Monday, September 29, 2008

Our Journey to faith...

I don't like admitting it. But lately, I have had a hard time keeping faith. Not just faith in God, but faith in general. I realize it is because Brandon and I really have not discovered what our faith is. I am not sure what I believe in anymore and it is causing a small identity crisis. I want to be one of those people who can blindly believe. I really do. But I can't. My mind keeps getting in the way. So prompted by a conversation with Brandon and my mom this weekend. I have decided to begin on a spiritual journey to discovering just what I do believe in.

I have discovered so far, that I no longer believe that a higher power has anything to do with conception. I believe in biology for that. I can't imagine God "choosing" who is worthy and who is not. I just can't fathom why some of the greatest people who would be amazing parents are left to deal with infertility and heartache, while teenage drug addicts can conceive with the greatest of ease. So that is what I have learned so far. I do believe that there is a higher power out there. But I know that I am more Earth-focused than that.

I am currently researching the Unitarian Universalist church. It seems so lovely so far. It is accepting of ALL faiths and beliefs. They accept all people no matter their race, sex, age, or sexual orientation. That sounds like a place where I could fit in. More specifically, I am researching paganism as a branch under the UU tree. UU churchs have people attending who are Buddhists, Jewish, Christian, Baptist, Pagan, and even atheists. They focus on seven principles:

1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.
4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Number 4 really hits home for me. This faith allows you the opportunity to learn and discover what you believe in. Seeking out your own truth. I love that. I also love the Earth focus. It just speaks to me.

We are attending our first service this weekend. I am looking forward to it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Congrats to my baby brother!!!!

Homecoming King 2008!!!

I love you Mitch!! :)

Loved that first touchdown too! Go Pirates!

Monday, September 22, 2008


So, mama-to-be Kathleen tagged me in her post about 10 things that make her happy! :) Such a fun post idea!

So, once I have been tagged, I have to post 10 things that make ME happy! Fun, fun! Stay tuned, at the bottom of the post, I will tag 3 (ok I tagged 4) people!

10 Things that Make me Happy

1. Nathan
I seriously love this kid. He is so amazing. There aren't enough words that I could type here to describe what he means to me. So I will just stop here. He makes me so happy.

2. Brandon
I am so lucky! I have an amazing husband. He is a great father. He is a wonderful partner. He works hard so that I can stay at home with Nathan. He is sweet and kind to others. He is really self-less and giving. He treats me really well. He never yells or gets angry. He is a great man. Plus, he is great in the sack. (Just threw that in there to make sure that you were still paying attention.) Hahahahaha

3. My mom
She is such a great mom. I always get in a happy mood when I see her or talk to her. She has been through a lot in the past year with my Grandma passing away. But she has pushed through. She graduated from nursing school and is now a RN! I am so proud of her. She was a teenage mama. I was born just after her 18th birthday. She has put her life on hold to attend to mine and my brothers needs. It is her turn! Love you Mama!!

4. Reading
I seriously love to read. It takes me away and allows me time to myself. There is nothing better than curling up with a good book. I love Harry Potter. I love cheesy romance novels. I love parenting books. I love homebirthing books. Pretty much anything!

5. Scrapbooking
Dear Heaven, when did I get to be 65 years old?! LOL! I do love scrapbooking though. It is fun and I love seeing the finished project.

6. Indiana University and my IU girls
I heart IU. I had a wonderful bar ( experience and I would go back in a heartbeat. I loved every second of it. But what made it great was my amazing buddies that I met Freshman year at Tete-Bo-2 (Teter Boisen Floor 2). Smalls, Carrie, Emily, Nicole, Emma, and Brittney (who I met later) are the best friends that I could ever ask for! Plus, they are great drinking buddies (Again to make sure that you are paying attention).

7. Fall
I love this time of year. I love the leaves. I love Halloween. I love football and sweatshirts. I am always in a good mood. Today is the first day of Fall!! Blessings to you all on the Equinox!

8. Barack Obama
I think that he is a great man. I think that he has a great plan for our country. I don't talk about Politics here. Mostly because I don't want to offend conservatives that read my blog. And mostly because my mama taught me to keep my mouth shut if I don't have anything nice to say. So I will just leave it at Obama makes me happy! I was a Clinton supporter so obviously I miss her. But I am behind Obama now 100%.

