So, I decided that Addie is a genius. Yes, I know it's just scribbles even Monet had to start somewhere!
Yes, that is a picture of Jason's dad. I guess most people who read by blog did already know or knew at one point and may have forgotten...
You Guessed It, but not really...
Is it normal to still be in mourning about Addie's birthday? I guess it isn't just that though, we have also registered Freddy for the Pre-K program at our elementary school. It is kind of heart wrenching. I had a 10 minute conversation with a complete stranger at Target this evening. She had two little ones running around and a newbie borned in the cart. Her kids were adorable and she was very sweet with them despite the little boy taking his clothes off in the middle of the aisle so he could "try on" the new shirt he wanted. I told her that her kids were really adorable and her baby was so sweet. She looked a little frazzled but we got to talking about how fast they grow and she about how hard it is to care for a newborn with a 3 year old (the boy taking his clothes off in the aisle) and an 18 month old (pixie blond girl in pigtails) running around, especially while she's trying to breastfeed an infant. I told her that I was mourning my baby's first birthday already, but she said she was really eager for hers to be 6, 4, and 2, or maybe 8, 6, & 4, I'm not sure.
The point is that I immediately felt guilty for all those times that I may have ever felt someone feel judged or embarrased by their kids' behavior. I've never been blatantly rude to anyone, and I'm usually more appalled by the parents' behavior than the kids. I just realize now that the only people who have any business thinking ANYTHING about your kids' behavior is other people with kids, and they wouldn't DARE because they have their own! I laughed at this little boy taking his clothes off and I immediately felt bad because I knew I'd be devastated if Freddy did it, so I smiled as genuinely as I could to this lady and a few aisles later we were chatting. I wonder if I'd stayed longer...we may have been buds! I guess this started as a so sad my babies are too big post, but ended somewhere else. That's fine.
One more thing, do you know what I did tonight? I went to Kroger and got a list of all the items in their buy 10 items get $5 off and I went through the store and priced them so that now I can gather all my coupons and all my online coupons stored on my Kroger card and figure out the best deals/steals. I just happened to luck out with a bebe sitter husband tonight, so it won't be a common occurrence, but I am excited to see how it all works out. I'll share if I have the energy afterwards!
Guess who is to the left...c'mon guess!! No, it is not a photo of Addie that I doctored to make it look old, despite the very strik...
I have wanted to post about my experiences with breastfeeding over this past year, and so I'm going to. As of January 11th, I made my g...
Breastfeeding 2009 and Beyond!
I have learned so much and changed so much in the past 10 years or so. I'm so thankful for a God who loves me but is completely unsatisfied to let me ferment in my own ignorance and hypocrisy. Oh I am still obnoxious a lot of times, but I used to develop an opinion about everything just so I could justify talking about it. I still do, and later when I actually experience something for myself, it turns out that my opinion was completely wrong or I feel totally different than I did before. Sometimes God does that for me, oh, sweet Kristina, the times she has listened as I struggled through some Biblical concept or another that I just refused to accept. Gasp three years later as I was reading "The Politically Incorrect Wife" and "Liberated through Submission" before I got married! Do you know how much harder it is to change your opinion or grow as a person when everybody and their cousin knows your previous one, because you felt it your personal goal in life to share it all the time whether asked to do so or not??? Point is, breastfeeding was one of those things that I had opinions about but had no business doing until it pertained to me.
I knew it was good for the baby, always heard it was very "natural," had heard statistics about smarter more sensitive children as a result of breastfeeding, la la la. Sure, I'd do that for a few months, maybe 6, but EEEWW, those nasty people who breastfeed toddlers. ICK, GROSS, how could anybody nurse a 25 pound kid that's bouncing all over their lap. AAARRGGG, if a kid can ask for neenees it's time to wean, blah! Yes, this was me. I even skipped most of the chapter in my breastfeeding book on "nursing your toddler."
I also skipped the one on returning to work because it made me cry. (That was another thing I developed useless opinions about..."oh I never want to give up my career to stay home with kids, I think they would respect me less and I may end up resenting them if I did that," yes seriously, I thought that before. What was wrong with me?? Gosh I had a chip on my shoulder and I still do about so many things! Oh, here's the difference though, I now know that some people do feel that way and I can respect that thought while smugly sitting back like an old granny thinking to myself, "Oh, she'll change her mind when she has a little bitty baby in her arms...hee hee hee." This is still completely ridiculous and self-involved so I haven't grown as much as I'd hoped, aaahhh!)
Where was I, yes nursing toddlers. Well, Addie is one now and although she isn't walking/toddling yet, she is quite the gymnast! I got my book out and read through the nursing your toddler chapter and natural weaning. Addie isn't any different to me because she's one. She is still my sweet baby, and I feel this urge to comfort her, nourish her, hold her close, and cherish my time with her. Other people look at her and see this big girl feeding herself cheerios and gettin' down with her favorite jam, but I see baby Addie Belle and she needs me. I don't know when she'll be ready to wean or when I'll be ready, but I also don't know if I have a line drawn in the sand anymore. I've already started trying to think of a code word, just in case she picks up this whole talking thing before I'm ready!
So, here's a quick review of what I've learned for myself about breastfeeding.
1) It is wicked hard.
2) It hurts, like bloody cracked, scabby nipples hurts...for awhile until you and baby figure it all out.
3) Lanolin is nice, but freezer gel pads are lovely
4) It may be "natural" but it doesn't come naturally. Mom and baby have to learn how to do it, how to get them latched properly, how to do the lip flip (Addie tucked her bottom lip under relentlessly for months which hurt like poo stank!), how to position so your back doesn't hurt, etc.
5) It is very time consuming and bottles are so tempting
6) Pacifiers and bottles when necessary will not scar baby for life and prevent breastfeeding from "working"
7) Sometimes, it just doesn't work, and when mom and baby are both unhappy, there's no failure in letting go!
8) Breastfeeding in public is for skinny women with no love handles and belly rolls to try and hide with a nursing cover the size of a dish towel. It is also only intended for a certain age group, after baby can find your nipple by themselves but before they can rip the nursing cover off of themselves and you at exactly the right moment to reveal all your goods.
9) Uggh, nipple shields are difficult to work with, especially with the whole nursing cover thing, and they are a delicacy for Jack Russell Terriers, Rimshot ate seven of them.
10) Night nursing/co-sleeping is not just for weirdos, it saved my sanity!
11) Babies grow out of the Boppy, sad day!
12) It is necessary to have a dad or helping hand nearby because you will always forget something you need when you sit down to nurse, your water, your phone, the burp cloth, etc. It may be only a few inches from you, but nothing could make you move once you get that baby latched. Props to you ladies who can nurse in a sling or carry your baby around nursing. My experience is that it's hard to carry a baby around that low!! ;)
13) Babies bite, but it isn't the end of the world, or of breastfeeding, and it's possible to actually feel bad that you yelped. I scared Addie so bad and she just cried and cried, poor thing. Who cares that I was bleeding?
14) The pump, love/hate, love/hate, hate hate hate, love, HATE HATE HATE, love,
15) Dry weather affects boobs like it does your elbows
16) Nursing makes for some resentment towards dad, who seems to have it easy at 1, 3, & 5 am.
17) Baby's face covered in milk with a fat hog look on it equals pride and joy!
18) I would one day miss having to wear breast pads, no more leaking, awww.
19) I would have to FIGHT Addie in the FACE to get her to nurse, nursing strikes make moms cry, but mom can win!!! Yes, at one point I withheld solid foods for 2 days in order to win a fight with a 10 month old.
20) That someday a baby would jump up and down on my knee while latched on and only come off to laugh hysterically and clap for herself.
21) Spit up = sad, liquid gold sopped up in burp cloth
22) People are rude, petty, jealous, ignorant, and downright awful sometimes about breastfeeding.
23) People are supportive, encouraging, loving, and downright wonderful sometimes about breastfeeding.
24) Babies get a lot faster at nursing, what used to take 45 minutes, takes 15 at MOST now. Most of the time a 5 minute snack is all she has time for.
25) I have a new appreciation for these things I have to carry around. They are now my friends rather than my enemy.
Okay, there are a lot more, especially good ones about how fulfilling it is and how much time and love I feel I've shared with Addie. I think this post is way too long though. Maybe I'll do a prequel and a sequel and so on and so forth someday!
*Edit* You can stack the manufacturers coupon with a Target coupon for $1.50/1 Jumbo pack Huggies . I think you can print two per computer...
Target Diaper Deal
You can stack the manufacturers coupon with a Target coupon for $1.50/1 Jumbo pack Huggies. I think you can print two per computer, but get three and you could potentially get three packs of Huggies for under $12 after coupons! Sorry I missed this on my post last night!
Target is running a deal this week for a $5 gift card when you buy 3 Jumbo packs of Huggies or Pampers diapers at $8.99 each. If you can get your hands on 3 of the $2 off Huggies coupons here, you could snag three packs of diapers for just over $15 after your gift card. As far as I know at Target, you could turn right around and use that gift card on another purchase.
I prefer Pampers, but Huggies are always more generous with the coupons. If you are a Cheerios fan though, I've noticed that the family size boxes have $1.50 off Pampers coupons on them. Woohoo for your groceries paying you back!
Ta-da! Finally, some one year portraits. I think that 10 days past a birthday is perfectly fine, right? Technically, I have until January...
Addie's First Birthday Pictures
The kids have been sleeping in A LOT lately. Their bedtime hasn't changed, maybe they are taking longer to fall asleep? I don't kn...
Today is payback. My whole schedule is off today. Addie is so fussy and won't be happy with anything besides my hip! Freddy has had a fit or two and can't seem to keep himself together. So, Addie is in her crib crying because she doesn't want to nap and Freddy's eyes are all puffy as he begs to watch "tb." Oh me, and I've got lots of work that needs done. This is the result of a long weekend in our pjs with no plans or obligations, oh and Addie's 4-6pm nap last night after a long playdate with Miss Eva Mae Pipkin! ;)
Oh, and I would just like to say, Happy First Birthday, Parker! We'll be heading to Memphis this weekend for his party. I hope I can improve my kids' mood before then!
Some people may not know, but my relationship with extended family is quite strained. If you ever look at pictures from special events in o...
I want a grandmother
That's the good part, but the ugly part is that I really only have my mother and my younger brother that I can even call up out of the blue to talk to. I've never known my biological dad and my step dad doesn't speak to me after the mess with custody of Freddy. Not that this is a huge loss, we won't discuss all that he's done, but he is the only dad I've known and he's lost to me now. My sister and I talk occasionally, but it will never be the same. I am the mother of her child now, the child that she lost. I wouldn't want to be my buddy either. My step dad's parents were my grandparents my whole life. My parents married when I was 3, and there was never any separation for me when it came to "biological" anything. They are some messed up folks with crazy delusions and insane religious beliefs that have no Biblical basis, it's like hillbilly religion or something that just breeds hate, contempt, & imprisonment rather than freedom, love, and forgiveness. I love them though, but they don't talk to me either because they are my dad's parents. They don't want to believe who he is or what he's done to our family, and anyone who bursts that bubble isn't allowed in anymore. I don't blame them really. I wouldn't want to believe my child was capable of hurting people the way my dad has. Even if I did still have them in my life, my grandmother was not your typical one. She smokes like a chimney, is constantly negative, makes ridiculous comments about my weight/hair, etc., hates to cook, uses paper plates at Thanksgiving, and is only honest about any emotions when she's had a glass of champagne. Then it just isn't pretty, followed by the guilt over the hillbilly religiosity hell bound drinker she surely is.
My mom's parents, also a little crazy. My maternal grandmother is manic depressive (the more modern term for this is Bipolar). She has battled with this her whole life, and also believing in the hillbilly gospel, has been unwilling to accept real medical help with this. Unfortunately, her behavior combined with my grandfather's incredible temper and desire to either calm his wife or get her out of bed, resulted in a lot of harsh punishment for my mom and her siblings. My mom has told me stories that I don't want to believe. It sounds like some horrible Lifetime movie, but it's real and it happened. My mom loves her parents , but when she eloped and married my dad/step dad whatever you want to call him, she had to make a choice because in their strange voodoo magic ways, they knew he was evil. Mom made the wrong one, and spent almost 20 years of her life with no family either. They tried to get me out of my parents' home & reveal my dad for what he was, but their intentions were selfish and their means were pretty much illegal. Oh I could write a book about being on the run in Alabama and the FBI looking for us!! TMI, I know!
Things are starting to get patched up with them, but there's this gaping hole where I don't know them. I've got cousins and aunts and uncles that still blame a 6 year old girl for just wanting to go home. I can't create a relationship there with former kidnappers including an unmedicated Bipolar woman and her abusive husband! I love them, but what if it all came loose one day and I exposed my sweet babies to that? I couldn't forgive myself. Maybe I'm wrong about this, it's not like they would be any more sane if we had been speaking for the past 20 years.
So, thank goodness that I have a mother that loves me. Thank God that my sister is safe and that my brother is good hearted and still tells me that I'm the "best sissy in the world." Thank you Jesus that Jason is my family, my children are my family, and for all the beautiful people Jason shares with me. Thank you, my Lord and savior, for being my dad. One of the most beautiful moments in my life was when I recognized God as my heavenly father. I have all my life wished for a dad to be proud of me, to be good, kind, and love me just as I am, who would never hurt me. Realizing that God IS exactly that, when I had no earthly representation of such a relationship, was completely amazing and humbling.
I'm thankful and grateful, but still I am selfish and ask for more. I want a grandmother, one who will teach me to sew and how to make my biscuits fluffy. I want someone to teach me to knit and show me pictures of when I was a tiny baby in her arms, someone who smells sweet and wears an apron while she bakes. I want a grandmother who brags on me to all her lady friends and carries pictures of me in her purse. I want to have a recipe box filled with chicken scratch that I can barely read and have to call up the author to find out exactly how to make that dish, because really she just makes it from memory now. I want someone to drink coffee with out of her wedding china that has beautiful wrinkles around her mouth and eyes to tell stories about how much she's laughed and smiled in her life. I want someone that is grateful for me and sees herself in me in a lovely way, and who is sad that she may not be around to see just the woman I become. So, if ever you feel I'm trying a little too hard, or spending a bit too much time on that birthday banner :), or keeping way too much stuff, taking way too many pictures, and worrying too much, I have discovered why. I may not have this "grandmother," but I am damn sure going to BE that grandmother someday! I get a chance to start over and build a family on God's love and with His protection. I value that opportunity more than anything, and here it is, I'm smack dab in the middle of it somehow and totally unprepared. This is a wonderful season, and although I'm sad that there aren't many people that make up "me" to share it with, I'm busy making a new "me" anyway.
Thanks for hanging in there on this one! Much love to all of my friends who truly are my family and help to make that new me better than the old.
All is quiet in blogger land, no love for Addie's b-day post?
Adeline Elizabeth Allen 1/11/2009 11:56 p.m. 6lbs 14 oz 19 inches Somehow this tiny blessing angel baby has grown into a big girl. I mour...
Adeline is One!
6lbs 14 oz
Somehow this tiny blessing angel baby has grown into a big girl. I mourn each milestone for the loss of my little baby as I celebrate each new thing she can do and greet this little lady growing up before our eyes. She has truly taught us so much about patience and unconditional love for each other and her! Addie has such as sweet personality and she takes joy in the tiniest things that remind us to stop and watch her so we don't miss anything. Addie Belle, you are mommy's miracle. I wanted so badly to have you and hold you, and I prayed and waited for you for a long time, all the while scared to death that maybe I wouldn't be able to have a baby at all. God answered me and no matter how many years I'd have had to go, you would have been worth it! I love you with all my might, and I know I will hold too close, but someday you'll feel this and it will all make sense. All my crazy rules and worries, all of my fussing over your hair and wiping off your face, and all my hatred of any boy you meet, it will all make sense to you and I'm willing to wait until then! Happy Birthday, Adeline. She is precious, and no matter how much I love her, I will always try to remember that she is God's, and I have been given the gift and the honor of raising her to be a strong woman of faith and virtue so that God may set forth a beautiful path for her life and she'll have to follow it all by herself. I won't get to go down it with her, just watch from afar and cheer her on. My sweet girl, you will be wonderful.
This is one of my favorites. About 1 second before she ripped the hat right off her head!
I'll post more pics from the party soon including the banner!!!
The birthday banner is coming right along. I picked out my fabric, created a scallop template, traced it with chalk on all my fabric, and I ...
I was up forever late last night putting two coats of fabric paint on my letters and hanging them to dry. I hung them all up on clothespins on a line in the dining room. It already looks adorable, even on big uneven squares of unhemmed fabric. There's still a lot to do though. I'm so excited, but there won't be a public reveal on my blog until after the berfday party. Oh, I meant to share something about fabric paint. You know how you can usually only find the Tulip brand paint in the terrible little nozzle bottle and can only get it in slick, puff, or glitter? Well, there's a fabric medium that you can buy to add to any acrylic paint to make it adhere and set to fabric. The bottle was the same size as a small bottle of acrylic craft paint and cost only a little over a dollar. That's way less expensive than fabric paint and much more convenient. Okay, off to get some work done. I have a very full day today.
The first sad, lost item of clothing. Not just any item, Addie's coat. I got her and Freddy coats from Kohl's. Hers was so cute, but...
First of many
With the b-day party planning in full swing, I've added something to my list. I wanted to make one of these for Freddy's birthday bu...
Goal for Sunday
Today was a snow day, pansy Arkansans! After yesterday, I was ready to throw in the towel. Freddy was more than happy to allow me to help ...
After yesterday, I was ready to throw in the towel. Freddy was more than happy to allow me to help him with everything, no matter how simple. It is tiring, but it's helping me realize how much responsibility we've given him. I was very disturbed this morning when I ended up actually feeding him his Kix at the breakfast table. Jason was pretty amused with his "I told you so" face on. Then lunch came, and when Freddy was ready to get down I told him I'd be right there to help him. Before I could get to him, he had scooted his chair out and I rushed over to find him scrambling down out of his chair telling me, "I did it myself Momma." I smiled and looked at Jason who wasn't paying attention. Then I told him I'd meet him at the potty to help him get ready for nap. When I got there he was turning on the bathroom light and quickly moved his step stool to the potty and when I asked, "Freddy, do you need help getting up on the potty?" He said, "No, Momma, I can do it by myself wif my stoo." He also just went down for a nap, his first time in almost a week with no fit! Woo hoo! Maybe this will work after all. Oh, and Candice asked if I was basically just using reverse psychology. To some degree, yes. But, I think this is also a very basic way for him to feel nurtured and something he needs because he sees me do everything for Addie. He's not at a place yet, I don't think, to where he understands that I can nurture and spend quality time with him in different ways than I do Addie. That will be next!
I've decided to re-baby Freddy. Yes, that is a strange word I came up with to describe my plan. The child is regressing a bit when it ...
So, the plan is to "re-baby" him. I'm going to as sincerely as possible start going back to doing everything for him. I'm going to help him go potty, help him wash his hands, put his clothes on him, put him in his chair for meals and help him down, put his jacket and shoes on him, help him clean his room, and give him as few directives and responsibilities as possible for awhile. Here's my hopeful outcome. Freddy will feel more paid attention to, more nurtured, and eventually smothered and start seeking out independence again rather than negative attention. He'll have less opportunity to be oppositional and less cause to be frustrated. Jason says I may just stunt him, and I guess he could just get used to all that and be comfortable with it. If it goes a few weeks with no hint of my desired outcome, I can slowly give him back more responsibilities and go down a different path. Maybe we've grown him up a little too much, too fast. I have seen other three year olds that are much more "babyish" than our Fredster. I don't necessarily enjoy that, but I'd rather that he be sensitive and coddled than angry, frustrated, and mean. That's the Freddy I've been seeing lately, and it is scary! I also don't want this to grow into any acting out towards Addie, because she hearts him a lot! What do you folks think about this fool plan?
It comes so late in the evening, but I can't resist the opportunity when it comes. As it turns out, I don't have as much to say as ...
Opportunity always comes so late
Blow those kissers!
Freddy opening his pretend bb gun, oh the joy!
Freddy and cousin Aurora playing with the train table.
Addie and the ball popper.
This is Freddy and Addie setting out cookies, milk, & their Christmas lists for santa. Addie is just trying to get at the cookies, give 'em!
Christmas Eve Service at Church.
Now we're in full birthday party planning mode. It's just next weekend! I made my order today for her party supplies and had to pay out the wazoo for shipping since I waited so long. Hopefully it will be well worth it in cuteness. Next step, the cake! I'll do a separate post so share my joy and grief over Addie's impending milestone. She is such a sweet heart...most of the time but I am definitely in for it. We have started the fits, the throwing her arms around, growling, shaking her head, and kicking. Then I tell her, "No," and she makes this face, this pout, lip trembling, face melting cry and I feel guilty even though she basically just slapped me across the face or kicked me in the gut. Parenting is a breeze!