Monday, July 29, 2013

Support local businesses & SAHM's

I am a big time supporter of local products, family owned & operated  businesses and "craft" businesses.  Hubby & I both work with his family at the family business so we know all too well what it means to have the support of our local community.  I also know a lot of stay at home moms (SAHM's) who depend on their craft business to help put food on the table or gas in the car. 

Check out www.Etsy.com  to find a whole community of online crafting businesses.  Also, check your cities local business charter for family owned and operated stores in your area.  Farmers markets are a wonderful place to not only support your community but you can find some of the most delicious and fresh produce grown right here in your home town. 

Here's some wonderful products and services that I can personally recommend.  (FYI some are here in KC but some aren't)

Yarn Creations (crochet & knitting)
I know a LOT of yarners =)

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Photography
Moments in Time Photography : (Jax FL area)
 
 

Sewing
Baby Bunz Diapers : (cloth diapers and misc)
** Baby Bunz Diapers and The Baby Born Lactivist have joined together
 to offer readers/customers a discount on purchases. 
Mention this blog post & receive 20% off your first order at BabyBunzDiapers
 
The Lactating Loon : (cloth diapers and misc)
 
 
 
 
 
Thurman's : (baby quilts, taggie toys, etc.)
 
 



If we don't support each other, we will all suffer financially and economically.
Support local, buy local. Support America, buy American. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

products I use, brands I love

There's so many pregnancy and baby products out there that picking the "right" ones can be nerve wracking.  So here's a few items that I use and which brand I prefer.

FOR MOMMY

prenatal vitamins:  these will vary depending on your tolerance and nutritional needs.  Some women find that the vitamins upset their stomach, but fortunately I didn't experience any discomfort (I still take my prenatal vitamins today) my favorite prenatal is Nature's Bounty "your life multi prenatal" because it has the dha and the vitamin together in one tablet instead of 2 separate tablets. 

nipple ointment: during the early weeks of nursing, you want to keep your nipples lubed up to ease the discomfort and reduce the risk of cracked nipples.  There are lots of options, but really there's 2 main brands out there.  Medela is by far the very best.  It's so smooth, silky and creamy, it goes on like melted butter =) an absolute must when you're nips feel raw and sore.  The other popular brand is Lansinoh.  I won't use this stuff, not even now.  It's very thick and stiff and no matter how much you rub it between your fingers (to warm and soften it) it still pulls at the skin when applying =( ouch!

FOR BABY

diaper rash cream: this will depend on cloth vs disposable diapers

>> cloth diapers:  you can NOT use any creams that contain petroleum, beeswax or cod liver oil.  These ingredients will leave a water resistant barrier on your diapers causing them to no longer absorb your baby's pee and then the diapers will leak.  Creams that are safe for cloth are:

My personal favorite, coconut oil.  Yep, just coconut oil.  Make sure it is organic, virgin, unrefined and preferably cold pressed.  You can add some vitamin E, a little lavender oil, chamomile oil and some tea tree oil if you want to add a little oompfh to it.

Store bought creams include:

Northern Essence Better Butt(er) Cream, Northern Essence Diaper Rash Salve, Grandma El's Diaper Rash Cream, California Baby Diaper Rash Cream or Magic Stick Ointment

>> disposable diapers: there are no restrictions with disposable diapers because you are just throwing it away anyway, so you can use anything you like.  My personal favorites though are:

Bordeaux's Butt Paste - this is a zinc oxide and works to heal the rash quickly.  Smooth creamy texture, pleasant smell and cleans up easily.  * Not all zinc oxides are made the same. The Desitin zinc oxide creams are nasty!  They have a very strong chemical smell and they are a mess to clean up. I avoid these at all cost.  Desitin does make a very nice petroleum ointment though »»

Desitin Multi Purpose Ointment - this is their petroleum based ointment with extra oils and ingredients added to increase the soothing relief.  It is smooth and creamy and glides  onto the skin very easily without pulling or dragging the skin. I call this"petroleum plus" =) *note, I don't care for the Aquafor petroleum plus because it is thicker and stiff, so it drags across the skin when applying. (Remember your nipple cream?)

A&D ointment: this is exactly what it says it is.  An ointment that contains vitamin A & Vitamin D.  I've never used this ointment on T man's diaper area, but I do use it for my tattoos =) I've found that the name brand vs store brand all appear to be the same as far as consistency and odor.

Petroleum Jelly: store brand or name brand, it doesn't much matter.  Fragrances can burn on a diaper rash, so just make sure you buy unscented.  (I didn't even know they made scented until I accidentally bought some)

Diaper pails:  I like the Munchkin by Arm and Hammer.  It has the easiest and cheapest to use refill bags and it does not require a special kind of deoderizor.  Just refill the lid with baking soda. 

Wipe Warmer: this product gets a lot of crap from some mothers, but I love mine. I buy my wipes in bulk, so I have to have some sort of container to put them in, what better than a warmer?  I use the DexBaby space saver.  It holds about 2-3 inches of wipes and has a night light on the front.  I love it.

Play Yard: I have 2 of these, One at home and one at work.  The one at home is an Evenflo while the one at work is a Graco.  The Graco is far superior for newborns and infants.  If you plan on using the play yard while you're baby is still young (naps, diaper changes, etc.) then I definitely recommend the Graco first.  The "bassinet" insert is raised higher for easier access and it has a firm floor.  My Evenflo infant insert was saggy and droopy.  It sagged in the middle so badly that T man was only able to lay in it for a few minutes before crying in frustration.  Now that he's a"big kid" and sits, stands, crawls, etc. either one works just fine because he is on the bottom.

Assisted seating: when you're baby is ready to start learning how to sit upright, you may be interested in a floor seat.  The Bumbo is the original of these seats.  It's a soft foam seat with deep leg pockets and a high back. We started with this seat because T man is very small.  If your baby is a chunker though, I would recommend the Summer Super Seat.  This seat is wider with larger leg openings.  We also liked using this one because it had an activity tray that attaches to it.  T man spent hours and hours playing in his.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cravings, they can be powerful!

I was sitting on the sofa, flipping thru an old baby magazine, looking for an article I remember reading (I never found it) when I saw an article about pregnancy food cravings.  The article was simple, well written and full of sensible advice.  But when I saw the chart for "craving substitutes" I had to laugh out loud. 

Have you ever tried to convince a pregnant woman to eat something else besides what she wants to eat?  If you have, you are very brave! :-)  I will tell you this.  If someone had suggested to me (this was the exact suggestion in the magazine) that instead of eating my double chocolate fudge brownie ice cream, that I should try a banana, milk and wheat germ smoothie ... oh man, I would have ripped your tongue out through your nose! 

