So, here they are. None of them are very good, but it was fun trying to find all of the things to photograph! Most of them are very true of my life right now (such as all the baby related things and pictures of my son). Also, #16 is first because Blogger sucks. I tried to insert this photo with the cursor in between #15 and #17. Needless to say it didn't work, so it is out of order. Sorry.
My house is always a mess and I have to debate everyday whether I would rather clean it more or spend time with my son. That sounds silly, but I really could spend a lot more time cleaning and a lot less time interacting with my son. This is the question I always end up asking myself - in the end (when my son is older or even just a year or two from now), will I care if my house was clean in the past or will I care how much time I spent with my son? That is an obvious answer. I also think, what if something would happen to my son and I only had him around for a short time? Would I care if my house was cleaned if I no longer had my son? Heck no. Every second I get with him is precious and I would give up almost anything else to be with him. I know I can't be with him every second of every day, but I want to spend as much time with him as possible. My house is messy most of the time, but I figure - we live here and we have a child! It would almost be unnatural to have a super clean house when you have a child living there! Anyway, that is just what is on my mind right now. I always look around my house and think, man I need to clean this mess! I have a feeling that will always be the case so I think I will just learn to live with it!
So, I am writing more on Babywise because all of a sudden it is something I feel more passionate about. I have always believed in Babywise, or at least since I read the first book and saw the success my sister had using it with her first baby.
It amazes me how many people bash Babywise without even having tried it. I can see why so many people are against the idea. When you do a google search on the subject, the majority of information you are presented with is negative. This is the most common article people seem to mention when talking negatively about Babywise.
Now, if you care at all, you can then read this article or this one.
It is funny how someone who is so against Babywise can try to persuade people with their beliefs without really knowing what it is all about. The second link above is so interesting. Some people think that Babywise is so out there! It really is not! There are slight modifications to the AAP recommendations to make a schedule work for you. Nothing crazy.
I have tried following the principals in Babywise and have had nothing but success. There were times when we were first trying out the schedule thing that both my husband and I thought we were going to die from sleep deprivation. But, we stuck with it and now have a 7 month old that sleeps through the night every night. Sure, there have been about 2 nights in the last 4 months that our little guy has woken up in the middle of the night. My husband went in his room to check on him after he was crying for a while (we never go in after just a few peeps from him so he can fall back asleep on his own) so that he didn't think it was time to eat (we were afraid he would think that if mom went in). Dad held him for a few minutes and laid him back down and he went right back to sleep. I know this may not work with all babies but I think it worked so well for us because he was used to going all night without eating anyway.
I think my kiddo is always happy because of the routine we have. He knows that his next meal is always going to be on time so he doesn't worry about that. He knows he will get naps and he knows that mom makes sure he gets them on time. He is secure knowing that he doesn't always have to tell me what he needs - I can anticipate what he needs or will need next and he is calm in that knowledge. He is always so happy and people do comment on it! No, he is not perfect and definitely has his fussy times. Overall, though, we are so pleased with his demeanor.
Babywise is hard work! I don't want anyone who is thinking about trying it to think it is going to be easy. There were times I wanted to quit, but at the same time, in my mind that wasn't an option. I kept going every day doing what I was doing knowing that in the end, it would result in a baby who slept through the night. I was not disappointed. I don't care if other people think that I was too worried about the end result or that I was insensitive to my baby's needs. I know better and I know my baby loves and trusts me and we have no 'attachment' issues. That is nonsense.
I feel strongly about the whole 'cry it out' controversy also. I think it is crap to say that your baby won't trust you if let them cry sometimes. I am not saying you should ignore your crying baby for hours. But I do think that it won't hurt the baby if they cry for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. If my baby cries and cries, I do go check on him and I do comfort him, but only if the crying is unusual. Now that Xander is a little older, I usually know why he is crying. I also know that sometimes he will cry when I lay him down for a nap. He cries for about 5 minutes or so then falls asleep. Imagine how unproductive that would be for me to go into his room immediately upon his crying! He would get over excited or think that I am going to pick him up when in reality, all he needs is a nap. I am not sure how that could be cruel - giving him what he needs (the nap). It is more cruel to confuse him into thinking he can get up and play when he is so tired and also to deprive him of a nap when he needs it! My baby has 'cried it out' at times and is perfectly happy and healthy and is developing normally. He loves to play and is more and more interested in his surroundings every day. He smiles and giggles frequently, eats well, naps well and sleeps through the night. I doubt an 'expert' could observe me and my baby and tell me that my child has some kind of issue because I have let him cry for too long in the past. Ridiculous!
