, thank you for this because it makes Mama Bee No E more than a blog - it is becoming a community. I have read every comment posted, but I thought I would feature a few of my favorite comments (some for the Blog and some from Facebook) from the past few months.

"Great to hear. It's very important to be aware and awake to your body.
C.S. Lewis has a great quote - reminding me to take better care of my body.
“You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” - C.S. Lewis" - Molly

"A slightly less off-the-chain experience at our house, but testing my patience no less. Sending you big hugs and hoping that your family will start feeling better soon. Your boys are so lucky to have you." - Alyson

"Loved in tune with the very thing I posted. Glad to be learning the same things and to be growing in grace. I'll be sharing this on my FB page--thanks for linking up, Brook!" - Ruth 

"I sooooo relate to everything written here. You must be my sister from another mister!" -Jenny (Facebook)

 Response to my Workout Journals
"Love reading your workouts! Its more motivation for me!" - Devon (Facebook)
"Are you going to tell us how much you have lost so far? Keep it up! I have committed to lose (weight), and it is much harder than I thought it would be." - Beth (Facebook)
"You are my inspiration! I just think of you when the really tough parts of this workout are kicking my tale!!! Made it through my 4th workout!!" - Anne Marie (Facebook)

"Best blog post yet! After seeing all the pictures of my friends with their mamas on fb yesterday, I decided to find one of me and my kids with my mama. Well, after searching through several boxes, I could not find one. I was so sad to think that in the four months between Meghann's birth and my mama's death I had never taken a picture of her with the three of us. Yes, the tears flowed. Lately I have found myself fussing at friends and family who don't want to be in pictures. It is so important for so many reasons. GET IN FRONT OF THAT CAMERA, LADIES!" - Leila

SO much wisdom! I'm bookmarking this, those verses are definitely something I need to cling to. Thanks for linking up with us! - Jennifer

Beautiful post. The moment of passage that you describe eventually pile up into many, beginning with packing up baby clothes to giving them to the world later. My sponge is dripping. Perhaps were I a better woman I wouldn't weep, but I had 4 children and I cry at commercials so maybe I should cut myself a break. xo - Juetch SSI

Thanks for reading.

This post is part of my Diary.

- brook.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Low Maintenance Beauty [Desert Essence + Thayers]

Summer in the South is sticky. Motherhood is sticky, too :)

And I love a clean face. Therefore, I love Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash and Thayers Original Witch Hazel. Both run about $10 a bottle and last me a few months if not more. I was introduced to both of these products by my sisters and use them nightly to wash off my day.

Desert Essence has a great smell that is calming and Thayers makes my face tingle all over. Great, great....face cleaning combo.

I hope that you are having a good summer and finding some useful new products in this series.....

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce


Today marked the end of the summer reading program at our local library. I was pleasantly surprised by how much [F] enjoyed keeping track of his reading. Today, there was a little reward store that he could cash in his 'book bucks' for prizes - he had so much fun with it.

In honor of [F]'s love for reading this summer, I thought I would feature a book that is all about loving books and reading throughout a lifetime.

A while back, my husband purchased the Ipad app for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce. I fell in love with the story immediately.

Then, our friends, Chris and Beth gave [F] the printed book for this 2nd birthday. It is one we will keep forever.

In the story, Morris hits hard times in his life and finds comfort and friendship in books. These books are there with him until the end.

Watch the trailer for the book and short film below:

And read more about this story @

Find more book recommendations on my Kid's Books page.

- brook.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

June 2013

June 2013 was kind of a blur. Probably because there wasn't much glamorous going on with us. I guess that is why they call it the 'Dog Days of Summer'.

Josh has been working hard and I have really started to fall into a routine with taking care of our home. Up until a year ago, I have focused on my career. Now I am learning to appreciate the art of 'homemaking'. Our budget has been super tight, hence the 'unglamorous' aspect of our lives, but all in all I have enjoyed the closeness that comes with being creative to make ends meet.

I found some great friendships during this month. I am glad they have come along. It is nice to share in motherhood with other women my age.

