Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Attachment Parenting

So I already wrote a blog post about this, but somehow it didn't I am not going to write it all down again. The moment is already gone, so you're going to get the way watered-down version. This whole "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" approach was not making me a happy mamma. In fact, it was really stressing me out. I felt like the entirety of my child's well-being depended upon the number of hours he slept each day. And it just wasn't happening the way the books said it should  happen. I finally broke down when Noah started waking up twice the amount of times at night. That was the last straw. Noah and my husband were unhappy because I was stressed about something that, no matter how many hours I spent rocking and singing and soothing, I ultimately couldn't control.

Then came Attachment Parenting, and it has saved my life! I feel so much more relaxed and happy! Basically, AP is more about watching your child, not the clock; believing that when your child cries, it's for a good reason that should never be ignored; and keeping your child close to you 90% of the time, through babywearing and co-sleeping. You can learn more about it at Suffice it to say, I am a much happier parent. Instead of looking for problems to fix so that Noah can fit better into my lifestyle, I am much more focused on enjoying him and giving him all the love I can to foster a wonderful, trusting relationship. I am still glad for the knowledge I've gained about sleep, but it's nice to know that his happiness and fulfillment aren't solely dependent on sleep. It's a factor, yes, but not the only one.

I also wanted to share this cute video of Noah. He just started laughing today!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Looked like a goof...but felt like a queen

So one of the "steps," if you will, in the book Attachment Parenting by Dr. Sears is babywearing. Babywearing promotes a greater understanding of and closeness to your child. It can also make a caring mom a bit less stressed--if baby Noah is crying and wanting to be held, but that pile of laundry really needs to be folded, or I would like a few minutes to put on some makeup, I can slip Noah into my Moby wrap and we can both be happy. A lot of moms will swear that it is also an easy way to breastfeed in public--though I'm not quite that brave yet.

One thing I think is rather funny about babywearing fans: they'll go on and on about the endless benefits that scientific studies show when babies are worn by their parents all day, but I have yet to hear someone mention the price of wearing a baby--wearing their messes along with it. I honestly can't count the number of times Noah spits up on me per day, but I'm getting pretty good at strategically placing burpcloths between him and me.

This afternoon, Noah did not want to be put down. He was tired and cranky. I didn't feel much like sitting around and holding him, though (I've had my fair share of sitting and holding for today), so I popped him in the wrap. Within minutes, he was asleep. I still felt like being up and about, but dinner was too high-tech to prepare with a baby obstructing my onion-chopping vision, so I decided to take a walk.

I'd taken walks with Tyler when Noah was in the Moby, but not by myself. It felt a little odd. I kept wondering what my neighbors thought I was carrying in that blue bundle, especially since his head was covered to keep the light out of his eyes. But I kept walking, all the way to the park.

It so happens that I have a passion for green grass. Not green sprinkled with yellow, but the cool, jewel-green type. When I walked past this park when I was younger, I would take my shoes off to walk the whole length of the it barefoot. Now that I'm older and more "grown-up," I have resisted the urge many times this summer. But today I indulged and walked around the park, carrying my shoes (they were Crocs, to boot--albeit cute ones). I realized that I must  have looked like the earthiest granola girl in our subdivision, carrying a baby in a complicated twist of blue jersey fabric and my Crocs dangling from my fingertips, but I felt like the happiest mother in the world.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lesson learned...the hard way.

We all have TV shows we like to watch. Comedies, dramas, reality shows.We get to know and love the characters so well, we would know exactly what to do if they stepped into our front door and asked us to help them out with a difficult crime scene, or give them advice about their secret love. It's...well, addicting, to say the least.

I found just such a TV show not long ago. It's called Bramwell. It's a show about a female doctor in Victorian London. She opens an infirmary in the slums, and along with her father (also a doctor) and her colleague, Dr. Marsham, (who she obviously needs to marry), she treats all sorts of medical ailments. The characters are endearing and the various medical cases riveting and intriguing.

As I neared the end of the third season, things got more and more intense, setting the show up for a big bang ending in season four. I found I just had to keep on watching...and watching...and watching. I was completely sucked in. The hero and heroine both suffer their own heartbreaks, but in the last episode of season three, thanks to a perfectly enchanting proposal from the hero to the heroine, a happy ending seemed in order. I emerged from the depths of the episode beaming--no doubt my husband thought me silly for grinning like an idiot over this fictional engagement.

This afternoon I settled myself down on the couch, ready to savor every bit of the last season (only two episodes), certain all would end well. But before I was halfway through the first one, I couldn't help but burst into tears. My imagined happy ending wasn't happening at all! Instead, dear Miss Bramwell was ruining her life and proving herself unworthy of every happiness she should have had with Dr. Marsham. After enduring fifteen or so minutes of agony, I decided I had had enough. I looked up a synopsis to see if the happy ending might still be salvaged. Nope. Everything they'd been building up to for three full seasons was completely ruined. She ends up making stupid mistakes that lead to horrible consequences which make her marry a despicable man.

