Friday, May 29, 2009

And I love him!

My hubby. Today is his birthday. In honor of him, let me tell you about our first date. Our first date was a disaster. A total disaster. But for some reason, I said I would go out with him again...and again...and again.

I met my hubby about six years ago. Actually, the first time I met him was when he brought my older sister back home from a date, and I ate all the Max & Erma cookies they had. I had opinions of him: geeky, weird, uber-Mormon family, socially awkward, unpopular, super righteous, always wears tacky button up shirts that are always tucked into his jeans. But I didn't really know him. He went on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and my family moved in behind his parents' house. I wasn't living with my family at the time, because I was living with my grandfather to be closer to the college campus I was attending.

Shortly after Hubs got back from his mission, my mom gave him my phone number and told him to call me. Because, you know, "she's lonely". Thanks, mom.

And guess what? He called me. That night.

The plan for our first date was to go ice skating. It would have been perfect: the Hubs could show off with his superior ice skating skills, he could skate by my side as I struggled to keep my feet underneath my body, effectively wooing me into loving him for all time and eternity. It was not to be. The ice rink was booked for a little league hockey game.

Instead, we went to see a movie. Night at the Museum. We got drinks and snacks and sat down. The movie started, and so did the dialogue. And the ice crunching. Crunch, crunch, crunch, laugh, "Did you see that?"...crunch, crunch..."The monkey has the keys!" Yes, I saw that. Yes, the monkey has the keys. I AM watching the same movie as you are!

After the movie, I excused myself to the ladies' room. When I came back out, there was the Hubs, chatting away with two other Spanish. "Did you know them?" I asked as we left the theater. "Nope, they were just speaking Spanish. And I know Spanish. So I started talking to them." And off to dinner we went. To a Mexican restaurant. Which was totally alright with me, because I LOVE Mexican food. But there was more Spanish speaking, and a little bit of awkward food sharing. After some more meandering around town, the date was over.

I went out with him again, and again. Two months after that first date, he held my hand. Something was happening. I was enjoying his company. Two and a half months after that first date he kissed me (which is a great story in itself). Something was there. I knew I loved him. And he loved me. He asked me to marry him three months after our first date. Needless to say, I said yes.

He is still geeky. But I'm a nerd in my own sort of way, so that's OK. He is still weird, but it is the kind of weird that makes me love him even more. He is still from an uber-Mormon family, but we have met in the middle and compromised in ways that marriage can bring about (and, really, my family could be considered uber-Mormon, too. Our families are just very different in how openly private topics are addressed.) He is still kind of socially awkward, but he has friends, and he knows how to speak to people. Sometimes I just feel the need to tell him to say some things, or keep him from saying other things (but that may be the control freak in me rearing its ugly head). He may still be unpopular, even though I don't really know if he ever was, but the unpopularity extends to me, too. People think we're odd because we are so crunchy. He is still super righteous, but now that I'm not an immature teenager, that is a wonderful trait to own. And, he still wears tacky button up shirts tucked into his jeans, but only when his super hot button up shirts (the ones I picked out for him) are dirty.

He is so wonderful. He is handsome. He is manly. He is sweet. He is gentle. He is kind. He is a great father, husband, friend. He causes in me a desire to be a better person. I am so excited for the eternity I have to be with him! I am so excited for the eternity of birthdays we will have to share, and the opportunities they give to reminisce about how blessed we are to have eachother.

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oh, Pump!

Reposted from 8/8/08.

When is the best time to pump? While nursing the baby at the same time, of course! Babe on one side, pump on the other. I hate pumping! I would rather just nurse my baby. But, my sanity (or is it my husband?) requires time away from mothering, at least in small doses. Unfortunately, small doses still necessitate at least 4oz. of breast milk. And in Bug's case, more like 8oz. Cute lil' bugger already eats like a man! I must be bad at pumping...or my pump is bad at pumping...because it takes FOREVER to pump 4oz. And, because I hate pumping so much, I want to limit my sessions to only one or two before the milk is needed. That means I have to pump FOREVER a day or two before my evening out with hubby. Seriously, I am the last person you will find with a "breast milk bank" in their freezer!

