Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

Mmm. What a better way to start the day by sleeping in for an extra hour, having your hubby take your baby sledding, drinking coffee, and starting a blog post in the peace and quiet that is a house filled with washing machines running.

There isn't. :-)

Wonderful news. Everything is all set for the birth financially. Our HSA will be able to cover any extra costs incurred and we don't have to worry anymore about the possibility of paying out of pocket. I'm now free to focus on preparing for the birth and getting all the supplies together.

I ordered the birthing pool last night and after MUCH debate over the La Bassine, Aquaborn, and BPIAB (birth pool in a box), I decided to go with the simplest option, the La Bassine. The Aquaborn is deeper and comes with a lid, but it also takes longer to fill and was going to be $40 more in the end AND it's a bright green color and I sorta envisioned a blue pool. I want to feel calm and centered and I think the lime green color would be distracting. The BPIAB has a lot of great features but in the end, just too expensive right now. The La Bassine has been proven over and over through many births, reliable, quick to inflate and fill and a beautiful blue oval shape with see through walls which I found really nice.

I'm so excited!!! I am really in baby la la land right now and can't WAIT for this baby to be here. Our first home visit is the first week in January and that's really solidifying the whole thing for me. It's happening. We're going to have another little baby. I'm just over the moon right now and can't wait to meet her. Second pregnancies are really more fun because you know ahead of time how incredibly in love you are going to be with your baby. With Noah, it bowled me over. I had NO idea the fierce instinctual feeling of love and protection a mother feels. I had no idea that your whole body physiologically changes... its like your nerves become alive and you can suddenly SEE and FEEL everything.

Mothering is such a privilege. I am so thankful that I've been allowed the chance to experience it.

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

5 New Purposes for Old Christmas Cards

5 New Purposes for Old Christmas Cards


Also beautiful idea from The City Cradle

I adore this lovely lady.

Stringing cranberry words

Check out this post by The City Cradle






Pictures to come of my own cranberry words!!

Merry Christmas <3

Thursday, December 9, 2010

32 weeks

32 weeks... 1 day. in my 33rd week. It's a little frightening. I only have less than 8 weeks till this baby gets here.

I'm going to have TWO children.

TWO.

2. 

two.

Wow.


Feeling anxious about the birth... not really because of the actual birth but because of spotty weird insurance coverage issues that go along with having a home birth. Some (okay... I'm not sure which ones) insurances are GREAT at covering homebirth and there is no issue. Others, not so much. Blue Cross Blue Shield only covers CNM's and not CPM's. Medicaid covers part of the birth. I'm hoping that BCBS may cover more of ours because we are having our birth with a preferred provider in their network (she's a doctor as well). I may be able to argue that case since she is acting within her license as an ND with a midwifery provision.

Either way, I'm hoping things work out. (understatement)

This little girl is very active and it seems like 11:30 pm is her favorite time of night.... maybe I have a night owl on my hands... JUST what I need.

Noah is getting so excited for his baby sister... he is always talking to and holding my belly. It's so sweet. It started snowing the other day and he started yelling " baby audrey!! baby audrey!! snow! out!! out!"... because we told him that baby Audrey would be here when the snow was... oops... we meant in February. He doesn't understand why she can't come out now but we just tell him she's got some growing to do.

Looking forward to meeting my little girl........

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Why Homebirth

Here is a wonderful blog post written by one of my favorite bloggers on why she chose home birth. Her reasons are exactly the same as mine... written in the post below.

Why home birth?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Home Birth

Home birth. These words bring up a lot of connotations. Mostly, people would ask, WHY?

Home birth is for hippies.
Home birth is for accidents.
Home birth is something my great grandmother did.

Actually, home birth is for any healthy woman with a low risk pregnancy and well-trained birth attendants.

Tom Brady and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, had a home water birth with their baby boy.
Demi Moore, Meryl Streep, Pamela Anderson, Riki Lake are just a few more celebrities who have had homebirths.

Many, many women choose to birth at home. and these are sane, intelligent, healthy women.


My husband and I have chosen to plan a home birth for our upcoming arrival.

Why?

Continuity of care.

The midwives I’m seeing offer complete prenatal care and I always see one or both of them for at least an hour at every prenatal appointment.
This creates a good relationship and trust between caregiver and mother to be.
They come to my home for the 36 week prenatal appointment to familiarize themselves with the drive, house, and allow you to feel more comfortable with them in your home.
They will be at the labor and birth of my baby.
They come as soon as they can when you are having true contractions and stay through the birth of your baby and for hours after to make sure everyone is healthy and establishing breastfeeding, etc.
They return the next day to follow up and for the one week and six week appointments.

They provide continuous care from the first stage of labor to delivery.
In a hospital you are lucky if you get to see your doctor before pushing and your midwife more than once every hour or two.
There isn’t the hands on support through contractions or just the availability of the provider should you need them.

Safety

For low risk healthy women with a normal pregnancy, birthing at home with a skilled midwife is as safe or safer than birth in a hospital.
There are many studies that back this up.
When a complication arises, often a midwife at a homebirth will be able to identify it quickly because of the continuous care of the mother and baby and transfer care as soon as she realizes that there is a complication.

If there is bleeding after the birth, the midwife carries medication to help the uterus contract  and if she feels that it would be better managed in a hospital, she will treat while transferring care.
The midwife carries IV fluids should the mother need them.
If a baby or mother needs oxygen, the midwife carries oxygen and resuscitation equipment with her.

In fact, homebirth midwives carry all the same tools they would have at a hospital besides the operating room/anesthesia to a home birth.

We live less than 20 miles from the hospital, in the event that we would need to transfer care, we would be there within 30 minutes, typically the amount of time that the OR would take to set up for surgery regardless of whether you were in the next room or not.

Both of my midwives are certified in infant resuscitation and CPR. One is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist and the other has also been an EMT for over ten years. Both have over ten years of experience delivering babies in and out hospitals and birth centers. http://www.drkatinamartin.com/Midwifery.html#resources

Another great benefit to birthing at home is the lessened risk of infection. Hospitals are full of sick people and many, many germs that you normally wouldn't want your newborn baby exposed to. At home, you are already immune to the germs that live there and you have control over who comes to visit.

Comfort.
Having had a difficult labor with Noah, I'm more aware now of comfort measures during labor and reasons why labors go longer and slower and how your surroundings affect that as well as positioning of the baby etc.

I'm prepared to deal with labor without pain medication by using a birthing tub (water is FANTASTIC during labor), self-hypnosis ( a relaxation technique that leaves you completely aware and in control but able to relax your body completely which facilitates and promotes smooth laboring),  different comfort measures such as massage, etc (from midwives, husband) and also acupuncture if needed (one of my midwives is an acupuncturist).

A home birth lessens the chance of unwanted interventions and keeps strangers who don't know about your birth preferences or philosophy from making unwanted suggestions or decisions regarding your baby.

