Friday, July 29, 2011

*Natural* doesn't always mean *easy*

Is it any surprise that breastfeeding isn't all sunshine and rainbows?  We've lost a whole generation (or two) of breastfeeders (hold your pants on, I'm sure some of you are thinking I'm being quite melodramatic but seriously.  Stop.  And.  Think.  About that statement.  How many people can say they've been *exposed* to breastfeeding, be it their own mother, an aunt, a sister, or a cousin... ).

Breastfeeding is an acquired skill.  A mother learns how to nurse by observing other mother's nursing and by doing.  Since it isn't socially acceptable to hang out at the mall and watch mother's nurse (and let's face it... we'd all be a little creeped out by someone with a notebook "studying" us nursing out in public), there are plenty of online (and real world) resources to help new/struggling nursing mama's.

La Leche League - I have found this to be a fabulous virtual and real world resource.  The International page has forums where you can connect with other mama's and the Canadian site has links to LLL publications, FAQ's and access to leader information.  I have joined my local LLL (that's right, I am now officially a card carrying lactivist - I love it so much that I've taken on the task of E-Communcations) and we have an awesome group of women that join in at our bi-monthly meetings.  We discuss breastfeeding (obviously) and any issues we might be having, breastfeeding in relation to our parenting and relationships.  And of course we just talk.  It is nice talking to women who are going what you've gone through (or who have gone through it), it is wonderful getting affirmation that this is normal/too-shall-pass.  It also gives you access to an incredibly knowledgeable accredited leader.

Dr. Jack Newman - When I was nursing TT we had issues with thrush... I found the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic (it's now Breast Feeding Inc.) and got a lot of help!  It is located in the GTA, but they do have a lot of awesome resources and fact sheets, as well as videos online.  Dr. Newman also has a couple excellent books/resources available (if you're nursing or will be nursing, I seriously recommend that you check them out).

Nursing Mama's - I try to surround myself with supportive women, women who are quick to offer ideas & advice (and sometimes a shoulder).  I've found a couple of awesome forums to throw ideas/thought/questions out there and have gotten some excellent support in return.  The Breastfeeding forum on Today's Parent has some very knowledgeable mama's on there as well as TBW (breastfeeding and babywearing do *kind of* go hand-in-hand).

Blogging Mama's - I tend to check-out the crunchy mama blogs... Last week I was reading a blog (which I cannot for the life of me find again... if you know the link please share it with me) where she likened breastfeeding for the first time to riding a bike (in a race) without ever having actually seen a bike being ridden in.real.life!  I cannot do her words justice... I think she did a fabulous job of explaining why it is so darn hard!  Found it!

This is my first foray into Blog Hop!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Perfect Mama, Sch-Mama...

I blog a lot about my more awesome moments (can you say narcissist?) trust me when I say it isn't all sunshine and kittens

Here are a few of my less stellar qualities:

I yell
After asking TT what seems like 50 times to do something, something simple, something I know that he can do... I find my will to calmly tell him to please do such-and-such snap... and I yell.  I don't like it, and I'm not proud of it but it happens.  I feel like a shit afterwards and profusely apologize for being "Angry Mom". 

I.am.WAY.too.plugged.in
I could totally lose myself in the interwebs.  Like the house could be on fire and I'd sniff and think "Mmmmmm, BBQ".

I often feel that "Because I said so" is a suitable response/reason
Explaining why we must do something, fifty-freaking-million times annoys me.  A lot.  And sometimes (often) I find myself resorting to "Because" (because some things just are, okay?)

I strongly suspect "real children"
do.not use.this.room
My house is a disaster
For realz, it is messy and cluttered and some days I could just crawl out of my skin because it drives me so nutty.  I would love to lay 100% of the blame on the hubs, TT & C-McC but I gotta be honest and say, I have a hard time giving a damn..


I utter threats
I have been known to furiously whisper to ill-behaving children that they better listen or else (insert [go home to bed, not get that toy, etc]) and I know sometimes when we are out and the boys are giving me a run for my money that I must seem like uber-bitch at that exact moment, but please realize that you didn't see the 30min/3hrs/day leading up to that particular moment...

I am not above bribery
When threats (of bed, home, no toy, etc) don't work I have been known to employ bribery.  Because sometimes buying that damn toy will quiet them up long enough to trap everyone in their car seats (where they cannot escape and cause more mayhem).

Children don't come with manuals (and oh how I wish they did - I'd buy multiple copies!), so we have to muddle our way through it.  One experience at a time...

My Muddled Journey

I am working my ass off (literally... yo) to  be a healthier mom.  I want to be there for my kiddies (and while I realize the length of my life is not in my hands, the quality of said life certainly is).  So, myself and the hubs have been taking better care of ourselves (we're not perfect... we definitely enjoy a fast food burger, but we *are* better).

