Friday, April 29, 2011

100 Days of Reading Book Challenge

Since I had to read A LOT for my classes this semester you would think the last thing I would want to do over the summer break is read, right?  Call me a masochist, but I'm ready to read more!  The books were class were, well, books for class.  I had no say-so in what was picked and a majority of the books were really of no interest to me.  I've been trying to do pleasurable reading all semester whenever I have time, but what little time I had between caring for a baby, course work, keeping up on the house, mountainous piles of laundry, etc etc the time I could devote to reading wasn't much.  Which has lead me to create a challenge.  Starting May 1 and ending August 1, which is 100 days, I am going to devote at least one hour everyday to reading a book.  This excludes magazines, newspapers, online reading of blogs and the like, and all books that I read to Harper.  I will post on here each book I begin reading and my reactions to it.  One other condition I have is: once a book is began I can't stop reading it no matter how bad/difficult/weird it is.  Every challenge has to have its obstacles, right?  I know there aren't many people that read this blog, but if there is anyone that wants to join this challenge, let me know in the comments!  If you do decide to join the challenge and have a blog, you are more than welcome to link back to this site to let more people know about it!  I'm all about getting people to read!  Or if you have a suggestion for a book that I should read, please tell me!  I'm horrible with keeping up with titles.  Since May 1 is on Sunday and I usually don't post on the weekend I will use today to say that I'm going to start reading Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.  I am a self-proclaimed Austen fan, yet I have read Sense and Sensibility when I was a teenager and I'm not even sure that I finished it.  *blush*  But anyway, now that I have declared this challenge and my first book, I am not backing down!  Here's to a fun and exciting challenge!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Do You Do With An Hour of Sunshine?

Play outside with sidewalk chalk, of course!  Harper and I took advantage of momentary sun yesterday.  It's been raining almost non-stop for I don't know how long.  And while I realize the rain is good for nature, the constant gloom is getting to me.  We're ready to be outdoors all the time!  I'm so over playing indoors and I can tell Harper is over it, too.  She's definitely an out-of-doors kind of girl.  We ended up having a good time, though much shorter than I had hoped.  But at least it was something, right?

Check It Out!

Harper's hit the big time!  Check out Nicole Faire's website and see the book Harper couldn't put down! (You might have to scroll down a bit to see the picture).  Nicole is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading, an amazingly informative book on living more sustainably and independently.  While you're there, check out their videos and look around at some of her postings.  She has some really interesting articles and information throughout her site, not to mention they're videoing their move into their bus-home!  So cool!  (P.S. I'm in no way affiliated with Nicole Faires.  I'm just a fan and hoping to spread the word of her book, which I'm hoping will inspire more people to learn/live more sustainably!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Harper Walking

Don't mind what I'm saying during the video, just watch the cuteness!  She just started doing this on her own today!  I'm one proud momma!

Easter Then and Now

On Easter Day last year, Harper was just 5 days old and was still in the NICU.  I don't even think we realized it was Easter then!  The March of Dimes came around and gave all the babies baskets, though I do remember that.  This was little, tiny baby Harper last year:

 And this is my not-so-baby-anymore 

Such a big difference a year makes!  Yesterday was a wonderful day filled with baskets, candies, delicious food, and family time.  Somehow we didn't manage to color the eggs we boiled, but I don't think Harper minded.  It was a rainy, gloomy day anyway so we're shooting for next year.
Hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day to everyone!  We're celebrating with cloudy skies and strong storms on their way today!  Originally I had grand plans of being outside all day, prior to seeing the forecast, so we're going to be inside pretty much all day.  But that's okay because we know that rain means that things will make everything grow!  And pretty soon we'll be getting produce from our CSA!  Can't wait!

And now for some pictures!  These are pictures of Harper opening her Easter basket early from Grandpa and Grandma Lockerby and Aunt Sarah.  Harper, Wade, and I send a big thank you to all of you!

 Hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sleep These Days

She's no longer night weaned.  In fact, her nursing at night has increased dramatically.  She's been teething and on the verge of walking.  She's saying all kinds of words and understanding things we didn't know a one year-old could.  Perhaps it's these things that keep her up at night.  I know when my mind is full of things it's difficult for me to sleep.  Thankfully, I don't need a boob every hour to help me go back to sleep.
For almost the past three weeks it's been not-so-good.  She's eating like a newborn again.  And some days it's round the clock.  Honestly, there were some days where I dreaded hearing her ask for milk.  "Tisk, tisk" is what she says and I could feel my boobs wince in pain.  Yes, I am being serious.  They hurt so very, very much.  But there was no way of consoling her at night other than nursing.
Let me tell you, it's affected our sleeping tremendously.  I don't think either of us has had any deep sleep for a long time.  Our nights have been something like: sleep for an hour, wake up crying/wake up to her crying, find binkie/refuse binkie, "tisk, tisk, tisk!", nurse, repeat cycle.  And Harper has been going to bed between 9 and 10, some nights as early as 830.  I've been placing her in her room in her crib so that most of the noise of the house is blocked.  One night she slept for 5 straight hours in there.
That was a fluke.
She averages 30 minutes to 2 hours in there.  Enough time for me to relax, or clean up something, do some laundry, talk to Wade, and get ready for bed.  If she wakes, I try not to nurse her unless she's upset and won't resume sleeping any other way.
After about a week of her constant night waking/night nursing I was (I hate to admit it!) ready for her to be weaned.  We are opposed to her crying-it-out so that was never an option.  I was just done.  On top of being exhausted, having sore/swollen/ridiculously tender breasts, I have been feeling just a wee bit guilty.  I have felt guilt for thinking nursing is a chore.  For dreading our nursing sessions.  For trying to distract her for just five minutes more so she will stop asking for milk.  For selfishly wanting her to wean so we could sleep for maybe a few straight hours.  For losing my patience with her more than once.  I have felt like a terrible Momma daily.
I know this won't last forever.  I know there are phases and cycles she must go through and that I must endure.  I know I am hard on myself for everything everyday and that I must try to be nicer to myself.  Afterall, I am only human, right?  And while having her latch on or having a let down is super painful right now and I don't look down at her and relish the moment, I have so very many other moments throughout the day to look at her, to kiss her, to hold her, to play with her, to tell her just how much I love her.  And if that's all I can do on just a few hours sleep, well then, I think I'm doing pretty darn well.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Climbing Stage

Yep.  Harper's in the climbing-on-everything-every-minute-of-everyday-stage.  Some times it's cute and I'm amazed at her abilities.  Other times, like when she wants the laptop or to pull every item off the end table, it's not quite so cute.  I keep a very watchful eye on her while she climbing on the couch, footstool, chair, or any other object in her way and I've done a pretty darn good job of it.  Minus yesterday when she was climbing on the loveseat and didn't quite have a grip while climbing on a pillow and just kept sliding down.  Oops.  No tears or look of fear in her eyes and thankfully I caught her before she hit the floor.  She just got back up and kept climbing.

 All that work just for a phone.  She'll be using it before she can walk, I swear!  But my oh my, how time flies!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nature and Backyard Laundry

Springtime in Indiana in precarious.  One day it'll be sunny, warm, and just about perfect.  But you know not to get used to it because the next day it's cold, rainy, and windy.  We've been trying to take advantage of the beautiful days around here.  There's been a lot of weed pulling, flower bed cleaning, grass mowing, playing, and grilling.  I especially love these days when I can put laundry on the line and watch Harper crawl around pulling little flowers and giggling at the dogs.

 Days like these are promising.  There will soon be more of them than rainy, cold ones and we will venture into nature beyond our backyard.  These spring days fill me with such pleasure and peace that far surpasses any other season.  Yes, spring is my most favorite time of all.

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In the Morning

This part of our morning session went like this:
"Harper, please don't touch the camera."
"Harper, there's a duck on your shirt!"
"Harper, where's the duck?"
"Harper, did you find the duck?"
"Good job, Harper!"