In conclusion, we are very excited to have our baby at home and have done all the research to make an informed, intelligent decision. In the event we need the services of an OR or emergency room, we of course will be transferring to the hospital. We would love your support and can't wait to share our birth story with you!!


To see some typical home births check out these links (not graphic.. no worries)
http://www.forwardfilmsla.com/  Click on "our work" and then the upper right hand image to view video.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Breastfeeding & the Holidays

Noah isn't nursing right now but I remember that nursing during holidays the past two years always brought a lot of anxiety for me.

Relatives asking..."when are you going to wean?" or "are you sure you need to feed him again?"... etc.. etc. Besides the fact that its not always the most comfortable situation trying to nurse in front of a BUNCH of people who are close to you especially if they aren't familiar or supportive of breastfeeding.
And sometimes... older babies are too distracted by all the chaos to actually settle down and nurse.

My advice.... find a quiet place to nurse and make sure you tune into your baby's needs when they start to fuss instead of letting relatives tell you why they are upset or why they aren't. BREATHE.... mostly.. just breathe. If you can't relax, let down isn't going to happen very quickly.

Here's some useful links I found for nursing during the holidays

Beware of Holiday Weaning

Handling Criticism about Breastfeeding

Nursing past 1 year?!

Nursing Mother's Guide to Surviving the Holidays

Thursday, November 11, 2010

culturally created adversaries

Commentary from Jim McKenna & Helen Ball on a new sleep study: 

"The ‘sleep through the night’ cultural ideal continues to have other unwelcomed consequences: it promotes the view that infants and parents begin life as adversaries as it asks of infants something they are not biologically equipped to do given their inherent nutritional and emotional needs.."

 

Click here for commentary on sleep study 


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

great post on the FREEDOM of attachment parenting

http://www.undercovermother.net/2010/11/motherhood-in-advocacy-of-mothering-and.html


Hear that clankity, clank, clank, clank around your ankles, mama?

Those are the chains you're sporting from attachment parenting -- babywearing, breastfeeding and cosleeping, just to name a few.

Wear your baby?

Add a link.

Blend his veggies yourself?

Attach another.

Breastfeed?

Bring on at least a dozen more shackles.

Oh, you didn't feel them?

I didn't either.

In fact, I didn't even know I was being "victimized" and "imprisioned" until I read Erica Jong's Wall Street Journal article Mother Madness, in which Ms. Jong renders Attachment Parenting practices like babywearing and breastfeeding them imprisioning and likens them to modern-day tortures that actually bind women into parental slavery.

Respectfully, I must say, Ms. Jong, in regard to Attachment Parenting, you don't get it.

Jong states:


Attachment parenting, especially when combined with environmental correctness, has encouraged female victimization. Women feel not only that they must be ever-present for their children but also that they must breast-feed, make their own baby food and eschew disposable diapers. It's a prison for mothers, and it represents as much of a backlash against women's freedom as the right-to-life movement.


Jong rehashes her memories of being a single mother with a career in relation to a few AP practices. She says she liked breastfeeding, but her daughter hated it. And how on Earth was she to keep her child close by snuggling her daughter in a carrier while she was working when the workplace barely supports breastfeeding {a whole different issue!}?

Well, I wish someone would have shared with Jong quite a bit about Attachment Parenting and its "rules", as she calls them -- as likely she would have found AP practices to be freeing rather than binding and guilt inducing.

AP practices like sleep sharing, breastfeeding, babywearing and responding with empathy are tools we mothers {and dads} can use to help lesson the anxiety that comes with parenting a new life {or two or three or four} and help us mothers maintain a sense of ourselves while parenting.

By breastfeeding, we can go anywhere with baby and exert little planning. We don't have to fret over finding water or a place to mix formula or even remembering to bring the formula.

By babywearing, we have to free hands to go about our daily tasks while keeping baby close, easing mom's mind and the load on her arms.

By responding with empathy, we get to know our babies and understand what they need instead of becoming frustrated by their cries.


And the list of benefits extends beyond those few experiences that serve as examples of how mothers find freedom to maintain their normal activities while parenting.

Babywearing, for instance, doesn't have to be utilized by working parents solely as a way to take baby to the office; but rather it provides a means of being close when mom gets home, has to make dinner but also wants to snuggle her baby.

As Jong elaborates, her misguided perspective on AP becomes sadder and more absurd: she also blames AP for keeping parents from being active in governing decisions and positions:


Indeed, although attachment parenting comes with an exquisite progressive pedigree, it is a perfect tool for the political right. It certainly serves to keep mothers and fathers out of the political process. If you are busy raising children without societal help and trying to earn a living during a recession, you don't have much time to question and change the world that you and your children inhabit. What exhausted, overworked parent has time to protest under such conditions?


Attachment Parenting doesn't call for me to tackle parenting alone, without community {or family} support -- it encourages relationships between families and between our children and other trusted caregivers.

Our local Lake County AP group has been the opposite of isolating -- it's a community of overflowing support. I know if I need help, I can call anyone of my fellow AP moms, and they would extend care in a heartbeat -- I know this because I've been there, in a position of needing help.

When my dad died, some brought meals. When I needed a last-minute sitter so hubby and I could go to a group meeting, another AP mama was there. And so on.

As for AP practices making us parents too tired or worn out to engage in the political process? You'd find the opposite.

Many mothers in my local AP group are very involved in our goverment and political processes through voting, petitioning our congress people and even teaching classes -- and we pass these values onto our children as well.

This kind of involvement in the political processes obliterates Jong's theory of parenting being an avoidance strategy for us to escape bigger, global problems. She says,


It allows us to substitute our own small world for the world as a whole. But the entire planet is a child's home, and other adults are also mothers and fathers. We cannot separate our children from the ills that affect everyone, however hard we try. Aspiring to be perfect parents seems like a pathetic attempt to control what we can while ignoring problems that seem beyond our reach.


UGH.

As AP parents, we are simply trying to raise children who will be thoughtful, compassionate, contributing members of society.
And with AP, we do that by MODELING behavior.

We act out what we expect -- whether that means treating others the way they want to be treated, clearing the dishes from the table, casting our premeditated votes on election day, sharing our food with those in need or volunteering for causes in which we believe.

Mamas, don't let anyone tell you that your job as a mother isn't important or that being a mother is just a trendy, fashion statement.

Don't let confused women like Jong persaude you into thinking that responding to your child with love and grace and affection isn't one of the most empowering and important jobs we women have.

While I raise my coffee mug in a toast applauding that we shouldn't place shackles on each other by creating lists of "you musts" or hinge our entire our lives on being successful parents, we must not take lightly the job of raising our children to become THINKING, COMPASSIONATE, CONVICTED people.

AP gives us tangible ways with which we can respond with thought and love, which, model for children how they, too, can respond in thought and love in small situations as well as very grand ones.

And our tools -- babywearing, breastfeeding and responding -- are just that -- tools that help us respond well and teach well how to interact with people and situations.

