All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


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Is it Strange?

I was reading one of my cohort’s blog posts yesterday when I was stricken by surprise. She mentioned that she bathes with her baby and that people find it strange? REALLY?

I shower with Matthew once a week or so. He loves his bath time and it’s part of his nightly bedtime routine (yes, he bathes every night), but I LOVE having him in the shower with me. It just seems natural. He skipped his bath last night due to being out too late so I popped him in the shower with me this morning. We had a great time! Our shower is pretty big so he crawls around in it while I get clean. He loves it!

Do people really find this strange?

The first time I bathed with Matthew, he was little…. tiny. He was very congested and the doctor said I should take a bath with him. So I did. It is one of my favorite parenting memories so far. He was so happy to be so close, skin to skin, and I was too, quite frankly! He even cozied up on his own to nurse. Pure happiness for us both!

I look forward to being out of town because it means we for sure will bathe or shower together. Our first shower together was a few weeks ago at my sister’s. She suggested I do it to save time, and was shocked we hadn’t showered together yet. The reason we hadn’t is because years ago, my other sister plopped her 1 year old son in the shower with me (much to my horror!) and I almost dropped him. Truly. He was so slippery and I caught him just as he almost hit the floor. That terrified me, so I just didn’t think to do it with my own child. I’m so glad my sister suggested it a few weeks ago because I LOVE it!

Is it really THAT strange?

As you can see, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. Another cohort commented that she bathes with her baby but wasn’t sure if she should include it in her “how I parent” blog entry. I am just stunned by this. Who judges such things? Apparently some people do.

So in support of family bathing, I am going to be bold! I am going to go outside my comfort zone here and post something I wouldn’t normally post! My sister snapped a couple photos of Matthew’s and my first shower together. Here they are:

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UPDATED: It’s 12:22 AM

And I’m not up with a crying baby.  No.  I’m up pumping.  I live in fear that if I don’t pump each night before bed, that the ladies will start to dry up and our breastfeeding days will come to an end.  Isn’t that weird?

So, as I was typing this (and pumping, mind you!), there was a knock at my door.  AT 12:30 AM!  I pump in my living room, facing the damned door, because, well, I pump late enough that no one will show up and see me.  Right?  Wrong.  It was strange.  So strange.  I called for B and he came and saw the gal on our stoop, turned off our security system, and answered the door.  She was seemingly drunk, and there was a man in an old, beat up car in our driveway waiting for her (he notes these things in case there’s trouble!).  CRAZY!  She was looking for people with a different last name than us, and people who don’t live in our neighborhood (I popped onto the assessor’s website to check out the name).  It left me feeling quite uneasy.  I didn’t sleep well.


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Sweet Success!

Matthew slept through the night and didn’t get us up at the crack of dawn either! I did not get much sleep because he stirred every hour on the hour, starting at 12:15, and that woke me up. But he put himself back to sleep each time without standing up once! I could not believe it! His final stir was at 5:15 and then he slept until 6:30!!!!!

I cannot keep my eyes open, but I don’t care!

We had one hell of a storm last night. We were stranded a couple times due to flash flooding. My car needs some repairs now, darn it. All is well for us, but there are some pretty banged up neighborhoods around town now. I feel bad for those folks.

I’m off to catch a cat nap now!


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Did I Seriously Say That?

I am horrified.

Today, while going through the drive through (Matthew was sleeping in the back seat and B suggested we go.  When he suggests fast food, I take him up on it before he takes it back!), I actually thanked the kid who brought our food to the car by saying, “Thanks, dude.”  Before I was even finished with those two words, my mind was asking, ‘what did you just say?’  I physically hunkered a bit and instantly turned to B and said, “I just said, ‘dude.’  I am horrified.”  I was (and still am) so embarrassed.  I told B that the kid probably went in and told his buddies that some thirty-something year old woman just called him, “dude.”  I then corrected myself and said, “he probably said some forty-something year old woman.”  B’s response?  “No, forty-year old women don’t wear baseball caps.”

