Friday, October 21, 2016

Breaking radio silence

I knew life has been busy, but I did not realize it has been a month and a half since I last got a chance to blog. This time of year through the beginning of the new year is always a busy season for us, but it has been complicated this year by sweet little Chloe.

Chloe loves her doll "Miss Pearl"

Tiny but mighty, this little peanut has turned out to be one of my most challenging babies. And I'm afraid we have nobody but ourselves to blame. With plenty of older siblings to help out, she has been picked up, carried, rocked, and otherwise treated royally since birth. We didn't just jump to attention at the slightest whimper out of her, but rather before she would ever even start complaining. As a result, she had become quite "spoiled," for lack of a better term. At first, after getting her to sleep, I could at least move her to the bed/cradle/swing, but soon she would wake immediately after being moved, and so for the last two months Chloe has only slept when being held by me. And not just held in a carrier, which would give me some freedom of movement, but held in my arms, rocking her in my quiet, dark room with the door shut. You can imagine how doable that is with a large family! 

We were all starting to get sleep-deprived and desperate, and things were getting worse, not better. Evidently, you CAN indulge a baby too much, and teach them bad (sleep) habits at a young age. All my other babies were good sleepers and naturally fell into a good routine by 3 months of age, so this is a new experience for me. 

Chloe in the matching clothes that Miriam made for her doll.

The last couple of days, after all else had failed, I have been working on sleep training little Chloe in earnest, much to the horror of the little girls who cannot stand to hear her crying at all. Yes, there was crying involved. :( It was rough, really, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Thankfully, Chloe is as smart as they come, and just as she was clever enough to figure out how to make us all do her bidding without being able to say so much as a single word, she has very quickly caught on to "time to go night-night." I'm sure there are still some rough patches ahead of us, but both last night and this morning she went down while awake happily and without complaint, and then stayed asleep for long stretches of time. This is a huge improvement from taking two hours of my time to go down to nap, only to wake 5 minutes later!  

In one of those hours of newfound freedom, I have been able to upload some of my pictures from the last two months. As soon as I get the rest moved to the computer, I will be able to blog more about what we have been up to recently. Like this little guy:

Come check back soon! :)


  1. Relatively new to your blog (maybe 6 or 7 months or so) My husband found your husbands preaching online and he's just the best we've heard, there is nothing quite like hearing someone just preach the truth! I must have gone though all your old posts since coming across your blog and I have found so much useful, wonderful information, just all around a great blog, I feel lucky to have come across it! Anyway! I've been checking in constantly to see the latest update! That little Chloe does look just like a doll baby! All the children are beautiful.

    You truly are a blessed woman. And I look forward to hearing more updates soon.


  2. I'm really surprised you would do sleep training, especially on a young baby! My daughter was a terrible sleeper (waking every half an hour over night) until she had her tongue tie revised and sorted out her reflux...I can't imagine just leaving her to cry.

    1. as someone who had a child that would only sleep either being held or in the swing for naps (oddly, he slept just fine at night in his crib) I don't find it at all odd that she would try to break the habit of having to be HELD to go to sleep. I had to "nap" train my son (and get my husband on board with that at the same time) She never said she was trying to get Chloe to sleep thru the night. She simply said she was training her to go down awake and sleep for a chunk of time. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do...sleep is important. To everyone. Especially a baby. She couldn't have been getting quality sleep being held and Zsu wasn't getting any sleep....

    2. Jessie,

      I am not just leaving her to cry. I nurse her until she falls asleep, then move her to bed and (if she wakes up) pat and shush her until she settles back to sleep. It has made a big difference in her falling asleep better, and staying asleep longer.

      How old was your daughter when you had her tongue tie revised? We have been going back and forth about whether to have Chloe's tie revised or not. She has a posterior tie, but initially she was able to remove enough milk to grow well. Now that she needs more than she is able to remove by nursing, she has stopped growing. We are taking her in for the laser procedure tomorrow. I am really dreading it because we had the same done with Boaz, and the first week afterward was torture for all of us. Several other of our kids are also tongue tied but we did not do the revision because they were gaining adequately, though I know being tongue tied can affect other areas of development.

      If you have any tips to share for making the recovery as easy as possible, please do share them with me.

    3. We had her posterior tongue tie and upper lip tie cut at 4.5 & 6 months (had them done separately), unfortunently cutting was not effective and we had to have them both lasered at 11 months.
      The laser was very effective and has made so much difference! I'm personally in favour of getting ties fixed as soon as possible and if I have another baby with ties, I would have them lasered as a newborn (we continued to breastfeed through the ties, but there was a lot of pain, reflux etc, my daughter always gained fine though).
      The stretches post laser were horrible and because she was 11 months and was very aware of what was going on. If you can make it a game, it will help. We found a chewy tube (often used for children in sensory issues) good relearn to use her tongue correctly.

