Crazy Week

It has been a crazy week over here at Casa Martin-as I think back over everything that has occurred, I’m actually shocked that it has all transpired in the last 4-5 days.

For starters, we have been working very hard for a few years now to be in a position to buy a home and this week we finally decided to take the plunge.   I was really hoping to move this summer, but I thought that we may be starting the process to late to make that happen, because I had always thought that buying a house was a very long, painstaking process. However, we decided on Sunday that we were officially ready to start the process, Wednesday we were preapproved for a mortgage, Thursday we met with our realtor and toured one house, and we have 3 houses to see next Tuesday.  I’m starting to think that if we find the right home quickly, we really could be moving this summer, which makes me very excited, yet overwhelmed by the thought of moving (In full disclosure, I actually dug out our tape gun this afternoon and started packing a few things that I know we won’t need anytime soon).

In other news, Jude had his 9 month appointment on Wednesday and unfortunately I left feeling very frustrated.  Jude is a little guy, and they have given me a hard time about his weight ever since he was born, and this time around the doctor feels that his weight has plateaued and she wants a weight check in one month, with possible bloodwork in the future if he hasn’t gained whatever they determine to be the right amount.  I find this all very frustrating for a few reasons.  First of all, babies that are nursed do not necessarily put on weight as quickly, and my doctor does not seem knowledgeable in the differences.  In fact, she even said that the WHO has a growth chart for breastfed babies that is different, but that they didn’t have one at the office.  Second, I asked her what I could do get him to eat more, because Jude will scream bloody murder if I try and feed him more when he is full.  Her response was that there really is nothing I can do but things like putting more butter on his mashed potatoes.  Having been a very small child that could eat whatever I wanted that became a college student that realized too late that I couldn’t still eat that way, I’m pretty opposed to this thinking (especially since we have never even given Jude butter!)  Not to mention that Jude is currently teething AND has a stuffy nose, neither of which is making eating or nursing one of his top desires at the moment.  For those of you wondering why I haven’t found a new doctor, I should explain that the practice I take Jude to has about 10 physicians, and I’m slowly taking Jude to different ones to find a doctor that is a good fit.  So far, I haven’t been blown away by anyone, but maybe they are fabulous doctors after we are out of the nursing stage….

And as I mentioned above, Jude’s top front teeth are erupting, and he has been one miserable little boy this week.  When his bottom teeth came in a few months ago he had a runny nose, but I do not remember him having a fever, but this time around he had a low-grade fever Tuesday night and Wednesday morning that was a full blown fever Wednesday night and Thursday, that finally broke on Friday.  Today Jude still has a constant runny nose, but the fever is gone.  While these past few days were miserable, I was reminded of how blessed I am that Dustin is my partner in parenthood.  Dustin has way more sick time at this point than I do, and since we hope that more babies are in our future we’re trying not to use all of the sick time I still have, so Dustin stayed home with Jude on Thursday and Friday.  However, to do so, he actually got up at 3:30 so that he could get to work by 5, take care of some responsibilities there, and come back home by 7:45 so that I could leave for work.  Fatherhood has been so natural for Dustin, and he willingly changes diapers, gives bottles, feeds him solids, administers pain meds, take temperatures, and monitors nap times.  He has never once acted like caring for Jude is only my responsibility, and I know without a doubt that Jude loves his daddy!

So that was our crazy week.  I’m hoping for a slightly calmer week, but I have a feeling that life is only going to get crazier while we hunt for a home and get ready to move.  It’s a good thing summer is coming!

9 Months of Nursing

My sweet boy is now 9 months of old, and we are still plugging away in the nursing department.  Nursing at this stage has a few new perks-specifically my son knows what to do!  It is such a far cry from when he was a newborn and it seemed like such a struggle to get in the right position and I had to help him out a lot, not to mention keep him awake to finish eating.  Now he knows what to do and it goes much faster, which is another bonus.  Now that Jude is creeping and almost crawling, I can tell already that he is not going to be a little boy that stays still, so I’m thankful for this time that we have to cuddle.

