Alrighty, Back Carry It Is!

I so wish I had a picture for you all, because it was truly adorable. Very soon I’ll have a phone again, and pictures will be attached to all of my posts. For now I hope I can paint the picture for you instead.

I live in Maine, and as I’m sure all of my state side readers know, Maine is cold. VERY cold. The big problem for me is that I don’t drive… Currently we walk or bus everywhere we need to go. That means that I have to walk Caleb to his preschool each day before going to mine. Trying to push a stroller through snow is a very illogical thing to do. Yesterday, I did it anyway. It took me an extra fifteen minutes to get him to school.

Sadly the time part isn’t the worst part. Caleb will not wear gloves or mittens. He’ll either rip them off, or sob and scream till they are removed. It’s way too cold to be out without gloves, but there really was no other choice. It’s too cold in general really. We’d get to his school, or home, and his hands would be pink. We always offer gloves, and on especially cold days I’d fold down his sleeves and put gloves over them so he couldn’t get them off. It broke my heart to hear him scream, but I couldn’t figure out what else I could do.

Today, I decided enough was enough. I’ve been avoiding using our Ergo because I usually have a lot of things to bring with us. We both have full school bags, and it’s much easier to just toss them under the stroller. Since I didn’t have class today, I just tutor on Fridays, I decided to try the Ergo. I woke him up, got him dressed, and tossed him up in the carrier.

Right away there was a big smile across his face. He loved being so close and snugly when he first woke up. The best part for him was that he was warm! His hands were tucked inside of my jacket, which was wrapped around us both, and his hood was much easier to keep on with him face to face with me rather than in the stroller. It wonderfully also saved us a ton of time. I was able to walk at a normal pace, and the snow was no problem for us.

The only problem was the pain. Last year I really hurt my back. It felt like I’d crushed it. I went to the chiropractor a few months ago, and I’ve been feeling better, but not my best. This morning, carrying my just about thirty pound child on my front, all of that pain came back temporarily. I was dying to get him off of me, and dreading the walk home. It’s not long, just a fifteen minute walk, but I was really worried that the pain would last.

After tutoring I picked him up and decided to try my second ever back carry. The last time I tried it, nearly a year ago, I spent the whole time panicking that he’d fall out. This time, I had his teacher look us over once I’d gotten him all snuggled in, and it felt a whole lot better. We started our walk home, and I couldn’t believe how comfortable it really was. No pain, barely any pressure, just a snugly baby on my back.

Within minutes, he was passed out for a wonderful nap. Usually if he falls asleep in the stroller, when we get home and I try to move him he will wake up and be miserable all night. With the carrier I just sat on the couch, unlatched it, and gently laid him down. Such a simple transfer, and he got a great nap in! I really love this boy. I’m so thankful for our Ergo. It was an incredible investment.

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I LOVE My Ergo!

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I’m a huge lover of baby wearing. I’ve had a woven wrap from Wrapsody, a Maya Ring Sling, Cheapie Soft Carrier, and an Infantino Wrap Carrier. All great, all affordable, but all a pain in the behind and Corey wouldn’t wear any of them. I’ve been drooling over an Ergo since I first heard of baby wearing but could never spring for one at the full, and yet still reasonable, price of $150. One of my besties, Brittney, and I were taking a walk with our kiddos a few weeks ago though and were talking about my desire to have an Ergo. It just so happened that she had an extra one that she had an extra one she was looking to sell. We agreed on $75 and I became the proud owner of this lovely green and brown Ergo.

Fast forward to a couple of weekends ago and this carrier really got a work out. My uncle wore him on a nature work and over a wobbly bridge. Right before that, I had him attached to my front walking around the largest candy counter in the world. It only takes a few seconds to get him into the carrier and positioned and only about a minute when changing sizes. No pain on my shoulders or back, no way for him to fall out, a great breathable material, and it includes a nap hood which keeps the sun and wind off of his head and holds his head in place so he can comfortably nap. This carrier is all around the best I’ve ever had and well worth the purchase.

 

Longest Candy Counter

“My Mama!”

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One of the funniest parts of my day is bed time. Corey will lay down with me and snuggle while Caleb plays. The thing is… After a few moments, Caleb notices that we are snuggling and he comes over and pushes us apart. He claims me so that his daddy can’t snuggle with me. We always end up laughing hysterically.

This morning I climbed out of bed and Caleb happened to wake up; much earlier than usual for him. He comes into the living room where I’m sitting and he climbs up onto me and wraps himself around me. All I can think is that he’s once again claiming me. I can just picture him saying, “My Mama!” It’s funny how that happens though; how our children get so attached to us, know us, and need us. It feels like a blessing to be so loved by this little person. He absolutely amazes me.

