Happy New Year!

New Years is known as a time to make resolutions, but I think other than the obvious (get healthy, do better, be a better parent, make money) things, New Year’s Day is a time for looking back on life. The one thing I’m sure of today, is I have no regrets.

For those of you following my life, you know there has been a whole lot wrong with it. Things that you’d probably change if you had the chance. Today I want to paint a picture of how my life would be today if I could change everything.

In sixth grade my parents started doing drugs, and my grades started slipping. I became the adult, and they were still my parents, but weren’t taking care of me the way I’d desire. Instead, lets imagine that they never needed the medication that got them hooked in the first place. Imagine I had asked them not to take it, and they didn’t. They went to physical therapy, acupuncture, and smoked pot to make themselves well.

Now if that happened, they wouldn’t have died. I would have lived a normal childhood, kept my perfect grades up, and gone to Gordon college (which I had a full scholarship to in real life, and chose not to  go to). That sounds great and all, but I would never have met Corey. He was a senior, a few days away from graduating, when I moved in with my aunt and uncle and changed schools. I met him by chance on my first day at the new school.

So, if I never met Corey, I wouldn’t have run away with him to Virginia, I wouldn’t have Caleb, and I probably wouldn’t be on the same educational path. Before we met I was planning to be a youth pastor, hence going to the Christian college, Gordon. I made that choice to run away, and I can’t regret that either. I don’t know how I would be without making it. I was so miserable, and it was my release.

Today, I’m so happy. I have a beautiful family, know that within the next three years (once I finish school) I’ll be married, and I’m happy with what I’ve gotten to give back to my community. It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been perfect in the typical sense, but it’s been perfect for me.

Every little tragedy, every problem, every stumble, every sacrifice… has led to today. It has led to love. It has led to following my true passion. It has led to true, honest happiness. I have grown, I have been shown my destiny… and for that? I don’t regret anything.

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High Fructose Corn Syrup is Evil!

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Super dramatic title to drag you in…
Of course it isn’t really evil (or is it?) but I can tell you right now that it is a serious addiction. It’s in so many foods and drinks that we consume as a nation in a daily bases.
For my first month of “New Year Resolutions” I decided to cut out all soda and Arizona tea. After a few weeks of doing so I have started feeling less bloated, I am more awake, and my clothes are fitting again even though I’ve only lost half a pound. Great results from something so simple right? Now here’s the real kicker… For the first three weeks I craved it constantly. A few days ago I took a sip of my others half to take some Tylenol with… And it was disgusting! I was absolutely repulsed! So, the next day I went and tried an Arizona Tea… Same thing! I took one sip and gave it to the other half. The common denominator between the two? Corn Syrup! I started looking at other products around my home and anything with Corn Syrup in it was either nasty or just thrown straight out because it wasn’t worth keeping it in my home.
That’s right, we are a corn syrup free, raw cane sugar living household and I am so glad. Such a simple change that will help you loose inches and feel better right away.
For more information on why Corn Syrup is evil, check out this pretty awesome website.
Link

Sanctimommy… Is It Really a Bad Thing?

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Lately I’ve seen the line, “Mother knows best.” I’ve also seen, “We all parent differently, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.” Sometimes that’s true. Whether you breastfeed or not, you’re still feeding your child. That’s great. Whether you bed share or not, as long as you’re there for your child, awesome. Some things just aren’t debatable. Some things are truly damaging to your child. When I, or anyone else for that matter, try to kindly mention such things, someone always pops up calling us a Sanctimommy. My knee jerk reaction is to backpedal. I don’t want to offend anyone or be too pushy but some subjects parents just aren’t educated about and the fact of the matter is often times I am. I do this research because of how important not only my child’s well being but others well being is to me. I do it because no one is perfect, I’ll be first to admit this, but the more you know the better you can do. So, next time you see someone doing something dangerous, speak up. Be proud to at least try to help a child. You don’t have to do it in a snarky way, you don’t even have to say much more than, hey have you heard about… Just say something because you never know what affect you’ll have on someone.
Here is a list of common topics that seem to be argued about but have all the scientific proof to back just one side:
Car Seats Do Not Belong on Top of Grocery Carts
Babies Should Not Start Food Till at the Least Four Months (look into open gut)
Cereal Does NOT Belong in Bottles
Rear Facing in the Car Seat till a Minimum of Two Years Really Can Save Lives
You Can Drink Alcohol and Nurse (Sober Enough to Drive=Sober Enough to Nurse -No Need to Pump and Dump!)

