Monday, January 17, 2011

Fun days in Mommy-land

**Warning...this gets a little gross**

Daddy is having to go into work super early (like be there at 4) last week and this week and Munchkin has been up between 5 and 6 every day. Today she gets up at 4. I go into her room to get her and bring her back to bed with me--I don't really want to get up before 7 if I can help it! I see her blanket piled up in her bed (normal), her pile of stuffed animal friends (normal), and something dark on the other side of her (not normal). I touched it and it wasn't pleasant. I turned on her light--meaning we're now both super duper awake and there's no going back to sleep for either of us--and find that she got sick sometime in the night. I know it wasn't really fresh, but it wasn't really old either. I feel horrible for her. She must not have woken up when she did it, because she didn't cry. Thankfully she didn't get any in her hair or on her friends, but it was all over her pjs, blanket, and one end of her bed.
I do have to say I'm a little glad that this happened on on Monday, since Mondays are the day I wash our sheets. (Thanks FlyLady!) So at least that was happening anyway and I don't have to make a special load for her stuff!
I'm not really sure why she got sick, but she's been her happy, normal self ever since I got her out of bed, so I'm not really worried about it. Here's hoping for a good nap today and that she doesn't get sick again!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"DOGGIE"

Yesterday afternoon Munchkin and I went to check our mail. She wanted to walk and was actually holding my hand, so we were walking and as we heard a dog bark, she said "Doggie?" I told her that we might see a doggie on our walk, since the house right next to the mailboxes have two dogs that are out often. They weren't out, and they're usually the only dogs I see when I check the mail. I told her that we probably wouldn't see any doggies...but right then, two people let their dogs out, so we didn't see just one doggie, but THREE! Munchkin got SO excited! She showed the level of excitement that is usually reserved for the latest teen heartthrob! "DOGGIE!! DOGGIE!! DOGGIE!!" She got upset that the doggies paid no attention to her--they were too busy barking at each other. She even tried to make me walk over to the fence and got very upset when I made her continue our way home. Thankfully I got her to remember we have our own doggie to see and that got her to get excited to go home and pet her doggie.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I'm gonna go there..

I've been debating for awhile about this, but I can't ignore it anymore. You may call me weird, you may call me crazy, you may call me gross, you may call me a mommy who doesn't want to face the fact her baby is growing up. I am weird, I am a little crazy, not so much agreeing on the gross part, and only partly agreeing on the last statement. Munchkin turns 16 months old this week and she's still nursing. No sign of stopping. No desire from either of us to quit and no reason to either. The World Health Organization recommends children breastfeed until the age of 2. America is one of the worst countries when it comes to breastfeeding, and it goes downhill the older the child. A lot of people quit at 6 months, most people's goal is 12 months when cow's milk is allowed in a child's diet, and then there's us "crazies" who keep going. Also, just as a note, "extended" breastfeeding is the norm in most non-western societies, so really we're the weird ones who wean our children so early!

Let me stop a second and let you know where I stand in all of the crazy name calling you may have seen going around. Breastfeeding is an intensely personal choice. Everyone has different circumstances and situations, so some feel that breastfeeding is not right for them. I'm glad that there is another option for them, but I am sad that a lot of women just aren't educated on the subject.


Here's our nursing story:
I have ALWAYS said that I would breastfeed my children unless there was a medical reason to do otherwise--as in I couldn't produce enough milk or the child had an intolerance to the milk (which is rare, but happens). When I got pregnant, I read what I could, talked to mom's who had nursed...but still, nothing prepared me! I was done a great disservice at the hospital that Munchkin was born in, they have absolutely zero lactation consultants. They have a couple lactation counselors, but they just spouted the same information that I had read in books and online, so they weren't much of a help to me. The nurse that helped deliver Munchkin is the one who first helped me feed her. I didn't like her at all, but didn't have a choice in the matter, so we went with it. She showed me how to hold her and get everything going...except it was extremely awkward. I am not exactly lacking in the breast department, so we were battling the fact that they were bigger than Munchkin's head and she was having difficulty latching on. I finally got someone to show me a different way to hold her--and that was magic. Even still, her tiny mouth had difficulty getting a good latch. I'm as stubborn as a mule, so I never even let the word formula be thought, let alone spoken. Our hospital had no nursery, so Munchkin was never away from both of us at the same time. If I couldn't go with her, Daddy did. Thankfully that meant we didn't have to deal with well-meaning nurses giving her anything we didn't want her to have (pacifiers, bottles of formula, or bottles of sugar water). I was in absolute agony for the first week of her life when she nursed, but I wasn't giving up. It got better (and my memory has gotten fuzzier) and by 4 weeks, we were good, by 6 weeks, we were absolute PROS! We introduced a pacifier when we got home from the hospital because if we hadn't, I would have been the paci!

