Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hello there!

Hello there!  I can't believe how much time has passed since my last post.  I keep meaning to write a post but then I either feel like there is too much to say or nothing to say.....  I have still been following along with all of you, I just can't figure out how to comment from my phone.  I'm going with bullets to update what's been going on with us:

 * I quit my job in mid-August.  I had mixed emotions about the whole thing.  I spent a lot of time waiting around for my company to make a decision about letting me work part time.  I was 'offered' part time position there, but the pay was too low for it to be worth it for me. 
* During my last week of work, I was offered a new part time job at a preschool near our house.  It's totally different than what I've been doing the past several years, but I decided to go for it anyway.  It's 2 mornings and then one full day a week.  My parents are watching N in the morning for me and then on the full day he's able to attend a nursery school program at the preschool.  It's just a little extra money, since it's not a high paying job, but at least it's something :)

* I'm loving being more of a stay at home mom.  I'm so much more relaxed than when I was working full-time and I love being available when N needs me for things.  I did think I would have more time to get things done around the house, but that is still a challenge.  N doesn't nap a lot which makes it difficult to get things done.  I'm adjusting to the new schedule though, and am feeling really good about our decision.
*N is doing absolutely awesome!  He turned one two weeks ago - which was a surreal experience.  It seems like he's been with us for an entire year, but it also seems crazy that he's not really a baby anymore.  
* N is still having physical therapy every week.  He's now crawling, pulling to stand, and cruising around furniture.  Basically, right on track for his age, but we've decided to keep doing the therapy until he can walk, just in case!  
* We made it to one year still nursing!  Honestly, this is something I'm really proud of.  When N was born, it seemed like we would never get the hang of it, but somehow we did and it became something that I really loved (except for the pumping!).  Now that we've made it to a year, we are navigating the weaning far it's been a challenge.  More to come on that, I'm sure......
* We are currently having some sleeping issues - mainly N seems to hate taking naps!  However, the last few weeks we had some nighttime struggles too.  For us, sleep issues seem to be constant.  Just when I think we have everything figured out,  new problems seem to creep up.  I reserved some books on sleep at the library (again) so I will see if they have any suggestions that work for us.  

I'm really going to make an effort to update more - I really like having this blog as way to kind of 'talk' things out and I know that I'm going to need that when we gear up to TTC #2!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Conflict - PAIL Book Club

In reflecting on The Conflict (which I found very difficult to read) I was not really sure what point the author was trying to make.  I understand that she believes that having children undermines the equality of men and women, but at the end of the book I didn’t feel like she had made any suggestions about how to work to counteract this issue.  If her solution is to stop having children, I don’t think that’s very realistic since without children, we would cease to exist.  She acknowledges that countries are trying to sustain and increase their population by encouraging families to have more children, but again doesn’t make any real suggestions about how to balance these needs with those of sexual equality.  I thought that some of the factual information that was provided in the book, especially the historical aspects, was interesting, but I didn’t think there was enough current information to make some of her points relevant.  For example, I understand that using a wet nurse used to be common, but I’m not sure how that means that today women shouldn’t breastfeed.  I think that this book would have been better received, at least by me, if she would have identified the issues, provided evidence to support those issues, and then concluded with some recommendations for improvement.  I just reviewed the end of the book again and she does seem to make one very broad recommendation that the image of the mother must change so that women continue to choose to become mothers, however, she doesn’t add any steps that could be taken to improve this.  It’s like this book is more of a ‘warning’ of what will happen if things don’t change.  

Although I did not enjoy this book, I did find that she made some valid points, particularly about the challenges faced by working mothers and the internal struggle that comes with deciding to become a stay at home mom.  This may have resonated with me more because I was facing this personal struggle while reading the book.  I do wonder if others will think that I am less intelligent and qualified because I have chosen to be a stay at home mom.  When I reread that to myself, I realize how ridiculous it sounds, since I know that nothing is more important to me than creating the best life for my son!

One of the points that Badinter focuses on early in the book are the reasons that women choose to be a mother.  She seems to think that most women become a mother simply because it’s part of the natural course of life.  When I read this, I instantly thought that this did not apply to anyone who dealt with IF.  I do agree that a lot of people choose to have children because it’s a natural next step after getting married, but after facing IF, I am sure that is not the case for me.  No one would go through treatments and heartbreak like those who deal with IF do if they didn’t desperately want to have a child.  When J and I were struggling to get pregnant, I did evaluate why I wanted to be a mother and always came back to one thing – I could not picture my life without children in it.  I didn’t picture J and I growing old together without children to share our love with.  Now that I am a mother, I can’t imagine my life any other way.  I know that choosing to be a mother was right for me. 

