Naturally Mama.

From one natural mama to another…

Tickles and One of Those Days. December 9, 2010

Filed under: Baby Milestones,Breastfeeding,Everyday Baby Stuff,Family,Parenting — Naturally Mama @ 8:24 pm

 

I start this post on a very happy note: Cohen laughs when you tickle him. Sooooo stinking adorable! He’s ticklish on his upper arms, especially on the right side. I could have spent hours tickling that baby, but I don’t think he would have enjoyed it for that long. My little Turtle Man will be 3 months in a week!

Now onto the real reason for my post: it’s been one of those days. I’ve had a lot of self doubt lately, anxiety about the health of my baby (when he looks to be completely healthy) and regrets about parts of my life (which keep resurfacing). The self doubt I usually just push away without really thinking too much about it and then it just creeps right back up- only for me to push it away again. I guess I’m doubting that I’ll follow through with everything that I want to follow through with- because I get caught up in the moment of things and small things consume my whole being- making me irritated at the world for what the world would probably see as no good reason.

My Husband told me yesterday that sometimes he’s apprehensive to talk to me about certain things because I’ve been so irritated in general lately… and when he said that, I thought “What the hell are you talking about?” but then today, something small went wrong, which made something else go wrong with pissed me off and overwhelmed me so I stomp off to the bathroom and as I’m peeing I yell to my Husband “You’re right! I need a chill pill!” …if only I took pills just to chill.

And this is what’s been bothering me the most: I am constantly worried about Cohen’s health and development. Is he growing fast enough, gaining enough weight, meeting the right milestones, is he developmentally delayed (although I have no reason to believe so), does he have some kind of tongue tie (although I’ve been told he doesn’t… the tip of his tongue is always on the roof of his mouth however, and nobody will validate my concerns)…Why am I constantly worrying about if he’s ‘normal’? I will love him no matter WHAT. And he is what he is, there’s no changing it. I did the same thing while I was pregnant with him… excessive Mama worry. I knew it was terrible for me and for him, yet I couldn’t push it away and still can’t.

If you’ve read any of my past posts or you know me personally, you probably know the breastfeeding issues that we have. I have Insufficient Glandular Tissue, or so I’ve been told it’s more than likely what is going on since there’s no true scientific way to diagnose the condition. I cannot, for the life of me, after trying with every OUNCE of my being for 2 months straight… *Deep breath in* …make enough milk. *Deep breath out* I’m trying to come to terms with this, and the fact that I have to use donor milk to feed my son. He stopped wanting to latch to my breast when the SNS isn’t attached because apparently he now realizes what it does and how much faster the flow is with it. I’m literally (gently) forcing him to drink from my breast. He’s drinking less and less and it tears me up.

BUT… to wrap it up and keep this post from being an hour long… I have no choice but to come to terms with it. So, I’m trying. I love my son and I absolutely love breastfeeding, but our breastfeeding relationship is strained, always has been, and I hate that. Things could be worse, however. I could make no milk at all, right? Right. Also, with the insane amount of worry has come so much joy and happiness… new experiences, amounts of patience and more love than we thought we had left in us.

Goodnight.

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DIY Daily Family Memories Journal December 7, 2010

I briefly mentioned how I was going to be recording an event everyday in life life of my children. Things they say, things they do, etc. Family moments that I don’t want to forget. Just something small written each day- one sentence to a paragraph long. I made a run to Michael’s Craft Store late last night to gather supplies: $7-$8 for everything (I already had the Mod Podge).  If you have other supplies on hand, it will be even cheaper.

Supplies:

  • 2-4 pieces of scrapbook paper
  • Notebook
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint or foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Embellishments (optional) I used ‘pearl stickers’

Step 1- Cover back of notebook. Line paper up with outer edge. I used a clip to keep it in place.

Step 2- Trace.

Step 3- Cut.

Step 4- Mod Podge. Start at the outer edge with the Mod Podge and work your way in and onto the front cover. Be sure to press and smooth paper to ensure no bubbles form.

Step 5- Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 for the front except this time, line paper up with the spine of the notebook. Leave a little paper slack at the spine.

Step 6- Coat the entire notebook in Mod Podge. This seals it securely and it dries clear. Feel generous when applying Mod Podge, especially over seams, edges and corners.

Step 7- Get creative! This is where it gets really fun. I bought 4 scrapbook pages with the same theme and had 2 leftover after covering the notebook. I cut out details from the remaining 2 and scattered them over the notebook- using Mod Podge under and on top.

BACK OF NOTEBOOK, WORK IN PROGRESS

FRONT OF NOTEBOOK, WORK IN PROGRESS

Step 8- Final touches. Add lettering, gems, pearls, etc. I covered all embellishments and stickers with Mod Podge as well, so they would stay secure.

