Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mommy Life is Like a Teeter Totter - Which side are you on?

Are you an unintentional stay-at-home mom?
Jennifer @ Something To Call My Own* wrote an article about how she became an unintentional stay-at-home mom.  I've thought long and hard about writing a similar article but in my head I always came off sounding like a bit of a jerk.  Selfish, self-absorbed, etc., etc.  I felt guilty about feeling like I needed to get back to work.  I felt guilty about all the time I spent in school just to be a mom.  OH and that phrase kills me - "just to be a mom".  There is no JUST about it. It isn't some inferior position that only lackies and the uneducated get stuck with.  Being a mom is a grueling, stressful, full-time job that requires you to know how to manage not only a household but people, conflict, education, money, cooking, shopping, being creative and keeping your sanity on top of it all.

When I found out I was pregnant with Cookie my full intention was to return to work when my maternity leave was over.  In the meantime, I moved farther away from my parents (and my office),  we were in a car accident that totaled my car and I discovered I was not able pump my breastmilk.  My body just wouldn't cooperate and I really didn't want to feed my baby formula when I had what nature intended for her to eat available.  I suggested telecommuting since I could get high speed internet at home, I had set up a VPN at work that I could access from anywhere and my job did not require me to be on site at all times.  The new manager said no way so that was the end of that.  Here I am these years later with two daughters.

Much like Jennifer I also came to realize that working outside the home was going to yield less than favorable results because all my income would have to go for childcare.  My parents were too far away to care for Cookie on a daily basis and my in-laws are too old.  My husband's family all have very full and busy lives that don't allow for them to be a full time babysitter, plus I didn't feel it would be fair for me to dump my child off on them.

Hubby and I have managed to make things work fairly well on one income.  We aren't as frivolous with our purchases as we once were.  We don't go out as much.  There are days when it really gets to me being trapped in the house, but I reason with myself that I am here to teach and raise my beautiful daughters.  I homeschool  Cookie and I plan to do the same with BonBon.

*Jennifer does a very good job of expressing how she feels in her article Something to call my own: Can I switch sides on the teeter totter? photo credit: limaoscarjuliet via photopin cc

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What Was Your Breastfeeding Experience?

An article on MomDot* got me thinking about my experiences as a breastfeeding stay-at-home mom.  It was very tiring and time consuming but there was something rewarding to know that for the first 8 months of their lives my babies were still all me.  They fed from me in the womb and then continued until we introduced baby foods and cereals.  The bond I felt with them made me feel needed and important at a time when I could have given in to extreme depression.  When Cookie weaned herself at 15 months I felt despondent.   It wasn't until then that postpartum depression clocked me in between the eyes.

There were days that I wish pumping would have worked for me so that hubby could have done a few nighttime feedings.  I breastfed Cookie to 15 months and Bonbon to 19 months.  Being a full time stay-at-home mom I had the luxury of being exhausted at home where I could be close to my bed and take a nap when I needed it.  I tried the pumping with a hand pump and it was difficult, almost impossible.  Though most days I was engorged and ready to burst my breasts were like a stubborn child holding their mouth solidly shut.  Once the baby latched on both of us ended up satisfied - full bellies and empty breasts.

I remember when my youngest, Bonbon, was born the doctors were worried she wasn't getting enough to eat because mild jaundice was making her lethargic and uninterested in eating.  We spent the next few days at my in-laws with Bonbon stripped down to her diaper on my lap in full sun of the south facing window and feeding her every hour on the hour.  When we went back for her check up a few days later she had gained 4 oz. and the breast feeding nurse/coach said she was doing fabulous.

1) Cookie newborn 2) What was left of my car after the accident with a telephone pole.  Can you believe my husband came out of there in one piece?  Thank goodness for baby car seats - Cookie's saved her life.  3) Bonbon newborn

I can count on one hand the number of times my girls had formula.  The first time my oldest had formula was
when she was six weeks old and I was strapped to a gurney in the emergency room.  A car accident that sidelined my husband for 8 weeks (4 broken ribs, broken hip, clavicle and cracked sternum) prevented me from feeding Cookie that night.  She was extremely upset and the nurses refused to let me sit up to nurse her since I hadn't been sent into the CT scan to check for internal injuries yet.  The one time  I tried to give Bonbon formula she threw up all over me.

So for 5 years I didn't have a day to myself or with hubby to go out.  On our 11th anniversary we finally had a date night.  I didn't realize until then how much I really needed a break to be an adult without the kids nearby.  Missing them was the hard part.  We had to try really hard to control ourselves and discuss other things rather than how much we missed the kids.  Now that they are both well past breast feeding stage it is nice that we can send them to grandma's or auntie's house for an evening or a weekend and just enjoy being together.

I wouldn't trade my breastfeeding time with each of my girls for anything.  Even a few more hours of sleep.  Unless my babies health was somehow in danger because they were not able to receive enough nutrition from me for whatever reason I don't think I would even have considered using formula.

*Are all formulas equal? Choosing balanced nutrition for your baby. - Influential Mom Blogger, Mom Blog Brand Ambassador, PR Friendly

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Trying to Test BlogLovin

In an effort to help my friend syndicate their blog to Facebook I've tried different methods like IFTTT (If This Then That) and Networked Blogs.  The way NB hijacked my links and traffic was not my cup of tea so though I still use the service I do not use it to syndicate to Facebook.  IFTTT works fairly well,  but it's a little slow.  The process isn't instant.  The 'recipes' as they are called update every 15 minutes.  So when I claimed this blog on BlogLovin I decided to try their syndication service to see how it works.  This is my test post.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

CreaClip Long Layered Style Instructions & Review

This may seem like an odd thing to re-post here, but I thought about how frequently I got my hair cut when my girls were little.  It wasn't very often and my hair got very uneven and dried on the ends.  The CreaClip is a DIY at home hair cutting helper that will help anyone who can use a level and a pair of scissors clip their own and their loved ones hair.

Times are touch so spending upwards of $20-$50 (or more) every 6 weeks gets difficult.  The CreaClip is a very nice in between salon visits tool.   Whether you choose to cut your hair by yourself or have a friend help you the instructions and options are easy.  Check out my video for more :). To read my full review visit Casa Guanajuato Reviews.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Cost of Losing Your Patience

We've all done it.  We've all lost our patience in traffic.  Someone doesn't turn when they should.  Another driver forgets to use their turn signal and yet another doesn't go as soon as the light turns green.  Then there are the dreaded railroad crossings.  For many drivers it feels like a life sentence sitting at the tracks waiting for the arms to go back  up.  This is especially true when the train on the tracks is moving at a snails pace or seems to be stopped.

For all the safety measures that we follow to protect our kids in the car having patience while driving is probably the most important.  Patience with your kids babbling, fighting, arguing, playing, singing and so on so you don't get distracted.  My girls are wonderful little travelers so issues like these are sporadic at best.  So I have to pay attention to my own attitude and other drivers.  Like we were taught in drivers training  -

  • Try to keep the music down
  • Make a full stop at every stop sign
  • Turn your turn signals on within a reasonable distance from your turn to alert other drivers
  • Be aware of other drivers
  • Use your mirrors
  • Drive the speed - and adjust it for the weather conditions (just because the speed is 55 doesn't mean it's safe to go that fast no matter what the weather/road conditions)
  • Never, never, ever drive around the lowered arms of a railroad crossing - it could cost you your life.

Read how one young mother took that chance and how it will result in a life sentence of grief for her and her family.

Kids Killed As Mom Tries To Go Through Train Crossing |


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