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Hashtag, momlife

December 2, 2017

Hi there. Remember me?

Who am I kidding, after 7 weeks with a threenager and a newborn, I barely remember me.

I know, it’s been an eternity since I’ve written. My goal when I share here is really to share something of interest – a recipe or craft, a review or just…something helpful.

Do I do things now? Sure I do. But they’re done flying by the seat of my pants, usually with the aforementioned pants on fire.

“Quick! Before the baby wakes up! Stop jumping! Don’t throw that!”

#momlife

Fact is, I’ve got plenty I could write about. But it’s not fun useful stuff, it’s think pieces coming from a brain lacking in sleep and adult conversation. You want to know the kind of thing I think about?

You ever consider a Wubbanub? It’s a pacifier attached to a little stuffed animal (I thought they were ridiculous, but it actually braces it for the baby a bit). So when you think about it, my son is sucking on a dog’s nipple right now.

You see why I don’t share much?

Side note: have you seen the videos people do where they use the filters that make the eyes real big, the mouth real wide and the voice squeaky (you know, the one that makes you look like the Goombas in the Super Mario Bros movie from the ’90s)? I could do those videos. I say so many bizarre things normally, imagine if I could do it with some semblance of anonymity.

But anyway. Cough cough. Moving on.

So because I have nothing of real note to share with you, I’m going to share the story of The Day My Water Didn’t Break.

One night, back in September, we heard a bang in the middle of the night. My husband leapt out of bed, thinking Little Miss had fallen out of bed (I, being 8 months pregnant, rolled around awkwardly like a turtle on its shell). She was fine though, so we went to sleep and thought nothing of it.

The next morning I heard my husband leave for work. Then I heard him come back in; I figured he forgot his lunch or something. The suddenly he’s standing in the bedroom door.

“That noise last night. Someone* crashed into the car and drove off. Half the front of their car is in the street.”

*colorful language redacted

“My car,” I said, still groggy, “my baby?!”

Yep. My 2.5 month old, beautiful new Subaru, parked in front of the house, had been crashed into hard enough that it moved up onto the grass. [The damage wound up being about $6k] to repair.

My beloved car on her first day back.

Luckily, this was upsetting but manageable. We have good insurance, a good body shop nearby, and my husband knows his way around dealing with car insurance. So it was an inconvenience, but all we lost was a $500 deductible and about 18 days with a rental that smelled like cigarette smoke.

But anyway. Police officer comes to do a report, and even he is impressed that the other car drove off, leaving so many pieces behind.

The officer leaves and I’m on the phone with the owner of the body shop when Little Miss wakes up. Keep in mind, I’m 8 months pregnant, a little flustered, and shaking from adrenaline.

So my sweet 3 year old girl comes down the hall and finding me sitting on the couch on the phone, naturally climbs onto my lap, wrapping her little arms around my neck. And then suddenly I realize I’m sitting on a soaked couch cushion.

I feel around; my pajama pants are wet and the toddler’s shorts are dry. I’m trying my hardest to finish this conversation and retain some of the information I’m being given, but I can hear my voice getting higher and higher.

Now I’m pacing the kitchen, trying to figure out if my water just broke. The moment I’m off the phone, I run into the bathroom, shedding clothes as I go.

It turns out that no, my water hadn’t broken. Little Miss had peed on me, and in the position she was in, it had leaked out of the leg of her nighttime diaper and onto me without ever touching her clothing.

I was absolutely mortified for about a minute and then the situation got real funny.

#momlife

And this is why I have nothing of note to share.

Even when I do cool things, I’m doing it in a nursing tank top with spit up stains, and trying to do it as quickly as possible.

Maybe I’ll have a recipe or something to share one of these days! If I remember what I did. If I remember to take pictures. If the pictures are usable (who knows what state the house will be in).

Sigh.

#momlife

[This post was created entirely mobil, from the couch, with varying numbers of children on me.]

Life Parenting

Hello, 2017

January 1, 2017

It’s been 17 years since my mom and I stayed up late playing Monopoly around the coffee table, waiting for my dad to come home. My two little siblings were tucked away in their beds, and I was happy to have my busy and very pregnant mom all to myself for awhile.  It was the year everyone in the tech field was anxious about the dreaded Y2K and what it would do to computers, so my dad and a few coworkers had to ring in the new year at work in case it all went to hell in a hand basket. We all know how that went down, nothing crashed, nothing happened. Our country still had many unknown trials to face in the future, but that was not one of them.

