Attachment parenting works for us & announcements from API

API buttonAs many of you know, I’m a big advocate of attachment parenting. I’ve seen the benefits of raising my children according to AP principles such as breastfeeding (feeding with love), baby wearing, responsive nighttime parenting, gentle discipline, etc. My husband Jody and I didn’t start out the road to parenting set on AP, it just kind of happened. For us it just feels natural, like we are trusting our instincts.

We’ve seen the way that Ava has blossomed into an almost 4-year-old who is secure, loving, friendly, healthy, imaginative and independent, and we attribute this largely to the way that we raised her. Julian is only 16 months old, but he too is a very happy, healthy, well-adjusted little person. I believe that by meeting our children’s needs when they are little, they have come to learn that they can depend on us and trust us for the long haul. It’s certainly not all been easy nor a bed of roses, but anyone who thinks parenting is convenient is surely mistaken. It is my hope that by building a solid foundation with them when they are young, we are creating a lasting, trust-based relationship that will endure throughout their adolescent years and into adulthood.

I feel fortunate that I have found a support network of like-minded parents here locally through Attachment Parenting International.

Attachment Parenting International (API), a non-profit organization that promotes parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents, has several exciting changes they would like to announce, including:

  • A newly redesigned web site and new logo at Attachment Parenting.org (Check out the photos on the home page – at least one might look familiar to you. It’s Jody and Ava on the right and I also took the first picture in that grouping. A few more of my pictures are scattered around the site. My little claim to fame. hehe.);
  • Attachment parenting worldwide support forums;
  • Parent Education Program – a comprehensive series of classes for every stage and age of child development from infancy through adulthood;
  • A new book based on API’s Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting by API co-founders Lysa Parker and Barbara Nicholson which is expected to be available this summer;
  • A series of podcasts, webinars, chats, and forums with API Advisory Board members and other supporters of AP. Future events are scheduled with Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. James McKenna, and Kathleen Kendall Tacket. Check out the events page for more information.

These are just a few of many exciting things going on at API. I hope you’ll stop by the website and check it out for yourself. Perhaps you’ll find something that resonates with you. 🙂

Getting our green groove on!

Amy’s picHello. 🙂 I’m Amy, also known around the internets as amygeekgrl. Welcome to my groovy green blog party, part of the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom! I’m so glad you stopped by. 🙂 Come in, have a seat and let me offer you something to eat.

Brownies with heart -2/7/08

Oat-nut scone with strawberry jam

Can I tempt you with some homemade granola or perhaps an oat-nut scone topped with strawberry jam or maybe you’re in the mood for a Grilled Panini with Provolone and Basil or a brownie baked with love? I have a fair bit to choose from here, as I enjoy cooking and baking a great deal. 🙂 I just wish I had more time to do more of both.

Me and the kids on New Year’s Eve - 12/31/07Now that you’ve got something to munch on, let me tell you a little bit about myself. First and foremost, I’m a mom. I stay at home with my two amazing children – Ava (3 3/4 years old) and Julian (15 months). My husband Jody and I try to raise them with the philosophy of attachment parenting in mind, though we really just follow our instincts and do what feels right for our family.

I have a lot of passions that I like to write about on my blog. Some of them include home birth (my son was a footling breech and born at home), breastfeeding (I’ve shared my experiences of nursing while pregnant and tandem nursing), and informed healthcare decisions (why we delay/selectively vaccinate). I also write a lot about the environment (picking up trash in our neighborhood, composting, and recycling) and do a weekly Green Tip of the Week column with suggestions to make life a bit more eco-friendly. Some would call me a hippie or granola or crunchy, hence my blog title. 😉

One of my favorite quotes is “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” by Gandhi. I try to live by that philosophy both on my blog and in my life.

I also write about maternal health as a contributing editor on BlogHer, write reviews for Green Mom Finds and will soon be joining the team of Blissfully Domestic as the Eco-Diva.

