Friday, March 26, 2010

My daughter is black and I am not.

In case you didn't know, Audrey is half-Mexican and half-Black. I usually don't notice the whole color thing. My husband and I have been a couple for close to 15 years so you just stop noticing but the other day I was playing on the computer and taking pictures of Audrey and I together and I was struck by the fact that my daughter is black. She will probably be able to "pass" as a black woman without anyone questioning her background. Even with her "Mexican" hair, people will just think she has good black people hair with a perm or the ever famous, she's got some Indian in her family.
The problem I have is I'm not black. How do I raise a strong black woman, when I'm not one? How do I raise my daughter to be proud of her Mexicaness, when she will be able to deny it so easily? I'm lucky to have so many strong black woman in my life, my best friend Hithia is an incredible woman and I know she'll be an excellent role model for Audrey. And my mother-in-law and sister-in-law also can't be beat. But shouldn't learning to be a woman come from me? I know she'll get her raising from me, God willing I'll live to see her grow up but tomorrow isn't promised. But I can't help but to worry that I'll miss something vital. Maybe it has nothing to do with blackness and I'm just worried about being a good mom. I guess time will tell.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In her own crib?

Well, last night was a strange night in our house. Miss Audrey did not want to sleep with mommy and daddy. Audrey and I go to bed together at about 9pm. I'm usually exhausted so 9pm is the perfect bedtime for me. I usually nurse her as she drifts off to sleep and I watch her until I'm asleep. It works for us. I'm happy she's happy, Ray gets alone time until he comes to bed around midnight.
Well last night Audrey did not want anyone to touch her or be near her. I nursed and nursed but she would not go to sleep so Ray took her so that I could get some sleep. She fell asleep on the couch next to Ray but she had to be spread out in a huge "y". Every time he would try to bring her to bed, she would wake up and cry. Finally around midnight she came to bed nursed a bit and went to sleep. When I woke up around 4 to check on her and nurse her she was spread in a huge "y" and Ray and I were both barely hanging on to the bed. After her 4am feeding she curled up with me and slept. She was finally so milk drunk that she didn't care if mommy was touching her.
It was strange. I felt so rejected by my own daughter. She's only 3 months old and that seems very young to move her into the crib and away from us. I think I'll be exploring the sidecar option. I don't want her in another room but I want her to have space. What is a mother to do?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I have a booby baby.

I breastfeed my daughter. I believe that it is the best thing for her. I also believe that in America we have a problem with breastfeeding. It seems that many American's have bought into the idea that spending money on their child means better care for their child. That some how the TV is right and formula is just as good as breastmilk so the more expensive the formula the better for baby and the better parent you are.
I don't want to be militant about it. But we are a country of extremes. Either things are all good or all bad and if you have a voice in the middle you are basically lost. I do know there are women that for one reason or another cannot breastfeed but formula is still not the next best choice. However, I also understand that the next best choice, someone else's milk, can be difficult to find.
Formula is so easy. You go to Walmart, or where ever, pick it up, put in a bottle, add water and shake. Feeding can be accomplished. If that is too difficult, you can buy premixed formula that you just add to a bottle.
For me, breastfeeding was the only option. Why should I line the pockets of formula manufacturers? Formula is expensive! I'm not poor, thank God, but I'm not rich either and spending my hard earned money on formula when I can make milk for free just make sense to me.
I have the right and in my own opinion the obligation to breastfeed my child to the best of my ability. Even just an few ounces of breastmilk is better than no breastmilk. I say stick to the man and booby feed your baby. Come one people if Kendra from Girls Next Door can do it with implants then those of us with real jobs and real boobs can do it too!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Babywearing, it's not just for hippies!

I'm a babywearer. I didn't know it was a thing. I just figured that I didn't want people touching my baby but carrying her all day just didn't seem like something I could do so I discovered babywearing. I wrap my Moby wrap around my body, I place my baby in the hug hold and off we go.
I didn't think that people would think it was weird or that it was a new concept. I've seen lots of pictures of Mexican and African women with a baby strapped to their backs so babywearing isn't anything new. I guess it's not been a very big thing here in the US.
I love answering questions about my wrap. People stop and ask where I bought it. I think the funniest question I've had was, "Do you do it because of your culture?" I'm glad that people feel comfortable enough to ask me. I want more people to see just how wonderful babywearing can be.
I have also noticed the jealous looks I get when I have Audrey in the Moby. This is especially true at church and the mall. I see women with a baby in their arms, plus carrying their purse and diaper bags. They see me with my hands-free. Trust me, having my baby in a wrap is the only way to go. I know exactly where she is and how she is doing. I love it.
Maybe babywearing isn't for everybody but it definitely the way for Audrey and me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Who's baby is it anyways?

I've heard it many times that advice is people just remembering their own struggles but it is getting out of control! One wise teacher told me at my shower that I had to keep in mind that I was raising my baby not the doctor's or anyone else so stick to your own instincts. I think I'm doing a pretty good job of that, so far but I have lots of people trying to tell me that what I'm doing is wrong! That I'll be sorry later. So here is the list of my parenting sins according to "people who know."

1. Co-sleeping - I have to admit that co-sleeping just happened. I didn't plan on it but now that we do co-sleep it is the best thing in the world! I don't get to spend much time with Audrey during the day since I work but night time is our time. I can hold her and nurse her and just in general be close. Maybe I will regret this decision in the future when she needs me to help her go to sleep but I'm willing to find out.

2. Breastfeeding - While no one is telling me not to breastfeed they do tend to have an opinion on my wanting to breastfeed for at least 2 years. And the fact that I'm not giving my baby cereal yet is just appalling. Sort of goes with the co-sleeping thing, "No wonder the baby isn't sleeping thur the night! You need to have her in her own crib and feed her rice cereal!"

3. Daddy-day-care - We are lucky enough that my husband can stay home with the baby. Rather than put her in day-care, Ray gets to keep her. He is a wonderful father and I think the extra time for bonding is good for both. He'll be starting graduate school in the fall so his time with her will become more limited. I am jealous of his chance to be with her all day but I'm proud of the fact that he does. I don't care what other people say. A man can actual take care of a baby.

I'm sure there are other sins but those are the three I hear the most about. I'm nice about it. I let people say their peace and then do what I think is best besides what was best for their child is not what is best for mine.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Return from Wheat Exile

Well, I've had a dietary break-thur! Audrey is almost able to handle wheat! That means the slow return of wheat to my diet. Soon I'll be able to eat wonderful white bread and cake and so many other bready thing that I have been missing for the last two months.
Audrey isn't totally able to handle wheat yet. She still gets very gassy but she's able to push it out. I don't think I've ever been so happy to hear a human being fart. But now that she can actually push the gas out, I can start eating wheat again.
I'm adding it back slowly so it won't overwhelm her system but yesterday for the first time in weeks I had gravy! It is amazing how good it tasted! I think it will still be a few weeks before I brave a hamburger on a regular bun but just being able to eat something breaded without worrying that I've just cost myself a night's sleep is good.
Hopefully, she won't develop any other digestive issues. I'm scared about introducing solid foods but at least it will be another three months before I have to worry about that. They say that breast-fed babies don't usually have allergies but since Ray has like 100 of them I'm worried that Audrey will be doomed to boiled chicken and rice. Well that is a worry for another day. For now I will celebrate the ending of my exile!