Tuesday, February 28, 2012

9 months

My dear little sweet bug Taryn,

9 months! Only 3 more to go until 1. Wow, just wow. You aren't my little newborn baby to hold anymore. You are independent and trying new things turning into your own person.
You are so independent you just crawl around our house room to room not really caring of anyone else comes with you. Yesterday I was back in the bedroom with napping Luke and you were just crawling from the kitchen to the play room. Played in there for a while. Then back to the kitchen with Daddy and then you were tired and hungry and knew to crawl back to the bedroom to me to nurse. You just have such an adventurous spirit.   You crawl to get into something and look back at me with a beaming smile, I know that smile is gonna be trouble.

with your brother at the park

You are able to pull up into standing.  I can tell you want to walk too but you just can't quite get those feet to move.  Luke is trying hard to get used to you up there now into all his trains.

Along with walking you are wanting to express yourself with some talking now.  You can wave and say something that sounds like 'hi dada'.  I pointed to Misu and said dog and you looked at me and said da.  I think you got it.  Funny you knew dog, that was Luke's first word too.  When you cry sometimes you say Mamamama.  You also enjoy screaming along with Luke.  When he talks loud you talk loud.

beach trip sand face


You are still LOVING food.  I gave you this broccoli coconut soup the other day and I could tell you didn't like it but you kept trying it anyway almost like 'well they gave it to me, it must be good'.  You still love your egg yolks and banana.  But now if we don't give you the food you wanted you just stand in your high chair and proceed to crawl on the table to get what you wanted.    You've had the chance to try nuts, even though we wanted to hold off till a year, because Luke left some around.  Same thing with cheese. That's pretty much how  you've gotten to try a lot of foods, because Luke leaves them around.  Oh well, at least we know it's ok to give those to you... but I think i'll still wait a bit.
your first valentine (and letter in the mail) from Grandma and Grandpa

You keep right on truckin' with EC.  You currently hardly ever wet at night.  You'll just nurse and nurse and nurse until someone takes you potty.  When daddy gets up to do it you cry, then feel relieved and happy because you peed but then upset again because you want to go back to sleep.  You're on and off during the day.  I think if I tried harder you could mostly stay dry all day.  Oh well.  And you don't seem to mind either.

Two weeks ago you had your first fever.  You have only been sick one other time really, just with a stuffy nose.  This time just the fever for two days then you had a rash.  We think it was roseola but we aren't too sure.  But you seemed to be just fine after the fever passed.  You have your 9 month check up Friday and I'll have to update this again with your height and weight.  You aren't as chubby as Luke was but you're pretty tall, so we'll see.

You are a Daddy's girl

We love you sweet Taryn.  You bring us joy with your loving personality.  Can't wait for more.

Love Mama and Daddy

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Angelus

One of my New Years Resolutions was to teach more prayers to Luke (and Taryn when she's older).  We've been praying the Angelus at noon every day.  Noon is the traditional time to say the prayer.

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen. 
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 
Hail Mary . . . 
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 
Hail Mary . . . 

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: 
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

So at noon my iphone bell charm alarm goes off every day as a reminder to pray this prayer.  Usually my husband is home for lunch so we do it as a family.  We make Luke stop what he's doing but he almost never says (even though he already knows the Hail Mary part) any part of it.  He mostly just pauses what he is doing and stares into the wall... or so I thought.  Well during Lent I've set up a few more alarms as reminders to pray for particular things and so the bell chime goes off more than once a day now.  Last night it went off and my husband and I were talking and we heard Luke start the prayer by himself "The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived of the Holy Spirit'.  Then he said his Hail Mary.  I was just so shocked he knew the prayer.. like he was secretly listening the whole time.  I mean I know kids do this, but it always surprises me when Luke does it like 'oh you mean you were paying attention'.  Guess I should start doing more prayers.  He'll be a Catholic genius before he knows it. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Self Image and Diet

I used to have a different view of myself than I do now. After having my son Luke I was sometimes self conscious about my body. I knew that it would take some time to return to the old me, but I would have days of discouragement. Sometimes I would try something on, it wouldn't fit and I would be so discouraged. Almost depressed. It would make me feel like being angry and I would always use that anger towards my husband. I didn't know how else to express my feelings. Usually I would say, I'm just not getting back to my normal self, he would say something nice - you are but it will take some time, or something to that effect and always being supportive reminding me how my body is for nourishing my baby by breast. I would just say no I'm not, something defensive, and grumble and be depressed and try to start some sort of argument just to find a way to get my anger out.

