Saturday, August 27, 2011

Two Minutes in the Mind of a Two Year Old


Scuse the langugage...

Each of these “emotions” lasts about 3 seconds.
  1. I wanna play with Daddy’s phone.
  2. I wanna put on Mommy’s shoes.
  4. I wanna open and close the thermostat.
  5. I wanna turn on and off the light on the microwave.
  6. Is there anyone here with a phone I haven’t played with yet?
  8. I wanna pick up the cat by it’s head.
  9. I wanna throw all the toothbrushes in the sink.
  13. I want out of my chair.
  14. I wanna play with the iPad.
  15. I wanna go outside. No, I wanna turn the heat on.
  16. I wanna take my pants off.
  17. I don’t like the shirt I’m wearing.
  18. I wanna play with Mommy’s phone.
  20. I’m thirsty.
  21. No, not for that.
  22. Yes, perfect, juicebox. I’m gonna squeeze this damn thing all over myself.
  23. Where’s Daddy?
  24. Where’s the cat?
  25. Where’s Mommy?.
  27. Oh my God I think Mommy left forever.
  28. Ok, there’s mommy. I want to play with her phone
  29. Hungry again. Never mind
  30. I just remembered not liking these pants. Get them off.
  32. Wow, I’m starving. I want peas but I don’t know how to tell anyone.
  33. Finally, peas. I like throwing these.
  35. Oh look, a new person. I wonder if they have a phone.
  36. Im tired.
  38. I wanna go for a walk but I don’t wanna go outside.
  39. No, not inside either!
  40. I need to push some buttons right now.
  41. I hate this diaper.
  42. My eyes itch.
  43. WOW! Is this my toe?
  45. I hate these pants.
  46. This shirt itches.
  47. I’m tired.
  48. Stop asking me if I’m tired.
  49. Where’s that toy that goes beep.
  50. I wanna take a bath in my clothes.
  51. Put on my favorite song.
  52. Where’s the cat?
  53. What is UP with my shirt?
  54. Did I just hear a dog bark?
  56. I wanna see a dog.
  57. No, not OUTSIDE! I wanna see a dog inside.
  58. Is my penis still there? Good.
  59. I peed.
  60. I’m bored.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Rundown on Maternity Leggings...And Making Your Own For $11!

Maybe you're into leggings...maybe you think no one who is pregnant should wear them...Maybe you think no one (that that means no one!) should wear them.

I've never been a big legging person. But decided this winter, they beat living in yoga pants and always feeling like I'm in my PJ's!

I went to Target earlier this week and found a nice Kamino style dress (to join the other too-short-to-wear-past-28-weeks maternity dresses I've gotten on clearance in other pregnancies). And I started looking for pregnancy leggings. I can't just wear normal leggings: the elastic rolls down my round belly and sits -quite unflatteringly- under my cesarean scar. And any elastic on my sensitive pregnant belly is obnoxious.

So my search began.

Target has them for $22.00-$25.00 (and oh boy do they feel like heaven!!!). But given the material... 1.) It didn't breath (it is 100% synthetic. Some cotton is some thing this preggo wants, even in the cooler months!) 2.) it seemed like they would wear fairly quickly...But perhaps not.

And if you're wanting to shell out that money: get them! They are seamless and have I mentioned that they feel like HEAVEN? They do.

Gap has them for $30 and Motherhood Maternity for $20sih The cheapest I could find were from Forever21 for about $11 but the had rouched bottoms...not my cup of tea. And you have to pay for shipping and handling. blegh!  Also worth mentioning, the top didn't really seem any different from regular leggings. Those would totally roll down under my c/s scar, no thank you.

I wanted $10 leggings that I could be comfy in, ones that I could roll up over my belly when I'm huge, or fold down across it or beneath it if I like.

So I made my own. I went to walmart (yup, walmart) and bought a pair for less than $6.00 I also bought this $5 seamless cami  (they sold them individually at my walmart) from there. I took them home and the pictures tell the rest...The whole converting process took 10 minutes.

lay pants out.

