Category Archives: Breastfeeding

Friday Favorites: 2010

Tonight is the end of 2010.  I love New Years, but I find it to be bittersweet.  Another year down, as always, but sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye. 2010 was one of the best years of my life.

On New Years Day last year, I was mother to a 7 week old baby.  I was surviving through colicky nights and frequent nursings. Then there was the unknown of my husband’s upcoming training/ career change and all the change that would accompany that.

This New Years Eve, I’m mother to a 13 1/2 month old toddler who now gets around by walking.  He still nurses, but not anything compared to what he used to.  Now we are settled after all the change that has accompanied my husband’s successfully completed training/ career change.

Here’s some stuff my family has done in the past year:

My husband graduated EOD school (that’s such a big deal!)

Made new friends and said goodbye to friends, both new and old

Our family has moved twice

Road Tripped approximately 3383 miles of United States highway

Made it through our first childs first year and ALL the milestones that have come with that

Celebrated our baby’s first birthday

Found our love of sewing

We bought 3 sewing machines

Changed approximately  2920 diapers

Washed approximately 2820 diapers

My husband got 2 new tattoos (now he has 2!)

I knit 9 hats, 8 pairs of socks, 7 pairs of soakers and longies, 3 toys, 5 headbands, 3 dishcloths, 3 bags, my shawlette, a colorwork holiday stocking,  one adult sweater, one toddler sweater with another currently on the needles.

And that’s just the big stuff! 

2010 was filled with so many adventures!  Most of my years are not this action-packed, but some have been.  Still, it’s definitely been the most eventful year of my life.  I’ve enjoyed it very much, even the not-so-great moments.  I’m so happy looking back at it.  Thank you, 2010 for bringing me a year of life that I will never forget. 

I am excitedly welcoming 2011 with open arms.  I have big plans and big dreams, and I hope I can pursue them and have another adventurous year.

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Cloth Diapering, friday favorites, knitting, sewing

Friday Favorites: My Birthday Boy

Well, today’s the day; my baby’s now a toddler.  Today we’re celebrating his first year of life.  I’m very emotional about it but not in the way that I thought I would be.  Instead of mourning the fact that his babyhood is complete, I’m so happy that we have had the time together and that our family is so close and so happy.

A full year has come and gone since he was born.  We’ve now had a full year of breastfeeding, diaper changes, washing diapers, sleeping next to each other, toting him around on our bodies, trying to keep him happy while he cut teeth, and a full year of taking it one day at a time.  It’s been a year of lullabies, cuddles, open mouth kisses, and dancing.  We’ve gone through milestone after milestone and watched our son grow so much.  2 days ago he took his first steps and he has a very large vocabulary.

I’m looking forward to the next year, and every year after that, and every year after that.  Being a parent is an amazing thing, I can’t believe how it’s made me feel and how it’s changed me.

I still can’t believe that it’s been a full year since he was born.  After we were moved to our recovery room in the hospital, Grandma went home and Daddy went to sleep.  It was very late, but my adrenaline rush kicked in even though my body was so physically tired.  I lied there in the bed with my newborn on my chest, skin to skin.  He had just finished his second meal and we were both very content.  He looked up at me, and I looked down at him.  I felt a bond forming, one that had already been there but was now getting better.  Every day we have had these special moments and I love him so much.  I have to say, this past year has been my favorite year of  life.

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Filed under attachment parenting, Babywearing, Breastfeeding, Cloth Diapering, friday favorites, Janelle's Jibberish, knitting

A Silent Anniversary

Last Thursday I quietly celebrated an anniversary that’s very meaningful to me.  I’ve been a vegetarian for two years.

I celebrated quietly because I took a 24 hour vow of silence.  I did it for many reasons, but mostly to reflect on my two lives; the life before I gave up meat, and the life after.  I took a day of silence to remember the lives that were taken for me, and to pay respect to them. 

I learned some amazing things by shutting my mouth for 24 hours.  I found out how much is going on in my head, it’s busy up there.  Since I wasn’t able to communicate verbally, I had to use body language.  It’s amazing how much can be said without saying anything.  My son and I connected on a new level.  I was afraid he might feel ignored so I made it a point to pay special attention to him.  My husband and I also connected in a new way.  I quietly listened to him, we watched movies and cuddled.   It was a very specail day.  I’d like to do it again because  I feel I have more to learn.

I’m not going to talk about why I have given up meat.  There are so many reasons, and to me, they are really good reasons.  I am going to say that I have never felt better.  Both emotionally and physically.  Since going meatelss, I’ve had a healthy full-term pregnancy, exclusively breastfed my baby for 6 months, and now continue to breastfeed with the supplementation of solid foods.  Even will all these changes to my body, I can honestly say I have never been healthier in my life.

Following my moral compass has brought me so much happiness and meaning to my life.

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Exercise & Nutrition, Janelle's Jibberish, Meatless Monday

What is Attachment Parenting?

Before I say much, I want to tell any readers about myself a little bit.  I strive for simplicity in life.  I don’t like things to get overcomplicated and I think people in general are just that- overcomplicated.  When making important life decisions, I try to tap into my natural instincts.  I feel that people are still just animals and so deep inside those natural instincts are there.  I often think of scenarios as if I were living in the natural community in a cave somewhere, surviving off foraged food.

