Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dear Atlas, My Baby (Happy First Birthday)

Dear Atlas,
In less than 11 hours you turn 1 year old! I can't believe it!!! I swear I did not blink. They told me not to. They warned me this would happen. They all said, "He will grow up so quick you wont even believe it!!" I am sad, but I am also proud to see you growing up. Your milestones keep me looking forward to the next day!

I remember how incredibly uncomfortable I was and at times scared!! But they kept reminding me that your head would not be 10 lbs and my body was wonderfully made to do exactly this. I had faith it would go easy. Your Daddy was amazing!!! I think we could have do it without the midwife, your doula was great support early on, but dang she missed your birth by about the same amount of time that your midwife made it to you birth!

This year has been the most demanding, the most sincere, the most exciting and the scariest year of my entire life. I have never been out of work and yet I have not received a payroll check all year. I have babysat a TON and by the end of the day I am generally ready to give the kids back, but you were different and while I wanted to hand you off at times, I never wanted to put you back. There were days I didn't think I would survive due to lack of sleep... but then you would smile and I was glad I had been awake for it.

You have given me the most amazing gift to give. I have had an abundance of your milk and I have been able to donate so much of it to babies in extraordinary circumstances whose mommies could not provide for their babies like I could for you! I have never in my entire life had the opportunity to give of myself without you.

I had fears of giving too much of myself. I thought I was depriving you of a Gift given strictly by God... then my fears became true. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and suddenly had to pump and store like a crazy mommy!! I stopped donating for a very short time (December - January) and a lot of my mommy friends offered storage space so that you would have milk in case I had to stop feeding you, myself.

God answered my prayers and the moment the cancer was removed, my body was free of it and I could go back to feeding you... and all the other babies who needed your milk. You are now 1, and I have donated over 7600 ounces and I have another 1200 ready to donate! You are about 25 lbs and sooooooooooo not lacking a thing.

You were walking around 10 months and have been ECing since before you turned 6 months.I am in shock that we have such a connection. I have heard of this happening, but I would not believe it had I not experienced it! You hear me and you understand what I talk to you about! I also am thrilled that I understand you!!

You are such a happy baby. You have 3 moods: Sleepy, Happy and Mad. Things are either funny or serious with you. You make my days interesting! I love your smile... and I would do ANYTHING for your giggle.

I hope that your second year is as amazing as this first one. You have made me a better person in less time than anyone ever could have. You have changed my entire life more than anyone ever could or ever will. That is kinda a big deal. You are the first of my babies and the one who will direct my path in life. You made me who I am today and you will help me to become the person I want to be tomorrow.

Thank you, my beautiful baby, my son, my life. I'll live you for always, I'll love you forever. As long as you're living, my baby you'll be. You'll never be loved more than your Daddy and I love you.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Homemade Baby Wipes

This is one of those things I probably wouldn't do. Mostly because I STOCKPILED wipes long before Atlas was born and have yet to need to buy more. I think we have made it through 1/5th of the wipes I bought... maybe? He turns 1 on Friday ::gasp::

Homemade Baby Wipes
1 roll of Bounty (or another thick, quality brand) paper towels (You can also use those really cheap and thin washrags ... the ones you can get in a pack of 12 for $3 at Walmart or Target... then reuse them and save the money you would be spending on paper towels... which ARE NOT CHEAP!)
2-1/4 cups of water
2 Tbsp. baby bath or shampoo
1 Tbsp. baby oil

1. Cut the roll of towels in half (an electric knife works well) and place in a container. You can also separate the towels into a neat pile that will be ready to use.
2. Mix all liquid ingredients together and pour over top of the towels.
3. Let the liquid absorb into the towels. When ready to use, remove the
cardboard center (if you left it in) and pull the towels from the middle.

Thanks MamaCheaps and Chasing Tiny Feet!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Connecting in the Mainstream

I had a light bulb moment today at a 1-year-old mainstreamed child's birthday.

I am FAR from AP. I learn from you all and I take in what seems to be a good idea, I soak up the tips and try them all. I respect you guys who are all crunchy and thriving in APing (attachment parenting, google it.) There are some things that work for us and some that don't. I listen and then move on.