Mamas, you are, indeed, raising small people to become bigger people who will take on the larger problems we face as a global community.

And you, AP parents, are teaching them how to do it through expending great thought and great love that your little ones will one day echo.

It's not AP practices that are imprisioning me, shackling my feet and attacking my spirit-- rather it's women like Jong who insist that mothering is not an honorable, necessary job.

I've taken to heart advice dispensed through my Vantage Point 3 Emerging Journey leadership class regarding jobs, vocation and calling:

"Go where your deep desire and the world's deep need intersect."

For me, in this season of my life, that place of deep desire merging with the world's deep need is here, at home, mothering my children.

And this place, Ms. Jong? It's not a prision; it's a beautiful labor of love rooted in the deep soil of a soul who was created to be, yes, a writer and a teacher and an activist, but also, {equally wonderful} a mother. 


I'd like to add that it also seems to be the most instinctive, natural, God-intended way to parent children. The rewards have been tremendous, every, single, day.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Follow The Money

As a parent looking for credible information on how to raise my child, I find it very irritating when most mainstream parenting media is a billboard for vaccine manufacturers and formula companies.

Look into Parenting magazine for example. Rip out every single page that advertises formula or vaccines. You won't have much magazine left.

WebMd.com Breastfeeding Guide is SPONSORED by Gerber- an infant formula manufacturer. Look at all those ads! Check out this article.

Babycenter.com   ... same deal. Got an email in my inbox talking about how they can give me unbiased info about vaccine safety. Went to said article. Littered with ads from their sponsor.. "Sanofi Pastuer" a vaccine manufacturer.

And SO many more examples.


If you want unbiased info about how to take care of your child, follow the money.
Find truly unbiased resources from which to get your information.

Discipline VS. Punishment

Just read an article by PhD in Parenting re:discipline.  Thought I'd share it with you all because it explains in really concise terms the DIFFERENCE between discipline and punishment. There IS a difference.

Here is the whole article: My comments in red.

My Discipline Spectrum

by phdinparenting on October 20, 2008 · 24 comments

Often when I hear people talk about their discipline style it sounds unrealistic or ineffective. I haven’t read or heard any single approach to discipline that really made perfect sense to me. There are elements of many approaches that I like and elements of others that I abhor. Rather than taking one approach and running with it, I have developed a discipline spectrum that seems to work for me most of the time.

Difference between discipline and punishment

Before I explain my spectrum, I want to be clear about the difference between discipline and punishment. Over and over again, I see people post questions on message boards or places like Yahoo! Answers asking whether it is okay to spank or whether it is okay to use time outs. Inevitably, someone will respond and say that they don’t use spankings or they don’t use time outs because they believe it is harmful to the child. This, in turn, always sparks a rash of responses from people saying how irresponsible it is to not discipline children and that those non-spanking anti-time-out people are the reason for all of the world’s problems. But what those people don’t understand is that there is a fundamental difference between discipline and punishment (see this excellent chart comparing discipline and punishment). Discipline is about teaching and guiding a child in the right direction. Punishment is about demanding compliance by exerting control over a child.  
This is a huge point for me. I could never put my finger on what the true difference was. Some people's response to this will be that children should be controlled. This is a pervasive attitude in the church as well. I believe that Christ would want us to guide and encourage our children, not to control them. After all, He doesn't control us.

Finding my place on the discipline spectrum

Some experts will claim that one approach to discipline is better than all others. In my book, there is a sweet spot on the discipline spectrum that is ideal and then, depending on the situation, I may move slightly to the left or slightly to the right to use less desirable but sometimes important discipline tools.
PhD in Parenting Discipline Spectrum
On the right hand side of the spectrum is abuse, including physical and verbal abuse that parents may use to try to control their children. I consider it abuse to spank a child or to shame a child. On the other end of the spectrum is neglect, where the parents are indifferent and often not present and children are left to fend for themselves. Either of these approaches to discipline is obviously detrimental. But in between these two, there are many approaches and tools that parents can use.
So where is my sweet spot?
My preference (highlighted in green) is to focus in the range of modelling, choices and teaching. I think this is the area with the potential to produce the greatest benefit to the child. It gives some structure, but at the same time gives the child the tools to make wise decisions and develop competencies. It allows me to share my values and pass along things that I have learned without forcing my child to make the same choices that I did. It is, to me, what being a parent is all about.
However, I also think that there is room for some laissez-faire approach to allow the child the full range of decision making. For a child that has learned some structure through other modelling, choices, and teaching, the occasional use of the laissez faire approach gives the child room to grow and learn and can be empowering. But if it is used too often and in absence of other techniques the child can feel lost and the parents lose an opportunity to teach key values and skills to their child.
I also do use consequences and rewards selectively and punishment as a last resort (see also my post When all else fails). For me, consequences are an extension of choice. Choices obviously have consequences attached to them but sometimes even outside of choice we need to impose consequences. My preference is to use natural consequences wherever possible and if that isn’t possible, then to at least use logical consequences. I don’t like using rewards because I think it teaches the child to always expect rewards for doing anything right (brings out the greed aspect in human nature) and I also think that it takes away from the unconditional love that I am trying to show my child when I bribe him with a piece of chocolate or a new toy. That said, he is a stubborn mule sometimes and I will use rewards sparingly to convince him to do something that he is otherwise unwilling to try , but that I know he would like if only he tried it (a Bob the Builder toy was required to eventually convince him to try to poop on the toilet). Punishment is something I use as an absolute last resort in dire circumstances. If my child is in danger or putting someone else in danger and not listening or if he is purposefully defiant (e.g. hitting his sister for the fifth time after being told why it is not okay), then I may revoke privileges or remove him from the situation. When I remove him, it does often mean going to his room by himself for a few minutes while the situation resolves itself, but I always go in and talk to him and will tend towards a “time in” rather than a “time out”.
I appreciate this.  ^
These other techniques that I will use sometimes are highlighted in yellow on the spectrum. I think it is important to note that the more often you use the techniques that are in the yellow zone, the more you become dependent on them (because you are losing the benefits usually realized through modelling, choices, and teaching), and the easier it is to slip into abuse or neglect.

The importance of a secure attachment

I think it is important to underscore that none of the discipline techniques discussed above will work without a secure attachment.
I think this is the most important and eye opening statement of her whole discussion. Incredible. And true.
Dr. Sears has a great article called 10 Ways Attachment Parenting Makes Discipline Easier. Essentially, having a strong and secure relationship with your child provides the foundation that is needed for other discipline techniques to work. It is often in the absence of this strong foundation that parents feel like none of their discipline techniques are working and, again, find themselves slipping further towards abuse in an attempt to control or towards neglect as they give up and sink into indifference.  
This is usually what you see happen to parents who say they've tried everything and nothing succeeds. They give up and become apathetic. I'd be interested in reading more about what to do with the child who hasn't had that secure attachment from the beginning and how to heal that.

Where is your sweet spot?

