Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tender Tuesdays: Thoughts on .. weaning

Last night Mia refused to nurse for the very.first.time.ever...! She has always been an enthusiastic nurser and has never turned it down even once in her entire life. I use a nipple shield and last night when I got home from work she decided she would rather bite it off with her teeth than nurse and reconnect with Mommy. She was giggling away and so proud of herself for her little 'trick' and it was truly an adorable moment but I also found myself tearing up. I tried again 5 minutes later and she still squirmed away instead.

My husband must have thought I was kookoo crazy for getting so emotional but I did!
It hurts!
I don't want it to end!

I have loved every.single.second of our breastfeeding relationship and I know it will be coming to an end oh-so-very-soon. I'm only gone from her 2 days a week but those 2 days I am only pumping 4oz. I know she is getting very little at home too. She is wolfing down all kinds of solid food now and drinking some coconut milk and diluted apple juice as well. She is so close to a year that I don't see a need to supplement with any kind of formula. I know it sounds silly but I feel like I have come so far and I feel like it would be "giving up" to give her even an ounce of formula. (Not to mention her dairy allergy. We don't even know if she would have an anaphylactic shock to it and need her Epi-Pen.)

I just hope we can make it to her first birthday only a few short weeks away.

I will have to remember to book a breastfeeding photoshoot before the time passes and it is too late.

I had to go on Clomid to conceive Mia so I can't say for certain if I will be able to have more children. I am pretty confident that I will be able to but it still crosses my mind.

So I often gaze down at her and wonder how many more times we will have like this together! When it's the last time - will I know..? Will she just one day refuse? Will I decide it is the last time? Do I *want* to know it's the last time? I am genuinely curious what other mom's experiences with weaning have been like! I would love to keep going as long as we can but I don't think my supply is going to keep up much longer. I don't know how much time I have left to enjoy this special connection with her.

She was a very alert baby from the very beginning. And at only a few weeks old my husband and I would joke about what I found out was referred to as the "Scorpio Stare" - She would lay there drinking and gaze up at me - locking eyes with me and staring searchingly straight into my soul - never once looking away during the entire 30 minutes. If I looked away and glanced back down there she would be - waiting for me to look back.

Nowadays breastfeeding is pretty much the only time I get to cuddle with her anymore - even though she is still not crawling or walking (due to her prior health issues she is developmentally delayed) she is so ACTIVE..! She is such a curious and squirmy baby and if you try to "hold her back" in any way shape or form - oh boy she will let you know all about it! She is so strong-willed and stubborn already and I love that. In the future it will help her get to where she wants to go in life.

But right now I just wish I could just get a few more moments of sleepy baby hugs! A few more minutes of her snoozing on my chest! A few more hours of her cradled in the sling & curled up against me! A few more nights of co-sleeping closeness! She is too independent for any of that now..

So I am enjoying these last few nursing "baby" snuggles as she transitions into a strong-willed toddler, a spirited child, probably a rebellious teen and then finally a confident and independent adult.

Someday I will look back and I won't be able to believe that I ever once cradled her in my arms ..

sprawled out across my lap ..

lazily kicking her legs ..

twirling my hair ..

reaching up for my glasses and then tossing them aside ..

staring into my eyes ..

oh and the smiles - the nursing baby smiles and giggles - oh my how I will miss these times.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

So why does all of this matter? An argument for crunchy parenting

(Warning: Please forgive my sometimes strong tone & generalizations. I am very passionate about this topic.)

I was your typical c-section, formula-fed child of the 80s complete with Pampers and Johnson's & Johnson's. My mom, like many in those days, just didn't know any better. She had issues with breastfeeding and there was nobody there to help her. My brother had been a c-section due to "failure to progress" and nobody cared to help mamas have a VBAC back in those days.

She was however very AP with me and nurtured my intelligence so much so that I was reading words & sentences by age 2 and entire children's books by age 4. I remember being impatient in my first grade class that nobody else could read fast enough when we would take turns going around the room and reading a paragraph of the story, and being so proud of myself that I could spell the word "apartment".

