Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stay at home mom

I can't believe how much work two babies is. I'm 27 1/2 years old, of course I knew that two babies was a lot of work... But I had no way of even coming close to comprehending this. 

We went to a baby wearing meeting and the other little boy there was apparently sick. Arie started getting a fever on Sunday night and Jack had to stay home from work in the morning after a sleepless night. Tuesday night was also sleepless. I had a hunch that Lukey was coming down with this bug also and he did. I barely slept last night because Luke was struggling to breathe. 

Both of their fevers are gone and they are just working out the congestion. 

The house is a disaster. The dogs are bored. Diapers get washed and then dumped right on the floor in the nursery. I barely have time to shower. 

This stay at home mom stuff is not a joke. I feel inadequate and my performance is lacking as a house keeper. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

An annoying double standard

In the Mommy-World, it's a huge faux-pas to suggest to a bottle feeding mom, "Why don't you just breastfeed?" 

However, somehow, it's perfectly acceptable to suggest to a breast feeding mom, "Just give baby a bottle."

With my children, exclusively breast feeding is very important to me. There are countless benefits of my children getting my milk right from the source, too many to list. On top of that, it's my main objective to nurse on demand. 

Breast feeding might not being every mom's #1 priority, and nursing on demand might not be every breast feeding mom's #1 priority, and breast feeding on demand until they have self weaned is definitely not every breast feeding mom's #1 priority... But who is anyone to bash, judge, criticize, or question it being mine. 

To nurse on demand until my children self-wean isn't a ridiculous thing. To give my children exactly what I believe will be most beneficial to them exactly when they want it and need it is not ridiculous. 

But, somehow, it's okay for other people to judge and criticize this.

"You need to be able to go out and spend time alone." 
- who are YOU to tell me what I need? 

"That child will be just fine without you." 
- okay, God forbid something happened to me... Yes, my children would survive. Why is this being discussed?

"___________ event is VERY important. You need to go. Baby will be fine with a sitter/grandparent." 
Apparently ___________ event is more important to YOU than my breastfeeding relationship with my child/children, but I can assure you, I do not feel the same way. Just because I don't, does not give anyone any right to criticize me. 

With both of my boys, I have encountered many people who made lots of these comments and similar ones. I understand that no one in mine or Jack's immediate family had breastfeeding on demand until their child self weaned as their #1 parenting priority while their children were small, that doesn't make my priority any less important. 

To me, it's normal and natural for me to always be with my babies. I'm their mother and they are my nurslings. It's normal and expected to me that anywhere I go, my nurslings also go. The main part of nursing on demand is to actually be there to do that. 

I have met so much opposition on this subject and for some reason the people who oppose the most are personally offended. Nursing on demand has nothing to do with anyone else other than my children. 

I don't care that other people want to feed my baby. That's my job, and a job I take very seriously. Above everything else. 

I don't know if its that people are projecting how they feel about how they raised their own children, or if they are jealous of me not sharing the part of my children's raising that only belongs to me. I really have no idea what it is, but I am pretty sick of how many out there don't have respect for the decision of a mother and the benefits to an exclusively breastfed child.  


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'm obviously sleep and food deprived

I'm embarrassed to share this, but somehow still feel the need to document this. 

I went to Joann Fabrics with my sister-in-law and her best friend. SIL's BFF wanted to wear Arie, so I strapped him on her back in the Ergo. He did great while we picked out patterns and fabrics. Once we got to the cutting counter he was done being held by someone else and it was nap time so he was just done in general. 

I helped her get Arie down and SIL held him while I buckled the carrier on to myself. To get Arie on, I have to lean forward and Luke started to fuss a little bit. 

Then the woman at the cutting counter spoke up. "I do NOT like this!" She exclaimed, sounding very bothered. 

I turned around and snapped, "Well, it's a good thing this has nothing to do with you, then, isn't it?" 

She stammers, visibly shaken by my outburst and verbal slap, "I uh... I mean... The baby... He didn't like it..." 

(She was pretending to be Luke and saying what she thought he was thinking and feign based on his fussing.) 

Oh. Heh. Whoops. 


NOT my best moment. 

I really thought she was going to say something about it being unsafe or something else that I've heard before. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stand your ground

Jack and I have been married 6 years and we are still learning how to set boundaries to protect our marriage and our family. 

We have had our fair share of having to learn to put each other first and learning to gracefully navigate other people's feelings as they lose priority in our lives has been tumultuous, to say the least. 