9. My online friends
I am so lucky to have met my online mama's group. I started a group almost three years ago called the "New Newbies". And we have grown and changed so much. They have been there through our infertility and our loss of Noel. They supported me through my IVF cycle and my pregnancy. And they have taught me a lot. They are mostly AP mamas so it helps to have that support in my life. I also love the Cloth Diapering mamas group. They make me really happy! Because they always have interesting things to say. We agree on basic parenting issues and it helps to have someone to talk to about it.

10. Attachment Parenting
I really feel that following this philosophy of parenting has made me a better mother. Breastfeeding, babywearing, and co-sleeping honestly bring joy to my life.

So there you have it! The 10 things that make me happy! Not nearly as funny as Kathleen's post. :)

I am tagging:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Night Three, teeth, and the Great Imitator

Night three did not go so well. It started off kinda rough. Nathan was really not wanting to go to sleep. Around 11 he finally drifted off. I fell asleep shortly after! That was really great! However, my darling husband decided to sleep with his phone in the room. Well wouldn't you know it, it goes off at 4 freaking AM! The one night that Nathan decides to sleep longer than a 3 hour stretch, I get woken up by something else! Grrrr.... Nathan didn't wake up at this time though. Oh no. He waited until around 5:30 when I had just (kinda) drifted off to sleep after the 4am wake up call. Well after that, I just called it quits. There was no way that I was getting back to sleep. So I have been up since 4am. I'm tired and cranky. I'm sure Brandon is scared to come home. LOL!

In other news, Nathan is teething! Fun, fun! I noticed a tiny bit of tooth poking through last week. Well I peek in there today and see that his molars are coming in! They look downright painful.

He is still being a cutie pie though. He has turned into the Great Imitator! He loves to imitate Mama and Daddy. The other day, we saw that he had the can of moouse (for hair). He shook it up, tipped it over, pretended to get some mousse on his hand, put the can back down, rubbed his hands together, and put his hands into his hair! It was the cutest thing. He knows exactly what product goes with what. He will take the contact solution bottle and pretend to put it in the contact case. He is hilarious.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Night Two

Night two went awesome!! I can't believe how well it went. :) It took me about 1.5 hours to fall asleep. Not too bad! I focused on my breathing again and don't really remember falling asleep! That is a good sign for me. Nathan did a little better last night. He was up at 2:30, 4:30, and 6:30. He woke up at 9:00! Mama got to sleep in! I felt really great getting up. Didn't have a headache and was able to bounce right out of bed.

Thanks for being so supportive!! It really means a lot! I am sure that there will be bad times and good times with this but it helps to know that I have done it! Feels really good. Can't wait to tell Brandon when he calls at lunch.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Night One

Well I did it! My first night without meds!

Granted it wasn't a great night by any means. I was extremely nervous going to bed. Very jittery and wired. So I knew that it would take awhile to fall asleep. The dark room really seemed to help though. I was asleep within 2 hours. Big improvement from 4-5 hours! I really just tried to concentrate on my breathing. 5 seconds inhale, 5 seconds exhale. That really seemed to help. Nathan woke up a lot last night though. He was up at 3:30, 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30. It's ok though. I didn't expect miracles. :)

But I did it. And that is what counts. I couldn't have done it without Brandon though. He came up to me last night and said "I really admire you for doing this." That made it much easier on me. Thanks honey!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Insomnia (New info in bold....)

Yes, I have it. I have decided to stop living with it though. I just can't do it anymore. I need to sleep and I need to have healthy sleep habits. I don't right now. So sit tight, you are going to learn far too much about me. Note: This will be a long post. And I thank you in advance for reading my thoughts.

I have struggled with insomnia for many, many, many years. I really don't remember exactly when my sleep issues started. Probably sometime in early infancy. But from what I can remember, I have always been a person that literally CANNOT fall asleep. I remember being around 8-9 and seeing a scary movie at a slumber party. I was literally scared out of my mind and refused to fall asleep. I slept on the floor of parents bedroom for weeks and weeks. I had to see a therapist because my sleep issues were out of control. I remember going to the therapist and talking about what I was afraid of when I was falling asleep. I remember telling her that I was afraid of fire and people breaking into the house and dying in my sleep. I remember saying that I was up all night thinking about school and people and everything. I don't really remember ever being "cured". I just remember not going anymore and sleeping in my own room again.