Anyway, I could write about my feelings on this subject for hours but think this is enough for now.
I am a big fan of the books Babywise, Babywise II and Toddlerwise. I don't know how many other people have heard of these books or believe in the methods used in the book, but I have used many of the principals in the book and have had nothing but success so far!
I feel like because I followed the ideas of the first Babywise book, Xander sleeps through the night in his own crib every night.
The book says you need to get your baby on a schedule (even though some parents think it is wrong or borders on abuse to put your child on a schedule) and teach them to sleep in their own crib from an early age.
I feel so bad for parents who are co-sleeping and trying to get their child to now sleep in their own crib and are having such difficulties. I know the parents never thought they were doing anything wrong by co-sleeping. They probably thought that, at the time, it was easier for everyone and now they are paying the price. No parent does something such as co-sleeping, thinking it is bad for the child or for them. Every parent wants what is best for the child but most parents are simply misled in what that is.
I also found that getting my son on a schedule from an early age made it possible for him to get full feedings every time and he never needed to 'snack'. I think that is why he is so content now with 4 feedings a day. He nurses in the morning, then 4 hours later, he nurses and eats fruit and cereal. Then 4 hours later, he nurses again and has vegetables and cereal. Then before bed, he nurses one last time and also gets some formula. He is a very content baby and growing just fine and I feel really lucky that he is able to eat only 4 meals a day and get everything he needs from those 4 meals.
I know as he gets older he will probably want more snacks, but that will be once he is done nursing completely and I won't mind so much then. I think it wears down a mom to have to nurse a baby so often, not only in the beginning, but also as the child nears their first birthday. As I said, I am thankful we are on such a simple schedule - my little guy just turned 7 months.
Now we are transitioning to the principals of Babywise II. This book is meant for 5-14 month olds or so. It focuses on high chair manners (since they are starting to eat solid foods) and playtime activities (since they can finally start doing something other than just lying there).
I have already found several things to be really helpful with this next phase of Xander's life. Here are a few of my favorite ideas/points/rules.
-You teach the child that their hands are not to be involved while they eat pureed foods. They obviously cannot feed themselves yet, so there is no need for them to try and stick their hands in the food. All that does is create a mess for mom and baby and requires behavior modification at a later date. I have already been working with X on that. He keeps his hands down to his side while he eats and I feed him the food with no help from him. They mention that if you feel your child needs to learn how to hold utensils, give them to the child during bath time, when no mess can be made. Then the child gets all the practice they need until they are eating foods that actually require a fork or spoon and until they are truly ready to feed themselves.
-You should wean the child from a bottle altogether around age 1. Their is no need for a bottle after that time and some children become overly attached to bottles. It also says kids are not to go to bed with a bottle as the formula/milk/juice can then pool in their mouths' causing tooth decay at an early age. Xander only has a bottle once a day right now and he never goes to bed with it. We don't let him play with the bottle when he is done feeding (since their is a difference between drinking from a bottle and playing with it - playing with it can cause an unnecessary attachment). Every time I feed him solid foods, I set out a sippy cup with water for him to practice. I started at 6 months and plan to continue until he has it down completely. He is already getting close to being able to drink from it himself.
-Along the lines of no bottle, they talk about not giving your child juice all the time as the child doesn't really need it nutritionally. I haven't given any juice to X yet but I am not saying he will never get it. They say when you do give juice during the first year, you should dilute it with water by at least 50%. Now, this is not a nutrition book in general, but I do think all the ideas/principals fit together in some way and I do think this is a valid point. They mention giving the child juice more as a treat then a staple during meal time. X just has water in his sippy cup for now and I am not sure when I will let him try juice.
