Link Love

Uh oh… here’s a Link Love that I never published! I had to edit my text a little bit because I talked about after the baby comes haha…

The World & The Future

There have been so many tragedies in the news lately… Last summer a guy open fired inside a theater during The Dark Knight Rises, a few months ago was the big shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, and yesterday multiple bombs were detonated during the Boston Marathon. And these were only a few of the big domestic tragedies… the world is full of violence and sickness. These types of thing happen every day, all over the globe. It is truly devastating!

Now that I am a mother, I view these things in a whole new light. I remember when I was much younger I heard about Columbine and 9/11, but I had a lot of difficulty processing the news and relating all of the victims to myself and the people I knew. Now I relate everything to my child. I can’t imagine my own devastation if Audrey was caught in the crossfires, or hurt in a terrorist attack. I am distraught for all of the parents who have seen their child suffer or have experienced the loss of their child…

My hope is that Audrey will be a force for good in the world. I have always wanted to make the world a better place, and I hope she does too. I feel like not many parents emphasize the value of goodness and selflessness. Not that success, athleticism, creativity and intelligence are bad at all! But what if you can encourage your children to succeed at improving the lives of those less fortunate? To run for a cause? To create art, music or theater in order to make the world a more beautiful and interesting place? To learn more so they’ll have the tools to do their best for the world?

Every child has different interests and capabilities, but I firmly believe that no matter what you do, you can do it with goodness in your heart and inspire others to do good as well.

Even just simple things make the world a better place… I can’t tell you how incredibly proud I was when my sister posted this video (Sorry, Liz- I had to rip this off your FB wall!) of her daughter’s Christmas wish:

Honor’s Wish

Maybe if we can raise a few more children with awareness and compassion, they can be beacons of positivity for those who are intent on burning the world.

Adjusting to a New Routine

If last week I was sticking my toes in the water of going back to work, this week I am doing a cannonball.

On Sunday Audrey got a runny nose, and was coughing a little bit because of the post-nasal drip. Being a light sleeper is a blessing and a curse… I had to keep her at a little bit of an angle while she slept, and her sniffles and my own awkward positioning basically meant I got no sleep. On Monday I felt so exhausted I wanted to cry! No more sleeping in until all hours snuggling with my little girl!

Then on Monday I was working on a project that HAD TO BE DONE BY 3PM TODAY, while simultaneously running around shooting photos of an event taking place at our office all morning. I, of course, dipped out for an hour to feed Audrey, and then she has to be picked up before 6pm. When I got there to pick her up, her caretaker told me that she had refused to eat all afternoon, and she was really hungry. I fed her before packing her up and bringing her with me to the office to get a little more of the videos done so I could feel confident in hitting my deadline (Yes, I made it!).

I fed her as much as she wanted all evening, and we were both pretty exhausted. Unfortunately when we tried to get to bed around 9:30, Audrey got herself in a bad mood. Since her first couple weeks, she hasn’t normally been a big crier and she is perfectly happy in the evenings until she conks out. Last night was different though. I am thinking it was the stress of going to day care again and not eating much (I think she was a little dehydrated, her pee was a lot darker than usual) and just being really tired, but she just screamed. The only thing able to calm her down was Luke’s big arms, but as soon as he tried to lay down she would start crying again!

After quite a bit of frustration (which we didn’t want Audrey to see, lest she get even more upset) we finally got her to sleep at about 11:30, and this morning it all started again (the routine, not the screaming, thank God!). I am feeding her as much as she will eat when I drop Audrey off at day care in the morning, and again at lunch… hopefully she’ll start accepting the bottle one of these days!

I know it’s only her third day at day care today, and her caretakers said it usually takes babies a couple weeks to get fully acclimated. When it comes to eating and sleeping, she is just a very attached baby! She likes to eat from the boob and sleep in someone’s arms. At the same time, she is very social, loves being around lots of people, and has a smile ready for everyone!

Link Love

  1. Parenting and technology… Crying babies are given pacifiers, at home kids are sat in front of a TV to distract them, and in public, many parents give their kids phones or iPads to play with. What ever happened to old-fashioned connection to soothe whiny kids?
  2. We all know that food can do many things to your body, but now a new study shows that fast food lowers children’s IQs!
  3. Interested in the primal/paleo way of eating, but reading a lot of conflicting philosophies? Robb Wolf lays out the “7 Shades of Paleo” here- the many different approaches people take to the diet/lifestyle! I am a combination between Primal and 80/20 – I do dairy very well and feel better with than without, so I include high-quality dairy as a part of my regular diet and that puts me more in the Primal camp. I also eat things here and there which are not even close to Paleo, but I figure it’s okay as long as I am eating well the majority of the time! This keeps the whole diet much less stressful.
  4. 8 Ways to determine your baby’s position in the womb! I’ve been curious about this for a while… I’ve been pretty sure that the baby is head-down for a while now by what my midwife said and the way it wedges itself into my pelvis sometimes while still kicking elsewhere. I just had what was very clearly a foot sticking out right under my rib (a common spot for this baby to kick) so I believe that the baby is in the anterior position. I also think this because my belly is nice and round sticking out. I think the baby turns side-to-side regularly, but never really turns around fully or flips upside-down anymore.
  5. This is pretty amazing and super informative… comprehensive timeline of the breastfed baby!

