Tag Archive: co-sleeping

So… it has been over a year since I’ve posted here. The blog, she languishes…

So much has changed since I last wrote. For one, the first thing that comes to mind as I read the last post is that the whole “CIO” thing? Didn’t last. Nope. Not right for us after all. After maybe a week of sleeping quite well and going to sleep on her own without crying she started waking often and crying (the first couple of times trying the “sleep training” she cried for 15 minutes tops and then went to sleep).  Well, as it turns out, I wasn’t up for letting her cry any longer than that and certainly not denying her nursing at night either.  I started nursing and holding her until she fell asleep in my arms and then putting her back in her crib. Then, after discussing with my husband and realizing he wasn’t in any hurry to come back upstairs into our bed and that he was truly OK with me co-sleeping with my girl and all of that, we quickly resumed co-sleeping and night nursing and no longer trying any sort of CIO.  Within 3 weeks of trying a bit of sleep training, I had decided that we would NOT be doing that again and that it was just not my thing.

I know plenty of WONDERFUL moms who have done some sleep training with their children and they are warm, kind and caring moms. Many of them also have done extended breastfeeding and other attachment parenting types of things. But moms, parents… we need sleep in order to function.  So I don’t fault anyone for sleep training.  I did it too.  For me, and for our family however, it was just not the right choice.  Turns out we get better sleep and are able to feel better during the day, too, when we co-sleep and comfort each other that way.

I did eventually try some night weaning using Dr. Jay Gordon’s gentle method of night weaning but it seemed each time I tried, my little girl would get sick and I felt she needed that night nursing to get better.

Then in early May of 2011 we discovered I was pregnant again!  Yay!  So… what would become of our nursing relationship?  Would my girl continue?  Would I want to?  What about sleeping?  How would that be affected?

We raised the bed up a bit as I got heavier in pregnancy as getting up off the mattress on the floor was getting rather uncomfortable and so we put it on the box springs and that helped.  But we continued nursing to sleep for naps and bedtime.  Then… something miraculous happened and I’m not sure exactly when, but my sweet daughter finally started to sleep through the night.  Perhaps the lack of milk partway through my pregnancy along with my gentle urging that “milk is sleeping” finally did the trick and she started blissfully sleeping until morning.  Once in awhile she’d wake briefly and ask for her water sippy cup using her familiar “drink” sign she amended with a finger in her mouth and a gurgling sound.  Then back to sleep she’d go.  Now if only my bladder had cooperated, but it did not, I was still not sleeping through the night because that pregnant body kept waking me up!

In any case, my pregnancy went really well.  I was never the “burping rainbows and farting unicorns” type of pregnant woman.  Pregnancy was a means to an end for me, but the ends certainly justified the means!  Still, I was blessed with a really uneventful pregnancy aside from a few UTI’s at the end.  I got huge like the previous pregnancy and was pretty uncomfortable.  I had nausea for longer than the first trimester.  And my desire to eat meat was greatly reduced.  But… I was able to continue nursing my daughter through the pregnancy.  I also went the midwife and doula route this time around instead of the OB/GYN route.  It was the most wonderful experience. Hands down.

With my OB/GYN, she was wonderful, but she was not on duty the day I had my daughter.  She also was not often present at many of my appointments and I had her alternate instead who was kind of “old school” for my taste.  In her birth, I had my water break naturally a few days before her due date.  Then the doctor suggested induction and along came the pitocin.  Despite what I had learned prior to birth from our prenatal class taught be a doula, I was so tired at that point having not slept that I caved and just wanted things to “speed up” myself.  If I had only known then what I know now!  But, that was not meant to be.  In time I ended up with gas, some fentenol (sp?) and an epidural which lead to not being able to feel how to push, and eventually a birth with an episiotomy and tearing. UGH.

With my son’s birth, my water broke and things were much different.  I called the doula and midwife.  They told me to eat and rest which I did manage to do a bit.  I went to the hospital and labored for a long time in the shower with the doula helping me through contractions.  Then my husband, doula and midwife all helped me to figure out how to push and I was able to have him with just using the gas to get me through transition.  It was easily the most primal thing I have ever done but I LOVED it in comparison to my daughter’s birth.  I felt so much better afterward.  I had that baby boy on my stomach immediately (as I had with my daughter) and I got to see that they truly waited for the cord to finish pulsing before clamping.  I also breastfed him right away compared with waiting in the case of my daughter until after I was fully stitched up.  It all was a better experience all around and I do have to thank my first experience for informing me of what I DIDN’T want and reading up enough to know what I DID want this time around.  My son and I both benefited!

