Thursday, February 1, 2007

February 2007

  •  February 27, 2007

    Got spelling errors?

    Current mood:irritated
    I don't know how many people have actually participated in an on-line debate, but I have.  It doesn't matter what the subject, or who the people are that are debating, but there is ALWAYS someone who instead of coming back with a good response or argument gets up on their high horse and makes insults about spelling and punctuation.  It's irritating and frankly, it's getting old.  When debating on-line usually there is some heat involved which causes every party to type faster to get their point across and get it posted....and generally when fast typing is going on there are far more typing mistakes than there would normally be.  Makes sense right.  It ceases to amaze me that there is always some guy (when I say guy, its just because in my experiences it has always been men, but I'm sure women are equally to blame) who starts spouting off about how smart he is how high his IQ is, how much research he has done and slams everyone else for how horrible their spelling is, how retarded they are for not punctuating correctly, or using the wrong there, their, they're and yet in the same insulting sentence they make their own grammatical error.  Take this peach for example:
    Dano: The Preposterous Bard: For the love of crying out loud.....FUCKING TAKE AN ENGLISH CLASS!! Worst spelling errors in history. How can you hope to have an inteligent discussion!!!!!  Piss off lactivist...with you tired bullshit.  Go feed your tit to a klondike bar.
    He obviously has nothing to add to the discussion that is intelligent so for whatever reason he feels the need to slam on everyone else's spelling errors and use a lot of profanity.  I don't feel the need to get into the fact that he does not seem to be able to spell himself.  Seriously though, is profanity like the dumb man's last ditch effort to appear like he has any idea of what he is talking about?  Cause I see it all the time.  Some idiot who doesn't have anything good to add to the debate just spouts off at the mouth with nothing but garbage and thinks he is a genius.  Take this gem of a man:
    THE GREAT WHITE NINJA: I have an idea, and I think it is genious. It would be a solution to the whole breastfeading in public. Ladies pop those titties out and feed your babies, and do it without the blanket. and heres the catchy part of my two part plan to make it a win win situation. Young horny teenage men prepare to pop boners at the sight of titties flying from shirts. Left, right, up or down, they will be there. see its a good idea. You get to feed your baby, and you men get to sadomize their vast imaginations.
    Yeah, that guy is the epitome of intelligent!!  I'm tired of hearing goobers like these spout off about spelling and grammar, and yet add nothing to the debate.  Please, for my sake…..if you find yourself in an on-line debate, please please please just ignore the spelling mistakes.  Look past the lack of punctuation and the improper use of their.  Because really…..WHO CARES!!!!
    Enough of my ranting.
    The End.
  • The dogs that blogs forgot.

    Current mood:blah
    I realize that before Madeline was even born my blogs started revolving around all things baby and I pretty much never again mentioned our dogs.  So, this one is for the dogs that blogs forgot.  Which of course is going to involve....yeah, you guessed it.....Madeline.  lol.  But in all seriousness, our dogs are the best.  They have turned into obedient, calm and loving adult dogs and are simply wonderful around the baby.  Tyson and Henry do not even approach the baby unless we make it clear that it is acceptable.  They do try and lick her more than I would prefer, but I am just personally grossed out by dog licks to the face, because lets face it.....they lick their weiners.  YUCK!!  Both dogs allow us to put the baby on thier backs for the sole purpose of amusing ourselves with the visual of Maddie riding them, they allow the baby to grab their ears, poke them in the eyes, and she can even fully stick her hand in their mouths and they don't even try and nibble on her.  Maddie LOVES the dogs.  All she has to do is SEE them, and she starts laughing hysterically.....they sit down in front of her and a whole new peal of laughter comes out.  If she is in a bad mood, all we have to do is put her on the floor near the dogs and she immediately smiles and laughs.  Totally free entertainment that ALWAYS works!  Below is my tribute photo montage of Maddie and Tyson and Henry.  They are growing up together and becomming great pals already!

  • Formula and teeth.....yummm

    Current mood:tired
    It has been a week, and there has been no more formula.  There is however a TOOTH!!!!  My baby is in fact teething, and I have felt the hard little pellet with my finger.  The top has broken through her poor little gums and I can feel the ridges.  I had given up on the theory of teething causing the fussiness and night waking and nursing issues because we never actually saw any teeth pop through, but this entire time she was in fact teething!!  This really explains everything.  The cranky behavior, the waking up more during the night, the crying while nursing, and even the nursing strike and issues we had last week.  TEETHING.  It's a lot easier to get through hard times when you know what you are up against and dealing with.  It's like a light bulb went off in my head.....when I felt that little tooth poking all made sense and I felt sooo much better.  Having difficulties with nursing is very common during teething because to nurse a baby has to use their jaw which can be painful when teething.  Drinking from a bottle does not require jaw movement, its just like sucking a pcaifier, so it is easier as well as less painful......Ahhhhhhhh (the sound of heavenly angels shining light on the subject)  Here's a snipit from Kellymom:


    Teething is one of the most common causes of frequent night waking during the second six months and through the second year. It can also cause fussy nursing behavior, as some babies experience gum discomfort with sucking. Baby might start to nurse, but then pull off and cry or fuss and not want to nurse anymore. Other babies nurse nearly constantly because the nursing is soothing to them.
    So, teething tablets are being used, and tylenol is being given when needed.....mostly at night.  I've been told by my very wise mother in law that we can probably expect another little tooth in the next couple of weeks since teeth usually come in pairs.....oh JOY!  But at least we know what is going on now, and are not questioning every little thing we do.  Now if I could just figure out how to sleep again at night.  I think I am suffering from some insomnia......can someone have situational insomnia?
    P.S.  My nursing art has not been deleted!  Woo Hoo!!
  • Living on the edge

    Current mood:giggly
    Dan is currently getting Maddie into her Jammies which has become a dreaded event for the wee one.  For whatever reason she hates it and cries during most of it.  I don't enjoy hearing her cry, but do rather love listening to the word Jammie-tastic coming out of my husbands mouth and his high falsetto versions of Living on the Edge by Aerosmith and Bohemian Raphsody by Queen.  Good stuff let me tell ya!  I think these songs actually beat out his made up bath time ducky song.  Hooray for Jammies!
  • Was anyone paying attention?

    Current mood:tired
    I posted my breastfeeding picture a few days ago and it got deleted twice in the span of 48 hours.  I posted this picture:

    and it did not get deleted at all.  Moral of the story.....Myspace is run by a bunch of hypocrites who love them some boobies as long as they are not being used to feed babies. 
    I don't really understand what is so wrong with posting a picture of a baby nursing.  Sure boobs can be used for fun and sexual reasons, but when they are feeding a child, they are NOT sexual.  Period.  I wonder if Myspace has a problem with art history as well?  These are paintings from the 17th and 18 centuries.....

  • I'm glad Myspace is cleaning up the pornography!

    I am furious!!  This may very well be an issue that deals with our entire society, but for the sake of this blog, I'm just gonna go after Myspace....they can deal with my wrath!  This morning when I checked my profile I noticed that my default picture was replaced by a big red X.  Curious.  It seems that the powers that be within Myspace (whomever they are) decided that my default picture of my daughter nursing was offensive and pornographic.  Personally I thought the picture was adorable and even my husband said that it was very tasteful.....honestly the only 2 opinions that count in my book.  lol.  So, I spent about 5 minutes doing a little search though myspace.  I started with ONE person's profile and was lead through a very easily navigated maze and came up with what Myspace must consider to be appropriate because thier pictures are still posted, and mine is a big red X.
    Here is the offending pornographic may want to avert your eyes due to the ample amount of sexual nipple showing:

    Research results:
    Appropriate picture No. 1

    Picture No. 2.....totally not offensive....or pornographic...the way her legs are spread wide open is VERY tasteful right?

    Yup, you guessed it....No. 3 

    No. 4 might as well have a child eating from her breast.....there is ample feeding space there

    No. quite a nice she even wearing clothes?

    Numero 6.....Offensive?  Nope, I think not.

    No. 7....I think this one DOES show a baby trying to eat.

    No. 8  I totally showed way more in my picture than this right?  I guess my pic deserved to be deleted.

    No. 9....are you offended?  Yeah, me neither.

    Number's a good thing her hand is covering her nipple, cause if it weren't that might border on pornographic!

    I have more pictures that I could post, and I only spent 5 minutes doing my research.....I'm sure that there are thousands and thousands of profiles that have far more offensive pictures, but frankly, I didn't have the stomach to continue searching.  It seems as though it is okay to post pictures that involve a woman's breasts and other private parts as long as there is an overtly sexual content and there are no babies or feeding involved.  I feel like there is a double standard in this world when it comes to women and our breasts.....they are okay to be displayed publicly as long as they are considered fun play things for men.  But take a woman who is discreetly nursing her child and showing MAYBE an inch and a half of skin, and no nipple, and that is offensive, sexual and considered pornography.  It's just wrong, and it boils my blood.  It's good to know that Myspace is being so vigilant in keeping the offinsive pornography off of their site.  Good job Myspace!!!!!!!  Go suck an egg.
  • A camera photo exhibit

    Current mood:mischievous
    Here I am just chillin'.....minding my own business.       looks like Mama got the camera out.  I love me some camera!
    I'm gonna just try and reach out here.....lets see if I can get it.         
    I'm getting closer.....just a little further.         
    If I could just get my thumb around the side, victory is mine!        
    A little taste before I steal it won't hurt anything right?      
    Ahhh....too close, a little too close.  She's gonna know I'm trying to steal the camera.....better back off.      
    What?  I wasn't doing anything.....just sitting right here like a good girl.  When's lunch?
  • I come in peace