When I was pregnant I often imagined what it would be like to raise a child in the natural community.  I decided to try natural childbirth.  I would try to breastfeed as if my life depended on it, babywearing seemed like a must (there are no strollers in the natural community [there are also no babycarriers, just arms, but babycarriers make carrying a baby easier]), and I felt sleeping next to my child was absolutely necessary.  The reason for this is that if I lived in a cave, I would never put my newborn baby in the next cave over just so I could get better rest.  I would protect my child from danger with my life, even while sleeping.  I feel that co-sleeping, for me, insured the survival of my baby.

Now I know that I don’t live in the natural community, I live in the comfort of a home and so these laws of survival don’t necessarily apply to me.  I don’t really care.  Why shouldn’t they apply to me?  In the case of co-sleeping it did.  If he was having irregular breathing or needed me for something, I wanted to be right there. 

These ideals I had developed are the very core of attachment parenting.  Only I didn’t know it.  I began hearing the term on natural parenting blogs and I didn’t understand what it entailed.  I would ask blog authors for more information about it and they would simply point me to a book -” The Baby Book” by Dr. William and Martha Sears.

I had a hard time finding it.  It wasn’t in my local library (hello Southern culture).  In my 34th week of pregnancy I found it at Babies R Us of all places.   I briefly flipped through it and I was sold.  It contained everything I had already decided and more.  More that went along with these ideals.

I was very irritated that these blog authors never explained what attachment parenting was.  If they were going to talk about it, and how wonderful it is for them, why don’t they define it?

Now I’m not irritated at them.  I should do my own research and it’s not their job to educate the world.  They know what it is, most of their readers know what it is, so why go into deeper detail?  I have found that there really is no information online about the topic, only opinions of parents (who rave about it).  The only real information is in the Baby Book.  So if anyone has more questions, I recommend this book.  In fact, I recommend this book to all parents and parents-to-be.  I recommend looking through it with an open mind and making an educated decision about how to raise your children.

That said, I have taken it upon myself to educate readers about it.  I am going to define it by using the information presented in Dr. Sears Baby Book.

First of all, it’s important to remember that attachment parenting is an ideal.  It’s not a set of strict laws.  If these ideals are practiced, even just a little bit, strong bonds form between parents and their children.  The term attached is referring to a great benefit- a child will become attached to their parent instead of a blanket, toy or pacifier.

There are “7 B’s” of attachment parenting.  Think of them as tips or suggestions for parents and babies to bond easier.

1. Birth Bonding; meaning that parents should plan for a pleasant birth experience and for early bonding with their babies.  This often means rooming in together at the hospital if at all possible.  Natural childbirth is encouraged, but a mother should never feel guilty about anything when it comes to childbirth, it’s a situation that tends to have its own plan.

2. Belief in your baby’s cries- Read and respond to your baby’s cues; this strongly appealed to my mama instincts.  I feel that babies don’t cry to annoy their parents- they are trying to communicate.

3. Breastfeed your Baby; anyone who has been reading my blog don’t need to read my input.  I am all for breastfeeding.  Attachment parenting is still practiced with bottle fed babies.  There are many situations that can be out of our control and breastfeeding happens to be one of them.  The Baby Book has a section on bottle feeding with love.  Attached parents don’t choose bottle feeding over breastfeeding.

4. Babywearing- Carry your baby a lot; holding your baby close has so many benefits.  This is a blog post in itself.

5. Bedding close to baby; for me and many parents this means co-sleeping.  But co-sleeping is not a cure-all situation and I know it doesn’t work for everyone.  If someone doesn’t want their baby in their bed, keep them in a bassinet close by or in a crib in the same room.  This ensures that in the night a parent will be there for the baby.  They will be able to respond before complaints get out of control and turn into an all-out cry.

6. Balance and Boundaries; Babies are demanding.  That is the simple truth.  It’s hard to tend to their every whim and to be honest, that should not happen.  Setting boundaries at an early age simply prevents problems from developing.  Parents should be appropriately responsive to their babies, and The Baby Book has the answers to every question I have ever come upon.  I feel it’s important to note that when practiced wisely, attachment parenting is not an all out give-a-thon.

7. Beware of baby trainers;  This is something that appeals to my sensitive side and I’ve felt strongly about this subject even before I knew about attachment parenting.  Parents should be warned that when it comes to children, everyone has their opinion and will let you know it.  It’s good practice to listen, and make an educated decision about everything.  For attached parents, warning flags fly when terms like, “Just let them cry it out,”  “You need to get that baby on a schedule”, “You’re spoiling your child because you hold them too much,”  or “You’re still nursing?” are thrown around.  Following these pieces of “advice” lead to a baby who doesn’t trust their parents to help them in their time of need.

Attachment parenting is, in my opinion, a good way to parent.  It’s not the only way and it doesn’t work for everyone. I cannot stress enough to everyone, please do your own research and make an educated decision for your own children, families, and based on your personal situation.

