#5

tiny moment #5

It is a week day so your dad and I are up at 6am in a busy hurry to get ready and get your dad out the door for work.  I hear small noises coming from your room so I walk in to check on you.  As I peer into your crib I see you smiling and laughing.  You woke up laughing and stole my heart with that big smile!

 

(Ohhh how I wish I had caputured this moment in a picture but I didn’t have my camera with me when I walked into the room.)

Parenting Beliefs

While I was pregnant my cousin, Serena, recommended a book called On Becoming Baby Wise, Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep written by Gary Ezzo, M.A. and Robert Bucknam, M.D.  I’ve always looked up to my older cousin, she is definitely someone worth admiring, so I knew this was something I should probably look into.  I looked up the book on Amazon.com for the free preview.  After reading the first couple of pages I was SOLD.  The opening paragraph drew me right in as I nodded my head going, “My point exactly!”  As I read further I became excited as the words mirrored conversations Nathan and I had over and over again before the baby arrived. 

The second page reads,

“We are committed to the belief that if you really love your child, you will give him the gift of love, security, and a sense of belonging–give him the assurance that as a husband and wife, you really love each other.  The husband-wife union is not just a good first step towards child-rearing.  It is a necessary one.”

Pretty bold statement, right?  Even after just 6 short weeks of being a mom I have SO much respect for single-parent households.  This job isn’t easy with two parents in one house, I can’t imagine the hard work single moms and dads have to put in.  I also believe that well-rounded, open-minded, smart, secure, loved and resilent children can be raised from a single-parent household.  But Nathan and I are not a single-parent household and it is important to us that it stays that way. 

Nathan and I were a family long before Joshua arrived.  We started dating 7 years ago.  We made the committment to each other when we moved in together 4 years ago and our family began to establish, before we even wed.  We started as a two person family.  So when Nathan asked me to marry him in July 2009 the answer was obvious, this was the next step in the life we were creating together.

After we had been married for a year we knew the next step we wanted our family to take.  We both love children and always talked about wanting 2-3 of them.  Joshua was in our plan.  We were estatic with the positive pregnancy test I held in my hand.

So, we had agreed right from the start…Joshua would become a part of the life we had already established together, not become our life.

Our belief on this is exactly what Ezzo and Bucknam teach in Baby Wise (BW).  We do not want a child-centered household.  I completely believe in the following 5 principals explained in BW.

“1. Life doesn’t stop once you have a baby.  It may slow down for a few weeks, but it should not stop entirely.  When you become a mother, you do not stop being a daughter, a sister, a friend, or a wife.  Those relationships, which were important before the baby, still must be maintained.”

SO important!  I’m still a teacher.  I’m anxious to get back to my school and see my other 20 kids again.  I know it will be hard to leave Joshua behind but I love my job. It is important to me.  Nathan is still a fisherman.  A dedicated one at that.  We didn’t let having a baby stop us from packing Joshua up and heading to Walla Walla to buy a bass boat 3 weeks after he was born. 

“2. Date your spouse.  The baby will not suffer separation anxiety from one night without mom.  If you never have had a date night, start now!”

Also very important to us.  We had dates before children, we are going to have dates after children.  This is probably the most important thing parents do.  We plan to have date nights. 🙂

“3. Continue those loving gestures you enjoyed before the baby came along.  If you both enjoy a special activity together, find a way to fit it in.”

Again, life doesn’t stop just because we had a baby.  We aren’t going to drop everything that we used to do together.  Our life will not be child-centered.  Joshua has become a part of our life, not all of it.  Just the other night Nathan and I snuck outside and sat in the hottub after the little bird had fallen asleep (we brought the baby monitor out with us of course.)

“4. Invite some friends over for food and fellowship.  Times of hospitality force you to plan your child’s day around serving others as you work together to prepare your home for the guests.”

Well, Joshua isn’t old enough to help us prepare the house yet, but we did have our friends, the Polumskys, over for dinner.  I love to play hostess.  Cooking for people and having them in my home is one of my favorite things to do.  I plan to continue this as much as possible. 

And finally #5.

“5. At the end of the day, spend fifteen minutes sitting with your spouse discussing the day’s events.”

Yes, that’s right, the kids can hold for 15 minutes so that mommy and daddy can talk with one another.  Okay, so our 6 week old hasn’t gotton this down yet, but he will.  It is important to us to maintain the family foundation that started before children.  Joshua has enriched our life for sure and our family feels more whole because of him, but he did not start a new family…he just added to the one that already exsisted. 🙂

BW teaches Parent-Directed style parenting.  The book goes on to explain how to get baby into a feed/wake/sleep routine.  I’ve committed to parenting the Baby Wise way since day one because their beliefs match my own.  And it has paid off!  I’ve only been getting up once a night with Joshua to feed.  He sleeps for 5 hours at a time most nights.  He is on a 2-3 hour feeding schedule during the day.  It really is working out great!

But the main reason I chose BW is because the end of the first chapter summarizes everything Nathan and I talked about from day one.

