Part 2 of a series of 8. Long before I knew I was pregnant with LF#5 (Loin Fruit Number Five), I’m pretty sure that T-Bird knew something was different. We had just moved into a new home, in a new city, and I figured T-Bird was seriously ramping up her nursing efforts in order to establish some of the security she was missing. Surely, it would pass soon enough. Then I assumed I had come down with the flu—crippling fatigue and all day nausea. T-Bird needed to nurse more to receive those healthy immunities. Surely, it would pass soon enough. Sir Hubby was at work more and more growing the business we had moved to a new city to support. T-Bird wanted to comfort nurse because she missed her daddy, or sensed the added stress I was under when he was away so much. Surely, it would pass soon enough.
It hasn’t passed. Continue reading Following the Principles: Feed With Love and Respect
Part 1 of a series of 8.
“Look at this,” I mumble out of the corner of my mouth as I shove the white and purple plastic stick in Sir Hubby’s direction. The two younger kids are nearby and it is too soon to clue them in yet.
“Uh. What exactly am I looking at?” he replies, his tone already rising an octave. He senses danger.
“C’mon. Really?” I hiss. I know he has seen a pregnancy test before.
“No, no. I know what it is. I just don’t know what it says,” he confesses.
“It says oops.”
And so begins our journey towards meeting Loin Fruit Number Five, or LF#5 as we like to call the little critter.
Continue reading Following the Principles: Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
My 14 month old kicks her feet against the table and makes a deafening screech while reaching for her Daddy’s beverage at the restaurant. As he allows her to have a sip of his drink, I look around to see how many fellow diners are tsk tsking our choice to allow our baby to drink what they must think is SODA! I have the overwhelming urge to announce “It’s only unsweetened iced tea…really. She never has soda, I swear.” But that would not be entirely true and besides, now our five year old is loudly promising to eat the rest of her pasta and veggies after she eats all of the french fries…she promises. The floor is covered in the crushed remains of the fire roasted zucchini and rice pilaf dish we ordered for the baby…her grinning mouth is dripping and bubbling with ice tea, not one single piece of food has passed her lips. I eat my (now cold) food with one hand (not my dominant one) while liberally applying even more ketchup to my daughters fries. My husband is fishing ice out of his cup with a fork to entice the baby with since the tea is now gone and the she is gearing up for another screech fest. Did I mention that our teenager ordered nothing but appetizers and is sulking in the corner of the booth because I went ahead and surreptitiously ordered her a salad and had the gall to ask her to please put some green food in her body before loading it with junk? The single thought running through my head is: If they eat this junky stuff, then everyone in the restaurant will assume that they eat like this all of the time…and that I let them do it! Continue reading Stepping Out
When I was a younger mommy and parenting my first two children, I worried a lot about whether I was meeting expectations. Of course, my first priority was my children and their well-being, but right after that was making sure that I gave the impression of being confident, completely competent, and like I was the type of mom who could do it all. I adhered to the belief that I could have clean, well-dressed, well-behaved children who were a joy, all while being perfectly coiffed, stylishly dressed and madly successful. All I had to do was work hard enough, put in enough effort, and always be doing something. I could have it all.
It makes me tired now just to write that. Continue reading Super Mom Retires
My little T-Bird has just turned a whole big year old! She now has the ability to run around the house grabbing stuff, she turns the pages of books all by herself, and has developed some very well-honed pointing-at-everything-she-sees skills. She also does some super-adorable things like kissing all of the kitties she sees in her picture books, rocking her baby doll, and saying Mmmmm whenever she gets near my breasts, which she calls “Na-Nas”. Her hair is long enough now that I can put two little piggy tails on top of her head (which look more like little horns than piggy tails). She giggles manically at her own private little jokes and loves trying to walk backwards.
Continue reading Listening to Her Protest (very loudly)
Sir Hubby’s business is located two hours away from where we have been living. For the most part, he has been able to work remotely from home and that level of flexibility allowed us both to be full time AP’ers to our baby, T-Bird. But recently, he has taken on additional responsibility at work and his presence was required more and more. To conserve time, energy and gas, he began to sleep at the office a few nights a week. It quickly turned into all week.
The first few weeks were a bit novel for us: texting funny stories and pictures back and forth, looking forward to the weekends, helping the kids make art work to surprise Daddy with upon his return. The novelty quickly gave way to resentment, however, when the weekends turned into battles about who “deserved” to sleep in, who had put in a more stressful week, and whose turn it was to deal with kids who were rightly protesting the abrupt change from an Attachment style of parenting to a new-and not-so-improved Frustrated style. Something had to give, and we were not willing to let it be our family or the close relationship we have with our children any longer.
So, we started using the “M” word.
Moving to a new home has never been one of my favorite things to do. Continue reading Moving On
In the course of any given day, I know I make hundreds and hundreds of parenting choices. Some are mistakes. The majority are adequate. And a few rare ones are golden. Most of my parenting choices, however, seem to matter very little if measured in days. The accumulated effect of all those daily choices is what makes a baby into a kid and a kid into an adult.
People seem to be chocked full of parenting advice for babies and young children, but by the time they get to be teens, many families I know are running for the nearest counselor. My 14 year old daughter Ella has school-mates and friends who are contending with depression, angry outbursts towards parents and teachers, running away, and even inflicting physical harm on themselves by cutting. Many suffer from eating disorders. She looks around her school at her peers and is often confused by these behaviors and attitudes. She will ask her friends “Why don’t you talk to your mom about it?” to which her friends will reply “I can’t talk to her about anything. She hates me.”
Continue reading In It For The Long Haul
Joy, love, and simplicity are certainly some of the most compelling reasons that our family has chosen to practice Attachment Parenting. AP principles, like keeping our baby close, responding to our children with sensitivity and respect, and engaging in night time parenting have made our lives infinitely sweeter, gentler, and less stressful. So, recently, when our family was asked to contend with an unexpected hardship we were grateful to already have the strong bonds, security, and trust that we have gained through our AP relationship.
We are a relatively healthy family who relies mainly on good nutrition and clean living to help us keep up with four children. On the whole, we are fortunate to enjoy good health and do not take it for granted. When my husband came down with a touch of the flu last month, we brewed some tea, made some soup and figured he’d be better in a few days. The rest of us went into immune-building mode: I nursed the baby more frequently, we included some immune-boosting foods and supplements into our regular diets and everyone got some extra sleep. By day three, my husband was worse, not better. And nobody else was feeling ill yet. Another three days passed with no improvement. And other than being more tired from having the other half of my parenting team incapacitated, I was not feeling ill. Nobody in our house had the flu—including my husband.
Watching a child suffer through an illness is a parents’ worst nightmare…our little ones can seem so helpless and vulnerable. However, seeing a 6′ 4” grown man who is too weak to get out of bed for a week is very distressing, too. Our big, strong, wood-chopping, snow-shoveling, chief wage earner, and carry-the-kids-to-bed Daddy had come to a screeching halt. This was beyond my soup, rest, and TLC skills. We had no choice. Continue reading AP When Things Are Upside Down