It would only last a half hour before I decided to move on and do something else. I was always uncomfortable. I would notice my love handles poke out of my jeans. I definitely noticed how certain things fit a different way than they did before. It put me in my small bouts of depression sometimes.

I worked out a lot postpartum, not anything major, but I always wanted to get in some cardio at least a few times a week. I was fairly disciplined about it until I got pregnant again at 15 months after my son was born, with my daughter. I had gotten within five pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight.

When I got pregnant with my daughter my husband and I just started eating a paleo diet. Once I got pregnant and got my first morning sickness the paleo-no grain thing went completely down hill. I was back to pasta and bread because I really couldn't stomach anything else for the first couple of months. After that first 12 weeks of pregnancy I was able to go back to mostly paleo, though I did have my occasional hamburger with bun and milk shake from burgerville. Boy, was I living it up with the good paleo foods- bacon and eggs and my favorite non paleo cheats- milkshakes, burgers and fries. I still ate about 80% paleo. I gained about 50 pounds during my pregnancy with my daughter compared with the 35-40 I gained with my son. I did live it up because I knew once my daughter was born, my husband and I would go back to being strictly paleo. I knew it was the right way to eat, my son was thriving on our mostly paleo diet. He almost never got sick that winter I was pregnant and he almost never had those toddler melt downs people always talked about.

We knew we would give it a month postpartum, and then it was back to the grind. We said a month because the first two weeks my husband was off work and we just barely made it and people brought us food. Then the next two weeks my parents were there and although they made really awesome primal foods, we still cheat a little. My parents left and just like that we were going on a 30 day primal challenge. We made a deal never to go out to eat in those 30 days either.  We made it through and we've really kept it up, though we have gone out to eat a few times but managed to mostly avoid grains and gluten as much as we can.

I felt better than ever at 2 months postnpartum. I knew I had way more energy than I did when I was postpartum with my son. I was already having the energy to do some work outs and some walks. It was great, I knew it was because of my diet.

Just the other day, after 8 months of eating the way we do, I realized I never dwell on my body anymore. I'm still about 7-10 pounds to pre-pregnancy weight, the same as 9 months postpartum with my son. But my outlook is completely different. I know that I am no longer depressed about feeling 'fat' because my diet is giving me so many nutrients, nutrients that combat depression, read here for more about that. I don't get discouraged about things not fitting me, I just simply buy or wear something that does. I'm eating tons of iron, thanks to my freezer full of grassfed beef.  I'm taking probiotics that have dramatically improved my digestion and cod liver oil.  I don't eat grains and things that make my stomach hurt and make my body unhealthy.  Isn't it great that my diet has changed my self image?  It's not like I weigh less or look any better.  Like I said, I weigh the same as this time last time postpartum.  It all has to do with these better nutrients and cutting out foods that irritate my digestion-grains and sugar.  Grains and sugar rob my body of nutrients and they rob my body of feeling happy.  One of the best things about this way of eating is definitely my improved self image.  I know I'm not where I would like to be yet, but I'll get there and I'm not at all worried about it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Have another kid and you won't care

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

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


A lot of people are parents and almost all parents have advice.  

When I had my first son, Luke, I was diving into all things Attachment Parenting.  I met like minded moms at a local breastfeeding group.  I read The Continuum Concept.  I fell in love with natural parenting.  It seemed like that was perfect parenting for my husband and I.

Even though we didn't right away, we quickly moved into co-sleeping after the first week of bringing my sweet Luke home.  Slowly, moving away from our nursery, and bringing things into our room.

Then there was when I found out that babies needed to nurse more than every two hours, like the nurses at the hospital told me.  I was nursing my son at every 'signal' of hunger, like any other natural mother, reading her babies cues.

Then, not only nursing but taking my 3 month old potty when I saw his pee and poo signs.  You should have seen the look on our parents faces when we were unbuttoning my son's diaper and holding him over the potty at just three months old.

At six months, when we introduced solids, we did baby led weaning.  We let our baby, yes our six month old baby, play with forks at dinner.  We never did rice cereal, just started with manageable food pieces.

Then I didn't wean at one.  And at 15 months, I got pregnant with my daughter.  I kept right along nursing through all of pregnancy.

And to top it off, I wanted a home birth for my daughter.

