Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mamatography - Week 8

Day 50

(02/19/12)

Sasha in StrollerGorgeous day for a walk! We were much less stressed having Sasha in the stroller. It was a first (in a long time), so she enjoyed it, too.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spencer's Health

Spencer had his 2 month well child check up today. He is 11½ pounds already, which has him in the 90th percentile for size (on the Down syndrome growth chart)! His head circumference is 38cm, keeping him at a proper curve just above the 50th percentile. he has grown to 23 inches tall! This is also well within the normal curve.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Minimalist: Baby Registries - Infant Care II

All we really need to bathe our babies is a creek, right? Ha! Baby stores disagree.

Baby Care / Grooming

They use the term "baby care" loosely, don't they?
  • Nail Clippers - Yep, you're gonna want them. Unless, of course, you prefer to chew your baby's nails down. It is actually a common practice, I'm told.
  • Brush & Comb - Really? You don't even know if your baby will have hair yet. And really, a wet wash cloth works fine.
  • Digital Thermometer - You might check with the hospital first. The hospital gave me a digital thermometer the last two times I had babies.
  • Ear Thermometer - Why would you need both of these? I actually did get a fancy thermometer. Just research and see which you would prefer. I was fine with the freebie digital thermometer for Sasha, but with Spencer's increased risk of getting sick (and some other factors), I wanted something better.


  • First Aid Kit - I don't specifically have one, but most first aid kits I've seen include bandages and ointment. There are some things that are good to have in case of emergency, so you could either register for a good kit or put one together yourself / register for the individual items.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Surf: Cure Nothing, Cure All, and a Tower

I've coddled my sick hubby this week and we suspect our littles are at least a little sick. My own cold has taken its time settling in, hiding in a headache most of the week. Meanwhile, here are the links I found for you!

5 Common Medical Procedures (That Secretly Aren't Worth It)

I bet you can think of 1 or 2 that are on this list! I love cracked.com and usually agree with their articles.

58 Medicinal, Cosmetic, and Other Alternative Uses for Breastmilk

On the other end of the spectrum, breastmilk is good for pretty much anything. I'm sure my husband thinks I'm insane, I've been putting breastmilk on pretty much everything! He says I think it is a cure-all and I reply that it pretty much is!

The Gro Tower

You've probably seen these wooden towers around, but this particular one is a new item being offered by my friends over at BornAtHomeToys. They are good peeps and I love that they manage to do this together for income.

I hope you've enjoyed this week's links. Please let me know if you have one I should check out!

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI'm joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

I Am Not a Perfect Natural Parent


Welcome to the "I'm a Natural Parent - BUT..." Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the carnival hosted by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. During this carnival our participants have focused on the many different forms and shapes Natural Parenting can take in our community.

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All too often, blogging moms can appear to be the picture of perfection. I hope you get a more balanced view of me here, since I do tend to share the uglier side of things as well. Still, this sounded like a fun carnival, especially since I've enjoyed chats with this same topic among my NP friends. So...

50s icon

I'm a Natural Parent, but...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fostering Healthy Attachment?


Welcome to February edition of the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, hosted by Authentic Parenting and Mudpiemama!. This month, participants have looked into the topic of “Fostering Healthy Attachment”. Please scroll down to the end of this post to find a list of links to the entries of the other participants. Enjoy!

***



Are you an "Attachment Parent?" I hadn't heard the term until I had Sasha. I was very attached to my older daughter, too, though. We rarely left her anywhere. Hell, I rarely even left her with her father! I nursed her on demand, until she self-weaned at 3½ years old. She was, however, considered a "mama's girl" and it is all too easy to blame that on my parenting style. When I left that family (got a divorce), I had planned to take her with me. However, based on my weird work schedule at the time and living at an apartment, her father suggested leaving her with him - in the house in which she'd grown up so far. We agreed on it. We hoped that the separation would help her, too.