If I wanted chocolate I ate chocolate, if I wanted veggies I ate veggies, etc.  The thing to try and remember is self control and portion size.  Also, as hard as it is, try to postpone feeding your cravings.  Give it a couple of days and see if you are still craving it 3 days later.  If so, go ahead and have it.  If not, no worries!  With my first pregnancy, I had a strong craving for fried chicken and brownies.  I resisted it as long as I could, but after a week I finally had to admit that this craving was just not going away and I fed that hungry beast! LOL

I experienced some other interesting food cravings and food adversions while I was prego with T man.  I found that I was unable to eat "gummy" foods.  I bought some gummy bunnies right after Easter but no matter how few I ate at a time I got "gummy tummy".  Even if I only ate 5 little gummies, I felt horrible for hours! =( I love gummy candy, so this was very disappointing.  No peach rings, no twizzlers, I couldn't even eat dried apples! *sigh*

For the past 20 (ish) years I have only eaten one kind of pizza.  Pepperoni and black olives.  That's it, nothing else.  I was ordering pizza one day while prego and thought "hmmm .... you know what sounds good?!?"  =) now my favorite pizza is pepperoni, Canadian bacon, normal bacon, pineapple and black olives.  Hey, don't judge me!  Top the whole thing with parmesan cheese and ranch dressing and I am one happy mommy =) 

Something weird I've always eaten but seemed to want more of while prego was cheese sandwiches.  But not just any old cheese sandwich. It had to be cut block cheese, not sliced cheese, made with sandwich spread (remember that stuff?) Sweet pickles, not dill and the most important ingredient?  Fritos corn chips.  Yep!  Crush those chips right on top of the cheese.  That is one helluva good sandwich! LOL 

Although I gained more weight during my pregnancy than I had wanted, (gee I wonder why!) I feel that I did pretty well in controlling most of my cravings, I tried to monitor what I ate and how much I ate.  Surely but surely I am on my way back to my pre pregnancy weight.  I'll let you know when I get there =)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pregnancy tips & ideas

I realize that all my "little things" have been baby related.  So, here's a few "little things" that are pregnancy specific. =) 

* make a "maternity bag" to keep all your paperwork together.  You're going to have a lot of brochures, papers, doctors notes, etc that you will want to keep together and ready at hand.  My bag went with me everywhere, I always had it in the car incase I needed it.  Now that T man is here, I have a "baby bag" with all of his paper work and doctors papers etc.

* Do you kegels!!! Absolutely 100% do them!!! Every day, all the time, do them!  You will regret it if you don't (trust me) Once you push that baby out, you have NO control over your vaginal muscles for a period of time post partum.  The amount of time it takes to recover that muscle controls depends on your kegels.

* Buy a suction cup shaving mirror for the shower.  One day you will look down and realize that you can no longer shave below your belly! =)  A little $5 mirror makes all the difference in the world =)

* speaking of shaving ... once you hit the third trimester you will very likely begin to bleed every time you shave "down south".  It's just superficial bleeding due to the increased blood flow you've got going on down there.  It didn't matter for me if I used shaving cream or not, new blade or old blade, I bled every single time.  It's really just bothersome, not painful at all.

* Some prego's use a body pillow or a special maternity sleeping pillow, but I found those to be bulky and cumbersome.  I preferred to sleep with 5 regular pillows.  That way I could rearrange them differently every night to suit my needs. 

*  Sleep on the outside side of the bed.  Don't sleep against the wall.  You will be getting out of bed frequently and trying to crawl out of bed or (in my bedroom) squeeze out the "skinny" side of bed is just plain impossible.

* Stock up on panty liners.  Even with kegels, there will come a time that every cough, laugh or sneeze makes you pee "just a little".  It eventually goes away, some time after the 4th trimester (sorry!)

* Stretch marks are something every mom-to-be dreads.  There's a few things you can do to try and reduce or delay their appearance, but honestly, if it's in your genes, there's not much you can do to avoid them completely. BUT! here's what I did and my marks didn't appear until 36 weeks and they are small & light (yay!)
  • first & most importantly, gain weight slowly.  I'm not saying to avoid weight gain (you need to gain a healthy amount of weight for the baby's development) but gain it slowly so your body & your skin can adjust to the changes going on.
  • water water water!  Drink loads of water to keep your body hydrated.  Also, you may notice in the early months that you feel dehydrated (I had crazy severe cotton mouth) so drinking a lot of water should come easy to you
  • moisturize your skin as often as possible.  I used baby oil after every shower and a good heavy lotion the rest of the day.  I usually lotioned up at least 3 times a day and I continue to lotion my marks so that they will hopefully fade away ... far far away!
* Take belly profile pictures every couple of weeks even if you never show them to another living soul.  You will want to look back on these months and remember what it was like to carry your darling baby inside your belly.

* And when you take your pictures, pick one shirt to wear at 3 months 6 months and 9 months.  It will be fun to see exactly how your belly grew thru the pregnancy. 

* Create a new email account for all things pregnancy, maternity, medical and eventually, baby related.  It will make keeping all that medical info organized and easy to find.

* Doing prenatal exercises and yoga (with your doctors permission) will help relieve a lot of the pregnancy aches and pains.  My doctor gave me this sheet of simple, basic stretches that proved to  be a life saver for my during my 2nd & 3rd trimesters. 

 

Little Things (part 3)

Apparently  "The little things that make life easier" is going to be an on going series!  =)  I keep stumbling upon things that I think you may appreciate in your day to day life.

* Sick babies or teething babies often wake during the night due to on going pains.  To make MOTN medicine dosing easier, set everything up before bedtime so you can quickly grab what you need (in the dark) without having to turn on the lights or making baby wait too long while you figure out dosage.  I have a small night stand next to T man's glider that I set everything on prior to bedtime.



* A twist on lid container makes travel snacks spill proof and allows you to let baby play "rattle" with the bowl without worrying about exploding snack spillage =)
 
* 30 minutes of house cleaning every night after baby goes to bed may not sound like a lot, but day by day, little by little, you will get everything cleaned up & caught up and you will be able to stay on top of your housework without feeling like your drowning.  Do one "big thing" and two "normal" things that need done each day.  Example: empty the dishwasher & put away one basket of laundry (normal things) and clean the bathroom (big thing).  next night, dishes and laundry again (cause those are never ending right?!?) and mop the kitchen floor.  Save the noisy stuff like vacuuming for a daytime afternoon when baby is awake and occupied.
 
