Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Parenting Decision #3: extended breast feeding

The decision of whether or not to breast feed, how long to breast feed (if you do), and where to breast feed are all very personal decisions. 
Breast feeding is not easy, it's not a walk in the park.
It is extremely time consuming. Especially early on and during growth spurts.
It can be uncomfortable when you are just beginning & getting the hang of it, and again later when the child decides to be a acrobat while latched in.
With the down sides, it also has some great up sides that (I feel at least) far outweigh the down sides.
The nutritional superiority and special connection that I felt were & are amazing.
I'm not saying that someone won't feel a connection to their baby while bottle feeding. You definitely will. Bottle feeding won't ruin your relationship with your child, nor will it scar them for life.
Take it from a bottle fed child who's mom is one of her best friends.

Once you decide to breast feed, how long do you do it for?
Making sure baby gets colostrum is super important, but after those initial weeks how long do you go?
At first, I thought 6 months was good. Breast feed until he started eating baby food. Then we could wean him and I could have my body back.
After reading a little, I realized that it would be pointless to wean him at 6 months when breast milk is free and formula isn't. If I'm going to be home with him, why not continue it? I had fought to keep going that long. What's 6 more months?
Then I started reading more and researching more. 
I discovered that in some cultures it isn't uncommon to breast feed until well into childhood and that the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends at least 2 years due to the benefits for growing, developing children.
I had a new goal! After all, my baby at 12 months was just that, a baby.
 Why would I stop breast feeding my baby?
I wouldn't. So why not wait until 2 years when he isn't a baby anymore?

It hasn't been an easy journey getting to 16.5 months if breast feeding.
I struggled through the first few weeks with supply issues and recommendations to supplement with or switch to formula.
Then Moose started having tummy issues. Recommendations to switch my diet, or switch to formula (again).
I refused to stop breast feeding and worked through the problems with the support of my husband and kellymom.com (a great resource for all things breast feeding!)
Then came the long days and nights, where sleep was scarce.
Watching my little bit growing up bug and healthy gave me the push I needed to keep going.
Once he got teeth, a new struggle showed itself. Occasionally he would (and does) get careless and will bite. It's painful and has been difficult at times to prevent the behavior.
I thought about throwing in the towel in more than one occasion, but then I'm reminded how happy and healthy he is and I couldn't imagine quitting on him yet.

At 16 months, it's less of a problem to go out now that he nurses less often, although he still nurses at bedtime so being out too late or a mini baby less vacation isn't in the cards quite yet. We know it will be soon enough since they grow up too fast.

So why extend breast feed?
Nutritonal value
Added connection
And most important:
Let them be little.

Snow day!

We have snow!
Before he left yesterday, my hubby told me that we had a winter weather advisory with possible snow starting at 4 this morning.
I have been looking forward to snow for months and was hoping to wake up to fresh snow on the ground.
Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed when I woke up to no snow and only rain in the forecast.

Well, about 8:30am, I happened to look outside and I see white flakes floating toward the ground.
I couldn't believe my eyes!
I grabbed Moose, ran him downstairs (disrupting breakfast) to check it out. 
Sure enough, we're getting snow!
I hope it decides to stick, I'd love to take Moose out to play in some fresh powder!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Parenting decisions part 2: cloth diapering

Cloth diapers.
Old fashioned.
Big safety pins.

Those were all words that I associated with cloth diapers the first time that I heard modern parents talking about using cloth diapers.
Why would I want to use cloth diapers? I saw the horrible things that were used on my generation.
A piece of cloth, pinned to your child using gigantic safety pins, then sticking them in an awful plastic diaper cover. Like a big torture device created to breed diaper rash and make the parents petrified of stabbing their child.
With disposables so easy to use, why not ease your mind and go with that?

Then I actually looked into cloth diapers and realized that my thoughts were old fashioned.
Cloth diapers have come a long way in 25 years.
Now they are cute, stylish, easy, environmentally friendly, cheaper than disposables (in the long run).
Rather than using a huge pin and ugly plasic diaper cover, they come in cute fabrics, several different styles depending in a families need,  that wash easily in the washing machine and are better for both the environment and baby's skin.
There are a million different brands to choose from, can be bought from regular people who make them to supplement income, or can be made on your own.
They come in all different prices depending in the company they are bought from.

I purchased my first set of cloth diapers in June 2012 when we finally had our own washer and dryer and have never looked back.
They are the best investment we ever made.
The list of words at the top may have been my initial thoughts before cloth diapers.
The following list covers my thoughts now.

Cute designs.
Environmentally friendly.
Less diaper rash.
No pins.
No danger.

