Saturday, July 24, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

Most mothers will tell you that they have somewhat of a routine when it comes to their day to day activities with their children. Although I do not consider myself a very rigid person with a tight schedule, having a routine is what keeps me sane. For the past month or so Sophia and I have had a routine that goes something like this:

7:30- Wake up, have breakfast
8:00- Get dressed, clean up the kitchen

8:45- Head to the gym, Sophia plays in the kids' club and mommy exercises and charges up for the days' activities.

10:30- Come home, Sophia takes a nap, Mommy does laundry, takes a shower, usually reads for a few minutes.

12:00-4:00- This is the time when we eat lunch and then run any necessary errands. Otherwise we can usually be found at home playing with Sophia's beloved bunny chair or other fun toys.
4:45- Sophia goes down for nap #2. Usually Mommy uses this time for herself or to spend with Daddy if he is home.
5:45- Start thinking about preparing dinner and usually eat around 6:30 or 7:00.

8:15- Story time and night night time for Sophia.

Yesterday, this routine did not exist! Sophia woke up at 8:15 which is late for her. We went to Einstein's Bagel for breakfast, dropped Daddy at the airport, and went to the gym. When we got home at 11:00, Sophia had a lot of energy, so I decided to let her play more. When it was 12:45 and she still wasn't tired I started getting frustrated. I made several attempts to calm her down such as reading, rubbing her back, singing, and rocking her in the pitch black bathroom. I have truly never been so frustrated since having Sophia. I started feeling like a bad mommy because I was so angry. I never actually yelled at her, but in my heart, I was so so angry! I actually started praying, begging God to calm her down. Being home with a child all day can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Sophia's nap time is my time to recharge and be somewhat productive (if you can call it that). I must have made 10 attempts to get her to take a nap. Around 4pm I actually sat her in her crib and shut the door. She amused herself for a good 15 minutes and then started screaming. The only time I left the house yesterday, was so that I could pick up an order of Chili Cheese Fries to drown my sorrows away. It didn't help... Sophia finally decided to settle down and go to bed at 9:00. I thought to myself, at least she will sleep well. When I heard her crying this morning, I was sure it must be at least 8:30am. When I looked at my phone and saw that it was 5:50am, I almost cried. She woke at 5:50am and played until 9:30am when she finally crashed and she is still sleeping! Finally Mommy can have her time to recharge and relax. The house is a mess, the trash actually smells a little, but I need to just relax right now. Being a mother is rewarding in so many ways, but can I just be honest for a second, and say that sometimes it is downright exhausting!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We are getting a new backyard!

James and I bought our first home in the beginning of April. We were so fortunate that it was not a foreclosure or a short sale. The most unfortunate thing about the house has been the fact that the backyard is completely unlandscaped. Thanks to our generous tax credit, we are finally able to afford to do some landscaping which will include a patio with cover, grass, and a granite border. The contractors are here this week working on the patio and prepping the yard for grass. We will wait to plant grass until the fall. Planting grass in the summer is like throwing money down your garbage disposal... a pretty dumb idea. Its too darn hot right now for grass to grow!

This is the before picture of the yard. Yuck!

The area against the the house will be a patio.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Breast is Best!

When I had my daughter last summer I was amazed at the reactions I received when I told people my decision to exclusively breastfeed. Although some were very supportive, others told me I was crazy, or even that it was gross. Immediately after I gave birth, I had a very difficult time teaching my daughter to latch properly. I was truly a slave to my breast pump for her first few months of life. I would try to get her to nurse and then if she wouldn't, I would pump and give her the bottle. Finally when she was 3 months old, I did away with the bottles and forced her to latch. She finally got it down, and ever since then, nursing has been a joy for both of us. Nursing is the most intimate bond a mother can share with her baby. Anyone can play with the baby, give the baby a bath or a bottle, but only a mother can share in that special bond that comes with nursing. I don't judge mothers who give their babies formula, I just feel very strongly that if a mother is in good health, she should do everything in her power to nurse and avoid formula.

There is so much research out there about the benefits of breastfeeding. These are just a few from the American Academy of Pediatrics

Benefits of Breastfeeding:

Perfect combination of protein, Carbohydrate and fat for a baby
Reduced risk of SIDS
Reduced risk of obesity later in life
Reduced risk of breast cancer for mother and baby
Antibodies in breastmilk act as a shield against viral infections for baby
Reduced risk of postpartum depression for mom
Faster postpartum weight loss for mom
Natural form of child spacing, (typically a woman who exclusively breastfeeds is not fertile for the first 6 months after delivery)

Formula cannot offer any of these guarantees, no matter what the package may say.
My daughter just turned a year old and I plan on continuing to nurse her. Society frowns upon nursing in so many ways, especially nursing an older baby. Giving a baby formula would certainly be easier and less time consuming than nursing, but being a mother is about doing whats best for the baby and I believe that providing your baby with such great nutrition is most certainly nothing to frown about.