Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Baby Can Swim!

For those of you who haven't seen him in action, Zion is making great progress learning how to swim and roll over to float, and breathe to save his life. I cried the first time he swam, puffed up his little chest, and clapped for himself.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lake Tahoe

We received a very special gift from my parents this year for Christmas…a week in Tahoe at their time share! They wanted Zion to experience snow for the first time. It turned out to be quite an experience (2 ½ feet) for all of us! Here is what Zion loves most about snow…eating it! Our poor guy is teething some huge molars and can be beside himself at times, but a handful of snow seems to do the trick. I love how he’ll moan “MMMMmmm” as it melts in his mouth. We returned home late last night and enjoyed dinner (thanks Mom and Dad) after Zion crashed over a game of Scrabble in front of the fire. Jason and I went back and forth listing our favorite things about our family vacation.

• Cuddling, cuddling, and more cuddling with my boys.

• Taking Zion to the library for some much needed kid interaction. You would have thought we were snowed in for a month, not a day!

• Driving around the Lake the day we arrived. Zion napped and we just relaxed, talked, and enjoyed the views.

• Making my first snow angel…and on the beach. How cool is that?

• Cooking big breakfasts…and big lunches…and big dinners.

• Keeping the thermostat at 70 degrees, a luxury we do not allow ourselves at home!

• Finally writing thank you notes to all who celebrated Zion’s first year with us, a great reminder of how very blessed we are.

• Zion saying “hi” to everyone we pass. And he’ll keep saying “hi” until he is acknowledged. LOVE IT!

• Eating A-MAZING sushi at the Drunken Monkey in Truckee. I know. I was a bit leery about sushi in Truckee, too. Alas, it was superb, and Z is a champ at the bar. Win-win!

• Finding a local brewery, Fifty Fifty, for Jason to get his fix. He’s a champ at the bar, too :).

• Playing at the Truckee Children’s Museum with Jason and Zion. I’m not sure who had the most fun?

• Eating Italian at Lanza’s and watching Z eat angel hair pasta. This has become one of our tricks to keeping the boy entertained while we enjoy a night out. We all end up elbow deep in noodles, but it is totally worth it!

• Spending the evening at North Star Resort; watching ice skating, gathering around the fire pits and chatting with locals, Zion meeting “Santa”.

• Our last meal before boarding the plane home. Now tell me, is this ghetto-fabulous, or just plain fabulous? Our first stop when we flew into Reno was Costco. Jason found a local brew and I selected some yummy red wines. So, the morning we packed…I just couldn’t part with my half-full bottle of Pillar Box Red. On our drive down the mountain I spotted an In-N-Out. Let me tell you, they should seriously consider finally expanding their menu…that was the most delicious In-N-Out burger paired with my lovely blend of reds…enjoyed while sitting in the car and listening to Christmas music!

Happy Holidays! I’ll post pictures shortly!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

10 Things We Love about Mo!

Zion got to have his very first sleepover last week! Our friend Emily was unexpectedly playing angel/caregiver (she is a natural, and is destined to be a midwife!!!) and we were blessed to have her two-year-old son as our house guest. How do I put this?... MO BLEW US AWAY! Here are just a few charming moments.

• Mo always says AND signs please when making any request.
• Mo will eat absolutely anything.
• Mo fell asleep peacefully next to my side of the bed and slept through the entire night after Jason read him a book.
• Mo loves to dance.
• While Zion was napping, Mo was happy to hang with me and help with chores around the house.
• Mo quietly showed me a gnarly splinter in his foot and allowed Jason to remove it with sharp tweezers without making a peep.
• Mo shared all toys with Zion without any intervention.
• Mo and Zion took a bath together and giggled over BRUSHING THEIR TEETH for over an hour.
• Mo is very generous with hugs and loves to cuddle.
• Mo was all smiles, even after being away from Mama for 24 hours!

If there is any doubt that Attachment Parenting works, maybe Emily and Roger will let you borrow their sweet boy for a day?! Please take any ideas you may have about the terrible twos and flush them down the toilet!... Oh, did I mention Mo uses the potty?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Every time a child is born, a mother is born as well.

Zion, you gave me the most wonderful birthday gift today. I have been doing the whole “what were Daddy and I doing a year ago right now?” for a few days. I love that we are planners, but that you threw a wrench into our routine, starting with the baby-making charade, pregnancy…and our beloved labor and delivery. Hands down, the event that has changed us most, and made me a fierce, passionate Mama, was the day we welcomed you home. There is a part of me that was born on September 29th, 2008 that has forced me to be more honest, more loving, more argumentative, and more real than I had ever been.
The morning of your first birthday, Daddy had to work, so off we went to Stroller Strides. After playing with friends, you were ready for a nap when we returned home at 11:30. You fell asleep almost instantly as I held you in my arms and nursed you. As I placed you in your crib, I was a bit sad, realizing that we wouldn’t spend the moments surrounding your birth, 12:37 in the afternoon, cuddling and remembering.
I have never abided by everyone’s advice to nap while you’re napping. I think I’d just lay there and fixate on everything I should be accomplishing…like a shower that usually comes waaaaaay too late in the as it is! As soon as I could see that you were resting contentedly, I turned on the water to shower and left the door open so I could keep an eye on you in your crib. A warm breeze flowed through the house; I closed my eyes and as I shampooed my hair, was easily brought back to the feeling of complete calm while I was pushing you out. As I opened my eyes, I was greeted by your sweet smile and brilliant blue eyes gazing at me. I am not sure how long it took me to notice that you were awake, did you know that I was day-dreaming of you, of us?
I scooped you up, held you close, and crawled into bed. I hummed to you, rocking you gently. I fed you from my body, skin to skin, so warm, so delicious. I did not speak one word to you as you grinned at me with your eyes (you get that from your Mama) and you tenderly drifted to sleep once more in my arms. I glanced at the time; 12:37…thank you, Zion. Happy Birthday, to us both.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just like his Daddy...I know everybody does it, but do we have to talk about it?

I love the way Zion greets me with the giantest grin when he awakes.
This morning, as always, I jumped back into bed with him and he had a little snack
as we talked about our plans before we faced the day.
He began to wiggle around a bit...and then grunt....and rrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiippppppppp.
"Wow, Z! That was a big fart for such a little boy!"
his chubby hand shot up and was planted over my mouth.
Point taken.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Attachment Parenting

Jason and I decided while we were pregnant to ingrain Attachment Parenting in our lifestyle. The thing was, we knew that we would parent in this manner, it is so natural...we just didn't know that it had been labeled! I am so excited to have joined an AP Mom's group in North County. The following article is a reminder of all the support we are receiving from our family, friends and community. It really does take a village!
by Paula Yount

The last fading beams of sunlight filter in through the window as I sit here holding the tiny body of my first grandchild. The warmth of her body envelopes mine, and I cuddle her close to my chest, her ear pressed against my breast, the beating of my heart a soft and gentle reassuring song playing to her in the land of dreams.

Memories dance across my mind of her mother, a tiny newborn, a toothless grin, wobbly first steps, her joy at riding her first bicycle, her first hockey game, teaching her to drive, her first broken heart, her first dance, her first date, the midnight hour she burst into the room to share her engagement, seeing her in her wedding dress, watching her take the hand of her new husband, and driving away to her new home. Seems like it was only yesterday she confided she might be expecting, then the months rolled by as I watched this tiny miracle grow, and then emerge into the world, a tiny mirror image of her mother.

I caress the tiny hand that lay gently cupped around my own, feeling the softness of her skin, the dimpled knuckles, the tiny fingers. I revel in this magical moment, the emotion so strong I have to swallow back the lump that has grown in my throat. I blink back tears as I think of how proud I am of my daughter. Of the kind of mother she is, of the strength she has to listen to her instincts and ignore the advice of others or the ridicule for being such an "attached" parent.
I am thankful that my granddaughter is held in loving arms, even at 3 am, that she is rocked, and cuddled and snuggled. That she is nursed when she indicates the need, regardless of how long it's been since the last time, that she is never left alone to cry.

My heart swells with pride for my daughter, this woman, this mother - that she is committed every hour of every day, to the needs of this tiny child, that she faces the world bravely and fights for what she believes in.

My heart aches for the young mothers out there who strive for these very same things, with little or no support, little or no praise, little or no encouragement. They are hit at every turn with "expert" advice on feeding, on sleeping, on nurturing their babies, on when to wean - "advice" that goes against every fiber of her being. They are told that breastfeeding is not "that" important, they are told that unless they teach the baby "who's boss" they will never have a moments peace, that their child will be a "monster" - they are told to ignore the heartbreaking cries of their babies who just seek the comfort of mother's arms in the dark of night, to drift off to sleep within the security of her love.

My heart aches for the baby left alone to learn to "self-comfort", to "cry it out". Experts have told moms "not spoil their babies" and to "let them cry". This is a good thing? What are we accomplishing? Babies need nurturing and it is not spoiling them to provide it. Spoiling means "ruining" and you cannot ruin a child with love and affection.

We are made to "respond", to nurture. Call it "instinct", call it "intuition", call it being "tuned in", call it "natural" - it is the core of the relationship between mother and child... a "bond". If you steel yourself against your baby's cries, you damage the core, you begin to lose the "instinct", you're not "tuned in" to your baby's needs as easily, or as quickly, and eventually... you break that bond. You stop responding. The very life-force of the connection between mother and baby is being suppressed, and occasionally, snuffed out.

We are told "it works" because the baby stops crying. But what has worked? Has baby really learned to comfort himself; or he has only learned that he might as well give up, that he will not be responded to. Is this a good thing?

In the 1970s Dr. T. Berry Brazelton studied newborns to see whether they could feel hopeless or depressed. In the following quote from Suzanne Arms' book Immaculate Deception II, page 186, Arms tells of a study that Dr. Brazelton did in which he videotaped babies crying in order to get the attention of their moms:

In a heartrending series of videotaped sessions, each baby can be seen crying to elicit a response from its mother and, failing to do so, working even harder. After a number a minutes of making all kinds of faces and trying to make eye contact, each baby finally reaches its level of tolerance and begins to look away from the mother, finding it too difficult to continue making an effort with no response. The baby eventually turns its face away from its mother's face. Then it turns toward the mother again and tries to rouse a response. Each time it turns away for longer and longer periods. Finally, each baby slumps down, drops its head, and shows all the signs of hopelessness.

I remember seeing these segments on TV, and what an impact the end result had on me. I wish every new mother could see these. Perhaps it would make a difference for those who are feeling pressured to parent in a way that goes against what lies in their hearts. Perhaps it would give them the courage they need to "stay the course", to hang in there, even when things seem to be the most difficult, and most of all... to respond.

I wish every mother could know how important she is, and that the sleepless nights, the pain and difficulties she might encounter now, with babies and later with teens - are all part of the gift of mothering. For without this, how can we give true measure to the beauty and importance of being a mother?

The last fading beams of sunlight filter in through the window as I sit here holding the tiny body of my first grandchild. The warmth of her body envelopes mine, and I cuddle her close to my chest, her ear pressed against my breast, the beating of my heart a soft and gentle reassuring song, playing to her in the land of dreams. Arguments "for" and "against" may come and go... but I am glad that I am an "attached" grandparent.