Feel free to ask me for more information on any of those things. I will give you information to back it up. Should I add anything to the list?

Happy New Years!

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I know, I know… Where the heck have you been Sami? Why haven’t you put out a post in forever!?
I’m sorry! I honestly don’t have a very good excuse. I wish I did… My little man turned one in October and my life has been consumed with him, babysitting, and crocheting! I swear, every free moment I have I have been crocheting. Then every weekend up until Christmas I was doing craft fairs. Now that 2014 is gone and 2015 has come crashing in, I finally have some time to just sit down and write.
The first thing I want to talk about is of course, my New Year’s Resolution. I don’t have one! I have a very short term healthy goal though. This year I plan to cut one or two things out of my diet each month. January it’s Soda and Sweet Tea because frankly, I just drink way to much of it and that isn’t very good for me. So this month I am only drinking water and coffee. I need my caffeine still. Sugarless coffee though, which works because my aunt bought me Pumpkin Coffee for Christmas which is fabulous! On top of this, my lovely fiancé purchased me an elliptical for Christmas as well and that shall be my daily half hour work out.
Why is this necessary? My whole life (from about 14-18 at least) I was 180lbs. That was big obviously but it was comfortable. I was healthy. Currently, at only 20 years old, I am 270lbs. I feel terrible. I wheeze walking down the street. I can barely bend over. My clothes don’t fit anymore. I’m willing to admit all these things because I’m not ashamed but things do need to change. I just drink too any sugary drinks, eat too much pasta, and my portion sizes need to change. I feel like I walk a good amount and get a decent amount of exercise but I need to step it up. My life, my child’s enjoyment, depends on it. So, wish me luck guys.
Next thing, my son is one! 15 months is more accurate but… He is walking, talking, and just too smart for my own good. He amazes me every single day. He is also still breastfeeding and sleeping with us but we have moved his mattresses next to our bed to give us all some extra room.
I’ve also begun taking a class called PLTI which stands for Parent Leader Training Institute. It’s essentially an ethics class that focuses on local government and how to make your community better for children. It’s a wonderful class and the people in it are truly wonderful. They just want to do what’s best for the kids and that’s a refreshing thing to see. Another big part of this is that the Three hours each week I am in the class, my son gets to go to daycare! It’s right in the building next to our class and I can go get him any time, but he is actually doing really well with it. You all know I am not a fan of daycares, I just don’t trust them, but he is with a bunch of older kids and seems genuinely happy to be there so for now we are sticking with it.
Another new thing unfortunately is that out laptop has broken which means any blog posts I put up will be from my phone. Because of that, please bare with me.
I think that’s a pretty decent update for now. I promise to try to post much more often from now on.
Thanks for sticking with me and Happy New Year!

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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!

How to Not Raise a Princess (or in my case, Prince)

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^^ My Friend’s ADORABLE 13 month Princess ^^

Children do not spoil, food does. That doesn’t mean you can’t accidentally entitle children causing them to believe the world revolves around them and that they will always get exactly what they want. Here are three easy steps to avoiding this.

1) Don’t make your child share and don’t let them expect other children to share with them. I went on a play date recently and Caleb’s friend, who is two and a half, was playing with a doll. Caleb wanted it and went to grab it from her. Her mother jumped to tell her to share and I said no. Don’t worry about it. It’s her’s. I don’t want Caleb to think that just because he wants something, he will get it. That isn’t how life works. You don’t get a car that belongs to someone else just because you want it. There were plenty of other toys so I just redirected him and he was fine. She was a happy little girl because her toy, that belongs to her, wasn’t taken away from her. She was already sharing all of her other toys and that is going above and beyond to be gracious in my mind. I wouldn’t want my one special thing taken away either.

