Friday, December 24, 2010

To Listen and Do, Or Listen and Do Whatever You Think Is Best

So I have been thinking a lot about recommendations and advice we are given once we become parents.  I have only been a parent for 6 short months and I can't tell you how many people have told me what I should or shouldn't be doing.  I get advice from random people, family, friends, doctors, and emails.  If you know me or have ever met me for longer than a few minutes, you know I do what I WANT.  I try hard not to be rude, but I am not a sugarcoater, and I stand up for what I believe in.  I guess you could say, I am going to do whatever I want.  I don't live to please others, I don't believe in doing something just to make others happy, and I certainly don't give in without a fight. 

I have been very frustrated over the past few months because of responses I have been getting.  My sons doctor started recommending I feed him rice cereal at 3 months.  I really couldn't believe he was telling me this.  I said I wouldn't be feeding him anything but breast milk and he just nodded his head.  Then again I was being pushed to feed him at 4 months.  Needless to say, I just nodded my head in agreement, went home and continued to breastfeed only.  I am pleased to say, my son was breastfeed exclusively for 6 1/2 months before he had any table food. 

Another really frustrating thing I am told is that I need to leave my son.  In other words, I need to go out and do things without him.  I have already wrote about this, but I find it so frustrating that people think they know better than me.  I also think its strange that people think it will make me a better person to leave my son.  Here is what I know about myself, I am a better mom when I am taking care of my son.  I know when I need some down time and I ask my husband for it.  He takes over playtime and I am free to clean, sew, cook, do the dishes, or just relax, while also seeing my son and knowing he is okay.  This makes me a better mom... not being away from my child.

Another recommendation I have been given, is to let him cry.  People say, "don't run to him when he cries, don't jump up when he fusses."  Here is what I know, babies cry for a reason.  They need their parents to be there for them, and I will always want my son to know I am there for him.  Sometimes babies are just fussy and we don't know why, but that doesn't mean they should be left to cry by themselves.  Babies and kids need to know they are loved and that they can trust someone will always be there for them. 

How about when you are told that your child needs to be fed a certain way, given every shot, or that breastfeeding in public is embarrassing.  Have you ever done research on why babies need purred food?  I have and they don't need it unless you are feeding them food to early for their digestive system.  Babies don't ever have to eat food from the jar.  They don't have to eat rice cereal.  Have you ever tasted those things?  They are really gross.  What about the shots?  Have you ever second guessed your doctor and asked why they need all those shots, or said no to some of them?  It's okay to ask questions and be proactive for your child's health.  Then when it comes to breastfeeding and those cover ups, I just want to scream.  If you want to use them, more power to you.  If you don't want to cover up, then good for you too!  I just wish everyone would keep to themselves about it.  It's a baby and a boob, who really cares!  When did we all get so crazy about seeing some skin? 

So, when it comes to you and your children, do you listen and do, or do you do whatever you want?  Stay strong and know that you are the parent.  You know what is best and do whatever you believe is in the best interest for your family 

Free Running Animals

Do you ever wonder why people have pets?  I wonder this all the time.  I grew up with all kinds of animals in my house.  We had dogs, cats, birds (many kinds), rabbits, hamsters, and more.  I have to say my sisters and I weren't always the best at taking care of them, which left my mom to do all the cleaning, feeding, walking, etc.  But now that I am all grown up and have my own animal, I find it very frustrating to see animals not being taken care of.

We live in a new neighborhood where homes are still being built.  When we moved in there were very few dogs, I could walk my dog without a leash knowing she wouldn't run off... and feel safe we weren't going to be attacked by another dog.  Now, I find it hard to take a walk, with my dog on a leash.  I hate that I feel so unsafe in my neighborhood because others can't keep their dogs in their own yards or on a leash. 

I have called the dog catcher several times because of the free running dogs.  I know my dog would fair just fine if she had to defend herself, but I don't think its fair to put her in that situation.  We have leash laws for a reason and I wish people would respect that law and abide by it.  Another great idea would be for people to train their animals properly and to not attack others.  That would be the best!! 

I will step off my soapbox now, but I know I am not the only one in this world that feels this way.  If you have an animal, take care of it, keep them safe, and never let them run freely to terrorize your neighbors. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Awesome Photographer - AB Photography

I had my son's 6 month pictures taken recently and they turned out beautifully!  I love our photographer. She has done my maternity pictures and my sons, 3 month and now 6 month pictures.  I can't wait for his 9 month and 12 month pictures!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Leaving Your Child... Is It Just Easier For Some?

So I have been thinking about this topic for years.  If you don't know me at all or very well, then you probably don't understand where this is coming from, but I feel the need to talk about this. 

Since my youngest sister was born, I was very protective.  I was 10 years old at the time and became a second mom to my sister.  My mom says that she finally got to be the mom again when I moved out 7 years later, but that is a whole other story.  I will begin this by saying... What is it in each mother that makes it easier or harder to leave their child? 

Even before having my son, I knew I wanted to stay home with him.  I didn't know at the time I was having a son or a daughter, that part wasn't important... it was having a child that was important.  When people ask you, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  What do you normally say?  A teacher, policeman, fireman, President of the United States?  These are a few of the common answers.  But if you asked me, as I grew older, all I wanted was to be was a mom.  People, would look at me funny, or say that's nice... but that's really what I wanted to be.  I know most people were probably thinking, "What is wrong with that girl, anyone can be a mom.  Doesn't she have any dreams, goals, or aspire to be something great?"  And if someone had actually said that to me, I would have said, "YES!  I dream of being a great mom, who will raise great children, who will become wonderful, contributing people in our society."

