Hot Topic: Becoming Your Mother

I bet the topic caught your eye today! 🙂

You know the old saying, “I can’t believe I’m becoming my mother!” Little things you start to do, that you once told yourself you would never do and you catch yourself doing them that completely remind you of something your Mom would do.

I have definitely caught myself a few times and I just chuckle a bit.

This post is a bit different though. This weekend I was cleaning the house, and I got to my bathroom. Don’t we all just love cleaning the bathroom?! 😉 I went to vacuum the floor, when I looked down & moved the scale to clean under it just like always. But then something hit me.

Part of my EVERY day routine is weighing myself. It’s nothing new, I’ve been doing it for YEARS & YEARS. Why?, you ask. Well, honestly it has just become very much routine, but also it’s a comfort thing. Knowing that I am a certain weight, makes me happy.

Pathetic? Yes. But you know what? I have done it for SO long that it doesn’t even phase me now.

But as I looked at that scale this time, something else ran through my head. What if my daughter sees me doing this.

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What kind of example does that set? That weight is everything? That the number on the scale determines my mood for the day?

Ugh. How terrible!

The last thing that I want to pass on to my daughter is body image issues. I have been through the ringer regarding body image, and it SUCKS. Plain & simply SUCKS. The worst part is that it is SO common. It’s no longer a rare thing. Hearing that someone has anorexia or bulimia is like saying the sky is blue. I HATE that it has become this way, but the facts are facts. 😦

Because of these facts, my goal is to set a positive body image for Gabriella. I want her to see me as STRONG, HAPPY, and someone that loves herself as a person.

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I totally agree with the statement that you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.

I want her to LOVE herself and know that no matter what a number on a scale says, that she is a wonderful, precious, unique person.

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So what does all of this mean?

Well, I have a lot to fix…about myself. Now, this is NOT, by any means, going to be an overnight fix. This is something that takes time…and lots of it. But you know what? I’m willing to take the time. This is something that I WANT to do.

When I look at Gabriella I see my EVERYTHING. She is a little me. Looks wise, heck no, she’s completely her father :), but everything else is me. The stubbornness, the strong willed personality, the independence…I swear it’s me in a nutshell. (& hey, a little bit of Craig thrown in there too 😉 ) But the thing I don’t want to pass on is that lack of self worth. She needs to know from the beginning how to value herself as a person. I think it’s one of the MOST important lessons that someone can learn.

What I promised myself was to work on this whole scale thing.

Again, it’s NOT going to be overnight. But I WILL accomplish it. I will get over this need to weigh myself everyday. My goal is to one day get to just weighing once a week. I think that is a healthy goal.

I know I can do it. I have a MUCH stronger motivation…my daughter. Amazing how much she can influence me. In more ways than one 😉

It’s so funny how such a little person can affect you so much. I want to make myself a better person because of her. She just means the world to me, and how she looks at me when she gets older is HUGE. I do not want to lead with a bad example.

I want her to look at me and WANT to be like me.

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Hot Topic: Being a Parent is TOUGH

Good Morning!

Today I wanted to discuss how being a parent can be REALLY hard sometimes.

I know that things are usually light & fluffy on my blog, and I like it that way. But this is something that I want to talk about because I feel like EVERY Mom out there can relate to.

During those ten months leading up to having your baby are a time of LOTS of thinking. Worrying about EVERY little thing that could happen while you are pregnant & also what will happen during birth. If you have never given birth before you have NO idea what to expect. It’s a WHOLE new journey and as much as you can hear EVERY labor story under the sun, you really have NO idea what to think until you go through it yourself. And even then you may not know what to expect since a lot of pregnancies & delivery are different than your first one.

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One thing I can ASSURE is that it was the ABSOLUTE BEST day of my ENTIRE life. There are NO words that I could ever write to tell you HOW special that day was for me. My whole world just stopped when that little lady was born…and the moment that it went from the two of us to the three of us was a moment that will forever be embedded in my heart.