“Yes, welcome him as a wonderful addition to the family, but never place your child at its center.  Instead, build that team spirit.  When parents plan for family unity, everyone wins.  Only then will life as you know it never be the same.  Really.  It just got richer.”

We are parents.  Our parents are grandparents.  Our grandparents are great-grandparents.  Yes, life just got richer.

#4

tiny moment #4

I set you down under your rainforest and you quickly tell me that is not what you want.  I put you in your swing and little fusses tell me that this doesn’t make you happy.  A soft blanket on the floor as I talk to you doesn’t quite meet your needs either.  So I pick you up and cuddle you in my arms and you’re completely content.  This makes you happy.  To just be held by your Mama.  Even though I have a ton of household chores that need to be done before your dad gets home and dinner started, you just want to be held.  You remind me to slow down and be calm.  That is a tiny moment with a big reminder!

Aren’t I a lucky Mama to look down and see this?

Life

“[Children] will shatter the life you knew into a million pieces. Then they’ll put it back together, like a stained glass window, into something infinitely more complicated and beautiful.”
-babycenter.com

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

My life is SO different now that Joshua is here.  My son fills this huge hole in my heart that I didn’t even realize was there.  I didn’t think my life was missing anything before, but looking back I realize how much more complete my life really is…how much more complete my family truely is…because of the presence of one little boy.

Goodbye Dairy

I’m kicking all (okay, most) dairy products for one week.  Why you ask?  Because this little bird has a very unsettled stomach.

Haha.  Okay, it wasn’t his stomach that caused this face, he was just getting tired of his rainforest when I snapped this photo, but it looks like a “my tummy hurts” face.  Don’t you agree?  Or maybe a “the gas I just passed from my unsettled tummy doesn’t smell very good” face.

It’s true.  My little bird who loves to eat finds Mama’s breastmilk unsettling, causing a lot of spit-up (out the nose even, poor baby), rumbling in the belly, passing gas, and fussiness.  Which totally sucks because breastmilk is supposed to be a liquid gem for baby and  I’m breastfeeding exclusively.  Even though it has been the most challegening part of infant care so far it is really important to me to get it right and make it work.  So that is where the dairy experiment comes from. 

For one week no more milk.

Milk became my pregnancy food.  I had liked milk before I got pregnant, especially chocolate milk, but during my pregnancy I started to consume a lot of milk.   I had two full glasses a day.  One with breakfast and one with dinner.  Sometimes I would even have a chocolate milk with lunch.  So cutting milk alone is going to be hard.

No more cheese.

Nathan loves cheese…loves it!  So, I cook with a lot of cheese.  I add shredded cheese to a lot of things.  Fattening I know but adds so much deliciousness to foods.  I will still cook with cheese for Nathan but I’ll put it on the side.  No cheese for me please.

No more icecream.

This one really sucks.  Icecream is my dessert of choice.  There is almost always a quart of it in our freezer for an after dinner treat. 

Wow, saying all this out loud (you know what I mean) I realize I am not a healthy eater!  Cutting these major dairy products out of my diet will not only help my baby’s belly but my belly as well!  It is time to loose the remainder of this pregnancy weight.

So, I hope this works.  I’m not going to like cutting these things out of my diet for a significant amount of time but it will be worth it.  Joshua will wake suddenly from sleep crying and fussing because of his unsettled belly.  His poor eyes will get all red and watery as he tries to burp out milk.  He’ll kick his feet and grunt around until milk finally flies out his nose.  He’ll cough and whine.  Poor baby! 😦  I spend a good part of the day walking around with him on my shoulder patting his back.  I feel so helpless because I can’t get the spit-up to come up for him.  So if no dairy is what it takes to make a happy baby with a happy tummy it is SO worth it!!  If I don’t see a change after this week, then I will try something else.  But I’m not giving up.

Wish us luck!

A New Entertainment

No one can actually tell you what it is like to be a Mama.  There aren’t words.  If I had to choose a few words to describe it I’d say motherhood is the most rewarding, challenging, exciting, stressful, happiest, scariest experience life has to offer!  And I only know what it is like to be a Mama to a newborn.  Ohhh I’m SO excited to see what life has in store as this little boy grows and develops. 

Joshua will be 6 weeks old this Thursday.  I can’t believe it’s already been almost 6 weeks since I delivered.  I have my 6 week doctor’s appointment with Dr. Urquhart on Wednesday and then I can officially kiss my postpartum period goodbye (Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!)  Crazy how fast it has gone.

But even when time seems to be going by so quickly I still find time to slow down and just take this little boy in.  Everyday I spend a fairly good amount of time just staring at him.  Whether he’s awake or asleep I just watch him.   And take photo after photo.  It’s my new daily dose of entertainment.  Things that I used to need for stimulation just don’t apply anymore.  Looking at this little boy is all I need. ❤

He has me wrapped around his finger and he knows it.