Where is your sweet spot on the discipline spectrum? Why does that work for you?

Overall I think this is a great article and I love that she points us in other directions in which to read more as well. Dr. Sears' approach is definitely where I fall into step and what he says really resonates with me. As a Christian, I appreciate his use opinions knowing that he tries to raise his children in line with what the Bible teaches. 

Personally, discipline has been one of those areas that I feel most challenged in. At the age of two, his strong will is coming out pretty quickly and sometimes I feel at a loss of what to do when he is having a temper tantrum. I know I've read a great article about how to deal with temper tantrums so I'll have to dig it up again.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Second time's a charm?

You'd think once you've been pregnant once, you've been through it all. I ran the gauntlet. I survived. Doing it a second time shouldn't be any different, right? Wrong.

First of all, you are pregnant with a toddler to care for. Making you one. very. tired. pregnant. person. More tired than before. Impossible? No. Doable? Strangely.

Second, urinary incontinence. Okay, so this is really the whole reason I'm writing this post. I never had more than a drip during pregnancy until my water broke the night I went into labor. I'm 25 weeks pregnant right now and have a lovely cold.
I am peeing uncontrollably. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I cough.  What is happening? Will I ever go back to normal?! Seriously, did birthing a baby really make my vagina so weak that I can't help but pee my pants when I cough? You'd think you'd get away from pads during pregnancy but oh, the irony.

Thirdly, posterior pelvic pain. Pain in your .... @$$. Truly. It feels like sciatic nerve pain but it's not. I've been seeing a chiropractor and while its been helping, I'm still having spasms that are debilitating. Apparently its due to hormonal changes and/or weak stomach and back muscles combined with varying other factors. I know that my stomach muscles aren't so hot... I mean, how hot can they can be with 18 months between pregnancies? heh? Okay, that's a lame excuse. Really though, this is making being pregnant, not fun. I still have 15 weeks to go!

On the bright side. I've gained less weight thus far. and hopefully won't go over 25-30 lbs this pregnancy. 

Also... I get to buy pink this time which makes it more enjoyable. Mommies... what are your biggest complaints about pregnancy (first, second, third..?) ? I know we're supposed to only be googly eyed and dreaming at the thought of our new babies, however, sometimes you just need to get it out.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Independent Sleep

When you bring your baby into your bed, everyone tells you, "you're never gonna get them out of there", "that's the worst thing you can do", "you'll ruin your marriage", "you'll never get any sleep".

And while its not a bed of roses all the time, I can now say, You Are Wrong.

We decided to cosleep with Noah sort of unintentionally. I knew I wanted him near me during the first few months. The second night I was in the hospital the nurses took him for the night and I didn't sleep at all full of anxiety and agitation. Putting my baby in another room was like dragging nails across a chalkboard, it went against every single motherly instinct I had.

We slept cozily near each other with him in a cosleeper next to our bed for maybe a couple of weeks but soon I figured out how to nurse laying down and bringing him into our bed gave me a LOT more sleep and so we stayed.

Some nights, when the teething was in full swing or he was unusually hungry, I would think, maybe I should let him cry it out. Maybe I should I put him in a crib in another room. but then, when those stages passed, we slept peacefully again. The cuddles every night and morning made it completely worth it.

When we decided to night wean around 15 months (when I was working nights), co-sleeping made the transition much easier. He had a difficult time with me not being there but he had daddy right next to him and knew that he was safe in our bed.

When we found out we were pregnant, I started to dread trying to figure out how to move him to his own room. People automatically started asking the questions about when and where we were going to move him etc etc. I kind of ignored it and trusted that we would figure it out.

Things happened so naturally. He weaned himself at 20 months due to the pregnancy and I didn't have to pressure him towards that step. We moved our bed into another room and gave him his own. He knew it was his bed and although he didn't sleep in it, he knew it was his. I started rocking him to sleep in his room and letting him nap there. If he wanted to nap in our bed, I let him. Then we started putting him down in his bed at night and again, if he wanted to be in our bed, we let him.

Last night he slept all night in his toddler bed without waking up. No cry it out needed. I am so happy that I didn't go against my instincts and force him to sleep alone. If he asks to come into our bed from now on, I will let him knowing that sleep is developmental. Transitions to independence happen most smoothly from a healthy attached and trusting relationship.

I'm sure if he was a different child with a different personality, things would have happened differently. We may have been tandem nursing in a few months. He might have needed to sleep with us longer. He may have slept better in his own bed from the beginning. Regardless, I know that children ask for what they need. Their tears signal their needs. Trying to prevent them and work through them is not spoiling them, it's listening to them.

Taking the time to slow down enough and give our kids our attention and love isn't only what they deserve but what they actually NEED to grow emotionally.

For more info on safe cosleeping and sleep development see:
http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/safe.html
http://m0dernmama.blogspot.com/p/co-sleeping_15.html

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lonely//!

For other mama friends.......... or just best friends. Either or.

We are all too busy or too far away. It's getting old.

Sometimes you JUST need a girlfriend to talk to and laugh about ridiculous things or share your absolute deepest fears with.

 My midwives probably think I'm crazy because at my monthly appointments, I just about talk their ears off. Do I look that desperate? heh. Maybe they'll be my friend even after delivery. ......   (hahaa...)

It'll be nice when this little baby girl is all grown up and we are friends. I don't mind waiting 20 years. Having the love and friendship of your children would be the ultimate blessing. It is scary to imagine your kids hating you or wanting nothing to do with you. I would certainly love them more than the whole entire world but we all know about unrequited love. Maybe that's how God feels when we disregard Him entirely.

Its easy to forget that He's a friend too... not just an authority. I'm so appreciative of the friends He has given me and how he shows His love for me through them.  Swallowing the loneliness of life can be difficult but focusing on the light and sweet reunions with old friends and making of new ones can make it a little bit easier.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds...." Psalm 147:3
a verse thats been on my heart all week....

How to hem jeans

I found this link while attempting to do my first hem on a pair of jeans (on sale at Gap Maternity...8L... much too long).

How to Hem Jeans

I'm quoting the tutorial here as well...  This is an easy way to make a perfect hem... it looks great and the few mistakes I made were because I've only sewn like ten things in my entire life...

As follows...
"

beforejeans
I found this fabulously perfect way to hem jeans on the Cavaricci site, which has since been taken down, so here’s the lowdown. This method keeps the original hem in tact and is especially helpful now that all jeans are made to be 34 inches long for mammoth supermodels. Plus, it took less than 30 minutes.

