Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sitting Tall

Jeffrey seems to have the sit down. He didn't really start working on it until Monday, but when he focuses he gets stuff done. He can sit there with no help for quite awhile now. If he gets a little wobbly, he can sometimes even use his arms to balance himself. However, if something is going on behind him (like Coco walking by), he's a gonner. If he keeps getting stronger at this, we may consider introducing solids a little early since he's showing every other sign of readiness. We've been letting him play with his sippy at dinnertime, and he's figured that out. With all the drool that comes out of his mouth, he's been drinking his backwash. Lovely, huh?

I am really struggling with accepting that he's almost 6 months.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Breastfeeding, MD

Are pediatricians and OBs the only doctors that really support breastfeeding? This morning marked incident #2 regarding breastfeeding from someone in the medical field. Seems really strange.

1. I went to see the nurse practitioner about my nasty sty that got all puffy and swollen. I asked to make sure the ointment she was prescribing was okay for breastfeeding. She looked at me strange and asked, "Aren't you stopping at 4 months anyways?" Jeffrey was about 3.5 months at the times. You should have seen the even stranger look when I answered "No." Turns out it's fine, though.

2. Today, I went to see an opthamologist for the same dang sty (yeah, they are NOT going away. Thankfully, they don't bother me anymore. The one on my right eye is not super attractive, but what can you do?). He discussed the procedure I could opt for, but I was not feeling the groove of having my eyelids numbed and then having a needle pressed into the sty to drain it. For someone who hates how close the woman gets when she's waxing my eyebrows, this is not a great option for me. No problem, as he said that it's merely a cosmetic thing. They'll eventually go away, and they don't do anything bad for the eye. He then offered a pill. I asked if it was A-OK for BFing. He said that it wasn't; it would stain the baby's growing teeth. He then just shut down, wrote the prescription and said to get it when I was done with "that." Then, he just left the room. First off, that was a waste of my $35 copay to see a freaking specialist. Second, he made me feel bad about choosing to breastfeed over getting rid of a superficial sty. Sorry, but that's an easy decision for me.

Looks like it's just the ointment and warm compresses for good now!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

C: Cloth Diapers

This is a part of my ABCs of (my) Parenting series

I LOVE Jeffrey's little fluffy butt! Making the decision to use cloth is one that I have not regretted for one second. I'm a huge fan and encourage anyone to look into it. It's so easy, and it has great benefits. Plus, how can you not love a cute little man wearing cow print on his butt?

1) Savings. We calculated that we would break even, financially, at about 6 moths. That was us being conservative, too, so we very well could have reached that point already. Any time in diapers after that is all savings! That includes subsequent children, as well. I'll admit that I probably will buy some new diapers for new arrivals, though. Just not as much. It's just too much fun to buy them! Sure, it's an up-front cost which can be difficult. So worth it, though. Jeffrey has been super cheap since the hospital bills cleared.

2) Sensitivity. We have passed on our sensitive little skin, and his little tooshy is definitely the most sensitive at all. He gets a little rash from sitting in his poop for the time it takes to walk from the front room to his bedroom to change him. A tad ridiculous (no worries- it's gone by the next change.) He flares up super badly when we used disposables that we got at baby showers. We would probably be keeping diaper cream companies in business if we weren't in cloth.

3) Green. There's obviously an environment factor in using cloth. This is just an added benefit for us, as it was not the main reason for choosing to CD. It is nice to know that we're helping out a little, and it's fun to see the diapers hanging out to dry. Kinda takes you back to what it may have felt like way back in the day...

4) Adorable. Seriously, they're cute. Way cute. Jeffrey agrees, and we have good times stuffing the diapers together. He loves the monkey and cow prints the best.

We're currently using Rocky Mountain One-size pocket diapers during the day and BumGenius One-size pockets at night, and we're super happy with our system. We also use cloth wipes with some water in lieu of disposables. We do use disposable wipes when we're out of the house, though. That's just easier.