The Taste on ABC: a review

The Taste is a brand new cooking show on ABC, Tuesday at 8/7c which takes traditional cooking shows and turns them on their heads.
Rather than the typical cooking show where the judges get to watch everyone cook and then judge them on what they know the individual made, the Taste has the judges try a spoonful of the meals and judge it without knowing who cooked each meal. 
 Four teams each with their own coach, who doubles as a judge in the elimination round, are challenged each week with a new, difficult cooking task.
The chefs have 2 rounds to impress with their cooking talents.
The first challenge determines which chef has immunity for that wee.
 Each chef in each group cooks a meal around the challenge, then only one chef from each group will have a spoon full of their meal blindly tasted by 2 judges. The winner of that challenge is also the winner of the immunity.
The second round, the chefs all cook another meal around a similar challenge as the first round. 
This time, each meal is tasted blindly by the four coaches while being watched from above by their teams. 
Each "taste" or spoonful is criticized by the judges. Once every dish has been tasted, it's time to announce the winner(s) for the week and who is eliminated. Each judge gives their favorite dish a gold star and least favorite a red star. 
The more gold stars, the more impressive the dish. Red stars are obviously something that should be avoided. Once the best and worst chefs of the week are shown, the best are congratulated. The worst are told how disappointed their respective judge is at their abismal meal choice. 
The judges deliberate one last time to decide which chef to send home and announce their decision.

I have to admit, I think that the blind tasting is a great idea to keep coaches from intentionally picking their own team members to stay on the show, also so people can't be judged on appearances. Like "The Voice" in the audition round, the chefs are judged 100% on the taste of the food that is presented to the judges and how well it matched the challenge. 
I love cooking shows and I think that this will be another one to add to my must watch list!

You can check out The Taste on Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC. 
You can also check out a preview here:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Parenting Decision part 1: Co Sleeping

Co sleeping was one thing I always swore that I wouldn't do. I saw my mom co sleeping with my younger sister as a young child and then struggling to get her out of her bed and room until she was around 10.. 
At the time, I couldn't imagine wanting to share a bed with your baby. Society made it seem like all babies belonged in their crib or bassinet from day one. To do something different was wrong and dangerous. 
When pregnant with Moose, we got him a crib and pack'n'play so he could be in our room the first 6 months and move into his crib in another room after that (per recommendations from doctors). 
We planned to have him in the little hospital baby bed thing when he wasn't being held to allow us both to sleep.
We planned to have the bed to ourselves until he wandered into the room after having nightmares when he got older.
I never realized how much our plans would change.
Twice while still in the hospital, I set Moose in the hospital bassinet to go into the restroom only to come out & find spit up on his face and my baby struggling to breathe. After two failed attempts at getting the nurses to acknowledge anything was wrong, he stayed with me in my bed. 
I refused to set him down if no one was watching him.
When we brought him home, I tried placing him in the pack'n'play bassinet next to the bed, but I struggled to get him to sleep in it without screaming and when he was asleep he would randomly stop breathing.
I was so afraid that if I left him in the bassinet that he would stop breathing and I wouldn't know until I woke up the next day.
We brought it up to his pediatrician and he refused to acknowledge that something may be wrong. 
So the co sleeping began. 
Mommy and moose slept on the couch because the bed was so soft Moose would roll face down which caused fear that he would suffocate.

We discovered that Moose had a milk allergy/intollerance when he was very little also, which meant big changes for my diet to help his tiny tummy feel better.
Soon after, he began to projectile vomit. 
Twice, he projectile vomited 2-3 feet off of his changing table.
A few times when he was laying down, he would vomit and choke on it. Twice, his lips started to turn purple before I got his airway cleared and him breathing again.
Yet again, we took him to the doctor, yet again they insisted nothing was wrong. 
We went home yet again unsatisfied and scared. 
Out of fear of possibly loosing our son, co sleeping continued.

Finally around 6 months old, we were able to move into the bed and off the couch. 
By this time, co sleeping had become comfortable and the idea of moving Moose to his own bed was ridiculous.
Moose was still having some breathing issues and hubby had decided that co sleeping was natural. After all, it's natural for a baby to want to be close to their parents to feel safe. It's been in our wiring since the early humans when being too far from parents usually ment death for an infant.
Granted, being a few feet or even a room away from us definitely doesn't mean death for a perfectly healthy baby, but Moose didn't fall into that category.

Eventually, Moose's sleep apnea seemed to go away but  the co sleeping didn't end. 
We tried to move him into his crib, but ended up with a baby who screamed until he threw up almost everytime we tried. I tried allowing him to fall asleep on me, then I would lay him in the crib but he always woke up. On occasion he would sleep for an hour or two on his own, but I could never get him back to sleep once he woke up.
At 15 months, I converted his crib into a toddler bed. Now he can walk into his room at bed time and lay down for his story. He doesn't sleep as long as we would like, but we can get him back to sleep after he wakes up most days. 