Anyway, now here we are… my toddler is now 2 years and 4 months and the baby boy is 4 months old.  Things are going well and life is good although we watch more TV than I would ideally like.  🙂  In any case, there is more to update but I hope to be posting soon about my story of weaning my sweet precious daughter right around the time she turned 27 months old (after 3 months of tandem nursing).  So… thought it was as good a time as any to post a quick update.  I hope to fill in the blanks sometime soon and start posting again more often.  It seems like as good a way as any to keep track of so many important memories as well as to carve out some time for me to collect my thoughts.



Fresh Start

And so a new year begins.  2011.  My little Ba-Bean has turned one and the day before she did, she decided she could take more than a couple of steps at a time.  Yes, she resolved for the new year to walk longer, better and faster!  Off she went.  For her birthday I started to make a healthy baby-friendly carrot cake.  I say started because she decided not to nap in the morning and to be VERY grumpy in the afternoon so Mommy ended up having to haul her around while Daddy finished the cake.  And I use the word “cake” loosely here.  Because the texture was decidedly un-cake-like.  Could have been the recipe.  Could have been our wonky oven that cannot keep a consistent temperature and always ends up running hot and burning things.  But it rose.  Then it sank.  And it was a very moist dense… cake/bar/pound cake?  I’m not really sure.  But I slathered it with a mixture of cream cheese and whipping cream and we put candles on it and she liked it.  I think she mostly liked the icing.  She loves dairy this kid, much like her Mom.  I think she was also just happy I gave her a big piece all to herself to play with and demolish.  Success!

Then, as my new year resolution, now that baby girl was a year old, I felt ready to implement my custom sleep plan created for us.  I must admit to dragging my feet on this myself, but then the sleep plan took forever to get sent off, and never did physically arrive in our mailbox so I had to wrangle a PDF copy from our sleep consultant.  When it finally arrived in my email, BaBean was suffering from some pretty severe teething (grumpy viking, hear me roar) and caught her Daddy’s cold.  So… sleep train we did not.  Until the day after her first birthday.  We were finally ready.  It was time.

I was quaking in my boots on the inside.  I’m not going to lie to you.  I was terrified she would cry so hard she would vomit and not sure I could follow through if things got that harsh.  I hate hearing her cry at any time, even in frustration.  And she had slept with my for months, always falling asleep at the breast, with her warm little body next to mine.  If it was cold out at night, I’d awake to find her snuggled up firmly against my side under my armpit and I was stuck sleeping wedged between her and the bedrail.  But it was worth it in a way.  I gave her the best start I could.  She had lots of love, and nursing, and warmth at night.  She grew big and strong.  And now she is one-year-old and her independence is growing every day.

She’s not going to be leaving home any time soon.  But she is becoming her own little toddler person.  So we did it.  I followed the plan in the big picture and the main important points.  But… there were a few areas I made my own.  A year of mothering my little girl gave me the confidence to tweak a few points that I felt were in her best interest and that I really felt with my Attachment Parenting vision would help and not hinder allowing her to go to sleep by herself safe in the knowledge that Mommy still loves me and will be there for me if I need her.

I gave her as much time to nurse before sleeping as she wanted (no “brisk feeding” as it was noted to do) for me.  My little girl would get the comfort and nutrition she needed as she knows better than any time constraint or sleep consultant what she needs from my body.  And it worked.  The first nap and first night were the hardest.  But she learned SO quickly.  And she slept.  And fell asleep on her own for the first time in months.  And slept in her crib!  She had NEVER slept in her crib before.  I was SO proud of her I could just burst!

Now here we are at Day 3 of the plan and she allows me to put her into the crib and leave her to go to sleep and not even a peep.  She was ready.  I was ready.  I miss her though.  I really do.  She may sleep well and not wake often or for long, but I am still waking up every 2 hours or so.  And my breasts miss the night time nursing.  Yikes!  I haven’t seen them like this since my milk first came in a year ago!  Crazy.  But it will be good for us.  I can see it.  I am enjoying no longer being her human pacifier.  Now when we breastfeed it is even more enjoyable than before as it isn’t frustrating if she doesn’t go to sleep.  They aren’t needed for that any more.  Our time together nursing is now that much more precious and wonderful to me.  I’m so happy as I want to do extended breastfeeding with her, and this just makes that all the more possible I believe as there is no resentment, just enjoyment.