* Keep your empty diaper boxes to use for packing up out grown clothing and toys.  They're convenient, ready on hand and nicely sized.  Plus they almost always have handles.  Keep them for the next baby or give them away, either way they are easy to identify! =)
 
* If you have a baby that sleeps in the car AND you have to give him some yucky medicine (reflux meds?) then give him his dose right before you leave the house.  He'll hate the medicine, of course, but once you're in the car he's gonna fall asleep anyway, so he'll get over it quickly =)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cry it out (CIO) and Sleeping thru the night (STTN)

I've had this topic on my "to post" list for soooo long =(  I haven't been able to bring myself to talk about it though.  It is such a sensitive topic for me, as I feel incredibly defensive about it.  I know plenty of mom's who do this, but there is just NO way I could ever bring myself to do this to my sweet innocent baby.  You know that I will never condemn another mom or dad for their parenting choices (unless, of course, it's abusive) but whenever I encounter a CIO situation I just ache in my heart for that sad little baby.

I know from all my investigating, reading and researching that babies cry for a reason.  I admit, there comes a time in their development that they will begin to test your responses and their ability to get a reaction from others, but that does not apply to sleep situations.  When a baby wakes from sleep crying or screaming, it is for a reason.  When a baby cries desperately when laid down to sleep, it is for a reason.  When a baby begs and pleads for you to pick him up or hold him, it is for a reason!

The following is a perfectly written (I agree 100%) article explaining some of the most simple and basic of needs a child experiences during night time wakings and why you should not ignore their needs.
 

By Tracy G. Cassels

With all the press scrambling to tell parents just to leave their kids to cry-it-out at night (see my response to the latest here), I thought I’d just present a few of the many reasons a baby or toddler may be waking and/or crying in the night.  And why you should respond.
  1. They are hungry.  Especially younger babies need to nurse frequently and expecting them to sleep long stretches without food is actually starving them and messing with their ability to regulate how much they eat at a given time.
  2. They are scared.  Night is freaking scary.  It’s dark and quiet and eerie.  I’ve been scared as an adult when left alone to sleep, is it any wonder our babies and toddlers get scared?  Especially if they’ve had a bad dream?
  3. They need you.  Especially around the time of separation anxiety, babies will fear that you aren’t coming back and need to see you and be reassured by your presence.  This is one of the hypotheses around why so many families see a “sleep regression” between six months and over a year.  But regardless, they are experiencing rather severe anxiety and need to be reassured by your presence.
  4. They are in pain.  For some it’s reflux, for some it’s food intolerance, for some it’s gas, for some it’s teething, for some it’s a growth spurt.  And there are probably other reasons I’m not thinking of now too.  But our babies are growing at an astronomical rate with so much happening to their bodies and it HURTS.  And they need comfort.
  5. They are learning to move in new ways.  One that won’t surprise many parents, but researchers are just figuring out that babies who are learning to crawl tend to wake more at night.  Reason is currently unknown but it wouldn’t surprise me to know that some of it comes from muscle pain.  Have you ever started using muscles you weren’t using before?  Yeah, it hurts.  Most parents I know report a similar rise in wakings when babe starts walking and I imagine it would be for the same or similar reasons as with crawling.
  6. They are, quite simply, awake.  As frustrating as it can be, many children go through a period of waking for an extended period at night and want to play (quite like we used to sleep as adults – 2 periods of shorter sleep with an extended waking in between in the middle of the night).  These often don’t last too long (a few months perhaps), and no one quite knows why, but they are very normal and your child simply won’t go back to sleep, just as you probably wouldn’t at 4pm.
At any point do you look at these reasons and think they are cause to leave a child to scream by themselves?  Would you like it if you were ignored during any of these times or forced to lie in bed not moving without comfort?  I hope that if you’re able to put yourself in the place of your child and imagine what it’s like feeling any of these things and then imagine how your response must seem, you will see there are a lot of things going on that don’t include a child manipulating you or needing to be taught to sleep.  What they need is love and responsiveness so please, give them that instead.

With that being said, I'd like to add a few excerpts from a wonderful book called "The No Cry Sleep Solution" written by Elizabeth Pantley.  I bought and read this book while still on maternity leave.  Even though at that age, T man was way too young to even consider "sleep training" (a practice I don't completely agree with) I learned a lot of helpful information regarding infant sleep patterns.  By educating myself I was able to accept T mans night wakings without feeling resentful towards him. 

>> Cry-it-out advocates make it sound so easy.  A few nights of crying, and your baby will be sleeping all night, every night.  If only it were so simple!  [....] Some babies cry so violently that they vomit.  Some parents find that the nighttime crying affects their baby's daytime personality - making them clingy and fussy.  Many find that any setback (teething, sickness, missing a nap, going on vacation) sends them back to the previous night waking problems, and they must let the child cry it out over and over again.

>> [....] A child cannot comprehend why you are ignoring his cries for help.  Ignoring your baby's cries, even with the best intentions, may lead him to feel that he has been abandoned  Babies are responding to biological needs [....]

>> [....] It is true that a baby whose crying is ignored may eventually fall back asleep, but the problem that caused the night waking in the first place has remain unsolved. [....] the underlying or accompanying emotional stress will remain.

>> A baby's biological clock begins maturing at about six to nine weeks of age and does not work smoothly until about four to five months.  As the biological cycle matures, a baby reaches a point then she is mostly awake during the day and mostly asleep during the night.  At about nine to ten months, a baby's sleep periods consolidate so that she wakes up and goes to sleep at about the same times everyday, and her sleep spans are longer.

>> Babies move through the same sleep cycles as adults do, but their cycles are shorter and more numerous.  Babies also  spend much more time in light sleep than adults do, and they have many more of those in-between stages of brief awakenings.

>> [....] They spend much of their time in lighter sleep.  This is most likely so that they can easily awaken in uncomfortable or threatening situations: hunger, wetness, discomfort, or pain.  [....] Encouraging a baby to sleep too deeply, too soon, may not be in the best survival or developmental interests of the baby.

>> As he matures, so does his sleep cycle; attaining sleep maturity is a biological process.

>> [....] Sleep Specialists [....] agree that up to twelve months of age, some children truly are hungry after sleeping for about four hours.  They recommend that if your child wakes up hungry, you should promptly respond by feeding her.

>> [....] When she cries, she is signaling - in the only way she knows how - that she needs you to be with her.


I could go on and on and on, but what it all comes down to is this.  Baby's can not talk.  They can not tell you what they need or feel or want.  The only method of communication they have is either body language or crying.  We (as parents) have to be alert and responsive to these signals so that our baby's do not have to suffer unnecessarily. 