Although most of my crunchiness started when my daughter developed severe eczema at 2 months old; Due to my family medical history, I was hyper vigilant about toxins even in pregnancy. I knew, both instinctively and intellectually, that I needed to protect and shield my baby from all of this.

There are many moms out there who feel like me and something changes in their habits once they become pregnant. They stop dying their hair and getting their nails done. They trade in their Windex for Vinegar. They hold their breath when walking past someone smoking a cigarette. Once the planning begins - They decide to give cloth diapers a try and trade in their Tide detergent for Rockin' Green. They invest in an organic mattress and bedding. And they take childbirth classes centered on helping mom deliver without drugs. Once baby arrives they buy only non-toxic wooden toys, breastfeed well past 1 year, and do such "outrageous" things like co-sleeping and babywearing and not vaccinating.

However there are far too many moms who are oblivious to all of these things. They don't think that these things matter, they believe that if it's out there in the stores it is safe. They think that moms who are into organic items are over-the-top and over-protective. They think that it's much ado about nothing! They think baby must be on a regimented schedule including sleeping through the night at any cost. They think breastfeeding is too hard and formula is just as good. Below are some common arguments we have all heard time and time again and the trouble with each of those arguments as well.

Common Argument #1: "But I was formula fed or my mom vaccinated me and I turned out "fine"! Sure I turned out "fine" I was even reading at age 2 and tested as gifted & talented by age 6. But how much more "fine" could I have been? I suffered from severe reflux that affected my eating habits and still does to this day. Somewhat socially awkward, at times I suspect that I have mild Aspergers. And my brother is not "fine" at all - he has autism. Not to mention every adult on my mom's side of the family who has passed, died from cancer - and we also have a plethora of other disorders like more autism, bipolar disorder, and brain tumors, and most dauntingly ALS in just about every member of my dads side of the family. At age 25 I already feel tremors from time to time that scare the heck out of me. I was not ovulating on my own and had trouble conceiving and had to turn to Clomid & Synthroid to have my daughter. And how do we know that cancer isn't caused by formula and chemicals in baby products? That reflux isn't exacerbated by c-sections which deprive the gut of good bacteria? How do we know if my brothers autism could have been avoided? If I would have been even smarter? If I could have been shielded from the potential cancer and ALS that lay in wait for my 40s and 50s and perhaps even sooner? Dig deep enough into any family, any individual, any claims of being "fine" and you will find a story like mine, though probably not quite as extreme. Just because you survived into adulthood and are somewhat healthy doesn't automatically equal "fine" and "fine" could have been "great" .. !

Common Argument #2: "If BPA, non-organic food, phlatlates, etc. are so bad then why don't we see kids dropping dead all over the place?" Umm hello! SIDS? Childhood leukemia? And it's not always so drastic or sudden. Autism, ADHD, depression, eczema, allergies, asthma, obesity and other lifelong chronic disorders and afflictions are abundant, especially in Western societies. And I don't need to tell you how prevalent cancer is these days, I think we all know at least one someone with cancer. Or Alzheimer's. Or ALS. Or PCOS. In fact I think we'd have a harder time finding kids we know WITHOUT any of the conditions listed above than WITH them. Western doctor's happiness to prescribe drugs aside, this is not just an increase in diagnosis. These disorders, ALL disorders in fact, are on the rise with no end in sight.

