Behind the Blog

behind the blog

Ahh.. sitting down to write at nap time. It’s quickly becoming my favorite down time. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough of it lately. There’s been a lot more behind the scenes organizing and action though, which sometimes is necessary to keep things running smoothly. You may notice some sprucing up and changes to the website. (See above, new image, and to the right, new things to click and look at :)) And you may have also noticed I’ve been doing some writing for other sites, brands, etc… It’s all part of keeping this thing going. I truly love writing for all of you, and I’m getting the sense you are liking it too, so I figure I might as well make it a thing. So here’s a little behind the blog update.

behind the blog
(find the Book here)

(find the Camera  here)

I did a little research last week, asking all of you on Facebook what you wanted to see more of. (Thanks for your responses!) And I got some great feedback. Of course, I’m only going to write about the topics I know at least a little something about, but here’s what you’ll be seeing more of, in order of your top choices!

1. Natural Self Care ~ I’m so excited about this! It’s just the push I needed to get down to business making and showing you some awesome recipes for natural products for yourself, your family, and your home.

2. Ideas for Play ~ I once told a friend in college when I was studying education (before having my own child of course) that I was going to make all of my children’s toys. Whomp, whomp. Sooo… even though that’s highly unrealistic, I do love to create activities and toys, and I am going to be sharing these creations with you! (under the topic “create”)

3. Healthy Recipes ~ I have to admit, on this one I may be phoning a friend for help, or more specifically my husband. He is the chef in our house, and I am the baker. (What can I say, I have a wicked sweet tooth!) So while I will be covering the sweet, he will most likely take care of the savory.

4. Yoga ~ I asked two questions, that got two very different responses. The first, “what is your biggest need as a mom?” got the highest response in “ideas for peace and calm”. The second, “what is your top priority when it comes to your health?” got the biggest response in “energy”. The cool thing about that is, when you have more peace and calm in your life (and the life of your family), then you have more energy. And can help with both of these needs? Yoga. (And if you haven’t already gotten your free self care starter kit, there’s two yoga videos in it your don’t want to miss!)

5. Mamahood ~ And last but certainly not least, I’ll be writing my musings and adventures in mamahood. I love that these stories have created such a connection between us. It seems as mamas we all have the same adventures even if they look different on the outside, or take place in different settings or even times. We all have the same adventures of the heart. And more than anything else, more than our parenting philosophy, or what we make for dinner, or the crafts we do with our littles, that’s what bonds us. It’s the feelings, and the experiences, and the love we share for our families that connects me to you. I’m grateful for that. And I’m grateful for you.

So… How can you help keep this little thing going? Keep reading! That’s all I could ever really ask for. And if you want to, click on the icon above to vote for me as a top mommy blog. Share this or any of your favorite posts with your friends. The more mamas working towards nurturing themselves and nurturing their families, the better this world will be, that’s how I see it, and that’s why I keep doing what I’m doing. And last but not least, if you are a mama with a blog, or small business (or any sized business really), and you want to grow right along with me, become a sponsor! Let’s join hands and grow together, just like the best of friends always do.

This is my happy to be teaching yoga face :)
This is my happy to be teaching yoga face :)

Adventures in Night Weaning (Part 2)

E napping in is big bed

As I sit down to write this, I have to tell you, that last night was a rough night. I was exhausted and looking forward to a good night’s sleep, it was my night to co-sleep with E. At 10:30 I comforted him back to sleep before settling in myself, sometime around 1:30 (I never know when this really occurs) I went into his room when he stirred and whined, and at 3:30am he kicked and squirmed and crawled on top of my body rooting for my breast. I tried to pat his back, and gently “shhh” him, mentioning that it was still night-time and the nursies were sleeping, that he could nurse when the sun rose. He was not having it for some reason, and got very upset. We spent a few minutes bouncing, soothing. I called my husband in for reinforcement with water and to see if E would allow him to soothe. Maybe being so close to the nursies makes it harder to understand that they are sleeping? After 20 minutes or so E gave in to sleep. He woke again around 5am, and we nursed, but he was restless, pulling my hair, kicking. We went into daddy, into the big bed, and nursed again. Eventually I begged my husband to take him because I had reached the point of tiredness, where exhaustion turns to anger. Hubby thankfully swooped in, and got up with E. I slept, and now I am a functioning, less bitchy mother for it. 