We are the adults.  We are the parents.  We have the understanding and ability to cope with a lack of sleep, altered schedules and the stress of new parenthood.  We need to be the strong ones and allow our babies to be babies, no matter how erratic their behavior may be.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Homeopathy (natural remedies)

I have never been overly concerned with "natural remedies" until now.  I've always thought "Hey, it's the 20th/21st century.  We've got the technology, use it!"  But while I was pregnant with T man I became increasingly concerned with putting artificial, possibly harmful, medications and toxins in my body.  (This is most likely due to my 2 previous miscarriages)  Even when I came down with a horrible head cold during my 4th month, I all but refused to take anything, for fear of hurting my unborn baby.  That was when I first began considering alternative/homeopathic medicines.

Nothing extreme, nothing too wild or "out there".  More like, herbal supplements (ginger, fennel, fenugreek, etc.) ice packs/heat packs instead of pain killers, etc.  *Note: I did have an epidural during delivery, but only after 10 hours of on my own pain management.  I'm not anti-drugs, I just have a new found confidence in homeopathy & the human body for it's self healing abilities

A few items that I have used or still use are:

Preggie Pops (and drops) are great for upset stomach due to morning sickness.  They also offer Queasy pops for non prego upset tummies and queasy tummies for kids (ages 4+)


Hylands offers a huge selection of products for infants and children.  These are the only products I have found available for babies under 2 years old.  I always keep a variety on hand at all times for T mans aches and pains.
  • Teething Tablets (dissolves instantly)
  • Tiny Cold Tablets (dissolves instantly)
  • Teething gel (does NOT contain benzocaine)
  • Earache drops
  • Cough syrup
We are currently living on a constant supply of Hylands.
T man is teething plus he has caught a cold of some sort so we are rockin both of the tablets
and the gel on an hourly basis (as needed per symptoms).
It keeps him happy and keeps mommy sane =)

 
Breastfeeding herbal supplements.  Some of these I buy anywhere (pharmacy, grocery store, etc.) Some of these I have to get at a specialty herbal store.  You could also check with your local organic grocer.
  • Fenugreek
  • Blessed Thistle
  • Alfalfa
  • Marshmallow Root
  • Fennel
  • Brewers Yeast
  • Flaxseed Oil
Witch Hazel for post delivery discomfort & vaginal stitch healing (I tore naturally, but some deliveries receive an episiotomy)

Non-prego related, I recently discovered that corn starch applied directly to a canker sore is extremely affective at easing the pain.  I don't think it heals or speeds recovery, but it sure lessens the pain =)

Some other products that I have not personally tried but I have heard good reviews on are:

Good Morning Mama (for morning sickness)
 
Hylands Allergies 4 Kids  (what can I say, I love Hyands!)

 
I'm sure there are a million other non-pharmaceutical remedies out there.  Do a quick Google for whatever is ailing you.  You'll be surprised at the abundance of cure all remedies you probably already have in your cabinets and closets.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Circumcision (WARNING! this post will offend you)

Okay, well, maybe not everyone will be offended by this post, but I know a good amount of people reading this will find at least one sentence that offends them on a personal level.  I just want to say up front ... Oh Well!!  I'm not here to hold your hand, I'm here to share MY personal opinions, even they are different than yours.

There are only a few baby/parenting related topics that I feel extremely defensive about.  Circumcision is one of those topics. 

I was asked recently by one of my BFing mama friends "why are you so anti circ?"  I love that she asked me!  Even though our boys are already born, she still asked.  Like religion & politics, circumcision is one of those topics that most people prefer to avoid.  But, if discussed with an open mind & the understanding that every parent is entitled the their own opinion, I feel that we (as adults) should be able to discuss these delicate matters in a civilized and mature manner. 

So, what was my answer to her question?

Well, I'm not anti-circ as much as I am anti uneducated decision making.  I don't agree with the people who circumcise "just because" or the moms who say "that's daddy's decision.  I don't have a penis, I can't make that decision."  BULL SHIT!  You carried him, you birthed him, you need to make an educated decision like a responsible adult.  Once you have done a thorough study and research on the subject, you will find that it is NOT medically necessary.  

Another circ argument that I don't find to be relevant is "Daddy is circumcised, so we want baby to look like daddy"  or  "I don't want him to be made fun in the locker room for looking different"

I've got 2 main problems with this "logic" (and I use that term loosely here)

1.  why are you basing your parenting decisions on your husbands parents decision?  THEY chose to circ THEIR son (years and years ago) You need to make your own decisions as a parent today.  Are you going to allow your parents & his parents to dictate what & how you raise your baby?  (I hope not) You need to take personal responsibility for the health, wellness and safety of your baby every day of his life, and that begins the minute he is born.

2.  Are you going to raise your son to believe that every single human is exactly the same? (again, I hope not)  We are all different and it is extremely important for children to learn that.  And honestly, do you really think boys are going to be standing around the locker room inspecting each others penises?  According to my husband, no. 

I want to share with you a few facts (not opinions) regarding circumcision.  First though, I want to clarify that "preference" is an opinion, not a fact.  What a man or woman prefers visually, cosmetically or sexually is their opinion, not a fact.  Claims of sensitivity or sexual performance are opinions, not facts.

That being said, here are some facts regarding circumcision around the world.
  • About 80 percent of the world's population do not practice circumcision, nor have they ever done so. Among the non-circumcising nations are Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia, the U.S.S.R., China, and Japan.
  • So called "health" circumcision originated in the nineteenth century, when most diseases were of unknown etiology
  • nonreligious male infant circumcision is not "normal" in any culture outside of the United States
  • circumcision is most commonly carried out neonatally or in childhood, with the primary reason being perceived improved penile hygiene, or to fit with the "social norm."
  • People in Europe, Asia and Latin America are often appalled to hear that American doctors and hospitals remove part of a boy's penis shortly after birth. Approximately 75% of the men in the world are not circumcised and remain intact throughout their lives.
  • Over the years, the claims that circumcision prevents various diseases have repeatedly been proven to be exaggerated or outright fabrications. Most men in the United States are circumcised, but our STD rates are as high as or higher than those in countries where circumcision is rare.
  •  the open wound left by the removal of the foreskin will continue to cause the baby pain and discomfort for the 7-10 days it takes to heal.
  • Claims that circumcision prevents HIV have repeatedly been proven to be exaggerated or false. Only abstinence or safe sex, including the use of condoms, can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
  • No national or international medical association recommends routine circumcision.
  • The immediate complications of circumcision may be classified as hemorrhage, infection, surgical mishap, other miscellaneous complications, and death.
  • The immediate postoperative complications of circumcision may be classified as urinary retention, meatitis, meatal ulceration, meatal stenosis, skin tags, adhesions, skin bridges, concealed penis, phimosis, and miscellaneous complications. These complications are iatrogenic.
Here are the websites I have collected the above information from. 
Doctors Opposing Circumcision
Intact America
World Health Organization
www.Circumcision.org
The Circumcision Reference Library
The Art of Manliness
Urology Web
National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers

Please do NOT just take my word on this matter.  Do you own research!  But beware.  There are a LOT of defensive, opinionated, down right mean people online fighting for which ever decision they feel is the correct one.  Try to stick with medical facts and avoid the opinion websites.