I like to do giveaways here at Crunchy Domestic Goddess. In the past I’ve given away t-shirts, natural cleaners, reusable bags, books, toys, and even a digital camera. I currently have a giveaway going on right now for a bottle of Shaklee Basic H2 natural cleaner. It’s good stuff! The deadline to enter is March 13. Hope you’ll check it out and enter to win!

In addition to my blog, I also have two online stores – Attached At The Hip, featuring AP advocacy wear and more and home to the I make milk. What’s your superpower? shirt, and Cute As A Bug, featuring cute and original designs for babies, kids and adults. I enjoy photography (and love taking part in Best Shot Monday), reading, and hiking.

green balloonsYa know, this is my kind of party, very environmentally friendly – no paper or plastic waste and little carbon emissions! 🙂 I hope you enjoyed your visit and will come back again.
Please feel free to sign up for my RSS feed or follow me on Twitter (amygeekgrl)! And, of course, be sure to leave me a comment so I can try to come check out your party too. 🙂

Now it’s time for the kids and I to get our party groove on, but feel free to visit the rest of the other party people linked up at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Julian’s got his cape and is ready to party! Ava’s got her cake and is ready to party!

Edited to add: I’ve donated a prize – an I make milk. What’s your superpower? short-sleeved t-shirt – to the Ultimate Blog Party. It is prize #141 on the prize list.

There are so many great prizes to choose from in this year’s Ultimate Blog Party, but my top fvie choices are: Bead Dangle Photo Tile Necklace by Elemental Memories, Marketing for Entrepreneurs by Lis Garrett, Burt’s Bees Naturally Ageless skin care line by Geggie, Go BPA Free Sippy Sampler Kit by The Soft Landing and Rocking Horse by A Rocking Horse To Love. If my top five picks are already taken, then I’d also love any of the following (in order of preference) #11, 12, 15, 2, 3, 14, 32, 34, 37, 70, 72, 79, 87, and 5 or anything related to a toddler or preschooler. 🙂

It’s not every day you’re quoted in an ABCNews article

Preschoolers Behaving Badly: Expulsions Rise

No, no, no. Please don’t get the wrong idea. Ava did NOT get expelled from preschool or any such thing, but I did get the opportunity to contribute my thoughts regarding a Yale University study that showed bad behavior and preschool expulsions are on the rise. Check out the top of page 3. Go ahead. I’ll wait. 😉

While I wish the journalist would’ve used more of what I said regarding gentle discipline, I felt that I came across sounding OK. (Hopefully it doesn’t make Ava sound like a bully either because she is certainly nowhere near that. She is a 3-year-old and she does react physically and emotionally at times, as I suspect most 3-year-olds do.) I would’ve loved to talk more about the type of preschool (Waldorf-inspired) Ava attends (which is a small in-home play-based school), but that wasn’t really germane to the article. Or was it?

One of the things I love about Waldorf preschool (and the Waldorf philosophy in general) is that it encourages imagination and creativity through free play and natural toys. Things like learning letters, numbers and how to read are not a part of Waldorf preschool. In fact, they don’t believe in teaching kids to read and write until they are *gasp* 7 years old. Honestly, when I learned that, my initial thought was that it seemed kind of late. However the more I thought about it and the more I learned about Waldorf the more it made sense to me.

Kids are only kids once. Why do we have to rush them into academia? Why can’t we let them be kids? Being a child should be about exploring his/her world and learning through play and imitation. They have the rest of their lives to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. That being said, I also acknowledge that different types of schooling and education work for different kids and Waldorf is not for everyone, but it seems to fit well with Ava so far. I feel fortunate in that we each have a choice regarding what works best for our children.

