Family Pictures - Fall 2016

We had a Fall photo shoot a few weeks ago with our friend Jennifer and I'm SO LOVING how the pictures turned out. I can't stop looking at them and I can't decide which ones are my favorites.

Kyle requested a cotton field setting as a little nostalgia to our West Texas upbringings and I think it was the perfect backdrop for our pics!

I have to tell you what a miracle worker this sweet friend is. Archer fussed THE WHOLE TIME. He is not normally a fussy baby and not one I honestly had worried about, but he was not happy about adjusting his dinner time that evening. So I had no idea what to expect when I got the pictures because he was so cranky. I am absolutely amazed! Way to go Jen, you're a rockstar!

Enjoy! (and help me pick a favorite!)

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How To Make Babywise Possible With multiple Children

I think this Babywise week has been my favorite yet as the bloggers in the Babywise network have addressed the myths and misconceptions associated with Babywise.

I laughed a little when I read Emily's post because I had such similar experiences with my babies with people telling me it wouldn't work with multiple kids.  I love this post and think you will too!

"Then I got pregnant with my second baby. And SO MANY PEOPLE said "well you can kiss that schedule goodbye with two kids." So I proved them wrong. Baby 2: Babywise Baby 2. Then I got pregnant with my third and again laughter and jokes about scheduling being impossible with a third baby. And here we are. Baby 3: Babywise Baby 3.

I think the reason people assume Babywise scheduling isn't possible with multiple children is because we do tend to "slack" more the more kids we have. You have to! Your life can't revolve around one child because you have more than one child. I'm here to say though that you don't have to veer off course just because you have more than one child under your roof! I'm living proof of it :)"

Be sure and check back every day this week as our bloggers take a closer look at the myths often associated with Babywise!

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Haters Miss The Point: Babywise Is More Than Just Sleep

On this final day of our Babywise Week, Cole brings up the idea that Babywise is more than just sleep.

I LOVE Cole's perspective that the purpose of the "-wise" series is for parents to learn to be good stewards of their children. That perspective causes you to remember that our children are gifts from the Lord, but they belong to Him. He made them!! This resonates so much with me and what Kyle and I believe about parenting and it's one of the main reasons why we chose to use Babywise for our family. 

Cole says: "On Becoming Babywise provides a practical system for creating order in the household. It establishes God and the marriage at the center of the family - NOT the children. It encourages a traditional parenting style that focuses on raising responsible adults. The fact that the first book covers infant sleep is circumstantial - it's because that's the first stage of a child's life - but the overarching precepts are carried out through each of the next seven books. The vast majority of the series is spent on aspects other than sleep - like physical, mental, and emotional development, learning, obedience, respect, correction, authority, character, and responsibility."

Be sure and check back every day this week as our bloggers take a closer look at the myths often associated with Babywise!

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Babywise and Cry It Out (Or Don't!)

I have a confession to make. With all four of my babies I have used Babywise, but one of my babies has never fully cried it out. That's right yall, me, Mrs. Babywise, didn't do "Cry It Out" with Archer. And here's why that's ok....

What the book DOES NOT promote.....

Somewhere along the way, Babywise started getting associated with crying it out. I can't tell you how many conversations with people I have had about Babywise and their response to me has been something along the lines of  "I just can't do Babywise because I can't let my baby cry".

Nowhere in the "On Becoming Babywise" book does it tell you that you have to do CIO to be successful with Babywise. In fact, the book doesn't even give you  a guideline for sleep training at all. It does say that "it is an aquired skill that is enhanced by routine" (pg. 55). But the heart and meat of Babywise is a Parent Directed Feeding Plan and the Eat Wake Sleep Cycle... NOT sleep training.

What the book DOES promote .....

Get to know your baby's cries. 

"Don't define [the baby's] needs by the mere fact that your baby is crying. Rather, learn to assess what each cry means. Assessment is critical to meeting needs." (p. 138). 

There are a number of reasons a baby might cry and as the caregiver, you need to learn what those cries are in order to best meet needs. Those needs should always be addressed. But also recognize that one of those needs might very well be SLEEP and that will likely requre sleep training of some sort.


Every human being needs to learn how to self soothe and we all need to be able to put ourselves to sleep by ourselves. Is sleep training a part of this? Yes! Absolutely! Most babies are not born with this ability and need to be trained to do this. CIO is one way to do this, but it's not the only way. For my first three CIO, worked BEAUTIFULLY. If I rocked LK, she would just cry anyway. We did 2 nights of CIO and eight years later, she is still the best sleeper in our house. For Archer, for several reasons, we couldn't (because of room sharing) and just didn't WANT to CIO with him. We used the 4 S's (From Tracy Hogg's The Baby Whisperer) as our main sleep training method with him.