This weekend is my anniversary weekend. Yes, yes, thanks for the congrats. And, you guessed it, I need to pump. So, I get out my pump, hook it all up. I even get out an extension cord, so I can sit comfortably on the couch! That bright orange, heavy duty extension cord also helps me feel like I'm really working looks just like the cord my dad would use on site when he was building houses! Anyway, back to the couch. I have Bug there hooked on, and I quickly get the pump on the other side before I have a letdown. Success! Hurrah! Joy! I feel like a prize dairy cow issuing liquid gold! And then Bug pulls off to find out what that noise is (my pump whirring away on the next boob over)...darn curiosity of a 3 month old boy. Did I mention I JUST had a letdown. Milk is spraying all over my poor son, and I am trying to get him re-latched on. In the meantime, I have let go of the pump, the seal breaks and loses suction, and all my precious letdown milk is going to waste. Now I feel like I just got my water bill after unsuccessfully trying to fix a leaky faucet. BUT, I will prevail. I get both baby and pump back where they belong and I'm going again. Sitting comfortably on the couch is a joke. I am completely uncomfortable...although I'm still on the couch. I have baby on one arm, the other hand is holding the pump to my breast, and I'm leaning forward just enough to keep the milk from collecting in the top part of the pump. And I'm trying to keep Bug from kicking the pump out of my grip. I hold this position for half an hour. FINALLY, I have close enough to 4oz. that I'm satisfied...and a sleeping baby. That's what I call success.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Please Research: Attachment Parenting

I promised you all a "Please Research" post on Attachment Parenting. So, you're gonna get a "Please Research" post on Attachment Parenting.

I really feel like I need to issue a warning to my readers, though. My "Please Research" posts are almost all about pretty controversial stuff (i.e., co-sleeping vs CIO, circumcision, vaccinations). I once had a professor who would tell the class that every religion believes that they are the true religion, and that they should believe that. If they didn't, they shouldn't be in that religion, but in one that they do believe is correct. I feel the same way about parenting. I believe that the way I parent is the right way. That's why I parent that way. Any type of parenting that is different (specifically those that are drastically different), I DO NOT agree with. I do, however, respect the rights of parents everywhere to choose how they will parent their children. But, I cannot respect a parent who makes choices without researching the options. If the options were researched, and a parent still chooses differently from what I would, I will still respect them. I won't agree with them; but it's their choice, not mine. I would hope that other parents feel the same way, and respect others' parenting practices, regardless of whether or not they agree with them.

*Phew*! Now we have that out of the way. The reason I brought that up is because I know some of the things I say may potentially offend others. I don't want to offend others. I DO want people to be informed. I can't do all the research for you, and nobody should do the research for you (not even a doctor....well, you can rely on other to do the initial research, which most of us don't have the resources to complete.) All I can do is tell you how I feel, and possibly introduce topics of research that you may not have considered before.

Attachment parenting (AP) is a style of parenting that encompasses nearly all in which I firmly believe. There are always ways to manipulate the style to suit your own personal tastes, which I have done. But, there is a basic core to AP. I have mentioned the Drs. Sears before, and this post would be seriously missing something if I didn't mention them here! Dr. William Sears is the modern go-to doc for AP. I say modern, because people have been practicing AP since the beginning of man. Doc Sears is just the most recent guy to be an AP advocate. His website, is a great resource for a lot of parenting issues.

More specifically, Dr. Sears addresses AP and has come up with The 7 Baby B's of AP. These are just 7 different things that parents can do to practice AP. Please refer to the linked article for the whole explanation of each item.
1. Birth Bonding: get to know your babe right after birth. A natural birth is most conducive to bonding, for both mother and baby.
2. Breastfeeding: know when baby is hungry, and respond with close contact and intimate time.
3. Babywearing: keep your baby close, he is used to you, and wants to be with you.
4. Bedding close to baby: continue keeping your baby close, respond quickly to baby's needs.
5. Belief in the language value of your baby's cry: your baby can only communicate by crying. Listen to him!
6. Beware of baby trainers: babies aren't used to schedules. They may not sleep through the night. They may be hungry, even if you just finished a feeding a short time ago. Babies don't understand schedules, and they shouldn't have to.
7. Balance: baby needs attention, dad needs attention, and mom needs to give herself some, too!