I’m also not going to lie that I am not “proud” of the actual CIO.  But… I am proud that my little girl took it in stride and was ready.  I feel very glad I waited although it was a really long year.  It made the whole thing so much less painful than it might otherwise have been and feels like I made the right choices along the way.  Hallelujah!

Now if only I could get some sleep too.  Perhaps I will have to CIO myself?!?!  🙂

So, I have been trying really, REALLY hard over the last 10 months or so to get Savannah to sleep well.  I have read enough about baby’s sleep to know that both naps and nighttime sleep are vitally important to their growth and development.  Not enough sleep and they can’t concentrate and learn things, plus I think just physically it can impede growth if they are not getting the restorative sleep they need.

So, yes, sleep is very important to me.  I have been trying to keep a schedule for her for a long many months now too.  From what I understand, routines are ALSO important to babies.  It gives them comfort to know “what comes next” and to be able to count on consistency and routines.  So, I try to make sure the days follow a fairly consistent path from one day to the next.  There are different things that we do sometimes, like trips to get groceries, or appointments that we have.  But I have been trying to make sure we get back home at reasonable times so that we can hit those elusive optimal nap times and to make sure she is fed regularly, etc.

I have to admit, this has all been rather hectic for me.  I’m not sure why it seems like so much work, but it does.  I spend time planning meals and trying to be sure she is getting a good mixture of fruits, veggies, grains, meats, dairy.  And now that I’ve introduced snacks, well, gosh, it takes even longer for my poor sleep deprived brain to figure out what to do each day (yes, I ensure my daughter gets her sleep, but me, on the other hand, I am the all night breastaurant still nursing her every 1, 2 or 3 hours when she wakes briefly so that it is, indeed, brief and we can go back to sleep and not stay up for 2 HOURS).

Should I do peas for lunch?  Dinner?  Have I given her something green?  Yellow or orange?  A fruit?  A veg?  What grain did I give earlier?  OK, maybe I should do this.  How about some dairy.  Oh crap.  What meat am I going to make or use?  Hmmmm.  How long will it take me to cook some pasta and add frozen beef puree so that she gets a meat in?

I swear, it is a full-time job for me right now.

I wonder to myself often how other Moms do this and make it look so darned easy?!?!  Seriously!

I am sure that my sleep deprivation is not helping either as I KNOW I have had “attitude” with the dog and the cat when they meow or bark and wake the baby.  Then I’m seriously NOT happy with them.  One day I was certain I was shipping the cat off to the SPCA I was so frustrated with him… hopping into the crib, meowing to get out of the crib, hopping onto the bed, meowing and pawing at me.  GO. AWAY. NOW. CAT. IF. YOU. VALUE. YOUR. LIFE.

Oh, yes.  And let’s not forget my poor hubby.  Sleeping in the basement as it were.  Because, yes, I am the bad Mom who still co-sleeps with her daughter at 10 months of age.  I just can’t bear night wakings that require me to physically get OUT of bed, so I do what is the path of least resistance.  And, what has felt right for many months as well.  To be there physically to comfort my baby girl.  To build that connection.  To “Attachment Parent” if you will.

But the time has come where I really am starting to think it is in everyone’s best interest for us all to get better sleep.  I need to sleep in order to function at a higher level.  My daughter needs to learn how to go to sleep without requiring nursing to do it (it has to happen sometime, although I am glad to say that I have given her this comfort for this long).  My hubby needs to come back upstairs (besides which, when he is back upstairs and Savannah is sleeping in her crib by herself, when she wakes early on weekends I might actually *gasp* get a day to sleep in and Daddy can get up with the baby… God I can dream about it… if I could only sleep…).