While we would like for him to sleep in his own bed, it has become a belief of ours that co sleeping is natural and eventually we will get our bed back. So until then, once he has slept in his bed a little while, we gladly welcome him into our bed for all night snuggles.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Parenting decision series

I have noticed over the last year that I have made some slightly unconventional decisions, some decisions which seemed conventional that are becoming less so, and some that seemed less conventional are are becoming more norm.
Having a blog means not only sharing these decisions with the world, but sharing information and mine/hubby's reasons for choosing what we have for our child (and future children).
I've been questioned about some of the decisions made and been both put down and praised (depending on which side of the issue people are on) because of others.
With the switch to the new doctor in our very new future, I decided to do a series of posts about the different "controversial" decisions that we have made telling why we made the decision, providing links that I used for information, and possibly some reviews.
Topics I'll cover will be:
Cloth diapering
Potty training
I think it will be a good way to spread information and by doing seperate posts, will be easier to find specific info.
Watch for part one tomorrow, simetime before the Super Bowl!

Are YOU ready for some football?

Tomorrow is the big day, the one that all football fans ate waiting for. Tomorrow is the Super Bowl. After tomorrow, football season is officially over and thus begins the lull before baseball season begins (if you don't watch basketball that is).
I'm excited to see the San Francisco 49ers playing and will have both Moose and I in red for team support. 
I'll admit that I was rooting hard core against the ravens because hubby is a huge Patriots fan.
It's so cute to see both of my boys dressed in their matching Pats jerseys and this will be the last football season that Moose will fit in his.
Regardless, I am excited to hang out at home and watch the game with my boys.
 Shouting, yelling, jumping up and down. 
All three of us rooting for the same team & bringing another big win to San Francisco!
And once the game is over tomorrow, I'm even more excited to get into baseball season!

Work, new doctors, plans for the future

I have to say, I love my current jobs. 
A stay at home mom is one of the most incredible "jobs" that I could ever have landed in.
I would never have though of myself as the stay at home, "soccer" mom type. I dreamed of having kids, of taking them to their sporting/music/school events, but I always wanted a career as well. Since becoming a mom, I would trade the world to be a stay at home mom until all kids are in school. Unfortunately, I will have to get a job sooner than I hoped. The hope is to find something outside the home, at least part time, in the next few months (or as soon as possible) so that I can help pay bills and save for a down payment on a house.

I am currently crocheting hats as a small at home business*, but with so many people crocheting and selling hats, it is so difficult to find people to buy them right now and business has been fairly slow. 
I am working in a super cute Angry Bird order for a customer currently that I am excited about. Then back to making ready to ship hats until the next order comes in.

I am really excited for next week as Moose finally has his first appointment with his new doctor. He has been having acid reflux-like symptoms lately and not at sleeping well at times. We are hoping that we can get some answers as to what is going on. I'm also excited that we can choose to decline or postpone vaccines with this office and won't catch crap like we did with his last pediatrician. I hate being made out like I am a bad mother (hubby is a push over) for not wanting vaccines and pushing to keep my beliefs rather than get pushed into something I'm not comfortable yet again.

We have some big plans for the future. We are looking into moving (again) in the next year or so. This time into a one story with a fenced yard to allow Moose more room to play.
We're job hunting for both hubby and I. Hubby wants something where he will be making more money. I need something where I can help to pay bills and build up a nice down payment so we can finally buy a house.
2015 should bring some big events. We ate talking about doing our vow renewal finally and will be trying for baby #2 (as long as he/she doesn't decide to show up sooner. lol)
Hopefully in the next 5-10 years we will be where we would like to be financially, in the state where we will raise our children, owning our own house and happy.

No matter what, we'll see where life is actually going to take us (as much as we try to plan, life is great at throwing curve balls) and hope for the best.

*my business can be found at http://www.facebook.com/MooseCoCreations

Happy Birthday to my love

Yesterday was my husband's 26th birthday, his 4th birthday that we have spent together. 
We had a nice, relaxing day. 
Moose and I allowed him to sleep in, made him banana bread muffins, took him out to lunch, took Moose to the park, then made a steak dinner. 
He hurt himself at some point and ended the night in pain though, which wasn't the way I wanted to end the evening. 
I can't believe that we have been together sine he was 22 (I was only 21!). It doesn't seem like that much time has passed since we have been together. 
I'm glad that it seems like time has flown in a way though, it seems like the good, happy times fly by and sad, rough times drag and we have definitely had more good times then bad. 
I am so incredibly happy that we were lucky enough to meet and now have the opportunity to spend the rest our lives together, raising our son, eventual second child, and down the road a long ways, enjoying grandchildren.
I can not wait to spend many more birthdays together.
Happy birthday my love.