Another topic that Badinter focuses on throughout the book is breastfeeding.   I have been breastfeeding N since he was born.  He was exclusively breastfed until 6 months and since then we’ve gradually added solids to his diet.  I absolutely love breastfeeding.  Sure it was challenging at first to make sure that you were always with the baby when they needed to eat, but I’m not sure that I would have wanted to be away from him anyway even if I wasn’t breastfeeding him.  I thought many of the points she made about breastfeeding were ridiculous.  I don’t know anyone who is disgusted by a breast pump.  I’ve pumped multiple times a day since returning to work.  I don’t enjoy pumping, but I’m sure not disgusted by it.  It’s a great way for me to provide for N when I’m not with him.  She also talked about how breastfeeding makes it more difficult for dad to be involved with the baby.  I hear lots of people making that point and I think that J has found lots of other ways to be involved with N.  He always gives him a bath, plays with him all the time, changes his diapers, etc.  I think they have bonded great and I don’t think J not being able to feed him has prevented them from bonding in any way.  I honestly think that a way to promote feminism and motherhood would be to make breastfeeding more socially acceptable.  I’m amazed at how many places I’ve visited that do not have an acceptable place to nurse.  I think that some women feel like they will be stuck in their house all the time if they choose to nurse because they won’t be comfortable going out with the baby.  If more places had nursing facilities it might help this.  

Overall, I was not a fan of this book.  I agree that motherhood probably does set women back (unequal pay, workloads, etc.) but I don’t think that it’s the fault of women who choose motherhood.  I think that our society needs to be more accommodating to mothers (and fathers) and understand that parenthood is a very important part of life. 


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

6 Month Doctor Visit and BLW Questions

Today we went for N's six month doctor's appointment.  N turned 6 months a few weeks ago but we had a little scheduling issue so this was the first chance we could get into the doctor.  Everything went great!  He is 29" tall, so we are still okay in our infant seat for just a little longer.  His weight was up to 16 lbs. 3 oz. which by my calculations is still a little low, but our doc wasn't concerned.  At his 4 month appointment she had some concerns since he was pretty low on the growth chart, but she said he's come up enough that she's not at all worried now. 

Everything else looked really good too!  He did well with his shots, just cried for a few minutes, but basically as soon as I picked him up he was back to his happy, smiley self.  This was a great change from the last time I took him for shots where he cried and screamed all the way to the car. 

One thing that I'm not sure that I've mentioned on here before is that we are going to be starting some physical therapy this Friday.  At N's four month appointment our doctor mentioned that we should do an assessment for First Steps which is an early intervention program since he didn't seem to be quite as strong as he should have been.  It took us a while to get through the referral, intake, and assessment process, but we are finally beginning therapy this Friday.  Our doctor and the therapist who did his assessment stressed that his delay is very mild, but think he will really benefit from the therapy.  

The biggest thing we talked about at this appointment was solid foods.  We decided to try BLW with N and began offering solid foods when he turned 6 months old at the beginning of the month.  Our doctor said that she had heard of BLW but didn't know much about it.  She is planning on reading the books so that she can make an informed decision about whether or not to support it as a method of introducing solids.  She did say that she was concerned about choking, so I explained how I had prepared the fruits and veggies N has tried so far and she said that sounded perfectly fine.  So I think our plan is to continue with BLW as much as possible, the biggest issue I'm having with it is figuring out how to offer meats.  Any suggestions?  I read the BLW book and cookbook, but didn't get a great idea of how to first offer meats.  I'm thinking of trying some pureed meats and seeing how N likes them but continuing with BLW for the fruits and veggies.  Has anyone done a blended form of BLW?  How did it work for you? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monthly PAIL Theme - Considerations on Family Building

I decided to give the PAIL monthly theme post a try this week :)

J and I are each from families with 3 children, and when we got married I think we both assumed we'd have 3 children too.  I kind of figured we'd have our first baby and we'd just keep adding to our family until we felt that it was complete.  As you know, having that first baby was more difficult than we thought it would be.  We went from wanting to have 3 children, to being worried that we wouldn't even have one.  Now that we successfully have one child, there are still a lot of unanswered questions for us.  We are positive we want to have more than one child, but are pretty sure we'll only seek treatments for one more child.  After two children we think we'll be comfortable with the size of our family but would still be thrilled if we conceived again on our own.

I used to think that the 'optimal' spacing for children was between 2 and 3 years.  That's how far apart my siblings and I are.  I always thought it would be nice because you would probably only have one child in diapers at a time and you'd be kind of finished with the baby stage before you added to your family.  I'm very close to my sister who is 3 and 1/2 years younger than me.  We get along well with our brother who is 2 and 1/2 years younger than her, but we just don't seem him a lot since he doesn't live very close to us and he isn't great about 'checking in.'  J is 18 months younger than his sister and 2 years older than his brother and he says all the time that he thinks they were too close in age.  Three kids in college at once is VERY expensive!!!

J and I are kind of thinking about beginning the TTC process again when N turns 2.  Although our RE recommends 6 months of TTC on our own before starting treatments again.  So assuming we don't conceive on our own (which we were told was unlikely given J's SA) N would be 2 and 1/2 before we even started treatments.  So maybe we should start TTC sooner?  It's so hard to know.  I'm hoping that when the time comes we'll just 'know' that it's right for us.  