But today I realized how much more AP I am than I thought I was. I have had a few moments like this, but it wasn't until today that I really *got it.*

Not all SAHMs are AP, but most AP moms are SAHM not to say they aren't working outside of the home at times or are anti-daycare. Not that that was the bright light... more on the way parents acted and *PLAYED* with their kids.

I suppose the parents want to mingle and do other things, after all it IS a 1-year-old's birthday party. :-\

Today I understood the communicating with your child. It isn't just ECing or wearing or not letting them CIO.

This was further evident after reading an article a friend posted on facebook.

I would be the last person to ever feel entitled to ANYTHING... but being a mother (or father) really does give you a secret language with your child. I feel as if our child is entitled to us REALLY listening. We invited them into this world and we shouldn't just wait for them to "get it." They already do. it is US that needs to "get them."

I feel so fortunate to stay at home and care for Atlas. There are a good 8 or 9 extra hours a day that he gets to know me. It DOES make it easier when ECing (btw he is finally pooping on the potty again!) and when wearing.

I found it almost tiresome when everyoneeeeeeeeeeee asked how old he was and when he started walking. The birthday boy wasn't walking. And I know that they do this on their own at their own timing... but we REALLY DID work with him a LOT and pushed walking... lol! It's not like he would have done it had he not wanted to.

I found myself defending my son's achievements in the mainstream. "wow that's kinda young..." I would say "Oh we pushed him to keep up with his cousin." And that is the truth. And I also dont think that was wrong to do. I am home with him all day long. My JOB in life is him... and if we have the time to walk or sit on the potty or learn sign language... then we do.

Sure, some mainstreamers do too. But you know as well as I do, not as many of them. It's kinda like the whole "omg you home-birthed, you're crazy."

I only feel like an outsider when I am mainstreaming. I guess I am more AP than I thought.

Atlas - T-minus-5-days

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reader Trips - I made money at Publix

OK Stay with me on this. I technically MADE $11 on my shopping trip to Publix today. However they have a deal (second to last page of the weekly ad - pick them up in the front of the store) where if you spend $25, you can buy a $50 gas card (Hess, Cheveron, BP or Shell) for only $40. With gas rising so quick, it costs $50 or more each time either of us fill up our tank. So right there that is a 20% savings on gas!!

I did buy 2 cards for $80, to get $100 worth of gas. Had I not bought them then I would have spent $9 on all of my items, since I bought the cards, if I credit the savings to grocery and claim to still be spending the $100 on gas.. which we would do anyhow... then I MADE MONEY on my cart full of groceries. Make sense?
Here is the break down:
2 - $50 Hess gas cards - $40 each
*In ad coupon

3 - Land O Frost Premium Sliced Lunch Meats, 16 oz, $3.49
*$1 off Land-O-Frost lunch meat, (sign up) printable
*.55/1 Land O Frost Premium lunchmeat, 1 lb, RP 1/30 or printable

2 - Kraft Dressing, 24 oz, BOGO at $3.99
*$3/3 Kraft Dressing 24 oz (Winn Dixie coupon), Kraft Foods Save on Favorites home mailer
*$1 off Produce WYB Kraft Dressing, tearpad

4 - Sundown Vitamin, D3 - 2.99 & Folic Acid - 3.79
*$3 off Sundown Naturals vitamins 120 ct + or Osteo Bi-Flex 120 ct (Publix coupon), Green Advantage flyer
*$1 off Sundown Naturals or Marvel Heroes vitamins printable
*$1 off Sundown Naturals product printable
*$1 off Sundown or Marvel vitamins, RP 1/23
*$1 off Sundown Vitamin or Supplement product, RP 2/20

6 - Glad Zipper Freezer or Storage Bags, Gallon or Quart Size, 30-50 ct., at $3.19 ($1.59)
*$1/2 Glad Food Storage bags and containers printable
*$.75/1 from inserts within boxes from before