Here is the finished product:

 

Front

 

Back

 

Inconvenient Preferences and 30 goals down, 70 to go! December 3, 2010

Filed under: Baby Milestones,Everyday Baby Stuff,Goals — Naturally Mama @ 7:19 pm
Tags: , , ,

In the last few days, Cohen has decided that he doesn’t enjoy the car for more than a few minutes at a time unless he’s asleep. This is pretty inconvenient, as I drive Hailey 15+ minutes each way to school every weekday. There was a rattle in the car and I figured out that sometimes, if I shake and swirl it just the right way, he will be quiet and fall asleep. I’m sure I look completely ridiculous driving down the road shaking a baby rattle. It’s over-sized and bright red/purple too, so you really can’t miss it. Lets hope this phase doesn’t last long.

Today, he was having one of his usual ‘I’m so tired but I don’t wanna go to sleep and I just don’t know what to do with myself’ meltdowns. I could only console him for a couple of minutes at a time. He was sooo tired- I’m talking rubbing his sleepy red eyes on my chest and can hardly keep his eyes open tired. So, I go to Youtube and search for ‘white noise baby’ and clicked on the first video- the sound of falling rain. This was right after reading this blog post about white noise saving a Mama’s sanity. Instantly, he’s quiet. Within 20-30 seconds, he was asleep and stayed that way for around an hour. Miracle. Needless to say, I bookmarked the white noise Youtube videos and I am thinking about buying this 60 Minute white noise MP3 from Amazon.

Last but not least, an update on my 100 goals for next yer. I’ve gotten 30 listed. Still need to come up with 70 more. It’s hard! I thought to myself ‘Eh, 100 goals… I’ll just include all of the little stuff I want/need to do and I’ll be done in no time!’

WRONG. In bold and italicized.

But, they’re on their way to being posted. I’ll just procrastinate a little longer… I’m hoping to have the list done by Sunday.

 

 

Growing so Fast.

Filed under: Baby Milestones — Naturally Mama @ 1:05 pm
Tags: , ,

It’s time to add some new milestones Cohen has met… I know I just recently did this, but it seems like he’s starting to do something new almost everyday! He’s 11 weeks old and some new milestones he’s met are:

  • For the last few weeks, he’s been producing tears! His eyes goop up from time to time, but the ducts are mostly open and producing tiny little tears.
  • For the last week or 2, he straightens his legs when you stand him up and holds his own weight. He can do this for quite some time.
  • He’s been kicking his legs and moving his arms while awake and laying on his back more and more over the last week.

  • In the last week, he’s gained control over his neck and torso. His neck has always been very strong but it’s getting stronger. When I’m holding him, he holds his torso up and away form me somewhat- supporting himself and holding himself steady. He’s no longer slumped up against me all of the time.
  • For the past 2 or 3 weeks, he’s been bringing his hands to his mouth when he’s not hungry, just to chew and suck on them.
  • As of a few days ago, he sucks on his own tongue while awake… adorable! Here’s a picture of that one:

  • Yesterday, Daddy observed him noticing his feet! Lifting his legs up and looking at them.
  • He’s been giggling more and more. He loves for his face to be lightly touched or for you to make funny noises before you kiss him.

  • His conversations are getting longer, louder and more complex. He’s using different pitches, noises and consonants.

He’s still not loving tummy time and I know he’s supposed to be getting around 30 minutes daily, but he’s been getting about half of that. It started out in 1 or 2 minute increments in the first couple of weeks and we’ve worked our way up from there. I try to roll him over to his back before he gets upset about being on his tummy to avoid him having immediate negative feelings towards tummy time.

I realized that these 2 and a half months have already flown right by… I can hardly remember when he was simply a tiny, sleeping baby. Didn’t look into my eyes, didn’t smile, didn’t talk to me yet. We get so caught up with what our kids are doing now, we tend to forget what it took them to get there. I’ve decided that I’m going to get a blank journal from Michael’s and decorate it all awesome-like. I’m going to try and write one thing a day for the next year about the happenings of our lives.

 

Lack of posts and things looking up! November 21, 2010

It’s been too long since I last posted. Cohen is about 2 months and a week old. Here’s a rundown of recent milestones:

  • Giggled @ 2 months, 1 day… Such a beautiful noise. Has done it once since then, very briefly.
  • Cooing and making many different noises. Having ‘conversations’ with Mama daily now.
  • Trying to roll over. Doesn’t always enjoy floor time, but when I can get him to stay there for a while without crying, he’s bringing one leg over his body, which is no doubt going to lead to rolling over!

Here’s a could pics of my perfect little baby monster these days.

All smiles for Dad this morning!