When Munchkin was about 2 months old, I wanted to go see a movie, I arranged for a friend to babysit Munchkin, worked like mad to get enough milk pumped into bottles for the time I would be gone and went. She took the bottles well, but that was the last time she took a bottle from anyone but me. Don't get me wrong, we tried--I would stay up all hours of the night to pump milk into bottles so that Daddy could take her places without me, or so that I could get out for a little bit, but just wouldn't take them. He was so good at recognizing her hunger fussiness and getting her the bottle before it turned into a full fledged fit, but even still, she'd take it a second, look up, see it wasn't me, and refuse to take anymore. As soon as I would come around, I'd give her the exact same bottle and sure enough, she'd eat it up! So at that point, I quit wasting my time pumping. I was spending too much time, effort, and spilled milk out of the pump to make it worth anyone's while!

I've nursed in public without incident, no rude stares or comments, let alone any issue of being asked to leave somewhere. 99% of the time I did use a nursing cover, simply because I wanted it. I didn't feel like I HAD to have it, and at times it came in very handy to keep Munchkin on task! Now that's she's been getting bigger, it's been more of a hindrance than a help, but we're good enough and she's big enough that everything stays covered. Now Munchkin nurses sometimes in the mornings--most days she just goes straight for her breakfast without her milk appetizer, occasionally once during the day, sometimes to go down for her nap (that one is getting rarer and rarer--all her doing), and almost always for bed. It's comfort, extra food to keep her full, an immunity boost, and a love-drug boost.

She signs "milk, please" when she wants it--and will reach for the bottom of my shirt if she's sitting in my lap, but doesn't really lift it. Most of the time during the day, if she's near me, she'll ask whenever she's thirsty. I offer her water and we're good. We haven't given her cow's milk as a drink yet, but she gets her dairy in other things. She's healthy, a little on the low side for weight but definitely not malnourished, happy, and most importantly, we're happy!

One of the things that pushed me to really get this out was my experience at Curves last week. Somehow we got on the subject of breastfeeding and the calories it burns, and I mentioned that I still nurse Munchkin. The lady was shocked and appalled. She couldn't understand why I still do it--she said I should have quit at 6 months, and at the very least I need to give it to her in a cup or bottle, not actually nurse her. I told her the recommended age of weaning is 2 and she asked who told me that (fully expecting me to say "a friend" or something like that) and when I replied "The World Health Organization" she had nothing left to say on that front. She still kept trying to attack my decision, but I don't really care what she thinks. I got through to her a little, but I doubt that she'll share anything that I had to say about why I do it.
Another is a friend who is a new mommy--she posted in her blog wondering why nursing was so difficult, when it was supposed to be so easy. That right there is one of the biggest disservices we do to new moms. We make them think that breastfeeding should be easy because it's natural. Yes, women's bodies were designed to carry, birth, and nourish babies--but it is in no way easy. It takes hard work and education. Reading a book and looking at a couple drawings aren't good enough. There are resources out there, unfortunately they're hard to find, especially when you're a new mom who is still recovering from delivery, sleep-deprived beyond your wildest imagination, and worried about your baby getting enough to eat or not being in agony for your baby to get enough to eat. Moms shouldn't have to search out this help, it should be given to them from the start. I think we're starting to get there, but we're still a long way off.

Go look!

I'm starting Project 365 again this year, hoping to get farther than a month and a half. I wish I'd been able to start on Jan 1, but my camera battery died on Christmas and of course I left the charger at home. Yesterday was my first day of pictures, but my first picture post probably won't be until tomorrow. I made a new blog for my 365, because I want to keep Munchkin's Mommy about just that--not all the pictures! My 365 blog can be found HERE!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The adventures of a cloth diaper momma

This is gonna be a little on the "ewww" side...just warning ya!

