Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: sleeping beauty

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When you stop fighting . . .

So people who don't know me very well are always asking me about my homebirth.  "How in the world did you do that?"  My response is always the same, "When I stopped fighting the pain, the pain went away." 

Saturday, DH and I had a long talk about our current &  future wheat-less life.  He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "When you stop fighting the pain of being wheatless, it will become normal."  He's right.  Now that I've stopped fighting being wheat-less, I am finding it easier to be wheatless.  I'm actually okay with the idea of being wheatless for the rest of my life.

So I guess everything I ever needed to learn I learned during my homebirth.  Okay not really but still, there is a big life lesson.  Stop fighting and go with the flow.  Trust that everything will be okay; trust that if you let go, it can be okay.  As a friend of mine always says, "Let go and Let God."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Slipping thur my fingers

Yes, the title is a reference to the ABBA song. That song played in my head today. Today I put up my pump and Audrey's bottles. I sobbed. I'm crying even now.

I find it so hard to believe that it is that time. I should have put it all up a month ago but I just wasn't ready to let it all go.

She is growing up so fast! I still feel that newborn being placed on my chest for the first time. Now she's 32 inches tall! Where did the time go? Does always move so fast? I keep thinking that I going to turn around and she'll be graduating from college.

Slipping thur my fingers always comes to mind when I think Audrey going up. The time is moving so fast, slipping thur my fingers in deed. The song always makes me cry. I remember how hard I sobbed listening to the song when I was pregnant. I think maybe I cry too easily.

I'm not ready to see Audrey grown up. I want my baby but there is no way but forward. Audrey is no newborn; she is a toddler. I thank God for each moment with her. I know I don't deserve this wonderful girl. So yes it feels like it is all slipping thur my fingers; all moving so quickly.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wheatless for life?

Can I really do it? Can I really stop eating wheat for the rest of my life? If I commit, can I see it through?
DH and I had a long talk about this topic today. We have decided that our house will be a Wheatless house. We will be a Wheatless family. DH said that we should not kept Wheatless when nit around Audrey. That her allergies are her allergies and no matter what I eat or don't eat I'm not allergic to wheat. His point being i can't suffer for her. He is right. If I keep strictly Wheatless after she weans then it needs to be because I want to not because Audrey has an allergy.
A Wheatless family but not a Wheatless life. Not sure if that makes sense but I'm starting to understand this new phase of my life. While yes my life would be easier if my Audrey didn't have a food allergy, this allergy really has made me a better mom. I don't just shove food in Audrey's mouth or my mouth. I stop and think. I spend time thinking about and reading over food choices. I don't just hand her a cookie. I stop to search for a good wheatfree snack. Honestly, the allergy slows me down and I need to be slown down. I tend to just hurry up and get things done but now I have to stop and read. I know I'll eventually learn what to buy and my shopping and feeding will speed up. So for now I am thankful. Thankful to slow down and focus. Thankful the allergy isn't deadly. Thankful I have my Audrey, allergies and all.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

No guaranty on a baby

So the other day my mom told me that I can only have a second baby if I can guaranty the baby would be normal. I know she is joking. She can't wait for me to have another baby but at the same time I can hear the stress that having a wheat-free grandchild has been for both of my parents. On more than one occasion my dad has said that he wishes he could take Audrey out for chicken nuggets and French fries.

I do wonder about the next baby. Will all of my children have a wheat allergy? What was the likelihood that my first child would have DH's allergy? Even if all my future children are "normal," can you have a split house? Everyone but Audrey eating pizza; I don't think that would work. Honestly, I'm beginning to think that I need to think about being wheat-free for the rest of my life. In order for Audrey to be normal being wheat-free needs to be our normal.

DH's parents were also telling us to stop having children. But they were saying that in terms of looks. According to them, Audrey is so cute that any other kids/daughters would not be as cute. Not sure what to say about that one. Maybe Audrey will be the homely one. Maybe my other children won't be as cute.

No baby comes with a guaranty so God willing we'll roll the dice and have another child within the few years. Will the child be 'normal'? Will he/she be as cute? Will we be able to handle more than one child? So many unknowns but then that is what makes life worth living. If I knew all of the answers then there would be no point to living. We must live and learn.

Wordless Wednesday: the car

Friday, March 18, 2011

Swirly Audrey

So yesterday, Audrey decided to whirl herself around and around.  She could do about two full rotation before falling over.  I had heard of toddlers doing this but it was Audrey's first go.  It was so funny to see her whirl and fall over and whirl and fall over.  It amazes me how much energy the kid has!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The side car solution

So I'm finally posting about my side-car solution. I've been asked about how I made my side car so here is the how.

First thing is that we bought a convertible crib. We bought ours at Babies r us but that is neither here nor there. Convertible cribs are great for this purpose because they are made to be used without the front. Normally you would do that to make the toddler bed but hey it works for this too!