-The book also talks about while teaching your child high chair manners, they need to learn to eat foods and have their drinks in the kitchen. You shouldn't let your child carry around a bottle or sippy cup wherever they go. There should be designated meal and snack times and that is when baby can have their food and drink, and you as the parent decide where they get it. We obviously haven't practiced that part yet, but that will be something we do in the future.
-The book talks about play pen time as being necessary every day. First of all, it gives the child an opportunity to concentrate on their toys and gives them some learning time. Second, it gives mom a break or allows her to get a few things done knowing baby is safe. This is something we need to work on as X spends most of his time in his crib, the swing, the high chair, the jumper or being held by me or daddy. I guess I was hesitant about this one because he can't sit 100% by himself just yet. He is almost there but does fall sometimes. I want him to be able to sit in the pack and play by himself without falling over and me having to come to pick him up. I would be able to lay him in there with soft toys for him to play with but I just haven't done it much yet. Something to work on.
-One of my favorite points they talk about is 'parenting outside the funnel'. They have an illustration in the book showing a funnel like diagram showing the child's age and the child'sunderstanding/skill level. The basic concept is, you shouldn't let your child do or play with things beyond their comprehension. To do so is parenting 'outside the funnel'. A good example is this - your child does not need to play with a TV remote or cell phone for several reasons. First, it has no practical purpose for them - they have no idea what it is or what it does and won't be learning how to use it anytime soon. It doesn't benefit them in anyway, therefore, they don't need to play with it. The second reason they mention to avoid letting them play with is this - say you let your child play with a remote at home and think nothing of it. It is not hurting anyone and it is keeping your child entertained and quiet. Well, what if the next time you go to your friends house, your child only wants to play with the remote controls? You risk your child breaking it, the child turning things on or the volume way up and the host may not want your child playing with it anyway. You now have to take away a 'toy' that was perfectly acceptable at home and suddenly is not! The child does not understand this and soon they are crying, upset and confused. This is not the way to go. You had previously granted them a freedom that was beyond their understanding/level and now you have to take it away. The book talks about avoiding this in general as all it does is cause frustration for your child and makes them unhappy. They talk about only allowing freedoms to the child as the child shows the ability to handle them.
-So that that paragraph doesn't go on forever, I am starting a new one about basically the same thing. Your child does not learn best by trial and error - that is, being able to do whatever they want and messing up or having something taken away when they show they are not able to handle it. Studies have been done that show structured learning is better than trial and error. It the child is allowed to do whatever they want, they will never have to become a creative thinker. People with the most limits/restrictions are the ones who have to come up with creative ideas and 'think outside the box'. I am certainly no expert on child learning or development but I think most of the things they say make sense. I do believe I will give my child an advantage by following some of these rules and not have him constantly frustrated.
-The book also talks about the benefits of teaching your baby a few signs. I have been working on this with X just a little while he is eating. The child is able to understand language and communication much sooner than they are able to speak. Most babies who are taught some sign language are able to use it after a short time to convey what they need before they can talk. I am not sure how far we will get with this one, but I do see the benefits of it so I will do what I can.
-One of the biggest points they talk about throughout the book is 'training' not 'retraining' or being 'proactive' not 'reactive'. They talk about how you shouldn't wait for bad behavior to try to teach your child what is right. Start teaching them the right way right away before they do things the wrong way and you have to correct them. It is not only better for the child, but much easier on both of you. That is why I started having X put his hands down to his sides when he eats from the very beginning. I didn't have to have him put his hands in his food, then in his hair and on his clothes to teach him what to do. I started before he ever had a chance to do it wrong. There have been a few times where he has put his hand out and tried to grab the bowl or spoon, but I quickly stop feeding him until his hand is back where it should be. I think this is huge. I think X will be a happier baby overall if I don't have to retrain him on everything, if I train him right from the beginning. I am not saying that if I 'train' him, he will never do the wrong thing. I am sure he will still frequently need to be corrected. I do, however, think that the book is right when they say babies get frustrated because they are confused. I think some kids cry because they are actually protesting their parents parenting style! That may sound weird, but think of it this way. If you started a new job and you never had any training or direction on how to do things and you just started working and all of a sudden you got tons of corrections from a manager, wouldn't you be upset, mad and frustrated? You would think, if only they just told me what to do from the beginning, I wouldn't be feeling this way now. It's not that you wouldn't make any mistakes with being trained, but you are bound to make a lot less of them and end up much happier and less frustrated. Makes sense to me!
