Baby Bytes

My hopes for this blog is to provide other mothers with support, information, new insights, and hopefully a few laughs as we learn together what is really means to be "Mom."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

First Steps

Austin can walk! Well, at least he did it once. I have been trying to get him to work at it for a couple months now. Before he could crawl he used to love holding onto my hands and "walking" around the house. As soon as he learned how to crawl, all of that was over. He realized he was much faster on his knees. I haven't been about to get him to practice walking since. Then last night, out of no where he takes off. It wasn't just a step or two either. My husband and I were sitting at opposite ends of the room. Austin was standing up by me, he looked at my husband and then took about 6 or 7 steps towards him before he plopped down on his butt.

That was last night. (I forgot to blog due to all of the excitement.) Since then we have only been able to get him to take about another 3 steps. He is back to crawling for now. Much faster, true, but not nearly as much fun for mom and dad to watch. I am thrilled though, that Alan were both able to see his first steps. What a blessing!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Daycare Dilemma

So here is my personal challenge of the week. Do I find a full time job outside of the home or take the nessacary steps to offer childcare in my home?

Before I found out I was pregnant, I had finally reached a point where I was happy with the direction of my professional life. I had found a career path that I actually enjoyed. I was making plans for advancement and looking forward to the new challenges infront of me. I also found a way that I could work weekends, and only have to find childcare for Austin for three days a week.

Now that I am faced with having another child, I don't know if that is still right for me. I have been able to work part time during Austin's first year, and that has been a blessing. I have been able to be there for him while still working and doing something for myself too. It has, and continues to be, very important to my husband and myself that we are able to raise our son without depending on a daycare center. I just want to be the one to teach him things, not someone else. But it has also been very important for me do something outside of the house that makes me feel good about myself. I really do respect mothers who are able to stay at home with their childern, but I have found that I am happier (and a better mom) when I also have an "outside" life.

I want to provide the same support to my next child that I was able to give to Austin for his first year, but doing so would mean giving up my current career ambitions. As an alternative, I am thinking about providing childcare in my home. I would be able to earn money and feel that I am contributing fincially to our family, but I would also be able to be there for my childern. Not to meantion, that I would be able to help out other mothers who need quality care for their childern. Providing that service would definately be something that I would make me proud. My concern is that I would be unhappy being home all day, and I don't feel that it would be fair to start this and then back out if I decided it isn't what I want. That just wouldn't be fair to others who would be depending on me.

I have a lot to think about. I'll keep you posted on my thoughts, and would really appreciate any of your opinions as well.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Why I love being a dad

Good evening! My wife has asked me to guest-post on her blog every Sunday (I'm late for my very first appointment... Gah!) , so here it goes! My first blog post (ever, actually, I feel loved!) on why I love being a dad (I'll do my best to keep from getting too sappy here.) To put it simply, I love my son. I love everything he does, I love watching him grow up (Some days I think He's learned more in his one year then I have in my 26!), and I love how much he looks up to and loves me back.

The things he does: It always warms my heart when my little boy does something new. For instance, this week, he starting pointing to everything he says and makes his little grunt that means "what's that dad?" He especially loves lights, and, in his own little ways, asks for them to be turned on (never off, mind you, only on.) He loves to get cuddly, although most of this time is spent with the furry kitty. I like it when he sits on my shoulders, and pulls my hair. I know he's just holding on for deal life, but he grabs my hair (which I have grown out long to keep my head warm this winter) and pulls it as hard as he can while giggling and pointing at everything, I feel like the cook-boy in Ratatouille, if you have seen that movie!

Growing Up: Wow, our little boy is twelve months old. When did that happen? I know everyone says it, but it really doesn't seem like it was that long ago that we brought him home from the hospital. All 7.5 pounds of him. Now look at him! He's learned to communicate with us, he can move around on his own, and it won't be long before he takes his first steps. There are lots of things I can't wait to teach him to do, like building model cars, how to play soccer, and how to shoot of firecrackers in the back yard (OK, so I have quite a while to wait on that last one. A guy can dream, can't he!?) It seems like he learns something new every day. I can only imagine where we will be in another twelve months.

