Thursday, November 29, 2007

Top 10 things that have saved my life as a new mom

10. A 32oz portable water container. When you're constantly nursing, holding or playing with a baby, it's nice to not have to run to refill your water container every 5 minutes.

9. The hotline number for an on-call pediatric nurse. A quick question either needs a quick answer or doesn't warrant the 2 hours it takes to get out of the house with a newborn.

8. Microwavable lunches and easy to make dinners. The bathroom needs to be cleaned, the carpets need to be vacuumed, laundry needs to be folded and none of that is getting done because I have a new little one that takes up all of my time. If none of that is getting done, I certainly don't have the time to sit there every day and spend hours preparing meals.

7. Amazon.com. Whether it's for herbs to increase my nonexistant breastmilk supply, a baby book or some toy that my daughter needs, it's nice to have one place to order all that from. Also, see #9 - it's nice knowing that I can order something and get it in a few days rather than try to run around everywhere with a demanding baby.

6. Brownies. Enough said.

5. Having multiple diaper bags. Leaving one in my car and one in my husband's car ensures my sanity. Otherwise I'd constantly be rechecking the diaper bag to make sure we have everything in it and wondering, as I walk out the door, what I'm missing. We have the two and we have a smaller one that we carry from place to place.

4. Family and friends. Anyone that helps with the diaper fund or the "keep me sane" campaign is a-ok in my book.

3. My camera and video camera. I can already tell that these pictures and videos are going to make prime embarassment and blackmail material later on.

2. My DVR. I rarely get time to watch a full show uninterrupted anymore - DVR allows me to watch my shows on my time (woot - Heroes and America's Next Top Model).

and #1. My swing and bouncy chair. Controversial? Yes. Allows me to get a bite to eat or go to the bathroom without my daughter screaming? Yes. Total life saver? YOU BET!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Internet Parenting

Internet parenting - the newest age of parenting. What is internet parenting? Well, different people might have different definitions, but my definition of internet parenting is parenting that is based on theories learned from or discussed on the internet. But isn't everything discussed on the internet? Yes, it probably is, but I'm talking more about the live discussions that take place online.

At the beginning of my pregancy I didn't have many people to talk with so I was advised to go online and try to find some people to talk to. I found multiple groups of women on CafeMom, Livjournal and iVillage. Throughout my pregnancy I told these women my concerns, questions and took part in various discussions and debates. As time unfolded I found that some of the advice I was given seemed a little strange and some of it seemed even slightly dangerous. After I had my baby everything went to shambles.

I had ideas of how I wanted to raise my daughter. Now all of a sudden I was being told that I was wrong or I was right or I needed to do this or that. I wasn't doing this well enough or I should be doing that instead. I started taking some of the advice because, well, this person on the internet must know what they're talking about, right?

Things became quite a bit harder as I tried to raise my daughter in a fashion that wasn't quite conducive to our lifestyle. I couldn't hold my daughter all the time like fans of baby wearing said I should. I couldn't make enough milk to exclusively breastfeed my daughter like breastfeeding fanatics said I should. Even though I was taking multiple herbs and eating different foods to increase my supply, I still couldn't make enough for my daughter. Regardless of this I was told to stop all supplements. In the same minute I was told by other people in the same group of breastfeeding fanatics not to cut out all supplementation as I obviously needed it. As a new mom I was confused as all heck. Whose advice am I supposed to follow?

Realizing that internet advice may not be the best advice I started second guessing it and looking for advice outside of the internet. I was then told by the people in my life that I needed to disassociate from these people on the advice and their weird advice. What? But I liked some of the advice. I liked the discussions and debates. Although a lot of it was conflicting, a lot of it was helpful to. Oh no! Could this be another bit of conflicting advice? Ack!

While pondering this, I've come to a conclusion. There's internet parenting and then there's parenting. Internet parenting is parenting based on what one is told by the internet. The side effects of this can include confusion, stress, nausea, hair loss and a general feeling of disorientation. Parenting is using one's instincts and to decide the correct course of action while raising the child. Carefully questioning outside advice is important in parenting, but rarely done in internet parenting.

Now that I've had this epiphany I will hopefully focus more on parenting rather than internet parenting. I'd really like to lose most of my stress and grow my hair back so we'll see if I can stay on this new track.

What do you think about internet parenting?

Cosleeping and other parenting issues

Okay, what's the deal with the rest of the world telling me what I should and shouldn't do and what I can and can't do. Here's a tip - my daughter is MY daughter. Did that magically escape everyone's grasp? I feel like the day I had my daughter, all the people that I know decided that they knew what was best and they were going to let me know it! No, I haven't been a parent before. Yes, I HIGHLY appreciate any advice given to me by other PARENTS; however, I'm not always going to take the advice.