E napping in is big bed
E napping in is big bed

 

As you can see, from the story above, night weaning is not for the faint of heart. My biggest piece of advise for those who are considering it, is to make sure everyone involved is ready, and on board for the ups and downs. As much as it is a physical process, it is an emotional one. Like any part of parenting with intention, there are joyful moments of celebration when things go as you had hoped, and moments of anxiety, questioning, and feelings of guilt when they don’t. Be ready, have help, stay strong if you are doing this for a purpose that is ultimately to benefit the health and happiness of your family. Now back to my story….

About a week into night weaning, where my hubby had taken over all of the night wake ups, he leaves. I am left to take on the role of comforting, without the most useful tool I have ever used up until now to comfort. I grounded myself in determination, and hoped for the best. I stuck to our nightly routines of bath time, stories, nursing, and singing songs to sleep. This part was a breeze. I even went to bed in my own empty, large and lonely bed, just waiting for E to wake up so that I could go join him. And of course he did.

E has always had a pretty predictable sleep cycle, and always woken at the same times (within about a half hour or so). 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00. So you can see why nursing him at each of these wake ups was leaving me utterly exhausted and depressed. Now that we have gotten through to the other side of night weaning, he still wakes or at least stirs at these hours, but is typically comforted back to sleep with a simple pat on the back, or snuggle. However during this second week of night weaning, with me left to my own now limited devices, these wake ups were tough.

E would wake. I would snuggle him and offer him water if he began to cry. I would rub his back and sing softly. If he got very upset, we would get up out of bed and go bounce on our ball, or rock in our chair. Within 5-10 minutes he would give in to sleep and we would get back in bed together, until the next wake up. The first two nights I was actually quite proud of how we did. I stayed strong in my reserve not to nurse until 5am, and he accepted my determination without too much of a protest. Then we went to visit a friend….

My friend is a dear mama that I met when E was 3 months old, at a breastfeeding group. Her son is just a few weeks older than E, and as she was able to stay home with him for his first year, we spent much of our time together. She and her son struggled with weight gain and milk supply, and I (along with many other beautiful mamas) was able to donate some of my milk to help him grow. So he and E are milk brothers, and mama H and I are like sisters. Now she is back to work, and they are having their own struggles with sleep. E and I went to visit and stay with C while his daycare was closed. We had a wonderful time living, playing, and parenting together. We got a little taste of what life in a village might really be like. They listened to my story of night weaning, and became inspired to start the process in their own way. I soaked in this mama’s kind and gentle mannerisms toward her family, and came home a kinder, gentler mama myself. But I will admit, night weaning, when you’re sleeping in a new place, is not ideal. For three nights I tried as best as possible to keep the same routine. But by the third night, I was utterly exhausted, and gave into to a bit of nursing to get us through the night without having to get up and bounce.

In this way, night weaning has ebbed and flowed for us. It has been as close to a gentle process as we could make it, without letting boundaries slip, or giving in. It has been a good lesson in the solidarity, and strength of heart that we will need to establish boundaries with E in future parenting. We are a family that believes in letting children have their freedom, their opinions and expressiveness, the ability to learn about right and wrong through trial and error, but we are also a family that believes in making conscious decisions. Night weaning perhaps was the first of many of those decisions.

When we returned home daddy tried to take over night-time duties once again. But after so many nights with me, we found that E was not ready to easily accept daddy as comforter again. So we started to take turns with wake ups. We noted that we were making progress. Each wake up was a little easier to deal with, less crying, a quicker return to sleep. We began to get more rest ourselves, and began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But before we would get there, daddy and I were scheduled to go on a trip, for two nights. It was our first ever trip away from our baby together. And so the job of night comforting was being transferred yet again, to the ever willing, ever helpful grandma….

(stay tuned for part 3!)