Last night, my husband and I spent our first new years eve with little Indy. We went to our favorite Italian place for a very early dinner with friends. My poor baby who is suffering from his first real cold pulled my hair and whined until he fell asleep on me. We got him ready for a bath at home and in the one minute that he was naked between diaper change and bath- he peed down my entire outfit, down to the shoes! After we finally got our poor munchkin to sleep, we watched Grand Tour and I read Dragonfly in Amber- the second book in the Outlander series that Ilana mentioned in her last post. We are both hooked! Despite all of the grand plans we had for the evening- these sleep deprived parents chose to sleep through the new year. Goodbye 2016. You brought us our son- the absolute light of our lives, some of our happiest moments, some terrible losses, and the worst election season that I’ve ever experienced. Last night I was more than ready to put 2016 to bed. I slept soundly through the transition of years right next to my best friend. I wouldn’t change a thing.

I woke up at 12:09 to the sound of Indy crying and got up to help settle him. It was officially a new year. This morning, as I write this, I know that the coming year won’t be easy. I am aware of the fear and suffering in the world, as well as the hurt and the pain that my family deals with as so many of us cope with loss. I have hope though, and that makes all of the difference. I hear my son’s little coos and I am determined to do my part to make this world a better place. I have so much hope for joy in the coming year. Today as we all lay low at home to recover from our colds, I’ll pack away our Christmas decorations and prepare us to settle into our quieter winter rhythms after the holiday rush.  I think I’ll leave out my little advent candles for a little bit longer, though. I’m not ready to put them away. I’ll light my candles as a reminder of the hope, peace, joy, and love that I long for God to bring to this world.

Happy New Year my friends! I hope to write more faithfully this year. I’m thankful to Ilana for keeping this blog going over the last few months as I’ve adjusted to new motherhood. Thank you, as always for reading.

Life Parenting

Why I babywear

May 13, 2016
why i babywear old fashioned modern living

A nearly 3 month old Little Miss apple picking in a ring sling.

You know how sometimes the simplest things seem to be the most difficult for people to understand?

This is one of them. Before my daughter was born, I decided to wear her; by wear, I mean carry her in a baby carrier meant for the purpose. She is now almost two years and almost 30 pounds and I continue to.

In the nearly 22 months since my daughter’s birth, I have used countless carriers (more about that later) and used them everywhere I go – at home, out visiting, at public events, at fruit orchards, in stores, at wakes and funerals. I’ve gotten some strange looks here and there, and heard plenty of whispered comments ranging from the appreciative to the concerned to the downright dumb. Only rarely has someone actually approached me about it, and even then, it was a reasonable conversation. Luckily, I don’t have any horror stories about babywearing in public.

What I see over and over, and what strikes me as so odd is that people just don’t seem to get it. Isn’t it hard? Does it take a long time to learn to do? Isn’t she heavy? Why not just use a stroller? Can she fall out? Did you invent that? The answers, in order, are not really; no, I watch video tutorials while I’m nursing; it’s no heavier than carrying her in my arms; strollers are bulky and unwieldy; not if I put her in right; no, even when I did make my carrier, I did not invent it.

Note: If you’re unfamiliar with babywearing and getting upset over people “wearing” their babies like accessories, slow your roll, please. “Wear” in this case is just a variation on “carry”, from the original German term. We don’t think we’re putting on our babies like we stack on bangle bracelets.

The short answer to why I babywear is because it works for me.

If you don’t know me, let me start by telling you that I am a hair under 5 feet tall. Carrying a 20+ pound bucket seat in and out of the car was never an option for me. And lugging even the smaller strollers in and out of the trunk was not something I wanted to do. They’re heavy and I’d rather not push a stroller around everywhere. Plus, wait for it…I wanted to hold my baby!

Now, if you prefer the bucket seat or the stroller, good for you. I have no problem with that, it’s just not my thing.

Since becoming a mommy and meeting mommy friends, more and more articles cross my Facebook feed about parenting. Thanks largely to these articles, I know that babywearing can help with colic and reflux and can lower the risk of SIDS. I know that holding baby can help stabilize breathing and heart rate, improve sleep quality for baby and reduce crying (and consider I had a newborn fresh out of NICU, I’ll take all of that, thank you!), plus baby being up and moving helps build neural connections. I know that more and more babies have flat spots on their heads from spending too much time in “containers” – play pens, cribs, car seats, etc. I know that babies who don’t like spending time on their tummy (mine didn’t) can develop the same muscles by being upright in a carrier. So there’s science to back it up.