But once your baby is born you have a whole new sets of worries. And I hear this will NEVER end. There are always a new set of worries as your child ages. All part of being a parent, right?? 🙂

Here’s one thing that people might not tell you…being a parent is TOUGH. It’s HARD work, and honestly it can really test you in a lot of ways. Now, please do NOT take this the wrong way. I love my daughter more than anything in this world. She has completely stolen our hearts. But she really can test us. Not only can she test patience sometimes, but she can also test our marriage and test our sanity. 😉

IMG_2337-1<—sometimes that’s how I feel- AHH! 😀

The good thing is that all of these ‘tests’ are GOOD & only make us stronger, but sometimes they are hard to get through when you are right in the middle of them.

Now, let me explain a bit more.

As for testing our marriage. First…NO WORRIES, our marriage is 100% great!! But children can make you take a step back & re evaluate how you view things. Like Gabriella’s doctor told me, when you are dating someone you talk about things you enjoy doing, the topic of ‘How do you feel about a baby crying?’ never comes up. It is SO true…and you will probably not understand that statement until you are a parent.

When we first brought Gabriella I didn’t want her to cry for a second. I mean the minute I heard even just a peep out of her, I was right by her side- holding or rocking her. Whatever she needed. I would never change that. I think when they are that little they NEED to immediate comfort, even if they really are just crying to cry. They need to know early on that you will be there for them.

IMG_0605<—Not even a month old! so tiny.

As time went on, probably once she was about two months old, Craig had the ‘crying baby’ talk with me. He was ok with the idea of letting her cry for a little bit.- IF we knew everything was ok. (fed, clean diaper, burped, etc) I was not. I believed that she was still too young (I still believe this), and if she started to cry I went & got her. He told me to talk to her doctor about it to see what he said. He told me it was OK to let her cry for a bit- babies need to learn to self soothe at some point.

It was still VERY hard for me, and most times I just could NOT do it…but I let her cry for maybe two minutes. HEY, it was a HUGE step for me. 🙂

As time went on, and she got older, I kept giving Craig the same reason for immediately going to get her if she cried- that she was ‘still so little.’ He then reminded me that I have been using that excuse for months now. He caught on to me- lol! 🙂

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He kept encouraging me to TRY to let her cry, even if it was just for five minutes. I tried, but sometimes I can’t always do it. He just looks at me and says ‘Well, you’re the one who is with her all day…so you’re going to have to deal with it if you can’t let her soothe herself.’ He’s 100% right. Although I have gotten better, and I CAN let her cry for a bit (ok, let’s be real…probably at most 10 minutes), I still have a hard time hearing it. But I DO acknowledge the fact that she does need to learn how to self soothe.

That’s just one example of how it can be tough on your marriage at times- you have different views or opinions on how to raise your child. It’s OK to have different views, but you have to learn to compromise to a point. Our new issue now is trying to get G to sleep in her crib. She’s in her room & has been for about 2 months now, but she is still in her Rock n’ Play…and is NOT into the idea of moving to her crib.

Now, on to the ‘losing my sanity’ side of being a parent. I think this is a CRUIAL side to being a parent. You have to admit that sometimes you feel as though you are going INSANE.

IMG_1736<—Mad G. Even mad G makes me smile.

As much as I ADORE and completely LOVE my daughter, I have days that I really could just use a break. Of course I’m sure some of it has to do with the fact that I AM with her 24/7. I would NOT change that fact. I am so blessed & lucky to be able to work from home and take care of her.

But there comes a time when you just feel like you might pull your hair out if you don’t get a little bit of a break. Just time for ME. Even if it’s just to shave my legs. Now how lame does that sound?! But it’s SO true.

I was having a REALLY rough time on Sunday. I just felt like I was going to break down. I really just wished that I could spend the day out of the house. That I could have Craig take care of her for the day. I just NEEDED, desperately, some ME time. G has not been sleeping well (she was doing SO much better before…I’m not sure what happened), she’s been a bit fussier than normal, and she did NOT want to nap no matter what we tried. (I’m guessing it MAY be a growth spurt.)

