The High King Lives

Life with Baby: Super Baby vs. Bat Baby August 18, 2015

Hello dear ones! This Life with Baby post speaks for itself. May you be inspired! God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


Other Life with Baby posts:
Cloth Diapers
Breastfeeding and Baby Wearing
Monthly Pictures
Baby School


Life with Baby: Sleep and a Birth Shadow Box August 11, 2015

Hello dear ones! Welcome to another Life with Baby post. Today I want to talk about sleep. Then at the end I have a picture of the shadow box I put together of Leeland’s birth and all our hospital memorabilia.

Last time I shared several hacks/ ideas for making baby life easier. You may remember that we side carred our crib to make it a co-sleeper. Here’s a picture of it. You’ll find directions on my previous Life with Baby post.

For now let’s talk about the controversy of sleep.


When Michael (my nine year old) was a baby, I knew very little about how babies should sleep. I picked up a little book called “Baby Wise”. Chris and I made up a schedule and by the time Michael was 3 months he was sleeping through the night. He was also on formula though. And Michael had his own room.

Leeland is a different baby. I am still mainly breastfeeding him at four months and hope to continue for awhile. Also, Leeland sleeps in our room still. We don’t have a separate nursery this time. Its been nine years and I am a different mama. Michael never cried it out for hours, but he did cry some. my eldest has turned out well and I’m not worried about him. We did the best we could as new parents and I think we could’ve done a lot worse.

So…to co-sleep or not to co-sleep? To sleep train or to follow baby’s cues? Cry it out or comfort?
These are big questions and people are passionate on both sides. For me, I want Leeland and myself to both sleep well. My baby is important, but I can’t be a good mom if I can’t function. I’m human. I need sleep. So does he. We needed a compromise.

So I tried to sleep train. Leeland would not self soothe. I could not handle him crying for long, and he could not either. So I did what I didn’t with Michael, I rocked Leeland to sleep. It worked for a bit, but soon I was walking the floor at night. Leeland cried. I may have cried too. It was clear that I was dealing with a different kid. Leeland may look like his bubba, but he is not Michael part 2.

So one night I did what felt natural and the only solution I had for my sanity at the time, I breastfed the baby to sleep. He was happy. I was happy. But I didn’t feel safe having him in the bed. Several of my friends co-sleep with their kids, but it was new to me. If I fell asleep while feeding Leeland, I worried about me or Chris rolling on him. I kept the covers down near my legs, but I still worried the baby would suffocate. Also, it was painful on my back when I had to lift Leeland into his crib. I have scoliosis. If he woke up we’d have to start the process over. Our solution? Side carring the crib to turn it into a co-sleeper.

I love the crib now. It is a safe way to co-sleep for us. I’m able to breastfeed and relax myself. I enjoy having Leeland near. I used to believe that co-sleeping would mess up the marriage bed. It hasn’t. Chris and I still have a romantic relationship. We are probably both more sane, because we are actually getting sleep. I feel like I can keep a good eye on Leeland at night to make sure he is breathing well. I know our solution isn’t for everyone. That’s okay. No parent is alike.

I will say that I’ve learned a lot these last couple of months. I learned that co-sleeping can be safe when using certain guidelines. I learned that co-sleeping is the norm everywhere except North America. Yet, we have the most cases of SIDS…interesting. I also learned that crying it out for many hours can harm a baby’s brain. They go into shock. I learned that there was a major shift in motherhood during the 1800’s…a shift that I believe was bad. Doctors told women that breastfeeding was unclean, that babies should not be held too much, and that babies needed to be in a separate room so they wouldn’t be a bother to parents. Many moms are breaking free from those traditions and embracing natural motherhood.


For balance sake, sometimes a mom does need a break. It’s not that children are a bother, or that moms are selfish. But the baby and the mom both need to be in good health. Sometimes a mom has to do what she has to do to stay sane and to be a good mom. Sometimes babies will cry. It happens. Sometimes you have to walk away and catch your breath. Maybe it is safer in your situation to have the baby in another room. Maybe you have to use formula. I’m not here to judge, and honestly, on the weekends we pull out the disposables, and when I need a break we use formula. Every baby and every mom is different. Give your best with love. That’s what counts.

