Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Advice for a new mom

UPDATE:
I WON!!! Read about it here!
******************************************
I have an odd fascination with Brooke Burke. I don't know why. I guess for a celebrity, she seems somewhat down to earth and as hands on as she can be, as a mom. I've been entering contests on a website she helped launch called Modern Mom. Why, I don't know. Maybe I'll win some cool stuff sometime. Although I doubt it. A recent contest asked for advice for a new or expecting mom. I thought I'd share what my entry was.


You are about to embark upon the most insane, joyful, rewarding, exhausting and meaningful journey of your life.
Embrace every moment and experience of pregnancy and the early days with your infant.
Record as much as you can--
through photos, blogging, journaling, baby book, scrapping, video etc.
Trust your instincts. Take everyone's advice and your own research and combine it into what works for you and your baby.
Find ways to take care of yourself, not just the baby.
You have to feed your own soul in order to give 110% to your baby.
Give yourself permission to be frustrated and overwhelmed
and at your wits end. We all go there.
It doesn't make you a bad mom or love your baby less.
It means you are human!
Accept help, but also create your own boundaries.
Look at every day a the best day of your life--
whether it was full of poop and spit up, or smiles and coos.
You are blessed to be a mom.
I'll let you know if I win!

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm just sayin'

It doesn't get much cuter than this folks.



I'm just sayin'.

(and yes of course, that's still the potty chair in the background.)
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Yup

Gracie is a little firecracker.

Case in point. Conversation last night, after she left the bathroom when I was asking her to come back.

Me: Gracie, come back to the bathroom (x18)

Gracie: (no response)

Me, after following her into the bedroom: Come here for your diaper. You need to listen to Mama and obey. Look at me and say "yes mama."

Gracie (said with attitude): Yeth (she can say yes, but when she has an attitude, she likes to slur. I don't know why.

Me: Really, is it going to be like this? (said somewhat to myself as I finally got her diaper on her)

Gracie: Yup.

Even Miss Rose laughed at her response. She's giving me a run for my money!

*******************************
On another note, I have a slight addiction to entering contests online for baby stuff. It seems like one of these days I will win. So here's a shamless plug for another entry. (I really want to try out the muslin blankets that are part of this giveaway)

Win a Sakura Bloom Ring sling and Aden and Anais Swaddling Blankets from Nature's Child - Wholesome goods for Mothers and Babies

Stay tuned tomorrow for another post that is contest related.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Blogger's Block...

I seem to have some blogger's block right now. In fact, I probably have too many topics I'm interested in blogging about. And I don't have the mental capacity to tackle them.

Photos are fun to share as well!


My babies...my little girls...I usually don't dress them in matching clothes, but these were hand-me-down gifts, and I couldn't resist!





Bean proudly showing off his "world's greatest dad" paper badge on Father's Day! Usually he works his part-time job on Sunday nights, but he took the day off and we got to enjoy an entire Sunday as a family. It was just as much a treat to us as it was to him. I, of course, had to be at church at 7:30am that morning--but as a gift to Bean I asked a friend to hang with the girls at church so he could enjoy a few hours at home alone.


Lily is SO cheerful sometimes. She just loves to smile. She had her 4-month appointment this week (although she's almost 5 months!) and is growing well. Over 13lbs now and 24inches. She's actually a bit short right now! Maybe she'll be the one to take after mama because the other girls are tall so far.








If I knew photoshop, I'd definately mess with this photo. Miss Rose posed there herself, and she just has so much joy in her face. And yes...that's Bean's shadow as he takes the photo!






Have a wonderful weekend!
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Monday, June 22, 2009

I'll keep trying

Lately I've been feeling that some of my discipline hasn't been getting through to Miss Rose. We keep having the same problems over and over. She can be very ungrateful. She chooses to focus on what we said "no" to, quickly forgetting all that we've said "yes" to. And the complaining and the whining. It never ends!