2) Don’t be afraid to say no. I know, shocking after my introducing the idea of no post. It’s true though. Sometimes you just have to put your foot down. Times for that are like when you’re in a store. If your child is screaming for a cookie, and they’ve already had enough sugar, tell them no. Don’t reward screaming and disrespect. Instead, because we all know that the screaming doesn’t stop just because you say no, redirect. I talk about it again and again. Offer something healthy if you can afford it. Oh look at this super awesome apple. Honey you can pick out something yourself if you want but it can’t be a cookie and you can’t eat it right now. This way, their want is understood but you are leading to a better decision.

3) Money is not the only thing that makes a child happy and more over it shouldn’t be the main source of their happiness. Sadly, so many parents use money to stop crying and to make up for lost time. That’s the best way to make a child spoiled because they will forever need more to fill a much more important spot in their life. Kids don’t naturally want stuff. They just want you! The more QUALITY you time they have the less material items will mean. This means that even if you work, the time you have with them matters. Cuddling, talking, asking questions, can make your child feel loved and wanted and that need for things doesn’t even come up.

 Thank You for Reading and Good Luck My Lovely Readers

Music is an Amazing Tool

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A woman named Sharon Novak, who is a children’s song writer and performer, post a great article on her website that inspired me. Her article was about the value of group music classes for toddlers. I will link to her post at the end but I’m writing today because I’ve been inspired. Music has a great teaching value on Toddlers, but also has an amazing affect on milestones for babies.

The picture above is a great example of this. Corey sat on one side of the bongo, Caleb on the other, and Corey would hit his side. After watching his daddy made the sounds, Corey would copy him. He was still so little then and it helped him learn how to use his hands. It was a real cause and effect and a great bonding moment for them as well.

Even from birth music helps with the littlest, most important things. There was this amazing study done on premature babies. When given a pacifier it would activate lullabies to be played. They would calm considerably. These babies that were played the music had an even more amazing result though. They began to gain weight much quicker than their NICU counterparts.

Playing music has been shown to improve math skills. The best time to try getting a person into learning something new is when they are a baby and their interests are just now being developed. This can be as simple as a toy guitar or drum. It’s something to make them interested in learning the real thing in the future.

Another bonus is speech development. Lullabies are great because they often show simple rhyming patterns and have a lot of repetition. Like with anything, repetition is the way to learn how to speak. When a child hears the word moon over and over they start trying to say this interesting and wonderfully sung word. I personally learned how to sign through songs. I would pick a song, learn the signs to it, and later I’d remember the signs because of the song. It’s like learning a dance. It’s always easier with the music.

The real point is, bring music into your baby’s life. It can be a great way to bond and soothe your child. Caleb HATES being on changing tables. Sometimes in public we have to use them. The only way I can keep him calm is by singing Let it Go. He will smile up at me and I can get the job done.

Thank You for Reading!

http://www.musicforkidswithsharonnovak.com/news-from-sharon/the-value-of-group-classes-for-toddlers/

Cry it Out? No Thank You!

cioThis is one post when I have to admit, I am judging you if you do use the cry it out method. I’ll be honest. I’m 100% against it. There are zero positives in support of it. On the other hand there are a billion reasons why you shouldn’t use it and there are many other ways to soothe a baby in a healthy and supportive way that helps build confidence rather than making them miserable.

I’ve talked about my son being confident. He is held, coddled, breastfed, worn, and shown love whenever he needs it. When he would “fuss” before a nap or when he’s tired I would rock him and soothe him. Then, he’d go to sleep. Why would he not fight it? Because I didn’t force him to. I didn’t say, I’m the parent and the boss and you have to sleep right at this moment so I’ll make you stay in here alone to cry which does nothing but upsets you more and lose trust in me knowing I wont come give you the soothing you are begging for. Instead, because I would go to my fussing child, who like any baby knows that mommy or daddy is the most important person in their life, he realized that he could trust me to make him feel better. A baby’s natural instinct is to need mom and dad. They aren’t being bad. They don’t know any better and why would they? They spent the first nine months of their life inside of mom. Why would they know the outside would be any different? They wouldn’t. My son knows that he can go off and play but if he is hungry or tired his needs will be met right away because I’ve gained that trust and through it he has gained the confidence to not need to be in my arms 24/7. He doesn’t have to fight for it so doesn’t seem so needy.

