- Half of 1 avocado mashed up
- Wheat Thins Toasted chips
I used to love eating chips and dip as a snack so this was a great healthy replacement. Keep in mind only use half of an avocado to keep portion under control.
“If it isn’t already, crisis will become a part of your marriage.” Now think about your life before you married your spouse. How was it? Good times and bad times, am I right? So we can all forget the whole fantasy of life being a bowl full of cherries all the time. Good, now we can also give our spouse a break on being imperfect, and when things get ugly we can all agree no matter who we are with, how long we are with them, how deep we love them, crisis is bound to surface the relationship. How we respond during crisis is what keeps a marriage held together or completely depletes it. No one says over one thing, “I want a divorce.” It is a sequence of many crisis situations that have been dealt with the wrong way or even worse they have never been dealt with at all. How would you like to get up to bat and the pitcher says you are out before he even throws you a ball? This is the toxic and destructive silent response. You go days with out talking, nights with out holding one another close, and you wait until time passes to cool off or just finally forget about it. The problem with this is that it will never be resolved and your spouse will most likely continue to hold it against you for when the next feud happens. Some of us when crisis arises our initial response is with anger. We raise our voice, maybe we curse, and usually those of us who respond with anger do not think before they speak. Before you know it words you wished you wouldn’t have said have been. For our wedding anniversary I wrote Andy a series of letters titled, “Open When.” One of these letters is open when, “You need a reminder why you love me.” Another one is open when, “You need a reminder why you are a great husband.” Couple days before our anniversary I was talking to Andy on his way home from work and we got into a very heated argument. We argued until we hung up on each other and when he got home he went one direction and I went the other. As I was cooking dinner I thought back to the letters I had written the previous days before. I grabbed both letters and slipped them under the door of the room Andy was in. After he read the letter Andy found me in the kitchen and confronted me with a hug I will never forget. We both were sorry before we could even begin talking about our issue again. He handed me the letters and told me he only read, “When you need a reminder why you are a great husband.” A part of me wanted him to read the letter why he loved me, but Andy knew he loved me, and a part of me hoped he would never have to open that letter. When crisis appears one of the most difficult things we have to deal with is forgiveness. Whether we need to forgive someone or we need to be forgiven, somewhere in the midst of crisis we should find neutral ground. Sometimes people do things that seem unforgivable. Sometimes we ourselves have said things, done things, that we wished we could take back. Everyone has done something shameful. We all have had nights that when we lay in bed at night all we can think about is this shameful thing and pray to God that he forgives and shows mercy on us. “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Mathew 6:15” This scripture is black and white. There is no grey, so just because you may think well I have every reason to not forgive, to hold onto past feuds, or never look at someone the same again. Remember you are cutting yourself short from being forgiven in return. Crisis will happen in your marriage. How you choose to communicate with your spouse on what your wants and needs is what keeps a strong foundation. Wouldn’t it be so much easier knowing that when you or your spouse thinks differently on an issue, there is no worry of how he or she will react. You both have an agreement to talk to each other in a loving way trying to understand what the other needs rather than getting angry or making them feel guilty. Agree to let go of past issues and when another comes up deal with it then and let it be done. Whole-heartedly forgive and you will see then how much easier it is to live without obsessing over others faults.
For the first three months Lilah was still waking up in the night every 2-3 hours and by month four I was so exhausted and tired I was willing to try just about anything to get her to sleep longer. I started my journey with sleep training right when she turned four months and I will advise that it is not really recommended to start sleep training until they are at least 4-6 months and they are ready to drop their night time feedings. The first step was to establish a routine. Now before I had somewhat of a routine that consisted of her going to bed around the same time and waking up around the same time but as for naps I pretty much just let her nap when she wanted and wake up when she wanted. Around three months I did start to notice she no longer would fall asleep by just sitting in her bouncer or swing and I had to start rocking or singing her to sleep. I found the website babysleepschedule.net that has samples of schedules for babys by age and it was extremely helpful to have a guide of how much sleep your baby should be having. So for Lilah’s age she should be eating every 3-4 hours, staying up between naps a maximum of 2 hours, and having a bedtime no later than 7:30. I was shocked after reading how long her wake time should be because it just didn’t make since to try to get her to sleep more in the day and I thought the more you kept them awake the better they would sleep. I also found it absurd to put her down so early because wouldn’t that put her waking up for the day extremely early? But even as crazy as all of this information sounded I was willing to test it and I was ready to catch up on some much needed rest. Now the second key is teaching your baby how to self-soothe. This was definitely the hardest part because it required all naps to be in her crib and you had to put her down while she was still awake. So no more singing/rocking her to sleep and no more gently placing her down in the crib after nursing her. Now go ahead and prepare yourself for a lot of crying and don’t be surprised if you get to a breaking point and start crying yourself because it seriously is torture to sit and here your sweet beautiful baby cry for you but keep reminding yourself that this will in return equal sleep and a happier baby. Don’t be alarmed if the first nap you put them down for turns into a screaming battle of 45 minutes. As long as your baby has been fed, they have a clean diaper, and they are not in pain they are fine! But your baby should after a couple of naps get the message that they have to take naps now and the crying will usually only last 10-15 minutes. A few things I found helpful was to give her a pacifier, a cozy stuffed animal to snuggle up to, and I kept her door shut. I also purchased a planner to keep up with what time I fed her, what time she went down for a nap, and what time she woke up. Now it is okay to go in after 5 minutes to check on them and reassure them they are okay by patting them on the back or making the shhh.. noise but keep it to a minimum and do not pick your baby up. One big thing is to try not to put your baby down when they are overly tired. This will only result in more crying and not as good sleep. Look for cue’s that tell you that they are getting sleepy. Eye Rubbing and yawning are pretty good indicators. Be flexible and don’t go directly by the clock but use it as a guide. Sometimes Lilah will go 2 hours of wake time and then sometimes it’s only an hour and a half when I notice the eye rubbing. Do not get discouraged if after a couple of days all this has resulted in was more stress and no results. Trust me I felt the same way but after a week she finally slept through the night! I put her down at 7:00 p.m. and at 10:30 I give her a dreamfeed which is where you pick up your sleeping baby, feed them, and then tuck them back in bed. After that feeding she doesn’t wake up until 7:00 a.m. the next morning. It’s been about 2 weeks and I’ve started to try dropping the dreamfeed and last night for the first time she went completely without waking up around 10:00-10:30 for her dreamfeed. She went down at 6:30 p.m. and did not wake up until 6:00 a.m. If you are convinced that letting your baby cry it out is cruel then sleep training is not for you. To each their own but here are some benefits to sleep training.
For me this has been such an amazing change. It is so nice that I know when Lilah is going to take a nap and it helps me plan my day so much better. Now that she has scheduled naps I’ve noticed she will take even longer naps. She went from 30 minute naps to now she can take 2 hour naps. Usually her first morning nap is this long which gives me some mommy time! Also by putting her down for the night around 6:30-7:00 it gives me time to hang out with just Andy and get to really relax before going to bed. Lilah hardly ever fusses now and I’m very happy and well rested myself!