Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Tale of Two Homes

On Sunday night, the Hubs gently reminded me that we were going to be having guests over the next evening. I was sitting on the living room floor at our "diaper changing station", diaper in hand, trying to coax Bug over so I could change his sagging bottom. I looked around at our living room. From my point of view, I could see that there were smashed Goldfish over by the couch. Dried Play-Doh crumbs scattered here and there. A week's worth of crusty who-knows-what's under Bug's high chair. Ripped pieces of Bug's markered art work flung about the room. A disheveled pile of blankets. Jackets and shoes. Spilled dirt from the beautiful and fragrant hyacinth that was recently given to us and placed on an overly cluttered mantle. Important documents (probably bills long needing to be paid) piled up on the counter. Dirty dished stacked up by the sink. Shiny smears on the kitchen table, probably indicating spilled milk that didn't get wiped up. Toys...lots of them and all out of place. And I probably haven't counted everything!

I thought about all the work I would have to do the next morning to get this place ready for company, and my pregnant body groaned in protest. I had a sudden longing for a clean, beautiful, and orderly home that somehow would stay that way. I knew that would be impossible.

But...I began thinking...What if I had TWO homes. I could have one house to keep purely for visits from guests. And another house to live in and not worry about the messes. That would be PERFECT. I could go all domestic diva and actually have a style. Matching couch, curtains, dish towels, paint, and fresh flowers in a mod deco vase. Pricey and intriguing art on the walls. A wicker patio set on the deck. Large windows letting in natural lighting from our spacious yard (north facing, of course!) Don't forget the vacuum stripes on the floor, for that fresh and clean look. Oh, yes. That would be the house we would use for hosting guests. It would always be clean (because I would hire a maid or...because I wouldn't actually live there).

I would be perfectly fine living in the house that only gets vacuumed once a week (or less). I would be ok with throwing the dishes in the dishwasher only when we are down to having no more clean forks. I would not worry about the crumbs. The shoes don't ever have to go in the closet. As long as I never have to invite people to THAT house.

Now...if only I could afford it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Liberty Discussions

This is outside my typical realm of blogging, but I feel it is important enough to share with my readers. Some friends of mine have put together this educational community to help people better understand and feel comfortable with the political workings of our country...and how they SHOULD be. I think it is a great idea, because I am not a political person, but I feel the need to understand, so I can make wise decisions. The idea is to put the power back with the people, where it should be. I can't explain it any better, so watch this introductory clip, and visit the Liberty Discussions website!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Something about Pregnancy

There really is something about pregnancy that changes everything you are comfortable with in your life. For example, I was laying in bed last night, Bug on one side (nursing, of course), Hubs on the other side (falling asleep, of course). I was trying to keep a conversation going with the Hubs, because I wasn't quite ready to just fall asleep. Then, I smelled skunk. I sniffed the air. And I asked the Hubby, "Do you smell skunk?" I sniffed the air again...and this time, I was sure I smelled skunk. "No" said the Hubs. I sniffed again, "Yeah, there is skunk smell in the air, I know it!" The Hubs then reassured me that the air smelled perfectly fine, and that I was losing my mind. Crazy...that's what he called me. Ten minutes later...."Oh, yeah. Now I smell skunk..." and the Hubby got up to make sure the back door and windows were closed all the way.

My sense of smell is obviously super human.

More than anything, pregnancy changes body shape and size. Yeah, I know that everyone on earth is aware of that. But, I wasn't prepared for how my body would respond to my second pregnancy. Actually, I wasn't prepared for how my body would respond after my first baby was born! I was easily back to my prepregnancy weight by the time Bug was 9 months old (that's how long it should take, right...9 months on, 9 months off). My proportions were different, though. I actually had to buy jeans made for a woman, rather than a teenager!!! (Shocker!) Then, I moved to a new apartment, and mysteriously gained 20lbs. TWENTY. Ok, I guess I can blame a lot of that on eating Ooey Gooey S'mores Brownies, which are just as delicious as they sound! But, seriously, being a mom does horrible things to your metabolism. (Poo poo, to all you skinny moms out there!)

Then, I got pregnant, and I realized my new prepregnancy weight was 50lbs more than what the WiiFit says I should weight. Luckily, this little baby has me craving salad and cucumbers. Oh, how I love those cucumbers!!! But, before I knew it, I was needing to wear maternity clothes. I tried squeezing into my woman shaped jeans. I even got a BellaBand, so I wouldn't have to use a rubber band, like I did for the whole first 18 weeks of my first pregnancy! But, it was not to be. I had to abandon all efforts and put on some jeans that were made specifically for excess bloating...and a baby, too. AND I WAS ONLY 8 WEEKS ALONG! (Did you notice the mention that I wore my prepregnancy -teenager- jeans until I was 18 weeks with Bug!?!? And I had to put my -woman- jeans in storage by 8 weeks with this little baby! I was NOT prepared for that!

Another something about pregnancy is that your mom will never remember to warn you about all the shocking stuff, whether it is a first pregnancy shocker, or a second pregnancy shocker (and I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes an 8th pregnancy shocker...) My mom's famous words, "Oh, yeah...I forgot about that....but it's perfectly normal!"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's that Word?