I did diaper laundry yesterday and as I was pulling them out of the washer, something fell into my hand. Hmm....what is it? A whole, freshly washed, green bean! Totally didn't know it would survive being eaten AND being put through the wash!

Ok, so now we're done with the most "ewww" part...

Most people's reaction to me when I say we use cloth diapers are "WHAT?". Most people think that cloth diapers are for the stone ages, after all, why would you go through all the work and trouble of cloth when you can just get disposables? Well, 1) Disposables are expensive and always seem to run out at the most inopportune time. 2) Cloth are WAY cuter. 3) Cloth are better for baby and planet!
Cloth diapers are manufactured once, using less plastics (therefore oil) than disposables--obvsiously--and the water/detergent that is used to wash them isn't that much in our household. We have a HE washer and since cloth diapers are kinda finnicky on what detergent you can use, we use Seventh Generation detergent. It's fragrance, dye, and optical brightener free. It's also made from plant-based cleaners instead of petroleum based. We use it on all of our laundry so I don't have to buy different stuff. Works awesome! Yes, you do have to mess with poop--but you have to mess with poop in disposables too! Pretty much nobody does it, but you're even supposed to dump the poop from disposables into the toilet too. I promise it says so somewhere on the package. We have a diaper sprayer attached to the toilet that makes it super easy to rinse off the diapers, then they go into the diaper genie (minus the plastic baggie) until it's time to wash. I wash them every other day. We have 16 diapers, but if we want to cloth diaper a newborn, we'll need more--or do laundry a lot more often! Munchkin's diapers were made by a lady in Eagle River, AK, so we even helped out a WAHM instead of buying the diapers from a company! Go check out the cute things she makes at her online store!! I could really go on and on about how awesome these diapers are--very little leaks, a LOT less than with the disposables, very rare diaper rash, already interested in potty training at 15 months, the list goes on. So the next time you find out someone uses cloth, don't say "eww, what do you do with the poop?"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Better late than never...

With being gone all of last week, my two big post ideas have been put on hold. Those would be the "Year in Review" and "Happy New Year!" posts. So here we are with the "2010 Year in Review": *reaches for the 2010 calendar to make sure nothing is missed*

January: Not a whole lot went on in January. It was our last month before Daddy came home from Afghanistan and it was very cold in AK, so we didn't go out much! We had a few doctor's appointments, but that was about it!

February: HOMECOMING MONTH!!!! Definitely the highlight of our year! We also attended our second set of Kindermusik classes. We started feeding Munchkin "solids" and her favorite is sweet potato! We went to a few Alaska Aces hockey games, where I'm apparently bad luck. (They're doing fabulously this year, by the way, which I think proves my point!) and also went to Fur Rondevous. Mark ran with the reindeer (crazy crazy man!), we watched some local figure skaters, and saw the ice sculpture contest!

March: We saw the Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod Race--which is pretty darn cool--in Downtown Anchorage. We didn't brave the frigid temperature to go to the official start the next day since it was further away. Munchkin turned 6 months old in March, we thought time was flying then! Another hockey game or two (I do have to say I miss that about Alaska!) and my adorable nephew turned 2--we attended his party via Skype!

April: Here's where our year starts to get a little crazy. This is the month we start gearing up for our move to Louisiana. Housing inspections, trailer drop offs, packing, post-deployment appointments for Daddy....you name it, we did it. Munchkin also started crawling! We survived though!

May: Loading trailer, final house cleaning, final inspections, and turning in of the keys to the first house of our Army life. All within the first week! On my very first Mother's Day, sweet Munchkin and I flew--first class!--from Anchorage to Dallas, while Daddy and Lightning left that night in our car. My youngest cousin graduated from high school this May as well and Munchkin and I got to go to her graduation party! Munchkin's crawling skills really took off as she chased MG and Granddaddy's cats all over their house. She also got her first two teeth within two days of each other! Daddy showed up about 14 days after he started his trip..which isn't too bad!

