Smooth Sailing from Here

In the month of December we largely shifted our focus from the woes of the months leading up to the holiday season (surprise pregnancy, abnormal ultrasounds, premature birth, NICU stay, PPD), but we couldn’t seem to shake one last thing…


“Win’s been inconsolable at times. It seems as though his reflux is making him angry and uncomfortable. We have our theories…

In the month of December, we largely shifted our focus from the woes of the months leading up to the holiday season (surprise pregnancy, abnormal ultrasounds, premature birth, NICU stay, PPD), but we couldn’t seem to shake one last thing. 

Pretty much since birth, Win had been a rather angry baby. We first thought that was just who he was, and found this to be yet another reason we were initially struggling to bond with him. Then we started making jokes about a witching hour and how if you heard a baby screaming in a room full of people, it was likely Win. After a while, we began to wonder if it wasn’t just who he was, but it was maybe something he was dealing with. He, like my daughter, had reflux, though not near as bad. His reflux seemed to coincide with his angry times. But still, we thought it possible his anger might even be causing the reflux, if not his prematurity. 

Our pediatrician passively threw out the possibility of a dairy/soy intolerance and suggested I remove both from my diet to see if it made an impact in his attitude. He explained that babies who already experience reflux often have a hard time with dairy and soy because dairy and soy are already harsh on new digestive systems, let alone, a digestive system that is sending things the wrong way. 

So on the 26th of December, I cut dairy from my diet to see if it would help Win. In the days leading up to the 26th, we solidified the theory with a dairy marathon. I wasn’t willing to quit dairy during the holidays when we didn’t even know if it was really the problem. But just in case it turned out to be accurate, I wanted to have all of my favorite things one last time.

I spent much of Christmas day trying to console a very angry and agitated baby. 

While it was hard to imagine modifying my diet for an indefinite amount of time, it was good to have an answer and a hope for a quieter future.

And that’s kind of where this story ends.

Beginning to end, 2019 felt like another season of overcoming obstacles. We began with a surprise pregnancy – one I didn’t feel ready for. We took extra precautions and attended extra appointments to ward off a premature birth before the scheduled premature birth. We had abnormal ultrasounds. We delivered our second baby to be admitted to the NICU. We battled Post Partum Depression. And we lost hours and hours of sleep to an angry baby we were struggling to bond with. But there was light at the end of the tunnel. We’d overcome all of this, and as Win’s digestive system settled into a new normal, we overcame his anger, too.

We entered 2020 in an insurmountably better place than we left 2019 in. I was feeling better. Win was feeling better. We were ready to take on whatever the year had for us. And while 2020 had quite a bit in store for us all, Win has been an abundant bright spot for us. He is nothing but trouble, but he’s my buddy, my boy, my love, my heart.

Our pregnancies were not easy. I sometimes cannot even believe all we went through to get where we are. But God blessed us with two beautiful, healthy children. I will never believe that I deserve to have what I have, but for some reason, God dragged us through the mud only to pick us up, dust of off, and send us on the journey that is parenthood.

In the stats: 
Adjusted Age: 2 months, 1 week, 5 days
Actual Age: 3 months, 6 days

November’s Book and Bike Break Down

Catch up on what Mandi’s reading and how many miles she’s riding!

Booking and biking my way through 2020.


44. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez (Young Adult, Contemporary)
So I tried my best to read this during Hispanic Heritage month, but the stars didn’t quite align. I loved the cultural aspects of this story and felt much of it was appropriate to read in times such as these, but it’s definitely written for a younger audience (despite the amount of cursing). That made it harder for me to really connect. I guess I just didn’t expect “young adult” to come off as quite this juvenile. While I don’t feel like it’s a book my kids HAVE TO READ some day, it was a good story, and I did enjoy it. 4 STARS

45. Dear Martin by Nic Stone (Young Adult, Contemporary)
I guess I’m kind of stuck on the YA/Contemporary stuff right now, but I have no regrets. Here is what was great about this book: Justyce, the main character is black, comes from an underprivileged home and goes to a school for mostly overprivileged kids. He’s incredibly smart and could do amazing things in the world, yet he’s struggling with the same things every young black kid struggles with – growing up black in America is just different than growing up white in America. I won’t lie, the book was much more young adult than I anticipated, and while that bothered me at first, in hindsight I really appreciate the perspective. It felt similar to Between the World and Me, but was more like the story version of that. 5 STARS

46. Love Does by Bob Goff (Christian, Nonfiction)
Bob Goff has a really fun way of writing. You can tell he is a character from reading even just one of his stories. I really like a lot of the choices he has made as a parent and a lot of the ways he has chosen to live his life, but his book as a whole wasn’t overly inspirational to me. I would love to see it as a memoir instead of something that is intended to make you go do big things for God. He is doing big things for God, and I think his stories alone can bring about inspiration. 2 STARS

47. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Fantasy, Young Adult)
4,224 pages later, I did it. I finished the series, and wow, what a doozy of a last book. I was skeptical going into this series. Why does it have such a cult following? But while I haven’t up and joined the cult, I can say that it was worth most of those 4,224 pages to get to the end. Book 7 was amazing, but without the first 6, it could not have been written. It was an phenomenal culmination of the story, the character’s journeys, the overall Harry Potter/Voldemort battle. Had I had the time, I could have binged the second half of this book easily because so much started happening and I needed to know the answers. 5 STARS

I think it’s worth noting that I would give the Harry Potter series as a whole 4 stars. I was underwhelmed in the beginning, but books 4, 5, 6 and 7 (especially 7) removed any skepticism I held while making my way through the series. I get why people love it.


Current total: 2300

698 of those miles having been outside (366 of them pulling a kid).

I don’t think I’ve made it “public knowledge”, but the new goal? 2500. Shooting for something very manageable at this point so I don’t overwhelm myself during the holidays. Also, I never thought I’d ride this many miles this year, but here we are.

Hope you had a great November! Stay safe everyone.