Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Christmas is by far my favorite holiday! I love getting together with family and friends to eat good food. I also love having other people open the gifts I gave them. It is so much more fun to give than to recieve!

Anyways even though I love this stuff I was reminded this morning that amongst all of the extra stuff the real reason for Christmas is to celebrate Jesus birth!!! To remember that He left the Heavenly Father and came down to earth to be the Savior of the world! He didn't have to, but He loved us so much and wanted to make a way for us to be right with God so that we can spend eternity in heaven with Him.

This Christmas I am reminded not only of the Christmas story, but also of the Easter story. Jesus came to earth to be crucified on the cross to take away the sins of the world. All we have to do is invite Jesus into our lives and ask forgiveness of our sins. To truly be repentant and surrender our lives to Him.

So while it can be fun to celebrate with gifts, food, and family, it is important to remember Jesus is the reason for this season. So let's not get so caught up in the extra's of Christmas and take time to remember Him who came to earth so that we might be saved.

Thank you Jesus!!! And Merry Christmas to all!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Okay so I am about to go on a rant. You have been forewarned!

One of my biggest pet peeves is hospitals giving out diaper bags filled with formula even to moms who have stated they are going to breastfeed. So why does that bug me? Because I believe that that having even that small can of formula is tempting to the mom who is struggling with nursing. They may think that they don't have enough milk and their baby is starving in the first few weeks when the milk supply is establishing and the baby is nursing constantly. Or they may think that because the hospital gave it to them that is the right formula to use and they should use that instead or in addition to nursing. I have heard a mom say more than once that they give their baby an evening bottle of formula because then they will sleep and they just nurse to much during the evening. They do this not realizing it is normal for a baby to nurse frequently in the evening to get more of the fatty hind milk before bed and that by giving them a bottle instead of nursing they may be jeopardizing their milk supply.

 And big formula companies know all of this. That is why they give all of those samples to the hospital to hand out. And the hospital hands in out because the more formula they give out the more money they get from the formula company.

I know that not every woman who breastfeeds her baby is going to stick with it. I mean statistics show that on average most babies in the U.S are not breastfed past 6 months and even less are breastfed past a year. And I firmly believe that every woman has the choice to choose how she feeds her baby. Breastmilk is better and has more nutritional value than formula, but every woman is free to choose. Also I understand that some women can't make enough milk due to various reasons and need to supplement. I STRUGGLED with nursing Scarlett who had a dysfunctional suck. So I understand there are reasons for supplementing. However, I know that if at 8 weeks when I was so discouraged with nursing, if I had had a small can of formula in my cupboard from the hospital, I would have gave in and used it. I was so close to giving up nursing, but I could not bring myself to go out and buy the can of formula. And I am so very glad that I did not give it up at that point. I am so happy I did not have that can of formula in my house because Scarlett would not have made it to 1 year on breastmilk (even though not all of it was my own).

Okay rant over.

Daddy's Slippers

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My OB said what

http://myobsaidwhat.com

A really cool new blog I found. It gives the crazy but true things that OBGYNS, nurses, midwives, etc have said to birthing women. It kinda makes me sad to read some of them. It just makes me realize even more that I want to try again for a homebirth with our next child.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Scarlett!

I was supposed to post this yesterday since it was her birthday yesterday but didn't end up having time. So today will have to do.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful, spunky, loving, determined, sweet, and smart little girl. I cannot believe that just one year ago I gave birth to you! Momma loves you!



Monday, December 12, 2011

Pink Ladybug 1st Birthday Party

So this last weekend was we celebrated Scarlett's 1st Birthday with a pink ladybug themed party! Wow, I cannot believe my little girl is one. She technically doesn't turn one until December 14th, but we had the party early because my parents are heading south for the winter. It was a wonderful day and I cannot believe that there wasn't even snow on the ground (very strange for December in Minnesota).

After stressing out for two weeks trying to get everything ready and keep my house clean (not an easy feat with a one year old who doesn't nap very much anymore), the big day finally arrived.
Scarlett month by month

Decorations for the party. I made the sign using my cricut. 
It was the first time I had used it for anything but scrapbooking.

The Little Birthday Girl

White chocolate covered pretzels with pink sprinkles.

Ladybug cake pops my friend and I made. I had never made cake pops before. 
They were super easy but very time consuming.

 Her GORGEOUS cake made by a friend! It was almost too
cute to cut. 

 Personalized water bottles

 Yummy food

 Scarlett, Grandpa, and Charlie

 I'm One!

 She was kinda unsure what to do

 Momma had to help blow out the candles

 Okay I can eat a polka dot!

 She LOVES her cousin Mason!

 Okay I guess I like this cake stuff!

 Giving baby kisses!

 Just had to put this one in because she is so darn cute!