While I don’t know if we will continue with Waldorf education past preschool, I do know that holding off on formally teaching reading until age 7 doesn’t seem that odd to me anymore. I don’t want to deny Ava (or Julian) the experience of being a child where they can play, explore, and imagine to their heart’s content. In the meantime it’s not like Ava isn’t learning letters, counting, numbers, etc. at home. I mean, it’s a part of life and she’s definitely exposed to it, but I am happy that for her preschool is a place where she can play and explore her creativity and imagination. It works for us. 🙂

Just for today

I’ve been wanting to make some changes in my life. I haven’t been happy with how I’ve been treating Jody or the frustration in parenting I’ve been feeling the past few months with Ava. I knew I needed to do something and with the new year feeling like a clean slate and an opportunity for a fresh start, it seemed like a great time to take the plunge.

I’m not a member of any 12-step programs, but I’m acquainted with enough people who are to know a bit about some of the lingo.

I started thinking about how many of the sayings from the programs – like “Just for today” or “One day at a time” – can be applied to parenting and really life in general. One does not need to have an addiction to use those phrases in their life. Maybe other people have already figured this out or don’t need to, but for me it really was an “a-ha!” moment.

As a result, I wrote some motivational phrases to myself and secured them with a magnet in a stack on the refrigerator. For the past two mornings, I’ve gone through the stack to find a phrase that I wanted to apply for the day and moved it to the top of the stack.

Yesterday’s phrase was “Just for today.” For me that means I only need to worry about my parenting or my attitude TODAY. I don’t need to think about tomorrow, or a week from now or a year from now. I just need to do it today.

When I think about it in those terms, doing anything “just for today” seems possible. Just for today I can be mindful of my temper. Just for today I can refrain from making snide remarks to my husband. Just for today I can speak without raising my voice. Just for today I will believe in myself. The list could go on and on.

Today’s phrase was “Live in the moment.” It is very similar to “just for today,” but helped me focus myself even more. Like today when Ava was overly tired and started melting down over something little, I chose to live in the moment and not worry about what was to come, but just deal with the situation at hand. It’s true that I still got frustrated, but I regrouped myself and dealt with her more calmly than I otherwise might have. And ya know what? The situation resolved itself that much faster.

Other phrases I have written down in the stack are “Today matters” and “Choose happiness” (both wonderfully inspirational sayings from Tees for Change), as well as “Parent consciously” and others.

It is my hope that because I plan to rotate through the list on a daily basis and add new phrases to the stack as they come to me, it will help me really think about each thought for the day and not have the affirmations just blend into the “woodwork” so to speak as they’ve done in the past when I’ve had something posted on the fridge for weeks at a time. We’ll see how it goes, but for now I like how it is increasing my awareness and helping me focus myself.

Just for today I am aware and am doing the best that I can.

Crunchy Domestic Goddess Year in Review – 2007

Kelli at There is no place like home and Steph at Adventures in Babywearing both inspired me to do my own year in review post. They both posted the first sentence of their first blog post of each month, but I’m changing the “rules” for my blog and doing things a little differently. Instead of taking the first sentence from the first post of each month, I’m selecting the first sentence (or few sentences) from one of my favorite posts from each month and including a link to that post as well in case something piques your interest. (Yes, it took a lot more time to do it this way, but it seems I’m all about making things more difficult challenging for myself.) By doing it this way I hoped to select posts that best represented my blogging throughout the past year. 🙂

The CDG Year in Review

JANUARY
I’m not a big fan of Dr. Phil, but was happy to learn he was having the Sears doctors (Dr. William Sears and sons, Dr. James Sears and Dr. Robert Sears) on a show on Friday called “Young Moms Ask the Experts.”From The Sears doctors chime in on CIO and other parenting topics

FEBRUARY
One of Ava’s books about nursing (Breastmilk Makes My Tummy Yummy) contains a picture of a mom nursing a toddler and a baby and states: “Two can breastfeed without fuss, there is room for both of us.” On Wednesday night, we – me, Julian and Ava – experienced that for the first time. — From Room for two