A couple notes: It’s best to do one leg at a time, so as not to have too much undoing to do in case something goes awry. Also, it’s good to know the length that you want each leg to be. Sometimes, one leg will be a bit shorter or longer than the other before you hem.
Step 1: Decide how much length you would like to take off. Divide that number in half. (Hems should fall just below the bottom of your ankle. Also, if you generally wear high heels, or a certain height of heel, you might want your hem a bit longer – it should fall an inch to a half inch above the floor at your heel.)
foldcuff
Step 2: Cuff the jeans. I wanted to take two inches off my hem, so I measured one inch out from the original hem line and pinned. (Do not include the distance from the hem to the end of the jean in your calculations.)

pin
Step 3: Pin around the rest of the cuff, taking care to measure each time you pin.

mindtheseams
Mind the seams while you’re pinning. Make sure that the stitching lines up at each seam.

stitch
Step 4: It’s time to stitch. You want to place your needle and continue sewing right next to the original hem. Stitch on the right side of the hem, or the side farthest from the bottom of the jean. Sew all the way around the cuff. Be sure you don’t sew through both front and back sides of the jeans (making it so that the foot hole is sewn shut)!

ironin
You can either cut the excess off, leaving about a half inch for fraying, or iron the extra material in.

ironout
Turn the leg right side out and press the new seam flat, revealing the old hem.

After Jeans
Voila! No more slouchy, unflattering leg.

Updates: I’m glad everyone has found this tutorial useful. I wanted to answer some questions here that continue to arise. If you are still having trouble, just leave a comment; I usually respond within a few days.
1) Yes, this trick works just as well with jean skirts, good point!
2) If you have already cut your hem off and still have it, no worries. You can still follow these directions. After you have decided on a length, do not divide in half as Step 1 suggests. Move on to Step 2. You will essentially be reattaching the original hem in this step. Pin the stiched line at your desired length (for instance, if you want your jeans to be 30 inches long, measure 30 inches from the inseam and pin the disconnected hem to that length on the jean leg, right sides together) and follow the steps from here. If you have already thrown away the hem I am sorry to say you’ll have to try and recreate the look from scratch.
3) If the jeans leg is flared, cut off the hem about an inch above the stitched hemline. Measure the circumference of the hem. Then, measure the circumference of the jean and the desired length you’re hemming it. Open the side seam of the jean several inches above where you want the jean to be hemmed. Take in the jean to the same circumference as the hem. You’ll want to make this look gradual. Reattach the hem portion following the directions in No. 2 above. I wouldn’t recommend using this method if the jean leg is more than an 1 1/2″ larger than the circumference of the hem.
4) This method can easily be done without a sewing machine. Follow the directions, just use your hands, needle, and thread.
5) If you are having trouble sewing over the seam with your machine, try a thicker needle. If this fails, you can always sew up to each side the seam (be sure to backstitch) and sew over the seam by hand. It works just as well. Also, a zipper foot may help.
6) I hang dry my jeans and tuck the excess fabric at the bottom up before hanging them, so I don’t need to iron the bottom flap each time. Alternatives to this, would be to use some Stichwitchery (a bonding, iron-on product) to adhere the excess material to the inside of the jean. Or, you could cut the excess off to 1/2 an inch and apply Fray-Chek a glue that keeps the material from unraveling.
Thanks for stopping by and happy hemming! -Dacia"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fabric.

There is something about walking into a fabric store that makes me a little giddy. Seeing yards upon yards of gorgeous cloth just waiting to make something incredible is really exciting.
Rags to Riches in Burlington is probably the best store I've ever been to as far as selection goes. They also have a great sale corner where regular weight fabrics are 5.00 per yard and remnants are 3.99 a yard. I bought some fabric.. of course... and can't wait to use it.

I've already recovered my shoe bench cushion in dark blue and still have enough to make a small curtain to cover up my portable washing machine where it sits underneath the cabinets.

Alsoooo got a gorgeous blue damask pattern and I think that might turn into a ring sling. I'm thinking of lining it with a cream silk (ish) fabric... something light weight and beautiful... so I can wear the baby anywhere fancy and look insanely great. :-)

Cant wait to upload photos of finished products.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Anger

I'm feeling angry a lot lately.

All for good reasons. I feel SO angry!

You know when you just want to scream at the top of your lungs? I want to s.c.r.e.a.m.

It's difficult to be angry at things that aren't going to change.

If you let it take over you, you'll just end up bitter and depressed but for the meantime, I'm just really angry.

I want to let it go but I haven't been able to yet.

This is a post about 500 different things that feel very unfair.

Life is unfair!

These are obvious statements but its how I'm feeling right now.. with a lot more emotion and swear words.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Homebirth

Some of you may know we are considering/planning a homebirth this time around. I wanted to share this incredible video.

I just watched this WITHOUT sound (computer is being odd) and I'm still bawling. So beautiful.

http://www.forwardfilmsla.com/


Go to link.
Click on Our Work.
Click on upper right hand corner photo.

Enjoy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Whew its been a while

I'm enjoying the return of my internet and not having to read blogs on my phone. It's a luxury that I have taken for granted... since.. well.. always.

We've been busy!

Bryan just finished up a 3-4 week overdrive working craziness schedule. Getting home at 2 am....leaving again at 8 or 9. Noah and I missed him a lot and are so happy to have him back for the evenings. Although, classes just started back up for him and he'll be out Thursday evenings till December. Once he is done with this semester, he'll be finished with his web development certificate which is awesome!

I've been, pregnant. Feeling 100% better than before, able to wash dishes and get through the day without wanting to die. I'm in my 18th week now and we'll be having our 20 week ultrasound in about two weeks. We're both excited to find out the sex of the baby. Baby is kicking a lot now and its fun when it takes me by surprise when I'm not even being aware of being pregnant. I'm still in the stage where if someone mentions it, I almost have to wonder what they are talking about. Then I remember, oh yeah, my belly is showing.

Noah has been talking, talking , talking. We have conversations now and everyday he learns something new and impresses me more than before. He is an incredible little boy. I am enjoying him so much right now...I am dreading the big birthday in three months... :-( I will cry just thinking about it.

Looking forward to blogging more about birth and other fun things soon. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Infant Sleep: Receptiveness more important than Routine.

Research showing that a caregiver's responsiveness to a child is more important than routine in getting a good nights sleep.


For infant sleep, receptiveness more important than routine

Parents understand the challenge of getting infants to sleep through the night, and now Penn State researchers show that being emotionally receptive can reduce sleep disruptions and help infants and toddlers sleep better.

"Bed time can be a very emotional time. It heralds the longest separation of the day for most infants," said Douglas Teti, professor of human development and family studies. "It struck me that going to sleep, and sleeping well, is much easier for some young children than others, and I wanted to assess what factored into this, and what parents and children contribute to sleep patterns."

In the study, which examined mothers' behaviors during infants' bedtimes, parents had the most success with their children's sleep when they responded appropriately to their children's cues. These include showing disinterest in an activity or simply glancing inquisitively at a parent. For example, one mother in the study talked quietly and gently to her 6-month-old infant while breastfeeding.

"She continuously gazed at the infant's face and, whenever the infant vocalized, she responded promptly (e.g., 'It's OK.')," the authors report in a recent issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.

