Friday, August 31, 2012

Parenting philosopy

*disclaimer- this is a personal reflection and in no way judging other parents. This is how I feel and what has worked for me. I know every baby is different and every parent is different, so understand that I do get that different things work for different people. My blog is about me and Jack, no one else.*

Without me even realizing it, from long before I fell pregnant, all the way up to today, my philosophy about my parenting has taken a complete 180° turn.

Recently, I had someone point out to me that my parenting style was baby-led and not parent-led. Until this person said that, I hadn't even realized that it had become that way.

As soon as Jack and I started talking about children and how we wanted to raise our children, many years before it became reality, I had expressed that I felt like I had a parenting philosophy that basically the parent was in charge of everything.

I had talked about how there was no way that I thought I would let my children sleep in my bed. I assumed that feeding would be on a schedule as well as diaper changes. I assumed that I would do cry it out because I thought that crying it out was just what you did and that it would never hurt the child. I assumed that I would be feeding my babies rice cereal at 3-4 months old with a spoon and adding baby food that I had puréed soon after.

Even from the beginning of my pregnancy to the end, my view changed so much. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I assumed that I would have an epidural during labor and delivery and that it didn't matter.

The more I read, the more I learned. I researched risks of things like the epidural, and in the end, made it through 20 hours of hard labor and cried for an hour because I felt trapped into getting an epidural that I didn't want. Thank the Lord my epidural never took and while I still had the risks from the epidural for an hour, I at least got to experience the completely pain med free labor and delivery. Never in a million years did I think I would be thankful for a misplaced and failed epidural.

I knew that I would breastfeed but until I learned about it, I assumed that babies would feed on a schedule. I never understood or knew that nursing was more that just food and that because all babies are different, the same rigid schedule doesn't work for every baby.

I also assumed that I would breastfeed to 6 months and maybe a year. Until I researched it, I would have NEVER guessed that I would be at the 6 month mark of exclusively breastfeeding, never having given purees or rice cereal and not seeing an end in sight. Before I researched breastfeeding, I never knew that people did extended breastfeeding or understood why that would be done.

Until I was told that I have a baby led parenting style recently, it had never occurred to me. I knew I was going to do baby led weaning, meaning allowing the baby to nurse as long as he wanted and learn how to feed himself solid foods at his pace, whatever that may be. I hadn't realized that my entire parenting philosophy had changed.

-I feed my baby on demand, even if that means hours of comfort nursing a day. I have never kept any type of schedule except in the first two weeks when he was severely jaundiced and needed to eat every two hours and was lethargic and had to be kept awake.
- Our baby sleeps when he's tired, I've never worried or stressed about him hurrying up and sleeping through the night. (Which at 6 months, he has still yet to do.) I don't schedule his naps or watch the clock. When he's tired, I nurse him to sleep.
- Our baby sleeps with us in bed. Jack and I have never thought twice about it and he has slept in my arms every night and almost every nap since he was born. I'm not tired of it, Jack isn't tired of it.
- We cloth diaper. This is one thing that I knew I would do, my mom and dad did it, I didn't think it was a big deal. I love it just as much as my mom did. But in this category, I definitely change him more often than I expected and that others expect. I think this is one of the things that people who spend time with me comment on most, how frequently I'm changing him. (not negatively, just curious and surprised I think.) but this is another one of those baby-led things. He doesn't like to be wet at all and will sometimes fuss a bit after one pee. And, I happily change him as often as possible. Sometimes as much as every half hour while he's awake.
- Arie has absolutely never cried it out. I see no need for him to learn to "self soothe". In my opinion, he is way too young to have to start fending for himself. This is not to say he has never cried, but he rarely cries and even the people who are around him the most, hardly ever hear him cry. Since he's not on a sleeping or feeding schedule, he gets what he wants and needs when he needs or wants it. This seems to have eliminated the need for any "cry it out" type situation.
-One that I wasn't feeling too strongly about, that once I got pregnant I felt fiercely strong about was the "needing a break from baby." (I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with a date night or having a baby sitter or daycare or going on vacation and leaving baby with grandparents, but, that is not for me.) I do not need me time and I WANT my baby with me 24/7. Even if I'm in the shower and Jack is home, I like him to be with me and have Jack hold him in the bathroom. I reaaaaalllly don't care what other people think of this one. He has only been out of earshot one time in his life and Jack took him to the neighbors to say hi and hang out in his garage for a few minutes. I just don't want to leave him and I don't need to. I think this is one that I didn't even think of before we had kids but as soon as I got pregnant, I had people talking about babysitting and my anxiety began. Aside from the fact that he nurses every 1-2 hours around the clock, I could not imagine needing a break after I waited years to finally have a baby in my arms.

