Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The do's & don'ts of sick days

Both of the girls have come down with some snotty, slimy, coughy sickness at the same time.  Poor things.  So far Joe & I haven't caught it.  I'm discovering what works on days like this...days when I end up wearing the same clothes I wore the day before, where both girls are extremely needy (and rightfully so!) and where I am feeling stretched to my limits.

 Do have a steady supply of liquids available at all times.  For Lu this means that she has an all access pass to my breast (not that I ever deny her!).  Z gets OJ, tea and water.  She requested raspberry tea today and we also have chamomile.  I put honey and a squirt of lemon in her tea to help her itchy throat.

Do read as often as possible.  This satisfies and comforts both of my girls.  Z gets extra snuggles, which she needs more when she is sick.  Lu gets to look at pictures and laugh at the silly voices I make up for the characters.

Don't let my daughters watch T.V.  I know this is a standard for most people's sick days.  However, we have decided not to let Lu watch anything until she is at least 2 years old.  For Z, T.V. is just too stimulating.  It doesn't allow her to get the rest that she needs and it makes her very cranky and irritable.

Do rely on audio books when my voice gets too sore from all the extra books I'm reading aloud.  We like to listen online here and here.   Also, I will let Z watch a few readings from here (Sidenote...Mrs. P is really funny!  I think Joe and I enjoy her more than Z!)

Don't worry about the breakfast dishes that are still on the table at 3 in the afternoon or the toys that are scattered all over the floor.

Don't deny any requests for food.  Z has pretty much lost her appetite right now.  So when she does ask for food, even if it's not a regular meal or snack time, I give it to her.  Whatever she wants.  Thankfully we don't keep too much junk food in the house, so that's not an option for her.  Today it's been pretty much applesauce and toast.  
 Do wear my baby as much as possible.  This is a necessity for Lu who refuses to nap longer than 30 minutes anywhere other than my arms.  It also allows me to meet Z's needs while still comforting my sniffly 6 month old.

Don't forget to eat and drink plenty of fluids myself.  This is especially important with all of Lu's extra feedings.

Don't hesitate to let Z sit in the tub and play for as long as she desires, even when her toes are wrinkled past the point of recognition. 

Do have a lot of quiet activities to occupy Z.  She is the type of girl that doesn't enjoy just laying around, even if she's sick.  We do lots of coloring, lots of puzzles, lots of sticker books.  

Do use those extra feedings to relax.  Instead of thinking to myself "Oh my word...you just ate 15 minutes ago!" I put up my feet and leave Z with an audio story while I read and let my little one nurse away.

What about you?  What are your sick day activities?

Monday, March 28, 2011

...makes me smile...

On Mondays I'm going to be posting about things that make me smile.  They could be moments from my week or books or things I see on other blogs.  Hopefully they will make you smile too :)

*these wooden sorting bowls from The Enchanted Cupboard & all the little things that go with them
*this book which is a novelization of an old favorite
*hints of spring all around
*the fact that this was attempted
*these lovely paper covered books from Paislee Press (via Twig & Thistle)
*this series which we read or listen to here practically everyday
*receiving flowers from my love
*early morning snuggles with my Lu after a long stretch of sleep
*yummy treats in jars 
*this woodsy party (which I'm inclined to steal for the girls' party in the fall!)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Easter Basket Alternatives

 There's a great post over at Code Name: Mama for those of you who would like to give your children (or grandchildren!) Easter baskets, but want to avoid the standard sugar filled processed treats that go into them.  There's also alternatives for plastic eggs and grass!  I can't wait to make some of these things for my daughter's baskets this year...like the adorable bunny finger puppets from the Purl Bee!

Friday, March 25, 2011

this moment

Inspired by SouleMama:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.

p.s. this photo is from a couple of weeks ago...i just didn't get any pictures taken this week :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We had a home birth (and you can too!) Part 1

*This will be the first in a series of posts about our birth choices*

If you know me in person you have more than likely heard me gush about our recent home birth.  It's hard for me to not talk about how amazing the birth was and it's even harder for me to not shout to every pregnant woman I see "YOU SHOULD HAVE A HOME BIRTH!  OUR BODIES WERE MADE FOR THIS!!"


I really detest the word "should" when it comes to parenting advice.  "You should just let her cry it out....." or "You should just spank her..." has been uttered to me many a time by people meaning well.  However, to me, the word should sounds like "I know better than you do and you should listen to me...."

So, I won't use the 's' word.  Instead, I will simply share with you what brought us to the decision to have Lucia (and any other future children) at home.  Maybe you'll read something that makes you think.  Maybe you'll just read an interesting story.  Maybe one day you'll have a home birth.

20ish weeks pregnant with Azalia

I used to think of home birth as something for natural birth extremists or hippies.  Not for me.  No thank you.  I want a natural, drug-free birth, but in the safety and security of a hospital with emergency personnel standing by, please. 

Then I gave birth to my first daughter, Azalia.  We had been planning and preparing for a drug-free birth the whole pregnancy.  We told almost everyone we knew about this decision.  And almost every single person told us, "Oh...just you wait" or "You're probably going to want that epidural at some point..." and even "Are you crazy?!  Do you just love pain?"  We chose to go to a midwife for the prenatal care because we knew that midwives were low-intervention and very woman-centered.  We read this book and practiced all the relaxation exercises the last few months of the pregnancy.  We took a Lamaze class from the hospital in which our baby would be born so we would be familiar with the procedures there.  We typed up a birth plan that included "Our desire is to birth our baby drug-free" and "I would prefer to tear naturally and do not consent to an episiotomy".   We were prepared. 