June: Hello, Fort Polk, Louisiana! Where are the complimentary straws for drinking the air? We started the journey of getting a house here. We only had to live in temporary housing for a month! We also went to a family reunion for my family that I hadn't been to since I was about 2, so that was great fun! Munchkin fell off the bed the first day we got our temporary house and got a HORRIBLE black eye, but thankfully there was no major damage. She also started cruising the furniture. June also brought my birthday, Daddy's first Father's Day, and a few other family birthdays.

July: Happy 4th! We went home, and Daddy got to drive MG's Red Hot (Her red convertible New Beetle) in the 4th of July parade for the Grand Marshals. 3 generations of Eagle Scouts led the parade this year! We bought Munchkin her first pair of shoes while we were in Texas too! When we got back to Louisiana, we got a call letting us know they had a house available. We saw it as soon as we could and signed the paperwork! We got our household goods delivered and unpacked like crazy people! Daddy got some leave to unpack and set everything up, and during that, MG, Auntie Em, Bebe, & Mamu came for a visit!

August: Happy Birthday Daddy! Daddy also went to a school at the beginning of the month that has paid off well in the past couple months. We started going to PWOC and Kindermusik this month too!

September: Happy Anniversary to us! We celebrated our 4th anniversary (even though Daddy was in a rotation on the actual day) this year. Happy 1st Birthday Munchkin!!! What an eventful weekend that was. Munchkin was born on her Granddaddy's birthday, so we headed home for the big day. I went to get my hair cut, and Daddy comes in telling me they've called him back for some training purpose. He has to leave the next morning (Birthday day!). Such is Army life. We had Munchkin's party, complete with cake mini-disaster, and Granddaddy's party that night. Granddaddy drove me and Munchkin home that Monday. We found out that Daddy really didn't have to miss Munchkin's birthday and thankfully we no longer have to deal with that particular chain of command anymore! Munchkin got tooth #3 on her birthday and tooth #4 on MG's birthday a couple weeks later.

October: Not a whole lot happened in October. A couple fall fests on post, a very very disappointing pumpkin patch, and a fun day at the good pumpkin patch. Our big thing in October was Halloween. We won Daddy's troop's costume contest as the Flintstone family--costumes made by me! (You can go back and read all of that craziness!) Right before Halloween, tooth #5 made it's appearance and tooth #6 wasn't too far behind!

November: Again, November was a pretty standard month. Daddy was gone for most of it so it was just me and Munchkin. I started (and quit) Couch to 5K, but I started (and stuck with!) Curves! We stayed home and had a small Thanksgiving, which was when Munchkin decided that she was ready to WALK! She'd been cruising for months and had to make sure she knew she could walk across those open spaces flawlessly before she would do it! She also got tooth #7 and #8!!

December: We watched Daddy jump out of an airplane this month and finished our Kindermusik class. We discovered that Munchkin is allergic to peanuts and got her an EpiPen, Jr. to carry with us. Grandpa & Co came to visit us for a weekend too! We got pictures with Santa (Munchkin is afraid of him this year) and saw the Post Christmas tree light up. Christmas was a crazy week. We surprised Grandpa & Co on Christmas Eve and then Auntie Em's house on Christmas Day. We had a great week and rang in 2011 at Auntie Em's house playing games! Munchkin got tooth #9 and #10 this month too!!

So that's our year in review. I'm sure I've left things out, but that's what the point of this blog is for...as long as I keep it updated, that is! We're excited for what 2011 will bring for our family!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Oh goodness...

So it has been awhile...but Christmas is a busy time! We surprised Grandpa & Co. on Christmas Eve--they were expecting us on the 26th! We waited until Christmas afternoon to surprise Auntie Em & everyone at her house. I may have let a tiny bit slip....I'm no good at lying and MG called to see how our Christmas morning was going, but they were still surprised to see us! We all got fabulous presents (that are going to be interesting to transport home!) and more importantly, had a great time with the families! Munchkin is starting to come around to everyone, saying "Hi" to more than just me, Daddy, and Lightning. Speaking of Lightning, Munchkin's new word is "Doggie", although it comes out more like "oggie" since she's not so good at the "d" sound yet. She calls EVERY animal she sees an "oggie". We correct her nicely and go on. It's really quite cute. She started attempting to say "Lightning" last night, but I'm not quite sure how it really came out. We've had some adventures this week, and I'm working on our year in review. Welcome 2011. We're not sure what you may hold for us, but we're ready!