But that’s not why I decided to babywear. I decided to babywear because it felt right. I wanted to hold my baby and be able to monitor her breathing. I wanted to be hands free, not chained to a stroller or cart, worrying about someone bumping into it or touching my infant’s face with their dirty hands. She was safe, and calm and happy, and it very much worked for me and my husband (who will also occasionally wear the carrier).

Oh, and discreet breastfeeding on the go, safely tucked into a carrier is the best tool in my mommy arsenal.

I asked some friends why they babywear and answers included because it makes mommy and baby happier, convenience (both offering a hands free alternative with a little one, and easily carrying a tired toddler), and necessity. Some babies are more comfortable upright, or just don’t like being in a stroller or car seat.

These brief answers summed up many great reasons to choose babywearing.

To some, babywearing is a lifestyle. And that’s fine. My mother has told me many times that 20-30 years ago, she didn’t call it “babywearing”, but she carried all 3 of her kids in a carrier that had front, back and hip carry options. It was more of a tool and less of an identifier.

For me, it’s mostly convenience. When my daughter was small, it allowed me to keep her close and safe. Now, it’s a way to comfort and calm, and when I need to, confine those rowdy toddler limbs. Little Miss will ask to be carried when she just wants to be close. Mama gets to cook/clean/work, and toddler gets to snuggle up on mommy’s back. It’s beautiful.

These days she mostly sits in the shopping cart when we’re out and about, but I always have a carrier in the car for if she’s sleepy or grouchy or just needs some snuggles. Yes, she’s slightly more than half my height. Snicker if you must, gawk if you have to, but drink it in…maybe take a second to appreciate this content, quiet toddler instead of whispering and shooting me funny looks.

why i babywear old fashioned modern living

Nearly 28lbs of sweet toddler, happy and secure in an Emmeline Textiles woven wrap.

I’ve been asked if I think that continuing to babywear and breastfeed is going to make my daughter too dependent on me. Well here’s science again, letting us know that breastfeeding never loses it’s nutritional benefit for a toddler, and that these “coddled” children not only become independent, they sometimes become even more independent than children who “learn independence” because their secure attachments let them explore with the surety of a solid base of support to return to.

Babywearing made a huge difference for me. When Little Miss was small, it meant I could hold and comfort her while answering emails; it meant I could easily nurse her while walking around a store; it meant I could do things around the house without her losing her mind. I don’t put her in a carrier every day and never have. But when I need it, it’s available and it’s perfect.

There are a lot of carrier options out there from reasonably priced to quite expensive. There are structured styles with buckles like the Tula, Connecta and the ubiquitous Ergo (available in Target and Babies R Us), there are woven wraps which are essentially a long piece of cloth that you learn to tie, there are ring slings which are slightly easier than woven wraps for some, and there are carriers that fall somewhere in the middle like the mei tai and onbuhimo. I’ve tried nearly all of these. The number of carriers I’ve tried is almost embarrassing. Maybe they haven’t all been my favorite, but they’ve all gotten the job done. If you’re interested, give it a shot! Find yourself an ergonomic carrier, read the instructions well and go for it – safe babywearing is good babywearing.

So, not that you asked, but if you’ve seen me in the past 2 years, odds are you’ve seen me with a carrier. So if you were wondering, this is why I babywear.

Life Parenting

She’s not terrible, she’s a toddler

April 24, 2016
toddler terrible two babywearing old fashioned modern living

If you can’t tell, this is all 28lbs of Little Miss on my back for a recent walk.

My daughter is pretty awesome. She’s about a week past the 21 month mark, and she’s bright, sweet, friendly, funny and compassionate. Armed with only a handful of signs and a few handfuls of words, she communicates more effectively than some adults I know. She notices every detail and is an alarmingly fast learner.

She’s remarkably well behaved the vast majority of the time. She’s energetic but not wild. She likes to walk around and explore, and sometimes I don’t want her to. She’s stubborn. I’m stubborn. We butt heads sometimes (stop snickering). But isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?

Ever since my daughter hit roughly 18 months, I’ve been hearing about “the terrible twos”. Any time she isn’t 100% cooperative, I’m warned that the terrible twos are coming, or maybe they’ve even arrived early!

She’s not terrible. She’s a toddler.

She’s exploring her world and starting to understand how things work. She’s not a little machine, programmed to follow orders and never slip a toe over the expectation line. She’s exploring her world and starting to understand how things work. And she’s largely very well behaved. So do me a favor, if she doesn’t want to finish a puzzle with you or give you a hug, or if you see her whining to get out of the wagon and walk around Target and I’m refusing, don’t tell me I’ve got some terrible twos on my hands. Because I don’t. I have a toddler on my hands.