Looking up to Daddy: Wow, I don't even know where to begin with this one, there is so much to say. It seems like everything I'm doing, my little buddy wants to be part of it. He likes to tug on my pant legs when he wants to be picked up (which is always), and he usually fusses when I leave the room. For those of you without kids, I can't imagine a more gratifying feeling than that. Honestly, I think thats about all I can say is wow!

Finally, a few of the things I don't like about being a dad: When my wife was pregnant, the list of things I wasn't looking forward to was kind of long. Things like being woken up in the middle of the night, changing poopy diapers, and being responsible for such a helpless creature. The truth is, I don't mind any of it. He sings to me when I change his diaper, and its fun to cuddle up with him in bed. Actually I love it all (as much as you can love dirty diapers...) Thats why I love being a dad. As Phil Vasser has so elequantly put it, It's "Just Another Day in Paradise!" (lyrics)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

New addition @ 8 weeks

For those of you who would like to follow along with me through my pregnancy, I am going to do my best to provide you with weekly updates.

Right now I am currently 8 weeks along. While I would be lying if I told you that I were doing great, I can honestly say that I feel better with this pregnancy in general then I did my last one. As far as physically, the biggest thing that I am up against right now is just fatigue...but I am pretty sure if you talked to my husband he would list irritability right up there. I am dealing with the normal pregnancy woes too: nausea; heartburn; pulling or cramping; sore breast; etc. But really the lack of energy and motivation are what is truly hurting right now. If I had to guess that would be due to two reasons, chasing after my one year old and the fact that I wasn't mentally prepared for this pregnancy. Since it wasn't planned, I just wasn't ready to feel like this again and in a way it has made it much harder.

I am also going to try to periodically provide you with links to some great websites that I run across. This one is for a really in depth pregnancy timeline with great illustrations. I hope you find it useful in understanding with is going on in your pregnancy too!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Beating Morning Sickness

This topic is near and dear to my heart today. For me, and most women that I have talked to, the combination of morning sickness and fatigue seems to make the first trimester of pregnancy almost unbearable. While I have yet to find a sure fire way to combat the extreme sleepiness, I have found a few tricks that should help you control your stomach.

The first thing is probably the most important, especially since all of us are different. Take the time to listen to what your body is telling you! Our bodies are excellent at letting us know what we need, but we often fail to take the time to listen. Pay attention to see if your nausea is triggered by a certain thing. Maybe a time of day, odor, or certain smell can trigger your gag reflex. Then do your best to work around that trigger.

The second thing is to do your best to keep your blood sugar level. Easily explained, don't let yourself get too hungry. Hunger pains are a big trigger for me personally. Also, make sure that you don't eat too much. As you are probably aware, your digestive system slows down during pregnancy, causing many pregnancy aches. Filling up too much can leave all of the food heavy on your stomach, and can be a really bad combination if you have a bought of nausea. Eating five or six small meals a day works best whenever possible.

The third thing that I have found might just be a personal trigger for me, but I feel that it is worth mentioning anyway, even if all it does is demonstrate the importance of my first tip. I have found that whenever I become stressed or otherwise emotionally upset, particularly if I am worry about the pregnancy or life afterward, I become very nauseated. For me being calm and relaxed is a big part of daily nausea control.

While I can't guarantee that following these tips with provide you with a puke free pregnancy, I can vouch for them. If you are currently struggling, just know that I am truly in this with right now and that this too shall pass!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Keeping it Simple...What toys are best

My oldest son, Austin, just turn one. Having a birthday so close to the holidays has meant one overload of toys. He received gifts of all shapes and sizes. Even after trying to politely suggest options other than toys, family and friends seemed unable to resist all of the bright colors and lights that seem to emanate from the toy isle. For those of you who haven't yet had to fight your way through the jungle of unused toys that is left after the packages have been open, I wish you luck and offer you a bit of advice when dealing with gift givers. I think that the biggest problem I had, was not knowing what to suggest instead of toys. As usual, my son has offered me an education in this area. Now all I can say is that I am ready for round two.

Here is what I have learned: Keep it simple. Money doesn't matter. Beware of "recommended ages."