A Happy Thursday

Last night was Joshua’s first real challenging night.  He is such a good baby.  He has taken to a schedule and eats every 2.5-3 hours.  When he is awake he is a smiley, content little boy.  In the evenings he sits at the dinner table with Nathan and I in his infant high chair while we eat.  No fusses…just watches us eat while we talk to him and each other about our day.  When I put him down to bed at night he contently lays in his bassinet and drifts off to sleep by himself.  The beginning of the night I’ll get a good 4 hours of solid sleep out of him before he wakes to eat (as for the rest of the night…well, we’re working on it.) 

Yesterday, however, after one of those days it turned into an evening of crying.  And when I say crying I don’t mean little wimpers.  No, this was full out bright red-faced, tear falling wails.  It started around 5:00 and lasted until around 8:00.  Nothing Nathan and I tried seemed to soothe him.  He wouldn’t even eat…just cried and cried.  Nathan had to eat dinner without me because I sat with him in the dark, quiet bedroom with Joshua on my chest for an hour before he finally calmed down.  He fell asleep around 9:00 and woke at 11:00 to eat.  After that he was awake until 3:00.  He at again at 2:30 and finally drifted to sleep afterwards at 3:00 to wake two hours later at 5:00.  Ohh it was a rough night.

Today, back to his happy self.  Joshua must have been just as worn out as I was from the night because he fell back to a sound sleep at 7:00 this morning (so I went back to bed, too) and we slept until 9:00am.  See?  He just looks exhausted from a long night!

 Oh, he’s so precious! 

The rest of the day has been dancing and talking and playing with another nap.  Oh I’m so glad to have my happy baby back today 🙂

 

Days Like Today

It is Noon.  My hair is frizzy from being air-dried, but it is washed (currently spit-up free) so we’re making progress.  Baby boy decided to take a quick nap so I did get to shower.  As soon as I turned the water off I heard the loud cries coming from the living room.  I grabbed a towel and rushed out to remind Joshua that he’s not alone in this big scary world and that Mama did not in fact leave him.  Pretty sure I dripped water all the way.  Who needs to actually dry off with a towel anyway?  For that matter, who needs to comb the tangles out of their hair?  Joshua doesn’t think anyone really needs to do these things, he’d rather be cuddled.  So we cuddled.  How could you not cuddle this little cutie?

And boy does he want cuddles today.  In fact, every time I put him down he wails.  This is not his typical behavior.  He must be feeling a little extra needy today.  I haven’t been able to get anything done all morning.   He FINALLY went down for a nap but it wasn’t without effort.  It took the magic of a binky and a motion glider (thank you Ruthie Prasil!  It has been a life saver) to get those big, bright, beautiful eyes to finally close.

Nope, the bed isn’t made.  Yes, the dirty dishes are still sitting in the sink.  That’s right, I’m barely dressed.  And what am I doing while the baby sleeps?  Blogging.   I know my time is limited before those little eyes wake back up so I should be using my time more productively.  In fact, right now as I write about this I hear little squeaks coming from the other side of the couch. 

The binky has been spit out, the eyes have opened…this can only mean one thing…

Told you my time was limited.

So, I cuddled the little bird some more and back down he went.  And some days are just like that.  Joshua is teaching me what it means to be a mommy.  Life is no longer about me.   And that’s okay.  Because even on days like today, when Joshy is a complete fussy pants, I still get to kiss those little cheeks 100 times.

Being a mommy is the best.  Everyday.  Even on days like today. ❤

 

#3

tiny moment #3

A walk used to just be a walk.  Now a walk is so much more special–a family outing.  The sun was shining bringing 60 degree weather that your mom and dad haven’t seen in months so we decided it was time to take you outside.  Your first big stroller ride.  Daddy pushed you in the stroller and mommy walked right beside.  Sunshine.  Fresh air.  Time together.  Perfect.

 

Such a BOY!

This little man is just that…a little man.

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See that fist?  He’s ready to take on anyone who calls him a girl!  Okay, not really.  Joshy is much too sweet to fight anyone. 

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But he really is all boy.  He rarely cries, he grunts.  A deep grunt.  Sometimes his grunts mean he isn’t happy.  Sometimes I think he just grunts because he likes to.  He grunts when he’s trying to wake up.  He grunts when he’s hungry.  He’s just a grunter.

He’s also tough like a boy.  SO tough!  He was circumcised last week and after this appointment he took it like a champ.  Never showed any signs of pain through a single diaper change.  I bought the boy some baby tylenol just in case and he didn’t even need it. 

He’s just a handsome little man.

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And he completes our family.  Nathan and I have been together for 7 years.  We dated for 5 years before we got married.  We were married a year before we got pregnant.  We came to the point in our relationship where we were ready for the next step.  We have had so many great years doing things together just the two of us.  We are ready to experience life in a new way–through the eyes of a little boy.

We are SO excited for all of the fun things we get to do with this little guy.  Camping trips, holidays, fishing, summers in the backyard.  Ohh I can’t wait! 

Just hanging out at home on the floor is ten times more fun!

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And cooking dinner is much more enjoyable with this little helper.

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Ohh so soon (too soon) he’ll be running around, playing in the dirt, falling down, climbing trees, catching fish and frogs.  Because he is all boy.  I can’t wait to see just what kind of boy he’ll be. Besides adorable. We already know he’s going to stay adorable.

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