My sleep issues never went away. I remember in high school, lying awake until 3 or 4 in the morning because I was just thinking. My brain started to actually hurt from all the thinking. So I started to watch late night television to try to concentrate on something other than my own thoughts.

Fast forward to college, when I got my first symptoms of interstitial cystitis. I was up in the bathroom probably every 20 minutes or so. And it wasn't easy to get sleep when the bathroom was a trek down the hallway. You know that pain you feel when your bladder is so full that you are about to burst? I feel that every minute of every day. My freshman year was really hard to deal with. I related my bladder issues to the fact that it was a nervous habit because of my insomnia.

A year or so later, I remember taking benadryl every night to fall asleep. I was so dependent on it. I couldn't sleep without it.

When I met Brandon, I was finally diagnosed with IC. And we made every effort to try to treat it. There is no cure for IC so we were kind of lost. Benadryl seemed to help. However at this point I was taking double the recommended dose because I had built up a tolerance to it (I am not proud of this). Because of the excess benadryl, I was also having to take Tylenol everyday because I woke up with a headache.

Over time (I have no idea exactly how) I gradually stopped taking it. I think because we were trying to get pregnant and I didn't want any baby to be getting that kind of medication. I was still up a lot and it still took hours to fall asleep. But it was different because I was thinking of the proverbial baby.

When I got pregnant with Nathan, my IC went into a remission period. It was great. I was still getting up several times a night but nothing like every 20 minutes. It was really nice. Every once and awhile I would have horrible nights but overall I was doing better.

Fast forward to Nathan arriving (yay!) and add a wakeful newborn to my IC and insomnia. It wasn't a pretty picture. It was taking me hours to fall asleep in the first place. I was having to sneak out of bed every hour or so to go to the bathroom. After every nighttime feeding, I was awake again for hours at a time trying to fall back asleep. It was a nightmare. I began to become resentful of Brandon. He was able to fall asleep in 5 minutes and slept straight through the night. This was a source of fighting in our marriage. I felt so alone at night. Alone with my thoughts.

When Nathan was around 9 months old or so, I decided that I couldn't take it anymore. I researched and found out that Ambien was safe to take while breastfeeding. So I made an appointment and got on Ambien. It was so much better. All of a sudden, I was sleeping soundly but still waking up to tend to Nathan. I was able to fall asleep quickly after every nightwaking and I was becoming less angry with Brandon. It was like a miracle or something.

After months and months on Ambien, I found out that there was no way that I could sleep without it. If I didn't have it, there was no sleep for me that night. When my bottle would run empty and I didn't make it to the drugstore I was frantic. I resorted to an old standby, Benadryl. I knew that it was also safe to take during pregnancy but it was really not as good as Ambien. I would still lie awake for hours and wake up with a headache.

So moving forward to a couple nights ago, I went to refill my script for Ambien and discovered that I was out of refills. I took this as a sign. I needed to stop. I needed to stop being so dependent on something to fall asleep. So I gave it a try. At 3 am, I decided that I needed to sleep so I took a Benadryl. Two hours later, I was alseep. Between waking up to pee, Nathan wanting to nurse, and an early morning waking, I got three hours of sleep.

The next night (last night) was more of the same. I tried to go without the Ambien and ended up taking a Benadryl. Awake still at 3 am, I realized that I really have a problem. My mind just kept going. I would thinking about Nathan and about what I would do if something ever happened to him. I would think about circumcision and how wrong it is and how stupid I was. Then I start berating myself and yelling at myself. It just kept going. My mind just didn't stop.

Around 4am, I made a pact with myself. This ends now. I can't mentally or physically handle this anymore. Today is a new day and I am going to try to end the cycle of insomnia. I am going to be looking for more natural ways to help myself. Any thoughts would be most helpful. I am done putting chemicals in my body that dictate when I sleep. I had to type this all out because I needed to be held accountable for this.

Thanks for reading. I am not proud of where I am right now. I know that it sounds bad. But the good thing is that I am working on change.

After I wrote this, I posted about my stuggles on Mothering. I got several responses of support and ideas for my problem. I am going to try the following:

1. Turning off the nightlight and getting some darker curtains. I have kept the nightlight on since Nathan was born so that I could see him and help him latch on at night. Well, I don't really think this is needed anymore. He normally does just fine on his own.