With parenting, it only makes sense that we will have to continue to set boundaries. What are we comfortable with when it comes to anyone else in our life? 

What we say goes, it's our marriage, these are our children, and it is our life. 

After 6 years of marriage and over 17 months of parenthood, it's still something we have to do to protect ourselves. I'm sure this is something we will have to do for the rest of our lives. 

It would just be nice if it wasn't the same offenders over and over and over and over again. 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Two Month Update!!


  • Cloth Diapering
    • Still doing daily diaper laundry. Had to order more laundry soap today. For some reason it's getting harder and harder to find coupon codes for Rockin' Green. 
    • I had been using the BumGenius 4.0s on both of the boys, using the prints for Arie & solids for Luke. We are considering going camping and I was trying to decide if I should hand wash flats or attempt to use my whole entire stash and do laundry when I get back. I just purchased 9 more BG 4.0 pockets from a girlfriend who decided she didn't want to cloth diaper any more and also one more flip cover and a dozen more red edge prefolds. I decided to save on time stuffing and unstuffing diapers as well as space in the diaper pail, I'm going to try just using my prefolds and flats with covers for the boys. If I tri-fold the prefolds and pad-fold the flats, they easily lay in the covers exactly the same as I had them stuffed into the pockets except that I can reuse the covers!  So I have 12 yellow edge prefolds and 12 yellow stitching flats and 24 red edge prefolds and 12 green stitching flats and 5 flip covers and 2 thirsties covers and 2 bummis covers. I'm going to see how this goes for a couple weeks and after that, I may sell off my pockets! 







  • Tandem Breastfeeding
    • Still leaking like crazy. I don't remember how long I leaked when Arie was born but even after a couple hours of cluster feeding for Luke and Nursing Arie, I still feel the tingle of let down and can soak through my shirt.
    • Both boys are definitely growing. Today, Luke was 12lbs 10oz & 23" long! Arie is 19lbs 14oz. 
    • I am hungry almost all the time. I need to make more time to dedicate to baking things I can eat, like English muffins and breads and muffins and things.


  • Sleep
    • Some nights are significantly better than others. 
    • I am not quite sure the timing of last night, but I'm pretty sure that Luke slept longer stretches than Arie. 
    • We got a new foam piece for Arie's bed so he doesn't roll out. 




  • Home life - House stuff
    • I'm starting to somewhat feel like I am okay. I don't have time for very much else during the day, but I'm constantly doing laundry, vacuuming, cooking or cleaning up, or putting away toys. 
    • I would definitely benefit from a second washer and dryer. 
    • We NEED to start cutting wood. 
    • I need to start making my daily to do lists again. I've been so busy with just making it through and doing one thing at a time that I haven't been making lists.

  • Going Out and About
    • The last week seems to have turned a corner... Luke will fall asleep or stay content as long as the vehicle is moving. 
    • I'm getting a lot better at quickly getting Arie up on my back and Luke in a ring sling or wrap for out and about. I have a second size 4 coming. 
    • Still trying to figure out tandem babywearing. Looks like two separate carriers or wraps is the way to go. I traded my longest wrap today. 
    • I have been trying to make an effort to do more mom group things and play dates. 
    • Jack and I took the dogs for a walk at the park down the road from us. I wore Luke and Jack wore Arie and we took turns holding each dog's leash. 