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What makes it harder is the fact that she will not take a bottle…which means that no matter what, even if I do go somewhere, I HAVE to be back within 3 or 4 hours.  Now, this isn’t a ‘poor me’ kind of post, please do NOT feel bad for me. I am SO incredibly luck to be a Mom and I LOVE it so much. I just could use a day, or even an afternoon to do stupid stuff. Like look around Target (without an Ergo attached to me 😉 ), go clothes shopping, go to the MALL, or to go to the spa. What I would give for a spa day…probably my right arm. No, just kidding 😀

The WHOLE point of this post is to tell you (all of you new parents and soon to be parents out there) is that it is TOTALLY 100% OK to admit you need a break. It’s OK to try to take a day for some YOU time. It’s OK to say that you may lose your mind if you don’t get out of the house. IT’S OK! Do not feel bad. Do not feel guilty. I used to be REALLY hard on myself. I was constantly putting the guilt trip on myself if I ever felt like I needed even a ten minute shower. (it’s amazing how showers suddenly turn into MINUTE showers once you have a baby…you had no idea HOW fast you can actually shower. 😀 )

As much as I would love an afternoon for just me, the pathetic part is that I know that I would INSTANTLY miss G.

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Even when I go on long runs on the weekend, when Craig is home, I might be gone for 2 hours & the second I get home I HAVE to hold her. Talk about attachment issues 😉 But I also know that I NEED those two hours- just to clear my mind and enjoy my run.

Oh, and if you have family near by (we do not)- take them up on some date nights out with your husband/ significant other!! How I miss those- even just the late night runs for a Wendy’s frosty. 🙂 (HUGE pregnancy craving)

I just want to tell you that being a parent is HARD WORK!! It’s no easy task. Just remember to try to take a little time for yourself every now & then. You NEED it & you DESERVE it. Your child will appreciate a refreshed Mommy or Daddy. 🙂

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Hot Topic: Letting Baby Cry

Welcome to another round of Hot Topic Tuesday! Again, he’s my little disclaimer- if you have no interest in babies, please feel free to pass over this post…tomorrow will be back to normal workout/ cooking/ Gabriella posts! 🙂

Now for the most part Gabriella is a very happy baby. I constantly get smiles from her, just even a glance at Mommy & she will smile. It completely melts my heart. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

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I mean she even lets me dress her up in all of these silly outfits.

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But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get fussy sometimes…and it definitely doesn’t mean she doesn’t cry. She has her fussy periods every day, and we know they are coming. Usually it’s right before nap time, we always can tell when she is tired. And she ALWAYS gets cranky around 5pm every afternoon. Since she usually goes to bed around 6/ 6:30pm, this is just her pre bedtime fuss.

The thing is that once you have a child, you QUICKLY learn their many cries. There is the ‘I’m hungry cry, the ‘I’m tired cry’, the ‘Leave me alone cry’ <—we NEVER hear that one! haha, the ‘fuss to fuss cry.’ The one we get the most is the ‘fuss to fuss’ cry. It’s when Gabriella doesn’t want to do whatever it is we are doing. A lot of our runs start this way. She doesn’t want to be in the stroller, so she fusses. But then we get going, and about a mile in, she the smiling, happy girl we know.

But before 8 weeks I absolutely refused to let her cry. Any kind of cry. Craig was ok with letting her cry for like 5 minutes, but I wasn’t ok with any of it. I immediately would pick her up & comfort her. I just believe that under 8 weeks is too little to let a baby cry. They may be perfectly fine, fed, changed, and burped…but they may just want some comfort.

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I told Craig that after 8 weeks I would try to let her cry a little. And by a little, I mean about 2 minutes. Well, I wasn’t very good at that either. I grabbed her pretty much the second she starting crying. He told me to ask the doctor about the crying situation at her 2 month appointment, so that’s exactly what I did.

I will never forget what he told me at her appointment. “In 20+ years of being a pediatrician, I’ve never heard of a baby expiring from crying.” It was kind of funny, and I definitely understood what he was saying. He said there is NOTHING wrong with letting baby cry a bit, especially since she was now 8 weeks old.

I asked him how he did with his daughter, and he said that he would let her cry. He said he knew nothing was wrong with her, and he had no problem letting her cry. His wife on the other hand was like me. She did not want her daughter crying. But he also said that it’s part of being a Mom, the whole ‘maternal instinct’ part of being a Mom kicks in.