Now before anyone gets offended and chalks this up as an offense that I've done, remember that this is a blog about my own personal reflections and how my views have changed about what we do with our baby. I'm not in anyone else's head or life and it's not up to me to worry about how anyone else parents. I know this is controversial because everyone feels like their way is the right way... All I'm saying here is that what we do is the right way for US. And, if anything, I hope to just increase confidence of other parents in their own parenting. Things can change and opinions about things can change, and that's okay. It's also okay if the way you thought you would do it, is actually the way you did it. Whatever works for you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Getting Ready For Fall Around Here


I have been shopping online (Thank you Kohl's clearance sales + 30% off coupons!) for Arie's fall/winter wardrobe and that is basically complete and I'm working through the next few sizes.  It's difficult to guess what he will be wearing then or what I will most like dressing him in, so I can't really go years ahead here.  He has a HUGE wardrobe for his next size up (6-9/9 months) but he's still comfortably fitting in his 6 month clothes.  I'm sure he will fit in them the rest of the summer and into the fall.

I bought myself a dress from the clearance section for about $11 or so that was a $60+ dress and I was going to alter it for nursing... but I bought it in a Large.  Too big!! Way too big!  Woohooo!  I went shopping at American Eagle with their jeans under $30 sale and bought a pair.  It was a size 10... came home & it was too big!  I went back and got several pairs of size 8.  They are slightly tighter than I would like because of my post pregnancy belly/skin flab but I think the last time I could even fit my butt into a size 8 was easily 6-7 years ago.  GO ME.  Post partum weight loss is something I definitely cannot complain about.  I'm eating a completely natural diet, almost everything that I eat is organic, it's all homemade and it's all dairy free.  And, I'm nursing.  SCORE.

The last few weeks, I turned off the air conditioning... after a sweltering June and July this year, our air conditioner has not gotten a break... and the June - July electricity bill DEFINITELY showed it.  Our normal electric bill is about $90-$100 a month in the summer and about $40-60 in the fall, and maybe $70-80 in the winter.  This bill was $180!  O.O  is an understatement.  The July - August bill was $120 and I shut off the a/c haha.  We have just been living with fans and dealing with it.  Today is the first day in weeks that we have turned the a/c back on.  Yesterday was high 80's and it got pretty hot in here and today it's supposed to be 90 and Jack is mowing the lawn so I figured meh, today is okay to turn on the air.

We have been trying to finish up on projects around the house to get ready for fall.  Thank the LORD that someone told us about buying a semi-truck load of wood for our wood burning stove, so now we don't have to go out searching for wood or cutting down trees or hauling it back to our house.  Since we have Arie, that would be REALLY difficult since I can't help and will be watching him.  We ordered a truck load and it should be here in about a month.  That truck load should heat our house for 2-3 winters!  Which, even buying the wood we are saving SO much money from using propane.  We do need to order some more propane pretty soon here... We have to fill our small tank once every 12-14 months.  I think we last filled it about 12 months ago. Wooooohoooo.  We spent $375 on propane in the last year, where our neighbors have spent roughly $4,500.  A little hard work DEFINITELY pays off.

Jack is working on insulating the garage and he thinks he should have that done by the time the wood gets here since that will be a full time job in itself.  I'm hoping that I can wrangle my brothers to come over and help... Brothers are always good.  We are also going to be starting our vegetable garden this fall to prepare the ground for next year.

We have nonstop work to do around here, plus taking care of a baby... life is busy :)


Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting back to old habits

Lately, I have felt really convicted that the hours each day that I spend rocking Arie in the rocking chair & playing on my phone, could be better spent. Instead of browsing Pinterest and Facebook, I should be reading my Bible and spending more time in prayer.