MARCH
It’s the little things that make me appreciate just how much I love my kids.
Like the new lip-smacking sounds that Julian makes.
Like the way Ava kissed my arm a few times while falling asleep tonight. — From The little things

APRIL
In the spirit of putting more of myself “out there,” here it is, as promised – my completely honest post. — From The truth will set you free

MAY
As I set out driving Friday night to hear Ina May Gaskin – called “the mother of authentic midwifery” by Midwifery Today – speak, I was filled with nervous excitement. When I was about 10 minutes out from the church in Lafayette where the event was taking place, a friend of mine called me to say she was saving some seats for me and other friends of ours and she was able to get pretty close to the front. I felt like a teenager going to a rock concert. — From An Evening with Ina May

JUNE
On Sunday morning, Jody, Ava, Julian and I braved the record-breaking 100 degree heat to attend the National Mile High Breastfeeding Celebration in Denver hoping to help break a record of a different kind. — From National Mile High Breastfeeding Celebration


JULY
Some days you have to throw out your plans and just go with the flow. Today was one of those days. — From Go with the flow

AUGUST
As parents, we do the best we can to ensure our children have the very best start in the world. We may breastfeed them, make their baby food from scratch, buy organic and whole foods, childproof our homes, teach them not to talk to strangers, and a myriad of other things. We trust that when we buy age-appropriate toys for our children, that they will be safe and not pose a choking hazard nor contain toxic elements… – From Tots, toys and toxic paint don’t mix

SEPTEMBER
I tend not to write much about celebrities on my blog. As a general rule, I find there’s just too much other stuff going on in the world (especially my family’s world) for me to discuss who’s doing/saying what out in Hollywood. But when I heard that Brad Pitt (and then Kevin Kline) recently made comments about co-sleeping… – From What I believe: Brad Pitt, Kevin Kline on co-sleeping

OCTOBER
Halloween is right around the corner, but in light of my recent discoveries about damaging effects of artificial colors and flavors (and petroleum and coal tar) in candy, I haven’t been feeling very excited about a holiday that promotes candy consumption. — From Amy’s Halloween Candy Alternatives

NOVEMBER
It’s been just over a year since my baby boy made his amazing entrance into the world, and yet, I never posted his birth story on my blog. So here it is one year later – in it’s full, unedited (LONG) glory (altered only to change the midwives’ names to first initial) – for your reading pleasure. — From One year later – Julian’s (footling breech) home birth story

DECEMBER
In light of articles like this one, stating that as recently as Nov. 20, hazardous toys (containing high lead levels and other dangers) were still being found on the shelves in stores like Target, it’s validating (but really no surprise to me) to read that Simple Retro Toys May Be Better For Children Than Fancy Electronic Toys. — From Simple toys better for children

If you wrote a year in review post (of any kind) on your blog, please add a link to your post in the comments. 🙂

Happy New Year!

Trusting my parenting instincts

Welcome to the October Carnival of Breastfeeding hosted by The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog. This month’s theme is a little different than past carnivals, in that this month we all wrote “This I believe” essays on topics related to breastfeeding and parenting. Please visit the participating bloggers listed at the bottom of this post.

Trusting my parenting instincts

I believe in attachment parenting or – a name that I like even better – parenting by instinct.

I believe in breastfeeding my children for the countless health benefits as well as the emotional benefits to both me and them. I also believe that children know when they are ready to wean from the breast and I’m doing my best to allow that to happen for us. There are times I’ve given a gentle push in the weaning direction (with Ava, not at all with Julian yet), but I’m hoping I can allow my children to give it up completely when they feel they are ready.

I believe that co-sleeping with my kids and nighttime parenting helps strengthen the bond between my husband Jody, myself and our kids.

I believe in wearing my babies or holding them in arms. I believe that the closeness and security stimulates them far more than being left lying alone does.