 Of course she loves the laptop. She is her father's daughter :)

 Mad momma took it away so she could finish opening presents :(

 Five Generations

 Scarlett with Grandpa and Grandma

Uncle Cody and Scarlett

Overall, we had a wonderful day! Scarlett and I were both so tired we slept really good that night. 
Happy early birthday to my beautiful little girl!

Yep, I drive to put my child to sleep

Oh, sleep! One of the most talked about parenting topics. This last weekend at a scrapbook retreat I bet I had at least 3 long conversations about sleep. Everyone I meet asks, "So is she or when did she start sleeping through the night?" Sometimes I don't mind the question, but somedays I really don't want to get into the conversation because I know what some of them are going to say.  Scarlett has never been a very good sleeper. She still doesn't always sleep through the night. Since about 9 months the majority of the time she does, but that is not always the case. She mainly sleeps in her crib, but she does end up in bed with us some nights. And yes, I still occasionally give her a bottle at night. I have a loose bedtime routine, but I don't have a very set schedule. She usually goes to bed inbetween 7:30 and 8:30. She used to fall asleep on the bottle, but now she will finish the bottle and lay awake with us on the couch for a little while before falling asleep. So she is learning to fall asleep without the bottle. She doesn't always nap and I am desperate enough some days to take her out for a drive to get her to fall asleep. I don't think she always necessarily needs a nap because she sleeps enough during the night, but somedays I just want the time to relax.

And while I appreciate everyone giving me advice on how to get her to sleep (which mostly entails letting her cry-it-out) I am okay with the sleeping arrangement we have now. Don't get me wrong some nights are hard and I am so tempted to just let her cry, but I know that she usually has some reason for being up. Just last night she was up all night and I could not figure out why she was crying. Here her diaper needed to be changed. She is teething and has acidic poop and it was causing her to get a very bad diaper rash. If I had just let her cry she would have sat in that poop all night. Sure I am a little bit more cranky today because of less sleep, but I keep reminding myself it is just the season of life that I am in right now and before I know it she will be grown up. I know one day I will be able to just put her to bed and she will fall asleep. That time has not yet come but I know that it will. Here is post that explains my reasoning for not following the cry it out method http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/07/05/no-cry-it-out/#.TuZlP2MqIuI. And while I know some wonderful parents who follow this method and it is totally their choice I have chosen not to.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hosting Thanksgiving





This was actually my second year hosting Thanksgiving! I love cooking and having people over and I don't know why we don't do it more often. Two years ago I hosted my first thanksgiving with Chris's and my family's. I love it that our parents are friends and we can do this holiday together. It definitely saves Chris and I a trip to each family. Anyways this year was slightly different because my Mom invited my aunt and great grandma. I was excited to have more people. It wasn't to hard to prepare because each person who comes brings a different dish. My job was just to make the turkey, buns, and pies. I did a better job cooking the turkey this year then the last year I did it, but forgot to tie the legs together and they ended up burning. But at least the rest of the turkey was nice and moist. Also, when my Grandma arrived she asked about how I make my stuffing. Oops, I had forgotten to have someone bring stuffing. Fortunately I had a box of stuffing in the cupboard that I whipped up in 5 minutes. Not as good as homemade but it worked fine. All in all, we had a wonderful day. Chris and I were even able to enjoy our meal since Scarlett decided to nap while we ate!
 The little turkey's I made for everyone. Super easy and fun! Gotta love pinterest!

 My nephew's Mason and Peyton coloring before dinner.

 Of course, Chris decided to take a nap after dinner! I guess we need more seating since he was forced to sleep between the table and the wall!

Playing with Daddy! Both happy after naps!

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Potty Time

My original plan was to do some communication elimination but because of all the nursing issues it got pushed to the side. However, I started putting Scarlett on the toilet before her bath and making the grunting and sssing sounds you are supposed to make. The first night she started grunting like me and grunted so hard she peed. I was so excited! So now every time I take her to the bathroom with me or say the word potty she starts grunting, then gets excited when I take out the potty. About half of the time she pees and I have caught 2 poops so far! I am glad she likes it and hope this means she will potty train early!


 Sitting on the toilet!


This is how she runs around after sitting on the toilet :) She has had such bad diaper rash from teething that I thought some air might do her bum some good. Unfortunately I now have some human pee stains on my carpet to add to the ones Charlie our dog made while we were potty training him!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cousins make Best Friends



Playing with cousin Asher in the dog kennel. 

My Puppy sings to the Piano



Asher (my nephew) and Scarlett playing the piano and Charlie singing!

And she's Walking!

video
Here is a video of Scarlett first starting to walk. She is walking much better now. However she still follows me around all day and hangs on my legs.