    Current mood:happy
    I want to clarify a few things in case I have stepped on any toes.  I am pro case you didn't know.  lol.  I believe that the nutritional value, the antibodies and the bond that breastfeeding produces makes it worth ANY struggle.  It has been my goal since finding out that I was pregnant to breast feed my baby for at least a year.  I am serious about my goal and I believe that I am currently doing everything humanly possible to continue breastfeeding.  I do not like formula, I believe it to be an inferrior product that causes hardships to a baby's digestive tract ie. gas, bloating, constipation.  I believe that human milk is meant for human babies.
    With all that said, I know that it is necessary to do what is best for my child, even if that means feeding her formula.  But I am going to do everything within my power to prevent her from weaning earlier than 1 year.  My breastfeeding conviction can be compared with vegetarianism.....a person who does not eat meat does so because of strong convictions and I have yet to meet one who did not passionately believe in their cause.  I want to make it clear though, that these are MY beliefs.....I am fully aware that other people choose different paths in their lives and I could spout off about how breastfeeding is best and I could find tons of research to back it, but the truth is that it's not my place.  I know many women who use formula whether it be from day one, or after breastfeeding for months, and I have no judgement towards them.  Everyone does thier best when raising children and choices have to be made that will benefit and work for each and every person in the family.  I would love for everyone that I know to have the opportunity to breastfeed, to experience all the joys and hardships involved, but if breastfeeding does not work for you, then it doesn't work, and formula is the next best thing.  I have a dear friend who's son has been on formula since he was a small baby and (Dylan) is the smartest one year old I have ever met.  There is nothing to feel bad about when choosing a different path than me.  I choose breastfeeding and if I have to, I will use formula, but not without one heck of a fight.
    I think that I might be turning into a hippie, but peace and love are in my heart.  I accept every woman who chooses to be a Mama, and I support whatever decisions they make in raising their babies.
    Update: It has now been 3 days with no formula and fantastic nursing.  I am having to be very patient with Maddie and allow her to take whatever time she needs to nurse, but things are going well and I am in a nice happy place.  I never thought I'd say this, but I am VERY happy to have a baby that is NOT sleeping through the night.  She is waking up 2-3 times a night to nurse and I couldn't be happier.  I have the rest of my life to catch up on sleep and such a short time to nurse with my baby.  Tired and feels good.  lol.

  • South Beach......AGAIN!

    Current mood:hungry
    It's been like 7 or maybe 8 weeks since starting the South Beach feels like such a long time.  Things are still going well although it is starting to get harder.  Per the book, phase one should only be done for 2 weeks.....we are still on phase one, so about 4 times longer than we were supposed to be.  Most of the time it's okay, but I do find myself craving things more often now, and I am not as happy with left over night as I am when I make something fresh and new.  I have however learned how to steam both fish and chicken this week and not only is it fast, but also very tasty.  I don't really know how much weight I am losing, but my jeans now look as though I am trying to be a bad ass sagger punk.  They are starting to fall off of me and my underwear is showing at the top.  I might have to get out some of my smaller pants and see if they fit me yet.  But I'm terrified that they won't and I don't want to deal with the dissapointment so I continue to wear pants that are too big.  I do wash them in really hot water in the hopes that they will shrink over and over again.  So here are the most recent additions to our stomachs.  Bon Apetit!

     Spinach and goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts with indian lentils......this chicken was DELICIOUS!!
     Tomato and saffron stewed chicken with nutty summer squash and asiago cheese.
     Mozarella stuffed pesto pork burgers and asian style lemon broccoli.
     Spinach and sun dried tomato baked tofu with lots-o-cheese and roasted eggplant.
     Steamed halibut with squash and orange bell peppers and sweet peas with sesame oil.
     Pork satay with peanut sauce and green bean and mushroom balsamic.
     Steamed chicken with ginger and garlic and balsamic glazed snow peas and peppers.
  • The short version of a LONG story