In contrast, a different mother in the study "used stern directives with her 24-month-old during book-reading whenever the child got up out of bed," and "continually attempted to engage the child in the book despite clear signs that the child was losing interest (e.g., child was fidgety and continually turned his attention elsewhere)," the authors note. The result: "the child got up and left the room four times before he eventually fell asleep."

When parents provide reassurance through emotional communication, Teti and his colleagues believe that it lets children know they are in a safe environment.

"Emotions are the most basic form of communication between babies and parents," Teti said.

His findings pose new challenges to parents because they suggest that being emotionally available -- paying attention to cues and responding to children appropriately -- is more effective than a specific bedtime behavior in promoting better sleep.

The researchers found no significant relation between sleep disruptions and the amount of time parents spent in close contact with infants or involved in quiet activities before bedtime. This contradicts past research, which had suggested that prolonged close physical contact with a parent undermines babies' ability to sleep on their own.

This study was one of the first to use direct observation of infant sleep patterns, and is the first to use multiple video cameras in the infants' and parents' bedrooms to capture parent-infant interactions at night.

"Sleep is a context about which we know little," said Teti. "It can be a very emotionally charged period for parents and babies. Looking at parent-child interactions in this context could be more telling for childhood outcomes than what you see in a more structured daytime play session." Many existing studies of parenting have focused on controlled play environments, in which researchers have studied parent-child interactions and emotions.

Teti's study, SIESTA I (Study of Infants' Emergent Sleep TrAjectories) looked at data from 35 families, and he sees very similar results in an ongoing longitudinal study, SIESTA II, which is a more in-depth analysis of factors promoting infant sleep as infants age, from 1 to 24 months. SIESTA II is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

One of the next steps will be to examine links between infants' temperamental styles, parenting at bedtime and during the night, sleep disruptions, and development, according to Teti.

###

Other authors on the paper include Bo-Ram Kim, Gail Mayer and Molly Countermine, all Human Development and Family Studies graduate students at Penn State at the time of the research.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-08/ps-fis081010.php

Nursing Noah: A Love Story.

Noah Christopher was born at 6:31 pm on December 3rd after a long hard labor. I put him to the breast right away. He was a little disinterested whether from the epidural or from the pure shock of entering the world. He did attempt to latch a couple of times but I couldn't tell if he was actually latched on. I was still high on the "this is MY baby and he just came OUT of me" emotions.
We tried to nurse through out that night but mostly, we slept, tucked in together safely by the most wonderful night nurse on maternity. The next day proved difficult and we made good use of the hospital lactation consultant. He wasn't latching well (now I know due to a flat nipple on one side and probably the fact that well, I was very large chested postpartum and he has a small jaw). I was given a nipple shield and on we went.

I stressed about using the nipple shield but it saved us. I didn't have any side effects from it like lack of supply from less stimulation, or nipple confusion,etc. We went on to use it for 3 months when he self-weaned himself from it in a couple of days..he just was suddenly able to latch normally! Woohoo...!

He nursed every two-three hours for the majority of the first year. I also nursed him to sleep until he was at least 16 months old for most of his naps and bedtime. Some of my fondest memories are of the late night/early morning feedings when he was still tiny... it was just me and him snuggling in bed and the bonding that happened was incredible. His little dark blue eyes looking up at me until they closed in blissful milk-drunk sleep.

There were tears of exhaustion some nights when he was teething and wouldn't stop nursing but I was thankful that I had a way to soothe him. We struggled with nursing in public due to his distractedness and often had to find a quiet place to successfully nurse. Sometimes I would feel desperate looking around for a place to nurse, in say, the grocery store, where truly, none exist. The car would end up being the go-to place even though uncomfortable. We battled thrush from time to time When I returned to work for a short while, pumping was a savior for my supply and a good way to stay connected to Noah throughout the day. Turns out, he much preferred mommy and had a hard time sleeping/eating while I was gone. Happily, I stayed home.

We found ways to work around the stresses that go with nursing a baby. When I was exhausted nursing him to sleep, daddy would take over and rock. If he was too distracted to eat in public, I popped him in a sling or ergo carrier and nursed him there, sometimes with a cover to get him to sleep. I continued pumping after I came home from working so I could go out once in a while.

I worked nights for a short time and daddy had to take over soothing Noah at night. Since we cosleep he was still night nursing and got the majority of his milk that way. He slowly transitioned to a bottle a night of soy or almond milk and started sleeping better. He still nursed about 3 or 4 times a day.

I became pregnant and almost instantly he noticed a difference in the taste of my milk. He started nursing less and less. My milk supply was gone by 13 weeks. He's no longer nursing during the day and asks maybe once a night to nurse before deciding it's not worth the effort. We rock and snuggle to sleep with his lamb and blankie. At first, I cried a lot mourning the loss of our nursing relationship. Especially when he told me that I had "ew milk". haha. Now, I'm enjoying the evolution of our bonding experience and love rocking and holding him to sleep. It's hard to accept that he is growing up and becoming a little boy instead of a baby. I think it will make the transition to having another baby easier to have only one nursling.

Although, difficult at times, I had such a blissful experience nursing him and am so thankful that I was able to. We've bonded incredibly and I only wish that I could provide him with milk longer than I am able to. At 20 months, he is almost completely self-weaned. I didn't imagine it would be this easy. I think that because I trusted my instinct nursing him on demand as well as in general during his weaning process, he was able to self-wean easily. It's a bittersweet time for both of us and as he talks about the new baby in mommy's tummy, I have a feeling that it will be this way for a while. It's hard to believe he is growing up...and as every mother says, he'll always be my baby.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Baby #2


The need to blog overcomes the need to sleep. Incredibly.


May 26, 2010     

Take 2


As soon as I got out of work, I ran to Hannafords to get avocados (Noah’s staple) and some lunch foods for Bryan. Also, pregnancy tests.

Pink line pregnancy tests. Not blue lines, PINK. Apparently, the blue lined tests are considered less reliable. See, I had taken 3 Clear Blue Easy tests the past two days and, they came back negative but with this weird very very very light shadow where the positive would be.

I already just knew that I was pregnant, BUT, only a strong positive line would really. Convince. Me. and solidify that this WAS happening.

I had had two vivid pregnancy dreams (which I’ve only had when pregnant), strong headaches, nausea, forgetfulness, sharp cramps around implantation time, food aversions and heightened sense of smell.

This morning, I couldn’t drink my coffee and the cramps have been unbearable.

Uh oh.

Sure enough, two positives.! 12 days past ovulation and I haven’t even missed my period yet.

I don’t know what it is about the 26th of months, but I found out that I was pregnant with Noah on the 26th of March 2008. Now, 26th of May 2010… there’s another little one growing away.  

I’m scared. Our ducks are so NOT in a row. BUT I am so excited and happy. I’m worried mostly that I might miscarry. I don’t have any reason to believe I will, but I’m already in love with this sweet pea and it’s only been a day of knowing for sure that he/she is in there.

Time for sleep, time to dream…..