I love cloth. Jony loves cloth. Jeffrey loves cloth. We're one happy cloth family :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Picture time!

After a wordy post yesterday, here's some pictures to balance it all out! My little 5 month old...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

B: Breastfeeding

This is a part of my ABCs of (my) Parenting series.

It's one of those things that I (any many others) plan to do when they have children. It just seems so natural. After all, that's what our boobs are made for, right? I did tons of research about breastfeeding when I got pregnant and learned all that I can. The biggest point that I came across: it's in no way as easy as you'd think it is/should be. So, I prepared myself for the worst and that it was going to be super hard. Jony and I took a breastfeeding class at the local hospital, and I started attending La Leche League meetings at 6 months. I figured that hearing about other people's troubles would help me. I'm pretty sure that it did.

While I had it EXTREMELY easy with a baby who latched on within 10 minutes of being born and never really experienced any nipple pain (at the beginning- it came on about 2 months for a bit. Wierd, right?), there's also the emotional aspect that I'm glad that I was somewhat prepared for. It is hard stuff to be so stuck with your baby. It took a long time for me to be able to figure out when to shower, when to eat, when I could leave the house for just a few minutes. He needed me there when he got hungry, and only his little tummy knew when that was going to happen. I had many feelings of resentment towards Jony because he couldn't do it. I became the clogged duct queen. Christmas was fun with two breasts as hard as rocks and extremely painful. I probably had at least one every two-three days. I was not a fan of breastfeeding, but I was going to do it.

Now, with my baby now being a whopping 5 months old, it's my favorite activity in the world. It gives me a reason to just sit down and relax. It's usually when I catch up on the internet. It's my "me" time, even though the little man is literally attached to me. In another sense, it's "our" time. There's nothing more perfect than our snuggles and the feeling that he needs me (a nice feeling when I've come to realize how much I need HIM). He rests his little hands on my chest or sometimes reaches up to my face and grabs my chin while he eats. He likes to hold on to the chair or scratch it if it's a couch with his hand that's behind my back. When he gets super serious, he closes his eyes and goes to town. I love every aspect of it. How long do I plan on doing it? That's still unclear. I doubt it's going to be automatic weaning at one year, but I have no idea after that point. I'm just going with the flow (ha!).

I truly wish that everyone was able to experience this, and I know how extremely lucky that I am to have had it so easy in comparison to some. My hope is to be a great support system for others and help them through their struggles so that they can potentially get to where I am now. Unfortunately, I think this is where the downfall is for most women. Lactation consultants can be a joke a good portion of the time, and society is just coming around to being pro-breastfeeding. It's tough to get through the hard times when everyone is throwing the word "formula" in your face. I'm in now way anti-formula, but, if someone wants to breastfeed, they should be given all the support that they deserve. That goes for all aspects: if someone chooses to stop, do a mixture, or go formula from the get-go. It's all about support.

Monday, April 19, 2010

5 Months!

My little man just keeps growing, despite my best efforts to keep him small forever. Every day, he learns something new and shows me that he is growing up to be a big boy. He's moving all around, interacting so well, and his feet touch the ground when he's sitting in his bebe pod. All great. All ridiculous. He is such fun to be around as he is almost always in a fantastic mood. He's so easily amused (he get's that from me) and laughs at almost anything. He is quite the flirt with the ladies; men have to work a little harder for him to interact. He loves technology and all remotes and is obsessed with our dog. Poor little guy doesn't get near as much attention from our Coco as he would prefer, but his day is made when she lets him pet her.