Anyway, so I have gone ahead and contacted a sleep consultant.  It occurs to me that my foggy brain is no longer competent to sift through the rubble and books and make a good plan for us.  So we have help on the way.  A person who has helped other Mommies and Daddies I know.  She comes highly recommended.  And so I am putting my trust in her to help me “sleep train” (choo choo) my daughter.  I am SO nervous about the crying part.  I never ever wanted to resort to CIO.  It truly is, for me, a last resort.  But I am trying to remember that I have given her a really good start with 10 months of cuddles.  And I will make it up to her with as many daytime snuggles as she needs.  But at some point, I am realizing she also will need to learn the hard lesson that Mommy can’t always say “yes” to all her demands.  That sometimes, when something is better for her, I will have to say “No” much as it may pain me (and her).

So, I will continue to be “working on the railroad” with my daily routines and schedules and meal planning.  That part of this choo choo train will keep on turning.  But hopefully, in the not so near future, at least the sleep train will involve ZzzZzzzz’s for all.  And when it does (crossing fingers and toes), I am going to join my Belly Buddy (oops… she reminded me, we aren’t pregnant Belly Buddies any more, so I am going to have to start referring to her as “little mama g”) my friend little mama g in a Slumber Party!

Sweet Dreams!

Being that it is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, it seems as good a time as any to remember to give thanks for all the blessings in my life. I like to think that I practice gratitude regularly, but sometimes it is good to have a holiday that reminds you if you’ve been slacking in the gratitude department a bit.

As a sleep-deprived new Mom, I can admit there are times I am practicing more in frustration management and patience than real gratitude.

But then there are times, even among the frustrating moments, where awesome things happen (and by awesome, I don’t mean surfer-dude awesome, but the original meaning… things that create awe, or perhaps even in some cases, in a new sense… things that create “awwww”).

Yesterday, for example, I was trying to make a lasagna. My daughter needed to let out some steam and move around so I set up some play space with lots of toys in the kitchen and tried to barricade the dangerous spots from her reach. I then set about making the lasagna. Of course I was almost done when I discovered I was short one lasagna noodle and needed to boil one more. Argh. Frustration. Plus every 2 minutes I was picking the baby up and moving her back to the middle of the room where she would quickly tire of the toys and go back to investigating various things. The dog and the cat got in on the action, driving me bananas. Then a diaper needed changing.

So I start the noodle boiling, go change a diaper, come back, get the cat off the table. Again. Then put my daughter in her Exersaucer so I could enjoy a few minutes of her being “contained” for play while I finished the lasagna up and could get it in the oven so I could give her my undivided attention. She started fussing, the cat was climbing all over the counter, the dog was lying in front of the counter and I was losing my mind. I thought to myself briefly “this is why women go back to work so they don’t have to deal with this!” and then just as quickly it occurred to me that actually, women who work have it harder as they have to go to work all day, miss spending time with their babies, and then come home and deal with making dinner and entertaining the baby, dog and cat anyway!

So amidst my moment of “bananas” I suddenly let out a sigh of exasperation only to turn around and look at my baby girl playing in her Exersaucer. And then magic. She gave me the most beautiful smile. Just grinned at me. “Look at me playing Mommy! Aren’t I a good girl?” her smile seemed to say to me. It was just what I needed at that moment and I felt my frustration melt away. “What a good girl you are!” I said “Mommy loves you very much”.

Yes, I have much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for (in no particular order)…