I think that AP is the most natural parenting style. It should come naturally. It is based on the idea that parents will listen to their children, determine their needs, and act upon them. I think it is the way we were intended to parent.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The things we do for them.

Once you become a parent, you become crazy. Really, stinkin', absolutely crazy. Ok, well...maybe it's just a mom thing. And maybe it really doesn't only happen once you become a parent. Sometimes you can be really crazy all the time. Whichever way, I can't get out of it. I am pretty much crazy.

My cousin got married this past Monday in Nauvoo, IL. It was beautiful to be in the House of the Lord with my family. It always is.

For the occasion, the Hubs, Bug and I all hopped in our car and drove the 8-9 hours to Nauvoo. We left Friday at about 9pm Ohio time. We arrived in Nauvoo at about 4am Illinois time. This is where we were being crazy. I drove most of the way, because the Hubby can't handle night driving as well as I can. As a consequence, I didn't sleep AT ALL until we got to Nauvoo. And then I only slept about an hour before we walked around Historic Nauvoo. And I only slept that hour cramped up in our car...because NOTHING IS OPEN AT 4AM...NOT EVEN THE FRONT DESK OF THE HOTEL WE RESERVED. Isn't that crazy!?!

Here is a list of our excuses for being so crazy:
-We love being spontaneous. We weren't planning on leaving until early Saturday morning. But, with the excitement of a vacation and seeing family again, we packed up the car and left.
-Bug sleeps when he is in the car. So, he would sleep the whole way almost if we drive at night. Then he would sleep that night well. If we drove during the day, he would sleep in the car during the day, and he would want to stay up all night.
-Less traffic.

Wow...what a little list. I'm not sure if it was worth it or not to drive all night. But Bug did handle the trip really well. By the time we arrived at our destination, though, I was completely slap-happy, delirious, paranoid and hallucinating. I swear that I suffer from schizophrenia induced by sleep deprivation. I turn into a complete psycho.

All in all, the trip was fun. But, boy oh boy, are we glad to be back home!

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's a flower...really.

Bug finds the craziest things to play with. I am willing to bet that half of the "toys" in his toy box aren't really toys. They are just random household items that Bug thinks are his toys. I don't let him play with anything that will hurt him or that he could hurt (like scissors, or my razor, or my nice camera). But for the most part, I don't want to fight him over it all, so I let him play with the junk. Who knew a kid would love a whisk so much!?

One of these non-toys that Bug loved to play with was my toothbrush. Well, a new toothbrush, still in the package. All pretty and pink. Just waiting for my old toothbrush to die, so it could fulfill its duty and clean my pearly whites. Bug had pulled it out of one of our bathroom drawers. (That is so annoying, because now everything that was in the drawers, is now cluttering my bathroom counter top. And the drawers are full of Bug's items...and I think one of my socks.)

Anyway, Bug would play with this packaged toothbrush like it was the coolest toy -ever-. He would pound it on anything and everything. He would carry it around like baby baton...I'm sure he even threw it a couple of times. He would dig through this toy box with it. Oh, the memories.

Then, one day, Bug took the packaged toothbrush outside with him.

Just so you know, we live on the top floor of our apartment building. It's only the second floor, but it's still the top. And we have a lovely balcony, with a nice wooded area, lots of birds (including the coolest woodpeckers) and squirrels. Our downstairs neighbor has a little garden that we can look down on from one side of our balcony.

Back to Bug, outside with his toothbrush toy. Soon enough, I heard him whining about something. So, I went out to check on him. And there he sat. On the garden side of the balcony. With his hands and head pressed against the railing. I leaned over the railing to see what he was looking at.

And all I could do was laugh. Hard. And a lot.

For there in that little garden below, was a new flower. A pretty, pink, and packaged toothbrush flower. Stuck in the dirt, sticking straight up. Beautiful. But, I don't think our neighbors would much appreciate the beauty of a toothbrush flower. I ran downstairs, outside, around and discreetly picked the flower, then returned to my apartment. I cleaned off the dirt and returned the "toy" to Bug.