For me, I needed to be educated on alternative methods. Co-sleeping is a rising trend, but I had many negative and preconceived notions about it. Research showed me that I was wrong. My views on how babies learn to self soothe has changed. You can read more about that in the article below by Psychology Today on Crying It Out. I don’t co-sleep exactly as others do. But our method works for us. Leeland mainly sleeps on his back but he will roll onto his side. I’m very in tune with him at night. I will wake up if he startles.

I have several articles below and some with varying opinions. Judge for yourself what is best for your family. As I lay here typing, my lil one is sound asleep next to me. I like that. My eldest is in his own room, so we don’t have a complete family bed. I still go in Michael’s room and check on him at night. His long legs are usually hanging off the bed. Both of my boys are extremely loved. Life with Baby is different. At 30, I am a different mom than I was at 21. But I am still a loving mom. I’m still a praying mom. I still need Jesus’ guidance. I’m still learning. I’ll never be a perfect mom, and that’s okay.

Lastly, here’s the photo collage/shadow box of Leeland’s birth and hospital memorabilia. I used duct tape but I should’ve used glue. It’s coming a part now that it is hung up. I’ll probably have to fix it.


Well, sweet dreams :). God bless & remember the High King lives! ~ Amber Dover

Helpful articles on both sides:

Other Life with Baby posts:

Cloth Diapers
Breastfeeding and Baby Wearing
Monthly Pictures
Baby School


Life with Baby: Breastfeeding & Baby Wearing July 1, 2015

Hello dear ones, I’m sitting outside at the Picasso Pizzeria listening to two men play the blues on guitar. I’m taking a break from my kiddos, so I can write about them! Irony, right? I am desperately trying to catch up on posts, but I’m only able to write once a week. Life with a newborn has changed everything. I’m not saying this to complain. I know I’m blessed and I’m thankful for my lil miracle. My boys mean the world to me. Life is just…different.


I started this series “Life with Baby” to talk about how things have changed since my oldest was little. I am diving into all kinds of baby trends. Okay, so breastfeeding is not a “trend” per say, but there was a time not too long ago when doctors told women that breastfeeding was bad. Yep, my grandparents would’ve been told that. Now we know that “breast is best”.

God created womens’ bodies to do amazing things. Not only do we carry a being that’s still uploading ;), but we also nourish that child with our bodies once they are born. That’s awesome! My buddy Hannah (you hear a lot about her) is a La Leche League leader. The La Leche League is a breastfeeding support group. Hannah gives me a lot of advice. I’m very thankful for her.


I only breastfed Michael for 3 months, but I want to go longer with Leeland. It hasn’t been easy though. Leeland had a substantial tongue tie. Hannah noticed it and told me. Thankfully we found a surgeon who clipped it for us. Still, there are times when Leeland pulls off or accidentally hurts me. And I’ll admit that every now and then we use formula so I can get a break (& keep my sanity). I try to pump but that doesn’t always go according to plan. I’m doing my best though. Moms can only do their best. Sometimes women can’t breastfeed, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love their children. If you are able to breastfeed, I encourage you to find a support group. I had so many misconceptions about breastfeeding. Even my pediatrician gave conflicting info at times. Thankfully Hannah and my breastfeeding consultant set me straight. It also helped to talk to other women in my shoes.


Breastfeeding has been different this go around. Breastfeeding in public is more acceptable. I’m learning to use a cover in all kinds of places….even while walking at the aquarium. One of the benefits to breastfeeding is that it’s always available. I can feed my baby anytime anywhere. I don’t have to worry about fixing a bottle or buying formula. A neat fact that I learned is that when my baby feeds, his saliva lets my breasts know what germs he’s been exposed to. Then they make milk that helps fight those particular germs. I hope I wrote that right. That’s how I remember it anyways.