So that was a longer post than I planned. I am sure you can tell I feel pretty passionate about some of these ideas. I know there are people out there who are majorly against these books and some of their concepts, but I am not one of them. I don't think all of the ideas work for every person but I do think most people can benefit at least some from these books.
The funny thing is, when I talk to my mom about some of these ideas, she says to me that most of it would have been common sense back in her generation. There are so many new parenting ideas out there these days that it is so confusing to know what is best for your child. I think a lot of the problem is all of the 'psychologists' out there think that so many things parents do, such as discipline, will harm your child rather than help them. That is crap and most people know it! A child needs love, discipline and direction. Emphasis on the discipline. Some people may end up thinking I am too strict of a parent but I hope and pray that the way I raise my child is the right way and that these concepts will work and he will be a pretty good little boy. Time will tell!
So I have gotten a few amazing deals recently that I just had to share them! They are from various places, but I am amazed at how frequently I am able to find great deals even when the blogs have dried up a bit with deals valid for where I live! I have now learned to always carry all of my coupons with me and keep my eye out for sales and clearance items. My persistence has paid off more than once. Here goes.
I got a mega pack of size 6 Huggies diapers (I think 34 diapers - for the future of course) for $3. That is less than $0.10/diaper which is unheard of, especially for larger sizes of diapers (4, 5 or 6). The pack was on clearance at Baker's from $15 down to $7.50. Then I had a $3 Huggies coupon and I had a $1.50 coupon loaded on my Baker's card for Huggies diapers which made it $3 total! Yay!
I got a pack of Huggies Pull Ups (also for when Xander is older) that had about 20 or so in the pack for $0.99. Heck yeah! It was on clearance from $9.99 down to $4.99 at Baker's and I had a $2 off Pull Ups coupon and another $2 coupon on my Baker's card which made them $0.99!
I got 2 packs of Always Infinity pads, 28 per pack, for free! I think I even had an overage on these! They had the supers on clearance at Baker's for $4.49 each (full price is $9) and I had 2 $4/1 manufacturer coupons which made them $0.49 each and on my Baker's card I had two coupons loaded, 1 for $1/1 and 1 for $0.50/1. So I came out $0.50 ahead for these. Thanks for giving me free pads, Baker's! :)
I got 4 cans of Good Start ready made formula, 32 oz each, for $1! Each one was on clearance for $2 down from $5 or so and I had 3 $2 checks/coupons and 1 $1 check/coupon. Right on the check, it says that the coupons are good on powdered formula only, but I handed the checks to the cashier and he took them! I am not sure if that is always the case or if it was just a nice cashier, or one who didn't know better. Either way, $1 for 4 cans of formula is quite a deal! And, no, they aren't expired either!
I found a 3 pack of Comforts brand baby wipes (Kroger's store brand) for $1.50. That is super cheap since each pack of wipes has 80 wipes and they are the nice pop up kind. That makes each 80 pack only $0.50! Most 80 pack wipes are about $2.00! Also, it was weird because they also had on clearance, the 80 packs sold individually, but they were $0.99 each! That is still a good deal, but I thought, why would I spend $3 on 3 packs when I can spend $1.50 on 3?
Are we sensing a theme here? I have discovered that Baker's has awesome clearance sometimes! I also figured out that one location seems to have a lot better clearance than the other here in Omaha. I think the one that has the better stuff on clearance has less traffic, so there is always some good stuff left when I go there.
I got a pack of Comforts brand size 6 diapers for $4.50. The package has 52 diapers in it so that is another great deal!
I got a big box of size 6 Pampers cruisers for about $13 at Target. The box has 76 diapers in it and even though it is still $0.17/diaper, that is a good price for size 6 diapers!
I got 2 boxes of Pampers Easy Ups, one for $8 and one for $7. They each have 66 easy ups in them so that is definitely a steal also! Training pants are usually really pricey but these were on clearance at Target and I had some good coupons too.