  • Postpartum Recovery
    • I feel good. 
    • I'm still ever so slightly above my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm trying not to be annoyed that I'm not still losing a lot of weight. I need to start exercising on purpose. I think I'll do that in all of my spare time. ;) 
    • I feel short tempered a lot and I'm sure it's being hungry and tired, but I don't like it. I have been praying day and night for a better attitude and more patience. 
  • Brotherly Love
    • Arie loves Luke. And Luke appears to really love Arie. Luke will stare at him.
    • Arie is learning body parts, so we have to always be supervising lest Arie jab Luke right in the eye. 
  • Marriage 
    • Really feeling like a good team. 
    • As soon as Jack gets home we talk each others ears off. I tell him all about things I've read that day or online drama or what wraps I've bought/sold/traded. He tells me about his work and friends at work and politics. 
    • Back in the saddle. 
  • Arie
    • Arie just said please today for the first time. When he's asking for things he sort of grunts and makes this "Mm!" Sound. I said, "Say Please!" And he said, "Peese!" 
    • If I start reciting books, he will run in the other room and go get that book. 
    • While I'm nursing Luke, or Luke is napping on my lap, I can ask him where certain toys are and he will go get them. Jeep and tractor are his two favorites right now. 
    • He's still not a great eater. He nurses all day long and then just snacks. He loves using his fork to eat though. He eats wayyyy more if he has his fork. 
    • I've started putting him in some 18 month size Carter's outfits. He's still so thin, that if it weren't for the cloth diaper he would need custom clothing. I'm just so sick of his 12 month clothes. They have been on him for almost 9 months! That's ridiculous. I'm definitely going to have to buy Luke some new clothes when he gets to that size because none of it is suitable. 
    • Arie loves to be outside and run around the yard and push his toys around. 
  • Luke
    • Luke laughed for the first time today. 
    • He stays up most of the day and just cat naps. He sleeps at night and wakes to nurse. 
    • He's definitely interacting more and will follow movement and sound. He watches while I vacuum and cries when I walk away. 
    • He's 2 months old today. That really went by in a blink and blur of diaper laundry lol 
    • I'm still bathing the boys together and I get in the tub with them to hold Luke. 
    • His eyes are definitely brown and his hair is growing back in, but I think it's coming in lighter than it was at birth. 
    • He's in size 6 month clothing now. Arie was 2-3 months older than this when he moved to 6 month clothing. 
    • He's starting to coo. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Judgment

I am assuming that the copious amount of judgy comments I get about my parenting has to be a direct correlation with how public I am about our life and my choices as a mom.

A lot of it rolls off my back and a lot of it I'm easily able to ignore, but there are times when comments or actions of others will be the make-it-or-break-it point in our relationship. 

I've had "friends" bash me behind my back only to hear about it through the grape vine. I think the ones that tick me off the most are those without children bashing me. 

John 15:18-20

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

 
It feels like judgment that I get is insecurity on others part. I will not apologize for parenting the best way that I know how. 

I don't care if people think there's something wrong with us for letting our children sleep in our bed with us. Our children feel safe and loved, even while they sleep. 

When people judge us and say things to the effect of us not having intimate time, I know now its a reflection of their own life, not mine. Our children are 15 months apart. There's obviously no lacking of intimate time. It appears as though we are more capable of staying close as husband and wife where other people are projecting their own issues on us. The bed is all you've got? Don't feel sorry for me, friend, I feel sorry for you if children sleeping in your bed or your room completely derails your relationship with your spouse. 


The same goes for Breastfeeding. Partly ignorance, but mostly jealousy and insecurity. I know I'm doing the VERY best that I can for my children. Their immune systems are constantly boosted, their gut isn't struggling to break down highly processed genetically modified calories. They have the ultimate comfort whenever and where ever they need. If people see fault or have a problem with that, it's not because I'm doing anything wrong. 

I'm being judged lately for our spiritual convictions as well. I can only assume that us living out our faith makes those who talk the talk and don't walk the walk uncomfortable. We are NO WHERE NEAR perfect people, but God brought us through the trial of infertility to change our hearts and teach us faith and trust and hope in Christ alone. We trust God with every aspect if our lives, why is it so bizarre that we also trust God with our fertility? 


Just my thoughts this morning. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Seven Week Update


  • Cloth Diapering
    • Definitely doing diaper laundry at least once a day. It seems to work to throw the diapers in as we go to bed for the night and then either I will run the wash cycle in the middle of the night after the prewash cycle is done one of the times I'm up with the boys, or Jack will run it when he leaves for work in the morning. Or he throws the diapers in the dryer in the morning. I just threw in the diapers in the middle of the day, seemed like we did more diaper changes than normal last night and this morning. 
    • Luke seems to be outgrowing the absorbency of the yellow edge prefolds but the next size up is red and I think they are too big. :/ I am not sure what to do now. I have 18 kissaluv fitteds that seems to do the trick and fill in the gap between pocket diapers. 

  • Tandem Breastfeeding
    • Still leaking like crazy.
    • I feel like I am nursing constantly.  
    • Both boys are definitely growing. Today, Luke was 12lbs 1oz! Arie is 19lbs 8oz. 
    • I am hungry almost all the time.  Jack went grocery shopping yesterday and filled the house with a ton of fruits that I will be able to snack on easily... just need to make the right snacking choices from now on! 
    • Out and about is more stressful for me than it used to be.  At home, I have places to set one or the other where it's safe so that I can nurse the other one. Out and about, I don't have all of those options and when they both want to nurse, there's just not enough space in my truck to sit in between the car seats in the back seat and help them both. 
    • I participated in The Big Latch on on Saturday August 3, 2013! Arie was way too distracted to stay on for the entire minute. 