14 - Sargento Shredded Cheese, 5-8 oz, $2
*$1.50 off Sargento Classic Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese (Publix coupon), 7 oz printable
*$1.50 off Sargento Classic Shredded Pepper Jack cheese (Publix coupon), 8 oz printable
*$1/2 Sargento shredded cheese, Winn Dixie Spring Forward for Savings booklet

3 - Voskos Greek Yogurt, 5.3 oz, $1
*$1 off Voskos Greek Yogurt (facebook) printable or RP 2/20
*.75/1 Voskos Greek yogurt printable, printable or in store dispenser
*B1G1 Voskos product, SS 2/06

2 - Newman's Salsa - 2.59
*.55 manufacturer coupons from coupons .com

3 - Friendship Sour Cream, 16 oz. $1.85
*$1 off Friendship cottage cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, or farmer cheese 7.5 – 24 oz, Yellow Adv. Buy Flyer 
*.55/1 Friendship Cottage Cheese or Sour Cream printable

4 - Pedigree Dentastix Snack Food for Dogs, Large Dogs 7 Sticks, or Small Dogs, 6-6.2 oz, BOGO at $3.79
*$1 off Pedigree Dentastix dog treats printable or printable
*$2 off Pedigree Dentastix dog treats, RP 1/30

2 - Peperidge Farm Deli Flats - $2.00
*.50 in ad coupon
*$1.00 3/6RP (I think)

9 - Campbells Soup - $1.57
*$1.50/3 in ad coupon
*$1.00/2 manu (I forget from where)

 2 - Post Cereal, 13-17 oz, at $3.71 BOGO
Honey Bunches of Oats, Vanilla Clusters, or Just Bunches!
*$1 off Post Honey Bunches of Oats Raisin Medley, SS 2/2

10 - General Mills Cereal, 10.6-18.25 oz, $2.50
Cheerios, Multigrain Cheerios, or Assorted Chex or Total
*$1/2 General Mills Cereal, Cheerios, Multigrain Cheerios, or Assorted Chex or Total (Publix Coupon) in ad coupon
*$1/2 General Mills cereal printable , printable or printable SS 1/30 (EXP 03/12)
*$1/2 General Mills Cheerios cereals, Pit Stop Savings booklet
*$1/2 General Mills Original or Honey Nut Cheerios, SS 2/06
*$1/3 General Mills cereals, SS 2/13
*.75/1 General Mills Cheerios cereals printable
*.75/1 General Mills Cheerios cereals printable
*.75/1 General Mills Cheerios, various types printable
*.75/1 General Mills Multigrain Cheerios cereal printable or printable
*.75/1 General Mills Original Cheerios cereal, Pampers home mailer

2 - Muir Glen - $.89
*Publix $1/2 coupon
*$.75 coupons .com 

Yellow Onions - 1.99
(no beer)

Winn Dixie - $5/30
Winn Dixie - $10/$50 babyclub

Vendor Coupon - $45.55
Store Coupon - $101.50
Special Price Savings - $67.59
TOTAL OOP - 89.86

Made $10.14!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Attachment Parenting is what you make it.

I am part of a mommy group. They claim to be attachment parents, but when I admit that YES MY BABY CRIES... I feel as if I just hung Jesus on the cross myself.

Atlas was in his crib the day he turned 2 months old, we both slept like royalty after that. I used an exaggerated Ferber method to get him to sleep through the night when he stopped doing it at 8 months old.... 2-6 months was a breeze!!! We EC, but some mornings I would rather go for a run than put him on the potty and read and wait for magic to happen. I nurse him to this day, but at 9 months old we finally introduced solids. And boy oh boy have we pushed this kid to walk! 10 months old, I tell ya! He was taking steps and walking with only one hand in mine! Now, 11 months he is walking with a goal --- he sees daddy or me and wants to go there, he stands up and moves.. doesn't mean he makes it all the way there without a chin-bump-to-the-ground... but he can!

So while I hate labels... and I have never been into "attachment" parenting as a "what makes me a mom"... I find that the hard core AP moms make me feel like a loser. And THAT I am NOT!

I stumbled on this post... read it. Just trust me on this. Go HERE.