I believe in responding to my baby’s cries. I believe that babies cry because they have a need that is not being met – either they are hungry, uncomfortable (wet, too cold, too warm), or they simply need comforting and reassurance. I believe that meeting their needs helps them to develop into emotionally secure children. I’ve seen it work with Ava. When babies aren’t spending their energy on crying and seeking attention, they can use that energy to grow and thrive.

I also believe in gentle discipline. It is challenging and hard at times, and I can’t say I haven’t lost my temper before, but I strive to discipline gently. I try to think about how I would want to be treated and honor my children with that same respect.

Just as I trusted in my body and my baby when I gave birth to Julian at home, I trust that I will instinctively know how to parent my children. That’s not to say that it’s always easy, but all of the above things have felt instinctual to me. If it feels right and makes sense, then I go with it. That, I believe, is parenting by instinct.

I believe that the time investment I make in my children’s lives while they are young will pay off tremendously as they grow older, and that by doing all of these things, I am creating a solid foundation on which to build a lifelong relationship.

I know some people question how attachment parenting can create independent children, but I have two children who are being parented in this way and they both are very independent. In fact, Ava is sometimes even more independent than I would like. 😉 I believe that by meeting their needs, they come to learn that they can trust Jody (their dad) and me to be there for them when they need us and so they feel safe to venture out on their own.

Parenting is a challenging and amazing experience that takes time, energy and patience, but I believe this investment is all worth it. They make it all worthwhile.

Ava hugging Julian - Oct. 2007

Please take a moment to read some of the other carnival participants’ blogs (more will be added throughout the day):

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What I believe: Brad Pitt, Kevin Kline on co-sleeping

I tend not to write much about celebrities on my blog. As a general rule, I find there’s just too much other stuff going on in the world (especially my family’s world) for me to discuss who’s doing/saying what out in Hollywood. But when I heard that Brad Pitt (and then Kevin Kline) recently made comments about co-sleeping, something I just wrote about a few days ago, it was a) timely, b) something near and dear to my heart and c) I felt compelled to post.

From People magazine:

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt says he and Angelina Jolie are going to need a bigger bed – for their expanding brood.

“We’re not done,” Pitt, 43, quipped, acknowledging public interest in the family’s growth. “They say, ‘Any plans for a fifth?’ And I say, ‘And a sixth, and a seventh, and an eighth, and a ninth.’ That’s my answer.”

“We also made a 9-foot-wide bed” that fits him, Jolie, 32, and all four children, Pitt who is starring in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, told the Associated Press. “Just big enough. One more and we’ll have to go to 11 feet.”

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From OK! Magazine:

Kevin Kline, 59, agrees with fellow actor Brad Pitt when it comes to the family bed, also known as co-sleeping. He and his wife, actress Phoebe Cates, 44, still allow son Owen, 16, and daughter, Greta, 13, to join them at night.

There is a theory that a child has to teach itself to go to sleep, and if every time it cries you whisk them out of their bed — the jury is still out on that. But our kids still sleep in our bed.

Kevin admits that every parent questions whether or not to have their children sleep with them.

There are so many books that say ‘It’s the family bed, why not?’ and there are others that say ‘Oh no.’ It all depends about their age.’

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Jane London, a deejay from local radio station Mix 100, recently spoke her mind on the air about Brad Pitt’s co-sleeping, calling it “creepy.” When questioned about her statement she responded, “I find the thought of having 10 people in one bed to be somewhat disturbing, to say the least.” You will notice from her bio that Jane has no children. I think it’s easier to pass judgment on others’ parenting when you haven’t had the experience of parenting yourself. (To read more about Miss London’s comments, click on over to A Mama’s Blog. You’ll have to scroll down a bit to get to the part where she describes the radio show and her emails with Miss London.)

what i believe

Personally, I think it’s great that Brad and Angelina are co-sleeping, for a couple of reasons. My guess is that children of celebrities don’t have the most stable lives. One parent is off working, while the other cares for the children, then the one parent comes home and the other goes off to film a movie. (Brad even indicates this in his interview.) When they are out in public, they are hounded by the paparazzi. I would think that could be rather frightening to a child. I think by providing a safe nighttime environment, such as a family bed, they are helping their children feel secure and a closeness with the parents and siblings. The other thing is that three of their children are adopted and I think by having a family bed, the kids are able to bond more quickly with their family. And just because Brad says they have plans for more children does not mean they will be biological children. I think there’s a good chance they will be adopting again. So the family bed will help the children with the transition into their new family.