I still can't speak to that topic. I don't know yet if it was a benefit or detriment. Three years later, her father passed away suddenly and she came to live with me full time. We're not as close as we were back then and I think being her mother would probably be a lot easier if we hadn't had that time apart. Thinking about that makes me sad.

Tyler with Baby DollI started working from home while I was pregnant
with Tyler because I couldn't fathom leaving her.
(This photo was taken from my desk.)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

NoseFrida Review

Waaay back in May, I included a link to NoseFrida on my Sunday Surf. I had also read somewhere that it was especially good if you had a baby with Down syndrome, though I didn't see a reason given.

I contacted NoseFrida and asked if they'd be interested in sponsoring a review. Soon after, I received a NoseFrida and a Windi. Spencer hasn't been gassy and I'm still not quite "there" with the idea of the Windi yet, so this review is just about the NoseFrida itself.

The snot sucker arrived before Spencer (as I'd hoped), so I didn't have a newborn test subject available right away. I tried it on Sasha, but she resisted. She actually makes cleaning out her nose a big game where she giggles and wiggles her head... it does make things difficult.

Finally, Spencer arrived. The hospital actually even neglected to include his bulb syringe when we brought Spencer home. It wasn't long before he had something that needed sucked out of his nose.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spencer's Heart

When Spencer was born, he had a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). In laymen's terms, there is an artery that is supposed to close right after birth (or soon after that). Spencer's was still wide open after birth. This might be why he had trouble with oxygen desaturation. No one could hear the heart murmur sound of it by the time we left the hospital. The second echocardiogram he had in the NICU also couldn't find it.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Minimalist: Baby Registries - Infant Care I

We're finally in the last of the categories. Infant Care includes several subcategories, though. Lets see how many we can cram into one Monday...

Nursing / Feeding

  • Breast Pump - This might not be a necessity for you, especially if you're not going back to work. I'd probably recommend at least getting a hand pump in case you need it. If you want a nice electric pump, definitely register for it! Good ones are expensive.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Surf: Tantrums, Violence, and Makin' Babies!

Kindness During a Tantrum: 10 Ways to Show you Care

It can be really hard to maintain our own calm when one of our littles is throwing a tantrum. Here are 10 possible ways to help your child through their tantrum instead of battling it, which is likely to make matters worse anyway.


You Didn’t Thank Me For Punching You in the Face

This article is about one of those things that ya don't give much thought... until suddenly you do. This is a thought-provoking post, but it'll still make you laugh... as long as you don't mind a little foul language. Ever been told "he hit you? oh, that just means he likes you!" Wow, what are we teaching our daughters?!

What Makes a Baby

This book looks like it will be awesome! It especially made me think of my friends that are going through IVF to complete their families as well as my alternative lifestyle friends. Right now the book is just getting started, but it is going to be great!

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI'm joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Touchy" Subject

Originally written one year ago today(!) and published on Natural Parents Network in November 2011. I'm republishing here for those that missed it and for new readers.

Not long after our daughter discovered she had hands, she also discovered she had a vulva. That's right, a vulva. I said it. I'm sure as natural parents, we all want our children to have a healthy view of their bodies. That may include knowing the names of his or her body parts. That may simply mean feeling no shame. There should be no shame associated with their bodies or exploring them.

That said, a toddler exploring his or her own body may make others uncomfortable. Having the freedom to explore themselves doesn't have to mean disrespecting another person's comfort levels. I like to be naked. A lot. I'm a borderline nudist myself and have no problem being naked in front of my daughters, including the one that is in the middle of puberty. In fact, I recently paused (in private) to explain that shaving was a personal preference and wasn't something anyone should feel was necessary. When she was a toddler, she also liked to explore her body. It is natural. I plan to take the same approach with our youngest that I did with her. I simply told her that touching her vulva was something she could do in private. I reiterated that it was something that should not be done in front of others.