May 27th

No period. I was scared to go to the bathroom all day because I thought that maybe AF would show and I’d be dealing with a loss instead of a monthly annoyance.

Feeling better today after a full night of sleep. I don’t think I can handle the night shift. I felt HORRIBLE before, and now that I’ve had a chance to sleep, I’m feeling much better.

How to make money without working?! We can survive on Bryan’s income but we won’t be paying our student loans. I may be able to get them deferred if I go back to school for lactation but it’s really not in our best interest financially.

So many issues. I’m thinking about trying my hand at making sewing slings. Wouldn’t bring in a lot of income but might be enough to float us. Lots of ideas….we’ll see how long I last working nights.

Baby’s heart might be starting to beat any day now. Wish I could get an early ultrasound to see!  <3



June 8, 2010

We had our first baby appt yesterday morning. We just went into to talk to the midwives that I’m interested in seeing and it went really well.  I’m hoping for a home birth this time. I’ll go into it more later.

I am completely and utterly exhausted right now. I’ve been barely able to keep my eyes open all night. I told my supervisor when I came in for my shift and thankfully she was understanding about it.  Literally, I’m falling asleep writing this………..I pray that I’m able to get some sleep today. I’m hoping to get into bed by 4 pm and sleep till 10 pm. That way I’ll get a solid 6 hours straight….oh man, that sounds glorious right noww.

I’m nervous about leaving my job because of the financial strain of it. We have a month till I am done here. One month to budget, save  a little and try to figure out how we’re going to make ends meet for the next two years or more of course.

I’m just now into my 6th week. The exhaustion and food aversions are in full swing.

June 10th, 2010

This is my last night of working 4 nights a week. I only have to work three from now on until July 7th which is my last day working nights. I’m SO thankful that my supervisor was understanding and flexible with me. I just can’t do it. I am 10x more tired than normal which is… um… horrible.

I can barely make it through the day with Noah and then barely drive to work at night. I’m falling asleep as I type beause any mundane activity makes me nod off.

Starting to feel a little swollen in the belly area….not my post-Noah belly but by my hips where the uterus starts to rise up into. It’s a crazy feeling. I wish I could have an ultrasound just so I knew that everything was okay with the baby..I’ll probably schedule it sometime near my first prenatal appt on july 9. I’ll be almost 10 weeks at that point.

June 14th, 2010

Morning sickness/ all day sickness….pregnancy sickness.

AGH. I feel horrible. I feel like I have the worst flu of my life. This is miserable. I can barely stand to look in the refrigerator…..or go near the dishes. dear Lord, help me.

At work… dying and its only 12:30. Aufkjshfuihekjbuhj

Need to eat because I am so hungry but afraid to walk into the kitchen.

Being nauseated is probably the worst feeling ever. AGH I forgot how miserable this was with Noah…. Really… after this….I might be done having children.

I don’t feel 100% sure about the gender at all..I want to say it’s a girl but I don’t have a true gut feeling I don’t think.

Makes me worry about twins. Does that even happen in people with no genetic predisposal to twins? I would be so shocked and scared if that happened to me..I can’t even imagine TWO babies with a 2 yr old….yikes! I don’t know why I keep thinking about the twins thing…probably because I’m petrified of it!

My belly isn’t showing yet or anything but I am definitely more bloated. My pants are starting to get uncomfortable to button and at the end of the day I can feel a bit of bump veryy low. Its crazy……I can’t believe that we are actually having another baby.

Into the 7th week…..hoping the morning sickness goes away!!!!

I have to laugh at myself a little bit though….I remember during my pregnancy with Noah, I was miserable as well….there are so many aches and pains that come with being pregnant. It’s a lot more than having a cute baby bump. I can’t wait until the good part comes….the kicking baby, the ultrasound, the one fleeting day where pregnancy makes you feel like this beautiful goddess.

Excuse me while I try not to throw up………what are the benefits of only having two children?







July 1st, 2010

The past couple of weeks have been brutal. Its starting to get a little better but I hate even typing that because I’m so scared that it will get worse. My smell aversions are through the roof.

Need someone to figure out where you have mold in your house? I’m your girl. Literally, if there is ANY mold anywhere, I can smell it a mile away. EWww…

Bryan is being wonderful and has done the dishes for me the past 4 weeks and also completely cleaned out the refrigerator because I couldn’t even be in our kitchen at all without throwing up. I lived upstairs and at my moms.

Ugh….tired. Next week is my last week of nights. Thank goodness. I feel much better when I’m sleeping normally. Also, if I’m eating like every hour, I feel okay. Once my stomach gets empty, its all over.

Today at 10 am, we have our first ultrasound. I’m excited. Hoping the baby is doing well despite my lack of nutrition.

My lack of blogging is beoming pathetic right now. I feel terrible for not keeping up with it. I’m just … brainless….. I can’t think. I’m too sick to even muster a product review or post pictures of Noah. It’s just. Sad.

Hoping things get back to normal soon.
 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Must watch for Every Woman


The Business of Being Born trailer from mickinfc on Vimeo.


I just re-watched "The Business of Being Born" recently and was just struck again with how important this film is in creating awareness in the United States about the abnormality of our system of birth. "System" and "Birth" shouldn't even be in the same sentence...but they are.

This is a must watch film for anyone interested in childbirth, pregnancy, mothering or the state of women's rights in the United States (and beyond).

You can rent the full length film online at 
http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/

Monday, June 7, 2010

A love affair with babywearing....

I love wearing my baby...er...toddler. My hotsling served me well for the first 12 months (still does at times) and my Ergo is beyond a blessing. I LOVE LOVE them both. I have only ever taken the stroller out in town ONCE. Literally...I just never needed it. It was always a burden to think about dragging around a stroller when I can just pop him into my carrier and he's happy, I'm happy and we both look cute to boot. (Yes, thats something my mom says).


I've been thinking about the other types of slings, carriers that I want to try when #2 comes along (whenever that may be) and there are two types. A wrap and a ring sling. I bought a used Moby a while ago but Noah really hates it now that he is so big so no dice there. The ring sling I wanted originally was a Maya but I just couldn't justify the expense when I already owned a cute pouch carrier and an Ergo.


I just realized however, you can sew your own sling very easily. This is definitely going to become a project of mine once I get threading the bobbin down...heh. Check it out...
Bliss Tree: How to Sew Your Own Sling
The Baby Wear site also has a huge list of patterns.

Not the crafty type? Check out these beautiful slings on Etsy and support a WAHM!

For more info on "babywearing" and all the benefits check out Thebabywearer.com and Dr. Sears on Baby Wearing

Also, know that infants who are carried 3 extra hours a day cry and fuss 43% LESS than those who aren't worn. It makes sense, babies need and want to be held.  They also spend more time in a state of quiet alertness which is when babies learn the most. 

Carry your baby for a happier, smarter little pumpkin and enjoy every minute because before you know it, they are going to be 18 months old and running away from you!