Common Argument #3: "Oh come on, a little BPA from one bottle won't harm anyone! It's such a small amount!" OR "But this product has an amount of this toxin below the allowable limit from the FDA/EPA .. So it's fine." But these things don't exist in a vacuum. We aren't living in a pure rainforest with clean air, clean water, and clean food free of all chemicals from household products & toiletries. A single toy with BPA or a shampoo with SLS likely won't hurt us then. But it's the continual and daily BOMBARDMENT of our bodies and our immune systems with all these chemicals that stacks the decks against us in ways that most of us can't even imagine or aren't quite willing to admit just yet. We expose ourselves to thousands of toxins each and every day from the moment we wake up and hop in the shower. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, floss, facial cleanser, foundation, concealer, eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, lip gloss, blush, perfume - wait we aren't even out the door yet. When we come home later that night to prepare and cook dinner - hand soap, non-stick pans, plastic Tupperware, canned foods, the pesticides IN the foods, the processed crap IN the foods, the hormones IN the foods, the antibiotics IN the foods. Cleanup time - dish soap, dishwasher detergent, counter cleaner, air freshener, oven cleaner. Laundry time - stain remover, laundry detergent, fabric softener. Repeat the next day, and the next day, and the next day for 40 years. Breathe in the chemicals in the air from all the previous days and from our mattresses and other furniture and carpets. So you see, it is not just ONE amount of ONE chemical in ONE product. It's THOUSANDS of chemicals from HUNDREDS of products over DOZENS of years. The effect is cumulative.


The average American baby is exposed to THOUSANDS of chemicals & toxins before they are even born! Similar to the attitude of the past about smoking, I fully believe that in the next 20 years or so we are going to look back and think what the heck were we thinking? What did we do to ourselves? Why didn't anyone know any better? And we are starting to wake up, just barely. Whole Foods markets, organic food, crunchy parenting, BPA-free baby products, doulas, water births, home births, cloth diapering.. All of these things are becoming "trendy" or making a comeback. But we need this to continue. BPA is just a drop in the bucket. Natural birth is just the first day of many in a life. Breastfeeding for 6 months is not enough to get baby off to a good start especially in this current chemical-laden world.

At a time when chemicals are everywhere and toxins surround us daily, we aren't breastfeeding anymore. We aren't giving the immune system the boost it so desperately needs. To start with, we're depriving the gut of beneficial bacteria from a natural birth, we're taking away the bonding moments of baby being laid on moms chest. We are pumping mom & baby full of piticon, epidural drugs, and antibiotics. The second the baby is born we cut off the cord, taking away the precious lifeline still pulsating and pumping the last of that precious lifeblood. We stick needles to inject chemicals more directly into our babies, despite the fact that most of us do not have the STD they are vaccinating our babies for. They cover up their eyes with clear goop so they can't see and further traumatize this poor new human being. Then they mutilate their penises so they can be clean? Bathe them in dangerous chemicals from Johnson's & Johnson's and cover them up with toxin-laden Pampers. They push formula on them by giving away free samples. Baby is not even home from the hospital yet!!! Then Mom & Dad place baby in special outfits drenched in residue from it's bath in Tide or if Mom is "conscious" Dreft. They take baby home and place them to sleep on top of a dangerous cocktail of fire-retardants, VOCs and dozens of other chemicals. They leave baby alone to cry themselves to sleep in a new scary place. They continue to bathe baby daily and slather them up in chemicals to "clean" them and make them smell good. (Who decided that "chemicals" = "clean" anyway??) They continue to deprive baby of the liquid gold they need and force inadequate formula on them. Can you tell that just writing this makes me sad? THEN baby breathes in all the Lysol, Fabreeze, Windex, etc. used in the household. Baby is given toxic toys and teethers to chew on and play with. Baby is given Tylenol at the sign of the smallest pain and Benedryl to sleep better. Baby is started on Gerber - loaded with sugar and preservatives at 4 months old. If mom is "conscious" the baby gets pesticides from non-organic fruit at 6 months instead. Worst of all, baby is injected with dangerous cocktails in the form of vaccines 18 times by the time they are 6 months old! And mom wonders why baby is Colicky/fussy/constipated/clingy/can't STTN !!

Sometimes I look at the human race and marvel, how are we even surviving at all? Then I realize, we aren't ... not really. The world is becoming very adept at finding ways to kill us off. How many people die younger than they had to, much younger? And I don't think I know one healthy person - truly healthy. We all have one malady or another. And it's all so maddening and so unnecessary. We should be able to trust our government and our market to provide safe products. We shouldn't have to go online and find out Johnsons & Johnsons and mercury dental fillings and hundreds of other products are BANNED in other countries. Companies shouldn't make different versions for other countries and keep ours the same. Companies shouldn't label things "natural" when they are just as bad as the original products. Moms shouldn't have to spend hours of research and thousands of dollars just to create a somewhat safe environment for their babies. We shouldn't have to sit around and just hope that someday we can create a safer world. This should be natural to us - second nature - not something that is seen as "extreme" or "bucking the norm". What has happened to us? What has happened to our lives, our homes, our bodies, our families? We need to fight back against chemicals - every day - because the alternative is just not acceptable.