My biggest consideration about when to begin trying for #2 is N.  When we were TTC him, I felt like all of my energy and emotions were poured into TTC.  I spent a lot of time feeling really down and depressed.  Now that we have N, I don't want to do that again.  I feel like it's not fair to him to become an emotional wreck every month again.  On one hand, I'm hoping that having him will distract us from the TTC process and not have it be so intense every month, but on the other hand, now that we know how wonderful having a baby is, I'm worried that TTC #2 will be even more emotional for me.  I think it's clear that I still have a lot to work out emotionally before considering TTC #2!  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

6 Months and Solid Foods

Yesterday N turned 6 months old!  On one hand, I can't believe it's already been 6 months, but on the other, I can't believe it's only been 6 months since so much has happened since then.  Since it was also the 4th of July (btw - what a fun day to have your half birthday on!) J and I didn't have to work and were able to spend the whole day as a family.  We went to a parade in the morning and N did great.  He seemed really interested in the police officers on motorcycles and the marching bands.  The only thing he didn't like was a really loud car that kept revving it's engine.  I'm not sure why it was even part of the parade.  And while we are on the subject of parades, I'm so nervous when people let their kids run into the street and pick up candy that's being thrown.  I know that the cars in the parade are driving slow, but lots of times the drivers are busy waving to the crowd and throwing their own candy.  It would be so easy for them to not notice a kid crawling on the ground to pick up candy.  Luckily we still have a few more years before N thinks he needs to get candy at the parade!

We spent the rest of the day hanging out at home, playing, cooking, and relaxing.  Since N is now 6 months old, he also had his first solid food yesterday.  We have decided to start with baby led weaning and see how it goes.  I read the book and the cookbook and really feel like it's the way to go for us.  I guess we'll just have to see though.  So far, most of the people I've mentioned it to act like I'm, we'll see how it goes.  N had some banana yesterday morning.  He did a pretty good job picking it up and getting it to his mouth, but he did not seem to like the taste.  He was making the most awful, but still adorable, faces. 

At dinner we gave him a few pieces of broccoli and he seemed to have an easier time picking them up and getting them to his mouth than he did with the banana.  He also seemed to like the taste a lot better.  There was some gagging since he kept sticking the 'handle' part of the broccoli in his mouth, but overall I thought it was a success.  Tonight if we have time, I'm planning on giving him so broccoli again and then I'm hoping to give him something each night from now on.  Then I'll need to figure out how and when I want to start having him eat solids at daycare.  I mentioned to our provider that we were skipping the purees and she seemed fine with having him feed himself when we are ready.  I'm kind of trying to wait to see what happens with my work schedule since it might not even be an issue. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Job Update

Last Thursday, I was able to follow up with my boss about no longer wanting/being able to work full-time.  She met with her boss, our agency seems to have a lot of layers of management sometimes :), and we were right, working part-time is not an option in my current position or department.  They are really worried that if they let me work part-time, other people would want to do it too, which I completely understand.  They are also worried that they could end up losing a full time position in our department permanently, which I also don't want to happen.  Although it makes me boss clearly thinks that all the work our department does could still be done with me working part time, but she worries in the future that if I wasn't there she couldn't find someone to fill that same role?  Maybe we have less than stellar people working for our agency???

Anyway, her boss said that she really values me as an employee and would hate for the agency to lose me, which is very flattering.  She also said that they are going to be creating some new, part-time positions and posting them in the next few weeks.  My boss didn't have all the details about what they would be, so they might not really be a fit for me, but she thought that they might fill what I was looking for.  I'm not going to lie, I'm actually pretty excited about this possibility.  So basically I'm giving it a few more weeks to see if the jobs are posted, what the pay will be, etc.  I'm hoping something happens soon though, I do hate feeling like I'm in limbo!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The First Step

On Monday, I decided to suck it up and talk with my boss about how working full-time wasn't working for our family.  I was nervous about talking with her, not because I didn't think she'd understand but just because I feel bad leaving my team.  I know it's a pain to hire and train new staff, and she's been really accommodating for me since N was born.  I could tell she was disappointed, but said that she completely understood the position I was in.  She is going to talk to her boss to see if there's anyway I can work part-time, although she and I both know that it's unlikely to be an option in our agency.  She offered to change my role and hours and all kinds of things to try to keep me there, which I really appreciate, but I stuck to my guns and told her that I felt that would just be delaying the inevitable and that working full-time was just no longer an option.  I'm actually proud of myself, since I'm really bad about being a 'people pleaser' and I know she really wants me to keep working there.  She was meeting with her boss yesterday afternoon and I'm working from home today so I'll be interested to hear what the outcome of her conversation was.  It's so crazy to think that I might be just a few weeks away from being a SAHM!