And if you really just can't decide, watch a couple of circumcision videos.  Now imagine allowing that to be done to your baby. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

No more "No"

Over the years, I have learned (the hard way) the right way and the wrong way to respond to a child's questions, inquiries and curiosities.   When phrased correctly, even a negative answer can be turned into a positive.  You need to remember that children have a much more delicate emotional and mental understanding of how you communicate with them than we do as adults.  As adults, we have the ability to process information as a whole, and then dissect that information into relevant pieces so that the answer makes sense according to the question.

Example 1:
(one adult to another)
> "Can I have another serving of dinner?"
> "No.  That was the last of it."
> "Okay, never mind then!"
*** An adult hears the entire answer, 7 words total, then processes those seven words.  The adult understands that the reason the answer is "no" is because there is no more dinner left.

Example 2:
(child to adult)
> "Can I have a cookie?"
> "No.  You have to finish you dinner first"
> " But I want a COOOOOOKIEEEEE!!!!!"
(and a temper tantrum ensues)
***The child hears your answer in the order that you said it.  8 words, but he only heard 1 word.  "No".  Once he hears that word, the rest of what you say just blows away in the wind.  He isn't capable of processing the entire response and dissecting it the way adults can.  He doesn't understand that you want him to eat this dinner first, he just knows that you are NOT going to give him a cookie ... EVER!

You have to stop and think about what the child's meaning is behind what he said.  Just because he asks for a cookie right now does not mean that he wants the cookie right now.  He simply had a thought and voiced it.  Children will typically speak their minds quickly and without filters.  They haven't learned yet how to file away their thoughts and bring them up again at a later (more appropriate) time. 

So how do you respond to a child so that he hears what you mean (and not what you say) 

Replace "No" with "Yes" ... or just eliminate the "no" all together. 

Example 3:
(child to adult)
> "Can I have a cookie?"
> "Yes.  Finish your dinner and then you can pick out a cookie"
> "Okay!  Thank you!"

He isn't asking you if he can stop eating dinner and have a cookie instead.  He wants a cookie, but he doesn't necessarily want it right now.  He just had a thought pop into his brain and he needed to say it out loud before he forgot about it.

Example 4:
(child to adult)
> "Can I have my cookie now?"
> "Lets finish our dinner first okay? Can you clean you plate for me please"
> "But I want my cookie NOW!"
> "Okay.  The faster you eat your dinner the faster you can have your cookie!  Let's eat!  Hurry hurry! Our cookies are waiting for us!"
***Give him a task, challenge him to a game or a race.  Appeal to his competitive side (or what ever personality trait he has) and he will see your response as a positive not a negative.

You're the adult.  You have the ability to process and dissect information, so take a moment to think before you speak.  Phrase your responses in a positive tone, avoid the negatives whenever possible.

I want to add a footnote here.  I do say "no" when necessary.  I'm not advising you to give in to your child's every whim.  My nephew and twin niece/nephew (9 & 7 respectively) know that when I say "no" that is exactly what I mean.  Since I do not use the word "no" during normal ... negotiations? ... they realize that NO means NO

Example:
>"Can I play a game on your phone?"
>"No you may not"
>"pleeeease????"
> (stop what I'm doing, look him straight in the eye) "What did I say?"
> "No"
> "and what does the mean?"
> "No"
> "thank you" (return to what I was doing.  Discussion over)

I am not being mean or cruel, I just do not allow begging or pleading.  It was a slow, gentle process, but over the years they have come to understand that I only say "no" when I mean it.  It is a final decision, not an opening for further negotiations.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Baby Massage & Growing Pains

When T man was very tiny & newborn, he would have these thrashing fits of arms and legs, so I would swaddle him and he would quickly and easily calm down.  >>  Fast forward several months. 

I realized one night, that it appeared T man was having (what I could only assume was) restless leg syndrome.  He would begin kicking and pumping his legs, rather violently, after bedtime nursing, when I placed him in his crib to fall asleep.  This of course would keep him awake so that he was unable to fall asleep.  It first seemed like he was having a fit, but he wasn't.  Then I thought maybe he was just learning different techniques to keep himself awake, but that wasn't it either.  I finally realized that when this would happen, T man was neither angry (having a fit) or content (playfully keeping himself awake) He was distraught and agitated.  This seemed to be something that was happening too him, seemingly against his will. 

Just like those early times, he needed help to calm his body, as he was obviously NOT in control of his own limbs.  So ... What do you do with a thrashing baby who won't be swaddled?

Massage!

I know, I know.  Massage? On a baby?!? Yeah ... okay crazy lady.

Hey, I've said it before.  Being a baby is hard work!  Seriously!  Not only do they have to learn how to do everything but they are also growing at a crazy fast rate. 

Growing pains are a very real condition that many children suffer through painfully.  I can't even begin to imagine (or remember) what it would feel like to have your bones growing, your muscles growing, your ligaments growing, everything is growing!  My nephew is 9 years old and for years now he will tell us, very specifically, "my knees hurt".  My little brother would tell my mom "I hurt".  Nothing exact, he just ached.  I feel so bad for these poor sweet children!

Now imagine what your infant is going through.  He's growing too, same as the bigger kids, but he can't tell you about it.  He can't specify what body part aches, he can only whimper and cry.  At a certain age, he'll begin learning how to roll, crawl, sit up, pull up, stand up, walk, etc.  Add this intense cardio workout on top of the natural occurring growing pains and you've got yourself one sore, achy baby.

When I finally understood what was happening to T man during those bedtime thrashings, I began giving him a gentle leg massage while he laid in his crib.  The look of relief on his face told me everything he was unable to say with words.  Since that night, T man & I have had several personal massage session at bedtime, much to his relief. 

I can tell very quickly at bedtime if T man is in need of a massage, just by the way he twitches his legs and squirms his back.  Usually it's after a long hard day of crawling and playing, when he's over tired or during his stormy phase of a wonder week. 

How do you massage a baby?  Well, it's definitely not a deep tissue massage!  A baby massage is less about pressure and more about circulation.  I like to massage T man over his jammies to reduce skin to skin friction, but you could also massage during your after bath moisture routine. 

Start with the legs.  Lay baby on his back.  Cup his foot or leg in your hand while using your thumb to lightly massage in a slow circular motion.  Move up from the ankle to baby's hip then back down again to the ankle.  If baby is crawling, give a little extra attention to his knees and shins.  (did you know, that humans don't grow actual knee caps until 2 years old.) Next, roll baby onto his tummy.  Massage his calves and thighs in long, easy, up and down strokes, from ankle to butt, with the palm of your hand.