    4. Comment copied from Free Jinger: Here's what gets me - strangers on the internet were alarmed, with nothing to go off of except a handful of photos, a mention of weight a couple of months ago, and Zsu apparently being proud of Chloe fitting into DOLL clothing since birth and still at almost six months old, have been expressing concern about Chloe's weight gain for months. Zsu has a baby scale, knew about the tongue tie, and has been watching her fail to thrive (with weight but also apparently constant fussiness), and didn't do anything about it.

    5. Hi, Zsuzsanna - Just seeing your comment now, so you're probably already done with the laser surgery. However, I can tell you that we had to have it done with our second, and while it's was traumatic at the time, the recovery was virtually instant. When it was over, it was really over. I hope it went well and that you're all doing well!!

    6. To anon above: Your comment made me laugh. Forget consulting Dr. Google, the internet sleuths on Free Jinger can diagnose a child and come up with the right solution through sheer guesswork and inferences. Maybe they should all start online-only medical practices.

      I do not own a medical scale, though I have rented one in the past when necessary, and did so with Chloe to measure exactly how much milk she is transferring. I also rented a hospital-grade breast pump to up my supply and give her more milk in a bottle since she was not getting as much as she was "supposed to" through nursing alone. However, Chloe persistently and angrily refused bottle, cup, syringe, and even a supplemental nursing system that attaches to the breast while nursing. She wants only mother's milk, and only straight from the tap. And while she is small for her age, she is well proportioned. The doctor yesterday would not believe me when I told her Chloe's weight, saying she looked like she weighed more, until she weighed her herself - she wears it well I guess. Chloe is always content between meals, only nurses every 3 hours or so, and only once per night. She outgrew the reflux and gassiness around the 3 month mark, when her growth was still within the normal range. Having been "spoiled" for the first three months of her life, she wasn't about to give up the high levels of attention she had grown accustomed to when she no longer was bothered by reflux and gas, hence the continued high demands and subsequent (fairly gentle) sleep training. The sleep training was not intended to get her to sleep through the night or eat on a schedule, it was simply teaching her to fall asleep on her own and stay asleep longer.

      The doctor yesterday, as all others who have evaluated Chloe, did not think the tongue tie procedure was a must. In fact, it is quite possible that it will do nothing for her weight gain because she is happy with what she is getting, plus she is getting ready to start solids anyway. We went through with it hoping it would give her at least some benefit while nursing, plus to prevent future issues caused by a high, narrow palate such as crowded teeth and painful wisdom teeth extractions. Obviously, the procedure is painful and invasive, so it's not something we wanted to do if avoidable.

      Sheesh, I should think the experts at FJ would be too busy in their successful medical careers to sit online and bicker over strangers' lives all day.

    7. It's frustrating that ties aren't understood more. We are in Australia, but we saw 2xGPs, 3xhealth nurses, 2x paediatricians, a speech therapist and an ENT and they all failed to diagnose my daughter's posterior tongue tie and upper lip tie. We ended up travelling to a different state to have the laser done, which cost $800 in just flights and then $600 for the procedure.
      I've been considering getting my posterior tie done when we have the extra money, as ties have such a life long impact.

    8. It's worrying that the doctor didn't think it really needed to be done. Doctors really don't understand the full impact of ties.

  3. I've missed seeing your blog updates - looking forward to hearing what you all have been up to this year!! :)

  4. You have such a precious family!

  5. My second child would not sleep unless she was being held and rocked also, after three months of NO sleep for my husband and I we took her to the chiropractor (who specialized in children) and that was a game changer. She started to be able to sleep on her own and for longer periods and eventually was on a normal pattern. Just a thought if you haven't gone that route yet! We still go on a regular basis for our children (you can usually negotiate a little on prices if you have multiple children being adjusted in the same appointment)

    So glad to see you blogging again, I look forward to your posts.

    1. I also am a huge believer in chiropractic care while pregnant and postpartum. I have been going every four weeks, and Chloe gets adjusted for free during the first year. After her tongue tie revision tomorrow, I will be taking Chloe for extra craniofacial adjustments.