    Current mood:hopeful
    I haven't blogged in a while.  I'm sure nobody missed me, but I have missed getting my thoughts out on paper…..err….computer?  There have been some big things going on in my life and I've been feeling pretty down and everything else seems so insignificant in comparison, including blogging.  I'll fill you in on the short story, because the long story is oh-so-long.
    Of course it's regarding the baby… seems that all of my highs and lows revolve around the wee one these days.  A good indicator that I have no life…..actually, she is my life is more accurate.  There have been difficulties in the nursing area in the evenings for about 2 months now.  I always chalked it up to her being overly tired and not wanting to put the effort in to extract milk.  So, I started pumping every night in the hopes that I could get enough milk to feed her in the evenings with a bottle which is a lot easier then breastfeeding for babies.  Every night I was sitting in front of the computer looking at pictures of my baby holding my single mini electric pump and spending 30-40 minutes pumping with the result of 2 ounces total every time.  It was so frustrating……I should be able to get more than 2 ounces right?  I knew that I was pretty regulated since we had been nursing for such a long time and just figured that the problem was a combination of my pump sucking and needing to build up a better evening supply.  So, I looked into hospital grade pumps and found a place that I could rent one for $45 a month.  Dan found out that if we got a note from the Dr. saying that there was a medical need for renting the pump that insurance would pay for the monthly fee and the horns/bottle/tube kit that went with it.  So I called Maddie's Pedi and made an appointment with the lactation consultant.  Went to the appt. last week, Maddie got checked out, looked good and healthy, a MD signed my insurance form all was good.  They weighed the baby just to have her stats documented for the visit and she was 16 pounds 2 ounces.  Interesting.  In a little over 3 weeks Maddie had lost 5 ounces.  The explanation could have been as simple as how long it has been since I last fed her before she was weighed compared to last time, but my chubby child has always GAINED weight and a lot of it from visit to visit, this was a little worrisome. 
    So I get my hospital grade pump and let me tell you, it is FANTASTIC!  So quiet, so efficient.  It pulled out the same number of ounces that my old pump did, but in like 3 minutes rather than 30-40 minutes and it did both breasts at the same time!  I would highly recommend renting a hospital grade pump to anyone who is planning on pumping breast milk for any significant period of time…..Mommies going back to work NEED a hospital grade pump… will make life so much easier.  Anyway, enough of my advertisement.  I started pumping after each time that Maddie nursed and I power pumped in the evening after she went to bed.  Power pumping was explained to me as watching a 1 hour TV show and pumping during all of the actual show, and stopping for short breaks during all of the commercials.  I wasn't getting much more milk than I had been with my old pump, but building my supply was going to take time.  My lactation consultant also recommended that I take 9 capsules of fenugreek a day…..I had been taking only 6 and Dan thought that I smelled of maple syrup then……9 was gonna be big time.  I also started eating a huge bowl of old fashioned oatmeal every morning and continued to drink enough water to sail ships in my belly.  I was doing all of that……giving it my all, and on Friday Maddie started a nursing strike.  She went 8 hours on Friday refusing to nurse and crying non stop.  I started pumping every couple of hours since she wasn't nursing but I didn't have enough breast milk stored up to give her a bottle.  I've always been told that if a baby is hungry enough they will eat.  BIG FAT LIE.  If there is a reason that they are not eating, even the biggest hunger will not make them eat.  So I broke down and did something I never thought I would do.  I gave Maddie a bottle of formula.  She sucked the thing down in like 3 minutes flat and was still hungry, so I gave her a few more ounces and the crying stopped and she was perfectly content.  Saturday and Sunday were very similar to the nursing strike of Friday.  She would refuse my breast every time that I offered, and I was pumping pretty much every hour in the hopes that my milk would increase enough to give her as many bottles as she needed, but failing at producing that much milk and having to feed her as much breast milk as I could squeeze out and the rest was formula.  She was only nursing from me twice a day; in the middle of the night and first thing when we got up in the morning, the rest of the day she refused.  This is where my break down began.
    I hate formula.  I despise it, I think that it is nasty manufactured gunk and have even referred to it as devil juice.  I always wanted to breast feed.  I always envisioned this wonderful close nursing relationship between my baby and myself.  I feel like my body was made to nurture and feed my children and the alternative (formula) is such an inferior product it really isn't an alternative at all.  My plan was to nurse for at least a year and since everything went so smoothly right from the start with nursing I thought it was going to be smooth sailing for the rest of the year.  So the act of my baby refusing me and the thought that my milk was going to dry up was too much.  I spent almost the entire day on Saturday crying.  I could not stop crying…..I tried, really I did, but the tears would not stop coming.  I felt like such a failure…..this was the best thing that I could do for my child and the one thing that I really really wanted for her, and I was failing.  I was giving her crap formula which was causing gas and a bloated tummy and difficulty pooping.  I was mad at myself, but I was also mad at Madeline.  It seemed that she didn't care where she got her food as long as it was quick and easy.  I was doing all these things to keep my milk supply, taking the fenugreek, drinking the mother's milk tea, pumping around the clock, eating oatmeal and all she had to do was suck, and she wasn't putting in the effort.  There was only so much that I could do, and if she didn't want to do her part it was all going to be over soon.  I see other mothers with their babies and I hear about the nursing relationships that they have…..their babies nurse for nutrition but also comfort nurse.  Maddie doesn't do that….really has never done that.  She stopped falling asleep while nursing when she was about 2 and a half months old, she rarely even falls asleep while I am holding her at all.  She has never been the baby who lovingly gazes up at me or cups my face in her hands as she nurses, most of the time she yanks at my shirt, kicks her legs around, hits me in the face, pulls off constantly to look all around.  She is just a really busy little gal and doesn't seem to want to sit still long enough to nurse well.  I feel jealous of the comfort nursers and sometimes wish that Madeline would enjoy nursing as much as I do rather than eating as fast as she can and having the attitude of let's get this over with.  So it was a rough weekend emotionally, but I kept pumping so much so that I was getting pretty sore, and I prayed that things would get better and that I wouldn't dry up. 
    Monday we went almost the entire day without supplementing.  She had one bottle of breast milk in the afternoon when she decided that she didn't want to nurse from me, and she had a bottle of formula in the evening right before bed.  But the rest of the day she nursed…..and for the first time in quite a while I was producing a lot of milk.  I was feeling full before I nursed and one side would leak while she was nursing on the other side…..which hasn't happened for a long time.  Yesterday we got through the whole day without any formula!  Woo Hoo!  I did give her one bottle of breast milk in the afternoon but hey, at least it was breast milk!  I would love to never again give her any formula, but I don't know if that is gonna happen.  I can try my best and continue everything that I have been doing to keep a good milk supply and encourage her to nurse from me, but I can't make her.  I feel like I need to get over my stigma of formula but I don't know how to.  I don't want to feel like a failure if I don't make it to the one year mark, but there is a definite line in the sand that I feel like I need to cross.  There are the women who are okay with formula and don't feel like it's a big deal to feed it to their babies even from the start, and then there are the breast feeders who often nurse their babies past the first year and think that formula is poison.  I don't really find that there is a middle ground between these two views but the middle is where I am stuck….against my will.  How do I learn to embrace formula if it's needed and get over my breast feeding ideals?  I know that I need to do what is best for my child and that is always gonna be feeding her regardless of WHAT I feed her.  I just wish I could explain to her how much better breast milk is and have her understand…..then I wouldn't have to deal with any of my feelings of failure and my hatred of formula.  Oh well.   Today has been another good day so far and I am staying hopeful that we can get through it without the devil juice.  Lol.  I am back to my blogging (when I have time) and it feels good.  Cheers to Wednesday…'s all down hill from here.
    P.S. I know it doesn't feel like it, but this really was the short and condensed version.  I could have gone on and on about my feelings of inadequacy for a lot longer.  Feel blessed that I shortened it for ya!  Haha.
  • Thank God it's Friday!