Cut off waist band.
lay out cami evenly
cut off just below back straps/edging
tuck pants (right side out, don't flip them inside out or any thing) inside of cami and line up back seam with the middle of the tag (NOTE: I don't mind the "tag" showing when I wear my leggings "unrolled" :I have a shirt/dress over it anyway: but putting leggings together this way the tag will be on the outside when you wear it always have the option of cutting the whole cami off below the "tag" so it's not an issue...But I found it helpful for keeping things lined up)
pin the front seam and the back seam evenly with the front and the back of the cami, and then pin- as best you can- all the way around...The cami is smaller/tighter than the leggings (in most cases) and so it will be hard pin: you'll have to make allowances for that when sewing.
Start at the back seam. Be sure that as you sew you keep the edges lined up as much as possible, if they curl certain ways they will be on the "outside" when you wear the leggings unrolled.
use a small to medium zig zag stitch
Because the cami is slightly smaller pull it tight as you sew so it's "as big" as the pants. This will keep you from having excess fabric (legging part) when you make your way around and are at the end of the seam.
All done!

It sits nicely up over my belly- no rolling.
And with a dress. All ready for my body to grow as it needs to (in comfort!) and for the cool season to begin!!
You can obviously be pickier about colors (getting them the same or with less contrast)...I like contrast and I really don't think I will ever wear a shirt short enough for it to be visible (yes, I'm sure the public thanks me!). 

So there you have it! All you wanted to know (and way more!) about how to meet your maternity legging needs.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Weaning ...In All It's Sweetness

Yes, sweetness.

I've been reflecting on my two weaning experiences and feeling thankful. With Roo it happened too soon- for me. I was heart broken that my milk was gone, that it had become painful, that our time was being robbed by this intruder (new baby). She was my first, she taught me what it is to nurse, to give in ways I didn't know I could give. But the milk was gone, and her interest waned. We nursed through 38 weeks of my pregnancy with Friendly and at some point in the last weeks, she stopped. She still wanted to snuggle at my chest but she was done. She never really looked back.

I think, as with so many things in her precious little life, my experience with Friendly has sweetened my memories and my experience with Roo. Again, I was surprised at my ambivalent feelings towards this new (oh so wanted!) baby. Pregnancy dries up my milk. Pregnancy makes nursing unbearably painful (for me). Pregnancy makes my breasts ache while nursing. Pregnancy though I grieve at the thought: seems to cause us both to wean. To accept the new life on it's way, well before we will hold it in our arms, and play with it's feet, and coax smiles from it...Pregnancy is the process of acceptance. And Friendly and I have learned to accept so very, gracefully, joyfully, simply, and unassumingly. She loves to hug my belly...She talks to baby -shouting through my belly button. Sings sweet songs and kisses rubs and snuggles. It's brought so many sweet memories back of Roo during this time.

Weaning has been sweet, bitter at times...but mostly sweet...Sweet and slow.  Friendly still asks occasionally for Mommies milk. The occurrences are happening in the "every few weeks" stage now...Though she's "nursed" a couple times in the last few days she mostly just latches on for a moment and then pops off and gives me a giant hug. She says "milk come back wif new baby." or "I done." and I think she's almost there. She's fully potty trained now and it seems she's leaving all baby things behind forever.

It feels so strange to not be changing diapers. It feels so strange to not be nursing some one all the time.

But I'm enjoying this time... This lull.

We have "the big" 20 week u/s coming up in about a week. I don't know whether or not we'll peek at the gender. I'm waiting to see how I feel in the moment. The biggest surprise will be to find out who is in there. There have been some serious questions about twins the past couple weeks. At 19weeks pregnant I am measuring 31weeks. My belly is huge, and I haven't gained any weight yet this pregnancy (another oddity). I am so excited to find out if we will be welcoming one blessing or two in January. Time will tell...I will not obsess on here of all the "this is why it could be twins" because, I really don't know. But I hope all is well in there and I can't wait to meet this little person...Can't wait!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Gratitude...Relief... Hope...

I've been thinking about "Sarah" a lot....Her name came up at a family gathering recently and I felt that twinge of sadness.

But I also felt a lot of relief. The divorce was final earlier in the spring, she got the house and splits custody. The kids are adjusting to the new "normal". 

Sarah's experience and watching (albeit from a distance) changed my life, maybe even (in some ways, not to sound dramatic) saved mine.