There are many different parenting philosophies out there. Some are more "crunchy" than others and although I rarely ever call myself a "crunchy" person, I'm finding that a lot of the things that I do instinctively with my daughter tend to fall into this category.

In the hospital my baby slept in her cradle. I wanted to hold her all the time but was constantly told to put her down to sleep (so that I could get sleep too I imagine). After I came home, I put her in her bassinet to sleep for a few days, but having to get up and down all night while recovering from a c-section just wasn't doing it for me so one night I let her sleep the rest of the night next to me in bed. We haven't stopped since. It's so much easier, both on her and myself I think. At night I put her next to me and let her nurse until she falls asleep. I've usually fallen asleep long before she pops off and goes to sleep herself. When she's hungry, she starts fussing, I latch her back on and we're back to me dozing while she nurses and then we both pass out. Nobody has to get out of the warm bed. Nobody has to scream to bed fed. I've commonly heard that once a baby screams to be fed, it's already too late and if you watch a baby it's true. My daughter will start bobbing her head on me, licking anything near her mouth and sticking her tongue out if she's hungry. If I'm watching for these signs, I know to feed her. By the time she's crying and screaming, it means, "Hey, I already told you I'm hungry, what's the deal?" By her cosleeping, I'm able to feed her when she first tells me she's hungry, not when she's already screaming because I've ignored what she's saying.

What other benefits does cosleeping have for us? Well, I sleep for one. Even with her in bed next to me I check on her breathing multiple times a night. If I can't see it with a glance then I feel her to see if she's breathing. Can you imagine how much sleep I wouldn't get if she were in a separate bassinet? I'd be up all night! Co-sleeping keeps us both warm and I think it increases the bond between us. I also think it makes her a less clingy baby (at least as far as needing to always be on me personally). She gets her cuddle time at night so she doesn't need it all day. Now I'm not saying that she doesn't prefer to be held all the time, who wouldn't. She is, however, content with anyone holding her and this is how I'd like to keep it. Happy with me when I'm home and happy with other people when I can't be there.

So, if co-sleeping is so wrong, why does it feel so right?

Recently people have started telling me (yet again) that I need to start having my daughter sleep in her own bed. At first it was so that she would sleep at daycare. Okay, my daycare lady is awesome and set up a vibrating bassinet in her bedroom and my daughter sleeps great in it! If she doesn't, then she'll sleep in her swing. So she sleeps at daycare - what's the next reason for kicking her out of bed? Ah, so we can have the bed back to ourselves. Okay, well, I think I sleep better with her there. I have a history of insomnia. I can usually sleep a few hours and then I'm up for the rest of the night. With my daughter next to me however, although I check on her throughout the night, I'm actually in bed all night long. I feel more refreshed in the morning than I ever have. Even when I came home from surgery - you'd think I would want to nap by myself but nope. I had my daughter right next to me (elevated so I couldn't roll on her) and we both passed out for a good 2 hour nap. What's the point of making her sleep in her own room if we both sleep fine in bed?

My last thought before I end this is - were babies ever really meant to sleep on their own? I have people in my life who live their lives a certain way and constantly have the mantra - "were we really meant to do this?" I got flak for breastfeeding my daughter because of the difficulties we had (a whole other post) - were babies really meant to drink a cow's milk? Some people don't believe that people shouldn't even be drinking cow's milk because it isn't natural for us and because of the inhumane treatment of the cow. It isn't good enough for them, but it's good enough for my daughter? Were babies really meant to sleep off in a separate cave or other living quarters? Probably not. Children were kept close to their parents due to the ease of feeding and the warmth that the closeness would provde. So why, in today's society, do I have to take my baby and stick her in a separate room or a separate bed?

That's all for now. I've had that playing on my mind for a while and needed to get it out there. Leave me your thoughts, advice, comments or suggestions for getting folks off my back. Hey, if you're against co-sleeping, leave your thoughts as well. Nobody can be informed of their decisions without hearing arguments from both sides.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Digg of the Day: Robotic Roaches!

DOTD: They created robotic roaches in Belgium! Think of the possibilities!

http://digg.com/environment/35_MPG_by_2020_Making_Innovation_a_Reality

Daycare

Lily has been doing great at daycare! Our lady not only got her to take a bottle, but she got her to sleep in the bassinet (with the vibrations on). Sweet!!!! Guess what the best part of all that is - Mike can now give Lily a bottle. In fact, ANYONE can and she takes it with absolutely no problem! This is such a stress reliever for me! Holy cow!

Okay, I'm microwaving some pasta - hasta!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Digg Pick of the Day

DOTD: Earth's gravity could be getting weaker!!!!

Oh noes!

http://www.zmescience.com/a-hundred-years-in-the-future-earths-gravity-could-be-very-weak
I'm recovering well. I finally took off the bandages and found that they went through my belly button instead of next to it. I'm still pretty sore but it's getting better.

Lily is doing great. She had 2 birthday parties on Saturday.