    Current mood:hopeful
    This week has been a rough one for me.  I am so happy that it is finally Friday and I have Dan home for two full days.  I have a fantastic husband.....he got off work 3 hours early today and came home to surprise me.  He had gone out and bought Mother's Milk herbal tea at the reccomendation of one of his co-workers and also brought home a bouquet of flowers and two new extracts for our ricotta cheese desserts.  Now I'm sure you're scratching your heads at the extracts, but to me those are a symbol of true LOVE!  My husband is the best!  Here's praying the rest of the week gets better!

  • The no cry movement?

    Current mood:cranky
    I keep encountering more and more women on myspace who practice attachment parenting and preach about not letting babies cry it out.  I think that its fine for them to be of the opinion that their children should live their lives without crying, however they all seem to ban together and dominate many of the groups on myspace and it is starting to irritate me.  
    Babies are born into this world crying.  Yes, as parents it is our job to take care of their needs and to minimize crying, but in my opinion there is nothing wrong with the act of crying itself.  These women post articles from the Harvard School of Medicine that state that letting a child cry it out cause's brain damage.  I don't know if they are just trying to recruit people to their team or what, but scare tactics don't work on me.  I have personally read that article and I think its hooey.  Let's say for a minute that letting a baby cry does in fact cause brain damage.  What does that mean for the 5-10% of all babies born each year who have colic?  They spend 3-4 hours crying inconsolably everyday…..does this mean that all of these children are destined to be brain damaged adults?  An example was used by one particular myspace woman who compared a baby crying themselves to sleep to an adult having been in a terrible accident with all of their bones broken and not being able to get the nursing staff in the hospital to respond to his need for something to drink.  In the anecdote the man with the broken bones gives up on the hope of getting something to drink and his spirit is broken and he is unable to trust the nursing staff….etc.  The parallel is that a baby left to cry themselves to sleep will eventually stop crying and fall asleep, but they will in the process feel abandoned and not be able to trust their parents anymore. 
    I believe that since communication is lacking in infants and toddlers, the only way that they can inform you that there is a problem is through crying.  In some cases the problem is a quick fix….change the wet diaper, put the paci back in their mouth, feed them.  In other cases it is a challenge to figure out what they are trying to tell you.  They want the rattle not the book, want to be put down instead of held but it takes some juggling to get to the right conclusion.  There are lots of other cries that range from feeling sick to getting hurt.  I personally think that the hardest crying to deal with is the defiant crying.  When a child just plain and simple does not want to do something.  They don't want socks and shoes on, they don't want to lie still when their diaper is being changed, they don't want to sit in the bouncer chair while Mommy uses the bathroom, they don't want to keep a hat on their head and the biggest of the defiant cries…..they don't want to go to bed or take their nap.  I believe that since every child is different they all reach the defiant crying stage at different times, but eventually they all get there.  How a parent deals with defiant crying is completely personal and up to them, but if my baby didn't want to have socks and shoes on, or a hat on and it was snowing outside, I would say tough cookies and they would be wearing all three before I left the house regardless of how many tears were shed.  If she didn't want to lie still while I was changing her diaper, I would encourage her to do so and teach her what is expected of her when diapers are changed, not chase after a crawling naked baby and trying to fasten a diaper while on the move.  I compare a baby's need for sleep to their need for food.  Both are necessary for development and growth.  If your baby is hungry, give her food; if your baby is tired make sure she gets the sleep she needs. 
    We went through a phase a while back where despite our best efforts Madeline would not go to sleep at night.  We tried rocking her to sleep, but she preferred to stare up at the ceiling fan and cry instead of falling asleep, we tried singing her to sleep, but she would just stay awake and listen to the beautiful melodies.  Lol.  We tried going to sleep with her in our bed and she would kick around, fuss and eventually cry.  It got to the point where once her bedtime had come and gone, we were staying up until 1:00 in the morning trying everything to get our exhausted child to go to sleep and nothing was working.  She would just cry and cry through all of our attempts to "help" her get to sleep.  She was suffering during the day from her lack of sleep and our previously pleasant baby was a cranky terror.  She was being defiant and we were catering to her in every attempt to keep her from crying.  Dan and I sat down and after much debating back and forth decided that we were not doing her any favors by having her be reliant on us to fall asleep at night, and besides that, our efforts were not working.  Everyone we talked to said not to do it, but we did it anyway.