Spending time with Hubby

Chris and I recently got to go on our first overnight vacation away from Scarlett. It was hard to leave her with Grandma but I knew that Chris and I needed time away. Not that we don't love being with our daughter, but I believe it is extremely important to keep a close relationship with your husband. I think it is hard sometimes as a mom to be able to give time to your husband when you are so busy taking care of the children. This time away was good for us to reconnect and keep the romance alive. So anyways for our getaway we went to Bemidji to see Skillet. For those of you who don't know Skillet is an AMAZING rock Christian group. Chris and I have went to almost every concert they have had within 2 hours of us since we started dating. So far we have been to 5 concerts. We left in the early afternoon and were able to go out to eat before the concert. The concert was awesome. We were in the fourth row and even got to touch John Copper's (the lead singer) hand!! The other bands opening for Skillet were We as Human, Manafest, and Disciple. The next day we got to spend time at Itasca State Park. It was beautiful and actually very warm for November!




I feel like a monster! I totally want a little skillet onesie with that saying on it for Scarlett! 


At Itasca!

All in all, we had a wonderful time, but I was very happy to get home to Scarlett. She did pretty well at Grandma's and was only up a couple of times so it went better than I thought it would.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Scarlett's Wellness Check-up

Yesterday we had Scarlett's wellness check-up. She weighed in at 17.9lbs. She is still a peanut in the 10th percentile, but I am not worried about her weight anymore. I have decided that I don't think I am really going to do wellness check-ups anymore and will just take her to the doctor when needed. I have also just thought about taking her to Dr. Molly my midwife who is also a naturopathic doctor, but of course insurance doesn't cover those type of visits. I always wonder why insurance doesn't cover natural medicine? Anyways Scarlett is doing perfectly fine and is meeting all of her milestones. We haven't done any vaccines and I am not sure if we are going to or not. I got the "stink-eye" from the nurse practitioner we see and the lecture about how I really should consider getting her vaccinated soon. I continually go back and forth. I was trained as a nurse so you are basically indoctrinated into the belief that every child should have every single vaccine because the diseases will come back if you don't. And I get this idea because children can die from some of these diseases and do, but I also fear some of the things they put into the vaccines. So long story short we haven't done vaccines yet and I am not worrying to much about it since Scarlett is home with me and has been given breastmilk. By the way I am so excited because I counted ounces in the freezer last night and if she continues eating the same amount we will make it to 1 year! God bless my milk donating momma's!

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm Blessed: By a Wonderful Mother-in-law


I have decided to start writing some I'm Blessed posts as part of He sows, She sows I'm Blessed series. I realize that I can sometimes be a pessimist and  think that writing a I'm Blessed post will get me thinking about the good things in life. 

This week I am going to write about how blessed I am to have such a wonderful mother-in-law. I know you may be thinking did you just write mother-in-law. Yup, that's what I wrote. 

Truth be told my mother-in-law and I have not always seen eye to eye. When I first starting dating Chris, I am sure she was thinking he son was crazy for dating me. You see I know that I can sometimes be very opinionated and that did not go well with her. I also think some of it had to do with the fact that Chris is her baby boy and she was just being protective. Anyways we got into a few arguments and when Chris told her we were getting married I am sure she was not that excited. But awhile after we were married things started getting better. I was learning to keep some opinions to myself and I think she was getting used to the idea her son was a married man now. Then, we told them about being pregnant with Scarlett and things got kind of tough again. I think it was hard enough for her to see her son as a husband, but now she would have to see him as a father. Add into that the fact that I was super hormonal! But I prayed that things would change.


And they did the day Scarlett was born. Her and my father-in-law were such a support. My parents had gone south for the winter and Chris went on a business trip 3 weeks after she was born. Scarlett was colicky and they would come over to hold Scarlett so I could sleep. My mother-in-law also came over to clean for me! That was the best. She also supported me in breastfeeding when everyone else, including my whole family kept telling me to give it up and bottlefeed. She even came with me to appointments in Fargo with a lactation consultant. Even when I talked to her about my birth she just listened. She never butted in and said just get over it at least you have a healthy baby. And for that I am so grateful. She held me when I cried and listened when I wanted to talk. Through all of this we have become close and she has become like another mother to me. She is so good with Scarlett and watches her all the time. I think next to me, both her grandma's are her favorites (shh, don't tell dad). Even now she never tells me how I should be raising Scarlett even though I do things different from what she is used to. She is truly a blessing and I am lucky to have her in my life.


Grandma and Scarlett

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guilt and Mommyhood

Do guilt and motherhood just go hand in hand? It was a question asked one day in my mom's group. According to many of the women attending, they do. It was refreshing to talk to other women about this because it is something that I believe we all struggle with from time to time.