Mornings are so much fun and so ridiculously cute. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

And We're Back! (Warning: Picture Overload)

After a mini-blog hiatus, we're back.  Flu-bug, teething, and my dreaded class presentation are O-V-E-R.  Amen!

How about some pictures, shall we?

So I might have only taken pictures once in the past week, but please believe me when I say it's been a pretty hellacious week.  I'm sure you'll all forgive me this once, right?  I couldn't get enough pictures of her, though, playing on her new swingset (a BIG thanks to Gramie and Grampie!).  It was a gorgeous day and we spent a lot of it outside.  Yes, it is finally starting to look like spring and feel like spring.  And that makes us all very happy

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Apologies

The flu bug and teething bug has hit our home hard over the past two days.  I apologize for no updates.  I hope to be back tomorrow with something good to say!  I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Night Weaning

As some of you may know, we have a family bed, which means Harper sleeps somewhere nestled up against Momma or Daddy in our bed.  We've been doing this since she was just a couple of weeks old after screaming from colic for hours and hours would only sleep laying on me.

I have been breastfeeding Harper for over a year now (minus those times when she was in the NICU and I wasn't there, ergo formula supplement).  I have always nursed on demand, for comfort, for sleeping, for whatever reason that she needed milk.  I am all for baby-led weaning.  Or at least I am for the day time.

This whole nursing-at-night-sleeping-with-us has been more of the nursing and less of the sleeping as of late.  Harper does use a pacifier (which we call a binkie) and if she loses it in the middle of the night she tends to wake up searching.  And searching and searching.  Until she wakes herself up and me (possibly even Daddy) and wants to be nursed back to sleep.  My boobs have been so sore for the past couple of weeks it's ridiculous.  I thought maybe she was teething or sick or was missing out on cuddle-time during the day.  I thought perhaps she was on the verge of a major milestone, like walking, and that was keeping her up.  After a few weeks (months?) of this I decided to look up night weaning.

Let me just say that the results, so far, have been fabulous.  

Since starting this night weaning during the past week, Harper has gone from waking at least 4 times a night wanting to nurse, to once a night (I did not nurse her when she woke, just soothed her and give her her binkie, even held her and sang until she fell asleep), to sleeping for 7 hours straight.  Granted, she woke up once during that 7 hour period looking for her binkie, but I quickly gave it back to her and she went back to sleep for another 2 hours.  I could not tell you the last time I got to sleep for more than 3 consecutive hours.  Rejuvenating, I tell you!

Basically, we have a set bed time routine: bath time (which includes warm water and lots of splashing), getting a new diaper and jammies on, reading a book (so far I've read the same one every night - Rainbow Fish - and I literally know it by heart, word for word), snuggling up on me, wrapped in a blankie, while I rock and sing her to sleep.  I then lay her down in her crib so I can get myself ready for bed and do any extra things around the house before she "wakes up" and I bring her to bed with us.  May not be the ideal situation, but it has worked wonders for us.  Did I just jinx myself???  Even if she were to get 5-6 hours straight of sleep a few nights a week I think I would see an improvement in myself.  Oh, and that's another thing!  Harper has been less whiney, less tempermental since starting this.  Fluke?  Possibly.  But I'm sticking with it!

I still fully intend on nursing her during the day until she's done.  Gradually she's eating more and more solid foods and drinking from a regular cup.  I still enjoy our nursing sessions, though they are now reserved for the living room.  I don't nurse her while I rock her or right before her nap.  I read that the last thing they remember before falling asleep shouldn't be the breast (or bottle).

So, for any Momma's out there struggling like I was, here's to you!  It will take time and it's not always easy, but what about parenting is?  I just remember that this time is fleeting and we have to make the most of it.  If night weaning will help you enjoy the time you have with your little one even more, go for it!  I hope this might help someone else.  If anyone has any questions, let me know, or if you have any suggestions or stories of your own, share them in the comments!  I'd love to know if this worked and how it worked for other Mommas out there!