While on his tummy, move up to his back.  Using your thumbs again, make slow gentle circles from waist to shoulders, making sure to not press to hard.  You can go ahead and give his arms a quick little squeeze while he laying on his tummy.  I found that massaging T mans arms is more difficult though as he usually wants to reach & grab for things or hold my hands while massaging, so I just follow his cues on a night by night basis.

I finish T mans massage by flipping him onto his back again and giving his legs one more rub down.  This usually leaves him in a limp, dreamy, relaxed state perfect for drifting off to a sweet nights sleep.  We have had much easier nights and T man is very appreciative of all my efforts. 

** I recommend avoiding the tummy and chest area.  Massaging on a baby's immature digestive system (especially the intestinal area) can be very irritating for baby, not to mention the pressure on his full tummy.  Do you want someone to massage your belly after you eat a full meal?  Yeah, me neither.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Nursing bras: The good The bad The uncomfortable

Here's a few examples of the bras and tanks that I've personally bought and worn.  Some I love, some I like, some I hate.
 
Bras # 1-4 are the bras I like and I wear everyday.  I have several of each of these in different colors.
 
# 1.  This is a "sleep" bra in a wrap style.  You'll want to avoid these during engorgement, but once you're past the engorgement phase you'll come to love these.  They are offered in a loose, soft, jersey cotton that is very comfy for sleeping.  I also have 2 in a tighter, spandex style material.  These remind me of a sports bra and offer more security than the loose cotton ones.
 
# 2. I found this polka dot bra at Wal-Mart and was amazed at how very very comfortable they are.  (I don't normally shop at Wal-Mart, but it's kinda hard to find nursing bras in stores to try on)  These come in a 2 pack and are very reasonable priced.  They are so comfortable I have no problem sleeping in this bra.
 
# 3 & # 4  Motherhood Maternity offers a variety of nursing bras, but they don't have a good selection of wireless.  These are the only 2 wireless (non sleeping) bras that I have from Motherhood.  I like them both and have no real complaints about them.  They have foam cups, smooth seams and are comfy all day long.  Motherhood bras are at the higher end, so I would save these for after your milk regulates.
 
(not pictured is a brand called Bravado.  I haven't found this brand carried in any of my stores locally, but you can order them online.  They make a wonderful nursing bra and their size chart is very accurate.  This is one you'll want to wait on till after your milk regulates)
 

 
I bought all my nursing tanks at Target (they had the largest selection in store at the time).  You can find them in a variety of styles, buttons, lace, gathers, plain, etc. Most nursing tanks are designed so that they can be worn alone, as your regular shirt, so you don't feel under dressed while in public.  
 
Make sure to check the clasps on these.  I have found a few tanks with tiny, hard to latch clasps that are difficult to close with 2 hands, let alone 1 hand. 
  
 
 
Bra's # 5-7 are not my favorites at all. 
 
# 5.  This was my first and only nursing bra when I brought T man home from the hospital.  I had bought 2 of these from Target and I had the same trouble with both bras.  The lace was extremely rough & scratchy (although that may just have been my engorgement) and the vertical "ribbing" (see red circle) on the sides was constantly poking me and eventually worked its way out of the bra & began stabbing me violently in the arm pit  =(
 
# 6.  This bra is actually very comfortable & I continue to wear it often.  My complaint with this one is the material.  It is a very thin, soft (comfortable) satin type material that shows absolutely EVERYTHING!  Every nursing pad shows and you can forget about having any nipple discretion.  Wear this kind of bra material with caution and be very aware of what kind of shirt you wear, anything too clingy and you'll have full boob visibility.
 
# 7.  This bra came from Wal-Mart and although I liked it at first, it quickly lost its support and hold.  Even on the tightest hooks, the bottom was just loose & ill fitting and I felt like I was going to fall out the bottom.  The next size smaller though was too small. 
 
I eventually cut slits in the cups of bras # 5 & 7 to make them into pumping bras, so at least I'm still getting some good use out of them.
 
 
I hope this helps give you some insight into the great wide world of nursing bras.  Try them all on, buy slowly and wash carefully.  These bras are going to be your best friend during your BFing journey.  Treat them well& they will return the favor =)
 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Finding your perfect nursing bra

During all of my obsessive pre-delivery planning and prepping and packing, I became completely flustered and distressed while shopping for a nursing bra.  I realized that I had no idea what size my boobs were going to be, what kind of bra was going to be comfortable post partum or how many bras I would need.

Pre-pregnancy I always wore foam cupped underwire bras & I usually owned only 3-4 bras at a time.  During my pregnancies (2 miscarriages and T man) I couldn't stand to wear an underwire, so I went wireless but kept the foam cups and I had only 2 basic bras during my whole pregnancy (1 nude & 1 black)  So ... what kind was I going to like post partum?  How was I supposed to know what bras were going to be comfortable?  How big were my breasts going to be after my milk comes in?  And how many did I need to buy?  Why is this so damn hard?!? Argh!!

Let me give you a few guidelines to help you pick the right kind of bra & I'll show you my personal favorites too.

1.  Don't spend good money on bras until your milk regulates.  Your breasts will be engorged, swollen and hard for several weeks in the beginning.  Whatever size bra fits you in those early weeks, it most likely will not fit you after your milk regulates.  Pre-pregnancy I was a nice looking D cup, I remained a D cup throughout my pregnancy, then went up to a DD when my milk came in.  I remained a DD until approximately 10-12 weeks post partum when I went back down to a (less than nice looking) D cup again.  The bras I purchased during those first 3 months just don't fit me any longer.

2. No Underwires!  At least not during the early months.  These can apply too much pressure causing clogged ducts.  You do NOT want a clogged duct!  Anything you can do to avoid a clogged duct will be well worth it.

3. Breathable fabrics are the most comfortable & will help you fight thrush.  You don't want to trap moisture inside the bra (remember, you're leaking a lot!) so soft cotton cups are best.

4.  Speaking of soft cotton cups.  Skip the foam cups and lace.  I found the lace to be extremely irritating during engorgement and the foam cups are clumsy and bulky to try & get out of baby's way.  The soft (granny) style cotton bras will be the easiest to work with while trying to pull out your huge, hard, sore, swollen breast.

5.  Make sure you can clip and unclip the nursing latch with one hand.  It's very unlikely that you will have 2 hands available to relatch your bra after feeding.