The boys....well mainly [B], have finally settled into their class at church. [F] would rather me drop him off and let him live there with Ms. Amanda :) [B] was giving me a harder time...and by that I mean, I was called out of service every Sunday for 2 months straight (I do not exaggerate). Every Sunday I told the Lord that if he wanted me to be in service then he would settle [B] and if he wanted me in the nursery then he would call me out :)....well I got the hint :)

I started serving in the nursery at our church in the one year olds class, I purposely do not serve in the class of my boys. I have stepped out of my comfort zone of not wanting people other than my family to touch me :)....I know, not the best if you are working with a bunch of 1 year olds.

Other than has been pretty quiet around here. Oh, I almost forgot.....

[F] said his first full sentence and it was a good one.....

"Daddy, you are home!" :)

Do you have a special memory from this past month?

Post a memory you had from this past June in the comment section below. It could be anything big or small. Feel free to include a picture by clicking the.....
image icon within the Disqus comment box.
Also, if you wrote blog post about a memory of yours from June - feel free to include a link within your comment.

I look forward to reading about a memory of yours from this past month :)

Thanks for reading.

This post is part of my Diary.

 - brook.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Favorite Finds [Mr. Printables]

Recently I joined Pinterest and as you can imagine....a whole new world has opened up to me.

One night when I was searching for a printable alphabet for [F], so that we could keep track of his letter acquisition - I found.....

and all of their amazing FREE printables!

For starters...beautiful alphabet cards that you can customize with objects around your home.

[Alphabet Play Cards]
And...because my boys AND my husband love robots so much....Emotion Flashcards that are robot faces.

[Emotion Flashcards]

[B] needs a bag tag for his church bag......these would be perfect for this.

[Animal Printable Note Cards]
They have activities, party decorations, learning activities....even printable posters of nursery rhymes.

[Rain, Rain, Go Away.]
Such an amazing resource.

Enjoy printing away :)

Other Favorite Finds

A Beautiful Mess Photo App

French Press Mornings - Encouraging Wednesdays

You may also enjoy....

DIY - Thank You Notes from a Toddler

Egg Week 2013

 - brook.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What We Moms Can Do For Each Other by Lisa-Jo Baker

I recently found Lisa-Jo Baker on twitter. She is a bold, no nonsense writer who makes me feel comfortable every time I read her work.

She seems to have a passion for writing about how moms can encourage and support each other - because other moms are the only ones who understand.

I have a couple of her essays in my 'Must Read' que (I will share them with you as time passes). The first one I have been wanting to share for a couple of days now is entitled....

What We Moms Can Do For Each Other

A couple of my favorites from this post are...

"Sharing more than just, “I’m fine.”" 
"Telling her to be kind to herself, and that comfy clothes are always the right choice." 
"Not comparing houses or laundry piles or kids’ behavior."

Please take time to read her full post here. You will be blessed by it.

This post is dedicated to Anne Marie, my best friend, and all my other 'mama friends' new and old - I hope to be this kind of friend to you.

Find more articles and blog posts of note on my Must Reads page.

- brook.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day Dreams and Real Dreams

Lately, I have been day dreaming about my life before kids. Pining for the 'freedom' and 'flexibility' that I used to have. We are going on vacation in a couple of months and I keep thinking about our vacations before kids - how relaxing and sleepy they were. Now, our vacations will include an extra long packing list and trial by fire.

Recently, my boys have been having a hard time getting along. [B] is becoming bolder by the day and [F] is completely caught off guard by his aggression. This combination results in me, literally, pulling them apart (mainly trying to get [B] to back down) when things get out of hand. In return, [F] is resorting to drive by attacks when his little brother least expects it, slaps to the face while he is running by or a push from behind. This leaves me feeling more like referee than mother.

I was telling a mama friend about these feelings that I am having. She started to laugh and said...

"You know how I told you we had friends from college over this past weekend? Well, they don't have kids and I found myself becoming envious of them all weekend. Is that bad?"

No, I don't think that it is bad to feel that way. I think it is normal......but, it is not an excuse to sink into a bad attitude about parenting.

I have to remember that one day soon, I will look back at these days, holding back sadness that they have passed so quickly.

And, I have to remember, that the 'good old days' weren't the perfection that I remember, they came with stresses of their own that I wished to escape.

And that now EVERYTHING (not just some things) I do comes with a very important, honorable responsibility which also has its rewards.