Secondly, I’ve started baby wearing. The wraps and carriers they have today come in all kinds of shapes and patterns. There is an art to wrapping. I do not have that talent. I’ve only found one carrier that I’m super comfortable with and I bought it at Walmart. The chic wrap I bought online was too small and complicated. I had another that worked when Leeland was brand new but not long after. Baby wearing is definitely a new trend. There’s social groups and everything.


So how about you, mom? Have you tried baby wearing? What’s your favorite type? How long did you breastfeed? What got you through the sleepless nights? God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Life with Baby: Cloth Diapers

Life with Baby: Monthly pictures

Life with Baby: Baby School




Life With Baby: Cloth Diapers May 18, 2015

In this post: The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2015, homemade baby wipes, and cloth diaper tips from a newbie. IMG_1011 (2) Hello dear ones! I know it’s been awhile. Life with a new baby is truly an adjustment especially when you have another child as well. So I’m trying to catch up and find my normal. I have a flood of posts coming your way hopefully. First, I want to start a series called “Life with Baby”. I’m trying new things with my second child. It’s been nine years since my first and there are different trends in the baby world. I want to share my experience as an old newbie ;). And so here I am learning about cloth diapers. It’s like a different universe has opened up to me…things that I didn’t think about with my first born. Like natural child birth… Cloth diapers are awesome. They’re cute and soft, they don’t contain harsh chemicals, and they are a great investment. Instead of paying 20 bucks for disposables every week you can buy a cloth diaper for that (or cheaper if used) and use it for a year. How did I get introduced to cloth diapering? My best friend Hannah (the super breastfeeding-cloth diapering-natural birthing-mom that I always talk about) cloth diapered her youngest two kids. She blessed me with several cloth diapers. I’ve bought a few since then but most of my diapers came from Hannah. Boy was I nervous when I began cloth diapering. It’s not as hard as it sounds though and I’ll share my tips at the end of this post. First, let me tell you about The Great Cloth Diaper Change. Here’s Hannah and I at the GCDC. Hannah had a La Leche League booth at the GCDC and she invited me to it. IMG_1016 The Great Cloth Diaper Change is a cloth diapering event that just started in recent years in the city of Columbus, Ga. This year (2015) over a hundred women attended the GCDC and set a record for babies being cloth diapered at the same time. There were booths of all kinds. People selling used diapers, natural products, a La Leche League booth, and even a booth to weigh your baby. Several years back, cloth diapering was rare. Not many people knew about it. Now, the cloth diapering trend is on the rise. Baby thrift stores sell used diapers. There are cloth diapers with every sort of pattern. It’s glorious! Here are some of my favorite diapers. Two of these I bought for a couple of dollars at the GCDC. One is brand new and the others came from Hannah. It’s great when you have cloth diapering friends. Everyone passes the diapers around. The diapers get washed like clothes so it’s completely sanitary. So no worries there. IMG_1451

  • When I arrived at the GCDC I had less than a minute to sit down behind the line with the other hundred women and prepare to diaper. I rushed to get Leeland ready to be changed before the timer started. This was our first public outing since Leeland’s birth. He was a couple weeks old I think. Anywho, I was still getting the hang of cloth diapering but I did well. It was fun being a part of the cloth diapering community. You don’t get that with disposables. No one really cares what disposable brand you use. You don’t have Pampers groups. IMG_1009

When the timer went off all of us held up our diapered babies and cheered. It was good clean fun. Thank you Leeland for giving me this new experience. Yeah, Leeland slept the whole time. I did get a certificate saying we participated. It’s in his baby book. So one day we can laugh about how silly his mama was. IMG_1010 (2) IMG_1011 (2) There was a raffle at the GCDC and I won two very nice all in ones diapers (more on types later). I also took a gift bag home. It felt like a birthday :). IMG_1019 Our husbands hanging out. This wasn’t really a guy’s event. My husband agreed to go because Hannah’s husband James was there. My hubby is awesome about changing diapers but he doesn’t get excited about it. He could care less about the patterns and types. Chris is still getting the hang of cloth diapering. Sometimes they frustrate him. I just remind him of all the money we’re saving ;). IMG_1012 The bigger kids took advantage of the gym. Michael had a blast playing basketball with his friends. IMG_1013 Leeland taking a peep! Too cute! I spiked his hair. IMG_1014 Tips and Advice from a Cloth Diapering Newbie We used disposables in the hospitals and frankly I was nervous about leaving my comfort zone and trying cloth diapers. I had made a committment though and we are on a budget. Thankfully I had Hannah come over, that first week home with the baby. She showed me how to put on his cloth diaper. I had tried before Leeland was born. The hubby, Michael, and I cloth diapered a stuffed bear. Still, it’s different with a squirming lil one. Here’s what I know now.