Avoid Sleep Props.

"Sleep props hinder continuous nighttime sleep. Sleep cues are influences (often negatively) by a variety of sleep association props. Some sleep props, such as a special blanket or a stuffed animal, are harmless, while others are addictive. For some parents, the problem is getting the child to fall asleep initially. For others, the challenge is getting the child to fall back to sleep if he is prematurely awakened." (p. 56). 

Listen, I don't think sleep props are the devil. But I do think they hinder healthy sleep patterns. And I think if you use them it could take longer for baby to sleep through the night and longer for them to learn to self soothe.

Common sleep props to take into consideration: pacifiers, swings, bed sharing, lovies. (For the record, we use 2 out of the 4 of those).

Sleep Training Methods Other Than CIO

The Four S's Wind Down Ritual (our favorite), The Baby Whisperer

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child 

Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems (The Ferber Method)

Happiest Baby On The Block

The No-Cry Sleep Solution

This is just a start, as there are many more options when it comes to sleep training. My point is don't just assume it's cry it out or nothing!


Want more info and solid resources on how to effectively use "Cry it out"? Nobody says it better than Valerie Plowman, The Babywise Mom. Check out all of her helpful resources on CIO here:

Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: Cry It Out Index

While I have used different methods of sleep training with my four, I have seen Babywise successfully work with all four of them. I worked hard with all four. I had the same goal with all four. My "how" was different, but my "why" was the same and my goal was accomplished with all four. My encouragement is to take the meat and purpose of Babywise and make it work for your family. Do your research on ALL of the types of Sleep Training and choose the one that best fits your family and use it alongside Babywise!

This week, the ladies in the Babywise Friendly Blog Network are tackling the Babywise Myths and Misconceptions. Really really good info here from bloggers whose are passionate about promoting the POSITIVE things about Babywise! 

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Babywise Works For You (Not The Other Way Around)

Natasha is talking about something that I have personally talked to so many people about, as we continue to look at myths associated with Babywise. Babywise is a method that works FOR YOU. You make it fit YOUR family. You don't fit it!

"You're so lucky to have such easy babies" is something I have heard more than once in my Babywise journey. And that's just not true. We have worked hard to get our kids into the healthy routines that they are in.

"When I had the twins (we got them at 3-months-old) and someone would hear that they took at least two 2-hour naps during the day and slept 12 hours through the night, a frequent response I got was, "Wow, you got so lucky!"  I still get that response when people hear that every child in my home (ages 1.5, 4, and 6) still naps or at least has rest time during the day.  Let me tell you, luck has got nothing to do with it.  Do some babies respond better to scheduling than others?  Sure.  Do some kids adapt more easily to routine?  Of course.  But I've never had a child from day 1 of their lives; seven times we've welcomed into our home kids from hard places, who came from chaotic environments, and not once have babywise principles failed me.  Not. One. Time.  And that's because I made babywise work for me, and I put in the work to make it work.  If you want to believe I "got lucky" seven times, then fine.  But if you want to know how to make babywise work for you too, keep reading, get the book, and do some research!  The blogs at the bottom of this post are some great resources!"

Be sure and check back every day this week as our bloggers take a closer look at the myths often associated with Babywise!

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How Schedules Keep Us Flexible, Not Rigid

Continuing to de-bunk the  Babywise myths, I love how Shea spells out how a Schedule actually makes you more flexible, and not rigid.

I think this is so important to think through because at first thought it can sound like an oxy-moron. But I happen to whole-heartedly agree with Shea and have seen a very similar experience with all of my babies as well. 

Shea says: 

"When you have your basic day to day living schedule working well for you and baby, baby knows what to expect for his day. There is a sweet, real security created that the baby learns to trust. His body will actually lull at the times where he is used to napping and his metabolism will gear up in times he is used to being fed. This works well for day to day living - but it also benefits greatly when things are a little out of sorts and the schedule is not going as usual. I have found that my baby's cried less when they were tired - even if they were not getting their nap like they were used too - because they knew it would eventually come. Their bodies were not in fight mode because they felt unceratin that they would not get the rest they wanted. This is true for hunger as well. If my child was used to eating prompltly at 11:30 am for lunch, but the trip to the grocery store took 30 minutes longer than anticipated, they were still able to roll with the punches because they had the security to not panic wondering if they would have a full belly again soon."

Be sure and check back every day this week as our bloggers take a closer look at the myths often associated with Babywise!

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Babywise Isn't Imposing A Schedule, It's Learning the Ideal Schedule

Continuing our Babywise Friendly Blog Network Week and tackling the myths that are associated with Babywise, Katrina talks today about a few of the major misconceptions of Babywise.

