Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Birthdays, Bike Ride, and More!

It was a busy, busy weekend for us! My husband's birthday was on Friday and we went out to celebrate Friday night and Saturday night. Friday was just the two of us (belated anniversary celebration as well) and Saturday was with some friends.

Happy Birthday Dear!

Saturday was a crazy, busy day all around. We got up early and rode our bikes on a metric half century (50 K or 32 miles) through some of the more scenic parts of our county. It was beautiful. It was the most miles I've ridden since I had dude-y and the first time my husband and I actually rode an organized ride together. I rode a century (100 miles) back in 2010 without him since he broke his toe walking down the stairs! Then he attempted the same century this past fall, but due to frigid temperatures and nasty rain, was only able to complete 82 miles. I know some of you reading this must think we're crazy and are thinking ONLY 82 miles!!! Don't worry, I think marathon runners are crazy! The first 13 miles of our ride were grueling! We were stiff, hungry, thirsty, and cold.  But after a lengthy rest and plenty of food and water, we finished the rest rather easily. After finishing up, we grabbed some food and then headed to a first birthday party for one of my friend's kids!  A quick showing at the party and then we finally went home to shower and get ready to go out again for birthday celebrations. Whew! I'm exhausted recounting this!  It was a good relaxing time though.  We went to a German restaurant and ate outside in the beer garden.  Great food, a little beer, music, and just a wonderful relaxing atmosphere with  friends was perfect.

We all slept most of Sunday! Even dude-y.  We planned on not doing much of anything till my brother called and invited us to go to a movie.  So my gracious and wonderful mother (who watches him all week) agreed to watch dude-y yet again for us and we enjoyed an evening out.  It was the first movie I'd seen in a theater since July 2011.  Yup, right before dude-y came.  I enjoyed going out, but now I'm still drained from the weekend and need some rest.  Alas, it's near impossible to rest when you have a super active 10 month old!  Speaking of, he's 10 months old today!  I still can't believe it's almost been a year! Time to get moving on planning his birthday party.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Walking for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)

My friend's mother was diagnosed with this terrible disease some time in the last year or two. Our friend's mother now only has about a month left. My husband and I have decided to join our friend on this walk to honor her mother and support others with the disease. Please help me raise money for this wonderful cause.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Breastfeeding - What No One Tells You

What could be more loving and nurturing than the image of a breastfeeding mama? Not much.

What did everyone forget to tell you? That about 60-75% of the time breastfeeding will NOT be that lovely, soft focused image of mother gently gazing at baby while he contentedly and gently suckles at his mother's breast!

Don't get me wrong, I love breastfeeding my son. It's often warm and loving and fills me with pride, joy, and wonderment at the fact that I can feed, nurture, and comfort my child in such a unique and intimate way. We are bonded! But so much of our journey has been up and down. I am one of the lucky ones who has enough (too much at times) milk and a babe that has nursed like a champ from day one. While our journey has been relatively easy, it's still been gruelingly hard at times.

My milk didn't come in till day 5 and at that point he had lost more than 10% and was jaundiced, so the doctors prescribed formula. I bawled my eyes out! Thankfully I had a nurse who was extremely experienced with nursing and setup a makeshift supplemental nursing system with a syringe and a long, thin tube so my son could get formula while continuing to nurse. My milk came in 4-5 hours after returning home the next day, but not before another sob fest.

Breastfeeding is also physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting and draining. "What? You want to nurse again? It's only been 15 minutes." "It's 3 am! Why oh why can't you just go to sleep?!?!" I remember many a night crying from sheer exhaustion and vowing that I was going to quit. Beyond stubbornness, a cheap streak, an inability for my son to digest dairy protein without wailing, nursing, sleeping, and repeating every two hours or less, and god knows what, I'm not sure what kept me going. But I stayed the course and do not see an end in our near future.

Which brings me to the next point; allergy and other intolerance! Apparently many babies have trouble digesting milk proteins at first. Guess what? Yup, mine was one of them! This was not a problem with lactose, but with the proteins! If it was my baby would have been unable to digest my milk as human milk also contains lactose. Let me repeat, this is a problem with the PROTEINS in milk and NOT the lactose. Thus began my journey into dairy free eating. What a nightmare!!! Do you know that milk is EVERYWHERE? Yes, it is. I've been a label reader for a long time, but this was a whole new level!!! Eating out was fraught with terror and danger since trying to get straight, knowledgeable answers was near impossible. I scoured the web for chains that disclosed their ingredients and mainly ate out at a handful of places. It became worse when he started reacting to soy (I was grateful as my intestines were none too pleased with the so called wonder bean either) and began bleeding. Not much is scarier than a bloody diaper. Thankfully as he grew, he became better able to handle dairy in my diet and can eat some now. Not too much, though and certain things are worse than others.

Remember how I mentioned having a lot of milk? Yeah...that causes problems too. The obvious ones like leaking, engorged breasts, and becoming soaked every time baby feeds since he can't handle the flow and either letting the milk dribble or popping off and letting the milk spray. The not so obvious ones like plugged ducts (OUCH!) and so much foremilk that baby is even gassier and spits up more.

Now that he's older, I get to deal with what some refer to as gym-nurse-tics. As the name implies, it means that baby decides that he wants to nurse in any position imaginable (and some that could never be fathomed without having witnessed them)! Downward dog, sitting, sitting bent over, standing, upside down, side ways, backwards, in the shower or tub, off and on and off and on again, up and down and up again, etc.  Plus, since this is gym-nurse-tics, the frequent changing of positions is mandatory! I secretly think this is the bigger reason most women don't nurse their older babies and toddlers in public. It's just too damn hard to keep from flashing everyone your nip (because once most babies have control of their arms, they will NOT accept having a blanket or cover over their heads) and it's frustrating wrestling your increasingly bigger and bigger baby!

