Thursday, February 25, 2010

Food Rant

Maggie started on solid foods around 5 months of age....and was an excellent eater, always willing to try new things, and ate everything I put in front of her........until recently. What she likes one day, she may throw off her tray the next. I can't get her to eat meat consistently (i don't think she likes the texture), and forget anything green (unless they are peas). I feel like a horrible and lazy mom, because I am feeding her the same things over and over again. I try to avoid overdoing the grains...which would be easy to do, because babies seem to like crackers and I'm left with fruit, veggies, and dairy products as my options (since I can't get her to eat meat). Staples in her diet are...
-Organic whole milk, plain yogurt with some sort of berry
-cottage cheese
-sweet potatoes
-apples...............okay, ANY fruit, she loves
-kidney and black beans
-- sometimes she'll eat PBJ

When I write it out as a list, it seems like it's not much. I know she goes through phases where she doesn't want to eat much at all (due to teething), but I can't help but feel like I am slacking as a mother because I don't provide her with more variety, and I don't push veggies and meat more. Don't get me wrong, she's growing and gaining weight beautifully...I just don't want her to not be properly nourished.

What makes me feel even worse about myself as personal chef to Maggie, is that I KNOW what good, nourishing options are for babies (I'm Thrifty Oreganic's sister) yet, I have no energy in the kitchen to soak things, and boil bones, and culture products---believe me, I wish I did! Maybe one day I'll be more inspired....but for now, I avoid spending any more time in the kitchen than is already necessary to feed my family 3 meals a day. I hate that I feel this way....maybe my priorities will change.

What have you other moms experienced when it comes to feeding a toddler?

Friday, February 5, 2010

A new year....a one-year-old....a purpose.

I would apologize for not writing in such a long time, but I've probably spoken in person with a majority of my (few) readers :) over the holiday season, and haven't had much time to write lately.

So, it's a new year.....Maggie turned one in January, and I can't believe how fast the year went by. I'm realizing more and more that time is something I need to be treasuring instead of wasting (which is what I am really good at doing). As much as I complain about the trials that being a mom can bring....I am loving my new role whole-heartedly, and I know I'll regret not savoring every moment more when my kids are older, and have no time for me :) Maggie had a wonderful first birthday, celebrated with her best baby friends and our close friends. She isn't walking yet, but she can stand on her own, and she walks with a push toy all around the house. She is such a joyous, happy child...I am sooooo very blessed to have her in my life. Her eyes are always full of light and love, and I can't begin to express how thankful I am that God has given this Gift to me. I know she will grow and change soooo much this next'unbelievable when I am with a 2 year old, and I realize that Maggie will be doing the same things in less than a year! The human mind is quite remarkable...the way it absorbs and learns soooo much in the first 5 years of life---another reason why I am so thankful to be at home with her, to share these experiences with her, and teach her as much as I possibly can about the world around her, and how much she is loved by her family and God.

Purpose in the New Year....

I'm really trying to make a conscious effort to enjoy every day I have with my family, and to not view my roles as mother, wife, and homemaker as stifling my own personal interests, hobbies and passions in life. I've realized that I am standing in my own way when it comes to the aspects of my personal life that I either want to pursue or grow in. I choose how I spend my free time, and most of the time, it isn't on all the things "I wish I had time for". The truth is, I'll never have time for anything that I don't MAKE time for. These things include: prayer, knitting, crafting, journaling, reading, exercise, baking, organization around the home, etc. I am the QUEEN of excuses, and I've finally decided that blaming is getting me nowhere. I can be a mom, and knit, and have time to do my prayers and read spiritual books....I can make time for exercise--and it doesn't have to be at an expensive, fancy gym with cute workout outfits to wear when I go. I've decided to turn our office into my "workout room", which is nice because I can watch workout videos on Netflix, and do them in the privacy and convenience of my own home. I have a variety of videos in my "que" and I'm excited to mix it up throughout the week. I thought about joining a gym, because it would be nice to get away for an hour, but I realized I would have to pay someone to watch maggie while I went, and on top of gym membership fees, it would be more than we should pay for something I probably won't end up using enough.

So, the goal is to wake up early....a new concept for me (we'll see how it goes) my prayers, and do as much of a workout as I can before Maggie wakes up. As it stands now, Daniel and I let Maggie wake us up, and I nurse her in bed when she does, so I can "rest" more. I could easily get in an hour or 45 minutes of "me" time in the morning before she even wakes up. Lately, I rely on getting this "me" time late at night, when the house is quiet and Maggie is sleeping...but by then, I am pretty fried, and I tend to gravitate toward mindless watching movies or surfing the internet. These are things that aren't edifying...and I can go to bed earlier so that I can wake up to do things that are very edifying, and will jumpstart my day in the best ways possible---with prayer and exercise.