So, I started making more milk within the past week. I stopped pumping, stopped taking supplements and herbs, stopped crying and feeling bad about it, became a pro at using the SNS after much practice and whala! What do ya know. Stress had something to do with it. He went from taking 10-14 oz. to taking 6-8 oz of donor breast milk. I feel a ton better about it all. I think switching from formula to donated breast milk had a lot to do with the stress alleviation. Thank goodness for Milkshare and Eats on Feets! I feel blessed to have found such generous women to donate their milk to my baby boy.

 

Morning smiles. October 31, 2010

Cohen is such a ham in the mornings… I can get 2o perfect smiles in a row without even trying. I wish that I could remember these days with my Daughter, but I barely can. I’ve documented and taken pictures of practically everything this time… I wish I could say the same with her.

Cohen is enjoying tummy time more these days. He briefly lifts his head up while on his tummy, but mostly turns it to the side still. I had him on my chest yesterday while he was on his stomach and I put his arms kind of underneath his chest, and he pushed his chest up of my body for quite some time. He’s enjoying his toys a little more now too… not really batting at them or reaching for them just yet, but that’s on the ‘coming soon’ list, I’m sure. His eyes get wide and he studies them, learning great things from the visual stimulation.

He loves to look at light- his eyes are drawn to it. Lamps, a sunny window, light reflecting onto a ceiling, anything like that. He will even give the light a smile from time to time 🙂 He also loves to look into your eyes, or at your eye brows and hair line. The other day, I put on a light green shirt with really dark floral pattern all over, and he could barely take his eyes off it. He was mesmerized by the contrast of colors.

He’s beginning to be more vocal. Not making vowel sounds yet, but seemingly close to doing so. We’ll have little conversations throughout the day and communicate through whatever noises he chooses to share with me. He enjoys eye contact and talking. He really loves to walk around with me through the house as I explain things to him. I can just see the wonderment in his eyes and feel him learning through the sights and sounds. He also enjoys the sound of water. He can be in the worst mood, extremely tired, hungry.. just about anything.. and the sound of water (especially the bath tub) instantly calms him. With the feeding issues we have been having, when he gets fussy at my breasts and I can’t calm him, I will feed him in the bathroom and run the bath. Waste of water and quite uncomfortable, yet very effective in case of baby attitude emergency!

I don’t know if I’ve previously mentioned, but he also loves being in water. Baths, baths with mama, baths with daddy, showers, you name it. He loves them all. If he’s really fussy, a bath usually pulls him out of the mood. He loves interacting with his Sister too. She’s so great with him and they have really bonded. I am excited to see their bond grow.

Speaking of Hailey, things have been somewhat rough these days between us. She’s really beginning to challenge what we say, disagree with just about everything, and treat us like she’s the queen bee. I have to admit that with the attachment parenting style I’ve adopted for Cohen, it’s hard to apply to Hailey because so much of it thrives off of the bonding that happens in the first few years. Sadly, Haley and I did not do all of the bonding we should have and now our relationship is somewhat strained because of it. I know we’ll find a balance and we’ll find what works for us in terms of getting along and enjoying each other- it’s just going to take some work on everybody’s part.

 

Happy one month birthday to my little man. October 15, 2010

Filed under: Baby Milestones — Naturally Mama @ 7:37 am
Tags:

Seriously? It’s been a month? This is what I thought to myself when this realization came to me this morning. It’s gone by so quickly, looking back. There were some days that felt like an eternity (the hungry days before we started supplementing), but they don’t feel that way anymore when I try to imagine those days.

I type this with one finger from my left hand as Cohen eats a late night snack from my breast. I’ve actually gotten pretty proficient at one-handed, one-fingered chicken pecking 🙂 Which leads me to baby milestones! Best segue ever, right? So far, here are some milestones Cohen is meeting and when he started to meet them:

  • Periods of quiet alertness- 1 week
  • Follows objects with eyes and head- between 1 & 2 weeks
  • Makes eye contact for more than a couple of seconds- between 1 & 2 weeks
  • Makes eye contact for longer periods of time (20+ seconds)- 3 weeks
  • First meaningful smile- 3 weeks
  • Grunting, squeaking, small coos to communicate- end of 3rd week
  • Looking at you while grunting, squeaking & cooing- end of 3rd week
  • Staying awake for 3+ hours at a time- 4 weeks/1 month
  • Sleeping for 4+ hours at a time- 4 weeks/1 month

This might not seem like a lot to some, but to a Mom whose baby used to only sleep, eat and mess diapers, it’s A LOT. It not only means you baby is growing up, it means your baby is growing in a healthy, appropriate manner- which is soothing to a worry-wort Mom like me. It also means that all of the book reading, talking, kisses and play time are not in vain. Of course, I already knew that. That’s why I do it (along with loving the time I spend with my guy). But it’s good to know it again!

 

 
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