FEARS: TV Influence on Teens

I am saying all of this as a generation x/y-er. I was a teenager less than ten years ago… I get it. I get being young, and having people think that you are too young to understand love and sex and feelings, and everything that seems so overwhelming to you when you are in high school. I went through college, through my first relationship, my first kiss, drinking, (light innocent) drugs, college, stress, relationships, sex, frienemies, breaking and entering… been there, done that. I have also graduated from that phase. I have a great job with benefits, a husband, pets, a nutrition and cooking hobby, a mortgage, and within a year from now, a baby. I can really understand both sides.

I never watched much TV. When I was younger I watched Saved by the Bell, Dawson’s Creek, Charmed, the X-Files… things seemed pretty innocent when I was young. Are those shows so old already?! How times have changed… I just watched the first seven minutes of the first episode of the Vampire Diaries, and there was already both sex and drugs. Yes, those are both things that exist and that teenagers are aware of, but my problem is this… pop media makes it seem as if these things are the norm and passé for ninth graders. Are kids who haven’t even had relationships yet really that jaded?!

I am only 26 years old right now, and I remember my teen years vividly. I had my first kiss (that wasn’t in a game of truth-or-dare) when I was 16. I know that I had classmates who started all this stuff much earlier than I did, but did they really follow adult scripts in middle school? I hate to be that awful old grown-up, but the idea that these kinds of shows represent the average kid nowadays frightens me. What will it be like in 15 years, when my children are in high school? It’s almost enough to make me want to home school…

I don’t want schools promoting religion or weird morals, anything like that… I just don’t want kids to feel pressured to act like adults. The amazing thing about being young is that you have time to explore your own personality and figure out who you are… and to entertain crushes. To have the joy and anticipation that you only get when you like someone, and are afraid to do anything about it. It doesn’t have to turn into a relationship- kids can move from one crush to another without a qualm.

When you grow up and turn it into something real – make it about sex – then you lose the freedom to explore and enjoy all those hormones and feelings. I never thought about this until I looked through the eyes of a parent. I hate the idea that my kids would see these things and think that they have to be studs or sluts to get along. Not that they have to be prudes either, but the media and social pressure seems to dictate that people be straight, normal, followers, loose (but not too loose, lest ye be called a slut), or whatever role the particular society you live in thinks is the coolest.

I fear that my kids will be followers.

Most parents hope that their kids end up like them in a way, and I hope that my kids will be like me! In no way followers, but hopefully more confident than I was when I was their age.

Come to think of it, it’s amazing how insecure we all are when we are young. Well, maybe not everyone, but I certainly was. As an adult I still have some insecurities, but I am probably one of the most confident women that I know. I probably sound completely arrogant, I know. It’s not because I think I am awesome, though.

The summer before I left for college that I heard the phrase, “Fake it ’til you make it.” I lived by that for a while. I pretended like I was a popular girl during Freshman orientation. Hey! Nobody knew me- they had no idea that I was a completely average, forgettable, slightly nerdy girl. I just smiled and acted outgoing and friendly towards everyone. At the end of the weekend I had forgotten most names because I had met so many people, but everyone seemed to remember my name and think I was pretty cool.

I learned the key. My goal from then on was to find a balance. Be nice and friendly, and don’t care what people think! But also, listen and form a bond with people, so that you can actually remember who people are and the details about them, that make them unique. I have not mastered this – maybe it is a lack of Omega-3 or a slight case of ADHD – but my memory is not the best when it comes to names and facts about people I meet. The thing that I definitely have mastered, though, is the ability to be me. Honest and real, no matter who I am around. It can actually be a flaw in certain situations (“Brutally honest,” as I have been told from friends, and “You can’t be so open with the way you feel!” in job reviews).

There are many adults who strive for popularity still, when they may be happier if they could just relax into their skin and let themselves shine through. We all know someone who is awesome… but when they are in a group, around their co-workers, around their crush, perhaps- they try to be something else. It’s like being a teenager all over again. You don’t know who you are, so you try to be what you think other people expect or want you to be.

Followers, pretenders, fakers, lambs, lemmings, wannabes… so many words, and so many actions that kids will do in an attempt to fit in. I am afraid of the culture, and hope I can give my children the confidence they need to conquer it.

FEARS: Parenthood

With my “deadline” drawing near, I am trying to figure out what I am the most afraid of because after all, once I am pregnant there’s nothing I can do and I can’t have my wine to relax anymore!

I sat down with Luke and we discussed it a bit… Like I mentioned before, I am afraid of certain life changes and not being able to do what I want anymore. I think it might come down to a fear of parenthood… of being responsible for another life. I am a fairly responsible person, but if I screw up then I am the only person that is hurt. When I become a mother, I have a whole new host of responsibilities, and they all influence the way my child grows up. Like any other parent, I will want the best life possible for my child… a loving family, a good education, good food, etcetera, but I also want to instill in them a sense of humility, thankfulness and respect. I want them to appreciate what a good life they have and want to make the world a better place. To be all the best things that make up Luke and me- without our worst flaws.

I am in no way a perfectionist, but I think that when it comes to parenthood, I am putting pressure on myself to be the perfect parent. I realize right now that it has already started and I’m not even pregnant yet. I’ve already read books and watched videos about pregnancy and birthing to be prepared. I am planning my pregnancy diet to be as healthy as possible for my growing fetus. I am planning a natural drug-free birth because it can benefit a baby in so many ways. I’ve even started researching co-sleeper cribs and planning in my head what we will do when the baby arrives.

All this planning, and I am still scared that I am too selfish to be a good mother, and that I will resent my child because of the change it brings to my life. What if I don’t feel connected to my baby? I have no idea how I will change throughout pregnancy. I know there are all kinds of hormones and that mothers react in all different ways when they first meet their baby… what if I am a bad mom?