The trouble with this approach right now is that our 1½yo doesn't understand "in private" and as far as the privacy of her room? We're still in a family bed. When my older daughter started exploring, she already had her own bed. To further complicate things (understandably so), my husband is uncomfortable with our daughter exploring her private body parts when they are... aimed at him. It seems to happen all the time. I'll have a naked baby in my lap, nursing, and she'll be checking out her equipment.

I believe I have found a way to support his comfort level as well as her freedom. I simply turn her away or shield his vision with my arm. Being so young, I also occasionally have to remind her to be nice to her own body. She can be rough, just like when she pokes Daddy in the eye or kicks him in the teeth.

There will, I'm sure, be other bumps in the road along the way. For instance, she will sometimes stare at my vulva or even reach out for it. With a toddler, I generally use distraction. I don't want her to feel shame about her curiosity, but won't have her touching my own private body parts, either. And Daddy? Well he tends to cover himself because he is uncomfortable when she stares at his penis. I always try to see things from her perspective and can totally understand why she might find it fascinating! She only sees it when Daddy is headed to/from the shower or bed, so I imagine it maintains a newness to her. I've tried to tell him that letting her get the staring out of her system might help, but we have to respect his privacy, too. Besides, I'm sure it would only be a matter of time before she would reach for that, too.

How have you approached this touchy subject with your little ones? Has there been a difference between daughter/father and son/mother interactions in your family? I hope to add a son to our family and I wonder how we'll feel about these same topics in that situation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mamatography - Week 6

Sometimes it is a pinch to get my Mamatography shot and I've even "cheated" on a day or two, but here we are... 6 weeks in! Please feel free to hop on board any time!

Day 36

(02/05/12)

Cooking steel cut oatsStill fighting for milk supply, eating steel cut oats once daily.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Public Relations


Welcome to the February 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Respectful Interactions With Other Parents

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have focused on how we can communicate with other parents compassionately.

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I am passionate about my parenting choices. I'd like to think that everyone is, but that just isn't the case. No one, however, wants to be told they're "doing it wrong." Any time I am in or overhear a parenting discussion where it sounds like there is doubt or interest in new information, I am always quick to offer suggestions, experiences, and resources!

That said, if I already know someone is set in their ways (and they're different than mine) or they sound close-minded, I opt to avoid an argument altogether. It just isn't worth the stress and ugliness.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Minimalist: Baby Registries - Clothing

Scroll to the bottom to catch a link to a Monday Minimalist post on another blog!

Today we're looking at Clothing. Now this is more truly a "must have," especially if you're having a Winter baby! Otherwise, by all means, feel free to leave your baby naked! You might think that registering for lots of clothes will help you avoid receiving clothes you hate, but forget it. You will receive a horrible outfit or two.

Naked Baby SashaNaked Baby Sasha - 3 months old

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Surf: With Love

Sunday again, already? Well I tend to keep this list down to 3 links for you so as to not be overwhelming or too much to read, but this week I can not help myself. I have some amazing stuff for you!

Carry Me

Go to any NP/AP forum, board, group, etc. and you're bound to see a discussion on favorite carriers. No single carrier is the answer for all parents. It sucks to go buy a carrier only to find that you and/or your child don't like it. And of course its an expense for a temporary item as it is. Well Carry Me has your solution! It is a Baby Carrier Lending Service! You can rent carriers from them! They even have gift accounts available so that you can give a rental as a baby shower gift!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Composting: a Beginner's Guide

Please welcome Chris & Rebekah from Liberated Family as my guest writers today. Read to the bottom for their bio. Today I share with you a Beginner's Guide to Composting.

Fourteen percent of all waste in the landfill is food waste. That's 33 million tons per year of compostables taking up landfill space and interrupting the natural cycle of rot and rebirth. Of course, the apple peels, leftovers, and certain types of trash have a better chance of rotting in the landfills, than the plastic wrappers and bubblepaks. But it's so much more efficient and better for us all if kitchen scraps are kept out of landfills, and taken care of in your own backyard (or your neighbor's backyard, you get the idea).