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After that appointment and hearing it from a doctor, I figured I could at least try 5 minutes. The only time she really cries is when it’s time for a nap or bed. She doesn’t really cry other times, I mean she will fuss if she wants to move around or do something different than what she is currently doing…but she doesn’t cry much other than when it’s time for sleep.

That night, once I put her to bed, she woke up about 15 minutes later crying. It started out as a little fuss & then it lead to a full on cry. I turned the timer on for 5 minutes. If she didn’t stop within that amount of time, I was going to go get her & rock her back to sleep.

Well, she didn’t stop…and I ended up going to get her. Craig told me that night he was proud of me though, because at least I TRIED & got 5 minutes.

It was NOT easy. I was like this close to crying myself, because I HATE hearing her cry. (even though I know it’s the ‘fuss to fuss’/ ‘I don’t want to sleep even though I’m tired’ cry)

One thing that helped me was thinking of what parents with multiple children or single Moms/ Dads do. I mean if you have more than one child, and you know that baby is just crying to cry & the other child needs you, you are going to attend to the other child & let baby cry for a bit. And then single moms & dads…oh how I give you all SO.MUCH.CREDIT. (it’s amazing how MUCH more you appreciate them when you have a child of your own) I mean if you are in a bind & NEED to get something done, like I don’t know..umm…go to the bathroom for example, and baby is crying the fuss cry. Well, you really have no choice, you have to let baby just cry. These are just examples that I would think about when she was doing her fuss cry…and it helped a lot.

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^love that picture, because the onesie COMPLETELY describes her ‘small & sassy.’ 😉

Once I got past letting her crying tear me up inside, things got easier. Not just for me, but for G too. She knew when it was time to nap or go to bed that I wasn’t going to go & rush to grab her…and that she better at least try to sleep. She’s sleeping better, and her little routine seems to be working a lot better too.

Sometimes when I am having a hard day, and I hear her cry, I don’t care I will still go & get her the second I hear it. I don’t think that will ever change though. I absolutely LOVE holding her every second of the day, but there is nothing like holding a baby after a rough day. It is just heaven on earth. Just sitting there staring at her. I love it.

I know this is a HUGE hot topic in the parenting world. Some people are COMPLETELY against letting babies/ children cry at any age. And there are others that have no problem letting baby cry from day one. I honestly just think it depends on the person and the family. Whatever works for YOU & YOUR FAMILY is what is right. No sense listening to people that want to tell you what you are doing is the ‘wrong way.’ You know your family, and you know your baby!

If you have children, what is your opinion on crying? How did you approach the situation?

Hot Topic: Breast Feeding

This is another one of those Mom posts, hope you don’t mind. But if you do, tomorrow will be a new recipe, so come back then! 🙂

I’ve decided that Tuesdays will be the ‘Hot Topic’ day. These will be topics that every parent has to discuss & deal with. I figure it’s a good way to hear different opinions, and just talk about them in general.

Since becoming a Mom I’ve seen this whole new side of being a parent. The side that any parent can tell you about- criticism. It’s constant & it doesn’t end.

I remember when Gabriella was about a month old, I had to run to Target for a few essentials. I had G in the stroller and at this point she was NOT a fan of the car seat so she was being a little fussy. But it was just a ‘fuss to fuss’ kind of cry. (You will learn your child’s different cries very quickly!) I went to check out, after literally grabbing everything I needed in 5 minutes (I didn’t want to be the one with the fussy kid in the store) & as I was checking out, the cashier next to me made a comment. She looked at Gabriella & said, ‘Oh she must be SO hungry. You need to go & feed her.’ I looked at her and said, ‘Umm, excuse me, but she just ate. She’s totally fine, she just doesn’t want to be in her car seat.’

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(That’s a yawn, not a fuss 🙂 )

I know, attitude. But honestly, who is she to tell me that my child needs to eat?! Then the lady proceeded to tell me that she was hungry….oh, it was a good thing I was in a hurry other wise I may of said something I regretted. It just really bothered me.