Sorry about rambling all sentimentally today, but I can’t get over this amazing gift I’ve been given and how sweet he really is. I just… I love him. I don’t know what else to say!

Frequently Asked Questions about Breastfeeding in Public

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Well, after looking at some of the other threads regarding this all over Gaia,
I feel like I really need to answer some of the concerns and questions that people have.
For nine months, almost ten, I have been nursing my son whenever and wherever we are.
So, here’s the facts:

-Aren’t Breasts sexual?
-Yes, they are, when you’re in the bedroom doing it or when you are trying to attract someone.
When you are feeding your child? No. At that point you are giving your child the milk that the bags of fat on your chest produce when you have a child just like any other mammal out there.
There is nothing sexual. You are serving a need. Frankly I’ve seen more boob at the beach than when we nurse. Seeing a tiny bit of side boob isn’t going to end the world.

-Why not just use a cover?
-Have you tried putting even the lightest cover over your head in summer? It gets hot. No matter how thin, the heat ends up getting stuck in there. It’s not comfortable. More over though, they are useless once baby is older and mobile like mine. I try putting a cover over us and my son rips it off which shows a heck of a lot more than if I just nursed him freely.

-Why not pump and use a bottle?
-Not everyone CAN pump. My son eats 4-8 ounces at a time. I can only pump 2 ounces MAX at a time. It takes too much extra time that mothers usually don’t have. More over, nipple confusion is a serious problem. Most babies will refuse the bottle if mom gives it to them because they prefer the boob.

-Why not go to the bathroom?
-Um… really? That is disgusting. You go eat in a bathroom. You go spend 20 minutes sitting in there, uncomfortable, eating. This is just common sense. It’s disgusting.

-Why not go to the car?
-Oh you mean the portable microwave? Yeah no, it’s hot. Sitting in the car is dangerous and extra uncomfortable.

-Why not just use formula?
-Well if you are talking about just in public, it messes with baby’s belly to use it and breast milk and baby will usually refuse it for the same reason as when you pump. Other than that though, look at the ingredients in formula. Not cool. Look that the “ingredients” in breastmilk aka BREASTMILK. Then you look at ease. At night I just sleep with my baby. He eats when he wants so I don’t even have to wake up. If I used formula I’d have to get up at night, warm the water, mix the formula, and stay up feeding it to baby.

-Why nurse in public at all?
-Because if we don’t then I’ll be asked this forever. Breastfeeding is a completely natural and normal occurrence throughout the world. If more people don’t see breastfeeding it can never be deemed normal. Worried about your child seeing? Why? It gives you a chance to very simply say, they are feeding their child in the most nutritious and normal way.

Any other questions?

A Simple Joy that Fills My Life

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 Time and again my son reminds me of the good things in life.

Last night I was sitting in my “easy chair” whining because I had cramps and I was tired and I just didn’t feel like doing anything. Then this little ball of awesome, also known as Caleb, crawled on over to me like he tends to do, with his truck, and stood against me. He started screaming aka talking to me and driving his car all over my legs. Anyone who could stay grumpy with a cute little man paying so much attention to them is a very silly person. I just burst out laughing and he handed me his truck so I could drive on him as well. I realized then that all I needed was to stop focusing on all the negatives and remember how blessed I am.

When I was growing up, and living with my aunt and uncle, I was kind of a sour puss at times. Every single morning, four in the morning when I’d just woken up to be more specific, my uncle would essentially yell to me, “If you act enthusiastic, you’ll be enthusiastic!” Of course like any teenager I just looked at him like he was the most annoying thing in the world. Since getting out on my own though, I have been enlightened. That really is the way to be. Just smiling releases endorphins that will make you feel better. When you focus on the good, you can see the good and you stop seeing all the bad. The best thing in my life though is my son. He makes me all the kinds of happy that there are.

So I suppose the thing you should all get from this little story is to start focusing on the good rather than the bad. Being bitter, looking at the world in a cynical way, just isn’t worth all the negative feelings that come from it. Being happy FEELS good. So, remember, “If you act enthusiastic, you’ll be enthusiastic.”

This sign hangs above my kitchen table .

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The Dirty Truth About Menstruation after Childbirth

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EDIT: This is just one case. No, not everyone has a period like this once they give birth. This was written because many women have this experience and it can be scary. Everyone is different. Do not take this as, YOU WILL HAVE THIS.