  6. Some people just don't understand how difficult a horrific sleeper can be. My first literally never slept. She would stay awake for 12+ hours from day one, and it would take me hours to get her down for a nap or for the night. I felt like I spent all my time getting her to sleep, and I couldn't go anywhere or do anything. I finally did a little sleep training with her at 8 months and it was probably one of the best parenting decision I made that first year. I have twins due any day now, so hoping for an easier road this time around. All this to say, I completely get it! And the fact that I have a wonderfully close relationship with my daughter just goes to show it hasn't scarred her for life

  7. Thank you Mrs. Anderson for always having a blessed blog on the internet which is very rare. I thank the Lord always and pray without ceasing for you and your family(1 Thes. 5:17.) Just a note to say that thank you for the true blessing of letting others know that true love does exist in family. Jesus is the reason for every thing. John 14:6.
    And the LORD has given your husband Pastor Anderson by His mercy and grace the Truth. And the only Way is to seek the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul. Which is totally the strength of Jesus Christ , Phil. 4:13. love of Christ Jesus,
    Rosita Praying always for you and your family in the Name of Jesus Christ. Romans 8:39.

  8. I enjoy your blog so much. Your family is really a blessing. I have seen sleep training work beautifully with many babies. People can criticize you but each Mom is different. Some babies we have to teach to sleep well, just as we teach them to talk and walk etc......A well rested Mom and baby will both benefit! Blessings to you.

  9. I totally understand, with more older siblings it is hard to train babies like you could your first babies. I have 8 kids and my last baby has taken us for a loop, she is our worst sleeper and seems to get away with stuff that her older siblings did not. I always try to train my babies to sleep as early as possible, the sooner you do it the easier it is, so good for you for getting it figured out early, if people would only realize that the younger you train them the less crying there actually will be. I have found if you do it when they are older they fight it more and actually put up more of a fuss.

  10. As a mother who is far from experienced in the field of having 9 children, I am one that is skilled in the area of having a child born with severe GERD.
    I called it baby never sleeps sydrome. My son's incessant crying and vomitting were so servere that he is 2 now and still being weaned. My son was breastfeed.
    When he was born, I forced on demand and forced on demand, thinking maybe it was a latch problem or tongue tie. Also thinking that I was creating sleep problems. Neither of those was the case. At my wits end, with a baby waking every two hours after being ROCKED FOR TWO HOURS only to wake again when I put him on his belly, I was left exhausted, frustrated and confused.
    A baby who has sleep issues like these especially under 6 months has nothing to do with how much attention you give him/her. It is quite possible you just may have a child with said reflux/GERD. EVEN if you breastfeed, upset flora in the gut can be a culprit but quite possibly an inadequate flap could be a problem.
    I'm not saying run out to the doctor, but understand that babies who do not sleep because they are not "upright" results in screaming all night because their stomach acids move into the throat. How painful!
    If you notice baby is happy upright and when being held, vomitting or incessant hiccuping or hates being laid down, please look into GERD in babies.
    My husband and I refused medication as our son built up and intolerance. We also refused surgery. However, we did a swallow test which showed our problem that he is finally starting to grow out of... at 2 and a half...
    The only thing I can suggest is look into it.
    Bottle feeding with a rice forumla may be a must, laying them in cribs/beds with rolled towels safely tucked underneath and constant holding may be something you just have to do to survive this.
    Still, you may be the 2% like myself that nothing upon nothing works and you have to rely on them to "grow out of it" which in all honesty they never truly do.
    You may also have to place them on a special diet in toddler years, so as to not upset the gut flora that can upset a night's sleep.
    Of course, not all babies are the same and not all mother's are experienced in every field. Sometimes there comes one along that tests the strands of sanity even though they are so adorably cute!

    1. She does not have GERD, but she did have some reflux as a result of her posterior tongue tie. Thankfully, she has mostly outgrown that. She prefers to sleep lying down, whether in my arms or in bed, so I don't think that's the issue with her sleeping. I think she had gotten used to be being tended to at the slightest whimper after she'd wake up from a burp.

  11. Try forumula at midnight and a warm sleeper.

  12. I have been checking back here and there waiting for a new post, I enjoy reading and learning from you. I heard your husband say on his sermon that I'm watching live right now that you are doing a homeschool teach your child how to read workshop. I am doing my first year of homeschooling and thought if possible it would be so awesome if you could record your workshop and put it online. I would be very interested to get some tips.

  13. Going to a different topic, what is your thoughts about braces? My daughter has teeth similar to Miriam, as I see in the photos, and the dentist says that she really needs brace to fix them. Were unsure about whether it shows vanity to get them fixed but we do recognize that good teeth is so important in our society.