And in closing, this is why I fight:

So mamas, why do YOU fight?

This post is being shared at: Simply Natural Saturdays

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

15 Facts About My Princess!

15 Fun Facts About My Daughter Mia – May 2012 - 6 1/2 Months

1 - Sometimes she will just randomly let out a squeal / giggle of PURE JOY and cracks us all up =)

2 - She is starting to knock things off or drop things on the floor when you give them to her ... uh oh!

3 - EVERYTHING goes in her mouth and I mean EVERYTHING!

4 - When you stand her up she gets this adorable proud smile on her face!

5 - Sometimes I swear I see her go to scratch her eczema and then stop herself!

6 - She loves to be carried around in a sitting position facing outward - and this will sometimes produce said squeal from #1 - (I need to get a good baby carrier!)

7 - When she is fussy sometimes I will get my phone out and call her Daddy - as soon as it starts dialing she stares intently at it - and will often smile once her Daddy gets on the line!

8 - When you give her one of her favorite toys - the VTech Zoo - she immediately makes a beeline to chew on the toucan's head - from every angle possible.

9 - When chewing on a toy she usually practices her talking & makes all kinds of hilarious sounds.

10 - She is showing a huge interest in food and we can't wait to start giving her foods - (We have been waiting due to her allergies & eczema)

11 - She usually can't resist smiling at herself in the mirror!

12 - This little girl has WAY, WAY, WAY too many clothes and WAY, WAY, WAY too many toys/books but her Grandma and I don't care and we keep buying more! ;)

And the final 3 fun facts brought to you by Daddy...

13 - Take off her socks from her hands (again - due to the eczema) and watch her claws go into action!! Will claw anyone in her path even Daddy!

14 - She likes to fart on Daddy when he's lifting her up in the air.

15 - You can always count on Mia to lift her legs up in the air and land them straight in her mouth :0

**LINK UP POST FROM THE FEMINIST BREEDER - Fun Facts About My Kids - February 2012**

Things I Said I Would Never Do .. But Then Totally Did .. !

Things I Said I Would Never Do .. But Then Totally Did .. !
Trying out my first link up post today! With "Toddle Along Tuesday" over at Growing Up Geeky:
Today's topic is: Things I Said I Would Never Do! (But Then Did!)

#1 - I'd never co-sleep or let my baby sleep anywhere other than on her back in her crib - It wasn't that I was against the concept - I was just TERRIFIED .. TERRIFIED .. of SIDS or of squashing my baby in my sleep. Around 3 months old this went out the window. The sh*t hit the fan and her sleep at night was TERRIBLE. The last straw was one particular night where I spent 2 hours trying to get her to go down for the night, only to have her wake up less than 15 minutes later upset and impossible to re-settle! That night I brought her into the bed with me and never looked back. I half-heartedly believe the toxic mattress offgassing theory as a cause of SIDS so that night I debated pulling her Naturepedic Organic Cradle Mattress into the bed with me and laying her on top of it. I settled for swaddling her as usual and then laying her on top of the comforter - usually a co-sleeping no-no because it can be too fluffy - and curling my body around her. (I believe one of the reasons for her poor sleep is that she gets very itchy from her eczema and I have to pretty much pin her legs down at night between my legs. She also still has to be swaddled, even at almost 7 months of age.)