So, I say to myself
"yes, it is REALLY draining to bring up two boys who understand how to properly handle conflict resolution and work nicely with someone when they don't get their way, but the moment WILL come when they handle a tough situation and make me proud."


"yes, it may be a nightmare getting everyone through the road trip to our vacation....but once we are there.....I get to introduce two very special people to the ocean....and that is one of my life long dreams :)"


This post is part of my Diary.

- brook.

this post is linked up with....

GraceLaced Mondays

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Our Rainy 4th [2013]

Today we celebrated the 4th of July in the SOAKING, wet rain. It has been continuously pouring for a little over 24 hours and is probably not going to stop until tomorrow.

To fight the bad weather, we did some 4th of July crafts with our little people.

Here were the results.....

Water Color Fireworks...

Round 1 with Mama.....I made the mistake of having the water color paint out when we did this and as you can see there was a little smoke during our firework show :)

Round 2 with Daddy......and only water....and obviously the more artistically talented parent :)

Fireworks in a Bottle.....

This was probably the favorite for the day. [F] really enjoyed putting all the decorations in the bottle.

TIP: I hot glued the top once I filled it with water. Good thing I did, because the first thing he tried to do when I handed it to him....was open it :)

We made a large one and a small one. [B] loved the largest one best because he could roll it all over the kitchen floor. All in all this is a great young toddler activity and one that could be themed for any occasion.

Firework Painting....

This activity was lots of fun...but I learned a couple of things.

- It is probably best to have a couple of 'Pipe Cleaner Stamps' pre-made because they get coated with paint really quickly.

- Also, per Josh's suggestion, turn the pipe clear edges down in one direction so that you get the dropping effect that real fireworks show as they fall in the sky.

- And each color paint should be squirted into its own container (so that the colors don't get muddy).

Either way, [F] had a blast....Obviously, as you can see above, I couldn't keep the paper coming fast enough :)

I believe he was depicting the grand finale in this piece :)

Special Thanks To....

My friend and regular Mama Bee No E reader, Mia, for sending me these pics of 4th of July craft time with her girls... :) the following blogs for the craft ideas.....

{The Life of Jennifer Dawn}

{No Twiddle Twaddle}

{Juggling with Kids}

I hope you guys had a great 4th of July 2013.

- brook.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Low Maintenance Beauty - [Vita / E Hairspray]

I looks like grandma hairspray - but it is not. Vita / E is the BEST hairspray. It was introduced to me by my hair stylest, Lily. When she held the can up to my head for the first time, I said "wait a I going to smell like a grandma?"

[Wait! I just realized that there are grandmas reading this post :)....I don't mean you.....I mean what everyone stereotypically thinks of know what I am saying....right :/  ]

I buy mine at Sally Beauty Supply. Every once in a while they will run a 'buy 2 and get the 3rd free' deal and I stock up.

It is aerosol, sorry environment :(, but because of that it sprays on with a very fine mist.

It can be applied and re-applied all day and never looks clumpy or crispy :)

Make sure you get 'unscented' - or else it might actually be grandma hairspray :)

Thanks for reading.

This post is part of a series called....

- brook.

Monday, July 1, 2013

4th of July Crafts for Toddlers

4th of July is fast approaching. I love this time of year, but unfortunately, I don't think the weather is going to be too great in my neck of the woods. All the more reason to do some crafts with the little people.

I was looking online for some things to do with a 2 year old to celebrate our independence day. A lot of what I found is for much older kids, but I did find a couple of things that will work great for someone so little.

Rather than wait until the fourth to share them with you, I thought I would post the activities I plan to do over the next couple of days, now, so you can do them with your little people too. I will share photos of our results for the activities (hopefully) on the fourth. Link to full instructions by clicking on the caption text.

Here we go....

[1] Watercolor Fireworks. Excellent for littles who love to play with water.
{The Life of Jennifer Dawn}
[2] Fireworks in a Bottle. Great outdoor, shakey fun.

{No Twiddle Twaddle}
[3] Stars and Stripes Paper Chain. [F] will be all over the sticker sticking portion sof this activity :)

{A Pumpkin and A Princess}

[4] Firework Painting. Being messy is the best way to get good fireworks with this one :)

{Juggling with Kids}

Happy July 1st :)!

- brook.