2. Start taking a Magnesium supplement. Several have said that it really helps them.

3. Eating 2 tablespoons of honey per night. According to the Hibernation diet.

I figure, it can't hurt to try! :)

Thanks also, to Mandy for suggesting Melatonin. I looked into that, but like you said, it isn't safe for nursing. Thanks so much though for taking the time to read and post. Means a lot!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Well, another cycle has begun. Our 8th cycle. I am feeling...well, I don't even know what I am feeling. It's sad. Mostly because this cycle was picture perfect. I had a perfect 28 day cycle, ovulating on day 14. Perfect timing of attempts. And yet here I sit. With cramps and my diva cup.

When this happens, I try to focus on the fact that IVF is in our future. We have decided that we would rather just save our money for our IVF cycle than attempt any IUIs. Which sucks, but it is what we have to do. We are 1/10th of the way there on saving, but it will be awhile.

I am really trying to focus on the fact that the more time it takes to get pregnant is more time that I have to be alone with Nathan. He will be a nice age whenever a sibling arrives. He will be able to be a little more patient and a little more self-sufficient. I won't (hopefully) need to tandem nurse and I will be able to spend a little more time with a newborn.

It will be ok. I need some chocolate.

Thanks for supporting us in this journey.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Letter to my 16 month old boy...

Dear Nathan,

September has arrived! The days are slowly getting cooler and the nights are too. Today you are 16 months old!

You are growing and changing each day. It seems like you learn something new all the time. You love to climb on things now! You can climb on the couch, the fireplace, the bathtub, and the swingset. You love climbing on the ladder and the slide out in the backyard. You look so proud of yourself. Mama and Daddy are proud of you too! You have learned to point at what you want. It is adorable. You are showing us what would make you happy now. You love to grab our hands and lead us around the house. You most often lead us to the back door! You want to go outside and play. It is really cute. We are trying to encourage you to use words but you just aren't ready for that yet. You have become a picky eater. You have this thing about eating more than one food at a meal. Whatever you start off eating is what you want. You throw everything else on the floor. It can get pretty messy around here! Speaking of messy, you have become so helpful around the house! You love to clean. You think that the Swiffer is the greatest thing ever. You love to dust too! Mama gives you a dusting towel and you go to town! You may be wondering (when you see pictures of yourself later) why your hair is so long. Everyone keeps telling Mama to cut your hair. But I just can't bring myself to do it. Your hair is so soft and it has the cutest curls at the ends. I don't want to take it away from you. So we are leaving it long for now. I see other toddlers with short haircuts and I think it makes them look so much older. You are still Mama's baby and we are going to keep it that way for awhile.

As another season begins, I realize that the time just flies by. I can't believe that summer is almost over. We have had a great time, you and me. I can't imagine spending my days any other way. You are my best buddy and I love you so much. My heart just can't contain itself.



Monday, September 8, 2008

Some new pictures of my sweetie...

Some pictures in front of our pretty flowers. This is such a cute picture of him! :)
Yes, my child does run around in a cloth diaper a lot. It is way too hot outside for clothes. LOL!
He doesn't really understand why I am snapping pictures like a crazy woman.
So adorable.

Nathan and Daddy. He loves the laptop. Brandon has convinced himself that Nathan will be a computer genius. :)
Look at this!

Hey mom! Get in your chair!
Already loves to read...just like his mama. Goodnight Moon.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Yes we are!

Still nursing that is!!! I get asked all the time. "Are you still nursing?!" "When do you plan on stopping?!" "I knew of one child who nursed until he was 5, please tell me you aren't doing that."

Well, step right up folks and grab a comfy seat. We are going to talk about breastfeeding and why it is so great to continue nursing into the toddler years.

So I thought I would break it down for you. The benefits of nursing a toddler:

1.) It is natural to me. There are no rules that state you MUST wean on your child's first birthday. Was I supposed to tell Nathan at midnight on his first birthday that he is too old for mama's milk? That line of thinking is insane to me. The need for breastmilk doesn't have a time stamp on it. In fact, the natural age of human weaning is between 2 and 7 years. This is just plain biology folks.