Because of her I did things this year, that I never ever would have. I took some (GIANT) steps of faith. And in so doing, have lead to doors in my family being opened.

Leaving church, stepping away, taking a break...Best move I ever made.

It was scary. It was a little embarrassing...But it was what I had to do and I'm so proud of myself.

I have mentioned in other posts that Hubs and I had made the decision to leave church for a time. It has been amazing. It has been such a blessing to pursue relationship, not religion.

I wish I could thank Sarah, maybe some day I will get to. I need to get Friendly down to bed....

Processing Sleep...Boundaries...And Other Things

I need to process THIS POST from over at Demand Euphoria

I like her blog. I try to "tune in" when I get a chance...She's got some challenging thoughts and ideas, and I like to think outside the box.

Some of the things she talked about we do because that's what our instincts dictate.

While I agree with her on media (more in a moment) and food...And a few other unschooly-ideas I don't really jive with the idea of "radical" unschooling. There are few things (actually only One) in life I am willing to be radical in.

That really isn't what this post is about. I wanted to process some of my parenting philosophy. She has her family, and they are called to do what their conscience rules. And I bet you, a lot of things that they are finding at this point in their journey will be different in 5 years...We are always learning, growing and changing...And I respect the journey her family is on.

This is about MY family. And any comparisons I make between hers and mine... Are mainly just my processing...

With that said...FOOD
 We are very similar in our food habits. We make sure we keep healthy stuff in the house...If our kids want "cookies" for breakfast, there is nothing in those cookies that'll hurt them (and yet, they are yuuuumy!). If they don't want to eat dinner when we're eating dinner, they're plate will wait (or they can choose from our limited pantry options: oatmeal, yogurt, or fruit).
We don't keep junk around the house (for financial as well as health reasons). Hubs and I, having been raised in homes where hot and horrible battles were drawn at meal times, aren't going there. EVER.
Our beautiful children are both growing well, and we have good and yummy supplements (which we make available to them- and they enjoy taking).

Bottom line, they won't die if they live on apples and oatmeal cookies for a few days... Or raisins and cheese on others...Or like today: popcorn was our main staple. :0. 

The thing I struggle with is her ideas on sleep. If it works for her family, that's awesome. But I (and even most "crunchy" pediatricians would agree with me) really think young children need routine and boundaries...Hold on here, hear me out.

The first year of my baby's life I let them sleep however they like (though we keep night time dark and I try to keep time when they are asleep during the day restful and nap-ish)...Some time around the second half of the first year...Or into the second year of life, they start to find a little rhythm to their sleep. I respect that rhythm and make sure they get rest at that time of day (even if it still changes quite often)...As they drop naps I shift expectations and times around so that they are getting sleep when they are tired. At some point I can usually pinpoint a specific "time" of day that will be nap time... Eventually that "time" is officially "Nap Time"

Some times they go through stages of not wanting to nap. It's part of being a toddler/preschooler: how much power do I have? Where do the boundary lines fall? Do I really need this? They are always experimenting! Most of the time they discover this via natural consequences,

I run where I was told  it was only safe to walk, I fell and scraped my knee. 

I rock the rocking chair really hard it falls backwards and I hit my head.

I don't use the potty I have messy clothes. 

Some times it's inforced by us as the parent.

I scream inside, I get placed in my room and told to scream there. (screaming isn't okay inside).

I hurt a family member I need to take some space until I am either in a better mood, or can control my body. It's okay to take space. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to be angry...I take space.

I believe parents DO have a job. The idea of unparenting is, in my humble opinion, extreme. Parents job as I see it? 1) to keep their children safe. 2) to set them up for success (and have reasonable/fair expectations) and 3) to respectfully hold boundaries that are in place for the health of the whole family.

I don't expect a newborn, or even and infant to be regularly be asleep by midnight...I don't expect that they won't wake up at 2am and for who knows what reason, be awake for a few hours. But by the time they are a toddler I expect that their brain will have matured to the point where sleep will have fallen into some pattern...And I work life and schedule in such a way that those sleepy times are respected and nurtured. Even (or especially) when those times are not convenient to me.

