My Child, My Hero

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Caleb… Goodness, my friends… I love this child more than I can ever imagine, and I love who he is. At only 2.5 years old he already has this incredibly bold and defined personality, and I feel so blessed to be part of his life. Getting the chance to watch and facilitate his growth… There are no words to describe how full my heart is because of him.

He is smart, inquisitive, and full of imagination. I love watching him play out different scenes with his toys, have conversations on the phone with those he love (even when they aren’t on the other end), and explain the world around him in only ways he knows.

He is stubborn, strong willed, and knows what he wants. I love that when he doesn’t get his way he will try to convince us to give in, and does so (most of the time) without any tears. I love that he has full choice over things like food, clothes, and (when possible) sleep and that he knows it. He’s not a picky child at all, and I really believe we don’t make a big deal over food. He picks out what we have for dinner a good percent of the time, and I love that he uses his deductive skills to make those kinds of choices.

My favorite part of him though is by far his heart. He is sensitive, compassionate, and incredibly empathetic. I love that despite his independence, he looks for connections. He will come to me, give a great big hug and kiss, tell me he loves me, and go right back to playing. I love that before naps he comes over, snuggles right into me, and will rub my arm until he falls asleep. I love that when he sees another kid crying, he goes right over, asks them what’s wrong, and will rub their head until they stop crying. I love that if someone asks him to stop, he listens. I love that he always wants to share and make sure that everyone around him has a toy so they are happy too.

This small human is like a dream to me. I could not ask for anything else in this crazy life. Even in my darkest moments, I look to him and I’m filled with hope for the future, because he’ll be part of it. He is the future.

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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

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.

“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!

The Forced Stay at Home Mummy

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About two weeks ago a friend of mine (who along with her family is pictured above) posted a link on Facebook about being forced into being a stay at home mom. It really got me thinking and sympathizing. This isn’t something I have to worry about. It’s not something that affects my family but for so many people, not just moms, it really can be hard on them.

For me, I’ve always wanted to be a stay at home mom and luckily have a man behind me that wants that as well. When people ask me why I don’t work sometimes I lie. I’ll tell them that it is more cost effective, that we can’t afford child care, that I’d only make enough to pay for day care and what’s the point of that. Even though for me it’s really just an excuse to spit out for the more judgmental people, for a lot of women it’s the truth.

On average in America day care costs around $200 a week. The average pay check for a WOMAN, yes this is specifically for a woman because we are still paid less than men, for a part time job is $225. By the time you pay for transportation to and from work and day care, extra snacks, possibly formula, and clothes that extra $25 is more than spent. In fact, you might just be in the negative. Because of this there is a shocking amount of mothers being forced to stay home.

Then someone brought up state assistance. It’s hilarious how many people insist that if you’re broke enough to not afford child care you will get assistance. The issue is that the state doesn’t just look at mom’s income. Dad could be making $450 every two week and that small amount of money would disqualify you from state assistance. So lets look at that. $750 for rent, and you’re making $900 a month. $100 for heat and electric. $50 for food, transportation, paper products… there is no extra money. So of course this leaves it up to the mother to stay home at least until the child goes to school; or never if you’re homeschooling like me.

This is the part that I really had to think about though. Why wouldn’t someone want to be a stay at home mom? Well, that was a dumb question for me to be asking. Just because this is what I love to do, even I need a break sometimes. Some days when my son goes down for a nap, if his dad is here, I’ll go for a walk. An hour is long enough for me to clear my head and feel like an adult again but some people really need more than that and they need to feel like what they are doing is more. Working a job, especially one you’ve spent so much time going to school for, is what some people are meant to do. I’d rather mothers go to work and put their children in day care so that they have the calm and patience to come home to these kids and really get the most out of them. I’ve had cousins who I really wished would go to work and let someone more qualified raise their children.

I’m not saying that all the moms who want to work are not ready for kids constantly or bad moms or anything like that. I’m just saying that sometimes when you get your choices taken away it can put a huge strain on you. When you once had all the ambition in the world to do this specific job or go to school and that choice is taken away, some resentment is going to build up one way or another. That’s an unfortunate truth of today’s economic circumstances.

Thank You as Always for Reading! Tell Me What You Think!

“Mummy, I Need a Break!”

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Everyone knows that babies need naps. It’s just one of those facts that everyone has been made aware of. On the other hand, most of the time we just assume that when it’s nap time it is nap time and all the other times baby should be doing something else. Either eating, playing, or some other active baby thing. Well my son taught me a very good lesson. Sometimes, we all just need a break.

He had been playing hard for a while and he started getting a little fussy. He crawled over to his blankie and then stood by his rocking chair and I figured he needed a nap. I set him all up in it and something different happened. He laid there for a while, relaxing, watching out the window and really just taking a break. He didn’t end up falling asleep but he needed that half hour or so to just relax. Once he was done he told me he was awake and ready to get back to playing.

I don’t think I ever took the time to think that just like me, my little man could just need a break for a few minutes. Why wouldn’t he though? With all the new things he is seeing and learning everyday it shouldn’t surprise me he needs to rest. The mind needs a break just as much as the body does. We as adults are able to say, I need to sit down for a while and relax. Babies are just expected to constantly be going and that just isn’t right. Babies are just tiny adults. I still have trouble really realizing that they have all these same feelings that we do because until they can talk and explain to us these things, we only know what others show or tell us. Society has put babies in a whole new category of creature.