Second you need to measure your crib and bed and find a wall in your room so that you can use the wall as the brace for your side car. You will be placing the crib next to the wall and pushing your bed next to it. This will keep the crib from moving. (At that step alot of people will also use bungie cords to secure the bed and crib together. I didn't have bungie cords so I didn't do it.  Although, I think for a newborn this is a good step, again you can't be too safe.)

Third you need to see how much of a difference in height there is between your bed and the crib mattress. There are a couple of ways to deal with this. My solution was to use bricks under the crib legs. Many people go to the craft store and buy foam cord cut to the right measurements. It may take several layers so you'll have to measure and measure before you buy. I had extra bricks so I just used what I has on hand.

I know the picture isn't great but you can see that I have two bricks on top of each other. I have done that for all four legs.

The next step is actually pushing everything together or if you are good without the measuring tape you can measure to find the gap between the crib mattress and your bed. Remember that you have removed the front of your crib so you will have a bit of a gap. My solution was to roll up towels and placed them on the side next to the wall. That keeps the crib mattress from sliding and leaving a gap for baby to get caught in. This is super important. You cannot have a gap! The most important thing is baby's safety. I have seen that some people will create/make a special blanket that covers the seam between the crib mattress and your bed. Now that Audrey is older I don't worry about the seam but when she was younger I would lay a blanket across the seam.

Again the picture isn't great but you can see that our bed is brown and her crib is green and they are touching. It looks like there is room between the two but I think that is the crappy picture because trust me I struggle to change the sheets since it is so tight between the two.

The final step is using it. It does take time to set up but it is well worth the effort. I know many people buy an arm's reach co-sleeper and then a crib. Why spend the extra money? The convertible crib and be sidecared and then it can be your toddler bed or your child's full size bed frame. But again you have to do what is best for you.

If you have any questions or tips to add feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll try to add them to the post. Others have great write ups on putting together a side car. Google them up and see the variety that is out there. Honest it's not that hard.
So one last pic, you can see Audrey is sleeping in our bed. Most nights she uses her crib but she ends up in our bed for a few hours each night. We love it. Audrey has her space and we have ours but every night we are together.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Neutral face

Yesterday I had the need to practice neutral face. You might ask what is neutral face? That's easy; it's when someone says something shocking and because of the who or where you cannot express your feelings so you keep a neutral face.

As a crunchish mama, I am finding the need to perfect my neutral face. I am finding that a lot of very smart people do things that require my neutral face. I don't want to pass judgement. They parent their way and I parent my way. I have seen many a person have neutral face with me. It's cool and thank you for being kind enough to use your neutral face.

So go practice your neutral face. You will find it very handy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The sweetest moments

So today Audrey feel asleep on my chest. It always reminds me of Audrey's first nap. It makes me miss my baby.

Audrey doesn't let me hold her to rock her to sleep anymore. She'll nurse and then roll her back to me. She prefers to sleep in her sidecar.

I will never forget the sweetest moment of my life: Audrey's first nap. It was two hours post partum. Debbie, my midwife, had cleaned me up and with Ray's help put me in bed. They handed my Audrey to me and we got comfortable. She relaxed and fell asleep. I had a moment before I fell asleep were I felt peaceful, whole, beautiful and that everything was right in the world. I will carry that moment with me always.

Everything she goes to sleep on my chest, I breath her in deep and I go back in time. She was new and I was new to motherhood. We had just had life transforming moments. We had worked together and now we were resting together. She hadn't been given a bath yet so she still smelled of amniotic fluid. I hadn't taken a bath yet so I had the smell of amniotic fluid on me. It was perfect. We were perfect.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The attached parent

So this whole style of parenting thing is still on my mind.  Like I've said before I'm not into labels.  Do I fit the label of attachment parenting, yes.  I babywear, I breastfeed, I bed-share, I'm against CIO and I love my Audrey.  I dislike the idea that people who aren't attached parents are dettached parents.  The label is awful and misleading.  Like my parenting is better or more in-tune.

I think part of what bothers me is that it implies that I set out to be an attached parent.  I'm going to be honest.  If I could parent anyother way I probably would.  I mean I don't really like having a baby kick me in the kidneys at 3am but I can't image her sleepping in another room.  I didn't like leaking all over myself but I'm too cheap to spend money on formula.  I would use a stroller but I'm terrified someone would steal Audrey when I turn around to look at something.  I didn't set out to be attached; Audrey just kinda got attached. 

I can be a bit of a controlfreak so the idea that I can control my diet and therefore Audrey's diet (via breastmilk) was a need in me.  I can't trust a formula company; it is just not in me.  I can't trust people to keep their hands to themselves.  I want to know where Audrey is at all times.  I don't want people touching my kid and having her on me (literally) means no strange hands.  The bed thing, well after carrying her for 9 months in me, the idea of her down the hall just didn't work.  We tried to do the crib in room but she was so little and she cried and I couldn't handle it so she moved into our bed and has been there ever since.

So maybe I'm attached but it wasn't a choice.  It really did just happen but I am more than a label.  Like any parents attached/dettached a label is not the whole person.  We do the best we can.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I think my weekly habit is killing my kid!