On the flip side, I am so.tired.of.pumping.  I have decided that I need a support group…something along the lines of “Mothers who want to breastfeed, but have to go to work, and after pumping 3 or 4 times every weekday want to through their Medela breastpump out the window”…or something like that =)  I know that the obvious answer is La Leche League, but unfortunately the only LLL group in my area that has meetings meets at 10 AM during the week which a working mama like myself can not attend.  Believe me, deep down I am so grateful for my pump because without it I would have dried up long ago, and because I pump all week long, I am able to nurse all weekend.  Jude has still not had any formula, and I am still mixing all his cereal with my milk and to make this happen I have had to start pumping once before bed in addition to my morning, lunchtime, and afternoon pumping sessions.  As I mentioned before, I nurse all weekend, but on those days (or a day I have off) I do still pump one time before bed to get enough milk to make his cereal the next day.  There are definitely fluctuations day to day in the amount that I am able to pump, but thankfully I had a supply of milk in the freezer that I have been able to utilize on days that I am short. I am still aiming for that one year mark, and it’s hard to believe that I only have 3 more months of pumping (cue the Hallelujah Chorus!)

I have decided that once I meet the one year mark that I’m no longer going to pump.  I will actually be off work for the summer when he meets this goal, so I plan to keep nursing at least in the morning and before bed, but we will start introducing cow’s milk.

I am overall really pleased with my first nursing experience, but I can’t help but take note of a two things I would like to differently with any other children God blesses me with.  First, I absolutely must teach my child to nurse under a cover! There have been a few times that I really needed to nurse him in public and have instead had the joy of trying to juggle my child and try to be modest as he claws at the cover so that he can see outside!  I also need to stockpile more milk during the first four months.  I discovered that when Jude was about 4 months old I no longer made more milk that what he needed to eat at day care during the day, and I have been pulling from my first four months stockpile every since.

I plan on posting about Easter tomorrow, but since you have read this far, I’m going to share a picture of Jude on Easter morning…isn’t he dreamy???

Happy (almost) Friday!!

 

Compassion

After almost nine months of parenting, I can now say that not all parenting decisions are straight forward, but I do know that I always want to parent with compassion, and I want my son to treat others with compassion.  I recently saw an article on a friend’s board on Pinterest about parenting in a way that is counter-culture, and I saw a lot of good things-not allowing your kids to sit in front of the TV all day, giving them household responsibilities, and living within your means.  I agreed with many of their ideas, but when it came to allowing your kids to suffer the consequences of their behavior and actions, I had to pause and think about it.  I think that in many cases I do agree with this statement.  As a teacher I can say that students whose parents always are willing to bring in forgotten homework, permission slips, or other school supplies (and do so on a regular basis) rarely learn to be more responsible for they know mom or dad will just bring their materials in if they forget them.  It is very easy to say that the student should need to take the zero on the assignment or miss the field trip, but where does compassion come in? I also know that there were many times that my parents rescued me when I had been irresponsible, and I remember being so thankful that they were willing to bail me out.

Right now it is pretty straight forward for me to treat my son with compassion.  I think right now compassion looks like dragging myself out of bed at 5:30 because he’s ready to be awake when I was hoping he would sleep until 6:00.  It is checking often to see if he needs a new diaper, or changing his shirt when his first shirt is soaked with drool so that he can be comfortable.  It is picking him up when he is upset and completing my chores while holding him (even though it takes twice as long).   I know that it will not stay this straight forward.  If I have learned one thing from working with middle school students, it is that preteens/teenagers are not naturally responsible and they are in a stage of life where they are first beginning to feel the pressure of fitting in with the other students, and the seeds of rebellion are first sown.  Kids make bad decisions and their parents must figure out where to go next.

As tomorrow is Easter, I can’t help but think of our Heavenly Father’s response to our sins, and He chose compassion.  Despite our sin-our conscious decisions to do the wrong things time and time again, He made a way for us to spend eternity in His presence.  Jesus died on the cross to pay the price we could never pay, and all that is required is that we accept His gift and spend the rest of our days getting to know the Giver.  Sure, we still suffer consequences for our sin.  When I choose to speak to Dustin with cruelty or disrespect, I have to deal with the strain it brings into our marriage and I have to swallow my pride and apologize, ask for forgiveness and make things right (thankfully I’m married to a man that always treats me with compassion!).  However, it is overwhelming at times that despite these mistakes I am still loved by God and I’m given new opportunities in the future to make the right choices and my old sin is forgotten. finished. paid for.

I don’t think I’ll find an answer to my “where is the line between teaching your children that our actions have consequences and showing them compassion” question.  I think that just like everything in parenting Dustin and I will need to examine each situation as it arises and do our best to make the right decision, but I pray that we never forget to parent with compassion.

Have a blessed Easter Sunday-He is Risen!