  14. I would not have thought a connection between being tongue-tied and not sleeping well. Hind sight, this could explain #4 son's (lack of)sleep issue. Or possibly he was just a bit spoiled too (with 4 older siblings)

  15. Close

    Edit Heidi said...
    Dear Zsuzsanna,

    I know this is completely unrelated to your adorable daughter, however I have been wanting to get an opinion from another born-again, stay at home mom.
    My hubby and I have been married 6 years. He introduced me to your husband's style of preaching a couple years ago. I, in turn, followed your blog from time to time. I've actually searched it high and low hoping I could gain some wisdom and insight on a few things.
    We left our church this past year after the movie Marching to Zion was put out from your husband. When we learned our independent fundamental church was joining the new age movement and stopped soul winning using magic shows and prosperity preaching to get people in, we left. We have searched high and low for a church yet so many while being so few have now joined this radical movement in our area.
    Of course, that does not inhibit us from watching your husbands sermons via youtube or reading our bible daily but it seems it is so very hard to find the right church and church family that goes along with it.
    Ever since we left, our church family wants nothing to do with us. While it hurts as we have called these people family, I realized these people may have never truly been saved either??
    We got saved years before we joined.
    It is so hard to not just find a new church that coheres with the bible but people (women) who love God and are saved like I am.
    I am in my middle twenties with two young children. I believe my husband should be my best friend but as a woman, I too want to be around positive modest and biblical women since men just can't "connect" with the womanly things. I assume you are probably highly sought after for both and advice and friendship. I can also understand if do not reply as you do lead a very busy life!!
    My questions are: Can you recommend any independent fundamental churches in Indiana? And how can I deal with having no "friends"?
    Also, kindly do not repost this but you can email me at
    Thank you and yours for all the good you do.
    God bless!

  16. Awww...I had a baby that would only ever sleep on was exhausting and I too resorted to sleep training. It took us about 3 nights (with cryaing...LOL!) and then, AMAZING...she slept like a BABY should. Chloe is so beautiful, such a peanut!

  17. So good to be hearing from you once again, you and your family goings on have been sorely missed. Praying for continued success in sleep training Young Chloe.

    Blessings, Mari

  18. Glad to hear all is well. I noticed you'd disabled your FB account and I admire your ability to disconnect. I'm much more addicted than you!!!!

  19. I just started reading your blog and even with only number two on the way, am so happy for the tips and advice. I read about your issues with stevia and have since removed it from my diet, although opposite of you, I actually conceived while taking it! (Still don't trust it though)

    I hope you don't mind if I share a recipe with you! Delicious healthy recipes and meal planning is where I struggle the most..but my family loves this one and I thought it never hurts to have another recipe on hand...

    It's an accident I made of two paleo recipes I found online:

    Crock Pot Roast (serves about 4)


    A big slab of beef (I usually get a 3-4lb chuck roast since they are on sale the most)
    1 large onion
    3 stalks celery
    3 carrots
    3 potatoes
    1-2 packages of mushrooms
    1 cup water (optional)
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (you could probably use any kind of milk)
    1 tsp smoked paprika
    1 tsp curry powder
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp dry mustard
    2 tsp sea salt
    1 tsp black pepper

    Chop up veggies to nice big sizes and throw in the crockpot. Throw meat on top. Then throw in liquids and seasonings. Cook on high or low until the meat is done. Puree half of the veggies and sauce to make a gravy if you like. Done! Sometimes I throw the veggies in an hour before serving just so they aren't overcooked, but it doesn't really matter.

    Hope this opens up another option for mealtime for you! Thanks for sharing your wisdom on this blog!

  20. Lol @ FreeJinger Hope you can laugh at them too.

    I know that good sleeping habits are important for the whole family. Still there is something very sweet about siblings holding their baby sister "too much". Feel teary thinking about it. Just awesome.

  21. Solomon is going to be a great dad someday!

  22. Three of my four boys had tongue ties. I have found that because of the societal move away from breastfeeding knowledge about these complications is lacking in even the most breast feeding friendly care teams. A doctor or nurse midwife who is specifically trained in tongue tie revision makes a huge difference in the success of the procedure. The shape of the incision is different and there are exercises to do afterward. Pain management is effective if started immediately. We see the breastfeeding doctor in Seattle. She recommends the procedure as early on as possible as it affects the latch and creates a need to "relearn" latch. She always applies a typical anesthetic and doses with some Tylenol beforehand. I nurse the baby and she does the procedure when baby is drowsy and calm. Both of my babies that she treated cried very little and calmed as soon as they were latched after. A very stark contrast to my poor firstborn who had his revised in hospital in England. The nurse lactation consultant there insisted it was a minor discomfort and refused to do anything for his pain. We then had to deal with an oral aversion for about 2 months...

    If you have a local babywearing group, it seems many of them are tapped into breastfeeding communities as well and may be able to point you in the direction of Ann appropriately trained provider.


Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.