As for his 5 month stats:
  • he's about 14lb 7oz and is at least 26 inches long
  • still wearing 6-9 month clothes in Gerber and is in transition to the 6 month Carter clothes (the bulk of his wardrobe now). Pants are becoming an issue now due to length.
  • showing some sleep improvement these last few nights- only waking up twice. He's also forming a pretty consistent schedule of bedtime and morning. Naps are also improving
  • army crawling all over the dang place. Blankets are useless.
  • starting to get up on all fours
  • can sit unassisted some of the time for up to a minute!
  • can reach and grab like the best of them. He crosses over the midline great and with no problems.
  • can stand holding on to something as long as you'll let him (or until he get's too excited, lol)
  • plays with his feet constantly
  • can transfer objects to other hand and has 100% success in getting all items to the mouth
  • babbles and squeals all the time; he prefers the sound "mamamama" as well as the high pitched shrieks. Our house will never be quiet again.
  • will turn his head towards you when he hears a voice/his name

His 5 month photoshoot is tonight. It'll be insane to see how he is in comparison to the caterpillar on his quilt.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Movin' on up!

Jeffrey got up on all fours today. A few times. It was so crazy to see him looking like a little boy.

Sleep has gotten a tiny bit better the last few nights. We even got a 4 hour stretch in last night- yay! We would have gotten two, but mommy and daddy went out on the town and caught up with some old friends. That was really awesome and nice, and Grammy got some good reading time in while staying with Jeffrey. We figured she'd have a heck of a time, but he only woke up once for her- 5 minutes before we got home. We obviously need to have the grandmothers come over more often. My mom got a three hour nap out of him yesterday morning!! Anyways, today we started day 1 of our new nighttime routine. We're going to try and be pretty consistent (yet flexible, as the book emphasizes) and see how it goes! We're sacrificing time for tears, so it may be awhile. We'll see how tonight goes and then take another log in 10 days and see where we go from there!

5 months old tomorrow!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

No Cry Sleep Solution: Day 1

These way-too-frequent night wakings have started getting the best of us, so it's time to do something. I've said before that we're just not into "crying it out," so that's not an option for us. So, Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry Sleep Solution" seemed to be just the thing for us! So far, it seems to fit as far as approaches go. We figure, if nothing else, we'll learn a little bit more about sleep. I really have high hopes that it will work for us, though. You sacrifice time for tears, but I already noticed a difference in our attitudes last night knowing that he could potentiall be sleeping for much longer stretches in a few months. Just the feeling that we're doing something makes a big impact.

One of the things she has you do is keep a sleep log. We already knew, but it made it painstakingly obvious that we suck at routine. I'm sure that fixing this will be the key to nighttime success. I've learned that they should be getting up around the same time every day, and this is really not what hapenns in our house. We always try to get him back down for some extra sleep time. Today, we just kept him up when he got up at 7:40am since that's about when he always wakes up. It sucks, but I'll be fine getting up then if that means that I get to sleep all the way to that point. He's only getting 11 hours and 40 minutes of sleep a day for both naps and nighttime when he should be getting 13-14. Naps are fine (yesterday, ha), but he's lacking about two hours at night.

Day 1 Stats:

Naps: 4 total for 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Shortest nap: 20 minutes
Longest nap: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Nighttime: 8 hours and 25 minutes total from 9pm to 7:40am with a total of 4 wakings
Shortest sleep stretch: 15 minutes
Longest sleep stretch: 3 hours and 10 minutes

Here's hoping for at least SOME improvements in a week.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Our little Texas boy

It's a family tradition/necessity to take pictures of your children in a field of bluebonnets about this time of year. Not to be bad Texans, we loaded ourselves up and headed up the highway until we found a decent field. It was a tad difficult seeing as how Jeffrey can only sit unassisted for 30 seconds tops, and that's only if he's in the perfect position. So, we had a bunch of stuff in tow. What did we forget? The good camera. Ugh. Thankfully, I did have mine, so it wasn't a waste of a drive. Jeffrey did manage to break the law and pick a bluebonnet, but I swear it wasn't intentional. ;)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A: Attachment Parenting

This is the first of my ABCs of (my) Parenting series:

I wouldn't consider myself to be horribly hard-core about being AP, but I fit into that category in more ways than not. Sadly, I find that AP tends to leave a bad taste in most people's mouths, but it's really just about gentle parenting and following the needs/cues from your baby. It was a natural approach to parenting for us, and it just so happens to have a name.