So today, when faced with an ungrateful, complaining child, I decided to try a new method of discipline. I never want to discipline just for the sake of discipline. It needs to be a learning process.

After multiple warnings, a spanking was imminent. The story of the ungrateful lepers that Jesus healed came to mind. I found one of our Children's Bible's in order to have a lesson before the spanking this time.

I sat with Miss Rose and explained we were going to read a Bible story before the discipline and then we'd pray together. I read her the story.

Her response, while in tears, "I know that story, and I don't understand what it has to do with my problem."

Well then.

I confess, I was unable to contain myself. I tried to keep it in, but I giggled a bit. And had to gather myself. At least she knew the Bible story was supposed to be applicable.

I explained how she needs to be more grateful. I think she got it.

If not, well, I'll keep on trying.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

He's her daddy

Yesterday Miss Rose and I went out to do some errands, including Father's Day Prep. While at Nordstrom Rack I asked her to stand in one spot while I checked out some flip flops (one thing for him, one for me, right?!) She picked up some Converse ankle socks that happened to be to her left and asked if she could get them for Daddy. Not a bad choice since he never buys socks for himself, and he loves his Chucks.

I agreed--yes, great idea for Daddy. Miss Rose proceeded to pick up a box that was to her right and say "or we could get him these." Um no dear, Daddy does not need boxer briefs. And please quickly put the box back and let's go before we have to discuss male anatomy while in Nordstrom Rack. You know what the photos on those boxes look like... Thankfully we made a clean getaway!

If she had it her way, Miss Rose would have given Daddy his gifts right when we got home, but I talked her into waiting. But first thing this morning she wanted to give him the socks--so of course I let her.

After church this afternoon she was ready to give him the tongs we bought (ours recently broke and we do a lot of grilling, so they are necessity) and then she spotted the card she picked out for him and insisted on giving it to him without signing it. And she was thrilled to present him with the "World's Greatest Dad" paper medallion she made in Sunday school.

Who needs wrapping paper, big presentations or even to sign the card? He's her daddy. And it's Father's Day. And she can honor him however she wants. It's special not because of the packaging, but because it truly came from her heart.

I just wish this weekend came from her bank account too, not ours. It's been very fun and very special...but a birthday and father's day made for an expensive weekend. As Bean always says, "it's just money, and we can always make more." We may be eating beans and rice and peanut butter and jelly a lot the rest of the month! But it was worth every penny.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The best years of my life

I turned 32 yesterday. I don't feel like that much of my life has passed. Yet I look around me, and it certainly has. Babies who were born to friends of mine around my high school graduation are entering high school this year. It doesn't seem right!

I couldn't have asked for much more on my birthday! It started the night before when I decided to make a "birthday eve" cake, because I needed some chocolate. My favorite homemade cake came out wonderful and after sharing it with family, friends and construction workers--it was gone in less than 24hrs!

My "middle sister" came to town the night before and stayed with us. She is my favorite running partner. We managed to get Miss Rose to ride 4 miles while we ran (and I pushed the little ones) at the Lake. Miss Rose was quite done by the end, but she was a real trooper. And instead of the June gloom that persists today, yesterday was sunny!

Aiden Hawk (to compliment his brother Talon Steele), my newest nephew was born on my birthday. My sister in law's doctor scheduled the c-section for that day, and so they went with it. I got the pleasure of going with him for his first bath at the hospital. So sweet.

Bean had something in the works for quite a while. My "little sister" came also to see the new baby and celebrate with me. The sisters, Bean, Lily and I piled in the car and headed downtown. We ended up at Old Spaghetti Factory (another favorite ) for dinner...and slowly my closest, longtime friends (well a few were missing!) showed up for dinner and then we all went to a baseball game. It was such a special time and meant a lot as most of them had to travel 90miles to celebrate with me.

My husband, my family, my nearest and dearest, I am blessed.

There is a local radio show I have been listening to since elementary school. They sign off their time slot saying "this has been the best day of our lives."