And just today, Bug figured out how to open the package of that toothbrush flower, and I found him with my toothbrush, sans package, in his little mouth.

"Here, Bug, why don't you play with this whisk, instead?"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My little magpie

Bug likes corners. Any kind of corners. He will stand up and lean into a corner. Or he will sit down and lounge in a corner. Or he will lay down in a corner. There are a few corners in our home that are his favorites. One of them is formed by our TV stand and the wall, next to our patio door. One of them is next to the half wall and cabinets in the kitchen/dining room. One of them is next to our filing cabinet and a wall. And another one is behind the TV stand.

This last corner is a little bit different than the other corners. First of all, we have a basket full, and overflowing with blankets right behind the TV. This serves a double purpose: it keeps Bug from getting into the TV cords (our TV is at an angle to the wall, so the back is exposed), and it provides easy access to blankets for snuggling on the couch. Then, right next to the basket of blankets, we have a paper shredder...which I keep unplugged unless I need to use it. Really, it isn't an ideal place for a paper shredder, but that is where it is. And Bug loves it there. He sits in that little corner, with his arm draped over the shredder. It is quite adorable.

Bug also plays with my old cell phone. It still has some battery life. He loves the lights and the noises that it makes. But, the battery doesn't last long.

Well, last night, the hubs and I were sitting on the couch. He was playing Chocobo's Dungeon, I was reading Sherlock Holmes. Bug was playing on the floor (then nursing, then playing on the floor, then nursing). We were enjoying our relaxing evening. Then....Ba-Doop.

"I guess the battery on Bug's phone is dying."

Then 5 minutes later (or was it 10? 15? I lose track of time when I read)....Ba-Doop. Hmmm....usually the phone goes downhill so fast that it completely shuts off after the first warning.

Ba-Doop! 5/10/15 minutes. Ba-Doop! 5/10/15 minutes. Ba-Doop!

Finally, we were annoyed. It was time for bed. And time to find the stupid phone and smash it into a million tiny pieces turn it off.

My mother's instinct is really good at finding things, so after one more call for help from the dying phone, I walked right over to Bug's paper shredder corner and found the phone (and turned it off, directly). But, to my great surprise, there was more than just an old, dying cell phone back there.

I found a Best Buy membership card paper, a nose sucker (nasal aspirator), two cars of Bug's toy train, a miniature basketball, a blue MegaBlok, and a computer mouse. There may or may not have been a couple of Cheerios, too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

This is OUR day.

Mothers. Wonderful mothers.

Today is our day. The day where we should be sitting on the couch with our feet up, enjoying the calming music of our choice in an otherwise quiet house. Notice I said "should". My wonderful husband has done so much to help me out today. But still the babe refuses to take a decent nap and cries for his mother. Perhaps that is how it should be (not the refusing to take a decent nap part, but the desire to be with mom is...flattering).

I read a post today that made me say, "Yep!" Really, that's all I could say, because it was so right. I think you should go read it: My mom is my sunrise by The Chocolate Chip Waffle.

And in the same vein as the post by that delicious and chocolaty breakfast food, I would like to say a few things about my own mother. I, too, feel that my mom is my sunrise. She is all glam and fun. In fact, she would prefer to be called "Glammy" rather than any other form of "Grandma". She laughs at every joke. Her house isn't clean, but her clothes are neat. She isn't always on time, but her hair is always done. She tucked me into bed (with a lullaby included, if requested) until I was about 12 years old, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I love her hugs. Her listening ear. I love how mischievous she is, and that she was willing to take me with her to sneak around, all dressed in black and in the middle of the night, at the church girl's camp where my younger sisters were (which, by the way, isn't a great idea if you want to get invited to camp later on. But it sure was fun). She let me exercise my agency and exert my independence. And she let me cry on her shoulder when I discovered that I was learning things the hard way. I love how she looks all in white, in the House of the Lord. There she has a tear in her eye as she gives me a hug, and I remember, this is eternal. Oh yes, my mother is most definitely my sunrise.

