Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The First Year: Marinating Nicely

You are gonna spoil that kid!! Oh boy if I had a penny...

I firmly believe that as parents, you know what is best for your child and what his or her needs are at any given time. I also think that what works for one child or family, is not necessarily what works for the next. So with saying that, I'm gonna come out and say that Dominic sleeps with us most of the time. Some babies sleep better in their own space, mine just doesn't.  The funny thing is, before we had Dominic I never in a million years thought our child would be sharing a bed with us.  But now that I actually have that child, I couldn't imagine anything else.  To be honest, it wasn't my intention. When Dominic was little, we had a bassinet next to our bed. He was so tiny and we just felt safer with him in the room with us. Then he became an avid night-nurser and I would bring him in the bed for the feeding. Often, waiting for him to be totally asleep before putting him back in his bed, I would fall asleep too. And thus it began. In the beginning I actually worried about him sleeping with us as I didn't want to become one of those families, but Geoffrey and I realized that we felt much safer with him right next to us where we could hear his every sound and feel his every movement even if in our sleep. I will never forget one night when Geoffrey said, "Dacia, you don't need to feel guilty about him sleeping in our bed if he sleeps better that way." And it certainly was much easier to nurse him and turns out I got more sleep too. So here are my thoughts on the whole "controversial" topic.

During the day, I, and Geoff when home, attend to Dominic's every need. You know, food, diapers, comfort, and play. So if we do these things during the day, why would we assume our obligation ceases during the nightime hours? I don't consider the night a break from parenting, comforting, or nursing my child. Which is why this whole put him in the other room and let him cry thing may work for some, but it isn't something we have chosen to do. I understand the argument for the "cry it out" method; they have to learn to fall asleep by themselves. Okay makes sense. But out of all the people I know who share selpt with their babies not one of them have a 8 yr old or 2 yr old that doesn't know how to fall asleep on their own.  So babies who share sleep and are nursed back to sleep when the awake learn how it just might take a little longer than a week of crying it out. There are plenty of times when resettles himself back to sleep though so I know he is getting there. So far in the middle of it I don't regret this one bit. I would be lying though if I said it was always easy, my little guy is very active, even while sleeping. And some nights he sleeps great (which for him is waking up only once or twice to nurse), and others it seems I'm up every two hours though not for long. But overall I know that I sleep better with him right next to Geoffrey and I and so does Doc as he wakes up much less feeling safe and secure with his mommy and daddy.

The goal is to gradually get him used to his own bed and then his own room. I'm not sure how this will go or when he will be ready but we will roll with it and take it as it comes.  We do have a crib in our room and sometimes I put him in it to see if he likes it but so far he wakes up wondering what happened to his nice warm spot b/w mom and dad. I'm not worried; he will get to that point someday soon and than I will miss my cuddling time with this very active boy that rarely lets me hold him anymore. Some of my favorite moments with him have been during the night. For now though, I would say not that we are spoiling him, but rather marinating him into a boy who can be confident that his parents love him; that we will always be there to comfort him when he has a nightmare or scrapes his knee.  I believe firmly that at this young age we are building the roots for a relationship of trust. That we are not just rearing a child, but nourshing our family as a tight knit unit that depends on one another.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The First Year: Mold Free

  With my rookie year of motherdom coming to a close, I have been reflecting a lot on all the joys, struggles, and lessons learned of being a new mom.  To be honest, I can't believe I am already at this point and that my little guy is soon to be a year old; today is his 11 month!  What a tremendous joy and blessing it is to be Dominic's mother, truly.  Over the next month, I hope to share those musings of our first year together (post-womb).  And because I'm in a ranting type mood (let's face it when aren't I) I am going to kick it off!
  Since the very moment of conception, Dominic has been his own little life force to be reckoned with.  Like all people before him and since, he is unique in every way.  Sure he does lots of the same things other babies do, he even once said "goo goo ga ga" (so cliche), but overall he has a mind of his own and does things on his own timetable in his own way.  I don't think it is terrible to have standards and charts with norms, but we are doing ourselves and our children a disservice if we live by them.  Dominic has almost never done things when the baby books say, many time he is early but I don't think that means he is "smarter" or "better" than other babies, it just means he is different.  This is why it is so frustrating to me when people are constantly asking if he is doing this or that yet and sometimes even trying to pressure him to do said action and comparing him to other babies they know.  I guess I'm pretty laid back about it, he will do it when he is ready.  Don't get me wrong I love working with him and teaching him new things but I try not to get frustrated when it takes a little longer than I thought it would.
  My little guy is certainly in a weight category all his own.  If I payed attention to the growth charts I would be one worried sick mom.  Instead I look at my baby and see he is healthy and happy, and I look at the fact that Geoffrey and I were both tiny growing up and still are not very "big" people so his size makes perfect sense.  We are so blessed to have a pediatrician who measures our son on his own chart and never pressured us to supplement.  Still some people have worried about his weight, just because there are babies on the other end of the spectrum that are 3 months old that weigh as much as he does now.  To be honest I have no idea what he weighs now as it has been 2 months since he has been weighed.  I guess I don't see the point, as long as he is healthy what does it matter?  I have accepted him, and this is just the way he is.  He is little and I love my little guy!!
   My point being with all this: there is no perfect mold of what a baby should be.  Every baby crawls different, eats different, talks different, sleeps different, weighs different, walks different, and acts different.  I think that is so cool!  When people say to me that they have never seen a baby do "that" before, I say that's because they've never met Dominic before.  He is his own little life force to be reckoned with and never ceases to amaze me.  I am sure other mothers would say the same about their little ones.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Snow" It Down

People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them how excited I am
that we finally got a decent snow storm! 

I know it can be a pain, makes driving dangerous
and it is no fun to remove,
but it is so beautiful-
the way it falls, the way it glistens.
Oh! And what potential for fun!

And after spending time outside building snow forts, sledding, and making snow angels, you get to come inside to a nice warm house
and some yummy hot chocolate. 
What's not to like about that?

But what I love most about snow,
is that is reminds us that we are not in control.
It forces us to slow things down
and take some time out of our busy schedules
to actually just stay inside and cuddle with our spouses, kids, and pets.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard BBQ 2011

It's a cold winter day.
The wind is blowing,
The snow is unrelenting,
And I love every second of it.

It is a true winter wonderland tonight.

We celebrated by firing up the grill!
In the past few years, whenever we have a blizzard warning,
We host a Blizzard BBQ.
This is only our second one, and it was awesome.

Everything was so tasty.

And we made our statement to nature.
Yes you may give us you coldest and fiercest weather,
But we will not be defeated.

More than any statement, it was just plain fun.
I should say though, the men did the grilling whilst I was cozy inside.
I did bundle up and a spend some time outside a little later to appreciate it all.

Good times.