I actually got a great deal on clearance at Walmart believe it or not! I found 2 boxes of Huggies wipes on clearance. (I actually like Huggies wipes the best of all the ones I have tried - they are the thickest). The boxes each have about 380 wipes and are normally priced at $8.97/each. I got both boxes for $4.50 each and had 1 $1 coupon and 1 $0.75 coupon. So one box was $3.50 and one was $3.75!!! That is amazing! Some money saving blogs say you should never pay more than $0.02/wipe and there were basically $0.01/wipe or less! Yesssssss!!!
I have gotten a few coupons for free items in the mail also recently. I have received 2 coupons for a free chocolate bar - snickers, milky way, m&m's and a few other choices. I also got a coupon for a free pack of Oscar Mayer hot dogs (up to $4.50) so I was able to get the nice beef franks. I also got a Jennie-O turkey coupon for $5 off!! The product I got from Walmart was only $5.30 or so and I think it was a pack or 8 or 12 turkey burgers. That is almost free! I also found Roberts milk at Bakers on special for $1.19 each! They were going to expire in about a week, but we go through enough milk that I bought 2 gallons! I also had $0.50 off coupons for each so they ended up being about $0.70/gallon. You literally can't beat that!
So as you can see, I am still obsessed with a great deal! I love the feeling of getting something for free or getting something so cheap, that you could never duplicate that price again (except for incredible sales or clearance). I know some people might think it is silly to stock up so much on diapers for Xander that he won't even wear for a year or so. I think of it this way - what if I didn't buy the diapers now at such great prices, and when the times comes for me to buy diapers for him when he needs them, they have no good sales going on? I don't like to pay full price or pay for a normal 'sale' price either. I want the best deal I can get on everything! I would rather stock up knowing I got the best price I could then wonder if I can get as good of a deal in the future.
Anyway, that is the only thing exciting in my life right now! Except for Xander of course. Everything he does is cute and exciting! I love him and can't imagine life without him! :)
At least if I have to get a full time job, it would be nice to not have to go out and apply to a bunch of places. It is looking like I might not have to do that. I am trying to find a job within the last company I worked for. I have a friend who I used to work with who talked to my old boss and he said he is going to talk to HR about me possibly working there again. I would be grateful for help getting a job since I am afraid that I will have to. I really don't want to work at all, and certainly not full time, but as I said, I think I have to. I would rather work part time than full time but I don't think it will be enough to help us out. I feel a little better about this situation now than I did but I am still very sad about it.
Well, it appears as though this stay at home mama is no more. I think I am going to have to go back to work full time and I am heartbroken to say the least. The bills just keep coming and our income isn't changing. The medical bills are what's killing us. Just when I think we are done getting them, they keep coming. I just got a bill for $160 for vaccines for Xander. Isn't that supposed to be covered under preventative care? What am I even paying for insurance for? To say I am angry is an understatement. I am pretty certain that my son is not getting any more vaccines or I am going to try to negotiate with the doctor's office a cheaper price since we simply cannot afford $160 every time he gets shots (which, this early in his life, are frequent). I thought Todd would have his own store by now and I am pretty upset that he doesn't. I can't really blame him but I am mad that his company more or less promised he would have his own store by now. I know our income won't change dramatically when he gets his own store, but that combined with selling our house and finding a cheaper one the next time around should help us out quite a bit.
I have cried and cried and cried some more over this and as I said before, I am completely heartbroken over it. All I ever wanted was to be a stay at home mom and I was so excited when I got to do it. We didn't prepare or save enough money and now we are paying the price. Actually, Xander is paying the price. He is no longer going to get constant attention and I cringe just thinking of how he could be ignored at day care. I know my child is not the first and certainly won't be the last kid to go to day care, but I wanted so much to keep from having to send him there. I feel like I have failed as a mom and we have failed as parents in general. I think I resent other people who get to stay home because we have had so much crap happen in our lives that has set us back more financially. Just my medication alone every month is over $100. A lot of people don't have that. We have had more problems with our cars (which aren't even old), unexpected bills everywhere and I just keep wondering, why us? I know most people have felt that way at least at some point in their life but I have just about had it.