And, here I am now. A mother. That shiny, dried crust on my shoulder is my badge of honor. My secret handshake is the ability to dry tears and lay my child down to sleep. I've said once before, that being a mother (specifically a stay-at-home mother) IS the hardest job you can have, because it is 24/7...and you have to PAY SOMEONE ELSE to get a break...and the whole time you are on that break, you are worrying about whether or not you will have a job to come back to. I may not get paid with money. For now, I get paid with snuggles, giggles and tummy raspberries. And blessings galore.

And, yes dear (thank you), back rubs!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I learned a lesson.

Yesterday morning, I learned a lesson. On patience. On parenting. On nature. On God. On love.

Sometimes, as I'm sure all you parents out there know...especially you stay-at-home mothers, kids can make you want to pull your hair out of your scalp by the handful. That was how I was feeling yesterday morning. I was trying to open the screen door to let a visiting firefly back out. And I couldn't get that stupid door open. What the heck!?! Bug was screaming bloody murder for some reason, of which I wasn't entirely sure. In a huff of frustrated psycho-mom madness, I called my husband to demand, "What the heck did you do to the screen door? And why can't I get it open!?" (Keep in mind the screaming baby in the background. That makes for one dramatic phone call!) Turns out, you can lock a screen door. And the lock is super secret, and sneaky, and highly undetectable.

Then, I worked some sort of magic to settle Bug down. We nursed, we played, we took a shower. After the shower, Bug was in my closet, getting into the bottom drawer of my dresser. The bottom drawer is special. It holds my lotion and smelly sprays and all other kinds of girly stuff. Bug thinks the bottom drawer is his. He pulled out a spray bottle. Tangerine Grapefruit body mist. And he pulled the little plastic lid off. And put it in his mouth.

"No, Bug! You cannot put that in your mouth. It might choke you. Give it to me." I held my hand out to him. He didn't acquiesce. I continued with strained gentleness, "Can mommy please have that?"

Usually, Bug will give me whatever is in his mouth if I ask and hold my hand out...unless he really wants whatever is in his mouth. Apparently, he really wanted the plastic lid. So, I fished it out, replaced it on the bottle, shut the drawer, and we left the closet together.

Bug was not happy. He cried. He bawled. He screamed. He clenched his little fists and flopped around like a fish on the floor. His throat sounded raw as he told me in his own way how he did not want to give up that "toy". I held his tantrum-limp body in my arms. I was getting frustrated. I was getting angry. Why should he get so upset over something so silly!? I plopped down on the couch and started nursing Bug, to stem the torturous cries and save both of our lives.

He nursed through the after-cry hiccups. And patted and rubbed the exposed skin on my chest, my arm, my face. And he closed his eyes. But the screen door was open still, and a nearby cardinal started singing. Loudly. I cringed, and glanced at Bug every time the bird called. I cursed the bird for being so loud. "You're going to keep my baby from sleeping!!! Or you are going to wake him up!!!" I thought angrily.

But Bug continued sleeping. And I was humbled.

The crisp sound of a bird, so beautiful, so pure, did not keep my child awake. What right did I have to scorn the lovely music? My God created this bird, this melody. He created it to bring us joy, comfort, peace. Bug would go to sleep just fine, if I could only be patient and let him relax. Perhaps, he could even fall asleep while enjoying the song of a bird. I closed my eyes and listened. The birds and wind. The distant vehicles. The hum of my comfortable life. The gentle breathing of my child, interrupted occasionally by the staccato of recent tears. He was upset because his "toy" was taken away, he was tired, and his mother was being sharp and angry with him. But he could relax when he was in his mother's loving arms. Calm. Listening to a gift from God. This is love. And I learned a lesson.

[Be sure to check out all the updated links at the bottom of my last post for the carnival, "What Nursing a Toddler Looks Like".]

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Joys, Humors and Struggles of...

Nursing a toddler!

TopHat is having a carnival: "This is what Nursing a Toddler Looks Like". And I'm joining in the fun. [Links to other carvival posts will be added periodically throughout today at the bottom of this post.]