We did all these unusual, not conventional things with our son.  I dreaded the day of explaining cosleeping or baby led weaning to our parents much less defending it.  When someone would ask about a particular parenting choice I would literally get warm and clammy and shaky when I talked.  I usually came up with a half answer because there was so much I wanted to say and so much research I wanted to share about our decisions.

Looking back... how silly!

After having my daughter I have learned such a wonderful way to respond to people who comment about what we do.

Someone said to me once about making an hour long car trip up to the city to see my daughter's naturopath, that if she gets fussy, just let her cry and that it's fine.

I smiled and said yeah.

What I've realized is that people mostly just want to talk about having kids.  And they don't really care about what you do anyway.   And even if for some reason they did, they don't have to live your life.  Even if your parents don't like co-sleeping, they aren't the ones sleeping with the kids.  So who cares?  They probably really don't care either, so don't waste your time trying to convince someone that your way is right.  Even with other moms, trying compare your way with someone else's is just not equal.  One of my best Mama friends has almost the exact same parenting style as me and we still do things a little different. 

Just responding by agreeing or joking- 'yeah we're one of those weird co-sleeping families' is almost always better than going into long details of web research.  Believe me, no one wants to hear it, unless they specifically ask.  I don't want to hear someone tell me the statistics of the dangers of co-sleeping.  They don't want to hear you say why it's so beneficial. 

My best advice in dealing with others is just go along with them as best you can.  Think of the time when I was literally sweating over an answer I could have been care free doing what I want anyway.  At the end of the day, they are your kids and it's your life, do what makes you happy.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon February 14 with all the carnival links.)