As we've embarked on our journey, there have been snippets of advice that has driven me nearly around the bend, I'll just share a few of them:

"eat carrot sticks/celery (insert crunchy veggie here) instead of chips, the crispy-crunchiness of the veggies will satisfy your crunching urges" -  Seriously, they'll satisfy my "crunching urges"?  Ummmmkay... because I will totally be fooled by the crunch of a carrot into believing that it just might be a non-salted orange chip?  I think not... granted carrots are infinitely better than chips (and I am making myself choose them over chips) but I'm not lying when I say that I miss chips.

"once you get into good work out rhythm, you'll totally catch *the bug*"  -  I think the thing that irritates me the most about this, it.is.true.  I feel like shit the days *cough-week-cough* that I don't get out for my jogs.  I enjoy my time alone, with nothing but the next interval to worry about.  It.is.weird.  I've *never* enjoyed exercise (organized sports?  yes!  exercise?  hells no!

"eating healthier is so.much.cheaper"  -  Really?  It is?  Because last time I checked my grocery store, milk was over $6.00 for 4L.  I honestly don't notice a price difference, not.at.all...

I do find myself thinking about food and exercise a lot throughout the day (either in a shameful *I can't believe I ate that/didn't go out for my jog* sort of way or *What should I eat, this or that/When can I fit my jog in*) and I truly hope I don't become one.of.those.people (you know, the ones that you swear can mentally calculate the calories in their food [as well as yours and give you a disproving look too]).

Just trying to muddled my way through this - anyone else on the "healthy living - reduce your ass" kick?  Share your advice!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

C25K - myFitnessPal *Update*

Just a quick post to let you know that in this hot, muggy weather we're having, that I am indeed alive & kicking.

Sticking to my guns (I mean runs)... and watching what I'm eating (I'm down another 4lbs... which brings me to a total of 30lbs since February, yeah me!)

Also, just have to share some exciting news, this bad boy is coming home with me:
 

Bob
2011 Bob SUS Duallie
(I got a wicked deal on a 2010 model...
so my BOB is blue, not orange!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why I Parent The Way I Do...

I'm sure you've read a time or two (or twenty) about my parenting quirks (side note, I don't prescribe to a particular style... I'm a mish mash, muddled kind of mama... I pick and choose what makes sense for my family).

Allow me a moment to explain why I do what I do - I know I'm not perfect (baahahahahaha... if you knew me in real life, you'd laugh at how absolutely absurd that notion is), so I try to mitigate my less awesome parenting moments (and the potential for forever damaging my child - okay, so I'm a freakin' nut... but I honestly cannot be the only mom that worries that they're going to eff their kids up for life, am I?), by doing things that I know will positively impact them.

Nursing
*  I *know* that nursing my boys is the best thing that I can do for them
* Your breast milk is perfectly balanced for your nursling.  (No, I'm not making this shit up... it is for realz).  What your child needs is what your body will create, so your morning milk won't be the same as your evening milk.  Your cold blustery winter milk won't be exactly the same as your muggy, hot-as-hell summer day milk.   And if you were to tandem nurse the milk that each child nursed would be different depending on their needs.  How freaking awesome is that!?!?!
*  It's easy (please note, that does not mean it is without difficulties but when I weigh the pros and cons unsnapping my bra is infinitely easier than making a bottle, warming said bottle and then cleaning the bottle afterwards [what can I say, I'm lazy])
*  It's free.  So, not only am I a lazy (I choose to term it as "Path of Least Resistance Mom"), I'm also cheap.  Cheap, cheap, cheap.  Formula?  Is expensive, expensive, expensive.  Since I *can* nurse, I'd much rather do so instead of paying for overpriced formula.


Babywearing
*  Babywearing totally appeals to the lazy mother in me - hold my child in their gagillion pound bucket seat whilst maintaining a firm hold on the darty-TT? OR strap C-McC to me, allowing my whole torso to bear his weight (so my arms don't feel like they're full of lead when I'm done running errands), allowing me to have my hands free to hold onto TT and push a cart if I so desire to do so.  Jeez, I wonder which way I'd prefer to shop?
*  Gotta nurse in public?  No problem, just do a shimmy & a shake, and you're good to go (and continue shopping... while holding your darty-TT's hand, try that with a bucket seat)
*  Inconsolable, overstimulated, grumpy-grump?  No problem (most of the time), slip them up... cuddle them close, hummmm and rock.  Bonus?  You don't have to worry about transferring them down, just continue on your merry little way!