Is this just one of those “things people say”? Is it an excuse? I’m not saying that I get terribly offended by this or anything, I just don’t get it. I feel like it expresses an unrealistic expectation. 6 months could change my mind, but I doubt it.

One of the major things I remember from preparing for my daughter’s birth is a passage from one of my books that warned that we, as humans, are more likely to experience what we expect. So if we expect something to be painful, scary, etc, we are more likely to experience it as such. In the same way, does defining a period in our child’s lives as “terrible” set us up for it to be? Our words may not change the behavior, but are we likely to be less patient when we’re expecting rowdy behavior?

Aside from everything else, toddlerhood is uncomfortable! Adults get a toothache and are useless until it’s fixed. Toddlers have all sorts of teething and growing pains going on and we think nothing of it. Just because a tooth isn’t actively cutting doesn’t mean it’s not uncomfortable in any way. They do need to move from where they start to where they cut (and then continue coming out), and it isn’t a quick process. Add in the struggles of trying to communicate with limited verbal skills. I don’t know well adult moods would fare, if we all had these same considerations on a regular basis.

Now, I like being a mom. I really enjoy spending time with my little sidekick. Do I get tired and worn out? Yes. Do I sometimes feel like I’m going to lose it? You bet. Do I occasionally wish I had just a few minutes to myself? Absolutely (though only a few, I start missing her nearly immediately).

I’m pretty even kilter, most of the time. I feel like my whole life is a balancing act. I work from home part time, which I like to say is both the best and worst of both worlds. It gets frustrating sometimes! Trying to do everything isn’t easy. Some days we don’t leave the house, even to walk around the yard. Then other days we run errands, I get work done, we do all sorts of fun things together and I make fresh pasta.

When I spend 80% of my day catering to a tiny dictator, and the 20% that I’m trying to get things done is interrupted every 5 minutes, I’m not going to lie, it’s freaking annoying. But it’s part of the job. I’m the adult here, not her. I want her to explore and experience. I want her to try things and learn things; admittedly, climbing onto chairs and unlocking the front door aren’t my favorites, but they’re to be expected!

For the record, I’m not terribly permissive. I expect her to behave decently. I expect her to greet people in some matter. I expect her to sit at the table to eat with the family. I don’t feel like I need to allow any and everything to let her get the full experience. I’m still in charge here, not her. But I like to think we do it as a team. There’s a lot she can do, but also a whole lot she can’t do. As adults, I feel like it’s up to us to model the behavior we want to see in our kids. You can’t be rude and condescending and expect a child not to pick that up. So, we’re a team. Yes, I say “please” and “thank you” to my toddler. No, I don’t allow her to ignore me.

I don’t enjoy when my daughter gets upset. Who does? But it allows her to learn what is and isn’t okay, and how to cope with it. She doesn’t always want to follow instructions? Fine. It’s a balance. She doesn’t have to finish a game as long as she helps clean it up; she does have to hold my hand in the front yard or walking around in public. She can climb on our couch; she can’t play on steps or near the road. Safety and manners rule around here. You will be safe, and you will not behave like a little jerk. You want to baby-babble argue with me sometimes? Fine kid, you’re entitled to that.

I feel like I see a lot floating around on social media that makes it seem like its “in” to hate on being a parent. It’s tough sometimes! I’m not going to lie. That being said, I don’t feel the need to read posts and blogs about how categorically awful our kids are. I also don’t need to be told my child is made of stardust and moonbeams, who inhales the air around her and exhales perfection. Let’s just each embrace our own experiences, shall we?

My daughter can be clingy at times. I’m typing with one hand because she wants to sit with me right now. She’s hilarious. She’s adorable. She’s headstrong! And you know what, I’m okay with that. She’s a toddler.

People tell me she’s got a mind of her own with that tone in their voice that says, “oh, you’re in trouble.” They tell me I’ll have a handful.

Good. Let her be headstrong. Let her be independent. Let her make me crazy sometimes, and let me use my position as her parent to teach her to use these traits for good rather than for mischief.

So sure, she doesn’t always follow instructions and she’ll sometimes put up a fight when I tell her she can’t do something. But no, she’s not terrible.  And she’s going to grow up to be a strong, sweet, kick ass little lady.

Life Parenting Uncategorized

Hi, I’m Kristen, and I’m planning to cloth diaper my baby boy. Here’s why.

