Monday, February 28, 2011

Little Mistakes


A few weeks ago, I was giving my little toddler a bath. It was actually going well! You see, for some reason we can't explain, baths are traumatizing for her. It began around six months, and ever since then,  she has literally freaked out every time we set her down in the water. Since allowing her to stand (instead of, say, sitting in it), she has relaxed somewhat long enough for me to clean her.

But this particular time, I had given her a dose of homeopathic aconite 30x beforehand - a great remedy for fear. It seemed to work - she was actually squatting! I was amazed. Praising her left and right for letting her little derriere sit in the water, I thanked the Lord above for the wonderful progress! She happily and quietly played with her little bath toys as I sat and watched.

Well, if the word "squatting" got your mind thinking, you are absolutely right. Not too long into her happy bath, she suddenly looked up at me with very wide eyes and gasped. I looked back as if to say, What's wrong? Instead of answering, she made a face...and sure enough, began to poop.

My first thought was to quickly pop her on the toilet to save me a mess, but for fear of terrorizing her of the potty, I just let her go. I couldn't even be mad at her...it had been so precious how she tried to warn me - like, "Oh no, Mom! I can't help it..."

It also got me thinking how there have been so many times in my life where I've made mistakes. But none of them could be reversed. It was too late to go back and stop them. You might be thinking, Don't worry, everyone makes mistakes, but guess what? Many people aren't willing to give you a second chance. Once you make that mistake, that's all they remember. You could do a million good/kind/generous things, but the moment you mess up, that's how people perceive you. It totally stinks! That's why I always (well, almost always) give people a second chance to make up for something they've done. Mistakes aren't the end of the world...or the end of a friendship...or a relationship. We are human...we make mistakes.

On the other hand, there's always a point where you have to stop letting people take advantage of you. It's about finding the happy medium. It's about taking risks but setting limits. It's about not being afraid of taking chances but also listening to your heart, and your head.

And if you're wondering how Little Olive has faired in the bath since her "oops" incident, well...we're back to square one. The bath crayons have definitely helped as a distraction, but heaven forbid I try to wash her hair! If you have any advice, feel free to leave it...but no smart remarks, please. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My own vaccine debate

I've been writing a post about vaccines for several months now. As I researched and gathered more data, I had so much to say. I came on here today to finally publish it and share my thoughts.

But the more I've thought about it, the world doesn't need another blog post about why a family has chosen to not vaccinate their baby. There are so, so, so many reasons why we have chosen to not vaccinate at this time (but maybe ever).  If you want to know why, feel free to ask me, instead of assuming why we're not. Seriously, I'm very happy to talk about it if you're willing to listen with an open mind. Vaccinations are a very controversial and complicated matter. It is no easy decision.

If you are someone who might take vaccinations and immunizations lightly, and have not done research on both sides, I definitely welcome you to do so. We trust our medical system too much to make the best decisions for our children. Don't be afraid to dig deeper than what your pediatrician is telling you. Yes, diseases are very harmful, but the ingredients in vaccines are appalling. And here I have to stop myself otherwise I will retype everything I've just erased. :)

Feel free to share your thoughts below and tell me what you think. Believe me, I understand both sides.

Here are some resources I recommend if you're looking for more information:

    

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tincture of Time

So, I'm writing this as a sort of therapy, I suppose. Sometimes things sit on the mind for too long...I have to get them off my chest. I have a very hard time "letting go." It's all because of my sensitive personality. I don't say this to make an excuse, it's true. I notice too much. When people say or do hurtful things, it hurts, and sticks. Sometimes I wish I could change that about myself.

I believe this was captioned "energy shield" from Episode I.
But the imagery is exactly what I wanted. 
My husband, for example, walks around with a true, patented, Star Wars deflector shield. Things try to attack him, but instead they hit his shield. A cool lazer sound is heard, an orange explosion happens, and things are fine. He simply shrugs it off and goes on with life.

How on earth...(or should I say, Tatooine)?

Then there are the people who stand up, grab the offense right out of the air, and throw it back with great force. They don't put up with anything. They don't cause drama; they end it. They don't get called the bitch; they are called strong. They don't cause a scene; they stand up for themselves. They don't start fights; they put people in their place.

I'd love to find the happy medium. That is my wish. That's my grown up Christmas list (isn't that song so annoying, by the way? Almost worse than Christmas Shoes). Oh wait, Christmas is over. Maybe that can be my New Years Resolution. Or maybe since I'm turning 24 in one week...that will be my 24 year old goal.

Or...as my dear friend, Jurassica, once said to me, "I've always believed in Time. Time heals all." It's true. Time has healed broken hearts, broken bones, and broken bridges (...uh, not sure about the last one; I was just on a roll). I know when I look back on these issues five years from now, they will be healed too. But while I'm living them, I want that quick fix. Sigh... I just need to keep telling myself, All I need is a tincture of time.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bedtime Routines

I was never really strict on sleep or eating schedules. When my baby was hungry, she ate. When she was tired, she slept. A few months ago, my husband and I started to feel the strain of our (now) 15 month old's sleeping habits. She would take two naps a day, one around 1pm, and the other around...6pm. Which meant that she was not tired again until 11pm - at the earliest.