  • There are different types of cloth diapers. The ones I’m familiar with are the prefolds and all in ones. Actually there are five major types but I am only fluent in the two I mentioned ;). It turns out I’ve been using fitted and pocket diapers more than all in ones. I just called them by the wrong names. I basically knew that the diapers you folded and that required a water proof cover were prefolds and then you had the ones that looked like a disposable diaper. There are some that have snaps and some with velcro. Some require inserts and some have them sewn in already. We mainly use prefolds during the day and the other diapers (pocket, fitted, and all in ones) at night. Prefolds can be bought in packs of six or you can make your own out of burp cloths or cloth napkins. They are basically a piece of cloth that you fold into thirds and secure with either pins (the old fashioned way) or these neat rubber fasteners that have little teeth. Then you put a plastic cover over the top. Prefolds are cheaper because you can buy a large pack for the price of one of the other diapers. Also, you can use the same cover all day. You just have to change the cloth inside. Here’s a picture of Leeland wearing one. Note* Make sure the cover covers every part of the diaper (especially the leg area) or you will have soaked outfits. IMG_0905 Just to be cute… IMG_0911 Here’s a pocket diaper I believe. You put a cloth insert inside the lil pocket. Then you snap or velcro the diaper together. This kind of cloth diaper including all in ones and fitted are a lil more expensive unless you buy used. I save them for the long stretches at night. They have such cute patterns (like the Dr. Seus ones several pictures up), you don’t need to put pants on the baby (if it’s warm of course). IMG_0929 IMG_0907

  • Use hot water to wash the diapers and add a touch of vinegar if they get smelly. I use Tide Free and Clear as my detergeant. Some moms swear by special baby detergeant or cloth diaper detergeant. Tide works fine for me. Every baby is different though. Some are sensitive to certain brands. I don’t know much about “stripping” diapers, but I know that vinegar helps with bad stink. I use it for my hubby’s sweaty clothes. I also know that cloth diapers get very stinky and cold water just didn’t do the trick. I wash our diapers with the baby’s clothes, bibs, blankets, and burp cloths. It’s easier and saves water. Stripping diapers is the process you use to get the oils and things out that are left over from diaper balms and fabric softeners but I’ve heard it used for getting the stench out when diapers get that mildewy smell. Sometimes diapers don’t want to dry after they’ve been washed several times.

Here are different methods for stripping. I’ve yet to try them. I just use vinegar and wash my diapers once. I wash them on extra heavy. I’ve only had a few used diapers that got the mildewy smell. Here’s a post that says not to strip diapers. Everyone has their opinion.

  • Instead of fabric softener sheets use a ball of aluminum foil to get up the lint. It works great and you don’t have to spend money on fabric sheets. Also you don’t have to worry about stripping the oils off your diapers.
  • Have a wet bag! These are life savers. A wet bag has a water proof inside and cloth on the front. You put the diapers and cloth baby wipes inside the wet bag and zip it up so you won’t smell them. I just got one for the diaper bag. It was a pain using grocery bags all the time and it was smelly. I had a wet bag at home though. Hannah gave me her extra and it really helps. You can buy these at Walmart too.
  • Separate the cloth inserts from the covers when you wash them. This makes sure they get clean good.
  • Give cloth baby wipes a try! It took me a bit to have the confidence to start using cloth wipes. I guess you can say I took baby steps. Cloth wipes are super easy though. You simply wet them with solution, wipe the baby’s bottom, and throw the wipe in the wet bag with the diapers. At first, I kept the wipes soaking in the solution but it turned the solution colors and went bad quickly. So now I keep the wipes beside the solution and just wet them before use. I ring the wipes out to save on solution. Right now I only put a cup of solution at a time. It’s not hard to make so I don’t mind refilling. I could probably keep two cups in at a time. When I’m out of the house I fill a squirt bottle with solution and take it with me. Here’s the solution recipe I use:

Baby Wipe Solution 1 cup hot water 1 tbsp coconut oil 1 tbsp baby wash First, heat the water in the microwave for a minute and a half. That’s enough for the oil to dissolve when you mix it in next. Then add the baby wash. Let the water cool before you use it of course. *Some people add essential oils. IMG_1314

  • What to do with poop: Nothing at first. If you are breastfeeding or have a newborn then it’ll come out in the wash. The poop will become solid when your baby starts eating solids. I’m not at this point yet but Hannah is. She says you just empty the poop in the toilet. If it’s smooshed then you can use a paint scraper to get it off. Much easier than buying a sprayer to attach to your toilet.

Well, I hope I’ve encouraged you to try cloth diapers. It can be scary if you’re new like me. Cloth diapers aren’t as complicated as people make them out to be. Most of the diapers work like disposables. You just have to wash them. And the prefolds are easy once you get the folding part down. You’ll change diapers so much with a newborn, that you’ll get the hang of them in just a few days. I can literally do it in my sleep these days (well, half asleep). So I hope to have more Life with Baby posts soon. When I do I’ll add the links below. Well, God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Life with Baby:

Breastfeeding and Baby Wearing

Life with Baby: Monthly pics

Life with Baby: Baby School




Ultrasound Art & General Happenings March 14, 2015


Hello dear ones! I was pinspired to organize the boys’ ultrasounds into artwork. Above you can see Leeland’s ultrasounds and how he’s grown. I don’t have his birth date yet because we are still waiting on our lil songbird to be born :). But below you can see that Michael’s ultrasounds has his birthday on it. I didn’t have as many pics for Michael. It’s been 9 years after all. Alot has changed. I didn’t have access to free 3-D back then.


So I painted acryllic canvas black, modgepodged the pictures on, and wrote with white paint. The glue shows up whenever I use flash but I couldn’t get a clear pic without the flash. You can’t see the glue so much in regular lighting. It looks much better.

Meanwhile, at the Dover household…

Chester hiding

Chris has started juicing.

Annabelle, from minion…

to adorable!


Baby shower pics to come soon! God bless & remember the High King lives!~Amber Dover


Maternity Chalkboard Art


Hello dear ones! Last month my guys painted the bedroom door with chalkboard paint. I’ve enjoyed decorating my door with chalk art. Here are two recent drawings.

The first contains lyrics from J.J. Heller’s “When I’m With You”. It’s a beautiful song dedicated to her baby.


The second has an anonymous quote that my friend Hannah shared with me at my baby shower. It was on my wishing tree for labor and delivery. I wanted it to inspire me at home too.

Well, God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


Best Hens Vs. the Hateful Hawk: A Valentine’s Story February 14, 2014

I had a rough day but it ended well and now I have a heart warming Valentine’s tale to share ;).

Best Hens Forever

Penny and Baby are best “hens”. They have been B.H.F. (best hens forever) since we got them  in October. Baby is known for her black tail feathers and  bad temperament.  She likes to crow at the top of her lungs when either her or Penny lays an egg. She’s also known for pecking at us if we touch Penny or get near their eggs. Penny is the gentle hen. She’s mainly brown and is the easiest to hold. Her eggs are speckled and she began to lay last.

The hens have an enjoyable life. They sleep in the coop at night and they roam freely in our fenced in yard all day. They like to play in the rain and catch worms. As of late, they’ve started hiding eggs under the shed.  Things have been different since we brought home Annabelle. The hens are torn between following us for food and running from our new pup. But Annabelle means no harm. She just likes to play chase. So life has been pretty safe for Penny and Baby. But that was about to change.

