My Daughter, the Princess

This weekend, my almost 3-year-old daughter was invited to a little boy’s birthday party. She is just now “getting” the idea of birthdays and birthday parties, so needless to say she was extremely excited to go. In addition, this little boy is a playmate from church and one of her favorite people. Before we left she announced, “When we get there I am going to give (insert little boy’s name) a big hug and a big kiss and tell him that I am a princess!!”

My first thought was “go for it!” but then I got very emotional and proud of her for having the sweet audacity to tell a young man that she is a princess. You see, growing up I was always quick to give the boys a hug and a kiss but never knew that I also needed to remind them that I am a princess. I didn’t receive that kind of guidance growing up. I didn’t know how to relate to boys other than to do whatever it took to get their attention — positive or negative. God love my Dad, but he just wasn’t there for me in the sense of teaching me about the kind of respect and positive attention that I should expect from a boy. I didn’t learn that until I understood Jesus as my Father and me as His bride.

A dear friend of mine always tells her two foster girls that they are “Daughters of the King” and I am trying to carry that lesson over to my daughter. And a daughter of the King is — you guessed it — a princess. My prayer is that it will be rooted deeply in my daughter’s psyche that she is a Daughter of the Most High King Jesus, that she certainly is a princess in His eyes, and the boys better know who her Daddy is.

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Breastfeeding Saves Lives

Even though I am an RN and a certified breastfeeding educator, I never realized that breastfeeding could be so difficult or so rewarding. Since Selah was born in February I am happy to say that she has only received breastmilk. I encourage any woman who experiences early feeding problems (we did — Selah was “tongue-tied” which interfered with her ability to latch) to get help from an experienced lactation consultant as early as possible! I would have been completely lost if it weren’t for the help of our community breastfeeding clinic Milkworks

There is no substitute for breastmilk and don’t believe the formula companies who will tell you differently. Nothing compares to having your little one pull away from the breast briefly during a feeding, look up at you, scrunch up her nose and smile! 

Want more evidence? The following is reprinted from “Child Care Exchange” the Early Childhood Education Daily Newsletter (thanks to my friend Deb for sharing!). 

Breastfeedng Saves Lives
April 7, 2010 

Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.
-Claude Monet

“If most new moms would breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life, it would save nearly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars each year.”
As we celebrate World Health Day today, we should be reminded about the importance of breastfeeding by this new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics.  This report further observed…

“The United States incurs $13 billion in excess costs annually and suffers 911 preventable deaths per year because our breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations…

“The World Health Organization says infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Ame rican Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all agree that breast milk alone is sufficient for newborns and infants until they are 6 months old.

“However, a 2009 breastfeeding report card from the CDC found that only 74 percent of women start breastfeeding, only 33 percent were still exclusively breastfeeding at three months and only 14 percent were still exclusively breastfeeding at six months.

Dr. Melissa Bartick, one of the new study’s co-authors, says “…the vast majority of extra costs incurred each year could be saved if 80 to 90 percent of women exclusively breastfed for as little as four months and if 90 percent of women would breastfeed some times until six months. Most of the excess costs are due to premature deaths. Nearly all, 95 percent of these deaths, are attributed to three causes: sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); necrotizing enterocolitis, seen prima rily in preterm babies and in which the lining of the intestinal wall dies; and lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia.  Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of all of these and seven other illnesses studied.”