A friend of mine is in the process of adopting two children and she told me that when you are adopting, it’s advised that you treat the children the same way you would treat a biological baby for the first year to facilitate bonding. In other words, if you would co-sleep with a newborn, then you should co-sleep with your adopted child as well. There’s actually a really good article about the family bed and adoptive families

And I’m glad that Kevin Kline is showing his support by admitting that his family also shares a family bed from time to time. I believe that when kids know that they can go to their parents, whether it’s during the day or in the middle of the night, that helps to foster a secure and trusting relationship. And as the children get older, like in Kevin’s family’s case, hopefully that equates to the children feeling like they can talk to their parents about anything – drugs, alcohol, sex, abuse, etc. I believe that to have a secure parent-child relationship, you need to keep the lines of communication open, and not shut off to them just because it’s dark out.

A different friend of mine made a very important point in that people seem to forget that we are mammals. She said, “Mammals give birth, lactate (and nurse their young until about the age when permanent teeth erupt) and sleep with their young closely attached. If humans had given up these behaviors, even in the last 200 years, we would probably be extinct as a species.”

She also pointed out that just because we can afford larger houses with multiple bedrooms, it doesn’t mean that our needs as mammals have changed. A lot of this is covered in the book, “Our Babies, Ourselves” by Meredith Small, and is a fascinating read if you ever have the chance. I read it a few years ago and should really get my own copy since it’s such a great book (and highly quotable). I’m kicking myself now for not having a copy of my own on hand.

I did, however, find some related information on The Natural Child Project: Throughout human history, breast-feeding mothers sleeping alongside their infants constituted a marvelously adaptive system in which both the mothers’ and infants’ sleep physiology and health were connected in beneficial ways. By sleeping next to its mother, the infant receives protection, warmth, emotional reassurance, and breast milk – in just the forms and quantities that nature intended.

My point is that I know co-sleeping is not for everyone, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the people who do choose to do it. Just because a family bed is not something everyone in this culture subscribes to, that doesn’t make it bad or wrong. There are very valid reasons to support co-sleeping. If Brad and Angelina want to have the Biggest Bed in the World, more power to them. But to say that they are “creepy” because of their choice just seems ignorant and close-minded to me.

It sounds to me like Brad and Angelina are trusting their instincts and doing what’s right for their family. We could all learn something from that.

For more information about the family bed, visit Ask Dr. Sears or The Natural Family Project.

Lastly, this is a bit of an odd request, but if anyone out there knows how to get in touch with Brad or Angelina or their agencies, could you please Contact Me? Attachment Parenting International is hoping to find a way to get in touch with them. Thanks! 🙂

Want to play along with “What I believe”? Click on over to The Natural Mommy and read more about it.

Co-sleeping for sanity

Welcome to the September Carnival of Breastfeeding where this month’s topic is something that weighs heavily on every parent’s mind and eyelids – SLEEP.

Ava in bed - 4 mos. old - Oct. 2004 Julian in bed - 3 days old - Nov. 2006

During Ava’s first few months of life, she slept in a co-sleeper beside our bed. Being first time parents, we were too nervous to have her in bed with us, plus our queen-size bed seemed a little too small for three of us. Because I had to remember to put her back in the co-sleeper after each time she nursed, I’d force myself to stay awake and not nod off while she was at the breast, even though I really wanted to. This, as you can imagine, lead to some serious sleep deprivation on my part.