6. Skip the "sleep" bras for now.  This style is a wrap bra that requires you to pull the bra to one side & pull out your breast through the center of the bra.  In the beginning, this style will apply too much pressure on your breast, increasing your "spray" and is very uncomfortable.  Once your milk regulates (12weeks approx.) you should no longer be painfully engorged and can wear this style of bra comfortably.

7. Buy 2-3 bras before baby is born, but wait till your milk comes in to buy any more.  Once your milk comes in and you've been wearing the 3 bras you have, you'll be able to make a decision on what style you like & can then buy additional bras for your stock.  You're going to want a large stock so that you can always wear a clean bra (yesterdays bra = old milk = bacteria = thrush)

8.  Wait to buy your bras until you are about 34-36 weeks prego.  This way your breasts will be at their (pregnancy) largest and you will have a basic idea of what size to buy.  Go ahead and plan on getting one cup size larger though.  Like I mentioned earlier, I was a D cup the entire pregnancy, but was a DD when my milk came in.

I also highly recommend buying several (like 8 or more) nursing tank tops.  I lived in these for the first 5 weeks of T mans life =) They are soooo much more comfortable than bras and much MUCH easier to nurse in.  I loved how I could be in my nursing tank and yoga pants and feel both comfy & dressed at the same time.  Since it was winter time, I just grabbed a hoodie or cardigan to wear with my nursing tank,  threw on my jeans and walked out the door.  I still wear my tanks to bed since they are so easy & comfortable.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thrush

Disclaimer: 
This post is NOT meant to scare you or dissuade you from BFing. 
I am only going to share with you my personal experience with a very serious and uncomfortable condition that could happen while BFing.

Thrush.  Oh my.  What an experience!  The burning sensation that comes with thrush is almost indescribable.  Almost. 

The first 2 weeks of BFing are painful.  There's no denying it and I don't want to discourage you, but it hurts!  Of course it's nothing compared to what you just endured while giving birth (what else in your life will ever compare to that?!)

Some people will give you the text book answer of "it shouldn't hurt.  If it does check your latch"  blah blah blah.  Okay yes, that is technically true, but it's also true that during those first 2 weeks, every time your baby latches on it feels like a clothes pin clamping on and twisting.  O_o   Oy vey!

So how do you know the difference between regular "early BF pains" and thrush?  The burning =(

I was about 3 weeks into BFing and it wasn't getting any easier.  I was using my APNO (I'll post that info later) but my nipples were still killing me during every BF session.  At 4 weeks I started to get worried.  I knew that it was supposed to get easier, so why wasn't it?!?  I realized during one of T man's nursing's that only my right nipple was hurting ... no ... burning! =/  My left nipple felt perfectly fine (comparatively) Over the next few days I noticed that the burning feeling was lasting longer and longer, both during and then after nursing sessions.  Eventually, I had a burning sensation in my whole right breast from the nipple up to my collar bone.  And on top of that, I could feel the milk coming out my nipple.  Not just the let down sensation, but all the milk streaming out my breast felt like broken gas & barbed wire being dragged out my nipple.  ='( 

I dreaded the idea of having to put T man on the right breast.  Just thinking about it made my stomach turn.  All I could do though was curl my toes & breath through it.  My baby had to eat & I knew I had to use both breasts.  I did some research & discovered that I (most likely) had thrush.  Unfortunately for me, it was  the day before Thanksgiving and the doc offices were already closed. 

Since I had to wait a couple days for any professional help, I took to the internet for at home remedies & relief.  Here's what I found:
 
check out a couple websites HERE and HERE
 
** Use a vinegar/water (1 Tbsp to 1 cup) solution to rinse your nipples after every nursing session.  This will kill the surface yeast (Thrush is a yeast infection of the breast)

** Air out your breasts as often as possible.  Moisture breeds yeast.  Walk around topless if you can, at least for a few minutes after nursing sessions

** Change your nursing pads every single nursing.  Again, moisture breeds yeast!

** Probiotics.  Take them and take them often.  It will help your body regulate "good" yeast from "bad" yeast

** Reduce your sugar intake (sugar feeds yeast) and eliminate dairy (you shouldn't be eating dairy anyway though) and of course, drink lots of water

** Do NOT freeze infected milk.  Pump if it's more comfortable for you (it was for me) and you can bottle feed your baby if necessary, but DO NOT freeze the milk.  You will freeze the yeast & it will remain "active" until you thaw it.  Then you'll just be feeding the yeast back to your baby, reintroducing thrush to you and baby again.

** If baby has symptoms (white patches in his mouth that won't wipe away) you can give him probiotics too.  My Pedi recommended I buy children's probiotic powder and add it to a bottle once a day.  Since I was pumping my right side anyway, I added the powder to that milk & bottle fed T man with the probiotics.

Yeast infections can not and will not clear up on their own.  You need to take action against the bacteria in your body, whether by homeopathy or prescription methods.  Once I was able to contact my OB, she confirmed that I did have thrush & she was able to prescribe me with Diflucan.    I took the diflucan orally, used my APNO (which contains nystatin) took my probiotics and gave T man his probiotics.  Eventually the pain subsided and I realized that BFing actually does not hurt!  What a relief that was.  I was finally able to enjoy my time spent nursing T man instead of cringing, dreading and (occasionally) crying during sessions. 

Although thrush is a constant threat to BFing moms (yeast is never just a one time event) you can limit your risk by practicing healthy nipple maintenance and avoiding prolonged nipple moisture.

BFing success tips

There are a lot of things you can do to help insure a successful BFing experience. 
 
*the very first, and most important (I feel) is to delay the introduction of artificial nipples.  DO NOT let the hospital give your newborn a pacifier!  If he needs to suckle, let him nurse! He's lived 9 months without an artificial pacifier, he doesn't need one now. 
 
*feed on demand.  The more he nurses, the better his latch will be and the better your supply will become.  Immediate and frequent nursing will help your milk come in faster too.
 
*surround yourself with supportive people.  Whether it's your family, an online community or a BFing mom group, you need support.  BFing can be very stressful on a new mom & without people in your life to support & encourage you, you may not succeed in reaching your long term goals.
 
*find a good Lactation Consultant that can answer your questions during the early weeks & months.  Most hospitals & birthing centers offer some sort of BFing support groups that meet weekly or bi weekly with a hospital LC on hand. 
 
*drink a LOT of water.  Hydration is one of the most important things for BFing.  If your body isn't hydrated, how can you expect to produce a liquid?
 