There are eight principles of Attachment Parenting:

1. Prepare for pregnancy, birth, and parenting: I am ridiculous when it comes to researching, and we really got a lot out of our Bradley childbirth classes. Being knowledgeable about my body was a huge point in why I had a successful pregnancy, labor, and post-partum experience. That's not to say that all of it was great and wonderful, but I knew to expect that and was prepared for it.

2. Feed with Love and Respect: I am exclusive breastfeeding and feed on demand. Honestly, watching the clock would be just too much work for me. AP allows me to fit in my lazy parenting ;) We also plan on making his baby food and modeling healthy eating habits.

3. Respond with Sensitivity: Because we parent "on demand," we've learned how to differentiate his cries. It was exciting when we realized that we could quickly pinpoint the problem and calm him down by fixing it. In these regards, we are also not fans of "crying it out." I figure there's a reason he's waking up/crying- he's either hungry, hurting (teething- quite a suck situation), or just needs a hug. One of those three calms him down and gets him to sleep a lot faster than letting him cry.

4. Use Nurturing Touch: I'm a huge advocate of babywearing. I love it. Jeffrey loves it. It's super easy to get things done, and you don't have to lug around the awkward car seat. A win in all regards. Jony is actually going to be getting himself a carrier so that he can participate (my carriers are a bit much for him, he says)

5. Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally: We take this on a night by night basis on what works. Since he's teething and hitting all sorts of developmental milestones, he's not sleeping very well. At all. Therefore, it's still about survival. So, yes, that means little guy is sleeping with us a good amount of time at the moment. He always starts in his crib, but lately he's been waking up with us.

6. Providing Consistent and Loving Care: I'm lucky that we're able to have me stay home, so this is pretty easy to accomplish. It's also nice knowing that the grandparents are head over heels for him when we have them babysit. He's always with someone who adores him (but, really- who wouldn't adore him?)

7. Practice Positive Discipline: As a Psychology minor, this hits a major chord with me. Mainly, it's the only form of "discipline" that works. It's all about positive or negative reinforcement. No spanking or yelling will be going on in our house.

8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life: This is a hard one, but it's a great one to remind yourself about all of the time. I'm constantly trying to work at remembering that I need to put Jony or myself first before Jeffrey at certain times. Sure, Jeffrey needs to be #1 way more than we need it, but balance is way too important to let it slide.

So, that is the basic principles of our parenting. Honestly, isn't it everybodies? Everyone interprets the principles a little bit differently, but it's all about doing what comes naturally. The word on the street identifies AP as the wierd, extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, anti-vaccinating, babywearing, cloth diapering moms. A lot of them are, but it's not what AP is about.

A lot of these principles will be coming back into play as the alphabet continues...stay tuned for the letter "B"!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

the ABCs of (my) Parenting

This is a series that I've been thinking of for a little bit now, but it's hard to get things done very quickly when there's a mover and shaker that has decided life is not okay of mommy is not right there (yup, seperation anxiety has reared it's ugly head). I've been wanting to write out some of my thoughts on certain aspects of parenting just to get them out, plus I figured it would give my readers (providing there are some, lol) a chance to learn a little more about me, my life with Jeffrey, and how things go down in our house. Basically, every so often (probably about once a week, but I make no guarantees), I'll post a letter of the alphabet and explain what it stands for in my life. Should be good fun, and it'll give me a chance to blab about certain things that would probably be super random and out there.

A: Attachment Parenting
B: Breastfeeding
C: Cloth Diapers
D: Dog
E: Energy
F: Food
G: Great Friends
H: Happiness
I: Illness
J: Jeffrey
K: Kids
L: Learning
M: Mommy Instinct

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm a proud mama

As a mom with a degree in English, having children that would be interested in and enjoy reading is something that is important to me. There are far too many benefits that I don't want them to miss out on. So, we read to Jeffrey pretty consistently. He loves it. He likes to touch the books and scans the pages very intently.