This morning I read a few chapters of Ezekiel and I couldn't figure out why I haven't been reading my bible while I'm stuck in the chair all along!

I have been also working on a quilt all morning in between diaper laundry and diaper changes and baby feedings. With everything I do all day, it doesn't leave much time for fun stuff like sewing. I'm surprised at how much fun I'm having while working on this quilt. It's been almost 2 years since I've made a quilt!!

I'm also planning our garden for next year. We will need a rototiller and manure.

And we are getting a lot of wood for our wood burning stove in about a month. That will give us enough time to get it all cut and split before winter... I'm hoping that I can get some of my family members to help us out!

I have no idea how long Arie will nap right now, but I already tried setting him down after he fell asleep and he woke up less than 5 minutes later. He needs a nap, so I will rock him until he's done. A little quiet meditation in our bedroom with the curtains drawn and in the quiet never hurt anyone.

We experimented with putting Arie's crib as a side car next to our bed last night. He slept in it for a grand total of 2 hours, but that's the first 2 hours he's ever slept in his crib! Jack and I aren't in a hurry to get him out of our bed, but I wondered if he might get more sleep. He slept the same as with me, so he really is just hungry every few hours and he needs to eat.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Starting an organic vegetable garden

With a little one who will be eating fruits and veggies next year, I'm really excited to start an organic vegetable garden. I know I need to start it this fall, so I'm in the planning stages.

I'm trying to think of my mom's vegetable garden from when I was growing up and my grandma's too. My mom's garden was in squares with paths in between and my grandma's was long rows. For some reason, the squares appeal to me a little bit more, but I'm really not sure what the pros and cons of each are. I think the majority of vegetable gardens that I've seen are in rows.

I'm trying to come up with a list of vegetables that I want to attempt and I feel like I have a pretty ambitious list so far, but I really like my vegetables!

-corn
-potatoes
-onions
-carrots
-zucchini
-squash (summer, acorn, spaghetti)
-bell peppers
-tomatoes
-pumpkins
-lettuce
-spinach
-kale maybe
-egg plant
-green beans



I would also love some strawberries and blueberries. And fresh herbs.

On top of being the healthiest option for food since I absolutely know what goes in it, and being the cheapest way to eat a ton of vegetables, I think it would be an awesome thing for Arie to grow up with.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reminiscing

My girlfriend Megan had her miracle baby on Friday and it's bringing back all sorts of memories. From labor & delivery to that first precious week home with my miracle baby.

She even texted me about how her husband is off from work to be with her and how he's getting much more sleep than her, yet, somehow, seems way more exhausted than her. All I can do is laugh because for some unexplainable reason that's how Jack was & is! He rarely wakes up any of the times I do in the middle of the night and he is generally much more exhausted than I am, 5 months into this gig. :P

It's bringing back all the sweet memories of the newborn stage that goes by way too fast and of learning to breastfeed and cloth diaper.

It makes me realize that I need to be much more vigilant about writing things down so I don't have to wonder and try hard to remember exactly what it was like, because, just like labor and delivery pains, those memories disappear.

Like now, I'm up at 4:15am because Arie was fussing in his sleep and needed a diaper change. I carried him to the nursery, changed his diaper, and carried him back to rock him and he's stayed asleep. I was joking with my friend Sarah's mom the other day about how my eyesight is so much better in the dark and that I change all diapers at night without the light on.

Time is just going by so fast, which I know it does, but it's just such a shock when it happens. Arie is almost 6 months old and it feels like just yesterday my best friend's boy turned 6 months... And he's coming up on 10 months.

This time just goes by so incredibly fast.


I have a whole post that I've been writing about parenting and being judged for parenting choices, but I'll leave this post nice and mushy ;)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day in the Life

Here's a little peek into my life, a day in the life of a stay at home mom.

8-12-12:
5:30pm - grouchy baby gets a bath

6:30 pm - rocked and nursed to sleep

8pm - dream feeding (nursing while he's still asleep, in bed next to me.)