Last week, I got an email from a popular pregnancy/parenting website that told me some of the developmental feats that my 22 month old should be getting ready for. It talked about how many 22 month old children begin trying to jump off the bottom stair or hop with both feet. But, of course, don't worry if it takes another month or two before YOUR toddler does this.

I had to snort a little bit. I even mentioned the email to my father, who was visiting that night, as a kind of joke. He chuckled a bit and said, "Bug has been jumping off your coffee table for months!" Yep, he sure has! That kid has no problems, whatsoever, about jumping and hopping...with both feet!

But, the developmental aspect that Bug isn't exactly above and beyond with is speech. Bug has a friend, just a couple months older, who will repeat any word you ask him to...probably even "existentialism" and "discombobulated"! Bug isn't quite there yet. His vocabulary is minimal, but growing...Or, at least I'm putting new meanings to his handful of sounds.

For example: ("Bug's word" - translation)
"no" - no
"no" - yes
"no" - nose
"buh" - bug
"buh" - ball
"buh" - bird
"dah" - dog
"dah" - dinosaur
"dada" - Daddy
"mama" - Mommy
"bebe" - baby

Bug knows several more words that aren't listed here, but he rarely pronounces them quite correctly or uses them quite properly. Bug also has some words that are distinct, always the same, used in proper context...and hilarious! These include "uh-oh", "wow", "whoa", and "wheee"!

Kids all develop in different areas at different times and speeds. Bug will catch up eventually. In the meantime, I will take note and make fun of how cute he is!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Please Research: Nursing During Pregnancy

I've mentioned in some of my previous posts that I am still nursing Bug, even though I am pregnant. Breastfeeding during pregnancy is often misunderstood and even taboo! I think some of the reasons that people are so uncomfortable with nursing during pregnancy, is because most women don't nurse very long in the first place! And nursing itself is a much debated topic in Western culture!

Then, when you add pregnancy to it, people think that the mother is being irresponsible. What if it causes the mother to miscarry? Or what if the baby isn't getting the nutrients to grow properly? There is plenty of research and information out there to show that breastfeeding during pregnancy is NOT dangerous to the unborn child. There are some circumstances where it may be advised to wean an older child (i.e., if the mother has a history of miscarriage) but weaning is rarely necessary.

When a woman is breastfeeding in a pattern often called "ecological breastfeeding", she is nursing her child as often at the child wants. This often means that a baby sleeps next to a mother and nurses frequently at night, as well as nursing frequently during the day. The stimulation of the nipple during frequent breastfeeding causes the body to produce hormones that remind the mom's body that "there is a baby here that still needs milk and a lot of attention". This means that the mom keep producing milk (as much as the baby needs) and often prevents the mother from returning to fertility, so she won't have to worry about taking care of another baby when she already has one that still needs a lot of attention. When the child gets older, he may start eating more solid foods, and start nursing less (less may be one less feeding, or even suddenly cutting out several feeding). This decrease in nipple stimulation tells the body, "Oh, I don't have to make as much milk and the baby that was so demanding before doesn't need as much attention anymore". Then, the body returns to fertility, and the mother is able to get pregnant again. But the main thing here is, the child doesn't have to wean completely for this to happen. There isn't really a known threshold, either. I think it has a lot to do with what the mother's body can handle. For myself, I didn't return to fertility until Bug was about 18 months old. Some women become fertile again much sooner (even while ecologically breastfeeding) and some take much longer.

Shortly after returning to fertility, I became pregnant. Bug was still nursing, and I didn't make him stop. Bug's nursing pattern had definitely changed from when he was a newborn, but I still feel like he was nursing pretty frequently. And he kept it up for a while at the beginning of my pregnancy, even though it was uncomfortable for me. An early pregnancy symptom is tenderness of the breasts, and that often makes nursing uncomfortable for pregnant mothers. It definitely was difficult for me, but I stuck it out and continued to let Bug nurse, because it is so comforting to him. I would like to report, however, that the discomfort of nursing has gone away.

A couple weeks ago, I realized that my milk supply had decreased to almost nothing. I noticed Bug would get frustrated as soon as he latched on, because nothing was coming out! I tried hand expressing, and only got a small, pin-head sized drop of thick, creamy, and sticky colostrum. Bug still nurses occasionally, but it is obviously only for comfort and to be close to his mommy!

When I began nursing, I told myself that I wanted to nurse to at least a year. Sometime within that first year, I knew that I wanted to nurse for as long as Bug wanted to nurse (child-led weaning). It helped me continue nursing, even when it was difficult. And, even know, I am still nursing Bug, even though he isn't getting much or anything at all! There have been times when I have refused to let Bug nurse (so I guess I don't technically qualify as practicing child-led weaning). But, mostly, Bug has become more interested in other foods and other comfort measures on his own. I (usually) enjoy nursing Bug. It is a beautiful and tender relationship that I have with him. I am sure it will be bittersweet when I realize that Bug has nursed for the last time. But until then, I will confidently nurse him...even though I'm pregnant!