Okay so as you might know I'm Catholic. Since I am Catholic I attend Mass weekly. As part is Mass, I receive Holy Communion, which is a disk of wheat. So every week, I have wheat. It's not much wheat but yes I, the Wheatless Mama, have a bit of wheat each week.

This has not seemed to be an issue with my breastmilk; I guess in the grand scheme of my diet it is next to nothing. The problem I am noticing is a kiss sized rash on Audrey's cheek. It seems to appear on Mondays; the day after I normally take communion. I'm thinking I am taking communion and then kissing Audrey. Is it possible that she is reacting to such a small exposure? DH doesn't react when touching wheat but I was using a hair oil on Audrey that had wheat and her scalp broke out! Poor thing, I think her allergy is worse than her dad's.

With Lent starting on Wednesday, I have a lot to think about and pray over. Can/should I be taking communion if I am Wheatfree? Is it possible to still feel connected with my faith if one of the most important parts (communion) is missing? Audrey vs Jesus? This is going to be difficult.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Shut your pie-hole crunchy bitch

Okay, so how does one give advice to a parent that has a different parenting philosophy than you?  I don't really label myself as any one parent philosophy but let's face facts, I'm more or less an Attachment Parent.  I hate that label, makes it seem that I"m calling other parents de-ttached.

I want to share the lessons I've learned but I know that my life works for me.  I don't live anyone else's life so how can my lessons really benefit them?  I can talk in general but it is hard to give an example without making people feel singled out.  If I talk about letting a baby "cry-it-out" and how I think it is horrible then someone will think I'm talking about them.  Besides, how do you talk about something like that without passing judgement.  Yes I think letting a baby cry themselves to sleep is horrible.  How can you stand there and listen to your child cry?  But then that is me.  I can't do it.  Maybe you can and may you raise the Supreme Court justice and I raise the serial killer.  Who is really to say?

I think a classic example is babywearing.  I babywear (shocking right?).  I think there is a right way and a wrong way and there is definitely a deadly way.  Yes, there is research to support my way but wrapping isn't for everyone (most days not even for me) or MeiTeis or SSC or ring slings.  Maybe the Baby Bjorn is the best thing for that family.  Anything else could result in dropping the baby or never wearing that baby.  Which is worse?  Never wear or wear in a Bjorn?  I had a Bjorn!  I thought it was great.  Then I got my Moby and I hated my Bjorn.  Then I did research and attended some babywearing meetings.  I decided that for Audrey I would Bjorn no more.  That doesn't make me a better parent.  It made me a better parent for Audrey.  Happy Mama = Happy Baby?

Even that statement, happy mama + happy baby makes me think twice.  I would love to out drinking with my friends, getting my nails done and spending money on me.  That would make me happy.  I don't think that would make Audrey happy.  I could shove formula in her face so I can get drunk but that would not make either of us happy (I'm not a big drinker).  But there are mamas who are happier giving formula.  Breastfeeding makes them feel trapped.  Happy Mama = Happy Baby?  I just don't know.

So to the point, I will not shut my pie-hole but please don't assume I'm talking about you.  I will live my life and you will live yours.  I don't feel guilty about my choices and neither should you.  We are all doing the best we can and it is a crap shoot.  My happily attached cloth-diapered breastfed Audrey could wind up a murder on death row and your happy Bjorn formula baby could cure cancer.    I'm thinkin' it's a crap-shoot either way. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

EcoNuts Soap Nuts

So a few weeks back I won at giveaway from Naturalmente Mama.  I won some EcoNuts Soap Nuts.  I was excited.  The first time I had heard of soap nuts was at a Triad Tot Toter meeting and some of the moms swore by them.  They just raved about how easy it was to wash with them and how easy they were to use.  Needless to say, easy is what caught my attention.  So when Maybelline at Naturalmente Mama had the giveaway I had to sign up.

I got the soap nuts and at first I was scared.  It was literally a box of berries!  How in the world do I use these things!?  Lucky for me they came with instructions.  You put five in a cloth baggy (which was included) and toss in the wash.  It was that simple.  I gave them a real challenge, period stained underwear!  They came out spotless.  First time I've ever had that happen.  I'm in love!  I highly recommend soap nuts!

Just as a note.  Maybelline nor EcoNuts paid me to blog about them nor was that a condition of winning.  But since I liked them I thought I would share.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Changing my name but keeping the ring

So you might have notice that Martha is a First Time Mommy is now Wheat-less Mama.  Why the name change?  Since Miss Audrey B. is now over a year old and my blog is almost two years old, I thought a change might be good but also the focus has changed a bit.
  When I started blogging, I was just keeping an online diary of my pregnancy for my family and friends.  Now I've expanded to my family life in general and affects of a wheat-less life on me.  Wheat-less Mama just makes sense at the moment.  I'm a mama and thanks to the funny twists in life, I'm a wheat-less one.  I hope you'll keep reading as I babble on about motherhood, womanhood, and wheat-free living.