*take milk boosting supplements.  These include:
          Fenugreek
          Blessed Thistle
          Alfalfa
          Marshmallow Root
          Goats Rue
          Brewers Yeast
          Flaxseed (or ground flaxmeal)
 
*eat oats.  It doesn't just have to "oatmeal" it can be any recipe that contains oats.  Cookies, muffins, breads, etc.  Try to avoid the instant oatmeal & the quick oats.  Old fashion and steel cut are your best options
 
*Pump early & pump often.  Pumping adds to the "demand" on your supply, so you will produce more.  I wish someone had told me this in the beginning.  I didn't begin pumping till after 3 weeks.  I honestly believe that had I pumped earlier & more frequently that I would have a more generous supply today.

*Use both breasts every time.  Offer baby both sides if he'll take them, or nurse one side & pump the other.  Next feeding time, nurse the opposite breast & pump the other.  This way both breasts get a little action & your supply remains "demanded.  Supply & demand ladies!  Supply & demand.

*eat enough calories to both "feed your body" and "feed your boobies" =) You need to consume additional calories to fuel your body while it makes that precious liquid gold.  Lactation cookies (or bread or muffins etc) are an easy, yummy way to up your calories while boosting your milk supply.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The colic curl hold

T man's favorite holding/carrying position from 6-15 weeks was the sideways "colic curl".  This was the only way anyone could successfully hold him and keep him happy.  Anything else, and he would cry and scream.
 
Now, I stumbled upon this hold by accident.  I didn't know this was an actual "baby hold" until a few weeks after it was working.  I saw the "forward" and "reverse" versions illustrated in a book and I realized, Hey! That's what we've been doing! =)
 
The nice thing about the sideways version that we did, was it only required one arm.  This way, you can carry baby in your left arm and still be productive with your right (or vice versa)  I found though, that once T man got accustomed to the left arm, he all but refused to be held in the right arm.  This makes for a very tired arm by the end of the day.  But, you do what you gotta do for your baby, right?
 
So, what is the colic curl?  Well, you can do this hold 3 ways.  Forward, reverse and sideways. 

Basically, what your doing is making your baby sit "cross legged" just like little kids do when sitting on the floor.  You're going to cross his ankles, bends his knees, bring his knees up and make him fold at the waist.  This can be done facing you (reverse) typically done while sitting with your legs bent & baby resting against your knees,  facing away from you (forward) can be easily done sitting or standing ,or like T man preferred, facing the side (sideways).
 
Once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.  I was able to scoop up T man in my left arm & with one swift motion, bend him in half and nestle him against my chest. (imagine holding a mixing bowl in your left arm/elbow while baking) If he was having a real good fit, it would take quite a bit of pressure  for me to get him to bend at the waist, but once he did, he quickly calmed down and became a much happier baby.  It was very common to hear me saying "bend baby, BEND!"  =)
 
I hope this helps you relieve some of your baby's discomfort.  It worked wonders for us!

Single parents are like superheroes

I'm sitting alone (sort of) in a hotel room, wondering how in the world single parents do this every...single...day.

Hubby, T man & I drove 300 miles for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary/family reunion.  Unfortunately, hubby has to work tomorrow =(  T man & I drove in the car while daddy rode his Harley (oh, poor guy!)  This experience has been a real eye opener for me.

Now, we've traveled a bit since T man was born.  Nothing amazing, but we've gone a few places.  We came down to Grama's during Christmas and we took the train to St Louis for Memorial weekend.  But those trips were completely different!  Our winter travels were during my maternity leave and the train ride was with the entire family clan.  I've never had to deal with a traveling baby all alone.

The car ride down here was full of crying, screaming, toy throwing, angry chatters, etc.  If hubby was in the car we'd have no problem, but alone?  What am I supposed to do?!?  I'm driving!!!  I can't very well stop every time, we'd never reach our hotel!  =(  I did my best to retrieve the toys and the sippy cup.  I stretched and reached to hand him puffy snacks, but in the end, I just had to listen to him scream & cry.  I haven't really discussed CIO with you guys, but in a nutshell, I think its the single worse thing a parent could ever do to their baby (but that is a whole other post!!) Listening to him scream & cry out for me simply broke my heart, strained my nerves and wore me out mentally. 

(after our final gas / boobie stop T man fell asleep for the remainder of the drive.  Whew!)

Our day with the family was wonderfully pleasant.  Hubby stayed as long as he possibly could but we knew that he needed to get on the road home soon.  Once daddy left, it was just T man & mommy.  Bath time, boobie time, bedtime, right?  No problem, we've done this alone plenty of times (sometimes daddy works nights)  I fixed up the king size bed so T man could fall asleep safely in the center without rolling off and proceeded to "put him to bed" ... yeah, right.

This is where my real appreciation for single parents kicked in.  As I'm putting T man to sleep (or not, in his opinion) I was hit with that sudden explosive need to run to the bathroom.  You know the feeling, it only strikes you when you're absolutely unable to go right that second.  Okay T, hurry up and finish nursing and fall asleep so mommy can go take care of business!! .... Nope! he wants to snack and visit.  Okay, fine.  Lets lay in bed so we can side nurse & you can just drift off to sleep!! ... No way mama! I wanna crawl around. =(  I wish daddy was here. 

At home I can safely leave him in his crib to fall asleep on his own (without crying) but on an open hotel bed?  What can I do?  I can't leave him, he'll crawl right off the bed.  He needs to go to sleep though, so I don't want to set him on the floor because then we'll have to start all over again with our bedtime "shut down".  Argh!! How in the world do single parents do this all day, every day? 

How do you function as a human, as an adult, as a parent and all the while taking care of a baby solo?  When do you shower?  Do you ever get to eat your dinner while it's still hot?  How do you deal with the silliest, most basic everyday life situations that most of us just take for granted (like being free to poop whenever the needs hits you) I'm already trying to plan how I'm going to get the car loaded in the morning (babywearing to the rescue!) and I'm dreading that long car ride home ... alone ... again  ={  Oy.   Did I mention that I wish daddy was here?

My single parent experiences may be limited to only a few random hours at a time, but I can tell you now, real single parents are AMAZING!  You moms (and dads) are superheroes and I have nothing but admiration for you guys. 

(don't stress out about those fluffy pillows on the bed.  They are only there while I'm sitting over here at table typing this)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Extended rear facing myths

I get this heavy, sad pit in my stomach whenever I see an obviously too small or too young baby in a front facing carseat.  This article debunks the most popular excuses/myths of why people turn forward too early.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10200205715725995&id=1245133774&_mn_=9&_rdr

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mommy's little baker

T man helps me in the kitchen a lot.  Baking lactation cookies, making baby food, doing dinner prep, putting away dishes, you name it. (Nothing by the stove top of course)  he's a great little helper! :-)

That's his Elvis look he's showing us here.  He also does The Rock (one eyebrow arched) and Blue Steel (remember Ben Stiller in Zoolander?) =) I love this kid, he makes ne smile everyday =)