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Filed under attachment parenting, Babywearing, Breastfeeding, Janelle's Jibberish

A Special Day

Today was one of those days that was special.  We didn’t do anything too out of the ordinary, but I had so much fun with my baby.

This morning I woke up and we went for a jog.  He got a little scared at the end and started crying, so we walked the rest of the way home with the baby on my hip and pushing the jogging stroller.  He cuddled up really close to me.  It melted my heart.

We went to the morning knitting group at the LYS.  He was so social and wanted to visit with everyone.  He was in such a great mood.  That’s nothing out of the ordinary, this child has the sweetest disposition.  Everyone wanted to hold him and tickle his thunder thighs. 

The conversation ventured into how cute my baby is.  Everyone admitted that he is the cutest baby ever.  I couldn’t believe this!  I was sitting with several grandmothers too.  Of course I think my own child is the cutest baby ever, but to hear other people say it is something that is far beyond flattering.

After everyone left, I picked up some new needles to try.  I browsed through the pattern books and bought “Vintage Baby Knits”.  This book has the sweetest patterns and many woolie patterns too.  It was highly recommended by my new friend.  I smelled all the soaps and let Dylan smell them too.  I think he really enjoyed this.  We of course, had to buy a few bars of them.

We stopped at the Fabric store to pick up a few things for some sewing projects I’m going to be working on.  I was wearing the baby on my front and enjoying the smell of his hair and kissing his head every few minutes.  As we were browsing through the fabric, he started laughing at all the fun patterns. 

He has this new laugh lately that just melts my heart.  It’s a strange little squeal, it’s the cutest noise I’ve ever heard.

After all this, we sat in the air conditioned car and enjoyed each other’s company while he nursed.  He fell asleep in my arms a few minutes later, and then we drove home.

The past week and a half have been hard because he cut 2 teeth about a week apart.  He’s been in pain and it is painful for me to see him this way.  He’s been very clingy and irritable.

Today was special because he’s his pleasant self again. I thought it would be nice to write about it and commit it to memory.  I love this little boy so much.  I am the luckiest mama in the whole world.

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Filed under attachment parenting, Babywearing, Breastfeeding, Exercise & Nutrition, knitting, sewing

Solids… actually enjoyable!

Hello Friends!  I’m sort of back from my vacation.  This is going to be a 4 day weekend, so DH and I are going to be enjoying every second together.

I just wanted to write so that it didn’t seem like I fell off the face of the earth, although it feels like I did.

Recently my baby reached a huge milestone- eating solid foods!  I have to admit, I dreaded this. A lot.  I’m not sure why, I suppose because of the baby books I have been reading.  They drill it in your head “no solids until 6 months!  If you start them  early they will have so many health issues” and so on.  Well, he reached 6 months 2 weeks ago and I wasn’t sure what to do. 

I knew he was ready for solids because he showed several signs.  He’s putting EVERYTHING in his mouth, he no longer has his tongue thrust reflex, he sits unsupported and was teething.  Yesterday he got his first tooth!  But mostly his poop changed.  It was still exclusively breatfed poo, but I could just tell his digestive system was ready for something more.  None of my books talked about this as a sign, but I know my baby and something had changed about it.

I started him on rice cereal for the first week.  The next week it was mashed bananas, and this week it’s sweet potatoes.  So far he just loves everything!  After he tried other foods he doesn’t really like the cereal anymore.  I don’t blame him though, it tastes like chalk.

Right now as I type I’m feeding him his sweet potatoes.  He enjoys eating and I enjoy feeding him. I made the potatoes for him, so far I haven’t given him anything from a jar and really don’t want to.  Making the food is fun!

So far the poopy diapers haven’t been a big deal.  I don’t know what I was so worried about.

Anyway, just wanted to say hello to my blogging friends out there.  I hope you all have been well!

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Filed under attachment parenting, Breastfeeding, Cloth Diapering, Exercise & Nutrition

Some knitting to do

I don’t have much to update about my diet program.  Last week was very busy, and this weekend I got sick.  Today I missed my workout, but I need to rest and get better.  If I wasn’t breastfeeding I wouldn’t force myself to rest, but now what’s most important is to get well and not do anything negative to my milk supply.  That includes staying away from cold medication, that can cut your milk supply in half or even dry it up altogether.  So today I’m catching up on some knitting and crocheting projects.

Last Monday was Dylan’s 5 month well-baby check up.  He’s doing so well.  He was 18 lb. 12 oz. and 26 1/2 inches long.  He’s a huge baby.  I know I’m not depriving him of anything by eating a vegan diet!  I feel so proud when people comment on his chunky thighs, and ask if he’s breastfed.  Of course I say he is and then I usually get a reply of “That’s so great!  Breastfed babies are always so chunky!”  I don’t know how true that is, but based on my baby it is.

Dylan outgrew his soakers a few weeks ago so I’m trying to catch up and knit him some that will fit.  It’s taken me longer than anticipated, I hope to finish the last one today.  I’ve still been using the old small ones and we’ve had lots of blowouts.  Usually in my lap, all over the Ergo, in the bed, you get the gist. 

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got some knitting to do!

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Filed under Breastfeeding, knitting