Oh my goodness. They don’t warn you about this. No one talks about it. No one wants to talk about it but gosh do I wish I had known what would or even could happen once I finally got my period back. Let me just tell you, this is not the kind of post you want to read if you have a sensitive stomach or you are squeamish but it is something you should read if you are or soon will be pregnant.

Thanks to breastfeeding I got a wonderful extra seven months of no period. It was wonderful. When I finally did get it though I had no idea what was going on and found myself in the ER. I was convinced I had internal bleeding or even that I had been pregnant some how and was miscarrying. Thankfully neither were true, which we found out after four hours, and it was just a period.

Here’s what you can expect:

-VERY heavy bleeding; don’t be surprised if you soak a pad within two hours

-An insane amount of clotting; it’s like you’ve just given birth and the clots are still coming out

-Watery gushes of blood

-Extreme cramping

It might be scary, and I can guarantee it will be gross and a pain in the neck, but it’s normal and will eventually get better. Sadly tampons tend not to work anymore (they either soak too fast or they fall out) and pads have to be the super kind. The worst thing for me is sleep. I have to get up every few hours just to go to the bathroom, gush blood into the toilet because my body doesn’t let it all out while I sleep, and change my pad.

Some things I’ve found that helps:

-Take Ibuprofen every few hours to slow down the bleeding and help cramps

-Take a short walk

-Relax; take a nap when your little one naps

-Eat foods that are less gassy; avoid dairy and some vegetables

If anything seems off to you, don’t be afraid to go into the doctors though. Just know that it is NORMAL to bleed so much and to pass so many clots. Also, it can last MUCH longer. My second period lasted almost three weeks and was terrible. My first only lasted two weeks and this third one I’m hoping for a much shorter time till the bleeding stops but thankfully Ibuprofen makes it much more bearable.

Thanks For Reading Everyone! Hope This Helps!

Full Term Breastfeeding! -The Breastfed Toddler-

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^^ Joyce and her Darling Daughter. She’s a great defender of Breastfeeding! ^^

Let me just start by saying I use the term FULL TERM Breastfeeding for a reason. There is no specific time that you need to stop breastfeeding. It’s not Extended, the term you see more often, because that would imply it’s more than what you’re supposed to do. The WHO, World Health Organization, suggests you breastfeed a MINIMUM of two years with no maximum listed. The benefits do not stop once your child turns one, or even two. Your milk changes to provide the proper nutrients. Here I will list some of the fabulous things that happen to your toddler when you continue to breastfeed.

1) Eyes- Vitamin A is a very important vitamin in eye development.

If you are nursing at/after 12 months, your breastmilk has 75% of your needed Vitamin A intake for the day.

2) Teeth- Breastfed babies are less likely to suck their thumb, causing teeth misalignment.

It has been shown to improve oral health.

3) Ears- This one is close to my heart from seeing my nephews end up with so many ear infections vs. my son having none.

Breastfeeding helps prevent ear infections which can cause hearing damage.

4) Bones- 36% of your daily needed consumption of Calcium is in your milk after twelve months.

Calcium is responsible for healthy and strong bone growth.

5) Brain- I’ve heard the line, I was formula fed and turned out fine, so many times and it makes me laugh.

Were you outstanding? If you’re calling yourself fine, probably not.

Breastfed babies have been shown to have higher intelligence and cognitive aptitude.

6) Taste Buds- Children are able to taste what we eat at least somewhat in our milk.

They end up being less fussy and picky eaters because of that.

7) Weight- Breastfed toddlers tend to have a slimmer chance of childhood obesity.

8) Portability- Breastfeeding is much easier than carrying around food containers and cups.

Another bonus is that in new places it can aid with comfort.

9) Hair- The protein in your milk after 12 months provides 43% of your toddler’s needs.

This makes their hair much stronger and glossier.

10) Bumps and Scratches- Breastmilk is a great healer for the bumps, bruises, and scratches that come with having a mobile toddler.

11) Skin- Breastmilk helps skin stay soft and can help with any eczema that may occur.

12) Hydration- Breastmilk is easy to digest.

When your toddler gets sick and other liquids can’t be handled breastmilk often can be.

Though the chance of getting sick is so much slimmer being breastfed.

13) Immune System- At two years of age, an immune system is functioning at 60% of an adult’s.

Your breastmilk gives your child antibodies to help them heal quickly and avoid getting sick in the first place.

14) Independence- This is a big one.

The bond your toddler and you will share because of nursing helps build their confidence.

