Archive for November, 2009

What’s Your Parenting Style?

When I was preggers with my oldest child 8 years ago I bought and read every book on parenting that I could find.  Baby Whisperer, Babywise, Parenting Your Toddler are just a few of the books I read.  What I quickly learned was that everyone had an idea about what was best and apparently if I didn’t read their book then I would forever be a clueless, ignorant parent.

But what I also realized is that no two children are the same.  Therefore I believe that we have to raise our children in the way that is best for our family and most importantly, our child.

So over the years Aaron and I have just done with our three girls what makes sense to us and what comes naturally to us.  That meant/means breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping, babywearing, and attending to our children when they cry (I’ve never believed in letting babies “cry it out”).  I recently learned that “our” style of parenting actually has a name:  Attachement Parenting.

The 7 B’s of AP are:

1.  Birth Bonding

2.  Breastfeeding on Demand

3.  Babywearing

4.  Bedding close to Baby

5.  Belief in the language value of your baby’s cry

6.  Beware of “baby trainers”

7.  Balance

We don’t believe in making schedules and expecting our baby’s to follow them.  I remember babysitting for a couple when I was in college and they had their baby’s day planned and written down for me to follow.  9am–feed baby 4 ounces of breastmilk, 9:30am–tummy time for 10 minutes, 9:40am–lay baby down in crib and do not pick him up if he cries, etc, etc,etc.  I remember the mom specifically telling me that she was trying to get her baby on a schedule and that I was not to pick him up if he cried because he needed to learn when it was nap time.  I’ll confess, I NEVER let him cry for more than 5 minutes.  Even if it meant that I just went to his room (he was sleeping on his own in his own room from birth) and talked to him to calm him down.

It seemed like torture to me!  Let a baby cry…really?  They cry because they are trying to tell us something and I just don’t understand the rationale of letting a baby “cry it out”.  Anyway..that could be a whole blog post to itself.

So we figured out early on that schedules were NOT for us or our babies.  We feed them when they are hungry.  We hold them (or I wear them in a sling) often.  Our babies have slept in our room with us until they have been around 4-6 months old.  We watch our babies and NOT a clock or a schedule.  We try to listen and discern what their cries mean.

I’m interested in hearing what your parenting style is?  Are there certain things that you do or don’t do when it comes to parenting?  I’m not saying there is a right or wrong way…just saying what has worked for us.

You can read more about Attachment Parenting on Dr. Jim Sears’ website or in his book (which I recently purchased!):


Look Who’s One Month Old!

Here are some new photos of me, Layla Joy!  I was one month old on Thanksgiving Day!

People think I’m pretty cute.  Everyone likes to talk about “all my hair”.  And my dimples.  A lot of people think I look like my big sister, Annagrace but my mommy thinks I look like Madalyn.  In fact, she says that if she doesn’t write our names on our pictures then one day she may not remember who the picture is of!

Here’s a few things about me at one month:

  • Apparently my real name is Layla but my mommy and daddy have a lot of nicknames for me.  Baby girl, Pretty Girl, Miss Dimples, Layla J, LJ, Tater Tot, Sweet Pea.  I think it’s cute how crazy they are about me.
  • Mommy likes using cloth diapers on me.  They make my butt look huge but at least it helps me fill out my clothes a little better.
  • Speaking of cloths, I’m still wearing my newborn clothes.  And sometimes they are still too big!
  • I am finally getting into a sleeping and eating routine and that seems to be making my mommy happy.  At night she usually stays up and feeds me at 1 a.m.  and then I sleep until 5: 30 a.m. (and sometimes later than that).  Then it’s back to sleep until 8 a.m.  Somedays I like to stay awake a LOT.  And in the evenings, I like to have mommy all to myself!
  • My sisters love me.  They give me lots of hugs and kisses…especially the little one.  Sometimes mommy makes her stop because she thinks it bothers me but secretly I love it!
  • Mommy put me in a bathtub the other night.  I hated it!  I prefer to get my baths on a nice warm towel while lying on daddy and mommy’s bed.
  • I have already been to my first movie–we saw “A Christmas Carol”.  I’ve also been to two different libraries.  And I’ve been on a field trip to the Charles B. Aycock Center.  AND I’ve been to the aquarium and the beach.  Annagrace thinks I’m going to be a pretty smart kid because when she’s in “school” then I’m in school too since my mommy is the teacher!
  • I finally slept in my cradle the other night for the first time.  I used to hate that thing but it’s growing on me.  Of course, if I had my way I’d sleep in the bed with mommy and daddy every night.  (Sometimes they let me for a little while!)