But that’s not uncommon. People will constantly tell you have to raise your child. (& I don’t mean family, I definitely don’t mind advice from my family, but I’m talking strangers) Just like when you are pregnant, people will constantly tell you what’s ok & what’s not ok while pregnant. It gets annoying. YOU are the one who knows what’s best for you & your child & your pregnancy. It’s no one else’s’ business. (well, besides your husband/ significant other’s)

While I was pregnant I drank coffee & I think I may have had a total of 2 glasses of wine during the whole 10 months. OH NO! How terrible of me. I must be the worst mother, right?!

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No. Not at all. Of course I didn’t go overboard. I stuck to what my doctor said about coffee- they said I was allowed 2 cups a day. Random side note: If you are pregnant or nursing, be aware that Starbucks coffee has about THREE times the amount of caffeine compared to normal brewed coffee. Just an FYI. I never knew that until I got pregnant & started looking at caffeine content.  And with the wine, the two glasses I had were special occasions. I had one for our year anniversary (May 27th) & then one at my in-laws 60th birthday party.

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(At their 60th party- 8 months pregnant 🙂 )

I felt ok about it, so I had wine. You have to do what you are comfortable with. There is nothing wrong either way. Of course I am NOT advocating getting drunk or ANYTHING of that nature. But two glasses of wine during my pregnancy did not do any harm to my child.

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(My baby shower favors that my Father in Law made with an ultrasound picture of Gabriella- The COOLEST favors I have EVER seen!)

But people can be SO judgmental. It’s almost ridiculous & you never notice it until you are in the situation.

This brings up my next point. Breast feeding. This is a HUGE point of controversy in raising a child. I was AMAZED at how RUDE people can be about the topic. Now, as I’ve said before, I am exclusively breast feeding, but that’s because I CAN & it works FOR US.

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That does NOT mean it works for all families. Some women can’t breast fed, their child may not latch or they just choose not to. That’s THEIR decision.

Being a first time Mom, I read a LOT online about anything & everything about raising a child. From tips on sleeping, books to read, different play time ideas, and just different things in general about being a new parent.

While doing all of this reading, you can’t help but see the controversy in comments that people post. I enjoy reading people’s responses to topics because you can get some good ideas. But at the same time you see people SLAMMING each other. It’s insane. I just find it ridiculous HOW people can give their opinion on a child/ family that they don’t even know.

While I was pregnant I made the decision that , if I could breast feed, I definitely wanted to. One of the reasons I really wanted to (besides the basics- like all of the antibodies in the breast milk, the immunity it helps build for the child, and just that it is supposed to be a ‘complete form of nutrition for infants’) was that I read it could help ward off Crohn’s disease symptoms in the baby. You are born with Crohn’s disease, so it’s not like breastfeeding can prevent it, but it can help keep the disease in remission. (for lack of better words)

One of my biggest fears was passing Crohn’s disease to G. It’s not like I can help it…obviously 😉 …but whatever I can do to help keep it (or the symptoms) away from her is what I will do.

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(melts my heart…every time!)

I also told myself that if breastfeeding didn’t work out, then I was NOT going to stress about it. With the way formula is made these days, I knew either way she would be perfectly fine!

Luckily she latched EASILY (right when she was born she latched) and I didn’t have ANY issues with it. And now that we are 3 1/2 months in, she is still doing really well (too well…that she won’t take a bottle 😉 ) and I’m still going to try for a year to breast feed her. WHEN (not if) we get her to take a bottle, I’m thinking I will do more pumping & bottle feeding and just save nursing for her night time feeding. Just so other people can feed her, and if I need to be out some where I don’t have to worry about rushing home to feed her.

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What I’ve seen in the “Mom world” though is how BADLY other women look down on Moms that formula feed their child. WHO CARES! They do NOT know the reason the Mom chose to breastfeed…and it’s NONE of their business. Some women don’t produce enough milk, or their milk dries up, or they are on a medication that doesn’t allow them to breast feed…there are a TON of reasons. I guess the main thing is to not judge, especially when you don’t know the whole situation.

These are just my own personal feelings! 🙂 Would love to hear what you think too!