  • How to Respond Respectfully to Unwanted Parenting Advice and Judgment — At Natural Parents Network, Amy (of Peace 4 Parents) offers some ways to deal with parenting advice and criticism, whether it's from your mom or the grocery store clerk.
  • Judgement is Natural - Just Don't Condemn — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shared her views on why judgment is unavoidable and why the bigger issue is condemnation.
  • Four Ways To Share Your Parenting Philosophy Gently — Valerie at Momma in Progress shares tips for communicating with fellow parents in a positive, peaceful manner.
  • When Other Parents Disagree With You — Being an attachment parent is hard enough, but when you are Lily, aka Witch Mom, someone who does not enforce gender roles on her kid, who devalues capitalism and materialism, and instead prefers homeschooling and homesteading — you are bound to disagree with someone, somewhere!
  • Mama Bashing — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud reflects on the hurt caused on the blogosphere by mama bashing and pleads for a more mindful way of dealing with differences.
  • Accentuate the Positive — Joella at Fine and Fair shares how she manages interactions with the parents she encounters in her work as a Parent Coach and Substance Abuse Counselor by building trusting relationships and affirming strengths.
  • The politics of mothers – keys to respectful interactions with other parents — Tara from MUMmedia offers great tips for handling the inevitable conflict of ideas and personalities in parenting/mother's groups, etc.
  • Trying to build our village — Sheila at A Gift Universe tells how she went from knowing no other moms in her new town to building a real community of mothers.
  • Internet Etiquette in the Mommy Wars — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses how she handles heated topics in the "Mommy-space" online.
  • Parenting with Convictions — Sarah at Parenting God's Children encourages love and support for fellow parents and their convictions.
  • How To Be Respectful Despite Disagreeing On Parenting Styles... — Jenny at I'm a Full-Time Mummy shares her two cents' worth on how to have respectful interactions with other parents despite disagreeing on parenting styles.
  • Public RelationsMomma Jorje touches on keeping the peace when discussing parenting styles.
  • Navigating Parenting Politics — Since choosing an alternative parenting style means rejecting the mainstream, Miriam at The Other Baby Book shares a few simple tips that can help avoid hurt feelings.
  • Hiding in my grace cave — Lauren at Hobo Mama wants to forget that not all parents are as respectful and tolerant as the people with whom she now surrounds herself.
  • Carnival of Natural Parenting - Respectful Interactions with Other Parents — Wolfmother at Fabulous Mama Chronicles explores how her attitude has changed regarding sharing information and opinions with others and how she now chooses to keep the peace during social outings.
  • Empathy and respect — Helen at zen mummy tries to find her zen in the midst of the Mummy Wars.
  • Not Holier Than Thou — Amyables at Toddler in Tow muses about how she's learned to love all parents, despite differences, disagreements, and awkward conversations.
  • Nonviolent Communication and Unconditional Love — Wendylori at High Needs Attachment reflects on the choice to not take offense as the key to honest and open communication.
  • Respectful Parenting As a Way of Life — Sylvia at MaMammalia writes about using her parenting philosophy as a guide to dealing with other parents who make very different choices from her.
  • Homeschooling: Why Not? — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares how parents can often make homeschooling work for their family even if, at first glance, it may seem daunting.
  • If You Can’t Say Something Nice… — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her philosophy for online and offline interactions … a philosophy based primarily on a children’s movie.
  • Different Rules for Different Families — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses how differences between families affect our children, and how that can be a good thing.
  • Respectful Interaction With Other Parents — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares the ways she surrounds herself with a like-minded support network, so that she can gently advocate in her dealings with those whose opinions on parenting differ vastly from her own.
  • Parenting as a mirror — Rather than discrediting others' parenting styles, Kate Wicker discusses why she tries to focus on doing right rather than being right — and why she’s also not afraid to show others that she’s a heartfelt but imperfect mama just trying to be the best mom for her family.
  • The One Thing {Most} Parents Have In Common: They Try Their Best — Christine at African Babies Don't Cry finds interacting with other parents easier once she accepts that they are all just trying their best, just like her.
  • Finding your mama-groove: 5 ways to eliminate judge/be judged metalityMudpieMama reveals 5 ways of thinking that have helped her find her mama-groove and better navigate tricky parenting discussions.
  • Speaking Up For Those Who Can't — We've all had those moments when someone said something hurtful or insensitive, or downright rude that just shocks you to your core, and you're stunned into silence. Afterwards, you go home and think "Gosh, I wish I said…" This post by Arpita at Up Down, And Natural is for all the breastfeeding mamas who have thought "Gosh, I wish I said…"
  • Thank you for your opinion — Gaby at Tmuffin shares her go-to comment when she feels like others are judging her parenting style.
  • Mending — A playground conversation about jeans veers off course until a little mending by Kenna at Million Tiny Things is needed.
  • The Thing You Don't Know — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy talks about what she believes is one of the most important things you can consider when it comes to compassionate communication with other parents.
  • 3 Tips for Interacting with Other Parents Respectfully When You Disagree with Them — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares what she has learned about respectful interactions on her parenting journey.
  • Peacefully Keeping My Cool: Quotes from Ana — How do you keep your cool? Ana from Pandamoly shares some of her favorite retorts and conversation starters when her Parenting Ethos comes into question.
  • Kind Matters — Carrie at Love Notes Mama discusses how she strives to be the type of person she'd want to meet.
  • Doing it my way but respecting your highway. — Terri from Child of the Nature Isle is determined to walk with her family on the road less travelled whether you like it or not!
  • Saying "I'm Right and You're Wrong" Seldom Does Much To Improve Your Cause... — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment writes about how living by example motivates her actions and interactions with others.
  • Have another kid and you won't care — Cassie of There's a Pickle in My Life, after having her second child, knows exactly how to respond to opposing advice.
  • Ten Tips to Communicate Respectfully, Even When You Disagree — What if disagreements with our partners, our children or even complete strangers ultimately led to more harmony and deeper connections? They can! Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares ten tips to strengthen our relationships in the midst of conflict.
  • A Little Light Conversation — Zoie at TouchstoneZ explains why respect needs to be given to every parent unconditionally.
  • Why I used to hide the formula box — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen finally talks about how judgement between parents changed her views on how she handles differences in parenting.
  • Assumptions — Nada at minimomist discusses how not everyone is able to nurse, physically, mentally, or emotionally.
  • Shushing Your Inner Judgey McJudgerson — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction knows that judging others is easy to do, but recognizing that we all parent from different perspectives takes work.
  • Respectfully Interacting with Others Online — Lani at Boobie Time Blog discusses the importance of remaining respectful behind the disguise of the internet.
  • Presumption of Good Will — Why — and how — Crunchy Con Mommy is going to try to assume the best of people she disagrees with on important issues.
  • Being Gracious with Parenting Advice — Tips for giving and receiving parenting advice with grace from Lisa at My World Edenwild.
  • Explain, Smile, Escape — Don't know what to do when you're confronted by another parent who disagrees with you? Amy at Anktangle shares a story from her life along with a helpful method for navigating these types of tricky situations (complete with a handy flow chart!).
  • Balancing Cultures and ChoicesDulce de leche discusses the challenges of walking the tightrope between generations while balancing cultural and family ties.
  • Linky - Parenting Peacefully with Social MediaHannabert's Mom discusses parenting in a social media world.