  • my husband who supports me even when he disagrees with me, and who is such a good listener
  • my precious baby girl, who is big and healthy and happy
  • her beautiful smile and contagious giggles
  • the opportunity to stay at home with her and watch her grow and develop
  • my parents who are such inspiration and support to me still and who I can REALLY talk to
  • my extended family – I have a sister-in-law who has done so much for us in terms of bringing us baby clothes, toys and gear from her brother and his wife.  Invaluable to us!  I also have terrific nieces and nephews who are so much fun to be around and such a joy in my life.  My older brother and his wife have also agreed to be our guardian for baby girl heaven forbid something should happen to hubby and me.  That gives me so much comfort.  I have a little brother who has such a great sense of humor and always puts his fun and unique twist on things in life.  I have a new niece and nephew through my hubby and this new niece is such a neat person.  She loves music and to reflect on life and I am enjoying getting to know her.  I have a cousin who is like a sister to me and she has a baby girl too who is just 7 weeks ahead of ours.  It is such a pleasure knowing they are growing up “together” even though we live in different cities.  She also shares a lot of my philosophies on life and parenting and it is great to share ideas and thoughts and emotions along the way with her.
  • my friends – both new and long-term for their support, tips, wisdom and laughter
  • my Belly Buddy who helped me through my pregnancy and has been an ear when I needed to talk (especially when no one else would likely want to hear THAT much detail about all the steps along the way)
  • breastfeeding and that we are still going strong, especially knowing how good it is for her (and me)
  • co-sleeping allowing me to get more sleep than I think I would otherwise and allowing me more bonding time with her
  • our pets (they drive me crazy for sure, but I also have many reasons to love them too – furry cuddles and protection)
  • the fact that my fear of spiders is getting a bit better (I still HATE them, but I have the inner strength to kill them and breathe a sigh of relief every time I do so)
  • that we live in the age of the internet so I can research all things baby, and have been able to meet other like-minded new Moms (both on the net, and some in person – I LOVE Internetworking)
  • cloth diapers (cute AND good for the environment)
  • books (I love continuous learning and have read some fantastic books that feed my mind)
  • fresh sheets and towels
  • music (and especially lyrics)
  • cuddles
  • inspiration
  • creativity
  • empathy
  • Grey’s Anatomy (a girl needs a little escape once in awhile)
  • fashion
  • hot water
  • my financial savvy (thanks Mom & Dad and the Wealthy Barber)
  • Baby Centre (and to the Moms there who have shared their stories with me and each other)
  • Facebook (much as it sometimes annoys me, I also love keeping up with friends and hearing how people are doing, sharing photos and videos, etc.)
  • Skype – for allowing me to converse and see video for free with family and friends far away
  • Excel (God I love my spreadsheets – I have kept a personal budget tracking my spending for 10 + years now on one!)
  • Turkey dinners complete with all the fixings (gravy! mashed potatoes or scalloped potatoes! that yam dish with the marshmallows and brown sugar on top!)
  • Roast beef dinners complete with all the fixings (gravy! yorkshire puddings! mashed potatoes!)
  • Pasta (every kind from ravioli to spaghetti to lasagne to KD)
  • Lobster and other seafood (gosh, you’d think I was hungry, but I just ate, I swear!)
  • Sunshine-y days
  • Sunbeams
  • Rainbows (no, I am not going to say “unicorns too”)
  • Showers (the kind where I can wash my hair, not rain showers – although I like rain showers in specific circumstances like when lying in bed at night and listening to the soothing rain sounds outside)

I could go on, but I won’t.  I’m tired, baby will likely wake again soon, and I am going to go and climb into bed and be thankful for my bed, for sleep, and for the cuddles and the smell of my daughter’s skin that come with nursing when I’m not sleeping at night.

So I’ve been talking a lot lately with friends who are parents about sleep deprivation.  I don’t think I really understood how bad it would be until I had a baby.  I also mistakenly thought it would only last for a short while at that beginning newborn stage and then would get better.

Simply put, I was wrong.

There are days I get a blissful 3 or even 4 hour stretch of sleep in a row.  These days are far and few between.  Some people have babies who “sleep through the night” from an early age (it should be noted that this is defined as 5 hours in a row, normally from midnight to 5am or so for babies).  Not mine.

We are in a bit of a catch-22 situation now.  We co-sleep because we breastfeed and it is the quickest way to get her back to sleep in the middle of the night.  She wakes up, puts up a fuss, I roll over and offer the breast and it is a quick nursing and back to sleep for both of us.  No getting up (most nights).  No trying to put a baby back into a crib and not wake them after you’ve gotten them back to sleep.

However, because we co-sleep, my presence in the bed with her is most likely ALSO the source of her frequent waking.  I mean really… why sleep through when you can wake up and have a snack at the all night diner?  It is warm, ready and waiting 24/7 and your most favorite and delicious treat.  Plus it makes you happily sleepy again and you can drift off to sleep in comfort?  So, yup, I am in a bit of a difficult situation now.  I also have thought about letting her “CIO” (Cry It Out for the non-parents among you who are reading this).  The idea of getting her to fall asleep on her own, in her beautiful currently unused crib, and then sleep for many hours straight is extremely appealing.  I’m not going to lie about that.  But the few times I’ve let her cry, even for a short while, it tore me apart.  So even knowing full well that some short-term crying could mean long-term salvation for my sleep deprived brain, I just can’t bear to do it.  Yet.