However, in today's world, there are so few stay at home moms and more and more kids go to daycare.  After having my son 6 months ago, I have only left him with his father twice.  And of those two times, I was gone about 10 minutes to grab something at the grocery store.  I have had many people tell me that it's normal to leave your children, it's  good for you, it's healthy.  However, I don't feel good about it at all.  And if that makes me abnormal or crazy than so be it.  However, what I want to know is, how do some women leave their children at such a young age? 

I know we are all different and unique in our own way.  But when did it become so abnormal to want to be with your kids.  I know such few women who stay at home with their kids, and it saddens me that our society has so many children being raised  by daycare.  When did we make that shift from raising our kids, to everyone working and children being raised by strangers?  When did it become taboo for a woman to stay home?  Why is it so wrong for a mother to want to raise her children?

I have many friends with children and most of them work.  However, I don't know how they do it and leave their children everyday.  I have only met one other person who believes the same way I do.  I consider her to be my best friend and I love her kids like they were my own.  She and I stay home, we enjoy our time at home and love raising our kids.  Yes, we need a break every now and then, but it doesn't mean we want to leave them with a sitter or drop them at daycare.  We would just like a few minutes break to relax, take a nap or a shower, read a book, or watch some TV while our husbands take care of the children.  Is that too much to ask?  I don't think so.

So again, I ask, are we just wired differently?  Do some moms just find it easy to leave their children while they go to work, go out to eat, get their hair cut, or whatever else they want to do?  All I know is that I am not ready to leave my little guy and I don't know when I will be.  Please don't feel as if I judge you for leaving your children, as that is your choice and I respect you for it.  However, I feel I am being judged and looked down upon because I won't and don't leave my son. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Flying With Jack

Back in late October, I flew across country to celebrate my sisters birthday.  At the time my son was 5 months old and this was his first time flying.  I have to say I was a tad bit nervous flying by myself with him.  I wasn't sure if he was going to be a crying mess or the perfect child.  As we said good bye to my husband and boarded the plane, Jack was smiling at everyone, and the passengers were all giving me the evil eye.  Yes, I knew what they were thinking.  Damn, a baby on our plane at 6am!!  This is going to suck!  However, before we even took off, Jack was sleeping in my arms.  No crying, no fussing, just a peaceful baby.  He slept almost the entire way to the West Coast.  He woke up a few times to eat, be changed, and of course smile at anyone who would pay attention.

Once we arrived with no mishaps, I was feeling pretty good.  I had made it from the East Coast to the West Coast, by myself.  We managed to get to baggage claim, find our bag and car seat without any issues.  We changed another diaper... something abut flying made for a constant diaper change.  Then we were off to wait for my Mom to pick us up.

A few days later, it was time to make the trip home.  However, this time I had to drive in rush hour traffic to the airport with a baby who hates the car.  Drop off the rental, get on the bus to the airport with a baby, stroller, huge rolling bag, diaper bag, and car seat.  But guess what.... we did it!  We made it through check-in, security, and getting breakfast without any craziness.  We did have an explosion that morning... with the disposable diaper.  I had to change all his clothing and diaper before getting on the plane.  But, I have to say I was please with myself and how much I had accomplished by myself.  I was feeling as if I could do anything at that point.

As we were waiting for our plane, I was nursing Jack as I always do.  I do so without a cover, but discretely.  I feel that nursing covers draw more attention to me and I can't see what Jack is doing.  Anyways, I had on my scarf to cover any skin that might show and his middle aged lady sat down next to us.  She struck up a conversation with me and said, "It's so cool how many things they have out now to make nursing in public so easy."  It was funny and caught me off guard because I had never had anyone say something to me while nursing.  But it made me feel good that I was nursing him and it wasn't a big deal to anyone.

We boarded our plane to fly home, Jack nursed to sleep and we were once again flying with no problems.  I do have to say that the lady sitting across from us with two little girls was having a hard time.  Her kids were screaming up a storm.  I felt really bad for her, but I was also irritated as well.  My child was sleeping right through it, but I just couldn't fall asleep with two screaming kids across the isle.  Anyways, we made it home, no issues and Jack was awesome!  Hopefully flying early next year will be just as easy.

Saving Money with Coupons

So as promised I am going to add a few more things that will help you save money.  When I started using coupons, I was slow to start, didn't always use them, and sometimes forgot them at home.  Now, I don't leave the house without checking the computer to see if there is a coupon for something I am going out to buy.  There are so many companies that have member accounts that you can sign up for.  With this account you will be eligible for coupons and money saving emails.  Think about the companies you purchase products from the most.  Do you buy Kellogg, Pillsbury, Healthy Choice, Weight Watchers, Kraft... just to name a few?  If so, go to their website and sign up for their stuff.  You can get coupons for items you buy all the time and start saving today.  Don't forget that a quick personal email to a company will also get you coupons as well.  Sometimes even a free product in the mail.  I haven't done this but many of the people I follow for ideas have; and have received free stuff and coupons in the mail.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lots To Post & Talk About

Sorry I have been MIA for a while.  Our main computer crashed, the laptop is going crazy... so that left us with having to buy a new computer.  We have an apple laptop now which we are loving, but it's taking some time to get used to.  We had a few problems this past week, so I didn't have the computer much as it was having a new burner put in.  Anyways, I have lots of things I want to post about.  I have been keeping a running list on my phone and I will hopefully be able to get lots of writing done this weekend.

For those of you who are trying to cut that grocery bill back, how are you doing?  Have you made any good changes?  In the next few posts I will talk a little about freezer meals, Christmas cookies, and more on coupons.  A friend of mine called and started asking some great questions that got me thinking I should post some on that information.  So more to come this weekend.  I hope everyone had a great week and has a great relaxing weekend.