Then the day came.  Sometime soon I will type up Azalia's birth story.  But for now, know that it did not go as we hoped and I was very close to a c-section because of a spiral of interventions.  We did achieve the drug-free birth for which we worked so hard.  I was feeling the natural birth high, but because many things happened that were out of my control, I looked back on that birth experience with a little bit of disappointment.  (I really, really dislike when mothers express the slightest disappointment with their birth experience and are met with "Oh, but you had a healthy baby, that's all that matters".  No, you are invalidating that mother's experience when you tell her that.)

We did it!  We had a natural birth!

A couple years after Azalia's birth we were thinking about trying for another baby.  We also watched this movie.  I was doing a lot of reflection on my first birth experience as we prepared for our second child.  And I realized that the kind of birth that we were wanting and hoping for was not going to be in a hospital.  It would be in our home.

I began reading birth stories online about women giving birth at home.  I could feel how empowered they felt, I could see the strength in their stories.  I knew what natural birth felt like....I wanted to know what it was like to give birth to my baby in our home.  I didn't want to worry about labor slowing down or stopping when I was transported to the hospital.  I didn't want the pressure of an epidural.  I didn't want a doctor (yes, the backup doctor attended Z's birth) telling me to lay on my back and cutting me without consent.  I wanted to walk around my own home and smell my things and eat whenever I wanted.  I wanted to cuddle up with my little one and my husband in our own bed.  I wanted to feel safe.

Then, we had our miscarriage.  Losing Seraphim made me even more convinced about home birth.  I wasn't sure if we were going to have another baby, but if we did, I wanted that baby born at home.

After the miscarriage, Joe and I discussed home birth.  He was actually born at home! I assumed he would be 100% for home birth, especially since he knew we could birth naturally.  I was wrong.  He was hesitant.  We decided to talk with some more people, I gave him some things to read.  I really wanted a home birth, but I knew I would not be able to do it without his support.  This birth was as much his as it was mine.  I needed him to be just as passionate about it as I was.  So I prayed and I waited.

Friday, March 18, 2011

this moment

Inspired by SouleMama:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crawl your little heart out

You are almost 6 months old.  You have begun to army crawl all over the place.  Whenever you see open spaces you kick your legs and beg with every bone in your body to be placed on the floor so you can move.  You watch your sister's every move and I can see the longing in your eyes to do what she does.  Walk like her, talk like her, dance like her.  There is such determination in your crawl.  A focus that is beyond your age.

As I watch you watch your older sister, I imagine all the trouble you will get into together.  I imagine you arguing with us about how it's not fair that you sister can wear makeup (or drive or stay up late) and you can't.   This may be a far leap from crawling....but it's coming.

Oh, is it coming.

For now, I will delight in your newly discovered ability to move yourself from one side of the room to the other.  I'll worry about tomorrow later.

Monday, March 14, 2011

...what next?

We keep asking why, but we don't need to know why something happened; we can't use that knowledge to go back in time and stop it.  And the terrifying truth is that we can't gather enough clues to know how to prevent it happening the next time...The only useful question in such a time is not "Why?" but "What next?"  What should I do next?  What should be my response to this ugly event?  How can I bring the best out of it?  How can God bring Resurrection out of it?
              ~from At the Corner of East and Now 
                       by Frederica Mathewes-Green

Ways to Give:
International Orthodox Christian Charities
World Vision 
American Red Cross
Global Giving

Saturday, March 12, 2011

peaceful parenting: Human Milk 4 Human Babies After Japan Tsunami

If you are thinking of donating formula to help the babies of Japan...PLEASE read this first!

peaceful parenting: Human Milk 4 Human Babies After Japan Tsunami: "We at peaceful parenting, along with the Human Milk 4 Human Babies Global Network, express our sincere condolences to the people of Japan...."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lord Have Mercy

My heart goes out to all those affected by the earthquake in Japan.  My prayers are with you.

Hear my prayer, O Lord, for thou art merciful and compassionate, and lovest mankind, and to thee are due all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Friday, March 4, 2011

this moment

Inspired by SouleMama:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Who Needs Fisher Price When You Have Lima Beans?

This might be a no-brainer to all you seasoned mothers out there...but the best toys aren't really toys at all.

1 bag of lima beans + 1/2 bag of black beans + 3/4 bag of pinto beans + a couple glass dishes + measuring cups & spoons = 2+ days of non-stop fun for Z

She seriously has not grown tired of the beans.  I got the idea from this incredibly eye-opening book called Raising Your Spirited Child.  This book is blowing my mind.  But that's another post.  In the book she recommends lots of sensory activities for your spirited child.  I had no idea it would be such a success!

I have to say that we try not to spend a lot of money on toys.  We prefer wooden, all-natural toys (once again, another post) which are typically more expensive, so we don't have a lot.  One of our desires for all the toys our girls have is that they be open-ended.   This definitely fits the bill....and it hardly cost a thing.

I actually had to pull her away from the beans several times yesterday.  She has not grown tired of emptying and filling.  Last night her play took a different turn when we carried the bean tray into the living room.  All of a sudden she was making smoothies, cream of wheat and ice cream all available for purchase...with beans.