I wish I hadn't been so afraid in the beginning - I could have gotten more sleep if I had been willing to bring her into bed with me, or at least let her sleep in the swing or the carseat. Some nights I would get very close to putting her in the swing to sleep and then thoughts of SIDS would petrify me and I would stay up with her half the night instead - a small price to pay for a safe baby! - I told myself. I was doing OK with the lack of sleep and was too paranoid to let her sleep any other way but where the advice said to! I even hauled the cradle downstairs when she was about a month old, and spent a week sleeping on the couch where I could watch TV instead of teasing myself with a warm and comfortable bed that I couldn't sleep in. I was determined to help her to sleep in the cradle instead of only in my arms - and after a week of this - it worked! For a few months she would sleep decently - sleeping anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours - and I didn't mind having to get up and nurse her because she would let me put her down fairly easily. From time to time I would google about babies sleeping on their tummies safely, and babies sleeping in their car seat safely, but would find one little story about someone's neice or neighbor that passed from SIDS that way and I would scurry back to the safety of my "flat on her back, in the cradle" method. I got to memorize the middle of the night TV land schedule, and would spend hours reading mommy blogs & CafeMom on my iTouch while she finished nursing and fell asleep. Looking back - it is crazy to say - I do miss those times. You don't believe it when they say it - but I really do!

But once I went back to work I could no longer function on 2 hours of sleep, or nap to catch up during the day. This is the same exact time that her wake up times went from maybe every 1-2 hours to every 45 minutes at least. And it was taking forever to get her to stay asleep in the cradle after I set her down (she would fall asleep nursing and often wake up once she was set down). Our strategy was no longer working. I experimented with the pick up - put down method & the sshhhh - pat method. None of those things really worked. She was already swaddled, and we already had white noise on. She just wouldn't sleep soundly and I felt so terrible - and tired! I even attempted "supervised" CIO a few times where I didn't leave the room - but it just didn't feel right. Nothing really worked until we started bed-sharing. There are times when I wish that she would sleep in the cradle or crib - in fact I tried again last night out of curiousity - and it ALMOST worked - she was half asleep - but then she got frustrated and I laid her down next to me and she was so content to be snuggled up against me that I just thought to myself "why didn't I want this?" Now I won't lie - there are times when she is so squirmy and won't go to sleep - and I need to put her in the carseat and have my husband rock her to sleep in that so I can get a break and stretch out my limbs! (The position I have to sleep in, curled around her with her legs between mine so she doesn't wake herself up, is not very comfortable after many hours stuck that way) But for the most part bedtime is not a battle anymore. Nursing at night is so much easier once you master the side-lying position - another thing I thought I would never be able to do! That leads us in to number 2..

#2 - I'd never breastfeed in public - Simply put, I was scared to: people can be nasty. And fumbling around with a stupid cover can be annoying. It took me until Mia was about 5 months old to get up the nerve to breastfeed in public for the first time. Someone gave me an apron style nursing cover and I used it once at a mommy meetup at someone's house, as I saw other mamas doing the same and I felt more comfortable. But the apron cover was awful - it didn't cover anything and was hard to adjust baby and latch on - especially since I use a shield. The first time we were actually, really, truly in PUBLIC We were at an Easter brunch at BJ's and I had found the *PERFECT* cover. The Covillow - (Covillow - Breastfeeding Cover & Pillow In One) which not only covers around the sides, front, and back but also has a built-in pillow. Why aren't all nursing covers like this?? Why are they all apron style?? That is super annoying. But anyway, I digress. I've since nursed in public (with cover) at the zoo, the mall, a vineyard, and at home when my brother-in-law is visiting. Twice have I nursed WITHOUT the cover - at an outdoor mommy & me yoga meetup where other moms were doing so and I felt more comfortable - and at an outdoor LLL meeting. This is something I hope to get more comfortable with - both with or without the cover - as time goes on. It is much more freeing than having to worry about pumping beforehand, or nursing in the car, the dressing room, or regrettably - even once in the bathroom (at a car dealership while waiting to finish the sale).