2.) Because it is purely convenient! I see toddlers having tantrums/ meltdowns/ bumps/ bruises/ fear issues all the time. How wonderful it is to know that if any of these comes up, Nathan can be calmed by nursing. It centers him. Allows him to feel connected to me in this crazy world. He is much more secure than other children his age. And this leads to me discuss the fact that toddlers who are nursing are thought of to be "dependant" and that mothers need to wean to make them independent. Nursing DOES NOT equal dependence. Nursing is a way for Nathan to be with me. To get nutrition and love from his mother. This doesn't mean that he isn't free to explore the world around him. Dr. Sears (a highly respected physician and attachment parenting guru) states "Contrary to the popular belief that extended attachment hinders independence, we notice that babies who are not prematurely rushed through any attachment stage and weaned before their time actually become more independent." Dr. Jack Newman agrees. He argues that a child who is allowed to wean on his own time is "more independent and more secure".

3.) He is so healthy. I provide him with antibodies and immunity every single day. In fact, Dr. Jack Newman states that "Some immune factors in breastmilk which protect the baby against infection are present in greater amounts in the second year of life than in the first." And it is a proven fact that children weaned before the age of two are at an increased rate of illness! (American Academy of Pediatrics)

4.) Nursing into toddlerhood promotes healthy brain development. Extensive research has found that breastfed babies in general have higher IQ scores and do better in school. The greatest gains occur in those children breastfed the longest.

5. ) There is no better food out there. Toddlers are picky eaters. Sometimes they don't get the nutrition that they need. The beauty of breastmilk is that I know that he is getting enough vitamins, protein, and fat in his diet. In fact, mothers who have been lactating for longer than one year has significantly increased fat and energy components in their milk.
448 ml of breastmilk provides: (Source Dewey 2001)
29% energy requirements
43% Protein requirements
36% Calcium requirements
75% Vitamin A requirements
94% Vitamin B requirements
60% Vitamin C requirements

6.) Healthier for me as well. My risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis keeps going down the longer I nurse. Plus, it burns calories!

So there you have it friends. THIS is why I am still nursing. And not to mention the fact that I really do love it. Thanks for reading!

--So, no, I don't plan on weaning anytime soon. ;)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Our new home

The front view. I love the porch. And you can't see it but our red door is so cool! It matches the shutters.
Entryway. I have turned this into such a nice, little reading area. The bookcase is so great because it holds all our favorite books and family pictures. The walls are a little bare because I am still deciding what I want up there.
Our kitchen. I love the floors. They are so easy to clean and to maintain. Eventually we want new countertops and cabinets but I think it looks nice in there now. We also want a new fridge.
Longer view of the kitchen and how it flows into the living room. The door you see on the right is our doors that lead to the backyard. I love how open the space is here.

The office. I couldn't get the other wall in the picture but it contains a bookcase for the rest of our books and our bill center. This space really works well for us because it is right off the living room. .

Our living area. I love this area of the house. I love the armoire and how it hides our TV so that it isn't the center of the room. I also love our two brown storage containers (for Nathan's toys) and how they match the brown accent wall.
Close up of the fireplace. That statue was bought in Hawaii on our honeymoon. It is very significant to both of us.

The laundry room. Brandon painted this room! It turned out great. I love the color. It is so peaceful in there. It is really organized in there now too. The cabinet on the right contains our ironing board.

Our bedroom. The other wall just contains a dresser. I love the high ceilings in here. It opens up the space nicely.
Nathan's room. I love the painting in this room! It really makes me happy to walk in here. Notice that Nathan's bed is in our room. But there is plenty of space for it in here when we are done co-sleeping.
The other side of Nathan's room. My nursing corner and reading area. My aunt painted the artwork on the right side of the wall. Can't see all of it but it matches the room perfectly.
Our spare bedroom. This is the same paint that the previous owners had up. When we have our second baby this will be his/ her room. We will decide what to paint it then. For now, the room holds the dog's crate and my scrapbooking area.

Our backyard. One of the best aspects of the house. This area of the backyard is surrounded by a privacy fence with a opening on both sides. It is really nice to have this quiet, private area. Out of this picture is my porch swing. I love sitting out here.
Some of the pretty flowers in the backyard. I took some great pictures of Nathan next to these today. I will post them later in the week.
The other side of the backyard. The rest of the yard is fenced in as well. This area is so nice. Nathan loves the little red swing and the slide.
We also do have bathrooms in the house, but those are pretty standard. :)
So there it is! This is our home!! We really love it here. It is amazing to walk through the door of your very own house. I feel so at peace here. The space is so clean and organized (I did a major decluttering before we moved and I feel amazing about that). The garage is spacious as well. Basically everything about this house is perfect. It is truly our home, sweet, home!