Monday, June 27, 2011

Field Trip

Do you remember back in school, when your teacher (or mom, for homeschoolers!) told you that you were going on a field trip? Do you remember the excitement that came from breaking out of the regular routine to go do something special -- visit a special place, or special people? And if your field trips were anything like mine in school, the best part of visiting a museum was hitting the souvenier shop on the way back to the bus.

We went on a field trip this weekend :)

The MAIN reason for our adventure was to go spend the night with our best friends. Amanda and I were roomates the year we both were engaged and wedding planning. We're both celebrating 3rd anniversaries this summer, and we've stayed super close. Our husbands have become best friends, too. The only downside is the 2hr drive. It's kind of wonderful to have good friends :)

Midgey making faces at Keith

But remember what I said about hitting the souvenier shop? Oh yeah... even this kind of field trip wouldn't be complete without taking home a memory:

Cottonbabies Cloth Diaper Store

Have I mentioned that I'm COMPELTELY addicted to cloth diapers? I honestly can't imagine any other way. Plus, they're downright darling. I won't tell you how often I've browsed diaper sites, or how much "research" (ahem, window shopping) I did even before Gracie showed up. So when Amanda realized that the Cottonbabies store was only a few minutes from her house, I quite honestly couldn't resist! Lucky coincidence we came down the weekend Gracie outgrew her first set of covers... oh boy! I had an actual REASON to shop, not just a desire! I was more excited than a kid in a candy store.

Yes, I'm that dorky... and so is the cashier! It was an exciting time.

I restrained myself to a couple covers and a couple wet bags (to replace the plastic shopping bags we've been using). And I'm planning a return trip with my mom, who also lives in the area. I thought websites were fun... the brick-and-mortar store is down right better than a theme park.

So if anyone finds themselves in the St. Louis area, let me know and I'll meet you at Cottonbabies! It'll be an adventure!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Crash Course in Parenting Philosophy

Gracie's 6 1/2 weeks old! How time flies! Surprisingly, other than loving on my baby, the one thing I've had a ton of time for lately is reading. Grace nurses *a lot* and I'm not a "just sit there" kind of girl. So, as a new mom, what do I read? Every parenting philosophy book I can get my hands on.

Here's a summary of my reading list over the past 6 weeks:

  1. Happiest Baby on the Block

  2. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer

  3. Babywise

  4. Dr. Sear's Baby Book

  5. What to Expect the First Year

  6. Your Baby's First Year, Week by Week

  7. Plus a healthy handful of magazines and articles

Information overload much?

I'm a reader. It's who I always have been and probably always will be. I want to know everything I can to make sure I'm doing it "right." The problem with parenting? There is no "right." Oh boy, am I struggling with this.

We started out doing pretty straight-forward Attachment Parenting, as endorsed by Sears et. al. Wear your baby, feed on demand, shared sleeping, etc. I love the idea -- who doesn't love cuddling a bundle of joy 24hrs a day? But in practice? I don't know about your household, but some parts of this just don't fly here. I like my pillows and blankets way too much to safely share sleeping arangements with Grace. And, since I'm a first time mommy with very little baby experience, I'm really struggling with her cues: to me, everything sounds like "hungry." The poor girl spent the whole weekend crying while nursing. Turns out she was completely exhausted and I kept trying to keep her awake to feed. I was exhausted, too -- she was eating every 45min to hour. Sigh. Live and learn.

So while my poor sweetheart cried the weekend away, Stressed-Out-Mommy spent nursing time reading Baby Whisperer and Babywise, trying to find "a better way." Both those philosophies recommend a Flexible Routine concept. Baby wakes up, baby eats, baby plays, baby sleeps. This is in contrast to the AP idea of nursing Baby to sleep. They also recommend putting Baby down awake and using Cry it Out. I love the idea of getting Grace less dependant on me to fall asleep, but honestly? I think it might kill me to let her cry at this point.

So here I am, knowing too much information and struggling to successfully apply any of it. We're doing the eat/play/sleep routine from Babywise... wearing Gracie in our Moby wrap a la Attachment Parenting... putting her down awake according to Baby Whisperer... and to confuse everything, using a pacifier...

And of course, praying all along that hopefully someday she'll turn out all right.

What do you do? Do you follow a philosophy? Or do you fling it all together in a happy hodge-podge of ideas? And most importantly, does it SOMEDAY start to make sense?!?!

Monday, June 13, 2011

We're Here!

Just a quick note to say, Gracie's 5 weeks old! It's crazy how fast time is flying. I feel like I've gotten absuloutely nothing done, except for cuddling my little cutie.

Tummy Time

Babywearing at the Farmer's Market / Art Fair

Well, not quite nothing. My mom found, while cleaning, my grandmother's serger. Now, my grandmother's been gone for 6 years, but she is still and always will be kinda my hero. She was the only other lefty in the family. I learned to sew and to smock from her, as well as to paint and sing. We were kindred spirits. There's kind of an understanding that her sewing stuff is now mine. So, when Mom found the serger, she packed it up and brought it to me. I'm still learning to use it, but I whipped up a stack of cloth wipes out of some cheap flannel the other day. It's good to be sewing again. :)

I'm half-way through another stack of sewing projects, so hopefully I'll have something REAL to post about soon!