He got about 5 Easter books, and we've had them laying on his comforter (yes, he plays on a comforter since baby blankets are worthless since he moves so much) in the corner. He's consistently avoided his other toys (and there are tons- he's a tiny bit spoiled) and gone to the books! It makes me smile each and every time! His favorte books are a soft book called "Fluffy Chick and Friends" and a board book called "Farm." My only goal now is to encourage this and make sure to maintain this excitement/love for reading!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Oh, the itch

It's mosquito season here in Houston. Joy. And, it seems as though the Easter Bunny left me lots of little spots to enjoy long past the Easter holiday. My ankles look sickly from all of the red spots. So itchy. I feel like they're going to drive me insane, but I know that I've survived it before. I never had an issue when I was pregnant- I guess my blood didn't taste good? I liked that. There are many reasons that I like living in the south. I like to be hot. I hate to be cold. Unfortunately for me, mosquitoes are not on that list.

Hilarity: Jeffrey is definitely his father's son. He was having the greatest time rolling around and saying 'Good Morning' to all of his toys when he heard the typing, and here he is! He LOVES laptops. He's also big for cell phones, lol.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hoppy Easter!

We had a great time at the Farm, and Jeffrey had an exciting first Easter! He had quite the spread from the Easter Bunny, including a Wii and a fancy blue wiimote (remote). Memaw and Pawpaw went a little overboard, obviously. He had tons of fun looking at the eggs, playing with his bunny rattle, reading his rabbit books, and watching his cousin go on an Easter Egg hunt. With all of the excitement from the weekend (we went to a parade on Saturday), he's been doing pretty well with sleeping. He's taken great naps! He's been waking up pretty often at night still, but he's been passing out immediatly after either eating or if it's time to take another teething tablet. I'll take this oppurtunity to throw out a product rave: Hylands teething tablets. Awesome.

He took the oppurtunity this weekend to work on his army crawl a little more. Yup, he's MOVING! It's incredible. He's super close to getting up on all fours, too. He can do it except for his arms; he just uses his forearms instead. I can't believe how big and mobile he's getting. He's almost 14lbs!

He was so much fun to be with today, and I cannot wait to watch him grow until next Easter. Can you believe that he'll be walking/running on his own Easter Egg hunt?!?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Small victories!!

Jeffrey woke up screaming in pain again last night. Popped him a Hylands teething tablet and watched him zonk out. Only to wake up once four hours later and go right back to sleep after he ate for another four hours. Yay! I'm glad we all got a good rest. It's so sad that the poor little gut is in so much pain :(

We're off to the farm to celebrate Easter (teething tablets in tow)!! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Sling Recall

As a babywearer, I figure I should share my thoughts on this.

First, that sling doesn't even look safe or comfy at all. I'm of the thought that most any of the slings you find at Babys R Us are not super great. There are MUCH better ones out there. Obviously, the Moby and some of the stretchy type slings are great. All the other ones- not so much. The Infantino one, especially, looks like you're just carrying around a small baby bed in front of you. That doesn't even go with the principles/reasons/benefits for wearing your baby. I know that Jeffrey wouldn't stand for it, and I don't think my back would either.

Second, the media has been awful during this whole thing. Now, all that know nothing about babywearing think that it's all bad. This has resulted in nasty looks, whispers, and even a few comments towards me while I'm wearing Jeffrey. It's crazy to think that some people think it's bad when Jeffrey is squealing and smiling. It hasn't been said that cribs are bad when there were recalls- same goes for strollers. Hopefully, babywearing gets some good press coverage soon. Although, I have a feeling that it's up to all the people wearing little babes to educate the world. I've informed the two people who talked to me about my sling, and it ended up being a pretty positive experience.

So, it's been annoying, but I hope that it all clears up in the end. Plus, it is good that those unsafe slings are off the shelves. Now, people can find other carriers that are 100% better! I'm currently in the market for a mei tai, myself. :)