This is what nursing a toddler is like in our home:

-While laying in bed, the hubs asks, "Is he still latched on?" even though Bug has his butt in the air or his feet in dad's face or he is spinning around like a crocodile tearing off a hunk of his prey. The answer is..."yes".

-The time it takes to unhook my nursing bra is longer than the time Bug takes nursing.

-By the time I get my bra re-hooked, Bug has run around the room (adding to the mess) and is back for another snack. So we begin again with the unhooking and two second nursing (going bra less makes this snack and run SO much easier!)

-Nursing raspberries, enough said!

-On a daily basis, I have to help Bug to correct his latch so his teeth aren't threatening the well-being of my nipple...especially because he's gotten lazy with his latch (after all, there are so many more important things in his life!)

-When I get prepared for nursing, Bug watches me and laughs...unless he is really ready to nurse, then he lays down on my lap (even if it isn't the right way) and practically hyperventilates trying to reach and latch on (even if I'm not completely ready for him).

-If my shirt shows ANY cleavage, Bug is trying to pull it down to nurse.

-If my shirt does NOT show cleavage, Bug is trying to pull it up to nurse.

-Sometimes Bug will want a snack of mommy milk while he is snacking on something else. This usually means I'll end up with soggy Cheerios stuck to my breast. Well...cereal and milk do go hand in hand!

-Toddlers, as you may know, are notorious for getting hurt. Last week, we had a picnic at the park. Bug was walking around everywhere, carrying sticks that were three times his size and eating anything he picked up off the ground. Inevitably, he biffed it and got a quarter sized scratch on his noggin'. But, he barely cried, because he had what we have dubbed "Magic Mommy Milk"! Turns out I really do have super powers!

And that's what nursing a toddler looks like.

Enjoy more of the carnival:
Nursing an [Older] Toddler
Nursing A (And Around A) Toddler Creates Cute Stories
"This is what Nursing a Toddler Looks Like" at My Seaside Retreat
I Never Thought I'd Nurse A Toddler
Comfort in Sick Times (This is TopHat, the Carnival master!)
Nursing a Toddler in a Ring Sling
The Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding a Toddler
My nursing toddler story
A Breastfeeding Toddler Photoshoot
This is a nursing toddler
Beautiful at Every Age
This is what nursing a toddler looks like at Three Girl Pile-up
This is what nursing a toddler looks like at Permission to Mother
This is what nursing a toddler looks like at Mama's Apple Cores

Friday, May 1, 2009

"How old is he?"

I get asked this question ALL THE TIME. I probably get asked this question almost as often (but not quite) as this blog gets hit by searching Google for "banana poop". (I'm glad my blog has that kind of fame!)

Anyway, back to the question that everyone is dying to know. I'm going to answer it for you today-as long as you promise not to ask me again next week! And the answer is...


Holy Mackerel!!! When did that happen!?! I could go on and on all about Bug today, but that's what this whole blog is about, so you might as well search the archives and stay tuned for future stories. (Yeah, click that button on the right that says "Follow"!)

I will tell you some things though. For starters, my son's name isn't really Bug. Duh! I just refer to him as Bug on here to protect us. Although, any fraud or psychopath could probably figure out who we are anyway. Also, "Bug" is a term of endearment on my husband's side of the family. I almost never call the little guy Bug. Mostly I call him Beaner Wiener...or by his real name, of course.

Bug is my first born (and so far, only) child. He has those stereotypical first born traits being totally independent. He is also 100% boy. But that may be a product of societal norms, fatherly expectations, etc. Actually, he does like to cuddle quite a bit, so maybe he is only 98% boy. Then again, he also like to eat dirt...hmmm...he's 100% boy (or at least 99.99%).

He's such a smart kid, and a total joy (except when he's not). He keeps me laughing every day. The tender emotions I feel when I think about my son give me teary eyes. Nothing could have prepared me for being a mother. It is such a powerful and mighty responsibility. I'm so glad I'm a mom to this fabulous child. And I look forward, with eager anticipation, to the many adventures and laments to come.


Hey, leave me alone! I'm allowed to put up a couple of pictures and brag on his birthday!