I wholeheartedly echo that about each day and year of my life. Sure there are difficult times and moments. But I love my life. I love every minute I spend with my children. I love the husband God blessed me with who spoils me rotten--even though I never want him to. I love every time I get to pray with someone in my job and see their life changed. I love my friends, new and old.

Every year has been, and will be, the best year of my life. Because God has blessed me richly in so many ways.

Oh yeah. Bean let me order something I've been drooling over for my birthday. I'll share it with you when it arrives! The man truly does spoil me :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm glad we have a loveseat

A little more than a year ago we bit the bullet and purchased some nice couches. It's always hard to put the money out for things like that, but in the end we find that we're happier with quality purchases that will last a long time. Bean is really good about finding financing with 0% interest for a length of time within which we can pay off the entire purchase before interest begins to accrue.

However, I digress.

We've been very pleased with our Lazy-Boy couch and loveseat. They've held up well thus far, although they are abused by our circus act daily. We try to keep food off the couches. But even when there are spills, the stain-resistant treatment on them works very well. Gracie also loves to wipe her snotty nose on the couch as well. Lovely.

We sit on the couch daily to read, cuddle, watch TV etc.

The loveseat, well it gets a lot of use too. Not the kind you may expect though.

This is what it usually looks like.



(if this were a Not Me! post I'd say--that's not a potty chair in my living room, nor is my baby in front of the TV, and my house certainly is more picked up then what's reflected in this photo.)

Or this.




It's a pretty expensive laundry basket/folding table/toybox/junk area.
Good thing we have a loveseat.
(And yes, that's an adorable picture of Bean and Gracie!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Not Me! Monday


Ready to 'fess up to the not so perfect things we do every day as parents? I find it particularly refreshing and quite amusing to think back on my week and what I didn't do. Click on the photo above to visit MckMama's site to read her list this week and everyone who is linking up.


Last week I did not finish a Diet Coke at 9:30pm at night, because I'm giving it up (again) tomorrow. Not me! And I will not be the one having difficulty sleeping tonight either. I also did not just eat several cookies for the same reason.

I do not check my in my rear-view mirror at least once a week to be sure I didn't forget the baby. There's no way the thought would even cross my mind, that I might have forgotten to load her in.

I am not currently salivating over a few baby carriers that are uber-expensive. Not me. I'm a thrifty mama. Not this one. Or this one.

I certainly don't alternate between calling Gracie one of the "big girls" and one of the "babies." That would contribute to some sort of middle child syndrome.

I definately did not nurse Lily post-mud run with stubborn flecks of dirt still stuck to me and certain parts important to her.

I did not pour the pee from the potty chair into the sink because I was so tired at the end of the day. Not me!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A rare capture



It's not often that Miss Rose will pose, much less smile for a candid shot these days. But when she does, she's so beautiful and sweet! This picture is from my iphone, to show Bean her wearing the new swimsuit coverup he bought her. Her cousin has a robe to bring to swim lessons and Miss Rose has been asking for one. Unfortunately, it's not really warm bathrobe season. At first glance, she wasn't thrilled with the substitute. But obviously, she warmed up to it.

In other family news...Gracie is doing fabulous with potty-training. Although I forgot about the frequent trips to public restrooms during this time. But in the end, it beats all the diaper changes! She was accident free today--which included a trip to the lake, Sea World for 3 hours and a 1.5hr nap. She fell asleep in the car, so I just transferred her to her bed (with a waterproof mat on it just in case!)

Oh, and I thought outings with a newborn, a toddler and preschooler were challenging. Just when I mastered those, things change up, of course. Now it's a baby (almost 5 months now! where does the time go) who isn't so interested in snoozing the entire time, a potty-training toddler and an almost Kindergartener. Keeping life interesting. And entertaining of course.
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pass the Butter




I love these rolls. Can't get enough of them.
Pass the butter, because I just want to eat them up.