 Lately, I have been feeling guilty about not continuing to try and breastfeed more. I know that I did the best that I could and after 5 1/2 months I just couldn't do it anymore. I did the whole pumping thing but I still felt bad about not being able to nurse her. And when people ask me if I am still nursing I get sad when I have to say no. If they are bottlefeeders they give me the "well, its okay breastfeeding is hard for almost everyone" and if they are die hard lactivists they give me a look that says well if you would have tried a little harder or hung in there a little longer it might have worked. Both responses make me feel sad. I know breastfeeding isn't hard for everyone and alot of times if you stick it out for awhile things will get better and I know that. But I feel I did the best I could in the situation given to me.

So I guess the question is why do we feel guilty? If we know we are doing the best we can why do we still feel that way?

While I don't necessarily have the answer for you, I have some thoughts on why guilt can be a good thing. I believe having some feelings of guilt means we care. It means that we want the best for our children and being imperfect people we cannot always give them the best. However, I also believe we should not let guilt consume us. We need to realize that we did and are doing the best we can in the situations given us. And I am trying to take my own advice!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

World Milk Sharing Week




It's World Milk Sharing week and I just thought I would write up a little post about my experience with milk sharing. First of all I am so incredibly grateful to the three wonderful women, two found through Facebook's Human Milk for Human Babies and one friend, who have shared their milk with Scarlett and I. I am proud to say that because of these wonderful women Scarlett has been given only breastmilk! In the last two months my milk supply has started to dramatically decrease despite pumping 6-7 times a day and some days of power pumping. I was only making 10-15oz per day which was definitely not enough for Scarlett. Thanks to some wonderful donors I did not have to use formula. I have decreased my pumping sessions now to 3-4 times a day because I was starting to go crazy. Scarlett is so mobile now and into everything. I was also feeling bad about spending so much time with my pump and not enough time with my daughter. I am only making 8-10 oz now but with my donors support will hopefully be able to keep Scarlett on breastmilk til she is about 10 1/2 or 11 months. So all in all, I am so thankful to you wonderful women who pump out your extra milk for those of us struggling to make enough!! I will forever be indebted to you! I wish more women would consider the option of milksharing vs formula feeding.

Milksharing Websites:
Milkshare: http://milkshare.birthingforlife.com/
Human Milk for Human Babies: http://www.facebook.com/hm4hb
Eats on Feets: http://www.facebook.com/EatsOnFeetsHome
CafeMom Sharemilk:http://www.cafemom.com/group/37369?email_id=619947591

In case your like some of my family and unsure about the possible dangers of milksharing vs formula feeding this article by PHD in parenting addresses some of those concerns:
http://www.phdinparenting.com/2010/11/28/risks-of-informal-breastmilk-sharing-versus-formula-feeding/

So Happy Milksharing Week!! And if you are breastfeeding I urge you to consider milksharing! It may make a difference for some wonderful child and his/her mother struggling to make enough!

Please feel free to comment on your experiences with milksharing or your thoughts on the subject.

Friday, September 16, 2011

First Thresherman's Show


Every year in September the small town I grew up in hosts a Thresherman's show complete with tractor pulls, steam engines, a saw mill, and old homes. I have not missed a year and was even queen of steam back in the day. This was Scarlett's first year attending. She had so much fun looking around and watching Grandpa work in the saw mill. 



Watching Grandpa work at the saw mill.




I love this picture! She loves her Grandpa!


Her first train ride which she surprisingly slept through!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My little 8 month old!


Scarlett is now 8 months old! A lot has changed even in the past few weeks. She is growing up way to fast!
 Playing in her toys. She is now getting up and standing on everything! I guess it is time to start baby proofing the house!

This is her favorite place to be in the kitchen. She loves looking at her reflection and yelling Ma-ma-ma!


 Trying to get over the gate. Sometimes she just sits there and cries because the gate is in the way and she can't get to her favorite toy, the dog's water dish!


Just lately she started crawling normally. Surprisingly she is pretty fast, however if she really wants to move she still reverts to using the army crawl.

 

Just a couple of days ago I ran up the stairs to grab something and came back down to this! Little Stinker! Time to break out the baby gates for the stairs I guess.

I can't believe how much she is changing and growing. I feel like she has been with us forever, but time seems to have flown by. I am enjoying this stage much better than the colicky newborn stage. She is so fun to interact and play with. She loves her puppies, anything that is not a toy and she shouldn't be playing with, and most of all me! It can be challenging at times, but it melts my heart when she gets upset when anyone else is holding her and reaches for me yelling mama. We are working on some baby sign language. I know she understands some words but the only one she has started sign is "more". She LOVES her baby food and has started to enjoy baby mum-mum's and cheerios. How she can eat so much and still be so little sometimes baffles me. Then I am reminded of how much she moves throughout the day. She occasionally sleeps through the night, but is usually up at least once or twice during the night. She did go through a spurt of about 2 weeks where she was up 5-6times a night. Thank goodness that only lasted 2 weeks!

All is all, she is a much happier baby now that she can move. She loves for us to help her walk and I am sure she will be even happier when she can do it herself. She is one determined little girl!