Friday, 12 September 2014

7 Quick Takes – Where We Talk Baby, Doctor Who, The King’s Daughter and Beef



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Bumbo baby


Rosie is finally holding her head up well enough to use her Bumbo! Depending on the kind of mood she’s in, I can usually get a good 20 minutes of non-holding baby time! I’m a little bit of a Bumbo rule breaker though and have put the seat on the kitchen counter BUT I swear she was being supervised the entire time. Rosie loves being up high and watching me cook or clean or whatever. The cat however is not happy because the counter is usually her domain (don’t worry I Lysol the counters a few times a day) so she spent a good portion of the day sulking. I can’t wait for those two to become best friends and keep each other entertained.

Rosie watching me eat yogurt this morning. Her expression is like "Woah, that's not breastmilk! How could you eat that?"
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My crush on the Doctor

I started watching Doctor Who on Netflix a few weeks ago. I figured it would keep me from getting bored during the day when I’m alone with the baby. I liked the ninth Doctor and was disappointed that he regenerated at the end of the first season but that was until I got to know the tenth Doctor. What followed was a growing crush on a fictional character that resulted in me binge-watching 3 seasons of the show. I was sort of obsessed thinking I could sometimes hear the TARDIS appearing while on walks with Rosie. Unfortunately, this Doctor also had to regenerate and I’m now trying to get used to this new Doctor who just seems really geeky. I’d gotten about 20 minutes into the first episode of season 5 before I realized that I needed a break to mourn the death of my favorite Doctor. I haven’t quite healed yet, but I think I will start watching the show again soon.


Dane should dress like this for our next date night.




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I got 99 problems and the beef is number one


I finally got around to making my freezer to crockpot stews I’d been planning on doing since before Rosie was born. Oh well, better late than never. I decided it was time since large bags of potatoes, carrots and stewing beef were on sale this week. Unfortunately, they were sold out of the stewing beef when we went grocery shopping this weekend, so I purchased the root vegetables and planned to go back this week. But since I have terrible luck, the store was still sold out of the beef when I went early yesterday morning. I had to pay $1.50 per pound more for the beef from another store which made the stews so much more expensive than I planned. I’m happy that I have the stews; I just wish the beef had been available.


*Reading this over just now, I realize how insignificant my problems really are. You know life is going well when your biggest worry is the price of freezer to crockpot stews. Or is it that your life is really boring? Who knows! Either ways I apologize for blogging about the price of beef.*


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Baby talk


In other Rosie news, she has really started cooing lots lately. It’s hilarious to watch her because you can tell that she’s really trying to communicate with you. We were at my parent’s last night, and my mom stood Rosie up on her lap (yes, I said stood, she likes to be upright and on her feet) which made her start to oooh, and aahhh about everything around her (Rosie, not my mom – if my mom was doing that there would have to be wine involved). It’s amazing to watch her discovering the world around her. I really hope God blesses us with more children and we get to see babies discovering the world over and over again.




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Talking babies


Speaking of other babies, if I got pregnant today, the baby would be due in June. That means Rosie would be 1 year old or just shy of 1. I think I’d be ok with that which is kind of a relief. Any sooner than that and I would lose my mind. I don’t think I’m going to get pregnant since I’m exclusively breastfeeding and all, but since we are not using birth control it’s something we always need to be aware of.  Unless we decided to abstain for the next year, and even though I tried to sell the idea to my husband, I don’t think that is going to happen. It’s a scary thought however, and so when we said grace before dinner I prayed “…and please don’t let me get pregnant…”, to which Dane had to add “…but let your will be done…”.  I’m happy my husband reminds me to stop trying to be a control freak and to trust God, but I guess that’s what marriage is all about, helping each other get closer to God.


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My FBE ( Favorite Book Ever)
This is definitely a MUST READ!