Does that mean I can’t wear my baseball caps in 4 years?

I am vowing to never call anyone, “dude” again… unless it’s Matthew, of course.


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UPDATED: My Style – PAIL Theme Post

What is my parenting style?  I have no idea!  I can tell you what I thought it wouldn‘t be before I got pregnant with Matthew:

  1. I was NOT going to partake in attachment parenting in any way, shape, or form – no way!
  2. I was going to pump exclusively instead of nurse my baby.
  3. I didn’t consider cloth diapers.
  4. I insisted that wearing your baby made them needy.
  5. I wouldn’t even consider being a SAHM.
  6. I stated several times that my kids would not sleep with us – in our bed or in our room.
  7. I was not interested in making baby food – store-bought would be just fine, thank-you-very-much!
  8. My baby would sleep through the night by 3-4 months of age.
  9. I figured we’d do whatever our doctors told us to do in regards to vaccinations.

Guess how all of that is working out for me?  HA!  So far:

  1. In regards to attachment parenting, I dabble in a few of the B’s, and believe wholeheartedly in a couple of them (breastfeeding, birth bonding, babywearing)
  2. I am still breastfeeding my 9 month old – he has only had about 10 ounces of formula in his entire life.  I pump every night after he’s in bed to store up milk for the future.  I am a human cow and Matthew always gets it straight from the source!
  3. We did cloth diapers for 7 weeks.  The only reason we stopped was that I made the mistake of buying the one size diapers and they were just too bulky for him when he was so tiny.  We will go back to them when he gets bigger and ready to potty train.  Right now, I’m being lazy and really like the disposables.
  4. We loved the Moby Wrap and have just started using our Ergo quite a bit.  I mowed my lawn the other day with Matthew strapped to me.  The Ergo goes everywhere the stroller goes for when he wants out of the stroller.  We love it!
  5. I asked B 2 weeks before going back to work if he’d be open to me staying home.  He said he was hoping I’d want to.  I went back to work for 7 weeks just to get a promised bonus and to make sure I was making the right decision.  Best decision I ever made!
  6. Matthew slept in our room for 4 weeks in a pack-and-play.  There were nights we tried desperately to get him to sleep with us. In bed.  We still try sometimes to have him sleep in bed with us – but he is not at all interested.
  7. I make all of Matthew’s food from scratch* (and usually organic and hormone free) – even his breakfast.  He has never had a “puff” or a cheerio – and we are trying to raise him on a paleo diet for all practical purposes.  He is the best baby eater I have ever known.  He eats everything – because I cook him everything (even the stuff I don’t like).
  8. If you read my blog at all, you know that Matthew’s not sleeping through the night yet – and he’s 9 months old!
  9. We are vaccinating on an alternative schedule.

I asked B on Easter Sunday if he was surprised by how “granola” I am as a mother.  To my surprise, he said, “no, not really.”  I am surprised by how “granola” I am – I never saw ANY of this coming. And while I am still nursing my 9 month old, wearing him as I mow the lawn, and making all of his food – I totally believe in structure and boundaries and everyone sleeping in their own beds.  Most importantly, I believe in doing what fits best with your child and family.

I am a blend of parenting styles.  I think we all are.  If we try to be just one style, we’re bound to find something within that style that we don’t agree with and then where does that leave us? I say, ‘throw out the labels and just parent the best way you know how.’  After all, no one knows how to parent your child (not even your MIL – HA!) better than YOU do yourself!

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*  All food is made from scratch except his baby yogurt (Yo Baby!).  This does not fall into the paleo lifestyle but I think we need to let the boy have a treat every now and again.  After all, the government says that dairy is important!