Yes, the ball popping,music playing, light flashing seal that speaks three languages really is amazing. Unless you are scared of flying objects, can be easily over stimulated and only know how to utter single syllables. After venturing into the toy store myself it seems that most of the toys aren't even geared towards the children. They are marketed for the parents (yes admit it, you are drawn to shiny things) Everyone seems to tell you that their toys has the most gadgets or will make your baby the smartest. But the truth is, even if their claims are true your child has to want to play with them first.

To help guide me through this maze, I decided to let Austin pick out his own toys. So we went forth armed with his last remaining gift card to find the perfect gift. We walked slowly up and down the isle. A few things seems to catch his interest, so we would play with them in the box but they just didn't hold his attention. Then as we turned a corner, he squealed and starting laughing. I had never seen him react like this to anything. He has spotted a huge display of vinyl balls. I held him up and he quickly grabbed his perfect gift, a 10 inch green bouncy ball. Total cost $1.99. Needless to say I still had a lot of money left to spend and I didn't really want ten balls roaming around my house, so after a game of catch I placed the ball back in the cart and went to find what I thought the perfect toy would be. When we reached the check out and he caught his second glimpse of his treasure, he squealed again. The cashier and everyone in line behind us started laughing.

After weeks of being the proud owner of a rather large green ball, my son still gets overly excited every time he sees it. As for the gift that I bought with the rest of the hasn't made it out of the box yet. I hope Austin can help teach us all a thing or two about what babies really like (and maybe ourselves as well!) Feel free to pass this on to any gift givers who may still need the message too!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Christmas Surprise

Conceiving our first child proved to be a long road, but after four pregnancies and a year and a half he joined our family. While my husband seemed to think that our next attempts at parenthood would be easier because my body now "knew what to do," I was still preparing myself for the worst. I knew that I would like to have a sibling for my son, but I was also perfectly satisfied knowing that I had already been blessed with a child. I never dreamed that I would be faced with an unexpected pregnancy.

My husband and I have spent a lot of time over the past six months trying to decided when was the right time to have another child. We went back and forth over the pros and cons of having children close together or farther apart in age. Our determining factor finally came down to where I wanted to head in my career and how a pregnancy would effect those plans. A decision was reached, we would start trying to have another child in about 18 months. Then I started to feel a

We went out of town for the holidays this year to visit with my family, and it was a big bowl of potato soup that made me start to think. The heavy soup was making my stomach turn, but the only time I ever really get sick...It struck me I was five days late. I kept the information to myself for the next couple of days and focused on my family. Even if I was pregnant, there was no sense getting my hopes up, I had already suffered miscarriages the prior two Christmas's this was nothing new. Besides conception usually involves sex, something we have had very little time for lately.

It was easy to ignore the signs while with family, but on the drive home my mind wouldn't stop racing. I calmly asked my husband to stop at the drug store before we got home. Saying simply that I was a few days late but not to worry, I wasn't pregnant. I just wanted to see the negative so I could clear my mind and get a good night's sleep before returning to work the next day. What I didn't realize was that I still had one more gift coming to me that Christmas night.

I have never been so shocked in my life. Two lines...dark pink. I didn't have squint my eyes or hold it just right in the light, they were there for anyone to see. Emotions flooded over me. I wasn't ready for this. Was I a good enough mom to handle two babies under the age of two? What about my precious baby boy? It just wasn't fair to ask him to give up being my baby and assume the role of big brother by the age of 19 months. All the while there was the shock that I was even able to conceive so easily, and the excitement of creating another new life. I wanted to cry and giggle all at the same time.

Before I finally conceived my first son, I realized a very hard truth. Even though I was a woman and even though I thought I was a good person, I didn't have a "right" to get pregnant. It was never anything that God promised me, in fact it wasn't really about me at all. It was simply my job to be open to having a child in my life and to love any baby that may come my way. It is after all, a life that is created, and what right do I have to decided whether or not I am meant to have such a gift or stipulate when I should receive it. With the fear of this new pregnancy I needed to remember this again. Every child is a blessing and instead of focusing on how difficult it will be, I needed to remember how wonderful it truly is.