We'll see how this venture goes. I didn't get up this morning....but I did take maggie on a morning jog in her stroller, which was hopefully I will do things like that on the days I fail to rise early. If anyone reading this is interested in doing something similar, or is already doing it...I'd love some accountability :)

well...maggie just woke up from a wonderfully long that's my cue to go! Hope you are all doing well!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Daily Routine

I'm realizing, more and more, just how nice it is to have a daily routine. This routine is not rigid by any means, but it is a general roadmap for our day, and it benefits both Maggie and me. Maggie is growing and changing so much these days, and she is quite the sponge. I can tell she appreciates having a routine as well, because she has a sense of what is coming next. I thought I"d share with you all the daily routine from our little life, just for the heck of it. These "times" are not rigid, just a general timeline.

Between 6 and 7 a.m.: Rise and shine/nurse in bed with mom who is not ready to get up yet :)

7:15-8:00: Play time in the living room, with all her toys. Raffi or Putamayo
Kids CD's usually on in the background.

8:00- 8:30: Breakfast Time!
* my little chow-hound usually eats scrambled eggs, yogurt, gluten-free waffle,
and bananas (mostly all by herself)

8:30-9:00: Play time in the office.
*Maggie LOVES playing in the office with a box of pens, and other office supplies
on the floor. We have a 2nd fridge in the office (ask Daniel what this stores) and
she likes to play with magnets on it. I enjoy this time, because I can be on the
computer while she plays. I think she has more fun in the office than with all
her toys in the living room.

9:00 (or 2 hours after waking up): Morning Nap
* I always change Maggie's diaper first, then we go into the room and close the
curtains to cue that it's sleepytime. I nurse her and sing to her, then lay her in
her crib. She usually sleeps over an hour. Sometimes she wakes up after 30
minutes, but I quickly go to her and put her back to sleep. I've found that laying
her on her tummy and patting her back works wonders for keeping her calm
when I lay her down for her nap.

10 or 10:30 (after nap): Diaper check......Get dressed for the day.

Wake up time-2:00: We usually go out to the store, or to a friend's house to play between
morning and afternoon naps. I'll pack food for her if we aren't home for
lunch. Maggie has 2 friends her age that we see almost every day. It's

2:00 (or 3 hours after waking from her morning nap): Afternoon nap

3:00 (or whenever she wakes up): We play, or go out an about again. This is a good time to run
errands or visit with friends, before making dinner.

5:00 p.m.: We're usually home by this time, and I start dinner while Maggie plays in the kitchen. We look forward to daddy's arrival home.

6:oo ish: Daddy's usually home by now. We have dinner together, Maggie eats a ton!

6:40-7:00: Daddy's on bath and bedtime duty now (lucky me!). He gives her a bath and gets
her jammies on, gives her a bottle and cuddles, and puts her to bed. He is great
with her. Maggie seems to like this routine. Once it's bathtime, she knows bedtime
is coming soon. I am liking that Dad can put her to bed's a nice break for

Maggie's usually down for the night around 7:00. I don't go to bed early enough, but it always works out. She's been waking up a lot lately, but it's ok. Our daily routine makes the day go by so fast. It's been so good for me to have routine as well.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Season for Change

I haven't blogged in awhile.....sorry for those of you who actually check my blog now and then. I don't mean to stay out of touch, I just don't have much free time these days, and when I do have an hour or two, the "creative juices" aren't flowing.

Maggie's sleep update: Well, it's been up and down, that's for sure. We actually did try out a sleep training method (as Carrie suggested); one that allowed for frequent "check-ins" so she wasn't left to cry alone. It was hard, though she didn't cry as hard as I thought she would have. Anyway, this was a couple of months ago, and it went fairly well. She started only waking up once or twice a night, and usually put herself back to sleep. We were enjoying this respite, but with several trips and mess-ups of routine, we're back to frequent night wakings. I know we should probably just "re-train" her, but it is more complicated now. She is in the throws of an "8 month sleep regression", which is a typical thing for babies her age as they are hitting some major developmental milestones (i.e., crawling, standing up,) and this can disrupt their sleep at night. Maggie has been waking up and thrashing around the pack 'n play, trying to crawl, and getting herself jammed in one corner of it. She gets really upset, and needs help going back to sleep. I don't want to ignore her during this time...not to mention she's getting closer and closer to cutting a tooth. I'm just thankful she goes right back to sleep for me, and doesn't stay up for an hour or two in the middle of the night. Sure, some nights I get annoyed, but I try to keep everything in perspective---she won't be doing this forever, she won't want me to even hold her for much longer, and the closeness we have during night nursings is special. I think we'll give sleep training another shot when she is a little older, like maybe one or 1 1/2. Now, she cries a lot harder and gets more upset when we don't go to her (not like before when we tried to train her), so I don't have the heart to leave her alone to cry.