My other girls weren't so roly-poly.
I'm proud to say every ounce and inch is curteous yours truly.
It's amazing that God gave me the ability
to completely nourish another individual.
Astonishing in fact.
Sure, I have complaints about my post-baby (x3) body,
especially the baby-feeding parts.
But the superficial sacrifices are worth it.

What a blessing it is, to be the mom of three beautiful daughters.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Proof

If you've been following my blog for a while, you may recall that sometimes I refer to Miss Rose as an amazon child. I especially recall this hilarious entry.

In case you were wondering, she's still an amazon child.

And I have proof.

Miss Rose is "student of the week" for her class and got to prepare a poster about herself, including her height and weight.

Ready for this? 60lbs and 48 inches. My child is 4 feet tall. At 5 years old. She's not even 5-1/2 yet. She's above 97% on the growth charts. She is only 1 foot and 4 inches shorter than me. I had to double check her carseat spec's and thankfully it goes to 65lbs, so hopefully she'll be able to stay harnessed until her 6th birthday, or at least close to it.

That's also a 2-inch and 8lb increase since October. No wonder she's been so hungry recently.

Sometimes she's like a big puppy, who really is too big for your lap, but is going to find a way to fit in it anyways. It's very sweet. She's a lover.

And while we're talking about Miss Rose, here is a cute exchange we had tonight while driving home from church."

Miss Rose: "Mama, I have some bleeding on my leg going on back here."

Me: "Really, what's going on?"

Miss Rose: "My leg is bleeding."

Me: "Well, is it a little bit or a lot?"

Miss Rose: "To me, it's a lot."

Upon inspection at home, she'd picked a bug bite and it was just a small raw spot on her leg. There wasn't even a drop of blood. But to her, it was a lot.

I sure love my amazon child.

Just once

I've read all the books. For the most part I follow the advice. Nothing can be perfect, you know.

But yet, no success.

My babies DO NOT sleep through the night easily. Three times. Three babies. No dice.

Babywise, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happiest Baby on the Block, the Baby Whisperer. I take pieces from them all. I do the routines. I follow the eat-play-sleep plan. I'm not a pacifier for my baby, nor a snack machine. Baby gets full feedings and is satisfied for 3 hours. I don't go more than 4hrs during the day between feedings. I swaddle (until they learn to roll over in bed).

My babies sleep wonderfully during the day. By the time they are a few months old, they settle into a basic routine that includes 2 long naps (2+ hours) each day and 1-2 small catnaps. I am very thankful for this as I don't deal with a crabby, needy, overtired baby all day and I can get stuff done while they nap.

But sleep through the night, no way! I've tried the dreamfeed, but that has never helped me either. In fact, it seems to encourage more frequent waking. Take last night for example. Bedtime feeding about 7:30 and to bed. Dreamfeed at 10:30. And she was still up at 1:30 to eat again. And crying again before 6am.

They always go back to sleep easily after the middle of the night nursings. Sometimes though, I do not.

Just once, I would love to have a baby that decided on their own to sleep through the night. Just once I would like to not have to decide at what age should the middle of the night feedings end. Just once I'd like to not have to listen to my baby cry and fuss her way back to sleep.

The thing is, I know there is a point they are capable. I know because once they get it--they get it. With Miss Rose it only took one night. One rough night for us, listening to her cry for a bit and then fuss until she fell asleep. And she slept through the night from that point on. Gracie too. While she quickly stopped needing to nurse at night, she did still wake from time to time, but a bit of comfort was all she'd need.

But I was hoping that this third baby would be my "just once". My easy child to sleep through the night. It was not to be so.

Where is my downfall? Perhaps I keep my babies in my room too long. With Miss Rose and Lily--it's been out of necessity. No other room was available. Miss Rose had to sleep in the dining room of our 1-bedroom apartment. If I decide to work with Lily on this, she'll have to be in the living room as her bedroom isn't available yet.