We thought it was great for the first year. We're night owls; we love to sleep in. And having our baby sleep until 10am with us was seriously awesome. But the late nights with a wide-awake toddler were getting to be a little too much.

I had "tried" to put her to bed earlier a few times. But honestly, I wasn't serious about it. That's why it didn't work. So I'd like to share what worked for us to put our baby to bed earlier.

1) The first thing we started to do was wake her up around 8/8:30am. This was hard. It created a few miserable days for us. She was mad to be up early, she was crabby until her nap, etc. But we had to start setting her cycle earlier.

2) Consistent naptime. By noon, she was exhausted. So every day, after lunch she would sleep soundly for a couple hours. After she woke up, we did not allow any more naps till bedtime.

3) When she started getting sleepy at night, we followed our consistent, repetitive, and predictable nighttime routine. I gave myself an hour every night for this. I gave her a bath, a nice little massage with coconut oil, some snacks, nursing, read books, prayers, and then lights off.

4) Being so tired, she fell asleep with ease. But 40 minutes later, she would wake up. Instead of doing what we would normally do (let her get up and play), we went into the bedroom, kept the light off, and continued to lay her down.

The first few nights were very difficult and frustrating. (Let me emphasize that word very.) Hey, in her mind, she took her nap and wanted to be up! My husband and I would take turns in the bedroom with her until she fell back to sleep. The key was to keep the lights off and lay her down.

On the fourth night, we saw a change. She fell back to sleep much faster than the first nights. The next night, even shorter. Within one week, Little Olive knew what to expect every night. She learned it was bedtime, and that we meant it.

I had heard it before, but never took it seriously, that a bedtime routine is necessary. I firmly believe in that now. I notice that when I slip a little and let her sleep late or skip the bath, she has a harder time at night. I don't believe she is being "bad" at all; she just needs her routine to go to bed.

If you have other tips or ideas, feel free to share!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Second Time Around

Well, the news is officially out: we're expecting again! We couldn't be more excited...it's just perfect.  For those skimming for facts and stats, here you go.

1) I am due the first week of October.

2) We're going to (try to) wait until the baby is born to find out the gender. Instead of saying we're "waiting to be surprised," (since it would be a surprise whether it was at 16 weeks through a sonogram or at 40 weeks through the birth), we're just waiting! This is going to be hard for me, since I definitely want to know. I might keel over and die one day, so if that happens, you know why.

3) We have names picked out. Feel free to ask if you want to know. :)

4) In answer to the question: Was it a surprise or were you trying? here's my little answer. Believe it or not, there are more than two possibilities. The third is called, being open to the possibility of being pregnant. Since we use NFP (give me an enormous megaphone for a second so I can set the record straight: "NFP is not the rhythm method!! Okay thanks bye."), my husband and I know every month when pregnancy is most likely. I started counting down the days till I could take a pregnancy test to know for sure. Sure enough, it was positive! :)

The coolest thing about this pregnancy is that my two sisters-in-law and I are all due within about two weeks from each other. That's three new babies all at once. Awesome!

This time around, there are things I want to do differently. For example, I'd like to exercise during this pregnancy - even if it's just a little. I'd also like to babywear more when he/she is born.

How I told my husband the news! 
And that's all I can think of so far.

We're planning for a homebirth, probably a waterbirth, with this one again. We have the same wonderful midwife. I'm so excited to have a whole pregnancy with her, as opposed to just the last 4 months. I'm starting to practice hypnobirthing again. Also taking my homeopathic cell salts. So far, things are good!

We're hoping to get a sonogram soon! After that, if all goes well, we're smooth sailing.

Welcome, baby number two!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

SAT Prep at Six Months

Back when I was in college for Early Childhood, my teachers would visit different child care centers to find placements for their student teachers. They would continually tell us how disappointed they were in the state of pre-schools. So many of them were busy preparing the young 3 and 4 year olds for kindergarten. This included limited play and more time learning letters, numbers, and colors. This meant less creative activities and more "school-like" lessons.

Some of you might think, "This is a great idea. It's why our kids are so smart."

But I disagree. They spent so much time and energy "prepping" them for a grade they weren't even ready for yet. They literally were robbing the children of important play time. By allowing these young children to play all day long, they would already be learning everything they need to know. They would learn colors by finger painting; they would learn numbers by setting the table in the dramatic play area; and they would learn letters by taking orders for the pretend restaurant. Not to mention, by playing all day long, they will also learn communication skills, problem-solving skills, socialization (isn't that why we are so adamant to send our children to day care in the first place?), cause and effect, listening skills, sharing, empathy, consequences for their good/poor behavior, etc. etc. etc.


There is really no reason to take childhood away from them. And the same thing goes for younger toddlers and babies. There is no reason to rush your kid. These babies will eventually walk, talk, eat, drink, play, everything - on their own. We can encourage them when they're ready. Otherwise, we'll be missing out on beautiful moments of their current stage that we will never experience again!