April 13, 2016

When I first heard of cloth diapering years ago, my first response was, “Eww why?” I guess college Kristen was blissfully unaware of the cost of living in the world as an adult, as well as the environmental factors. My only worries were student loans, homework, and how come my boyfriend won’t text me back (It was because I ran out of minutes on my Virgin mobile flip phone).  I also had never laid eyes on a cloth diaper. When I actually saw a cloth diaper while working in childcare, I was surprised by the bright colors and easy to use snaps. I’ll admit, I still rolled my eyes a bit-after all, don’t daycare workers already have enough to do? My friend who was a teacher in the toddler room at the time explained that really, the parents do all of the hard work. Her job was simply to remove the cloth diaper and put it into a bag for the parents to wash when they got home. It’s not like she was washing diapers at daycare! Not so bad after all!

A few years later, I happened to reconnect with a college friend who cloth diapers, and I made a new friend who also happened to cloth diaper her daughters. They explained that it really was not that difficult at all, and that they were really pleased with how it was working out for their families. I was definitely intrigued, and asked my husband what he thought about trying it once we had our own little one. He was surprisingly interested as well! When my good friend recently gave birth to my unborn child’s future best friend (no pressure boys!), I had yet another experience observing cloth diapering up close. After a few weeks of trying it, my friend confided- “It’s easier than I thought. The biggest complaints I’ve heard from people about it are from those who have never tried it.” I can relate, as I’ve definitely gotten some criticism when I’ve mentioned our choice to people as well. However, it  hasn’t bothered me much because I remember my opinion of it all not too long ago! If you don’t know what it’s like today, the phrase cloth diaper conjures up the image of a white towel and safety pins.  Although my mom is never one to criticize, I think she felt relieved when a friend from her church showed her the cloth diapers she uses for her daughter. My mom liked that they looked easy to use and thought that they were very cute! There are definitely way more options available now than there were years ago! If you haven’t seen one, google “cloth diaper” or the “Green Nursery”. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the different terms and types. I still am! The silly brand names had Ilana’s husband amused. He was like, “Bumgenius, Rumparooz, Thirsties…really?”

IMG_2391

My pup Hamish is investigating the cloth diapers and wet bag! He has been very curious about all of the baby gear we’ve brought home recently!

So, why the decision to cloth diaper?

Well, first of all, its definitely a way to save money. After I have baby boy, I will be working very minimally doing billing, or possibly not at all if baby is too grumpy to take into the office (as my boss has generously offered to allow me to do). My income isn’t much, but we will be essentially adding a person to our family and living on one salary- so I am going to do whatever I need to in order to budget so that we can still save money. I’ll admit, the initial cost of cloth diapering is expensive- you can spend around $350 building a stash- but if you do the math about how many disposable diapers you’d use over the course of around 3 years- you are absolutely saving money! To me, best kind of cloth diapers are the ones that grow with your child so that you can use the same diaper from infancy to potty training. Plus, if you treat them appropriately, you can use them for future children- and they have great resale value. There is a huge market for gently used cloth diapers. You can shop the sales and giveaways, and you can look into buying a gently used stash. It sounds gross- but diapers that were washed and treated appropriately will look like new. I know, because I was recently gifted a large stash from a sweet friend of Ilana’s. My husband thought they were brand new! I also recently got two brand new Bumgenius Freetimes from a good friend of mine! As you can see from the picture above- I practiced using them on my son’s teddybear!

Our second reason for cloth diapering- we also like the idea of not filling up landfills with years worth of diapers. I in no way criticize those who use disposables, in fact, we plan to use them when baby boy is an infant- unless he happens to weigh enough to fit into cloth right away.  We also plan to use them when we are traveling. I think that the only way this will work for us is if we are flexible. This is supposed to be a small step to help the environment, and our finances- not an excuse to feel like a failure or lay on that “mommy guilt” when I put my kid in a disposable. Baby steps, guys. This is just one way to help that works for our lifestyle. I fully recognize that this is not for everybody! There are always a million decisions to make about parenting and childbirth.  Cloth diaper, disposable diaper,  epidural, home birth, formula feeding , breastfeeding- don’t hate! You never know what someone else is going through. Don’t feed into the mommy wars! I recently learned about this when I joined, and unjoined a cloth diapering Facebook group!