Herbs and Their Healing Properties

This is a great post on traditional kitchen herbs and their healing properties..I'm just starting a little herb garden and I'm loving it so far!


 
This is my little garden hehe..
 

Menu Plan Monday


Last week was sort of a success, sort of not. Because of my weird work schedule, things just get crazy. We did eat two of the six meals. haha..........okay...more of a failure.

This week should be a little more normal however, I'm not counting on it.

Breakfasts: Noah and I are the only ones who really eat breakfast but we go through a lot! Eggs, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, english muffins, milk, orange juice
Lunches: We do mostly sandwiches because its portable since Noah is always on the go! Whole wheat bread, turkey, american cheese, egg salad, tuna, applesauce, raisins, cherry tomatoes, etc.

Monday: Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes
Tuesday: Italian chicken/Potato wedges/grilled peppers and a green veggie
Wednesday: Tacos (for Bry) Rice & Beans (for Noah)
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Dinner at a friends - bringing salad to share
Saturday: Butternut Squash/Tomato Soup/Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Sunday: Homemade Pizza

That's all for now folks!

Check out more meal plan inspiration at www.orgjunkie.com

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Enfamil "Breastfeeding Support" Kit



If you are an expecting mom planning on breastfeeding your baby, AVOID all "free" baby samples from formula companies.  They are not interested in your success, only your failure.


To be successful::

1. Know that your body is MADE to feed to your child PERFECT food that will sustain them completely and exclusively for the first 6 months of their life and after that, be very foundation of their health for as long as your breastfeed.

2.  Join a La Leche League group, even if your babe is a pro at nursing. The other moms there will be vital support resources in your breastfeeding relationship. Locate a group near you!

3. Find an IBCLC (lactation consultant) with good references just in case you need to ask questions or troubleshoot issues you may come across.

4. Avoid anyone who is negative about breastfeeding. Surround yourself with moms who have breastfed successfully and if you don't know any, join Kellymom.com's online forums for support.

18 Months

My baby boy is 18 months old today!

I can't believe it. He is soo big and happy and sweet and I'm incredibly proud of him!
This is us a year ago on his first boat ride!
And Noah being a charmer ...

He helped me in the garden today.....and picked me flowers from the scallions that were growing uncontrollably next to the fence. I pulled up a lot of weeds and discovered that my lettuce is close to cutting now.



My corn and beans *just* went in. hah. Very late... Also, my attempt at starting seeds only worked half well.... my cabbage and cauliflower look good but I should have transplanted them ages ago and my tomato plants should be much bigger by now. I think I am going to buy some tomato plant seedlings instead and put them in pots next to the house.

It's hard to keep up with the garden because Noah just wants to RUN when were outside and I'm constantly keeping him from going into the road (lots of trucks and tractors moving in and out). Next year, I am going to vote for moving the garden into the fenced part of the yard... we'll see if my parents veto that or not.

---sigh--- I can't believe how big Noah is. We have conversations together.....we play, we laugh. He says so many words now...I'm not even sure how many....

Mama, Dada, Bobo (the cat), Puppy, Grandma, "didi" (Rachie), Papa, wawa (water), down, no, yeah, WOW, tractor, moo (cow), horsey (kinda..), blueberries, eggs, milk, mimi's (nummies), night night, Hi, Bye, juice, banana, ball, vroom, car, train .... etc etc.... many, many more.

Wow, that reminds me, I haven't touched his baby book in months...better get to it! I still need to print out all his pictures ..I'm doing terribly in the mommy department in that sense. Oops.

Sometimes I worry that he isn't learning as much as I could teach him because I have so little time to sit with him and talk about numbers, letters, etc. We read a lot and play a lot and he is so bright that he catches on to things very quickly so I'm sure if I focused more on teaching him, he would know and do more. It's hard to keep up... at the same time, I think that learning at his own pace and self-discovery is maybe more beneficial to him in the end. Isn't that how people learned for thousands of years before Baby Einstein?! At least the only thing he watches on tv is the theme song on the Thomas the Train video and when it ends, he promptly turns it off.

I need to get this child into music classes!! He LOVES it and has a natural rhythm and ear for it just like his daddy.... There is a music class type thing that I found a while back called Music Together... the one near me is Green Mountain Music Together. Too bad its $20 a class...thats just a little steep for a playgroup....hmm..maybe I can figure it out...I think he would absolutely love it.!

There is also Little Yogis yoga classes in Vergennes that I think he would have fun at..(and mommy too!) Those are much less, like $8 a class. Maybe we'll do that instead.

I definitely would like to get him into some more playgroups... since I'll be going to LLL soon and maybe starting a group, that should help but thats only once or twice a month. He just loves people and I think it would be great for him...

Anywayyy.. 18 months is HUGE developmentally and I'm excited to see what Noah learns next! He is becoming independent and I can really see the attachment parenting paying off in his security with Bryan and I and how confident he is as well as trusting. I also notice that he barely cries..and when he throws a tantrum, he is either hungry or tired ...I can see that more easily I think because of how attached we are. "Attachment" is NOT a bad thing! It's also good to see that time outs and firm boundaries actually help with him (as much as they can at 18 months). Its amazing how when you lovingly explain to a child and get down on their level speaking to them slowly and clearly, they get it even at a young age. Nursing is also just invaluable right now, its gives him such a security...when he gets all out of sorts and restless, he calms right down to nurse and gives me a much needed break to rest and slow down from the craziness that is running after a toddler. Afterwards he is much more calm and focused.

<3 I love him ... I hope that he becomes a kind, loving, compassionate person. I will feel so blessed if he exhibits those things. Happy 18 months sweetie pie!!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday


Menu Plan Monday is something I've been meaning to participate in for a while now. Although its technically Tuesday, I'm still operating on Monday mode considering its 2 am.

If you want to check out what others are planning on their menus for the week, head on over to Menu Plan Monday on Organizing Junkie.

My goal for this week is to actually eat what we plan out. Hah! What a novel idea.

June 1st- June 7th

Tuesday :: Baked Cheese Ziti (a mini veggie for Noah -no dairy)
Wednesday :: Ham, Potatoes, Beans & Rolls
Thursday :: Thai Chicken Salad
Friday :: Homemade Pizzas
Saturday :: Soft Tacos/Bean Burritos
Sunday :: Grilled Chicken/Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges/Salad
Monday :: Leftovers!

Tomorrow I need to focus on cleaning out and reorganizing our kitchen cabinets and fridge so I can actually SEE what we need/have and figure out what to make without waste. Hopefully I can fit that in between naps and grocery shopping.

Wish us luck!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Long Weekend at the Lake

Memorial Day is here and we're ending our 4 day weekend at the lake in New Hampshire.

We played.





We explored.



We laughed.


We spent time with our family.
Family Sings for Noah from Sarah Campbell on Vimeo.


Noah LOVED the boat. and is officially our captain from now on.






Soon, exhaustion took over.