With them being able to trust you to be there and care for them, they are much more willing to go off on their own and explore.

So breastfeed to your hearts content my dear readers!

Thank You for Reading!

 

Attachment Parenting and The Adult Relationship

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I just have to say before I really get into this, I didn’t realize it until now but Corey and I have not taken a single photo together without Caleb since he was born. I looked through both of our phones and every single picture of us together has Caleb as well. So, my goal for today is to take a picture with Corey and without Caleb. Other than this though, our relationship is never better.

As someone who supports Co-sleeping and Bed Sharing I am always getting asked, “How do you have time for sex?” The reality is, sharing a bed with your child doesn’t mean that they are constantly in bed with you. We make the time to do the deed. Caleb is perfectly safe playing in the living room for ten minutes. It’s not like people only have sex once they go to bed. Nothing would get done if that was the case. If you are like me, you’d have to get up after every time, probably waking yourself up too much, and not being able to sleep again right away. Don’t fear not having sex. If you want to be intimate with your significant other, let your kid play alone for a minute and take the time out to spend some alone time. It confuses me as to why people even have to ask.

Another thing that people think is going to be affected is “date night.” I’d like to start by saying, not everyone needs to be away from their child on date night. I LOVE that Caleb is usually with us. We are a family, we all love each other dearly, and it doesn’t hurt Corey and I’s relationship to bring him with us. On another hand though, we can certainly go out without him. Just because I’m nursing and we are an attached family doesn’t mean Caleb has to be with us 24/7. It is okay for me to pump for an evening away. It’s okay for him to be with someone besides me. I’d prefer that someone be family that he’s known for a long time but even a trusted friend or nearly stranger can work out as long as they understand how I parent and will treat my child the same way I do.

One last thing is that some men resent their other half when they become so attached to their child. Well, here’s the thing about that, it doesn’t matter. I’m sorry but the child is and will always be the most important thing. I’m all for giving your other half attention, and it is healthy to do so, but if anything that makes your child comfortable or happy is sacrificed to make him less grumpy then it isn’t worth it. Try to get him as involved as you though. Explain to him why you do what you do. Let him burp baby or feed solids when the time comes. Have dad wear the little one. A lot of men that do it feel a much stronger connection to their little one. I am so grateful to have a guy by my side that supports this style of parenting. I hope you all get the same experience that I have.

Thank You for Reading!

 

The One Flaw of Attachment Parenting-The Overly Attached Parent

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Well dang. I hear all the time how my child is never going to be independent and all this other bologna about Attachment Parenting. They tell me that he’ll never want out of my bed, he’ll always be attached to my boob, and he’s never going to walk. They are SO wrong.

Caleb is so terribly independent and it kind of breaks my heart. Since he was born he has been sleeping with me. It’s just easier to breastfeed and it’s so comforting to have him in bed with me… Now he’s got this desire to sleep in his own bed. It’s actually a swing and not so much a bed but either way it’s not MY bed and that means he is no longer snuggling with me. I was up until three this morning laying there waiting for him to wake up and want to nurse so I could bring him to bed because without him I can no longer sleep. To make it worse, when he was done nursing he couldn’t get comfy in my bed and requested to go back to his swing until seven this morning. I did eventually fall asleep but it was a real struggle.

It’s the same with breastfeeding. He’s a food lover for sure. Now if anyone around him is eating real food he will refuse the boob until he gets a little bit of solids and it makes me really jealous. I love our booby time. It relaxes me and really perks me up and I hope that it does the same to him but when he chooses to eat solids instead of drink the boob juice it makes me question that. I’m just thankful he still likes being worn. He likes his stroller as well but we use it so rarely I don’t think it makes too much of a difference.

Even in everyday play I get a little bit sad. I get down to play with him and because he’s so confident in what he’s doing he’ll just play by himself a lot of the time and I sit here wondering what I’m supposed to do if he doesn’t need me for another half hour or so. I’ve gotten so attached to being there for him all of the time that when he starts to do his own thing because he’s growing up and has all this confidence it makes me feel a little lonely. On the other hand, I’m so happy for him. He’s a smart, healthy, strong, and loving little boy. He will still come check in with me and give me kisses then go back to playing. He’ll still snuggle into me after he’s had a long play and needs a rest. It’s just hard to let go I suppose. I guess I’m doing my job though. Raising independent and caring kids can be a challenge but I think that our little family is moving in the right direction.

Thank You for Reading! Tell Me What You Think? Are You an Attached Parent Too?

Live Twitter Q&A 7/4/14 @ 12pm EST!

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