Here on the other hand are a few of the terrible affects Cry it Out can have on a child:

1) Science has proven that excessive crying causes blood pressure to rise causing the blood to flow slower through the brain and make it so much harder to breath for the child permanently. Science also shows that parents who use the CiO method are 10x more likely to have children that develop ADHD.

2) The emotional and physical development can be stunted making it harder for them to become independent people.

3) The saddest in my opinion, is that although the crying may eventually stop, it isn’t because the needs or problem have been resolved. The crying stops because baby has given up hope. All this does is create a distant child who isn’t close with their parents.

4) There is no parent child trust relation. The child is less likely to come to the parent in time of need. This includes when they are a teenager in danger of going down the wrong path.

5) When you don’t respond to cries the child becomes less self assured. This has been shown to stop them from becoming more out going, creative, popular, and well-adjusted people.

6) Half of the time, it doesn’t work at all. The baby will just keep going, crying on and on, creating much more stress for everyone involved.

7) Even if it “works” it isn’t a permanent fix. Parents have to do it again and again, listening to their child suffer over and over.

8) Children have the same feelings we do. Just because we think they wont remember ten years from now doesn’t mean those feelings of abandonment wont hurt them over time.

9) Something terrifying is that the rate of SIDs goes up with cry it out families. Due to the crying causing stress and trauma, children often fall into a deeper sleep and stop breathing. Not only are they in their own sleep space where you risk not catching it, but it’s much more likely to happen.

Now, I understand that not everyone is going to co-sleep. I understand not everyone will find their grove. But please, don’t let your baby cry it out. There is no benefit. It is completely unnatural and it’s a real way to torture your child with. I can tell you first hand that the CiO method does not work the way so many people believe it does. Instead it makes life harder in all aspects. You will have a fussier, less energetic and confident child on your hands. Just give the peaceful approach a try. I know you have things you have to get done and that nap and bed time can be important, but over all shouldn’t your child come first?

Thanks for Reading Everyone. Let Me Know What You Think.

5 Great Extra Bonuses of Breastfeeding

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Most of us know about the obvious benefits like healthy and how easy it is… here are another five that seem like a “Christmas Bonus” to me.

1) The Milk Drunk Face- Who can resist the half closed eyes and smirk after a good belly filling?

2) Not having to carry around an entire cooler of purified water/baby food.

3) The endorphins released in the mummy’s body are better than any anti depressant/anxiety on the market.

4) It’s a great excuse to sit down and relax instead of cleaning.

5) There is no better way to bond with and comfort your baby, especially when they are fussing because daddy had to go to work!

Thanks for Reading Lovelies!

“When Are You Going to Give Him Real Food?” – The Question that Doesn’t Stop

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I hear it pretty much every time I nurse my LITTLE man in public. People always assume that all I do is give him the boob and in a way they are right. What they are wrong about is my almost nine month old needing to eat solids the same way we do.

Breast Milk has every single nutrient that your baby needs. This includes iron. This includes Vitamin D. Even though doctors will tell you, without testing your little bundle of joy, that they need to supplement those vitamins, they are incorrect. Breast Milk will always be the most complete source of nutrients that you can give your child. More over, the WHO recommends that you breastfeed for a minimum of two years. That means, don’t stop at one. Don’t even stop at two. Just go as long as you can. Once they start loosing teeth then you really do have to stop or the sugar in your milk will rot their teeth. Other than that though, feel free to nurse your child.

The thing is though, I didn’t want to force food on my child. On the other hand, Caleb loves food. So yes, I don’t take out a jar of baby food wherever we are to feed him. Even if I did, Caleb wouldn’t eat it. He hates Purees now. If I am eating in public then my son will eat whatever we eat. I hand him some, he does what he can with it, and we call it good. If we are eating dinner at home, he gets his own portion. He’s constantly eating. It’s our choice though to have the boob always come first. Until my son turns one, or maybe a little longer, I’ll be giving him my booby milk as his main source of food. That is my choice.

You all have a choice as well. You could feed your child every meal and use baby food and what not. That’s okay too. It’s what you and your child are comfortable with. We are comfortable with the way we do it and it’s just one more way for us both to be comfortable.

Thank You for Reading!