I am not completely opposed to the idea, but I do admit that every time I read another article or story on how babies crying is not good for them, I cling to that article and notion as a way to justify my reluctance to do CIO.  So although it would appear I AM a sissy when it comes to CIO, I can truly say that I am a trooper when it comes to dealing with sleep deprivation.

I must say that I now realize also why they use sleep deprivation tactics to wear down prisoners of war.  I am starting to believe my Mommy brain may never fully recover from the ongoing lack of sleep.  My language skills are languishing sadly.  I am very forgetful.  I babble.  I am clumsy.  More clumsy than ever before as my battered and bruised body can attest.  At least the upside of this is that my daughter has recently taken to finding my pain hilarious.  She giggled hysterically when I banged my knee on the table and was gasping for breath.  Then every time I said “ouch” she giggled even harder til I thought for sure she would pee her diaper (thank God for cloth diapers!).  At least there are upsides to everything it would seem.  🙂

The toughest part of all, however, would be trying to share in the “go to sleep” duties with my husband.  My hubby, bless his heart, tries to help out when he can hear on the monitor that the baby isn’t sleeping.  However, sometimes his timing is just the worst!  I’ll be letting her roll around babbling, hoping she’ll tire herself out and go back to sleep without requiring the assistance of my breasts.  Then sure enough, just as she has finally rolled onto her stomach and laid down her head to rest… he will appear in the bedroom, ready to save the day in any way he can help.  Up pops her head, excited and ready to play.  Daddy’s here!  Hooray!  I silently curse in my head and plead with him to sneak back out of the room silently so she’ll go back to sleep.  Then in comes the dog.  Click, click, click go her toenails on the floor.  Another excited gasp from the baby and she tries desperately to crawl toward the sound while still trapped in her baby sleep sack.  I bury my head in the pillow and groan at this point.  I will apparently be starting again at ground zero trying to get her back to sleep.

Le sigh.

I love my husband SO much for wanting to help.  I know, too, that this too shall pass.  It is my current catch phrase and I am sure it will remain as such for a long time to come.  In any case, we will figure it out.  I feel terrible, too, for being so frustrated when he has bad timing like that.  It isn’t his fault.  It really isn’t anyone’s fault.  And she does, in time, go back to sleep.  She can’t stay awake forever.  I am also sure that if I got more sleep on a regular basis I wouldn’t be so frustrated by such things.

Thankfully my hubby is a patient man when it comes to me and his family.  It is a big adjustment becoming parents later in life.  I am so happy we met, though, and sleep deprivation and frustrations aside, at the end of the day, I am glad he is my husband and partner and that we have this pretty terrific baby to love.

Now if only we could get some sleep.  🙂

As my Belly Buddy would say… the time she finally sleeps through the night (STTN), we will have to have a party.  But it will be a slumber party!  LOL.  Well said little mama g, well said!

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So you think you can blog

So I imagine most people think they can write.  If they can put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard and get the spelling close enough that spell checker corrects it, then writing happens.  I suppose I am one of those people.  But I don’t have any illusions of grandeur.  I don’t suppose that my meandering thoughts or observations are going to change the world nor lead to a stunning novel or anything of the sort.

I just want to have a forum to discuss things of interest to me, and things that I hope might sometimes strike a chord with others.  Being a new Mom, I am learning so much all the time and I know that what other Moms have shared with me has had such a positive impact on me.  They have provided me with ideas for sleep, feeding, where to buy things, and how to handle different and new situations.  Most importantly, they have provided immeasurable support, and I just want to pass some of that along to others if I can.  To that end, I am going to share a little bit of myself with the world (and lucky for you, there is no one who is going to force you to read this if you don’t want to – certainly not me!).

Breastfeeding is one of those things I have learned quite a bit about over the past 9 months.  I have been SO lucky to have a daughter who latched on that first day and although we went through that rough first 2 weeks together (hello painfully sore nipples!), we came out the other side with a strong breastfeeding relationship.  The more I read about how good it is for our babies, I can’t help but want to share what I know and the things that helped me.  If more Moms who may want to breastfeed can be encouraged to do so, and provided with ideas that may help them, I’d be thrilled.  Sometimes all it takes is just plain inspiration and a goal to get over “the hump” that is the beginning of breastfeeding.  I was blessed to have a friend with a baby 7 months older than mine and she gave me the straight goods.  Knowing what to expect I had a goal in mind that kept me focused.  It ain’t easy, and certainly is no place for sissies.  But oh it is worth it!