This is just an update, not a complaint. Things don't feel so overwhelming anymore, and I'm finding that it's only as big of a problem as I let it be.

In other news.....we are gearing up for a big change.....a move to another rental here in town. We've had our eye out for a long time, trying to find a house to rent that was the same price as the place we are currently in (a granny unit), but we were having no luck. Labor Day weekend, I discovered an ad on Craigslist for a house on an organic produce farm that was the exact price we are paying now, so I had Daniel contact the guy right away. We just found out today that we got the place, and there is SOOO much to do now. I don't even want to think about the chaos we will be living in for the next few weeks and maybe even months. Oh well, it's what needs to happen.

In many ways, I'm sad to leave our cozy little granny unit. As I was eating dinner and looking at some of the packed boxes, I teared up a little....because we have so many memories in this place. This is the only home I've known as a wife and a mother. All my memories of Maggie are here. I know we'll make new memories in the next place, but I will always treasure the times we had here, the good and the bad. We'll be living in more of a rural setting, so I will definitely miss not living within walking distance of so many stores, coffee shops, downtown, and a great park. Oh well.....what we get in exchange is a house, with 3 bedrooms (so no more sharing a room with Maggie), a bathroom with a tub, a dishwasher, indoor laundry (ours is currently outdoors), and about 100 more cupboards in the kitchen than I currently have. Our little family definitely needs more room, and if we have another kidlet in the near future (nothing yet, folks), the space will be needed. Maggie will be crawling any day now, and I'm glad there are no stairs to worry about in this new house. This is a chance to have a clean start, in a new place, and we can "baby proof" it from the start, and have her mobility in mind when we arrange the house.

Anyway...that's the big news around here. Daniel and I are celebrating 2 years of marriage on the 23rd of this month. We've had 2 wonderful years, and I hope they are indicative of how the rest of our life will be as a couple. My husband is so caring, selfless, supportive, loving, and he's my best friend. God knew I needed him, with all his strengths to help my weaknesses. I'm so thankful for him, and I'm looking forward to the overnight date he's taking me on in San Francisco on Friday night. Friends of ours will stay here with Maggie. I'm sure I'll be thinking about her most of the time we're gone, but I'll try to relax and just enjoy our time alone (especially a night without waking up 3 or more times :)

Please pray for us as we face the task of moving, and getting settled into a new place, in a new part of town. I know it will take awhile for us to adjust, but we'll try to make it "home" as soon as we can.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I'm not sure if my responses to people's comments automatically notifies the person who commented, so I thought I'd write another post just to thank everyone for their advice and encouragement. It's such a help just to know that my friends and family care, and that I'm not the only mom who has been or is struggling with this issue.

I appreciate everyone's comments....and, yes, Carrie McCoy, I will talk to you again :) In response to your comment, I definitely have thought more about letting her cry....I just don't think I can let her go an hour and a half. She gets so worked up and hyperventilates when she cries that long in the car (and she does cry that long in the car when she's tired, so it makes me think she'll do it at home too). We're taking baby steps towards her learning to soothe herself. I know I've taught her to depend on me, and that needs to be undone eventually, but I don't want her little nervous system to get completely stressed out.....arrgh....what to do.... I do appreciate that you care enough to share your honest opinion. I have to say that my friends who work (whether it's part time or full time) seem to have babies that sleep better because their babies have had to learn to sleep in different environments and with different people putting them down for naps or to bed....and Maggie has only had Daniel and I, so we haven't had a whole lot of extra incentive (other than our own frustration) to get the sleep thing figured out, since we are the only ones who have to put up with it. I honestly don't know what to think of the cry-it-out method, but I do know sooooo many moms (online) who have said it is what finally worked for them, and I will give it some thought! Thanks for caring!! I truly appreciate it!