     The sleep training ended up taking 2 weeks.  Two weeks of second guessing ourselves, two weeks of feeling horrid, two weeks of worrying if what everyone had been saying was true.  Two weeks.  The first night was AWEFUL!  We seriously doubted ourselves and the decision that we made, but didn't want to give in before we actually got through one night.  The second night she cut her crying time in half, and that was a good indication to us that she was learning.  The next two nights she continued to cut the crying time in half.  By the fifth or sixth night she had stabilized to a very short crying time, and by the time we reached 2 weeks, she didn't cry at all.  Now every night we do our bedtime routine, I feed her baby cereal, she gets a bath, I nurse her and then Dan rocks her and reads her a story and puts her in bed.  Sometimes she fusses a tiny bit, but he gets her into a comfortable position and sticks her paci in and she is usually asleep within 60 seconds.  She learned that when she is put in her crib it is time for bed, and when its bed time we go to sleep.  She generally sleeps from 7:00 at night until 7:00 the next morning and nurses once, sometimes twice during the night.  Not every night is perfect, but the bad ones, which are few and far between, usually involve her waking up a couple hours after going to bed and wanting to nurse……I know she isn't hungry since we fill her up right before bed, but I nurse her anyway for comfort.  Letting our baby cry herself to sleep not only taught her to fall asleep on her own, but now she is getting the rest that she needs and is once again the delightful baby she used to be before she realized that staying up with Mommy and Daddy was more fun than going to bed.
     I don't necessarily recommend this for everyone.  If I could have gotten Maddie to sleep by rocking her, or sleeping with her I would have in a heart beat.  I love cuddling with her and I really miss her sleeping in my arms, but those techniques stopped working for us.  For our family it took trying everything else to get to the point of letting her cry herself to sleep.  We also had to get to the point where we knew for sure that she was playing us.  She was crying defiantly because she didn't want to go to bed and not from a wet diaper or hunger or pain etc.  As far as the brain damage goes, our daughter is proving every day that she is in fact a genius so I don't think that we have anything to worry about, but I guess we'll have to wait and see if anything pops up from our 2 weeks of short term crying.  Lol.  I swear a child cutting a tooth probably cries more than she did during that entire two week period.  And if anyone is concerned with whether our daughter has lost trust in us, or feels abandoned…..every morning when I get her out of her crib she is smiling up at me with her twinkling eyes and when I pick her up her arms go around my neck.  She is not clingy, she does not cry more during the day than before…..I don't feel as though we have lost any trust, but again we'll have to wait and see…..there might be large therapy bills in our future.  Lol.   
    I don't know which bothers me more about the attachment parent women on myspace….. the fact that the are constantly pushing their beliefs on innocent bystanders in the moms groups, or the fact that they are constantly whining about the fact that they aren't getting any sleep because their 7 and 8 month old babies only sleep 2-3 hours at a time during the night and then require rocking and singing and feeding.  I think it's great if a parent decides to be part of the attachment parenting movement, but if they are going to choose that way of life then I feel that they should own their decision and stop bitching about the drawbacks.
     I'm probably going to get some hate mail over this and may even get kicked out of some groups, but I honestly don't care.  I think what we did was right for our child and although there are those out there that disagree I think the proof is in the pudding… child gets the sleep that she needs.
  • Matters of importance

    Current mood:curious
    Phew....I need to decompress from my last blog and the war that has ensued over it......not a war that I intended I might add. 
    On to matters of much more relevance to the world....or at least my world.  Baby food.  I made a batch of sweet potato puree for the wee one this weekend.  It was so ridiculously easy it got me to wondering why people even buy jars of baby food from the store.  It took me maybe 15 minutes to puree the sweet potatos and spoon them into my freezer trays.....the 15 minutes does not count the time that the potatoes were boiling in the water, but I didn't actually have to do anything while that was happening so I don't count that time. 
    A mere 15 minutes and my baby now has delicious, nutritious food.  I know exactly what is in the puree, there are no weird preservatives that I can not pronounce the names of, there is nothing that inadvertently could cause an allergic reaction like soy, and most of the time in store bought baby purees they have cooked the food to such high temperatures so that it can withstand the test of time that most of the nutrients have been cooked out.....not my baby's food!  And the bestest reason to make your own baby food......drum roll is so much cheaper than the .50 a jar or more that store bought food costs!!!  Two sweet potatoes probably cost at most $2.00 and I was able to make enough baby food for 16 days.....try to beat that with the jarred stuff.  So, I guess the draw of buying baby food is that it does not take 15 minutes to make.....thats the only one I can think of. 
  • Hormonal high horse.