Addendum/Update:  I was just sent this link by a friend of mine.  I suggest reading it – it is hysterical!  This pretty much describes my parenting to a T.  Particularly #30 (including the use of one of my favorite words of all time – the F WORD!):  “Don’t listen to anyone. Other parents will dispense advice like candy (see: This post). F*ck ‘em. You’ll figure it out on your own. Somehow, we all do. Read the books, don’t read the books. Follow whatever parenting method you’d like, or no parenting method at all. Do whatever it takes to work. There’s a study that will validate everything you do, and another study to tell you what you’re doing is wrong. Just f*cking love the kid like you’ve never loved anything, and everything will turn out well. “


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It May be Coming Together

Last night and this morning were better than even the night that Matthew slept all the way through!  My little sweetie woke up earlier than normal (2:32 AM) but was only up for 16 minutes!  He stood up and cried, laid back down, and stood back up before the 10 minutes were up for me to come in to check on him.  I could hear him winding down before it was time to come in, so when I did come in, I just hugged him really tight (I’d been forgetting that the other recent nights – I feel terrible!), laid him down, patted him a couple times, and just stood there – and watched him fall asleep on his own!  Now we just need to get him to lay himself back down, and I think we’ve got it.   Honestly though, getting up for 15 minutes in the night to lay him down is a non-issue – I will do that any night of the week!

He slept until 6:35.  SIX THIRTY-FIVE!!!!  All other nights, I’m up for at least an hour with him and he gets up just around 6:00 (or 5:00 the night he slept through).  I will take a 15 minute waking any night if it means I only need to be up for 15-30 minutes and that I get to sleep until 6:30!


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Short Lived

It’s 3:23, and I’m up with a crying screaming baby.  I knew that the other night was too good to be true and wasn’t the end of this little project, and I even said in my post that I knew we still had work to do, but I was hoping maybe I was wrong  😉

In my slumber, I forgot that yesterday was when we started over on the day 2 schedule, so I did it again tonight.  Oops.  I did watch him on the monitor and at one point in the first waiting period, he put himself back down and tried to go back to sleep, but that didn’t last long.  It did give me hope that he can do it (which of course – we all KNOW he can, but like a good mother, I’m making excuses for him).  He is currently more calm and standing on the rails – waiting for me.  Poor little guy.

B was out of town last night and said when he came home that maybe the trick was him being out of the house.  I quickly said, “oh no, that’s not what got him to sleep!”  But… I’m starting to wonder  😉

What I’m NOT wondering about is when we’ll do this if we have another baby.  For those of you reading this who are planning to sleep train your babies – please do it before they can stand up in their cribs.  I know in my heart of hearts that he would be asleep, or at least calm, by now if he couldn’t stand up.  This whole mobility and independence thing really messes up this plan.  I lay him down, he stands right back up, without fail unless he’s beyond exhausted.  If he has any willpower left in him, he’s standing back up.  We will be doing this at 4-6 months next time if we are lucky enough to have another baby.  No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.

Since it doesn’t look like we’re near the end of this little project, I thought it may be worth posting a snapshot of my spreadsheet every now and again so that there is a visual of what our nights look like.  Here it is, updated with tonight’s info (he was asleep at 4:07 – but I’ve been up reading blogs.  Ugh!).  Yes – it is getting worse before it gets better.  HA!


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Extrovert

We are going through the much anticipated 9 month-old separation anxiety.  Matthew LOVES everyone and is a very social baby, but when we’re home, he wants to be with me all the time.  He will not let me out of his sight.  However, if we’re away from home, he is his normal, outgoing self and those times make this trying time not so trying, actually.

I’m very proud of Matthew for loving to engage others while we’re out.  He will pretty much go to anyone who shows any interest in holding him.   We were at Target today and he was calling out to complete strangers.  He does this cute little fake, LOUD laugh to get people’s attention, and it works every time.  Who doesn’t look for the cute laughing baby?!  He engages kids, men, women, ANYONE and I just love it!  I beam with pride because I think this may mean that he has his father’s outgoing personality which is how I prefer it.

I am severely introverted.  You would not know it if you met me because if I know you or know of you, I’m very chatty.  But if I don’t know you, I most likely won’t cross a room to introduce myself.  I take that back.  I most definitely won’t cross a room to introduce myself.  It just isn’t in me and it’s the one thing I despise about myself.  Even being fully aware of it, I find it very hard to change.