QOTD: What is your Birthday party gift buying philosophy?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

You know, it's an interesting sensation when your belly button throbs in pain. It feels like someone jammed a knife in there and just left it.

The upper incisions are to the point where they only itch now...that is unless my daughter is jamming them with her elbow or kicking them.

Why does the one by my belly button hurt so bad? I'm assuming that's where they take the gall bladder out from, but why?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Digg Pick of the Day

You know, wth, seriously. A boy in Finland posted a warning video on YouTube saying he was going to shoot up his school. Guess what - he killed 8 people and then shot and wounded himself. Fantastic huh. :(

http://digg.com/world_news/Finland_school_massacre_Sturmgeist89_pics
OMG I hurt so much more today than I did yesterday. :(

QOTD: If you've had your gall bladder taken out, how long did it take to heal?

Surgery and Delayed Vaccinations?

I should have posted yesterday....but I didn't. :)

My surgery went well and I am officially gall bladderless. Now I get to deal with being sore as all get up and a whole brand new 4-week recovery period. Sigh. Seems like I just got over the recovery period from my c-section and now we get to start all over again.

Lily is good - poor thing is sore from her shots.

Today's question: Do you delay vaccines or are you planning on it? Why or why not?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lily had her two week appointment today. Poor thing got 3 shots and an oral virus medication. :( As of today, the bug is 24 inches long, 12lbs 9oz and has a 39cm head. At birth she was 21.5 inches, 8lbs 15oz and had a 14inch head.

She's growing quite well. ;D

Leopard Docks

So, if you have the new Leopard on your mac, you'll be happy to know that you can change the look and feel of your dock!

Once you find a dock you like (here and LeopardDocks.com are good places to start) download and unarchive the zip file. You should end up with 4 files - scurve-sm.png, scurve-m.png, scurve-l.png and scurve-xl.png.

Open a new finder window and go to System-Library-CoreServices and find the Dock. Right click and go to Show Package Contents. Once there go to Contents-Resources and find the current scurve-sm.png, scurve-m.png, scurve-l.png and scurve-xl.png files. Copy these and back them up somewhere if you ever want your original dock again. Once you have them backed up, delete them. You'll need your password for this. Once they are gone take your new scurve-sm.png, scurve-m.png, scurve-l.png and scurve-xl.png files and copy them into the Resources folder. A window asking you to "authenticate" or "cancel" will appear. Click "authenticate," put in your password and voila, the files should appear in the folder.

Now you'll need to reload your dock. Open a terminal window (I prefer to use spotlight to do this - hold down the apple key and the space bar until the blue spotlight bar appears in the upper right hand corner, type "terminal" and hit enter). Once Terminal is open, type killall Dock. The dock should disappear and then come back with the new look.

Below find some docks that I have created. Click here to download the original dock. Remember, for more great docks visit LeopardDocks.com.

Click on the screenshot to download the zip file.





Last night was bath night! Maybe we need to bathe her more often. After her bath she had a snack and then slept for an hour. At the end of that hour we went to bed (she would have kept sleeping if we didn't move her). She nursed for a few minutes in bed and then was out for 5 hours! Good girl! She's snoozing now in her swing.

Anyone else find themselves getting up early just to get some morning help with le babe before the hubby leaves? She was sleeping and I could have slept some more, but it's so much easier to take my vitamins, check my email and eat some breakfast if Dad watches the bug for a little bit in the morning. Which is more important, breakfast or sleeping?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Well, Lily did well at my pre-op appointment. I woke her up an hour and a half before I left, fed her an hour before and then she actually slept until I was literally walking out of the door of the hospital. Good girl. :) Still not sure what's wrong with her though. She usually sleeps much longer. Another thing - every time I get on the computer she starts crying. Punk. ;)
Lol - she's snoozing again. Silly girl. We'll see how long it lasts this time before she starts crying. She's been awake for 3 hours - shouldn't she be getting sleepy?
Just kidding - she is now awake and crying. Ack! I have a pre-op appointment for my surgery today at 12. I have to do paperwork and have blood drawn. How am I supposed to do that with a baby that won't sleep?
Man, Lily is acting so strange lately! Yesterday she would not sleep at all! I mean, she would have a 10-15 minute catnap here and there if we were holding her, but the minute we put her down she was wide awake and angry as alllllll heck. The upside is that she slept great last night. She slept for a 5 hour stretch and then another 2 hour stretch.

I wonder why she's not sleeping at all during the day? It's a long time for her to sleep at night, but the girl needs to sleep during the day as well.

I put her in her swing and she's starting to doze off now. We'll see if she stays asleep. She's been dozing off and then waking up when she realizes that she isn't being held.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Alright, what's the deal? Lately Lily has been waking up SCREAMING. Not looking around or cooing like normal, but full on screaming.

Anyone else have experience with this?

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