    Current mood:discontent
    I'm not really into sporting events, but last night I sat with my husband and watched his beloved Bears lose the superbowl.  I watched the dumb comercials that for whatever reason everyone seems to adore, and I rooted for hubby's team as if I was a life long fan.  But really the whole thing disgusted me. 
    Dan told me that a 30 second comercial slot airing during the superbowl costs 2.5 million dollars.  Two and a half million dollars for 30 seconds of marketing crap.  I almost threw up a little in my mouth.  Setting aside all of the poverty and starvation in other countries....cause that could be an entire blog all of its own....I don't understand how we as Americans can throw that kind of money around on such frivolousness when the state of our country is in such upheaval.  The debt that our country has, the soldiers that are dying in a war that shouldn't be anymore, the children in our own neighborhoods who are going hungry, and all of the children who get bounced around in the seriously lacking foster system.  Another shining beacon in our country's financial state......the federal minimum wage increase got shot down by congress last week.  Congress who has had 8 pay increases in 10 years basically told Americans that they are not worth more than $5.15 an hour.  For a person working 40 hours a week for all 52 weeks, making minimum wage, their annual salary would be $10,712.  For an entire year.....raising their family on less than eleven thousand dollars.  And yet we as a country have more money than we know what to do with.  When Chevrolet, a true American symbol can air at least 10 commercials during the superbowl for a grand total of 25 million dollars to show off their new 2007 HHR or Equinox it makes me want to scream.  How dare they.  The middle class in America is becomming smaller and smaller as the rich become more wealthy and the poor just get poorer.
    I also look at these football heros who have so much skill at throwing a ball and tackling each other to the ground.  I understand that all of that impressive skill takes a lot of hard work to fine tune, but are these men really worth the millions of dollars that they are paid?  I find it revolting that children look up to these men with awe instead of finding heros in the men and women who are defending our country at war, or the teachers who spend everyday trying to make the next generation better than the last.  I look at how much responsibility a teacher has, how hard they work, how much of their own personal time and money gets put into their jobs because of a lack of funding, and how political the educational system has become and it makes me sad that we only value them enough to pay them maybe $45,000 a year.  What does that say about our country when we put more money towards men in tights throwing balls around and showing flashy pictures of cars that more than half of the people in America can't even afford to buy and we pay the men and women who are influencing our children (sometimes more than their parents are) pennies in comparrison.
    It makes me sick to look at the world that I am raising my daughter in.  Sick to see where our priorities lie.  I feel that in a country where so many people are suffering it is disgusting that these large corporations are literally throwing away money that could be used for so much good.  So I say shame on you Chevrolet, shame on you Budweiser, Coors, Snickers, Coca-Cola, Bud-Light, Doritos, Sierra Mist, Fed-Ex, Toyota and all of the rest of you. 
    Thank you to the soldiers who are risking their lives for my freedom, even if I don't believe in this war.  Thank you to the men and women who will someday be teaching my child how to read and write......your dedication and commitment to making tomorrow a better place does not go un-noticed by me.  Thank you to the people all throughout the USA who work minimum wage jobs....without you the upperclass of the country would not have the services that they need.  Thank you to all of the pro athletes out there for being very good at playing with balls.  And a big thank you to the United States Congress who live in large houses, drive expensive cars and send their children to ritzy private schools.....may you continue to give yourselves raises that you so obviously deserve.
    The End.
  • Is she

    Current mood:confused
    I got a picture of Maddie's mouth.....she didn't like it much!  I was just wondering if anyone who had experience could tell me if it looks like she is in fact teething.  I'm not really sure what her gums are supposed to look like while teething.  I see the outline of teeth in her gums, but nothing is sticking through the tops.  Please help.....if you can.  Thanks.

  • Teeth? Yoikes!

    Current mood:anxious
    If you'd have asked me last week if my baby was teething, I would have said no.  At our 4 month Dr. appt. they told us that she was not.  Yes, she has been drooling like crazy, yes, she is putting everything in her mouth and gumming it, but I just figured that is what babies her age do to explore.  Along came a wicked rash on her chin and mouth and I just assumed it was because of introducing cereal.  Maddie has become increasingly more cranky throughout the day, refusing to nurse in the evenings and the most recent unusual behavior.....trying to pull her ear off.
    She is teething.  She has every single one of the symptoms of a baby who is teething and after careful inspection of her bottom gums I have discovered swollen buds and the tiniest bit of sharpness right along the ridge.  TEETH.  I don't really know how I feel about this.  It makes me feel better that there is finally an explaination for her unusual behavior these last couple of weeks, but I don't think that I am ready for teeth.  I was really hoping that she would be like her cousin and not sprout teeth until her first birthday.  No such luck with our child who wants to sail right through all of her milestones.  So I am going to the store today to buy teething biscuits, small bagels that we can freeze, baby tylenol and some hard core ointment to try and save her precious chin from this never ending rash.  I feel really bad for my baby and wish that I could go through this painful time for her.  I look at her cute little toothless smile and can't quite imagine what it will soon look like with teeth in it.  Oh, how fast time flies by.  My new goal is to get through this teething process and not get bitten while nursing.  Wish us all luck.....we're gonna need it.
  • Friendship?