#3 - I'd never use regular diapers - Ok this one I got halfway accomplished! When I was pregnant I set out on a mission to use cloth diapers for Mia. Everyone told me I was crazy and the laundry would be too much extra work. I didn't mind, and it still sounded like the better option for my baby. I did HOURS of research and selected the system I thought would work best for me. (Thirsties Snap Duo covers) and prefolds. When baby actually came however, she HATED diaper changes and would scream the entire time. The husband and I would struggle with the 2-part system and how to properly put it on her. I felt awful. When we did manage to get them on her correctly they were way too big on her and looked very uncomfortable. She couldn't even sit in the carseat correctly. So we scrapped that plan for the time being and stocked up on the next best thing I could find - Seventh Generation diapers. Fast forward about a month and I decided to try again - but no matter how I tried it - they leaked! And if you know anything about cloth diapers they are NOT supposed to leak. Frustrated, I scrapped the whole project once again. I probably would have picked it back up by now and tried some other systems like pocket diapers or AIOs but then this whole eczema thing popped up, and then I went back to work, and the time to try a new system has just never happened yet. I still have hope though! And we do use washcloths in place of baby wipes and have to do THAT laundry all the time anyway, so adding the diapers in wouldn't be a huge leap.

#4 - I'd never be one of THOSE parents that thought it was cute to give a baby an iPad Umm.. seriously what was I thinking? In the survival mode of the first few weeks & months I found myself using my fairly new iPod Touch which I had never really had a use for before. It was great for checking e-mail, Facebook, and reading blogs & news articles while nursing and staying up all night with a newborn baby! Slowly however, we started to realize it was great for Mia to use as well! She can watch Baby Enstein on it, play with a Baby Piano app on it, and we can play music videos for her on it. In fact that Baby Piano app will calm her down when NOTHING else will. It's gotten us through many a car ride home where she is screaming her head off and wants OUT that SECOND. As long as I keep pressing the piano keys she is mesmorized. That and she has a certain Youtube music video that she will stare at for hours - even though the picture is just of a green dinosaur and the song is a Skrillex dubstep mix! I don't know what it is about that song/dinosaur picture but she loves it so much we are considering having pink dinosaurs be her 1st Birthday theme! That and the fascination with the Baby Piano app make me wonder if I have a future musician on my hands! We now have a (Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case for the iPod) so that she can satisfy her urge to put EVERTHING in her mouth the very SECOND she lays hands on it! They make them for the iPad too but we don't have one of those yet. My SIL has one though and reports that Mia is similarly fascinated with the flying space cat that just sings "meow meow meow" over and over again. So yeah. IPods & IPads for babies & toddlers? I'm now a believer..

Ok now for a few things that I DID accomplish that I said I would!

- #1 - Have a totally natural birth and labor mostly at home (check!)
- #2 - Breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months (check! and still going strong)
- #3 - Keep my baby's chemical exposure to a minimum (check! even more so due to her eczema)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Grandma's 1st Mother's Day is special too!

I'm a very sentimental person. Especially now that my daughter is here; each time an important Holiday or milestone comes around I try to come up with unique ways to celebrate it, or family traditions that I can start. (Check out my Valentine's Day family mailboxes)

So it wasn't lost on me that this Mother's Day is going to be a very important day for my Mom as well!

I browsed around the internet for a few hours, not wanting to send just the typical flowers or chocolates and a card. First I was going to order *this snowglobe*. But once I added the personal message it came out to around $100!

Then I found this poem online, the blog I found it on couldn't find the original source either :( I would love to give them credit though!

Now That I’m A Mother

Until I became a mother,
I did not understand,
The profound sense of love
In a mother’s heart and hands.
As I whisper, “Mommy loves you”,
I rock my precious child to sleep.
Small perfection in my arms,
Sweet breaths, slow and deep.
I now see me as a baby,
You’re rocking me to sleep.
You whisper, “Mommy loves you”,
My heart is yours to keep.
At last I recognize your love,
As a mother now I see.
As I hold and love my child,
You feel that love for me.
I will always be your baby,
Despite the years that pass.
You have given me my life,
And a mother’s heart to last.
The greatest gift I can offer,
More than words could ever say,
Is to give my child the love,
You gave me every day.