11 pm - dream feeding

8.13.12:
1:05 am - middle of the night nursing session isn't as quiet as normal and Arie wakes up instead of sleeping through it. I can hear the cat crying at the back door, so I go down to let him in. Come back up and little man is wide awake and looking around in the dark. First diaper change of the night.

He's wide awake on his changing table so I take him downstairs to the living room to rock and nurse in case he's up for a while so we don't wake up Jack. He did fall asleep at 6:30 pm, so this wake up isn't surprising. I wake Dixie up and she comes downstairs with me to stand guard. Time to catch up on some dvr'd shows!

2:13am - diaper change and then checked outside to watch meteor shower, but it's overcast. :(

2:44am - diaper change & back downstairs to rock and nurse again. Hopefully he falls back to sleep.

3:00am - back to sleep!! 5 more minutes of rocking and I'm turning the lights off downstairs and we are going back up to bed! I'm exhausted!

6am - wake up to nurse

8:45am- wake up to nurse and get up. Check diaper, its dry. Coffee, breakfast, start Honey Wheat bread in bread maker

9:20am - change diaper and back downstairs to nurse and cuddle and rock.

9:45-10:15 am clean kitchen, unload and reload dish washer with right hand, baby in left arm.

10:15 diaper change, go throw in a load of darks

10:25 hop in shower, Arie plays in bouncer chair. Get dressed, makeup.

10:55 - diaper change, get Arie dressed for the day, downstairs to nurse and hopefully get Arie to take a nap.

11am - Arie rocked & nursed to sleep. Rock him & check my email/facebook and email my friend about dairy free recipes.

12pm - attempt to transfer Arie to swing so I can clean... SUCCESS! Let the dogs outside, Vacuum house, scrub floors, vacuum furniture.

1pm - bread is done, 2 loads of laundry are folded and put away, one in the dryer, one in the washer. Then guest bedroom sheets and blankets are all that is left to wash. Arie is still napping away. Floors are dry, time to let the dogs back inside.

1:35pm- bedroom picked up, bed made, sitting down with a glass of water to write & check email and wait for Arie to wake up from his nap... What an atypical day! Arie never sleeps this long and through this much... Must have been the middle of the night party that has left him so sleepy!

1:50pm - Arie woke up. Diaper change & nursing. Trying to decide if I still have time to go visit my friend and make a quick trip to the grocery store.

2:03pm - take baby & dogs outside to walk around and check the mail

2:30pm- diaper change, eat a slice of bread with jam and Arie plays with his toys on the floor in the living room. Starting to get excited about Jack coming home from work. Thinking about what I can make for dinner. Starting to upload videos from camera while laying on the floor with Arie. Unloaded the dishwasher.

3:07- sit down to nurse again. Rocking & cuddling. Jack should be home in an hour and a half. Having hamburgers for dinner @& Jack is stopping at the grocery store on his way home.

4pm- diaper change & cleaned the nursery. Hung up clothes in closet. Jack called and he's on his way home after stopping at the grocery store & getting his hair cut before coming home.

4:50 - diaper change & start diaper laundry. Jack should be home soon. Arie is grouchy so it looks like it might be a "Jack cooks dinner" night.

5:20 pm - Jack is home and Arie fell asleep nursing. He's starting dinner of home made baked fries and hamburgers on the grill.

6:25pm- Arie is still sleeping, I'm catching up on YouTube videos and texting friends.

6:45pm- Arie wakes up, diaper change and Jack gets to visit with him while I help with dinner and load the dish washer. start wash cycle on diaper laundry & then add soap.

7pm- dinner, Arie sits in his chair on the table with us and sucks on a baby spinach leaf while we eat.

7:25pm- Arie bath routine- strip down, weigh (14lbs 7.5oz) and put in the bath. After scrub and rinse, dry off, lotion, clean ears and powder arm pits. Diaper & pjs.

7:45pm- I brush my teeth and put on PJs and get ready for bed. Go downstairs and check diaper laundry. Not ready for rinse cycle yet. Sit down to nurse and rock Arie. Jack finishes cleaning up the kitchen only to discover that Dixie ate all of the food off the table while we were upstairs during bath time.

