Saturday, June 21, 2014

Parenting My Strong Willed Child

Before I start talking about my "strong willed child" I first will tell you a little about myself. I am a strong willed momma. I am stubborn, persistent, somewhat inflexible and impatient. I was all of these things before I was a Mom, but being a Mom really shows you more about yourself. Sometimes even more than you want to know. I will say that since Little M came along most of these qualities have taken a backseat. They are still there, oh yes, definitely still there. 

Little M has energy, energy for days. And days.....and days. He also has slept past 8 am twice in his 6 1/2 years of life. TWICE! This is a challenge for a Mommy who has a 10 month old who didn't go to sleep until 11 pm. He's smart, sometimes even too smart, and he is also very literal. So when you say don't hit that play hut with that plastic stick again or I will take it away...well he touches it gently. Then he will spend the next 45 arguing that he didn't "hit it" but just touched it. 

He is stubborn. One morning he spent the entire 15 minutes drive to daycare arguing with me that police officers should carry swords instead of guns. I realized at minutes 13 that I was arguing a battle I wouldn't win. And that right there is when stubbornness takes the backseat, and I wave the white flag. Little M is persistent, and he will ask the same questions a dozen times.

Each one of these qualities challenge me daily. Sometimes to the point that Mommy just needs to sit and pray for patience and grace. Because it's the battle of the strong willed in this house. 

Each of these qualities are qualities that will bring Little M a life of independence. I try my hardest to not break this spirit he has. I hope he continues to wake early with great energy and take of each day of his life with the enthusiasm he currently has. I hope he continues to learn, and never stop taking in information. I hope he uses his "stubbornness" to not allow people to walk all over him, and to always stand up for what he believes. I hope he never waves the white flag during a discussion on something that he is passionate about. And I hope if there is something he wants more than anything in the world he continues to be persistent until it is his. 

He has a way of being fair, and I find that to be a beautiful quality in a young child. He bring joy to my life I didn't know was possible. He keeps me on my toes, and makes me a better Mom. He helped me keep my "strong willed" qualities in check. But rest assured that if there is something that I am passionate about I will give him a run for his money.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Breastfeeding- The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful

Breastfeeding- The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful

This isn't a blog where I am going to shove breastfeeding down your throat. I do strongly suggest if you can breastfeed to do so. It has such amazing benefits for the baby and for moms. I know that breastfeeding isn't always the easy option or even an option at all. Despite my attempts I was unable to breastfeed Little M when he was a baby. He endured some trauma to his scalp that made sucking painful and difficult.

Thankfully I was blessed this time around to establish a great breastfeeding relationship with our little lady.

The Good:
Our daughter has been a champ, she is healthy and beautifully plump. Breastfeeding versus bottle feeding is so much easier to travel with. Whether a longer road trip or just to church on Sunday. No bottle to pack, no formula needed. Even at home, no bottles to make or clean. I have been blessed with the world's most supportive husband. Every evening he would wash my pump parts, and in the morning he would pack my bag to take to work. As of the middle of January I resigned from my job and stay at home with the kids. This has made our breastfeeding relationship even stronger. Overall it has been such a natural process for me this time. Although natural doesn't mean easy....

The Bad:
I am not one of the women who instantly felt breastfeeding was amazing. You know you read stories about women who say they felt such a special connection because they were nursing, well that wasn't me. The nights waking up with soaked shirts annoyed me. Another annoyance- two words CLOGGED DUCTS. And sometimes I just didn't want to be the only one who could feed her. I wanted rest. That might sound selfish, but I spent 9 months pregnant and for just a little bit I wanted my body back and be all mine. I went back to work after 8 weeks and I nursed our little girl when I was home, and pumped when I was at work. Talk about a daunting task, sometimes I would get so busy at work I would miss my pumping time. There were days when I was done with work and I would cry because I didn't pump and didn't know if I would have enough milk for the next day for our daughter at daycare. Aaron would always be there to pick me up and remind me if needed she had formula there, or we had some frozen. There were also the days where our daughter was clearly have a growth spurt and I felt like she was nursing non-stop.

The Beautiful:
In just 6 days it will mark 9 months of breastfeeding for me and our little girl. I have set a goal to make it to at least 12 months, and we are so so so so close! I love our nightly snuggles and feeding her right before bed, we are nice and warm and when she gets full she has that sweet squishy look. Then there are the times when our little lady is eating and she looks up and me and I look down and her and she stops eating just to smile at me. Talk about pure bliss. It literally fills my heart with warmth. Our daughter is healthy, growing, and every once in a while I think about how amazing it is that my body is able to create exactly what she needs. The human body is an incredible thing. And lastly, my husband, my wonderful, wonderful husband. This journey in breastfeeding has been another way of showing me how lucky I am. When I would sit down to feed our daughter he would bring me everything I needed to make me comfortable, when I wanted to quit he was there to remind me why I started in the first place, and for every time I woke up to feed her he was there to change her diaper.

Breastfeeding can be a battle, I strongly encourage people to do the research, be prepared, have a good support system and it will pay off. No doubt there will be bumps in the road, but if you keep on pushing through it does get easier.

Monday, April 28, 2014

9 months on, 9 months off...

I wish this were one of those blog posts where I talked about how my baby weight just fell off.

It's not. 

I am aware that it takes time, and I wish I were more patient. 

I'm not.

Aaron & I welcomed a beautiful baby girl on August 12, 2013. She is a true blessing, and the weight was worth it. 
Every. Single. Pound.

Before getting pregnant I was in the best shape of my life. I weighed less at the age of 22 than I had as a freshman in high school. I worked my tail off to get into the 130s. I suffer from an endocrine that makes it extremely difficult for women to lose weight. I felt amazing, and for the first time since the age of 14 my bloodwork work came back NORMAL. 

I wish this were the point where I told you that I felt amazing during my pregnancy.

I didn't.

I also wish I could say I ate healthy and stayed active.

Nope, didn't happen.

I was sick, daily. I spent a lot of my time in bed during my pregnancy. My experience carrying our sweet little girl was the polar opposite to carrying little M (they remain polar opposites to this day, minus the sassy part). I threw my gluten free diet out the window, ate what I wanted and moved less. 

I gained almost 50 pounds.

Yes, 5-0.

Full term pregnant I weighed close to my starting weight before, that's the part that made me nervous. 

So there I was back at square one. Except now I have a second little human to take care of. 

Our little lady is 8 months, almost 9 months old. I often hear people say, "It took 9 months to put it on, it will take 9 months to take it off". WHAT A JOKE. Little M was born in 2007, I lost my "baby weight" (and then some) you know how long it took? 4 1/2 YEARS. 

I have lost some of my baby weight. Eating better, and getting back to being active is an ongoing process. I still have 15 pounds to go. I will get there, but it won't be 9 months.