I started bawling my eyes out at my desk at work & knew instantly I was going to use this poem. Sending the poem over to my husband produced a similar reaction. The only problem was, I couldn't find anything big enough to fit the whole poem! Until I came across *this photo plaque*. The only problem was that the reviews said the final product arrived very faded and hard to read. I figured I could do the same thing myself, print it out, and frame it! So here is what I came up with:

I'm going to put it in a very simple black & white frame like this one. I think it will be GORGEOUS!

Malden Linear Wood Matted 8-By-10 Black Picture Frame

I'm going to make a Spanish version for my mother-in-law as well with her favorite picture of my daughter and probably one of my husband as a baby as well to tie it together a little more.

Hmm I think I like the Spanish one better! lol

Anyone who stumbles across this blog is more than welcome to download this image to their computer and use it for their own mom! (If you click on the photo it will open up much bigger) All you have to do is open it in Paint and copy in your own photo to cover mine! And change the name at the bottom of course.

Print it out, frame it, wrap it, gift it ... and watch the happy crying ensue!! (Not to mention it's a very frugal gift too!)

You're welcome!

Linking up with these fantastic link parties:
Watch Out Martha Mondays @ Watch Out Martha
Bedazzle Me Mondays @ Everything Under The Moon
Meet Me Mondays @ You Are Talking Too Much Chic & Crafty Thursdays @ Frugal Girls

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Half Birthday Mia!

Mia turned 6 months old yesterday! We had a little cake and presents at grandma Maria's house.
How in the WORLD has it been 6 months already I just don't know! I am working on making her a photo & video slideshow of her first 6 months. I have totally been bawling my eyes out remembering this precious tiny little baby and now she is sitting up and laughing and playing with every toy in sight! She is such an observant and smart little girl. Now if we can just get a handle on this eczema!

Happy HALF Birthday Mia!!!

Milestones & Things you do now: It seems like every single day you are learning or doing something new! Now you smile when me or Daddy comes to pick you up from Grandma's house on Mondays and Tuesdays or when Daddy walks in the door from work. You laugh and smile all the time and we act like idiots just to make you smile that beautiful smile! Your grandma Rebecca sends you all kinds of toys and books. You laughed at a toy for the first time the other day! It was the B car keys and you laughed in delight at all of the noises. You love being picked up in the air and bounced around or flown around. You also love to stand on your feet and usually smile this cute smile that you are so proud of yourself! We have been practicing sitting up and you can mostly do it for several seconds before you topple over - but I see you learning how to catch yourself! You also reach up and touch or hit the butterflies on your bouncy chair now. EVERYTHING you touch goes immediately into your mouth for chewtime! You still enjoy to play with your feet and chew on them - in fact this is usually one of the first things you do when you wake up in the morning. We went to the Farmer's Market at the Northridge mall and you kept reaching for daddy's strawberry lemonade! It was so hilarious. We are trying to teach you to give us kisses and you just kind of slobber on our cheeks. Grandma was reading you some books last night at your party and you were trying to grab the pages. You love to look at the pictures and the bright colors in the books. When we go to the store we play with all the toys there and usually can't resist buying the ones that you seem to like the best.

Your favorite people: You stare at Luna and follow her around the room with your eyes if she is running around acting crazy. You still haven't laughed at her yet though! When I call daddy on the phone and put him on speaker phone you seem to look at the phone in anticipation and then stare with interest when he starts talking. Sometimes you will almost smile at the phone. When we do Facetime with Grandma Rebecca and Grandpa David you like to look at the screen and smile and laugh. You show off all the new things you are doing and playing with your new toys. You have so much fun at Grandma Maria's house and she takes you all kinds of places like the mall, the grocery store, and IKEA. She says most of the time you are happy except for when you get sleepy or hungry!

Your favorite toys: Ohmygoodness this month you have gotten so many new toys that I don't even know where to begin! Grandma Rebecca has been sending a ton of toys and I haven't been able to resist buying you electronic toys. You have a remote control, a cell phone, a laptop, a music station that has a book and a piano, and this cute toy with a dancing monkey and singing animals. You love to sit there and reach out and hit the buttons. The Baby Piano on the iPhone will distract you almost every time if you are unhappy or crying in the car.