This list doesn't even cover ALL of the issues a mother may have with breastfeeding, but just the bumps I've encountered. There are bleeding nipples, mastitis, and thrush. There are women who no matter what they do, can't make enough milk. There are women who are survivors of abuse and can't tolerate this level of intimacy. There are breast cancer survivors who lost their breasts. There are also babies who are tongue tied or have facial deformities. There are babies who bite a lot. There are so many reasons breastfeeding may be difficult for someone, but no one ever seems to discuss them.

I often wonder if some of my friends who had trouble had known some of these things may have had a longer breastfeeding relationship. I wonder if they got bad advice from ill informed doctors. I wonder if it's just that they didn't have the support in place to work through the tough spots and continue on. I don't know. I would be happy if this post helped just one mom reach her breastfeeding goals or help just one mom realize that she is a wonderful mom even if she had difficulty breastfeeding and had to feed her baby another way.

Please let me know your experiences with this. Let me know something you wish someone had shared with you before you had your baby.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Mother I Am

On Mothers Day, I want to spend a little time explaining why I mother the way I do. For starters see this?

That sweet angelic face is the reason I do what I do. That precious, tiny human being is why I chose to mother attachment style. I feel it is my duty in life to respect, nurture, comfort, and love that baby boy in a manner that makes him feel safe, secure, protected, and loved. I feel it is important that his early life is as happy, warm, and nurturing as possible so that he grows up believing life is good and people and relationships are important.

The world can be scary and hard, but family shouldn't be. Family should be your safe haven. The calm in the storm. The oasis in the desert. I want to always be that to my son and any future children. I want to be that to my husband as well. This doesn't mean there won't be limits, but it means I will try hard to remember the person he is and the stage of development he is in. I'm not here to scold, cajole, and punish him into behaving. I'm here to love, nurture, and guide him towards being the best human being HE is capable of being so that he wants to do good. Remember, we all try our hardest and do our best for those we feel truly care about us and our feelings. This is what attachment parenting is to me.

Happy Mothers Day to all women! We are all mothers to someone even if we don't have or adopt children. Keep loving each other and the world and maybe we can make the future brighter for all of our children.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Extremism - Where's the Balance?

So I've been mulling over and discussing the recent TIME cover photo and article (Here's a link in case you've been hiding under a rock the past few days and missed it.) and have been struggling to figure out exactly what I want to say about this. I have had many people ask me about this and say that they've thought about me when they heard about it as I'm fairly open about my crunchy, hippy mama style of parenting. I'm fairly open in general about my life, so this is nothing new.

I often proudly admit to being a bleeding heart liberal whose passionate about women's rights (and now children's rights), but I find this picture uncomfortable, demeaning, and exploitative. It's not that the child is 3 years old. It's not that the woman's breast is partially visible. It's that the pose seems slightly suggestive and clearly sensationalist. It's that the mother seems so detached. It's that the title implies that mothers who don't do this are not up to the challenge of being a mother. And I think most importantly, it's that the balance that helps create happy, healthy attached families is completely missing from this sensationalist piece of journalism designed to sell magazines and stir controversy.

I plan on discussing this more, but I just need more time to process. Please check out the links below for information from Attachment Parenting International on their eight principles. And please, let me know your thoughts.
API's Eight Principles
API's Blog Post About the Principles

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Grrrr! Technology Ate my Next Post

I started writing something this morning to post later today, but my iPad ate it. I hate when technology does that (and I'm a tech support person). I'd say that couldn't happen with paper, but I have a dog and a baby who both like to eat paper! Looks like I'll have to write when I want to post, at least with the blogger app. :-/

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Poop-splosion and Baby Giggles

I was thinking all day about what I was going to write for my first blog post when a story happened to us! What's better than real life, right?

A little background; my husband and I are the happy, often exhausted, sometimes frustrated, and slightly nutty parents to one amazing, focused, energetic, and down-right adorable 9 month old boy whom we like to call dude-y! We both work outside of the home and do our best to keep the house at least functional to have all the supplies available for each day with our little man. So, on to tonight's gut-busting story!

Dinner is mostly uneventful until dude-y decides to pick up the sippy cup that had been placed back on his tray after it was dropped on the floor. The cup lid must have been knocked loose from the fall because water begins pouring out of it! We start laughing at the water streaming out and dude-y grins big and lets out his amazingly hardy laugh! Then we laugh more and he returns more baby giggles and we laugh and he laughs! After about 5 minutes of back and forth laughter, we finally all stop laughing. Tears are almost streaming down my face! Dinner is over and bath time is about to begin (a necessity after almost every meal with a 9 month old!).

We start getting the bath ready. I decide to take care of some laundry while my husband starts the bath. I manage to get the diapers out of the dryer, the wet load into the dryer, and begin to load the next pile of laundry when I hear my husband calling desperately for me. I walk into the bathroom to the most ridiculous thing I may have ever seen in my life. There is my husband ready to get into the bath with dude-y, poop smeared all over his belly, poop on the baby's butt, a half unsnapped poopy diaper on the floor, and a look of sheer horror on my husband's face! My husband forgot to check the diaper before removing it and ended up covered in it!!! I rush in, grab the baby, and start dipping his butt in the tub to get the poop off. I unplug the drain so we can all get a shower to clean up and it doesn't drain! There's poop floating everywhere and I'm trying to keep dude-y from playing in it! My husband grabs the plunger and starts plunging the drain all while looking totally mortified as I hold the baby and begin chuckling at the fiasco. Finally we get the tub emptied and cleaned so that we can all clean up. Our bedtime routine is restored and we finish getting our little man ready for bed.

I hope you enjoyed our poop filled night and I hope my husband doesn't mind that I shared. ;-)