    Current mood:mellow
    I've been thinking about friendships lately.  What defines them and what it takes to maintain them.  Does having a history together automatically make someone your friend?  Webster's dictionary defines a friend as:
    Main Entry: 1friend
    1 a : one attached to another by affection or esteem b : ACQUAINTANCE
    2 a : one that is not hostile b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group
    3 : one that favors or promotes something
    4 : a favored companion
    And friendship is defined as:
    Main Entry: friend·ship
    1 : the state of being friends
    2 : the quality or state of being friendly : FRIENDLINESS
    But is it really that easy?  Maybe I just have higher expectations of the people that I choose to have friendships with making my definition a bit more technical with its requirements.  Maybe this is why I only truly have a handful of friends and not a myriad of people surrounding me with titles that don't belong.  I cherish my friends.  I see the potential in all of them and pray that someday they will see what I see in them.  But I've been thinking about a few people in my life who have this title of "friend" who don't deserve it.  Not because I am superior in any way, but because time has shifted the sands in our lives and these people no longer fit even the dictionary's definition of what a friend is.  Isn't there supposed to be at least some work involved with maintaining a friendship?  Aren't the best things in life the ones worth working or fighting for?  It is so easy to call someone a friend, but does not sharing, not revealing, not trusting and having no time for each other really a friendship make?  When history is involved but no current events are taking place what is the use of holding on?  What purpose does it serve?  Do random emotionless e-mails or once a year lunch get togethers really make a friendship worthwhile?  What about ignoring the truths about people, having an opinion that can not be expressed because toes should not be stepped on.  Aren't we supposed to step on the toes of our true friends….and then be there to put ice on them and bandage them up together?  In a true friendship there is always some form of cement; common interests, common goals, a shared love of shoes, at the very least a love for one another that binds the two together.  What happens though when the love turns to indifference?  Is that the time to clean house?
    Webster's dictionary defines an acquaintance as:
    Main Entry: ac·quain·tance
    1 a : the state of being acquainted b : personal knowledge : FAMILIARITY
    2 a : the persons with whom one is
    acquainted  b : a person whom one knows but who is not a particularly close friend acquaintance>
    Interesting.  Definitely food for thought.
    Disclaimer: Don't be alarmed my friends (and you know who you are) I am not cleaning you out of my house.  Only love for ya!
  • South Beach week 3 update

    Current mood:rejuvenated
    We have officially been on the diet for a month now.  Below are pictures of the food we had during week 3.  Things are going really well.  Still losing weight nice and steady which I feel is a good thing.  So many times people (me included in the past) jump on fad diets where they eat only cabbage, or drink only random shakes and then loose weight very quickly, but can not maintain the diet because honestly who wants to only eat cabbage or drink grainy shakes for the rest of their lives?  As soon as they go back to eating "normally" all the weight and then some is gained back.  Dan and I are really changing the way that we eat, and more importantly changing the way that we view food.  Instead of just something that tastes good, we look at food as fuel to run our body and making choices that will keep us at optimum super unleaded gas!  Soon we'll be sports cars!  We both really want this change to stick. 
    Another added benefit of this diet is that it is keeping us way more organized.  I plan out our menu for 7-8 days and we go shopping based on a list that is only what we NEED.  Our time at the grocery store is much shorter because I organized the list based on sections in the store and we no longer randomly walk around trying to think of ideas of what to buy.  Our bill is a bit higher because fresh produce is not cheap, but we no longer waste anything.  Everything that we buy gets consumed and thus we don't have rotten surprises in the fridge that we find weeks later.  And because all of the dinners I make are 4 servings, our 7-8 meals become 14-16 meals.  We eat a meal once and then get to have it again later in the week and I don't have to cook!!!  Although I am finding that I really enjoy cooking.  I find it theraputic and relaxing and I really like that at the end there is somthing to show for all of the work I have done.  And I know this may sound corny and 1950's housewife-ish, but I really like preparing dinner for my husband.  I feel proud of what I created and get excited to see what his reaction will be.  Who knew a diet could be the catalist for me learning the joy of cooking.
     Tofu caccitore with sesame ginger asparagus.  My first tofu experiment and it was DELICIOUS!
     Pesto baked chicken and lemon eggplant.  My husband hates eggplant, but eats it because he love me! lol.
     Baked catfish with lemon aioli sauce and spicy roasted cauliflower.
     BBQ Salmon with balsamic glazed snow peas and red peppers.
     Chicken and eggplant caserole which was sooo GOOD!  It has lots of garlic and mozzarella cheese with sauteed peppers, onions and tomatoes.

  • snow day?

    Current mood:excited
    It is snowing outside.  I looked out my window and saw beautiful white snow falling.  Who knows if it will actually stick to the ground......but here's hoping.  If its gonna be freezing cold all the time, we might as well have the added benefit of beautiful snow!
    Update:  It is now snowing harder and actually sticking to the ground!!  Hooray SNOW!!!!!  I have been wanting it to snow so badly since we didn't get any last year.  Here are some pictures, I'll update later if there is more than this much snow.

     The front of our house in the snow!

County McCounterson