B, on the other hand, makes it a point to engage every person at a party (it doesn’t have to be OUR party) in a conversation.  He will make every person he talks to, which ends up being everyone in the room, feel like the only person in the room while they have his attention.  He is a fabulous listener and gives you his full attention when he’s talking with you.  He will not hijack the conversation, or jump in to say, ‘uh huh, I’ve done that too.’  He just listens and asks questions about what you’re telling him.  He can know everything about the thing you’re talking about (cars, vacation spots, technology), and you would never know it because he doesn’t ever say, ‘yeah, I did that too.’  I find it amazing – and it’s a wonderful thing.

As I walked through Target with my very engaging, seemingly extroverted baby, I found myself hoping that he ends up like his dad.  I hope he makes everyone he talks with feel special and like the only person in the room.  I hope he crosses the room to introduce himself or talk to the person who doesn’t seem to know anyone at the party.  From what I’ve seen so far, he will be that person.

I haven’t posted pictures in a while – so here are a few pictures from today.  We had a great day  🙂

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He Did It!

Imagine my surprise when  I heard Matthew stir on the monitor, rolled over to take a look to see that he was definitely getting up, and then looked at my watch and saw that it was 5:08!  Holy sh*t – he slept through the night!!!!!!!

Ferber says that if you want their wake up time to be 7:00, that you should just get them up for the day if they get up after 5:00.  So that is what I (sort of) did.  He was awake – no question about that – so I put him in bed with me to do his morning nursing and  he did that without dozing off.  Then we got up at 5:42!

We are both noticeably tired, but also noticeably HAPPY  🙂  I think Matthew knows what he accomplished – he is in happy, proud baby mode!  I am in happy, proud mama mode!

I know we’re not fully over the hump yet – that this will still take work – but for now, I am savoring this HUGE victory!!!!


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Well Baby

I am a bit embarrassed by the fact that this is my THIRD post today – but I’m not embarrassed enough not to post it anyway.  HA!

Matthew had his 9 month well baby check today – and he is doing very well.  He is rather proportional when it comes to weight (64%) and height (67%), but he has a huge head (97%).  We knew all of this already – this is how he’s been since he was born.  We talked about his eating since we’re pretty much raising him on a paleo diet (and our doc fully supports that – yay!), his development (he’s a bit ahead on his motor skills – I credit baby gym for this), teething (still only 2 teeth and the others aren’t making an appearance just yet), vaccinations (she is very open to the alternative schedule which is why we chose her as our doc), and his sleeping.

I love Matthew’s doctor – she really believes that the parents know best and supports what they want to do.  She did say that there are a couple things that she does not believe should be a fight between parents and children, which are eating and sleeping.  I wasn’t sure what she meant by this and feared that she meant that we should let Matthew call the bedtime shots.  Quite the contrary.  She feels that parents need to make the decisions that are best for them when it comes to eating and sleeping and conform their babies to those decisions.  In other words, if you want your baby on a paleo (or vegetarian, vegan, etc.) diet, then do it and just make sure they’re getting the vitamins and minerals they need.  If you want your baby sleeping through the night (and she agreed that he should be at this age), then she suggests the Ferber method and said to stick it out.  I told her that I’ve tried everything and she said that when her patients try various techniques, they usually end up with Ferber because it’s the one that works the best and most consistently.

I told her how things are going and she said that she does have some patients who get worse before they get better with the Ferber method and to keep on keeping on.  She did say that I need to be prepared for this to take a full two weeks.

OK.

So I’m going to keep on keeping on.  I started tonight at 8:19 when Matthew went to sleep in his crib as I covered him with his blankie.  I woke him up from his nursing slumber and laid him down as he cried a bit.  I patted his back just a little, tucked him in, and said goodnight.  He was asleep before I shut the door behind me.  Call me crazy, but I’m hoping for a decent night.