I always have some ideas of what I want to write about but I always put off writing. I am slow about getting my ideas down. I think of a hundred ideas of what I want to write about each week but I just never seem to get around to most of them probably because I have the kiddo to take care of!
I will try to write more for no one's sake but my own. This is definitely an outlet for me. I feel better just getting some of the ideas out of my head.
I have had some great shopping trips recently where I have scored some amazing deals. I also have gotten a fair amount done on Xander's two scrapbooks and I am excited about my progress.
This is just a post stating that I am going to have more posts soon. I also need to work on my pictures that I am taking for the contest I signed up for. I only have half a month left but that is ok. I will get it done. I work well under pressure!
Maybe I am crazy but I swear almost all of the baby food I have bought and looked at on the store shelves doesn't have any sugar in it unless naturally occurring (fruits). So today I go to feed Xander some mango's and after I fed it to him, I looked at the label and it had sugar as one of the ingredients! WHAT????? I thought baby food didn't have added sugar. I have read so many of the labels for baby food, and had never seen sugar listed before, that I think I assumed no baby food had sugar added. I guess that taught me to never trust previous research as a general rule. I don't think the food was that sweet even with the sugar, but I don't need to get my 6 month old addicted to sugar this early! I am so mad! Lesson learned.
So, I went to my mom's house in Lincoln today and she helped me get more done on my scrapbook. Now I am only 2 months behind instead of 4! I need to work on my smaller scrapbook too but I am feeling pretty good about how much I got done. I am still so new to this that I don't have a lot of great ideas and my mom is great at helping me. When I get a few more layouts done, I will probably take some pictures and post them. I think tomorrow I am going to continue working on my big scrapbook as well as my smaller one. I am now more behind on my 8x8 scrapbook, but that one is much easier to work on then the 12x12 one. I think I am still 3 months behind on that one but I could work on it for an hour and be just about caught up where as with the big one, it takes me an hour to get half of a layout done! I am excited by my progress though and am excited to keep on working at it!
So I am not a photographer whatsoever, but I do have a pretty nice camera for an amateur. I think I am going to go ahead and try to take on this challenge because I have always wanted to get better at picture taking. I love when I see beautiful pictures and I am always so amazed as to how people take such good pictures! I know a few of the secrets, but I think I need to just practice in order to get good at it! Good luck to me!
I am just so obsessed with getting a good deal! I am continually trying to figure out how to get more stuff for free or at least for cheap.
There was an awesome deal I got on diapers today and I just had to write about it! I went to Baker's today (our version of Kroger) and they had Huggies diapers on sale for $8.99 a package! That is cheaper than Walmart carries them everyday and cheaper than when Target puts them on sale. Normally I am not much of a Huggies fan, but my sister says she likes the Overnites for her daughter and I thought I would get them to try since Xander sleeps a minimum of 10 hours a night.
So the diapers were on sale for $8.99 a jumbo pack which is already a good price. They also had a deal where if you buy $15 or more worth of Huggies products, you get $3 off your purchase automatically when you check out. So that took the total from $18 to $15. Then, I had a Cellfire coupon for $1 off which I had forgotten about (bonus!!!!) AND I was able to use a $2 off coupon for one and a $3 off coupon for the other so I got two packs for $9 total!!!!! That is the cost of one pack normally! So, $4.50 each is about as good as you can get-even for generic brand diapers! I know Walgreens sometimes puts their store brand on sale for $4.50 a pack and that is the cheapest I have seen!
I just love getting good deals! Granted, these diapers are too big for Xander now but he will be able to use them in the future and I like to stock up for the future whenever there is a good deal (I have more than 700 diapers in his closet right now). :)
The weird thing was, I have read on other blogs that sometimes you can use a manufacturer coupon for an item even when it isn't the exact item and it worked today. The coupon went through at the register with no problem or beeps! The item was for Huggies Pure and Natural diapers which they don't even carry, but they took the coupon! Yay!
I am Sarah. I have been married to my great husband, Todd, for 6 years! We had our first son in November of 2008 and named him Xander. We have a Siberian Husky named Akira and we love her too. I am currently working for a broker/dealer in the securities industry. I miss staying at home with my baby but am trying to make the best of each day. We love the Nebraska Cornhuskers and always will no matter where we move!