My kids are naturally early risers...My whole family was growing up: perhaps it's genetic? But because they like to be up by 6 every morning that means they are getting tired and needing rest by noon at the latest every day. This isn't convenient to me. But I prefer my children still nap (I feel even if I could get them to sleep later [and believe me I've tried] they still need nap)Most morning playdates or meetings don't start until 10:30 or 11. Which means about an hour in my kids are wearing out. It usually means one or both of them are melting down or screaming by the time we leave those things. It some times means that some weeks (when we've been having a bad week) we don't do morning things.

But I respect their natural sleep cycles...down with the sun, up with the sun: and rest at mid day. That's what they've done on their own...And while I could maybe (and have attempted at different points) move things around with some work, it always falls back to this rhythm.

That said. As the adult, I also have an understanding of child development. I understand that they will see and experiment with every thing. Including how long they can stay up. How much control over their lives they have.  And I want them to feel that they have choices, control, options and freedom. But I also, as the adult, am responsible for the health and tone of the whole family. And I know that we will all pay -as a family- if they skip naps. Also, I know as Mama at this point in my life, I need those nap times...I'm growing a baby and I need that quiet mid day to rest (and I usually sleep too). This means I have to be really strict about  enforcing rest times.
Can I force them to sleep? No. But I do know they need it. I am a lot older and wiser, and the on who has to put up with be around their napless selves. So they will lay in their beds and rest at "nap time". I don't tell them how they should act, I don't shame or punish. But sleep or no sleep they stay in that room and rest.  

So far? They always fall asleep, even if it's just for 30 minutes.

Our family needs that rhythm and order to our days.  Toddlers and preschoolers brains are developing in such a way where they literally thrive on order...They love to look for it, find it, or create it in almost every thing they do. Even from as early as 18mos they like to know "what comes next" ever day. Friendly, not quite 2 knows when it's nap time and starts talking about what we'll do before we go to sleep.  When it comes to sleep, we are willing to stay with our littles, they aren't forced to be in isolation..Be it nap time or bedtime they have choices and we'll be with them.But the boundary is: night is for sleep. I start telling them that at 6mos old (while I nurse, pat and comfort and hold the boundary by keeping it dark and quiet).

SShhhh sweet baby, night is for sleep...shhhsh.

I really and maybe it's my type-A-ness coming out. But I couldn't personally function if my child was allowed to nap 4-7pm and then up until 2 or 3 a.m. I don't think (and a lot of sleep research would back me up) wonky sleep rhythms are healthy for anyone. And as the parent I couldn't let my young preschooler or toddler alone roaming the house (not saying DE does this!) in the middle of the night: which would mean *I* (or my dear hubs) would have to be up supervising. We have  responsibilities during the day, and while we're more than willing to be up at night with a sick or scared child... We are NOT willing to pander to their every whim. We will gladly let them make choices (it's time for bed, what do you want to do first brush your teeth? or use the potty? or What do you want take with you for the night?)...and even some times negotiate (yes, you may watch one more short video if you're not tired enough yet...But after this it is bed time.)

If our kids nap at 5pm we know the "awake all night"  scenerio is on the table...At the very least, up until 11pm which is just not okay for us. Because they'll be up at 6a.m. regardless of their bedtime...up at 6a.m. and miserably grouchy all morning long.
So we keep them awake if they are acting tired at 4pm. We keep the early evening calm and comfortable as possible and put them down as soon as we feel safe they will sleep well (or decently) at night (6ish pm). But honestly? This doesn't happen because we consistently [at roughly the same time every day] make sure we are making time and space for them to get rest. Even if that means missing out on a trip or showing up late to an afternoon at the park or pool. It's a season, missing fun sucks...But for the sake and sanity and healthy tone for *our* family we have those boundaries in place.

This is some thing I've struggled with recently. Every family is different, but it feels like I have the only early risers in my circle of friends. The only kids who have to nap at noon sharp or all co-operation and safety  (if we're out and they are acting punch drunk from being ready for nap) are hanging by a thread. It's been hard to come late, or miss out entirely because my kids were up at 5:30 and had a rough morning and I know heading out at 10:30 is just going to be met with and ugly (and so not worth it) tantrum or other craziness by 11.