(A little aside for those of you with no backyard: there's information in here about alternate and space-saving ways of composting. And if all else fails, send it down the drain with a garbage disposal. It saves space in the landfill and sends those potential nutrients back into the environment.)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How did you get that size?

Welcome to the first Family Size Blog Carnival!

This post was written for inclusion in the Family Size Blog Carnival hosted by Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling and Patti at Jazzy Mama. Today our participants share their decisions on family size and whether or not to grow their families. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Most (3 out of 4) of my family growth spurts were... by chance? I wouldn't call them "accidents." I got knocked up at 16 years old. I gave her up (to my mother) within the first year.

Sharing a Bite17yo me, sharing a bite with my firstborn

I later married. I had been married for 5 years when we conceived "Daddy's little booboo." He loved to say that "I was pokin' fun. I didn't know she was gonna take me seriously!" And then there was "You practice long enough, eventually you're bound to get it right!" I'd had baby fever for awhile, so I was thrilled to be pregnant, even though it was unplanned. Though to the bitter end, my ex-husband insisted I got pregnant on purpose. Not true.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Minimalist: Baby Registries - Toys

We're getting there! Today we're going to look at Toys (including books and music) / Gifts (keepsakes). I find it amusing that there is a "Gifts" section in the gift registry... aren't they all meant to be gifts?


Crib & Activity Toys

For starters, I don't use a crib. And even if I did, why would you want toys for a designated sleep area? As for the other toys, your baby won't need or be able to play with toys for awhile. Even so, you might want just a few things for later.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Surf: Sleepy Green Syndrome (or not)

This week has been mostly uneventful. I don't feel like I accomplished much and not much happened. I only have a few links for you.

Sleep Problems: Your Child

This is an article from the University of Michigan Health System. With Sasha waking at least every 3 hours at night and sometimes as often as every hour, I was desperately seeking some answer and help! If you're in a similar predicament, check out this page for lots of possible reasons.

Sasha Napping

That said, the Pediatrician suggested (among other things) behavior modification: stop night nursing. My knee jerk reaction: No way! Then I had some other natural moms suggest it as a possibility. Then my doctor suggested it, too. I'm writing about the progress, so you can expect to see that in a couple of weeks.

By the way, my daughter does not have pinworms!

Why I Stopped Drinking Green Smoothies

I never knew some of the things shared here about the benefits lost when you pulverize your food. (This includes juicing, too!) The full content of the post has been removed, but there is still a summary there if you're curious.


I did not Birth a Syndrome

This one is me. Its right here on my very own blog. The post has been passed around Facebook a bit, though it hasn't gone viral or anything. I'm very proud of the post and touched by the responses I've received. Everyone (online, anyway) has been so supportive since Spencer's initial diagnosis. Have a look if you're interested in our experience / journey.



I hope you found at least one link here that sparked your interest. Tune in next week to see what else I find! Any sparks you care to share with me?

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI'm joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I did not Birth a Syndrome

As Spencer was born, placed on my belly, and then taken across the room to be checked over, my husband and I were both watching and checking for obvious Down syndrome markers. We knew there would be some and we were fine with that. We just hoped they wouldn't be overly obvious. I discussed the possible physical characteristics in my first Down Syndrome Awareness Month post.

When they took him across the room, Elmo quietly told me he hadn't noticed any traits. I had. I noticed that he has the flatter nose bridge. I also noticed his eyes have a slight upward slant, often referred to as "almond eyes." And I also noticed loose folds of skin on the back of his neck.


Most of all though, I know we saw our son. I thought it was super sweet that my husband had overlooked these things. He hadn't seen them at all! And let me tell you, he generally has a keen eye for these kinds of details!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mamatography - Week 4

I am on a roll with my Mamatography project and enjoying the reminder to take lots of photos! I hope you are enjoying it, too. Please feel free to hop on board any time!

Day 22

(01/22/12)

Tyler meets SpencerTyler finally gets to really meet Spencer, face to face!

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