Bedsharing/Co-sleeping
* We have chosen to sidecar C-McC crib to our bed (i.e. co-sleeping), so he goes down for the night in "his space" and when he wakes up to nurse, he ends up in our bed (i.e. bedsharing).  This works for us because I am able to quickly nurse him back to sleep (or snuggle if that's what he needs) and yes some nights it is a royal pain in the ass, but it totally goes along my "Path of Least Resistance" parenting philosophy.  I would much rather quickly nurse/cuddle him back to sleep than listen to him wail for hours on end (seriously, C-McC is super screamer... he does.not.have.an.off.button).
I don't sleep through the night (seriously, I wake up to pee, have a drink of water, just shift positions, etc) so I don't know why it is an expectation that our children must sleep through the night.  I find it much easier to roll over and do what needs to be done than to *gasp* get out of bed, walk down the hall and do what needs to be done (I told you that I was a lazy parent).
I believe that responding to my boys will result in well-adjusted men... I do not believe that children need to be taught to self-soothe (I feel that this is a skill that is acquired with age... ).  Please do not read this as "my children never cry" or "I would never let my child cry, ever".  They do cry (some days on an hourly basis), and honestly getting up multiple times during the night is not my cuppa tea but I do find it easier for my family.

Babyled Weaning/Skipping Purees
*  Again, on the cheap, lazy train... I could buy ridiculously overpriced purees (like a dollar a jar) or I could make them myself (precook all the veggies/meats/etc, puree and jar/freeze them myself) OR I could as C-McC shows interest, feed him what we eat (in age appropriate sizes/quantities, obviously).
*  I will also confess that C-McC preference pour moi was much enjoyed because it meant less mess... ugh, I hate the self-feeding mess.
*  By giving my boys what we eat, I have more control over what they eat (please do not read this as "my children have perfect diets... they only eat whole and 10000% nutritious food" because they don't).  We try to make stuff over buying stuff (from cookies to pasta sauce... it's cheaper that way).  And there are days where TT eats fruits & veggies like they are going out of style.

All of this to say - I am just doing my best to be the best parent that I can be.  I'm not perfect, not even close.  

I've joined the breastfeeding blog hop hosted by:
Life with Levi, The Slacker Mom & Diary of a Devil Dog Wife.  The topic this week is: World Breastfeeding Week, I've decided to include my "Why I do what I do" blog posting...

 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

No 'poo - Day 2

I've attempting to go no 'poo* (*please note the apostrophe in front of "poo", it is a very important apostrophe... because it indicates that "poo" is not the entirety of the word that I am referring to - so no, I am not discussing my bowel movements [I'm not so short on material to discuss that I feel it is vital to stoop to that, at least not just yet].  The 'poo in question is SHAMpoo... in case you were wondering).

I have yet to find the right baking soda to water consistency, but so far it's not too bad.  My hair is a little oilier than it would normally be the day after a wash but not as oily as it would be on day 2.  I'm hoping once I figure out the right amount of water/baking soda that it will make a difference.  I've also read that there can be an adjustment period of up to a week and once your hair/body adjusts to not having shampoo used on it, it won't produce as much oil (thus staying cleaner longer). 

I was concerned that the lack of conditioner would make my crazy hair absolutely unwieldy.  I have fine, thick wavy-ish hair.  Hair dressers are always surprised at the amount of hair covering the floor when I come in (really, it's THICK... it just doesn't look like it... weird, I know).  I can honestly say that I can't get a brush through it while wet (which I am aware is super no-no, but I do it anyways).  And I hate smelling like a salad while my hair is wet (I'm thinking of creating an essential oil/apple cider vinegar solution so that it'll smell less salad-E).  But I can definitely get a brush through my tangles the next morning, so that's good. 

Now, you might be wondering what on earth prompted me to attempt to ditch shampoo... I was shocked (yes, shocked) when I realized just how much crap is in our hygiene and beauty products (don't believe me?  check this out). 

Since we've started our family, the hubs and I have made a concentrated effort to "do better".  We make our pasta sauce.  If it's between store-bought and homemade, 95% of the time we'll do it ourselves.  We buy locally made handcrafted soap and I'm hoping that soon, we'll be a family of four no 'pooers

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Muddled Long Weekend...

So, my mom got married on the weekend... and she was the epitome of the anti-bridezilla.  (she was also the epitome of beauty in her purple dress... very, very easy breezy and quite becoming).

I picked my own dress:

Kiyonna Desert Rain Maxi - Teal
(Please note:  I didn't look quite as awesome but I tried)
 
My own accessories:

Fascinator was created by the brilliant mind behind
A Handmade Tale
Photo courtesy of: A Handmade Tale (I forgot to snap a picture)
And she only slightly rolled her eyes over my Comfy Joey slingified Inka Storch wrap (hey, you gotta match your carriers to your formal wear!):

Sorry for the fuzz-factor... but c'mon doesn't that sling
just *go* with my dress?
 
(Ps: I.love.sleeping.sling.babies)

It was a hot, sticky day... but I think everyone had a grande ol' time, I know *I* did. 

And while I didn't get my arse out for a run (ummmm... at all last week).  I did sign up for myFitnessPal and I'm tracking every.single.thing.I.eat... I'm hoping to Kinect tonight, after the hubs gets home from work (and the boys are tucked into bed) and I've made plans with my cousin to head out for a run later on this week.  And I did dance my butt off at the wedding... so, that's something, right?