Since I haven’t had the time to go to the library, I re-read my favorite book “Jeanne, Fille du Roy”, by Suzanne Martel. The book is originally written in French but I think it was translated into English under the name “The King’s Daughter”. I first read the novel when I was 9 after my mom recommended it. I had a hard time reading the end, and I remember my mom reading me the last chapters as I cried.  Over the years, I’ve picked up this book over and over again, and I’m just as impressed with the story every time I read it. Without giving anything away the story is set in the seventeenth century and, the main character, Jeanne Chatel, is an orphan raised in a convent who goes to New France as one of the King’s Daughters. There she marries Simon de Rouville , a hunter and builder, who is in need of a wife to raise his two young children after the murder of his late wife by the Iroquois. The story goes on to tell of the young woman’s many adventures in the woods of New France, as well as the blossoming relationship between her and Simon.  Jeanne is gutsy, witty and resourceful making her a great role model for young girls. There is also a catholic influence in the book, with cameos from Saint Marguerite de Bourgeoys and Saint Marie de l’Incarnation.  One of my favorite lines from the book is when Jeanne describes a childhood crush as “beautiful like the statue of Saint Michael” which makes me think they did not have a large frame of reference for handsome men.


You can purchase the book in French here and the English version here.




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Define: baptism
Rosie is getting baptized on September 28th at the same church Dane and I were married in.  Although the ceremony is being done in French, I figure language is a human thing not a God thing, and Rosie will be baptized regardless of what language the baptism is done in. We are starting our baptism classes on Monday and we are meeting the priest briefly after mass on Sunday.  I’ve been trying to think about baptism and what it means to be baptized. I don’t want to go into it blindly, and I want to understand so I can truly appreciate the significance of it for my daughter. If you have an explanation, please feel free to send it to me!





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Friday, 5 September 2014

7 Sleep Tips for the Tired New Mommy

I know everyone says “sleep when the baby sleeps” but if you have other kids or you are a neat freak or you simply aren’t a great napper that is not always possible.  Now I’m not a sleep expert and I haven’t gone through the teething phase, but this is what helped us when Rosie decided that 3 AM was playtime/morning.
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Co-sleeping
Co-sleeping with teeny tiny newborn Rosie
We’ve co-slept since day one. The expert say it’s not safe, I say it’s the only way I get to sleep at all especially since Rosie is still waking 4 times a night to feed.  In order to ease my mind, I did a bunch of research about safe co- sleeping and this is what I found. First, you get one pillow which is tucked in under your arm and as for blankets never have them higher than the baby’s belly button. Second, tie up your hair, wear long sleeves if it’s cold and make sure there are no strings or loose fabrics on your sleepwear. Third, sleep on your side with one arm tucked under the pillow and the other loose over the blanket (to keep it from moving). Tuck in your knees and your baby should sleep on his/her back in the space between your lower arm and knees (like a baby nest). Fourth, the baby should always sleep with the mother and never between the parents.  Fifth, sleep with the baby as far from possible from the side of the bed, and once they get squirmy get a bed rail (cost about $40.00).  Fifth, dress the baby according to the weather and account for the extra heat coming from your own body. Sixth, never co-sleep if you smoke, are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are obese, are extremely tired or if you bottle feed your baby. Finally, when the baby wakes to nurse, don’t get out of bed (I was an idiot and doing this for the two first weeks), and instead nurse lying down by pulling down or opening your top (made easier by wearing a sports bra). That way you get to go back to sleep and the baby will eventually fall asleep while nursing (usually).

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Get into a routine

Most people need a bedtime routine to signal that it’s time to sleep and babies are no different. When Rosie was first born, there was no routine and we had a very difficult time getting her to sleep. Now, we start around 8:30 – 9 PM getting her ready for bed.  If people are over past that time or if we are still out, it seems to mess her up and we spend the night trying to calm her down because she is over tired. We begin by darkening the room and Daddy changes her diaper and puts her in a sleeper. Then I nurse her a bit and once she’s full Daddy takes her and they both fall asleep. I get ready for bed and once I’m ready we bring her to bed, nurse her while she’s still drowsy and usually she will fall asleep shortly after her feed.  Develop a routine that works for you and stick to it.
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If you don’t need to get up … don’t

For a little while I was still trying to get up early even if Rosie was still sleeping. Then one day I realized that if I didn’t need to get up what was the point of waking up at a specific time? Clearly we both need the extra sleep and so now I sleep until she wakes up in the morning. If you have other kids, maybe Daddy can handle the morning routine or you can slip back into bed as soon as the other kiddos have been dealt with (television anyone?).  Most importantly, don’t feel guilty about staying in bed.  After all, you are up multiple times a night.
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Be boring