I had put so much time and emotion in this show that when things didn't end up right, I felt wounded. I realized how silly it all was. It was only a show, after all. But even after a few hours had passed, I still felt really bothered. I told my husband how I was feeling, and he said something that helped me understand everything: "It was a broken ending. You didn't like it because it was broken." Of course! I loved the show because it wasn't broken. Yes, bad things happened, and the characters made human mistakes. But the characters were still good, and their relationships remained whole and full of love. And the stupid producers thought it was a good idea to break it all into a million pieces!

The moral of this story is: Don't stake your happiness on the whims of TV producers who are just trying to create the most possible drama and make an extra buck. Read a book instead.

"Where'd all the good people go?
I've been changing channels, I don't see them on the TV shows..."
~Jack Johnson, Good People

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer fun!

Hello friends! I've been thinking about a few things, jiggling them around in my brain, and trying to turn them into a coherent blog post. These are all pretty random things, so we'll see how that goes!

We celebrated our 2nd anniversary and my 21st birthday on August 18th and 21st, respectively. Noah was eight weeks old, and we decided that it would be all right to leave him with my mom while we did some fun things together. On the 18th we went to Rodizio Grill for our anniversary dinner (we used their birthday club's free meal certificate!) and walked around the Gateway Mall. As we drove out to Salt Lake for this special date, we were almost giddy with delight. It felt so strange to leave our baby behind, and so exhilarating to feel like a couple again, instead of just parents.

My favorite part of our date was when Tyler pulled out a roll of pennies so we could make wishes and throw them into the Gateway fountain (there's a long story behind that; maybe some day I'll write about it). It was just lovely!

A few days later, on the 21st, we went to see Harry Potter and to go shopping. It was the best, most satisfying movie I've seen in a long time! We were very glad to come home to our baby Noah, though. This second date was fun, but we were ready to just spend some time with Noah at home again!
. . .

Noah has started to smile and coo! Each grin is like a little ray of sunshine! I love having long, nonsensical conversations full of squeals and smiles from my baby boy! Life as a mom is getting a lot more fun!

. . .

Since becoming a SAHM I started thinking about taking an Institute class. I've been feeling a need to have that weekly spiritual boost. And, I won't lie, I've also wanted some sort of outside circle where I could still enjoy an individual identity. The words "full-time mom" can easily become synonymous with "full-time slave," if one is not careful, and so I have been on the lookout for some good, uplifting outlets that will relieve some stress (and that won't cost any money!). However, the Institute in Tooele always seemed specifically geared toward single adults, so I didn't let this desire have very much time on center stage in my brain.

I am always amazed at how well Heavenly Father knows our thoughts and desires! On Sunday, the Relief Society President read a letter from the Tooele Institute encouraging young mothers to take a daytime Institute class! Before she was done reading the letter, I knew I needed to take advantage of this opportunity. I looked online to find a class at a good time and arranged babysitting with my mom. I am lucky enough to have my best friend in town for a month before she moves to Chicago, where her husband has taken a new job, and so I invited her to come with me. We went to the first class this week, and already I know it will be a wonderful experience. It will be so nice to have a couple hours every week to enjoy discussing the gospel at the Institute! I'm so excited!
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Tyler has begun his senior year at George Wythe University. I am very excited for him. This year, he is studying his favorite subject--history! We are so blessed that Tyler can go to school online. It makes it possible for him to spend a lot of time at home while still working full-time. He is amazing and smart and I love him!
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I am on a mission to lose the baby weight! After losing over half of what I gained in the first three weeks after giving birth, I am left with about 25 pounds I'd like to lose. In thinking about this task, I have come to a conclusion: We are probably going to want another baby in about a year or so. I don't feel like I handled my health during this last pregnancy very well, so if I'm going to be happy with being pregnant again soon, I need to get my act together and prepare my body for another 9-month ordeal. I want to enjoy this body that God has given me, whether I'm pregnant, postpartum, or just normal. Once I realized this, I convinced my husband to get me a gym membership, and I started watching what I eat much more carefully.

I've been working on this for almost a month now, and I'm happy to report I've lost about five pounds. It's been interesting, this whole losing weight thing. I've never really tried to lose weight before. I've never been concerned with how many calories I eat in a day. I was really prone to emotional eating, and eating when I was bored, and eating just because there was something yummy sitting on my Mom's counter (after all, who knows when I'll get to eat another chocolate chip cookie?) But now I feel much more in control, and it's working! :)

Well, that's all I have on my mind today! Thanks for reading!