Be Thankful

So much to be thankful for this year.  New jobs for me and Aaron….a new house….a new daughter.  The health of our family.  New friendships and rekindled old friendships.

Just so many blessings to count today.

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy your families and friends.  Tell them how much you love them.  Hug your kids tight and enjoy every second of the holidays!

Drowning in Photos

I have decided to try and tackle the overwhelming task of organizing the photos on our desktop computer.  I say overwhelming because I have roughly 30,000 photos on this computer.

Yes, seriously.  I got my digital SLR camera in March 2006 and that means I have taken roughly 10,000 photos a year.  It’s insane I know.  The crazy part?  I have not backed up a single photo since June 2008!  I know that computers tend to crash from time to time and I am determined to get these photos in a safe place in case that happens to us.  But that means weeding through almost 2 years worth of photos.

So I’m wondering . . . how do you store your photos?  I am looking into getting an external hard drive.  I currently burn all my photos to DVD and I am looking into an online storage site.  Currently I am considering either SmugMug or Mozy.  While I’d like to go with a free site I am reluctant.  I want to know that my files will never be compressed, will be kept private and will not be deleted.  Not sure what to do.

Here is my process with what I have already:

1.  Review each folder and delete unwanted/temporary folders.  Combine all small “daily” folders into “monthly” folders.

2.  Sort through each and every photo.  Rename and save the “keepers” that I want to use in my scrapbook in a separate file.  I will be doing my 2008 and 2009 scrapbooks all digital.

3.  Burn all photos from each folder onto a DVD.

4.  Delete folder.

This is the most tedious work.  I have been at it for almost 3 hours now and I have gotten 4 months worth done.  The good thing is that my scrapbooking should go faster because I have already sorted through the photos!

And since we’re talking photos I’ll share a new one of baby Layla.  Here she is at 3 1/2 weeks old.





This is my first post from my phone! The girls and I are at my parent’s home tonight. I hope my hubby gets a good night’s sleep! He has been a real trooper the last few weeks getting up at night with me and the baby and helping me with supper and chores and working full time on top of all of that. I figure he deserves a good night’s sleep!

These are some random things floating through my head tonight:

1. “Say Anything” is a great movie and “In Your Eyes” is an amazing song. Love it.
2. My baby has the prettiest hair. Light brown with little blonde highlights.
3. I am very excited about “New Moon”! Hoping to see it soon with my friend Jenn.
4. I love my new G-Vegas friends. Gina and Ryan and Frances and Ned–you guys rock. Hope to have more fun times with y’all soon.
5. I received the best news last week but don’t know if I am allowed to share it yet or not.
6. Is Thanksgiving really next week?!
7. I really want to do the 25 books of Christmas idea that Lindsey posted about on her blog. Going to have to rummage through and count up how many books we already have. I also can’t wait to read “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” with the girls this year. One of the best kids books ever written in my opinion!
8. I love that my 7 year old is interested in forensics. Maybe she will live out my dream of being either a CSI or a crime scene photographer! She got a kid’s forensics book from the library and informed me today that investigators help determine a corpse’s gender by the hips because women’s hips have to be big enough for babies to pass through. Is it awful that my little girl is interested in this kind of stuff?! She also loves mystery books like Encyclopedia Brown so maybe a career in fighting crime really is in her future!
9. Casting Crowns version of “I Heard the Bells” could be the best Christmas song ever. I get chills every time I hear the line “God is not dead nor does He sleep…”.
10. Speaking of Christmas–for those that don’t know already from facebook, my 7 year old no longer believes in Santa. I hate it! I knew she would figure it out earlier than most kids and honestly thought last year that she knew but this year she finally put it all together and my hubby could not lie to her and told her the truth. It makes me sad. She has been sworn to secrecy so as not to ruin it for her friends and sisters and cousins!
11. I am ready to get back to a healthier lifestyle. I let things go while pregnant-didn’t exercise, didn’t always eat nutritious foods. But I am getting to the point post c-section where I think I can start walking again and I need to start eating better! Planning to get back on Spark People (which I used with success in the past) and I want to get back to running which I loved when I was doing it.
12. Madalyn will be 4 years old next week! Crazy. I can’t believe how quickly time flies. She wants a Scooby Doo party!
13. One day I hope I will be a responsible adult. One who pays bills on time and doesn’t lose things. Since moving we have misplaced our Flip camera and I have lost my mp3 player. So frustrating!!!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday Social

Just a few random blogs from the web that you may enjoy.