  • Sleep
    • Some nights are significantly better than others. 
    • Arie has been starting the nights out in the crib now which is lovely. I'm hoping that he gets used to his own bed so that we can keep him in his bed in our room and not stress about both. However, now that Arie can safely get in and out of our bed, it's not stressful to get up in the morning before him and leave him laying there sleeping.  This morning, Luke woke up over an hour before Arie and we were able to leave the room without worrying. 
    • We are really working on getting Arie on a normal nap schedule again. He used to nap in the middle of the day and then he got off of that once Luke came because I couldn't nurse him to sleep any time he wanted because sometimes Luke is crying.  Today, I nursed Arie on both sides, got his belly good and full and thought I was going to be able to rock him to sleep. After about 10 minutes of rocking, Luke woke up and I had to put Arie down, so I put him down in his crib. He fussed for a minute, but I stayed in the room and nursed Luke in the rocking chair across from Arie in the crib. Then I had to change Luke so I left the room and he fussed as I walked out the door but stopped and went over to the window and  started playing with the curtain and looking outside.  I figured as long as he was happy, I would leave him. He played for almost an hour! Then I went in to check on him because I hadn't heard him chatting in a few minutes and he was curled up and sleeping!! So... progress! Very happy progress. And Luke is sleeping right now in his swing too.  I should probably stuff diapers instead of being on the computer updating my blog. 


  • Home life - House stuff
    • Still feels like we're in over our head.  It's almost fall which means it's almost time to start cutting wood and stacking it! 
    • I'm really trying to make a conscious effort to get more housework done every day. It means a lot of Arie running around under foot and "helping" or doing housework while he's in his highchair and having Luke either in the swing or in a wrap. 
    • We got the gutters fixed this past week which was a huge stress off our back, now of course we have to pay for it... and fix all of the damage from the water... but hey, baby steps! 
    • Today I was able to even run the floor scrubber around.
    • We had Jack's mom come over yesterday and she played with Arie while I had Luke in the ring sling and I was able to bake bread, banana bread and lemon cake. 
    • I'm really purging so much stuff every week. Haven't worn this tshirt in months? TOSS.  This ratty old towel that we keep kicking around? TOSS!  Old dog toy that has never been played with? TOSS!! It's liberating and it feels like I'm making this place less overwhelming... but with the two boys we have exponentially increased the STUFF in our house and both Jack and I haaaaate all the extra crap. 

  • Going Out and About
    • The convertible seat is a billion times more comfortable for Luke and driving seems to be a little less stressful... it's still not fun at all to leave the house.
    • Jack and I went out on Saturday to the Big Latch On and then we went to Joann's to price out materials to make a dog bed and it was going to be a LOT of money to make them and it seemed more sensical to just buy them and Joann's was swamped and Luke was restless and not liking my wrap... so we left... and decided to stop at Costco on a whim, they had awesome dog beds! $27 a piece too and way bigger and nicer than were at TSC or at Petco.
    • Still trying to figure out tandem babywearing. 
    • I need to go to the post office several times a week with the Babywearing Swap & selling RS's, and I put it off until Jack gets home and ask him to go with Arie. :/ With naps between the two, it just never feels like the right time to leave the house!

  • Postpartum Recovery
    • I feel better every day.  I have a lot of energy and my body feels good.  
    • I'm 3lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight. Jack and I have started our own little weight loss thing, and we are tracking our weight together so hopefully that will help motivate me to keep making good food decisions and the scale continues to go down.   

  • Brotherly Love
    • Arie kisses all over Luke when he's in a good mood. 
    • Arie is starting to say Brother or something that kinda sounds like it.
    • He isn't really jealous when I'm nursing Luke except in the middle of the night. And when I'm done and put Luke down, Arie notices and comes and asks for it.
  • Marriage 
    • Trying to not let the exhaustion get the best of us and really trying to work as a team to make it through these hard days and nights. 
    • Talked about if I didn't have such extreme diet restrictions that it would be nice to have one of our moms babysit Arie while we went out on a date night for dinner with just Luke... but, since there's no where but home that I can eat... that will have to wait until Luke can tolerate food better. 
Over all, I think we are doing alright.  My sister told me that I look like I'm happy and right where I belong... I told her that I don't take pictures of myself or have Jack take pictures when I'm screaming in frustration.