Challenges this month: We are still battling your eczema. If we aren't careful with your socks and scratch sleeves on your hands you will scratch your face until it bleeds. Mommy has been taking you to a naturopath and giving you all kinds of vitamins & supplements and even homeopathic remedies. You always take your medicines like a good girl except for the homeopathic Unda numbers which taste nasty! You love the banana(?) flavored Nystatin that we are giving you hoping that it will help your eczema. You love it so much that it makes mommy & daddy feel so bad that you can't eat solid foods yet! We have an Epi-pen on hand and hope that soon we can give you some fruit & veggies and other healthy foods! The pediatrician was mean to mommy about your slow weight gain and your eczema so mommy found a new doctor to take you to and she is helping me alot more. Right now mommy is only eating rice, rice pasta, quinoa, rice cereal, water, yams, squash, zucchini, rice bread, olive oil and avocado hoping to clear up your eczema, identify any other allergies you might have, and help your body heal from whatever allergies you may have.

Triumphs this month: Now that we co-sleep you sleep much better and wake up happier. A schedule and a bedtime has also slowly began to emerge. I love cuddling with you at night! You squirm around alot though - probably because you are very itchy.

Special Holidays & Outings this month: Your first Easter was alot of fun. We dressed you in a cute dress and we all went to the park with some of your relatives that were here from Mexico to visit. Earlier this month you also went to Hollywood Blvd. for the first time with your relatives from Mexico, Aunt Monsey and Aunt Wendy and your cousin Izzy. You had your picture taken with Dora! Then a few days later it was Izzy's first birthday party and you watched all the kids go crazy over the pinata. Last weekend we took you to the beach for the first time - not on the sand though! You were a bit too cranky and sleepy for that. But we went back to this lookout point in Malibu on PCH that mommy & daddy like to go to. We looked at the seagulls and the ocean and the waves crashing on the rocks and we took tons of pictures. A nice lady even came by and took a few pictures of all of us!

Things we want to do next: As soon as we buy you a cute swimsuit we are going to take you swimming! I can't wait - you are going to love it! I also am looking forward to starting baby signing with you and am thinking of trying out elimination communication as well. I plan to try out some different systems of cloth diapers as well since what we tried when you were born didn't work out for us. I can't wait to get a better handle on babywearing as well so that we can do longer outings like hikes without you getting uncomfortable and fussy. Summertime is coming this is my favorite time of year I just get so excited! I bought you a TON of clothes at Target the other day for your birthday but also because I can't resist cute summer clothes! I need to buy you a summer hat and baby sunglasses too.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Crunchy Mama/AP Pledge


* I pledge to advocate tirelessly on your behalf, from the minute you are born and even before. I will fight off all unnecessary interventions in your pregnancy and birth.

* I pledge to give it my absolute best attempt to breastfeed, calling on lactation consultants, LLL leaders, or yes even Google(!) for help if I'm having trouble.

* I pledge to at least research thoroughly the side affects and risks of vaccinations, antibiotics and other medications before just blindly following common convention.

* I pledge to protect your delicate little body from chemicals & toxins at every possible turn. Wherever humanly possible I will use only organic and natural diapers, baby products, toys, and food.

* I pledge to respond to your cries with tender loving care, not 5 minute intervals.

* I pledge to parent you gently, never shouting or reacting in anger.

* I pledge to nurture your growing brain, reading books with you, playing educational games, going for walks in nature and teaching you everything about the world around us.

* I pledge to make time every single day to play with you and make you laugh because I truly enjoy spending time with you.

* I pledge to love you with all of my heart and always demonstrate it every single day of my life with hugs, kisses and loving words.

* I pledge to fight tirelessly for you no matter what challenges may arise in our lives.

* I pledge to listen to you as you grow older, and always let you have a voice in our family.

Feel free to share throughout the web just please give credit and link back to me @ TheCrunchyGemini!

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