I have also gotten in touch with my inner granola.  Being a professional accountant for the last 15 years has not exactly prepared me for motherhood.  The budgeting aspect, perhaps.  But the rest of it?  Not so much.  My previous desk job was not nearly as physically demanding as what I am doing now, and at 39 years old I am not exactly a spring chicken any more.  Luckily for me, somewhere deep inside lurked the heart of a “natural Mom”.  I have started making dinners “from scratch” (and they are shockingly healthy for the most part).  It surprised both me and my husband that I could actually do this!

When I was a single working girl living by myself with my cat, take-out was a staple of my diet.  My life was filled with working (and lots of overtime), shopping, sailing, changing my hairstyle and color practically every month, riding my cruiser bike along the seawall, more shopping, TV watching, reading fashion magazines, eating out, and going for drinks.  That was not so long ago (September 2008).

Now, just 2 years later I have grown my hair out to its natural color, I might have a tiny bit of wine every 2 weeks or so, I haven’t been on my bicycle nor a sailboat since I became pregnant in April of 2009, and suddenly I am a co-sleeping, baby-wearing, breastfeeding, baby-led-weaning, cloth-diapering Mama and wife (with a dog and a cat to boot).

Now don’t go getting the wrong idea about me.  I won’t wear socks and Birkenstocks.  If I could get away with wearing my prettier clothes without fear of spit up and other disasters, I know I would be a much more fashionable Mom today.  It does sadden me a bit when I think of all that time and money spent shopping and now my nicer clothes hang lonely in the closet.  Alas, I have been relegated to mostly jeans and t-shirts, but at least I still have my cool shoes (hello Fluevogs!).

What is more granola about me, however, is my desire to improve the world in whatever way I can, starting with myself:

  • Eating healthier (did you know cauliflower is delicious when sharp cheddar is grated on top?  It also makes for great finger food for my little baby-led-weaning eater.)
  • Breastfeeding (so that’s what they’re for!  I am SO becoming a lactivist, albeit I don’t want to be a pushy one)
  • Co-sleeping (ok, so it may not initially sound like it would make the world a better place, but if I get more sleep it means I will be less grumpy and a less grumpy Mom is… well… you get the idea)
  • Responding quickly to my baby’s cries (I know the people in the grocery store don’t like hearing it… neither do I)
  • Reducing my consumerism (although that one is tough… have you seen the adorable baby shoes and hats?)
  • Reading more and watching TV less (it is all relative – I still can’t give up Grey’s Anatomy, I’m sorry I’m a lesser person for this)
  • Reducing, reusing and recycling more (hello re-usable grocery bags, Tupperware, and blue boxes)
  • Cloth diapering to reduce the disposables and their nasty chemicals going into landfills (plus fluffy bums are so stinkin’ cute – have you seen today’s cloth diapers?  If not, you really must.)
  • Baby Wearing (a weird term, I know, but you will often find me with baby on my hip in her sling while I pathetically try and push the empty stroller which has become the world’s largest rolling purse instead)
  • Cleaning up my language 🙂  (I’m trying to remember that I need to set a good example in all I do)

That is quite a lot of change in 2 short years.  But I am used to change.  In fact, I embrace change.  I always have, especially when I feel the change is for the better.

I am THAT person who has moved 10 times in 15 years (one was to move from Calgary to Vancouver, somewhat on a whim that I “needed to live by the ocean”).  I have changed jobs 8 times in 15 years.  Within that time I have also been married and divorced quickly, followed by 6 different boyfriends, and then finally met the man of my dreams who is now my husband.  Since that point on, we have been on what we refer to as “The Fast Forward Plan”.  Moved in together within 3 months.  Started trying to have a baby.  Got pregnant.  Got married.  Had our baby.

It has been a bit of a blur, but a ride I have very much enjoyed with all of its ups and downs.  As Bryan Adams would say, however, I still believe “The best is yet to come” and look forward to whatever the future holds.

I also look forward to hearing whatever you may wish to share with me… your comments, questions and debates.  I still have much to learn!

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