But I like having them close when they are young. While they are nursing in the night, this is the most convienent as well. I easily suffer from insomnia, and not being able to go back to sleep--when you have three kids and a job-- doesn't work well. So I keep my baby close. Not usually in my bed, but next to it. But I know many who do the same, and their babies sleep through the night, so maybe that isn't the culprit.

Please know that I will always feed a hungry baby. I would never let my baby scream for long periods of time. And usually the all-out crying doesn't last long. Which is my sign that they are capable of going longer without feeding.

Sigh. Just once. It would have been nice. But for now, I'll keep waking to feed my baby while I keep her close.

Maybe keeping my baby close is worth the waking. I am having difficulty grasping the idea that my baby, my last baby, is almost half a year old. I'm not ready just yet. Maybe one night she'll surprise me and I'll get my "just once."

Just once

I've read all the books. For the most part I follow the advice. Nothing can be perfect, you know.

But yet, no success.

My babies DO NOT sleep through the night easily. Three times. Three babies. No dice.

Babywise, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happiest Baby on the Block, the Baby Whisperer. I take pieces from them all. I do the routines. I follow the eat-play-sleep plan. I'm not a pacifier for my baby, nor a snack machine. Baby gets full feedings and is satisfied for 3 hours. I don't go more than 4hrs during the day between feedings. I swaddle (until they learn to roll over in bed).

My babies sleep wonderfully during the day. By the time they are a few months old, they settle into a basic routine that includes 2 long naps (2+ hours) each day and 1-2 small catnaps. I am very thankful for this as I don't deal with a crabby, needy, overtired baby all day and I can get stuff done while they nap.

But sleep through the night, no way! I've tried the dreamfeed, but that has never helped me either. In fact, it seems to encourage more frequent waking. Take last night for example. Bedtime feeding about 7:30 and to bed. Dreamfeed at 10:30. And she was still up at 1:30 to eat again. And crying again before 6am.

They always go back to sleep easily after the middle of the night nursings. Sometimes though, I do not.

Just once, I would love to have a baby that decided on their own to sleep through the night. Just once I would like to not have to decide at what age should the middle of the night feedings end. Just once I'd like to not have to listen to my baby cry and fuss her way back to sleep.

The thing is, I know there is a point they are capable. I know because once they get it--they get it. With Miss Rose it only took one night. One rough night for us, listening to her cry for a bit and then fuss until she fell asleep. And she slept through the night from that point on. Gracie too. While she quickly stopped needing to nurse at night, she did still wake from time to time, but a bit of comfort was all she'd need.

But I was hoping that this third baby would be my "just once". My easy child to sleep through the night. It was not to be so.

Where is my downfall? Perhaps I keep my babies in my room too long. With Miss Rose and Lily--it's been out of necessity. No other room was available. Miss Rose had to sleep in the dining room of our 1-bedroom apartment. If I decide to work with Lily on this, she'll have to be in the living room as her bedroom isn't available yet.

But I like having them close when they are young. While they are nursing in the night, this is the most convienent as well. I easily suffer from insomnia, and not being able to go back to sleep--when you have three kids and a job-- doesn't work well. So I keep my baby close. Not usually in my bed, but next to it. But I know many who do the same, and their babies sleep through the night, so maybe that isn't the culprit.

Please know that I will always feed a hungry baby. I would never let my baby scream for long periods of time. And usually the all-out crying doesn't last long. Which is my sign that they are capable of going longer without feeding.

Sigh. Just once. It would have been nice. But for now, I'll keep waking to feed my baby while I keep her close.

Maybe keeping my baby close is worth the waking. I am having difficulty grasping the idea that my baby, my last baby, is almost half a year old. I'm not ready just yet. Maybe one night she'll surprise me and I'll get my "just once."

Just once

I've read all the books. For the most part I follow the advice. Nothing can be perfect, you know.

But yet, no success.

My babies DO NOT sleep through the night easily. Three times. Three babies. No dice.