I love how she outlines the differences between Clock Feeding, Child-led Feeding, and Parent Directed Feeding and the differences between all of them. I think people assume that Babywise is the same as Clock Feeding when in fact it IS NOT, and it the Parent Directed Feeding.

Something else she addresses that is a hot button for me is that Babywise will starve your baby, when in fact Babywise says the opposit! Over 27 times in the first Babywise book it tells you to feed your baby if he or she is hungry. If your baby is hungry, you feed them.

Anyway, check out Katrina's post below and enjoy!

I mentioned yesterday, that I was quite shocked to read some of the Babywise "myths" when I first started researching the idea. I first found the concept of Babywise on Pinterest, and I didn't yet know it was called Babywise! I found a pin that was focused on scheduling feedings. I had been researching how often I should expect to feed my baby throughout the day and night. I am one of those Type A people that love to be as prepared as possible for things. While I knew I couldn't possibly know anything exact, I wanted a ballpark number to keep in mind- a goal. When I saw the idea of scheduled feedings, I was fascinated. I know that I personally thrive on schedules and knowing what is expected of me, and that my students also did the same, when I was teaching high school. I had a feeling that babies would also love the idea, and I really wanted to give it a shot. As I researched more and more, I finally found the term Babywise. That's when the research turned negative. Once Babywise is mentioned, there are a lot of myths to sift through. I turned to the book, and to the BabywiseMom blog. I also joined the Babywise Mamas group on Facebook so I could have a support system with other mamas that were using the same concepts. 

Today I'd like to address something that I'm very passionate about: Babywise Isn't Imposing a Schedule, it's Learning the Ideal Schedule. This is a very important idea that often gets lost (unless you've read the book).

Be sure and check back every day this week as our bloggers take a closer look at the myths often associated with Babywise!

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Myth vs.Reality

It's Babywise Network Blog Network Week, which is one of three times out of the year that our blog network devotes a whole week to conquering a topic. The topic this month is Babywise Myths.

If you've been around Babywise for any length of time, you have probably heard the myths. The stories from people about how it's only for people with robots as children, or how Babywise means to starve your children, or how it is synonymous with "Cry it Out" (spoiler alert: it's not, it doesn't and it for sure isn't).

Valerie is starting off our week talking about her experience with diving into some of these myths. I love hearing her perspective because she is so well researched and has experience with four of her own children using this method. I remember not being able to sleep one night when I was pregnant with one of mine, and completely hooked into reading her articles on the Babywise Myths (which she links to at the end of her post). I hope you'll take the opportunity to read her post and soak in her wisdom!

"I was baffled. Absolutely flabbergasted. Could these people have possibly read the same book I did?!? The reality is the vast majority of people making claims online about what Babywise "says" have not in fact read the book. They have only read other people's claims about the book. There are some, however, who have read the book, which leaves me confused. Anyway, I was in shock that day. I had loved Babywise in the two years that I had been using it. This was nearly a decade ago, and really "in those days" there was nothing but negative commentary about Babywise online. Anyone who did Babywise kept mum about it for fear of being bullied. The fear was justified."

Be sure and check back every day this week as our bloggers take a closer look at the myths often associated with Babywise!

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The 2016 Fair!

I. Love. The. Fair. I love the food, the games, the food, the colors, the people watching, the fun houses and the food. I was so thankful for the opportunity to go last night! We went early, right when they opened at 4:00, and I'm so glad we did because it got really busy by the time we left, around 8. When we first were there, there weren't any waits or lines and could pretty much walk on anything we wanted. 

In situations like this, it is always so fascinating to watch my kids different personalities come out. 

LK, LOVES roller coasters. She loves the thrill, she loves the fast and the high and the crazy. She got that from her daddy, because Mama loves different things ;). 

Shepherd is our timid one. He does not like rides that go too fast or too high. He gets that from his Mama. Sometimes he needs a little nudge and does awesome, but we have to choose our nudges wisely. His favorite attractions were the fun houses. Ha! He thought they were hilarious! 

Fischer is all about the fun. Also, all about doing anything that Shepherd doesn't want to that could get him more attention. Stinker. At one point he snuck off, yes, you heard that right, snuck off, behind the rides all the way to the other side and WALKED ON A RIDE. BY HIMSELF. After I found him and recovered from the heart attack, he explained that the ride looked too fun to wait. Hold me. 

And then Archer. Best baby in the world. He literally hung out in the stroller the whole time without crying or fussing. So content to take it all in. He occasionally would point to something he liked or would say "wow!" at the lights. Sweetest thing. 

We had such a great family night and made some sweet memories. 

Look who we ran into: Bradley and Kathryn! So glad we live in the same town and can "run into" them now!

As usual, I'm linking up with MomfessionalsGrace and Love Blog, and Little Bit of Everything Blog for Friday Favorites! Join Us!

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