Setting your kids up for success isn't about controlling them, or making sure every scenario will go perfectly. But it is about making sure they can behave appropriately for the setting (we don't go to the library right after nap when they have lots of energy), have fun, and stay safe (we don't go to a park  or playground when they are getting tired and tend to be less coordinated or don't "stay close" [aka run away] and follow the park rules).

While I very much agree with her about screen time/media exposure.. Just this afternoon my kids were in their bedroom jumping off the trampoline onto the "pillow mountains" and then running back into the living room later to watch "their favorite part" of  "Nemo". If I feel they are watching "too much" TV, I offer other activities...But if they're having a down day, or really prefer TV to some thing else (so rare) than so be it. I strongly believe in really almost every thing thing kids will self-regulate...But I do offer boundaries and other options when I feel that they are necessary. That's my job as their parent. 

My kids are expected to bathe when they get stinky...It's the same for brushing teeth. I want my children to learn to listen and recognize what they need, to learn and discover things that interest them. But I also want them to learn that there whether we like it or not: there are outside forces and unfortunately cultural expectations that they will have to comply with. And if they can't comply, I help them, protect them, and set them up for success until they can.

We all have to do things in life that we don't like. I believe it's good for them to deal with disappointments, and occasionally do things that aren't what they would choose to do. I don't dictate how they should behave or feel when I know they are struggling with a situation. They don't have to like it, but that doesn't change the fact that whatever is at hand, has to be done.  I feel that (some times) exposing  them to things that they don't choose, teaches a different kind of self-knowledge...Character.

I want this for my children. I also want to raise adults who can hear what their instincts and conscience are calling them too...Adults who have a strong sense of right and wrong and His Voice. Adults who can do the right thing even when it doesn't feel good (though they do it because they know deep in side they must, not out of shame or guilt, but love). Adults who are aware that they always have a choice.

That said, with all things, balance.

All things balance...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Little Updates...School and Weaning

"School" has been so much fun!!! I've been loving the time reading to the girls, the focus to the mornings it gives us (they look forward to it so much!), and the the fact that the consistent routine (and their pestering to start chores so we can get to school!) has been really good for every one.

We're a couple days behind... Friday we took a "field trip" to Amish country and missed nap and had a very long busy day. Saturday we went to the duck pond and on a "nature hike" (aka a walk around the park), and in the evening went and spent time with extended family. And Sunday Hubs and I went to a beautiful wedding and the girls spend the day with Nana (Roo discovered the "slip'nslide" at Nana's church picnic. She is a huuuge fan. She went down that thing all day).

Today was a day I have spent parenting from bed. I am behind on my cleaning, and we're a couple chapters "behind" in our reading...But that's really okay, I needed today. Today to snuggle in bed with the kids, who periodically came in to snuggle with me- (can I just say I love living all on one floor: I can see into the LR from my bed and it's only a few steps to check on them) and watching Gilmore Girls to my hearts content. Only getting up to help both girls use the potty and prepare occasional snacks for them.

Oh did I mention the potty? Yes...Friendly (who will be 2 in a week from today) decided about a month ago she was done with diapers. I wasn't ready for this step, but she refused to keep them on and I got sick of it. She's picked it up really really well! She is down to mostly-accident free days and diaper free for nap time (no accidents in a few weeks on that front- fingers crossed!) and most mornings she wakes up and her first words are "I need to go potty!" and she runs off and takes care of it.

Weaning... Bittersweet as this process has been. It's also been so laid back. While I'm pretty sure my milk is completely gone (I can't express any thing which usually I can even get a little colostrum: nothing comes!) she is still occasionally nursing...She talks about "Mommie's Milk" a lot and about my "bweasts" ...She also almost immediately shifts from talking about my milk to kissing and loving on my belly. She's been talking about the new baby a lot. Some gears are definitely turning on that front.

I hate to wish the summer months away, but I'm so ready to hold this new little person inside. I'm so excited! While I actually am enjoying this pregnancy so much more than I ever have before... Every movement from the baby just makes my heart ache to hold this sweet Newby in my arms.

And I have a little almost 2 year old sitting next to me saying "I wantchu, hold me, I'm here" so off I go to snuggle my Friendly girl...Less nursing has definitely meant a much higher need for snuggling!