Rosie spent a week deciding that 3 AM was morning. She would want to play between 3 and 4 AM and then cry from 4 to 6 AM. It was awful. At first I used to get up and play with her, then rock and bounce her while she cried. That got old very fast and so I decided to try and stay in bed the next night.  Like clockwork she woke up at 3 AM but since I refused to play with her, get up and turn on lights, she only stayed up for 2 hours. Then the next night I stayed in bed again and was very brief and boring when talking to her. That night she only stayed up an hour and a half.  Soon enough she understood that night was for sleeping and now she usually sleeps through the night with about 4 brief wakes up to feed.
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Go to bed later

I look serene but really I'm thinking "Sleep! Dear God, please sleep!"

If you know that your baby only sleeps for 6 hours at night, don’t go to bed at 10 PM because you will wake up at 4 AM. I find it much easier to stay up later than to get up at a crazy hour. Decide what time you will want to wake up and then got to bed at the appropriate time. For example Rosie usually sleeps 8 hours so I go to bed at midnight and we will wake up around 8 AM. Honestly, I must say that I’m actually enjoying my late nights Netflix watching.

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Things will change

Realize that eventually your baby will sleep. This is just a phase and it will not last forever. How many people do you know that don’t sleep at night? Very few and even if your child is a night owl, they will get more manageable and distractible.  This thought helped me get through many sleepless nights.
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Pray
Some nights (or strings of nights) are just so awful that all you can do is pray. Even if it’s just “Lord give me strength”, prayer has gotten me through the worst sleep-deprived moments. As soon as I pray, I instantly feel able to get through the rest of the night (even when Rosie is screaming her head off). So arm yourself with a rosary and hang in there Mama.


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Thursday, 4 September 2014

We’re Not Trying to Get Pregnant But…


When I told my doctor that we weren’t planning on using any birth control she almost passed out.  She just didn’t get that it wasn’t just artificial birth control that we didn’t want to use, it was all forms of birth control including condoms and the “pull out” method. I think her reaction is pretty typical since most people keep telling us that breastfeeding doesn’t always prevent pregnancies. But why should we be trying to avoid a pregnancy? Yes, we have a 2 month old. No, we aren’t trying to get pregnant but if it were to happen we would be happy – scared but happy.

Before my mom starts freaking out, I’m not going Duggar here and actively trying to get pregnant. Lord knows I’m having a hard enough time taking care of one baby, I can’t imagine trying to take care of two right now.  However, if God blesses us with another child even if it is sooner than I expected, I’m not going to complain. After Rosie was born, the hubby and I decided that we didn’t want to stand in God’s way if he wanted us to conceive again. Whether that happens next week, in a year or in 5 years is not up to us.

I know that seems crazy especially since I’ve been guilty of judging other women for getting pregnant so soon after having a baby. I realize now how wrong that was since pregnancy is not a sign of being irresponsible, it’s a sign of God’s love, a miracle.  Being told we were going to miscarry Rosie and seeing her heartbeat at 6 weeks made me realize that. 

Now I’m not bashing natural family planning, but I think that right now if Dane and I were to use it, it would be used with a “contraceptive mentality”.  For those of you who are wondering what I mean by that, I’m talking about the mentality that views children as a burden.  The mentality that tells you to wait until you are financially ready to conceive, the mentality that says you should enjoy being  newlyweds before getting pregnant and the mentality that dictates that women should wait a reasonable amount of time before conceiving again.  If we had listened to that mentality, Rosie would not be here.  

My husband and I are both big believers that God would never give us something we could not handle. When we first got pregnant with Rosie, we had no idea how we would manage financially. But in the following months, Dane started his own company and was able to increase his salary, making up for the extra expenses and the drop in my income.  I have no doubt that God will make sure we can provide for the next child regardless of when we conceive again.

So if I find out I’m pregnant again in the coming months will I cry? Oh yes and worry and doubt. But I will also rejoice and welcome this new life into our family. Because honestly, who wouldn’t want another one of these?
Finally sleeping after a two hour fight to get her down for a nap.