1)  Layla would not go to sleep last night.  She just wouldn’t give it up and close her eyes.   So I was feeding her and Aaron was awake with us and he and I both had our blackberries in hand (’cause we are dorks like that–sometimes we even text each other when we are in the same room!).  I remembered that I had bought her a Beatles lullaby CD and popped that in so we’d have some soothing music to listen to.

And then I remembered I had read about a Queen lullaby CD (our family looooovvveesssss Queen!) so I googled it on my blackberry.  That led to a discovery of TONS of very cool lullaby CDs.  Check out Rockabye Baby Music and you can purchase lullaby rendition CDs from artists such as Bob Marley, Guns n’ Roses, U2, Pixies, Tool, Nirvana, Metallica, AC/DC, Green Day and many more!  We are huge music fans (and our other girls already are as well) so we will definitely be getting some of these lullabies on CD for Layla!  Unfortunately there is no Eric Clapton version yet!

A few of my favorites so far:  “Heart Shaped Box”  by Nirvana, “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley, “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen, “Clocks” by Coldplay and “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC.  And the artwork on the covers is awesome.  Come on…who can resist singing your child to sleep at night to the tune of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails?

2)  ABC and 123. Just found this blog tonight and have just started looking through it.  Looks like a fabulous homeschool resource and I see lots of turkey crafts and projects which we will be beginning next week in preparation for Thanksgiving!

3)  Superwhy!  Gotta throw this one in for Madalyn.  Since we cancelled our phone and our cable we now only have the basic networks along with several PBS stations.  Thank goodness for PBS Kids.  It gives my kids a good fix of “kid” shows and there are several shows that are reading based that Madalyn has really fallen in love with!  Superwhy, Word Girl and Word World are just a few.  I’m partial to Superwhy although that spelling fairy song really annoys the mess out of me!

4)  Last but not least I’ll share this oldie but goodie just in case you have been living under a rock and have not heard of it.  Etsy rocks!  And since my playgroup moms surprised me with a monetary gift in honor of Layla’s birth I have been perusing the site looking for a new baby sling.  We have two and neither are all that comfortable.  I love supporting crafters and Etsy is a great way to do it!


Works for Me Wednesday

I had good intentions to post something yesterday but it didn’t happen because I was soooo sick!  Fever, aches, chills, headache.  Thinking I may have a very mild flu virus.  I feel much better today.  My fever is under control and the aches and headaches are gone.  Hopefully the worst of it is over.

So today is Works for me Wednesday–on Thursday!  If you can think of a great tip you want to share then join me by posting on your blog!

Layla is now 17 days old.  We are just loving having her in our family.  She is such a good baby!  We all just love her to pieces!  I thought I’d share a few items that so far have “worked for me”!

1)  Reuseable Nursing Pads.  I really like the Green Sprouts organic cotton flannel nursing pads.  They are SO much more comfortable than the disposables.  And if you have sore nipples then the more comfortable the better.  I have bought other brands of reuseables but these are by far the most comfortable.  If you know your way around a sewing machine you could make lots of these for very little money.  Or you can purchase them on Etsy–just search for nursing pads.  Trust me, your boobs will thank you.

2)  Fisher Price Soothing Motions Glider. We were blessed to have one of these given to us by the sister-in-law of our boss.  I don’t know how we would have survived these first few weeks without it.  Layla takes naps in it and on really fussy nights she sleeps in it (she’s not too fond of her cradle just yet).   It glides both ways–back and forth and from side to side and the seat swivels all the way around.  It is awesome!

3)  Fuzzi Bunz and Thirsties cloth diapers.  I think it’s funny when I tell people we are using cloth diapers.  Most people say, “really?!”.  I never thought I would use them either–and probably wouldn’t if I was working full time because it is a time commitment.  I had decided to use disposables for the first month or so until I was recovered from surgery but Layla’s little bum was getting so read from the disposables that we decided to go ahead and start with the cloth diapers.  I already had a Thirsties diaper that I purchased months ago and I was blessed to be able to buy 11 fuzzi bunz diapers (and a diaper pail) from a friend for only $50!!!  It was an incredible blessing because there was no way we could have afforded to purchase 12 diapers at full price.  So far we love the cloth diapers.  I love the Thirsties because they have velcro but the Fuzzi Bunz have snaps that will allow them to grow with her and will probably fit her right up to potty training time!

So what works for you this week?!


November 2009