It is such a blessing to be able to share frustrations with friends, and feel supported, especially since I don't always have people around me here who have been through this yet.

I will keep you all updated on how things go....and what finally works for us (if we end up finding anything).

Thanks again everyone and God Bless.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lord have mercy

Too bad I tend to blog when I'm frustrated or fed up with something---please forgive me for this. I just sometimes need to vent without anyone interrupting me and telling me I'm worrying too much about whatever it is I'm worried about.

Maggie's sleep patterns continue to puzzle me. The last couple weeks, I've stayed home all day, dedicated to giving her the best naps possible (no matter what it took). I found that laying down with her in our bed when she was tired worked well. The only issue being, she would nurse the ENTIRE nap, and would start to wake up if I took her off. I decided it was worth it, if she could get more than 40 minutes of sleep during a nap (which is her typical nap length these days). This was working well, some days she slept over 2 hours for a nap, and that made me VERY happy. Needless to say, her better daytime naps led to much better sleep at night! A win-win, right? Well, I'll always find something to gripe about. Today I got sooooo frustrated when I layed down twice with Maggie, and both times she only slept 35 minutes! If nursing her the whole nap isn't going to work, then what will? (other than "training" her to sleep on her own-which I am not gutsy enought to do yet). Not to mention how much of my day I spend trying to figure out her napping needs. Laying down with her 3-4 hours a day (as the books say this is how much she needs to nap), means that is 3-4 hours I am NOT doing anything around the house. It gets overwhelming to have NO time during the day when Maggie isn't needing me in some way, shape or form. I know she's more clingy because she isn't napping enough, but it's so frustrating sometimes.

Another issue is I am sooooo worried that she is chronically overtired, and that this might have some adverse effects on her later in life, like ADHD, sleep disorders, etc. Daniel says i'm ridiculous for worrying about these things, but I think there is some validity to them. SOMETHING has to be done to get her into a better napping habit---one where she can soothe herself back to sleep when she wakes up halfway through a nap. To be honest, I'm afraid to try anything for fear that then she won't get ANY naps, and it will only make things worse. I know I just have to try, and give new things time to sink in for both of us. Nothing changes overnight....especially habits that have been forming for 6 months now. It's not that I am against nursing her to sleep, or carrying her in the Ergo for her naps, it's just that she isn't sleeping long enough when I do these things, and that is what concerns me. Plus, I need to learn how to put her down for a nap on her own eventually, because there will be no leisurely 2 hour naps I can take with the next baby (whenever that may be).

Ugghh. I bought Elizabeth Pantley's "No-Cry Nap Solution" today, and I'm reading through it for ideas. I like her approach to sleep issues, but I don't know if I have the perseverance to really break these habits both Maggie and i have formed. I am at the point where I will do ANYTHING to give her consistent, long naps. I dont care if I never have "free time" to myself (well I do care, but I haven't had it yet with her) while she naps, as long as I can help her learn to sleep longer. I just want her to grow and develop healthily, and if I am the one hindering her from getting good sleep, I want to change.

There should be several classes on this for parents-to-be. I had noooooo idea what was involved with napping. I just assumed babies slept when they were tired, and that if they missed a nap, they'd just sleep all the better that night. This is definitely not the case, and there is sooo much to know about infant sleep patterns and needs. Of course, I wouldn't need to know any of it if Maggie naturally slept well, but she doesn't, so I need help.

I don't want to just "grin and bear it" for now, because I want her to get the rest she needs, and it doesn't seem like 3- 45 minute naps a day are doing it.

How did Caroline Ingalls do it in the old days? What did she do with her babies while she did chores from sunrise to sunset? Plus, she NEVER got to go to town for "alone time", and was always gracious about letting Pa go meet up with the other men in town for checkers of just to socialize. I wish I could be more like her. I wish I didn't have any other idea of motherhood and being a wife than what the women in old times new, because then I wouldn't constantly feel like my life is somehow lacking because I don't get to have as much of a social life or the pleasant "freedoms" that I see other moms who don't stay home with their kids having. I LOVE being with Maggie all day, it just gets overwhelming at times, and I get sooo selfish.

I need perspective ........Maggie needs more naps........the house needs cleaning......the husband needs loving........Lord, have mercy!

Friday, July 3, 2009

New "Summer Do" (for my sister Katie to see :)

Here Katie--since you don't have facebook, and you wanted to see my new "summer do" :) Enjoy...Maggie is pretty adorable, isn't she?