Babywise, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happiest Baby on the Block, the Baby Whisperer. I take pieces from them all. I do the routines. I follow the eat-play-sleep plan. I'm not a pacifier for my baby, nor a snack machine. Baby gets full feedings and is satisfied for 3 hours. I don't go more than 4hrs during the day between feedings. I swaddle (until they learn to roll over in bed).

My babies sleep wonderfully during the day. By the time they are a few months old, they settle into a basic routine that includes 2 long naps (2+ hours) each day and 1-2 small catnaps. I am very thankful for this as I don't deal with a crabby, needy, overtired baby all day and I can get stuff done while they nap.

But sleep through the night, no way! I've tried the dreamfeed, but that has never helped me either. In fact, it seems to encourage more frequent waking. Take last night for example. Bedtime feeding about 7:30 and to bed. Dreamfeed at 10:30. And she was still up at 1:30 to eat again. And crying again before 6am.

They always go back to sleep easily after the middle of the night nursings. Sometimes though, I do not.

Just once, I would love to have a baby that decided on their own to sleep through the night. Just once I would like to not have to decide at what age should the middle of the night feedings end. Just once I'd like to not have to listen to my baby cry and fuss her way back to sleep.

The thing is, I know there is a point they are capable. I know because once they get it--they get it. With Miss Rose it only took one night. One rough night for us, listening to her cry for a bit and then fuss until she fell asleep. And she slept through the night from that point on. Gracie too. While she quickly stopped needing to nurse at night, she did still wake from time to time, but a bit of comfort was all she'd need.

But I was hoping that this third baby would be my "just once". My easy child to sleep through the night. It was not to be so.

Where is my downfall? Perhaps I keep my babies in my room too long. With Miss Rose and Lily--it's been out of necessity. No other room was available. Miss Rose had to sleep in the dining room of our 1-bedroom apartment. If I decide to work with Lily on this, she'll have to be in the living room as her bedroom isn't available yet.

But I like having them close when they are young. While they are nursing in the night, this is the most convienent as well. I easily suffer from insomnia, and not being able to go back to sleep--when you have three kids and a job-- doesn't work well. So I keep my baby close. Not usually in my bed, but next to it. But I know many who do the same, and their babies sleep through the night, so maybe that isn't the culprit.

Please know that I will always feed a hungry baby. I would never let my baby scream for long periods of time. And usually the all-out crying doesn't last long. Which is my sign that they are capable of going longer without feeding.

Sigh. Just once. It would have been nice. But for now, I'll keep waking to feed my baby while I keep her close.

Maybe keeping my baby close is worth the waking. I am having difficulty grasping the idea that my baby, my last baby, is almost half a year old. I'm not ready just yet. Maybe one night she'll surprise me and I'll get my "just once."

Monday, June 1, 2009

Not Me Monday: Potty Training Edition



Click on the button above to find all about how you can participate in "Not Me" Monday and read other entries.

I prepared this blog last week, but Not Me Mondays was on break for Memorial Day.

I did not decide to start potty-training my 2 year old this weekend. Because I am not tired of buying and changing diapers for two children each day.

And said two year old has not been bare-bottomed most of the weekend in my house, and the car, and the stroller. I did not have a brief argument with Bean about whether or not to diaper her for lunch at Rubios. I was not arguing for her just sitting on a waterproof mat. Bean was not the one who won the argument and she did not end up diapered.

I was not Tweeting about pottytraining, including photos of my kid on the potty chair, even though my boss/pastor gets my Tweets instantly.

I did not bring the potty chair with us in the van and it was not me who was dumping the (just liquid) contents of a potty chair in the bushes of two different parking lots in the city.

It was not my two year old who told me several times regarding potty training "that's yucky" and "that's gross."

Nope, that wasn't my daughter, trying to diaper herself with baby sister's diapers because she was tired of being bare-bottomed. She did not tell me this evening, "Mama, I need clothes."

In defense of all the things I did not do, it was not my daughter who only had one accident all of Saturday--save a few hour period we were at a birthday party and she was diapered.

I am not going to continue doing these same things, hoping for more success.