Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lessons I've Learned From My Newborn

We teach our children, but they teach us too! I've had three newborns, but I learn something new every time! Here are some of the most important lessons I have learned from having a newborn.

Patience - The first three months are the hardest. Patience for me mostly deals with sleep. My babies do not want to go right back to sleep after breast feeding. Most sessions last about an hour between the feeding and falling asleep again. I have learned to be patient and realize that sleep will come. If I try to force it, he does not sleep as well or for as long, and neither do I. I keep telling myself it will get better because I know it will!

Sometimes, it's nice just to be held. - My first child was pretty laid back (once we got her tummy troubles straightened out). She was happy being held, happy sitting in a bouncer seat. She was just an all around happy baby. Baby T (now 15 months old) was a little more needy, but even he would sit in a bouncer seat or a swing sometimes without complaint. Little K is another story. He wants to be held All. The. Time. Put him down in a bouncer seat or a swing and within five minutes he will be screaming like someone has wounded him to his very core. So, I hold him. I baby wear as much as I can so I can get things done.

Growth spurts, though highly annoying, are important! - Those dreaded words – growth spurt. These past couple of nights have looked like this – baby eats at 7 pm, goes to sleep at 9 pm. I am ready to go to bed at 9:30 pm. He decides right then to wake up and eat. He eats FOR AN HOUR. He finally goes back to sleep at 10:45 pm. He wakes up at 2 am. Then again at 4. Then again at 6. In between these feedings I get an hour of sleep. Man, am I tired.
He's growing, I know. That's why he wants to eat so often. Growing is a good thing. It's important. But I sure am tired.

Breast feeding is hard, but it's worth it! - Breast feeding puts a lot on a mom. You are the only one to get up with the baby all hours of the night because you have what he needs. When baby goes through growth spurts, you feel like he's attached to you 24/7. But it's all worth it. Baby is healthier! You lose weight! What's not to love? (Read my post on my Love/Hate Relationship with Breastfeeding for more.)

Babies grow up, so enjoy it! - A few people have told me to enjoy baby being this little because it won't last forever. That's what I usually tell myself to get through those long sleepless nights. It's not usually in a positive regard. But then I look back to when my other children were babies. I remember as they hit each milestone and how exciting it was to see that first smile or to hear that first laugh. How nice it was to have a little one to snuggle with that wasn't pulling my hair or climbing on me or getting in to everything he could find. Babies do grow up. It's not all roses with newborns. There are some difficult moments. Revise that. There are MANY difficult moments. But there are also many rewarding and precious moments as well.

Enjoy your newborn. He won't be new forever.

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Favorite Childrens Programs

As a mother of a seven year old, a toddler and a two month old, it can sometimes be difficult to get things done without one or the other demanding my attention. I try not to be one of those moms who parks her kids in front of the TV, but every once in a while a distraction is needed. Here are my favorite children's programs for my kids.

Wild Kratts – PBS
Wild Kratts focuses on the Kratt brothers, who go on adventures to explore the “creature powers” of many different animals. Each episode starts out with the Kratt brothers introducing a particular animal. It then changes into a cartoon where the Kratts go on crazy adventures and make creature suits so they can use the powers of those particular creatures and experience their world. My seven year old loves this show.

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Sesame Street - PBS
Who doesn't love Sesame Street? I remember watching this show as a child. My daughter watched it when she was little. She loved Elmo! I don't think my son has really identified his favorite character yet. My favorite part of this show recently is the celebrity appearances. Athletes, actors, singers, you name it, they are on Sesame Street. My husband said that he thinks you know you've made it when they ask you to be on Sesame Street.

Here are some of my favorites:
Bruno Mars – Don't Give Up – What I Am
Jim Parsons – Arachnid
And, my daughter's favorite – Pentatonix Counts (& Sings) To Five

Peg + Cat - PBS

Peg and her amazing cat solve problems and teach kids about math concepts. It's a great show full of music and humor. Peg and her cat sure get in some silly situations! My favorite part? When Raomne steps in to help, he always ends with “I do what I can!”

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I am all about PBS! What are some of your favorite kids' shows?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Perks and Pitfalls of Being a Stay-At-Home Mom

The Perks and Pitfalls of Being a Stay-At-Home Mom

I've done this before...sort of...
I've been on maternity leave twice, but it wasn't the same. I knew I was going to go back to work outside of the home eventually.
I was also out of a job for about 6 months around the time my daughter was 18 months old. That wasn't the same either. I was looking for a job and fully intended on going back to work outside the home soon.
This time, it's different. We have been blessed and I am able to stay at home with my two sons while my husband works outside the home. In the six weeks since I had my son and the couple of weeks since my husband has been working, I've learned that there are perks and pitfalls to being a Stay-At-Home Mom.

Perk: I get to spend a lot of time with my sons! It's great to watch them grow and take care of them.

Pitfall: They demand a lot of attention. I get very little “me” time. I'm lucky if I get a shower while my husband's not home. (I got one today! Yes!) Sometimes I'm able to sneak in a nap while they are napping, but that means that I don't get things done around the house. I also get very little time with adults.

Perk: I get to breast feed my son. No pumping!

Pitfall: Since I breast feed my son, I get up with him all night. No rest for the weary.

Perk: I get to sit around in my pajamas all day.

Pitfall: This makes me feel like a slob. I have no excuse really to put on regular clothes. Sometimes, I even forget to brush my teeth in the morning.

Perk: I will have more time to work on my classes for my Master's degree.

Pitfall: Working on my classes will take away another sliver of my “me” time.

So, as you can see, there are pros and cons to being a stay-at-home mom. It's an adjustment period for me. I've worked outside the home since I was 16 years old, with only a 6 month break when I lost my job and was looking for a new one. That's 16 years of working outside the home. I've only been a stay-at-home mom for about 2 and a half weeks. One thing's for sure. I can't wait for Spring! I need to get out of this house every once in a while!