My son has taught me once again how wrong this thinking is. Now, when either of us want or need a break, I’ll be better equipped to respect these feelings and react the right way.

Thank You for Reading Lovelies!

 

Why Are You Touching My Child?

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Don’t you just hate that? You take your precious bundle of joy out and all of a sudden it’s like the world just wants to poke and prod him.

Oh he’s so cute, let me put my nasty hands all over his hands that in about two seconds will be in his mouth to show you I find him cute.

No, just no. Even worse to me, this one time a really strange lady came up to us in the library smelling like cigarettes and instead of touching Caleb started touching his toys! Like at least when people touch him I can wipe him down, but she was touching his teething toy that is fabric and I can’t exactly just wipe that down. People for some reason feel like they have every right to touch our children. Why is this? Would you just randomly walk up to an adult and start playing with their hand? No. You wouldn’t. You would have more respect for them and if you really for some reason wanted to touch them, hopefully, you would ask. So why doesn’t our children get that respect?

My son has shown again and again that he has no interest in being touched by a stranger. He pulls his hand or feet back or even pushes them away. It amazes me when the person will try again! I usually pick him up and walk away at that point because as always, my son comes first. My son has been very healthy so far and I wouldn’t want someone else to risk that. This includes other children. Parents have given me death stares when I stop their children from touching him. The reality is though that I have every right to keep my child safe not just physically but emotionally. He gets mad when strangers try to touch him before he has the time to get used to them. He shouldn’t be forced to let them touch him. That takes the trust he has in me and buries it.

So, next time you see a child, don’t touch them without their permission!

Thanks for Reading!

Frozen from a Mother’s, Or Just My Non-Cynical, Perspective

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So I recently read something that I’m still struggling to process without laughing hysterically. There is this guy, and apparently many other people as well, on the internet trying to tell us that “Let it Go” is about disobeying your parents. That the whole movie is about doing what you want even if it will get others hurt. I call Bull.

The first thing wrong with any of these negative assumptions is the reality that children are no where near cynical enough for that. These articles are being written by adults that are looking for the negative. This whole movie is meant for children under the age of 13. At that age, children as a whole are not looking for reasons to disobey their parents, their hormones do enough of that, but rather they are watching a movie to enjoy the music they will annoy their parents with for the next five months. They aren’t going to listen to Let it Go and say, oh I should do whatever I want even if the people I love get hurt. No, that’s what an adult hears because they don’t want children to defy them and already think that is what children do.

The next huge issue is that the song actually has a really great meaning. Elsa is trapped for years because she is different and those differences are considered strange and wrong so her own parents for her to hide who she is. This is like the parents who are against their children being gay and try to force them back into the closet causing them huge amounts of shame and pain. Once Elsa is free to be who she is, she doesn’t mean to hurt anyone in this process may I add, she is finally happy and it starts allowing her to have confidence and be a better person till someone tries to once again make her feel bad. This entire movie is about love and how showing each other trust and acceptance can make everything better.

Even for boys it can be really inspirational. There are not a lot of movies out there that let the strapping man be on the sideline. Men in our society have a, Holier than Thou, complex. In Frozen, Kristoff easily could have been like, oh I’m your boss lady now let me save you and you don’t do anything. Instead he really does let Anna save herself and is there simply to help her along the way. It’s really a great message to children of all ages and gender.

Mostly though, this is just a really sweet movie with wonderful voice actors and a musical score that will go down in history. This whole, oh it’s this and that and children are going to think this and that, is just one more thing for people to complain about to make their lives more interesting. Let kids be kids and just…

Let it Go!

Thanks for Reading Everyone!

How Much Freedom is Too Much Freedom (for a 9 month old)

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First of all… Happy Nine Months to Caleb!

What a great and amazing nine months it has been.

So here’s the scenario. As I sit here and type, my son is playing in the hallway off of the living room. A few minutes ago, he was even farther away and out of my sight in the kitchen. To be clear, I just cleaned the kitchen an hour ago and I know it’s completely clean and safe for him. On the other hand, I am human and you never know what could happen. Does this amount of freedom make me a bad parent?

I am going to say no. Some people look at me crazy when I tell them I let him do this. The majority tell me if I’m going to let him play by himself like this then I’m not practicing attachment parenting. Some tell me that my child is too independent and it’s my job to watch over him and occupy him. What they don’t see, or in reality just choose not to remember, is that I’m breastfeeding, bed sharing, baby wearing, and playing with him 80% of the time we’re together. My son knows that if he needs me for any reason that I am here and will take care of him. All of his needs are being met. People look at this so strangely though because they expect him to be needy. They expect him to be up my butt.

This is where I believe Attachment Parenting gets a bad rap but that idea is wrong. Attachment Parenting makes children more independent. When they don’t have to be afraid of anything, when they trust that mama and daddy will always be there, they aren’t afraid of going off with strangers or wandering a room away. I think that allowing him to do that boosts his confidence and him knowing that I’m not afraid for him and that I trust him boosts it even more. A confident child is happy, outgoing, and in touch with his own feelings. This freedom I’m giving him could be considered dangerous for someone so young but I honestly believe it’s part of raising my child personally.

Tell me what you think. Comments or emails. As always, Thanks for Reading!