8:30pm- after rocking and a white noise app on my phone, Arie is asleep. I'm exhausted and thinking about skipping my two shows that I watch on Monday nights. I want to rock him for a little while longer so I can spend a few minutes with Jack before I go to sleep. Hopefully there will be no party tonight at 1am lol.

9:30pm - going to bed.

9:34pm - laid down, Arie started to stir, dream feeding.

10pm- Arie stirs. Diaper change. Nursing & rocking back to sleep.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Church... The message is always what we need to hear

I love our church and I love our Pastor and I LOVE God.

No matter what we are going through, through our hardest times, the message is always for us.

Today's sermon was called The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Pastor preached from Revelation and was explaining how in life there is the good, the bad, and the ugly. He explained that God is always good. And that there are bad things that we have to deal with and that if we don't deal with it, it gets ugly.

He also told a story about having to part ways with someone because they weren't on the same page.

Pastor has advised us in the past to walk away from two very toxic people in our life and today it felt like he was talking about that again.

Without getting too deep into something so personal, all I can say is that I feel led over and over to walk away.


In other news, Arie is 5 months old today!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Blog every day in August fail already

Yesterday (as in the day that ended 3 hours and 15 minutes ago) I went to a play date. At this point it is less play date and more girl hang out with kids present, but I digress.

Apparently that day wore Arie out because he went to sleep at 6:10pm. Thank God for my husband learning to cook while I was pregnant because he cooked dinner for us while I had a sleeping nursing baby on my lap.

In other big exciting Arie news, we got his convertible car seat yesterday! I ordered a Britax Marathon 70 from diapers.com (super cheap, $217!!) and I installed it after Jack got home. 3 sections of foam pool noodle later and his car seat was installed. I'm sure it had more to do with him being exhausted and it being 97°F outside and less with the seat, but Arie did not want to sit in it and try it out.

I'm really excited about it though. I have no idea why, but past the teeny tiny newborn stage, I never liked the infant car seat that snapped into the base. I was constantly having to tighten the latch system and I hated leaning over the seat to set the seat in or pull the seat out of the truck. I'm pumped about his new seat. Technically, he hadn't grown out of his old seat, but I just wasn't happy with it. So it has been retired until the next baby or foster baby.

Occasionally when Arie goes to sleep at 6pm, he wakes up at 2... And today he woke up at about 1:45. He was up for a little over an hour and after two super soaking wet diaper changes in an hour, I say down in my rocker and turned on my white noise app. I faced him out on my lap and started rocking. In less than 10 minutes, he was out! I have just rocked for an extra 10 minutes, just to be sure, and now, at 3:25am, I'm going back to sleep. Hopefully my next wake up will be 6:30-7am :P

I'll post pictures of my prince in his new car seat later today, if we run any errands. :)

In other random news, insane IL drama has inspired me to step away from Facebook and put literally my entire friends list on restricted. I still want to be able to use the photo albums to have daily pictures to look back on, but I don't feel like sharing everything right now. And especially with this season that's coming up, as it does every four years, Facebook makes me want to throw my computer. Suddenly the share button becomes a Facebook soap box for those people who only become passionate about politics for 2 months out of every 48. I hate election season with a passion and I have a hard time not feeling differently about people who act like idiots around this time... So it's easier to avoid it all together. I will continue to practice my politics the same way that I do year round and the people who only get involved and start reading and believing what is posted on fb and get all worked up and vote only based on that can continue in their behaviors without having me in the audience.

/steps off my bloggy soap box as I prepare to vote in my local election this week coming up... Pretty sure most of these Facebook share activists don't even know when or what local elections are lol

Time for bed!
Goodnight blog land. I think this should count for a blog about August 3rd instead of August 4! Maybe I will only miss one day of blogging this month!


Ahh yes, and in honor of world Breastfeeding week... Just having a little fun with it. Nursing from any angle. ;)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

BEDA...

I'm trying to do a VEDA challenge, and I thought I could try to do a blog post every day in August too.

I don't know what to say. I'm exhausted ... Hopefully my little Mr sleeps better tonight.

I have my whole house to clean tomorrow.