I recall a few occasions where I woke up with a start in the middle of the night and, in my half-conscious stupor, had no idea where Ava was! My first thought was that she’d fallen off the bed. I’d quickly sit up and survey the room (we had a small night light to assist in nighttime parenting). On the floor? No! Whew! But not on the bed either. Hmmm. Ah-ha! Safe and sound and sleeping peacefully in her co-sleeper. Of course.

The second time around, with Julian, I wised up and he came directly into bed (a king-sized bed we’d purchased just months before his birth) with my husband Jody and me. He was born at the foot of that bed and he spent his first night sleeping in it. 🙂 Not having to worry about moving him back and forth from the co-sleeper to the bed made my nights so much more restful. He would stir to eat often (heck, he still does), but I would latch him on and we’d both fall back to sleep together. Ahhh. No more middle of the night startled waking to find “missing” babies. 🙂

Having Julian in bed with us has truly been a lifesaver for me. There’s no way I could care for a baby and a 3-year-old if I wasn’t getting some half-way decent shut-eye. I think as long as some basic safety (common sense) guidelines are followed, co-sleeping can be a very safe and very helpful (think sanity-saving) practice when breastfeeding. 🙂

Please take a moment to read some of the other carnival participants’ take on sleep:

Tummy 2 Tummy DVD winner

The winner of the Tummy 2 Tummy Babywearing Instructional DVD is #18 – Deb – Mom of 3 Girls!

Congratulations Deb! I hope you enjoy it and can pass it along to others when you are finished with it. 🙂

For those of you who didn’t win, the good news is that Sharon Pickersgill (the creator of Tummy 2 Tummy) has said she’d be happy to offer up another DVD for a second contest in a few months. So be sure to check back to win!

I’ll have a new contest (of the green variety) coming up early next week. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you are looking for another babywearing contest right now, check out the From Dates to Diapers giveaway where Christine is giving away a Ziggy Stardust Baby Pouch from Rockin’ Baby Sling. I’ve been checking out pouches for a while now and would love to have this one to use with Julian. 🙂 It looks awesome!

It takes two

It was a short weekend around here since Jody was working out in CA last week and didn’t get back home ’til late in the afternoon on Saturday. I felt like I needed another day to recuperate from his absence, but c’est la vie. The mommy show must go on.

Before he went on his trip, he left “I love you” notes scattered around the house. They were waiting for us to discover when we woke up that morning and we continued to find them while he was gone. On the coffee table, Julian’s changing pad, the front window, Ava’s carseat, tucked in a cereal box, on the calendar, etc. It was like a little treasure hunt for Ava (and, I admit it, me too). 🙂 He also painted “I love you” with Ava’s paints and left that at her spot at the dining room table and spelled it out in wooden blocks on the floor. 🙂 Very sweet.

Things around here went pretty well without Jody home, though it was tiring and I admit I am NOT fond of handling the bedtime routine with two kids by myself. I’ve decided that to practice attachment parenting during the bedtime rituals with two kids, you really need TWO parents – at least I do.

I lay down with Ava each night as she goes to sleep. She has a little mama’s milk, then rolls over and goes to sleep. It usually takes 10-15 minutes tops before she’s out like a light and then I get up and carry on with my evening. Attempting to do that with a squirmy, acrobatic nursing 9-month-old who likes to sing and chatter up a storm does not make for such a smooth transition. So a routine that usually takes 10 minutes turned into an hour. It was only after Julian finished his songs and gymnastics, settled down and nursed to sleep that it was quiet enough for Ava to fall asleep herself around 9 p.m. It was a good thing I started the routine early or we may have all been up ’til midnight.

I’m thankful to have my husband home and a part of the bedtime routine once again. It goes so much more smoothly with two parents participating. 🙂

I’m heading to bed now to try to play sleep catch-up. We’ve got music class in the morning and last week it was like an aerobic workout I tell ya. I need all the Zzzzzzs I can get before attempting that again.