Right now, I am still a newbie and in the learning process! There is a ton for me to learn as far as types of diapers, and the washing routine. There are detergents that are cloth diaper friendly, and ones that are not. There are also certain diaper creams that can be used and creams that will ruin your diaper’s ability to absorb. I’ve recently learned that coconut oil is safe for cloth diapers.  I’m also currently shopping for a diaper sprayer. As I learn more from experience and friends, I’ll update you on how this is going. I’ll share the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Do any of you cloth diaper? I’d love any feedback or advice if you have it!

 

Baking Health & Home Life Parenting Uncategorized

Things I’ve Been Loving Recently

January 16, 2016

Hello folks, Kristen here. Just stopping by with a quick list of things that have been making me happy recently:

  1. Homemade Laundry Detergent– My mom came to my rescue with this fantastic detergent recipe. You see, store bought detergent is a huge trigger for my gag reflex. Prior to getting pregnant, I loved the smell of our detergent. Now, I can’t wear clothes that have been washed in that detergent without getting sick! There are a few other advantages to this detergent as well. It is gentle on your clothing, and is gentle for people who have sensitive skin and are prone to allergic reactions. It is also cheap to make, and easy to customize to fit your needs. I like that it smells only faintly of soap, but if you’d like a stronger scent, add your favorite essential oil to the recipe. Ilana recently posted some great information on that topic. The recipe is as follows- 1 bar of ivory soap (grated), 1 and 1/2 cups borax, and 1 and 1/2 cups of Arm and Hammer washing soda. I’ll be making some more as soon as I  run out!
  2. Smitten Kitchen’s Oat and Wheat Sandwich Bread– Holy moly- this is good bread, guys. I know that bread is not the healthiest thing to eat, so if you are going to eat bread- why not make it really delicious, good bread? I love the experience of baking bread on a cold day when you are cozy and warm at home. This recipe is not difficult at all. I didn’t have whole wheat flour, so I just used unbleached bread flour, and it turned out fine. The beginning of the recipe is a little time consuming, but once you get past that part, you can totally do other things while the bread is rising and proofing. I used that time to do dishes and clean up the house. It makes the house smell amazing, and it makes two loaves, so you can always freeze one. The simplicity of the recipe is inspiring me to see how long I can go without buying store bought bread! We ate ours with this yummy chicken salad. I left the sugar and poppy seeds out of the recipe when I made it, and used almonds instead of pecans, because that is what I had. I also added a bit of shallot pepper and rosemary to season it more.
  3. Electric City Roaster’s Coffee– Now that I am past my first trimester, coffee is back to being delicious! I do limit myself to one cup of half caf, but it’s a nice way to start the day! Recently, a friend has been making fun of us for buying the cheapest generic coffee the grocery store has in stock, and he encouraged us to try out this company. My mom has also been on me to make sure that my decaf is water filtered, because apparently a lot of decaf is filtered using some kind of chemicals. On Sunday, we took the plunge and ordered a few bags of beans online. By Monday morning, my coffee was hand delivered to my door. We are super impressed. The coffee is delicious and we ordered a roast with low acidity, so it’s not as tough on my sensitive stomach. So far, we are pleased and plan to reorder more when we run out. I highly recommend checking them out!
  4. Bringing Up Bebe and The Happiest Baby on the Block– I read Bringing Up Bebe a few months ago, and it was a really enjoyable read. It’s interesting to read about raising children in other countries and different parenting methods. It does make the French childhood sound idyllic, but some of it isn’t realistic for me because I do not live in France. I will not deliver my baby in a fancy private hospital with fresh baguettes and champagne on the menu! A girl can dream though! However, I enjoyed the chapters on gentle sleep training and making sure your child’s diet is diverse. I’ve witnessed how well that works with my niece! Little Miss happily eats whatever Ilana puts in front of her. It is pretty fantastic! I’ve been rereading it again recently, and my husband promises to read it soon. I just started The Happiest Baby on the Block. It deals with methods of soothing your baby. I witnessed my friend using a few of these methods on her newborn, and they really seem to work.
  5. Finding out our baby’s sex- a boy!!! We were in total shock, because everyone who looked at me predicted girl! I’m not sure how to feel about that- I guess I’m carrying kind of low and round? I am a short girl with hips though, there is not a lot of space for this baby weight to go! Luckily my doctor says that my weight gain is healthy and right on target. We are so thrilled to start being able to call Baby “him” and to start making plans for our little fella! His tiny kicks are the happiest part of my day. He even kicked hard enough for his Daddy to feel him the other day. It’s the best. I am so thankful for him, and pray for him pretty much all day every day.

That is all for now! I hope you can all find a few things every day that make you feel happy. It’s the little things, right?