Our backyard has been a haven for many birds. Our cat stays inside and we keep our yard a little wild. It’s the perfect place for a juicy worm or euphoria inducing berries from the cherry laurels. Penny and Baby eat beside the Robins and Cardinals. It’s a utopia. But today was different. A shadow passed in the sky. The little birds began to fly away and the yard got very quiet…

I had been having a rough Valentine’s. I went to the homeschool room to get on Michael’s computer. All of a sudden I heard a loud thud which scared the mess out of me. I went to the window and opened the blinds. There was a chicken sitting on the AC unit attached to the window.  What a strange day.


A little later I heard Penny crowing at the top of her lungs. Usually Baby is the noisy one. I didn’t realize it was a warning cry. Baby is always making noise so I didn’t pay attention. Ten to fifteen minutes later my neighbor calls. Her husband saw a hawk fly into our yard and he said the chickens were being very loud. I hung up and ran out the door, just in time to see a humongous brown hawk fly out of the yard. I saw Baby hiding under the boat. She was freaking out and I couldn’t get her to come with me to the coop. I finally lured her out enough with food and I carried her to the pen. She was locked in and safe but where was Penny?

I searched every corner of the yard and I looked into the neighbors yard. I even got on my knees into the mud and looked under the shed where they lay eggs. No sign of Penny. So I went in to get Annabelle. She’s very good at finding the chickens even when they hide. Annabelle and I searched the whole yard. She was drawn to the coop with Baby in it but she wasn’t concerned with the rest of the yard.  I called my neighbors to see if they saw the hawk carrying a chicken or maybe the chicken flew over the fence. They can fly high enough to walk the fence. Alas, no one had seen Penny.

Not long after the hateful hawk left, all the birds started returning to our yard. They brought their friends as well. I was overwhelmed by the amount of birds. Dozens upon dozens covered the yard and trees. I went out to look for Penny again. I saw birds I had never seen before. It felt like a bird funeral or maybe a bird meeting. Maybe they were mourning Penny or discussing what to do about the hawk. Well, still no sign of Penny. Surely, she was too big for the hawk? But maybe he hurt her and dropped her. What a selfish overly ambitious creature the hawk was! I found a dead Robin near the fence. It’s head snapped off. What a wasteful and cruel hawk!

Funeral of the Birds


Community Meeting to Discuss the Hawk


My husband Chris drove down the road after work. He couldn’t find Penny. When he got home, my Hubby scoured the back yard for any sign of the little hen. He looked everywhere I had and under the shed too. No Penny. Then he found her…well, parts of her. When he told me, I expected to see bloody pieces. Instead we just saw a mass of feathers in a pile. We looked for a body but could find none. It was clear…the Hawk had struggled lifting her but it had succeeded in carrying the hen away. Penny was good as dead. We announced the news to Michael and him and I hugged.  Baby was now all alone on Valentine’s. She had lost her BEST Hen, her B.H.F.  Tears welled up in Michael’s eyes.

Chris went to put cedar chips in the coop. Baby would have to stay in the coop a couple days to recover and to keep the hawk away. We also vowed to only let her out when we could supervise. Then we would put the hen back in her coop each day. There would be no more free ranging all the time. Baby had lost her freedom because of the Hawk.

I stepped out the back door to say something to Chris. Michael was behind me when we both noticed a little brown tail going under the shed. Could it be? Was it Penny coming out and going back in? Or was it the Hawk trying to get to their eggs? Surely, it was Penny! Michael hooped and hollered and I took off running. It was Penny! Chris began to cluck to Penny and lure her out. We all lovingly rubbed her head. The poor hen was missing several feathers and her beak was a little bloody. I cleaned her wound with rubbing alcohol and we placed her in the coop.

What a miracle! Baby didn’t lose her B.H.F. after all! They were together again and completely safe from the evil Hawk.  We were all exhausted from the stress of the day but we were thankful for our Valentine’s surprise. This called for celebration and…take out!

“What do you want to eat?” asked Chris.

“I’m not sure. Anything I guess, except…chicken.”

The End!

Best Hens Forever

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover