The Verdict Is In!

On my last post I discussed how attached my son has become to me and how my trip to Jacksonville to visit my parents has been FABULOUS!  We are now on Day 9 and I can say that it has been a great success.
If you missed my previous post, you can check it out here

Nicolas now will go with all of my family members including some strangers that visit my parents store.

On Day 5 I was able to get my nails done. Honestly, I was very apprehensive about it.  The whole time I kept wondering, if he was okay, crying, missing me. It wasn’t the most relaxing experience but I managed to enjoy the time off. (Who am I kidding? That was fun & stressful all at once!) I know that taking time to take care of yourself is imperative for a mother and I have been totally neglecting myself. I’m thankful for the little breather. It’s great advice but we’re mostly known for not taking advice even it’s good, only when you’re in too deep you realize, Oh crap! I should have done that before. But here I am, typing this lovely post in my beautifully painted nails. My son will grab my hand and examine it as if it’s not mama’s hands.  Maybe he thinks it’s candy. LOL.

Onto bigger & Better things!!!  What I’m working on next  is a Spa Day!  Massage, facial and nails again? Don’t mind if I do.

This has been so great.  I’m loving having my family around, Nicolas is also having a blast.  He got to meet his dog sisters hehe Minnie & May and so far he hasn’t really had any interest in them, but that is good news. No crying is always good news.  He has been sleeping very well.  No night time feedings! All in all it’s been a pleasure.  Either my parents have to move close to me or we have to move to where they are.  I would be able to reclaim some of myself back.

Thanks for stopping by!  I’ll keep you guys posted on that Spa Day!

I’m also working on a Mommy & Me giveaway, getting your little ones and mom some goodies for free! Who doesn’t like Free Stuff?

I’ll keep you all updated.


A Little Time Away

Jacksonville Zoo

I promised myself I would be writing posts three times a week and I think I’ve managed to do that once. (Shrug) Sometimes life gets in the way.  But I’m working on that. 

Well, following my previous post (read here) I’ve decided to take a little trip to Jacksonville to visit my parents.  Nico has become very very attached to me and my mom and dad live 5 hours away, it’s not easy but here we are! Trying to get this boy to like me a little less. Hehe

I drove Sunday night.  Definitely recommend -You should always drive at night so the baby/child will sleep through the ride.  We didn’t stop once and he slept all the way here. SCORE!

He did wake up when we arrived around 11:00 p.m. he looked around trying to recognize where he was and obviously did not.  I was exhausted, had been trying to keep myself awake for over an hour already but Nico did cooperate.  When we settled in and I laid him down, he kept trying to get up and sitting, looking around, looking at me (Hey ma, this isn’t my room type of look).  I’m not gonna lie, that was very frustrating and I took him a while to settle down but he did and we were able to get some rest.

Day 1 // Wouldn’t go to anyone unless I wanted him to cry, which he did. So back to mom he goes
Day 2 // Some improvement, would go with my sister in law and my brother, was a little hesitant with my mother and my father just looked from afar. Hehe.
Day 3 // More improvement! Now goes to everyone as long as I walk away quickly and stay away, if he lays his eyes on me, FORGET IT!
Day 4 // Will now go with everyone and may or may not cry if he sees me. Will cry If I look directly at him and want his mama.

We’ll see what Day 5 is in store for us!!  Who knows, maybe a manicure is in the near future (Lord knows I need it)

Thanks for reading and wish us luck!


Oh The Guilt // Dealing With Separation Anxiety

I’m sure moms and dads out there can relate. The guilt of going back to work and leaving your child in the care of someone else.

I for one have only left Nico with my mother-in-law maybe twice, once I did my nails (shame) and the other time I had a haircut (double shame).  Once with my mother( she lives 5 hours away) while I renewed my passport. But he was younger and had no clue what was going on around him.  Now, things are different. He doesn’t stay put. He knows EXACTLY who I am.  Quiet time is only when he’s sleeping. He’s constantly on the move and trying to grab things he shouldn’t or getting up on things and I have to keep up. 
I am now feeling the guilt, guilt of wanting to start singing again. The time commitment is pretty steep. I volunteer at Church by the Glades and have been turning down every single time I’ve been scheduled to sing. Not because I don’t want to sing but because Nico is so attached to me, he doesn’t stay with anyone and I’m not about to let my baby cry over me wanting to sing.  How could this be made possible? The schedule is as follow, at least when I was singing back in the day. 
Saturday call time
1:00 pm
Leave depending on whether we need to do a reprise at the end of the service, do it will either be around 6:30 or 7:15 pm
Sunday’s call time
9:00 am
Leave around 1:00 pm
Only to be back around 5:00 pm & leave at 7:00 pm
It’s too for my little guy that has maybe been away from me a max of two hours all of his life and for me to, I mean separation anxiety isn’t just for babies. I too feel anxious about leaving him.  It’s a double edged sword. You want to go but you want to stay at the same time.
So that leaves me in a conundrum. The guilt and anxiety of leaving your child in the care of someone else is just too much for this mama to handle.

I’ve come up with a plan that I hope to institute soon.  Little by little I will start giving tasks to either my husband or some other family member to do and eventually I hope he’ll grow accustomed to not having me be his everything, which I currently am. Maybe a bath here and there, feedings, diaper changes.  I don’t know how I got myself in this position in the first place. Why did I become it all? It’s exhausting. Oh how I wish my mother was near by.  Let’s be honest here, I can’t help but feel comfortable with her taking care of him and somehow that eases my anxiety.  But leaving him with anyone else just makes me a little more cautious. I don’t want to smother my child in any way but I’m the perfect caregiver and I feel that I’m somehow letting him down by having someone other than myself take care of him.  I know it’s ludicrous to think that, but I do. 

When will this feeling go away? I just now answered my own question. I’m not sure how he’ll deal with me being away, but It seems that I’m the one that has the bigger issue here.  HELP! 

You think my strategy will work? What has worked for you? Let this anxious mama know. PLEASE.


12 Things I Wish I Had Done Before Giving Birth

What to do when pregnant

Remember a time where if you wanted to you could just do NOTHING? Nah? Me neither.

If you know me personally, you know I’m a procrastinator to a T.  I like to have a deadline I suppose, get that adrenaline going or I’m just lazy.

I waited and waited to get things done when I was pregnant and some of them I’m still working on till this day.

Here’s a little list I’ve compiled for some of the things I should have done.

Maybe you’re on the same boat and these will you give an idea of what to expect if you wait till the last minute.

12 Things I Should Have Done Before Giving Birth

    1. Packed my hospital bag early, I don’t mean early 3 months before have your bag sitting by the front door kinda thing, I mean at least a week before my due date.
    2. Picked out my son’s name sooner.  Again, I waited until I had no other choice  (Kid is coming in a day or so) Extra bummer for not giving him the name I wanted.
    3. Found out exactly what happens with your baby at the hospital.  I had no idea about eye drops, vitamin K shots and whatever else they did to my little one without my consent.  It’s all “routine” stuff that I wish I had known ahead of time.  I would have researched it and would have been able to say yes or no to it.  It is your choice! You can decline or accept anything.
    4. This one I did do, but with how my labor progressed I did not bring it with me.  My birth plan.  If I had packed my hospital bag earlier, I would have been able to put it in there.  ( I have no clue where it is by the way)  You can read all about my birth story here.
    5. Finished my little boy’s room. Albeit he’s never slept a day in there, I still would have liked it to be ready prior to his arrival. But this one I let it slide, we did move into our house when I was 8 months pregnant.  I was huge and tired.  There were a lot of things that didn’t get done because of my umm “condition”, which brings up number 6.
    6. Not move in my 8th month of pregnancy. That’s all that needs to be said about that.
    7. Discussed “what if’s” possibilities with my OB/GYN. I had no issues during pregnancy. I didn’t have any nausea, any “I want/need to eat that” , I was sleepy for maybe 1 day in my first trimester, only issue I had was in my third trimester where my weight was a little too much for my narrow skinny feet. It would be a little painful to be up for longer than 5 minutes. I never even looked into a c-section, all I knew is that I did not want one because I’m terrified of surgery and I knew recovery sucks.

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8.Not have worked up until my last day.  I don’t know why I chose to just ride it out. I guess because I didn’t have any issues and I sat all day at work I didn’t feel the need to take my maternity leave earlier.  My last day was on a Friday.  The weekend came along and Sunday night I started going into labor.

9.Read up on what to do when the baby is actually here.  I read a lot! I still do.  I think that’s pretty much the bulk of what I do.  I do a lot of searches of what to do now, why is this happening, what is this red thing, white thing, how do I clean his teeth, etc… you get the drift. It’s just constant reading. There’s SO much stuff to learn and find out about.

10.Spent some more time doing things for myself.  After I got pregnant, everything was for or about the baby.  Now, I miss pretty much everything.  You realize how much of your time is actually needed and when you do have time for yourself, all you wanna do is chill.  No one is crying, no one wants to be held, you don’t have to constantly be playing the entertainer.  You just want quiet time.  People!! Bed time is a wonderful thing, but I do miss him when he’s sleeping.

11.Solidified friendships. Either I’m a bad friend (which is a possibility) or people these days are just too into their little bubble.  Till this day, no one has ever offered to watch my baby for me to just take some time to myself.  That says a lot about the people that I have around me or maybe I need to pay attention more, although you can’t really expect a first time mom to put her friendships as priority when bathing is still an option. LOL.

12.RELAXED! I did not learn how to do that, I was constantly moving on to the next task. Now I wish I had.  I did get a prenatal massage.  But truth is, I really need one now.

 

What about you? What can you add to this list? I’d love to know I’m not alone in this.

ellen

Baby Update – 8 months old // Growth & Development

So my little boy is officially 8 months today.  You wouldn’t believe how fast time passes.  Has it really been 8 months of non-stop 13-17 hour shifts? Before I get to all of his stats. I would like to congratulate myself.  Wow.  That was a whole lot of work people!  Every single diaper change, every feeding, every bath, every nap time, every bed time. I’d say 99.9% of it was done by me.  I don’t know where I have gathered the strength from but I’m doing it. To all the mama’s and papa’s out there, Congratulations.  It is definitely a tough job not for the faint of heart.


Going back to Nico:

This week we’ve have gone through some changes and it has altered his sleeping patterns. My baby that used to sleep all night will now wake up around 3 am.  Thankfully he still goes to bed pretty early so he’s still getting plenty of sleep but mama is tired.  He will wake up saying mama, wanting to crawl, laughing, blowing raspberries.  I mean he’s ready to party! LOL.  So I get up, change his diaper and give him a bottle, than he’s back to sleep for another 3 hrs or so.

As I mentioned above he’s been saying Mama quite a lot, especially when he wants to be picked up. He’s such a mama’s boy. 🙂

Stats:
Height: 28 3/4
Weight: 19.11 lbs
Teeth: 6  (2 on the bottom and 4 on top)
Mobility: Crawls on all fours, can and will lift himself up on furniture/people
Likes to be up on his two feet
Loves to laugh
Wakes up smiling and babbling
Only wants his mama and will cry if I step away from him
Is starting to wave bye-bye
Working on clapping 🙂

It’s so fun seeing his progression.  He’s been crawling military style for almost 2 months if not 2 months and just decided out of the blue one afternoon, hey.. Let me get on all fours. It really has been astounding to watch.  It’s funny how every little accomplishment is exciting. I started to read a book called The Scientist in the Crib, and it’s been very eye opening to say the least. (I bought an used one)  They are little scientists, aliens really, discovering our way of life. If you get a chance to pick it up, I recommend it.

Well, that’s it kiddos.  What are you looking forward to your child doing? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great weekend!


May We Never Forget

I remember I had recently graduated from high school and was home alone having some breakfast watching t.v. and I couldn’t believe my eyes. My parents had gone out of town and I immediately called them. I didn’t know why that was happening. 

All I know is that the world is full of hatred and we are the only ones with the power to change it. Love is the answer. You may think that no harm comes from that little racist joke you tell, or commenting on someone’s weight, but it does. It just spews more hatred into the world. We are born clean. Everything we know today we were taught. Let’s leave a legacy of love and acceptance to our children. Today we honor the 2,977 lives lost on that tragic day. 

We thank those who sacrificed their lives so that others may live.

May We Never Forget


Controversial topic? Possibly. Let’s talk circumcision.

Let’s talk circumcision

Where I come from being circumcised isn’t something common.  I honestly always thought that the only ones circumcised were Jewish boys.  But while I was pregnant and at my doctors office, he asked me if he was going to be circumcised.

My first thought and response was I don’t think so. I mean, I never gave much thought to it. What I did know for a fact is that it would be painful, so before even doing research of any kind and being asked again at the doctors office I said confidently, NO.  I than began searching for information and there are tons of it.

Now, if you are a mother/father that has circumcised your son I’m sorry to have to tell you this, unless medically necessary (meaning your son was born with a defect in his penis) you made a decision based on some story going around that it’s easier to clean, it won’t get infected, it’s safer against STD’s or whatever else you may have heard.

Those are all marvelous things but untrue.

Most people are under the assumption that you have to pull the skin back of an intact penis to clean and that is absolutely not true.

You wipe around it just like you would a finger. Pulling on the skin will most likely cause it to get infected and be very painful to your son.

Now ladies, have you looked at yourself down there? I hope so.. if no, go ahead, take a look.  Do you think that looks easier to clean than a penis? I think not.  Now have you stopped by the pharmacy and looked at the shelves? yes? Anything about penis cleaning? No huh? All of those cleaning products are geared towards women.

So I guess the harder sexual organ to clean is a vagina with all those crevices and spaces.  Maybe this is just TMI for some of you but it needs to be put out there.  Most people don’t research this information and just act based on what their doctor says or what their friends did or for whatever reason.

Here are some facts about leaving your son’s intact via Intact America

Circumcision is a painful, risky, unethical surgery that deprives over a million boys each year of healthy, functional tissue, while wasting health care dollars that could be spent on medically necessary services. Learn more about the myths and facts of infant circumcision, visit our Resources page, read the “Ten Reasons NOT to Circumcise Your Baby ” below – and learn why you should keep your newborn son intact.

10 Reasons NOT to Circumcise Your Baby Boy

  1. Because there is no medical reason for “routine” circumcision of baby boys. No professional medical association in the United States or the rest of the world recommends routine neonatal circumcision. The American Medical Association calls it “non-therapeutic.” At no time in its 75 years has the American Academy of Pediatrics ever recommended infant circumcision.
  2. Because the foreskin is not a birth defect. The foreskin is a normal, sensitive, functional part of the body. In infant boys, the foreskin is attached to the head of the penis (glans), protects it from urine, feces, and irritation, and keeps contaminants from entering the urinary tract. The foreskin also has an important role in sexual pleasure, due to its specialized, erogenous nerve endings and its natural gliding and lubricating functions.
  3. Because you wouldn’t circumcise your baby girl. In the United States, girls of all ages are protected by federal and state laws from forced genital surgery, whether practiced in medical or non-medical settings, and regardless of the religious or cultural preferences of their parents. There is no ethical rationale for distinguishing between female and male genital alteration. If it is wrong to remove part of a baby girl’s healthy genitals, then it is wrong to do the same to those of a baby boy.
  4. Because your baby does not want to be circumcised. Circumcision painfully and permanently alters a baby boy’s genitals, removing healthy, protective, functional tissue from the penis and exposing the child to unnecessary pain and medical risks –for no medical benefit. What do you think your baby boy would say if he could tell you?
  5. Because removing part of a baby’s penis is painful, risky, and harmful. We know babies are sensitive to pain. Many circumcisions are performed with no analgesic, but even when pain control is employed, the pain is not eliminated. As with any surgery, complications can and do occur with circumcision. These include infection, abnormal bleeding, removal of too much skin, loss of all or part of the glans, urinary problems, and even death. All circumcisions result in the loss of the foreskin and its functions, and leave a penile scar.
  6. Because times and attitudes have changed. The circumcision rate in the United States is now below 40% (and much lower in some parts of the country), down from 81% in 1981. More than 60% of all baby boys in the U.S. leave the hospital intact, as more and more parents realize that circumcision is unnecessary and wrong.
  7. Because most medically advanced nations do not circumcise baby boys. People in Europe, Asia and Latin America are often appalled to hear that American doctors and hospitals remove part of a boy’s penis shortly after birth. Approximately 75% of the men in the world are not circumcised and remain intact throughout their lives.
  8. Because caring for and cleaning the foreskin is easy. A natural, intact penis requires no special care, beyond gentle washing while bathing. Later, when the foreskin can be retracted (something that often does not occur until adolescence), a boy can be taught to pull back his foreskin to wash his penis. Forcible retraction of the foreskin results in pain and injury, and should not be done. Read our Foreskin Care flyer for more information.
  9. Because circumcision does not prevent HIV or other diseases. Over the years, the claims that circumcision prevents various diseases have repeatedly been proven to be exaggerated or outright fabrications. Most men in the United States are circumcised, but our STD rates are as high as or higher than those in countries where circumcision is rare.
  10. Because children should be protected from permanent bodily alteration inflicted on them without their consent in the name of culture, religion, profit, or parental preference. Under accepted bio-ethical principles, parents can consent to surgery on behalf of a child only if it is necessary to protect the child’s life or health. “Routine” circumcision fails this test because it painfully and permanently removes a normal and healthy part of a boy’s penis, does not protect the child’s life or health, and in fact creates new risks. Removing the foreskin is no more justified than removing a finger or any other healthy body part.

I know coming to terms with what you did isn’t easy, you might even turn away and say you did what was right.  I hope you don’t.  Unless your son has an issue that has to be medically corrected, he was born perfect.  Keep him that way.  If you still feel strongly about your decision I invite you to visit YouTube and search for circumcision videos. I almost positive you will take a different stance.

To the parents that had their son’s circumcised and are now fully informed and regret their decision, I urge you to share this information with other people in hopes they’ll spare another boy from this barbaric procedure.

You are now informed.  Carry on and Share!

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Establishing A Bed Time Routine

Having a new baby at home is definitely a routine shaker. But after the “New Baby Smell” is gone and everyone is settling in nicely into “jobs” a pattern begins to emerge. After a few months your baby will begin staying awake for longer periods of time and giving you a clear “This is my nap time” signal.  It’s imperative to pay attention to your baby’s cues.


My sweet boy, will tug on his ear and/or rub his eyes before he’ll start yawning and getting cranky.  I try to catch him usually before the crankiness begins.  Those beginning cues sometimes slip by, especially when I’m doing things around the house.  But I do try to keep an eye on them because a cranky baby makes me a tired mam, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

From what I’ve read online when reading up on sleep patterns, I’ve come to the realization that the latest hour for the “perfect” bed time routine is 7:30 p.m., your baby’s brain is developing at a rapid rate and sleep is when a lot of that development takes place.  Having them in bed early will make them sleep longer. (I’ve learned that no matter if I put Nico down at 6:30pm or 9:00pm, he will still wake up around 6:30 – 7:30am). I like to have my ME time after he’s down and having that taken away from me isn’t worth me going out at night with him.

 

So, how do we do it?

I begin by quieting the house down as his bedtime approaches. (Putting a wired baby to sleep doesn’t work, it has to be gradual).  If the T.V. is on, it gets shut off. I’ll prep his bath things, get his pj’s, prepare his bottle and pacifier and leave it all ready on my (our) bed. I begin his bath between 5:45-6:30 pm.  I’ll maybe put on some quiet classical piano, or maybe I’ll just sing a soothing song while giving him a bath.  It works quite well.  He doesn’t like to be taken out of the bath and will give me a hard time then but we power through.

I lay him on my (our) bed, and lather on some coconut oil on his body (I try not to use lotions and perfumes on him, sometimes I’ll splash a little baby perfume on his clothes, never on his skin when we have a special party/place to go to… rare – mama likes her sleeping baby). By this time he’s cranky because :

A: He’s either hungry
B: He’s sleepy or
C: Both

Now that he is so mobile, it’s tough putting a diaper on this kid, he’s squirming around so much and twisting trying to grab things around him.  But fine, his pj’s are on and he’s ready to be fed.

I grab by trusty Boppy Pillow and lay him down (Here’s a tip: I also add a small camping pillow beneath his head, I found one at Walgreen’s once but click here to see what I’m talking about -> camping pillow), the added pillow elevates his head just right to where I have my other hand free and can caress his little head while he drinks. He’s now either fighting to keep his little eyes open or just needs a little nudge.  After he’s finished, I stand him up and lay him on my shoulder, give him his pacifier and let him burp/sleep at the same time.

Now, if he needs a little nudge I’ll read to him if he’s not too tired.  I also sing/hum old church hymns.  (Yea I know, I don’t know how that got started but it works great) while running my fingers through his forehead or hair. That usually does it. and He’s off to dreamland. (Around 6:30-7pm)

I love this time with him and will stay for another half hour or so just holding him.  It has become a routine that I love and try not to skew from.  It’s very serene and loving moment between us and we only get so many of those until they’re grown up. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this one. I’m sure glad I wrote it, it really makes me love it even more.  (BTW, I try to be in bed no later than 10 pm)

How about you?  What bed time routine has worked for your family? Let me know in the comments below.

Also, help me spread the word about this little blog of mine… Sharing is caring!